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An update to Anim8or, v1.00b, is available with a few bug fixes. Get your copy HERE. See the "ReadMe" file for details.

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Messages - ENSONIQ5

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1
Welcome to Anim8or!

There's two answers to this question, depending on what you need and how you plan to use the mesh.  The first involves ‘smoothing’ the mesh, and the second involves ‘subdividing’ the mesh.

Smoothing:

Smoothing divides each face of a mesh into four faces (assuming your mesh’s faces are all 4-sided) by bisecting each line with a vertex point, placing a new point in the middle of each face, and joining up the new points with lines.  Importantly, this function changes the original mesh which will now have 4 times as many faces and will subsequently be bigger, from a data point of view, and potentially more difficult to animate later.  This function includes a numeric setting; if its value is 1 each face will simply be divided into 4 with each new face aligned exactly to the original face.  If its setting is 0 the new vertex points will be positioned based on (presumably) Bezier curves, resulting in an overall smoothing of the object.  Settings above 1 can give some interesting results.

Try it out:
  • Create a sphere object (under Shapes in the left side menu)
  • Convert the sphere to a mesh (Build > Convert to Mesh)
  • Smooth the sphere (Build > Smooth Object...).  Enter 0 for an overall smoothing effect.

Subdividing:

Subdividing is similar to smoothing, at least in appearance, however there is a critical difference.  While smoothing changes the original mesh by adding points, lines and faces, subdividing doesn’t change the original mesh.  Instead, it uses the original basic mesh to mathematically define a much finer mesh.  When rendered, the original mesh is ignored, and the calculated fine mesh is rendered instead.  The advantages of subdividing over smoothing are that the overall file size is not increased and, more importantly, the mesh is far simpler to manipulate and animate.

Imagine animating a mesh of a person's face to show expressions.  If the actual mesh was very fine (eg. smoothed) you would need to individually animate a large number of vertex points which would be difficult, painstaking and may ultimately look unrealistic.  With subdivision, your mesh can remain much coarser, and therefore be far simpler to animate, while your render remains smooth and organic in appearance.

Try it out:
  • Create a sphere, the same as for smoothing
  • Convert to subdivided (Build > Convert to Subdivided)
  • Switch to point edit mode (the icon with three dots in the ‘Mode’ section of the left side menu) to see the original course mesh that is controlling the fine subdivision.  Try moving some vertex points and switching back to object mode (the arrow icon under ‘Mode’) to see how the fine mesh is affected by the original mesh.

When defining a mesh that will ultimately be subdivided it is important to ensure that all faces have 4 sides.  3-sided faces and faces with more than 4 sides will subdivide strangely and may look odd in the final render.  This is a fundamental aspect of 'organic modelling'.

2
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: spot the Anim8or bit...
« on: February 03, 2019, 04:37:08 am »
No idea which parts are Anim8or-sourced, everything is quite seamless and integrated.  Excellent production values on this, very impressive and engaging stuff!

3
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Logging in...troubles..
« on: January 18, 2019, 03:30:17 am »
Seems to be ok now, original login working as normal.

4
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Arrgh! Hard Disk Crash!
« on: January 10, 2019, 12:16:07 am »
A sound engine, either as part of Anim8or or an external utility along the lines of Terranimator, would be very handy.  To be able to apply a sound (sourced online, synthesized, recorded etc.) to an object and have the active camera behave like a stereo microphone would be amazing, especially if doppler shift and volume could be synthesized automatically based on relative velocity and proximity to the camera/mic.  Ideally it would need to include some sound manipulation tools (and/or a full blown soft synth).

I had wild ideas of building something like this when I first found Anim8or, but have lacked the time and the requisite skills to get anything going.

PS: Congrats on completing the re-write :)

5
I don't know the capabilities of the game engine, but the only way I can think of doing this would be to set the sphere to 'point at' the camera.  So as the sphere moves relative to the camera, it rotates to always keep the 'pupil' pointed towards the camera.

6
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 20, 2018, 07:35:48 am »
Trevor: Definitely possible, I'm planning an animation test with multi-threading and will include coronas :)

7
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 19, 2018, 12:49:09 pm »
Agreed, they compare very well indeed and the speed is really impressive.  If anything I think the Anim8or 1329 render has the edge, there is a richer saturation and it's a more pleasing render overall.

