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General Category => General Anim8or Forum => Topic started by: wolfsong73 on September 13, 2016, 02:31:43 am

Title: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 13, 2016, 02:31:43 am
Hello!

So, I've begun work on my first real project. I'm going to create what will ultimately be the stage/setting for an animated short. So it'll be kind of a long-term learning project.

It's basically going to be a kitchen counter scene. I've started off with creating a canister via Lathing.

In the event I want to change something about the Canister shape, or something goes horribly wrong with the one(s) I've already created. I'd like to keep their profiles "backed up". I thought maybe I could keep them on a hidden layer, via the Options > Layers dialog. I'm *assuming* they're layers as in different "pages" you can create and keep objects on, to hide/show, etc... I can't seem to figure out how to get the profiles off the main layer and on to another one. I've tried looking it up in the "Learning" section, but I couldn't find a direct entry for 'Layers', and I'm not sure what manual section that would be under.

Is there a way to move objects from one layer to another? Or are they 'stuck' on the layer they're created on?

Thanks!

Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: Raxx on September 13, 2016, 03:16:51 am
Double click the shape and manually enter the layer number there. You can easily show/hide layers by hitting the numbers in the top toolbar, and you can lock layers by right-clicking them. Layers are a new feature that haven't been documented yet.
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 13, 2016, 03:30:55 am
Ahhhh okay. So you don't move things with the layers window, you just control its visibility, locked/unlocked, etc. Okay. Cool! 

I was barking completely up the wrong tree there lol.

Thanks a bunch!
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: ENSONIQ5 on September 13, 2016, 08:38:28 am
You can create as many Objects as you need, and copy/paste wireframes from one to another.  Objects can be used however you want, I often set up one called 'Workbench' where lathing, extruding and point-editing takes place, 'Holding' as a temporary dump for objects being worked on, 'Construction' where various objects are put together, 'Backup' where wireframes are kept where I'm worried about messing them up, etc.  These can be permanent Objects for animating in Figure or Scene modes or temporary, for deletion once the project moves to the next stage.  Does that help?
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 13, 2016, 11:50:38 am
You can create as many Objects as you need, and copy/paste wireframes from one to another.  Objects can be used however you want, I often set up one called 'Workbench' where lathing, extruding and point-editing takes place, 'Holding' as a temporary dump for objects being worked on, 'Construction' where various objects are put together, 'Backup' where wireframes are kept where I'm worried about messing them up, etc.  These can be permanent Objects for animating in Figure or Scene modes or temporary, for deletion once the project moves to the next stage.  Does that help?

So you can name the layers? Or is that an association you've set up for yourself, where each layer, 0 through 7, is for each of those things?  I've not seen any option to name layers while looking through the interface/menus.

Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: nemyax on September 13, 2016, 11:54:42 am
So you can name the layers?
No. And you can't put an object on multiple layers either.

Actually that reminds me, I want to download the help file!
http://www.anim8or.com/learn/manual/index.html
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: ENSONIQ5 on September 13, 2016, 01:06:29 pm
So you can name the layers? Or is that an association you've set up for yourself, where each layer, 0 through 7, is for each of those things?  I've not seen any option to name layers while looking through the interface/menus.

Sorry, I wasn't very clear.  Rather than using layers, I just use multiple Objects.  An Object can contain any number of wireframes (meshes) and you can have any number of Objects within a project.  Objects can be named as required so could be a solution to your need of a 'backup' repository of your meshes.  I haven't used layers in Anim8or but from what I can gather their power is in their ability to be hidden, so background meshes can be hidden for improved clarity while working on foreground meshes.
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 13, 2016, 02:11:15 pm
So you can name the layers?
No. And you can't put an object on multiple layers either.

Ah okay. I see ENSONIQ5 clarified their explanation as well.

Actually that reminds me, I want to download the help file!
http://www.anim8or.com/learn/manual/index.html

Yep! I've got that bookmarked. Also have the PDF downloaded now. The Help file has some good information in a more compact format, so it's a good "quick reference" to keep handy.

Just in skimming through the PDF (since it's all in one long document), it's amazing how much is packed into a 3.5MB executable.
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 13, 2016, 02:23:07 pm
Sorry, I wasn't very clear.  Rather than using layers, I just use multiple Objects.  An Object can contain any number of wireframes (meshes) and you can have any number of Objects within a project.  Objects can be named as required so could be a solution to your need of a 'backup' repository of your meshes.  I haven't used layers in Anim8or but from what I can gather their power is in their ability to be hidden, so background meshes can be hidden for improved clarity while working on foreground meshes.