8
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 18, 2018, 01:41:49 pm »
I've done some more testing and run some render time comparisons between Anim8or V1.0, Anim8or build 1329 with multi-threading, and Carrara.  It's tricky to run a fair comparison with Carrara since it is an entirely different package with a different set of parameters but I have attempted to match the AA, materials and lighting as close as possible on a quick still life with lots of lights (14), ART attributes and soft shadows.  Materials and lights in Carrara have been set to match Anim8or as closely as possible, and the model is identical.  Renders are attached and times are below:

Anim8or V1.0 AA100: 50m 11s
Anim8or V1.0 AA100 (fast AA): 11m 10s
Anim8or build 1329 AA100 multi-threading on: 5m 47s
Carrara: 9m 5s

There are some minor issues with the 1329 multi-thread render (some previously noted):

  • Graininess in the lower-right of the glass ball
  • Apparent lack of AA on objects visible behind the glass ball - some jaggy edges (may be the same issue as above)
  • Slight step in shadow at near corner of wooden ramp, though it is actually more pronounced on both V1.0 renders

Aside from this, the handling of shadows in general and the quality of the lighting is significantly better in 1329 than V1.0 and, remarkably, rendered quicker than Carrara.  This isn't a 'Carrara vs Anim8or' thread by any means as both have their advantages (Carrara for its massively powerful materials engine, Anim8or for it's workflow and simple UV editor), this comparison is only about rendering times.

9
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 17, 2018, 07:48:22 am »
This is a game changer!  Rendering speeds are fantastic, attached took about 2 minutes with AA at 100 on i7 quad core (8 threads), image size 1920x1080.  No problems to report at this stage, testing animation at the moment.

10
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Morph targets and linear distortion
« on: April 19, 2018, 07:46:48 am »
Using both animation methods in combination is actually really powerful, great to hear you're moving forward :)

11
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Morph targets and linear distortion
« on: April 13, 2018, 07:55:48 am »
Only way is to add intermediate morph points but the motion will still always be linear and there will always be distortion, unless you add a morph point at every frame.  Bones really are the way to go for rotations (bends) of meshes, morphs are better suited to non-rotational distortion.

12
Just rendering it with Scanline should give the same effect as the earlier post, so long as you have a single overhead 'Sun' light (distant) which will illuminate the tops of the waves due to the water material's high specular value.  Basically the wave texture is loaded in the Bump channel and the reverse (negative) version is loaded in the transparency channel.  This makes the 'troughs' more transparent than the 'peaks', so the under-lying 'deep water' object/material is more visible there.

I posted the .an8 file in the original post, were you not able to load it?  It was created and saved in V1.00 though it should work in any version back to probably .97 as it doesn't use anything new.

Also, under View>Preferences, make sure all available checkboxes in the 'File output' section are checked (Textures, Shadows and Transparency in particular).

Re OpenGL vs Scanline, yes, there's a huge difference.  Though I don't often use it, I believe OpenGL rendering is roughly equivalent to what you see on screen, whereas Scanline is far more accurate.  For reflective, refractive and ambient occlusion properties the ART renderer should be used, noting that it does not respect shadow density settings as Scanline does (if engaged, shadows are 100%).

13
Can you post a still render of any frame, rendered in ART?  Not sure why it wouldn't be working for you but a render may help to narrow it down.

14
itsstillthinking: No problem, the updated Anim8or file (with ART attributes) is attached.  It uses the same textures as on the previous post. (Note: Project created using V1.00)

Regarding the lighting, most often this sort of thing is caused by the normals being flipped.  My only suggestion would be to make sure your normals are front-facing and remove all lights other than one overhead 'Sun' light and see what happens.  To check normals, in node-edit mode with 'Front' selected and 'Back' deselected, click on a face.  From 'outside' the mesh the face should highlight yellow (front) and from the inside it should appear blue (back).  If they are reversed you can use the 'Flip normals' and 'Fix normals' commands in Edit to sort them out.

Also, some of the meshes could be malformed with concurrent front and back faces in the same location.  If you're not sure, consider posting the project so we can check the mesh.

fefe01: The water makes use of bump and transmaps on separate flat planes that are moving in different directions giving the illusion of waves, nothing is actually moving up and down.  The ART reflective property is sensitive to bump maps so the surface appears wavy, so yes, it's an illusion.  In reality, waves always propagate outwards from a source, as is obvious when making ripples in a smooth pond.  At sea, there are many, many wave sources heading in many different directions resulting in 'noise'.  In this experiment there are only two planes but more could be added moving in more directions, which should provide a noisier, more realistic effect, but at the expense of render speed.  Feel free to download the file and experiment with the settings.

15
Here's a version using ART but be warned, this took about 5 hours for two i7 quaddies to render 75 frames each.  Some tweaking of the material parameters would be required to make it look a bit less Caribbean or South Pacific and a bit more North Sea.


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