Ah, gotcha.

At the moment, my plan is to move any lathe/extrusion profiles to layer 7, and keep that layer hidden. So I have the pieces handy, but out of the way unless/until I need them.

I'm also going to be using layers for my project, as it's definitely going to be useful to keep objects sorted by their use/importance in a scene.

Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: thecolclough on September 13, 2016, 05:02:32 pm
... I'm going to create what will ultimately be the stage/setting for an animated short...

do keep us posted - it's always a pleasure to find a fellow one-man-band filmmaker and watch their project(s) develop!
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 13, 2016, 06:23:14 pm
... I'm going to create what will ultimately be the stage/setting for an animated short...

do keep us posted - it's always a pleasure to find a fellow one-man-band filmmaker and watch their project(s) develop!

Oh I will! I think once I get a bit more into it, I'll start a proper WIP thread.

I'm literally going to be learning everything in AN8 as I go... modeling, texturing, animating, etc. Although, I might take some detours along the way for side-projects specifically about learning a certain feature, so I'm not mucking with the main project itself.

Should be a fun challenge! And the end movie, I think, should be pretty humorous - at least I hope others feel that way  ;D
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 14, 2016, 01:49:06 am
Okay! So I've been doing some learning/experimenting with texturing and lighting.

I've decided that these specific canisters are going to be a learning project, not part of the actual full 'kitchen project' I plan to do. I was doing some searching online and found some canisters whose look and style I like a lot more. More curvy, and with a blue and gray earthenware look. I think they'll be more interesting to look at.

So! I did some renders, experimenting with the different settings, but am finding that I can't get the light very bright. At 100% (255, 255, 255), and up close to the jars, it's just not very bright. I also didn't see a multiplier, or any mention in the documentation (though I might have overlooked it) on how to increase the brightness. Is there a way to increase the brightness of the lights? It's a spotlight. Also just realized I'd forgotten to enable shadows for that shot. Whoops.

So, here's a render I did.. There's the base diffuse color, a spec map (which isn't very noticeable in this shot) and an environment map applied.

Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: Steve on September 14, 2016, 02:52:03 am
What are your material settings for the diffuse and specular factors? What is the color in the texture, and did you set the texture blend mode?
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 14, 2016, 03:19:49 am
What are your material settings for the diffuse and specular factors? What is the color in the texture, and did you set the texture blend mode?

I don't remember about the first 2, and I don't know for the 3rd.

The only thing I messed around with was the mode of the specular map, which I set to Lighten, and I was messing with the environment map to make it more subtle.

Here's a screenshot of my actual settings, since it's easier to just look at them than to type them out heh.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: Steve on September 14, 2016, 06:12:24 am
You basically have a very, very dark blue material with only the highlights using the texture, with a very small amount of environment map. The basic color comes from the Diffuse color plus the a tiny amount from the Environment map.

If you increase the percentage of the Environment map to 30-50% and maybe the specular map as well it will make a dark blue, shiny material.  If you brighten the Diffuse color it could help but you should probably decrease the ambient factor to 0.3 and the diffuse factor to 0.7 or so if you do. Play around with these values and see what happens.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Layers?
Post by: wolfsong73 on September 14, 2016, 11:35:00 am
You basically have a very, very dark blue material with only the highlights using the texture, with a very small amount of environment map. The basic color comes from the Diffuse color plus the a tiny amount from the Environment map.

If you increase the percentage of the Environment map to 30-50% and maybe the specular map as well it will make a dark blue, shiny material.  If you brighten the Diffuse color it could help but you should probably decrease the ambient factor to 0.3 and the diffuse factor to 0.7 or so if you do. Play around with these values and see what happens.

Hope this helps!

You know, I just got to thinking reading your post. Maybe the reason they "seem" dark is because there's nothing around them to contrast against. It's just a grid floor and a background. I do want to keep them a darker, richer color (though I guess since it's just for learning, it shouldn't matter what the color is), and when I increase the env map too much, it starts looking kinda cheesy. Tweaking the specular settings would probably yield good enough results.

Thanks!