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Topics - Arik_the_Red

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Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / Something strange under the sun....
« on: September 13, 2011, 07:09:25 pm »
I got a weird render issue...

Note the two attached images...

IMAGE 1 Strange Renders - normal: I created this render by having a satellite figure as the only object, but applying a jpg background (IMAGE 2).

IMAGE 2 Stars and Sun: The backgound jpg I made for IMAGE 1's environment background file. I created that in an anim8or scene where I made the "sun" by using a flat surface with a blurred "glow" texture with a solid white-blue blurred jpg and a transmap to make the illusion of a bright sun/light. I had a plain starfield jpg for an environment background image. I've used this "sun" technique many times to make "glows" in light bulbs, etc. In fact, the satellite has a similar "bulb glow" in a small lamp on the housing, and at the end of the shorter antenna, though they are hard to see because of the small size of the render area.

IMAGE 3 Strange Renders - odd: Here, I have returned to the source "sun" flat  object which is placed behind sphere "planets". The spheres and sun "panel" are the only objects. A plain "star" jpg was applied for the environment background. Originally, when I rendered this into jpg it came out looking like the first image's sunshine render...

No matter what I do, I can't seem to get my "sun glow" object as seen in MAGE 3 to return to its original crisp, clean appearance as seen in IMAGE 1 and IMAGE 2. I have even tried replacing my anim8or program with fresh downloads.

Does anyone have any idea why this quirk seems to have arbitrarily raised its ugly head>

Greetings, all!

I've made a sort of "get your act together" resolution... and am starting to conquer some of my old projects one by one, with the intention of "accomplishing something" and moving on as I make a solid step in my various project dreams over the years.

Corporal Cosmic and the Terran Space Force!

Some of you, a few at least, might remember this... I began this idea to be either a video game or animated series when I first came to anim8or-land. As such, while the original concept is still brewing in my cobwebs of brain cavity, I have decided to take on a slightly more fun, whimsical approach to the old storyline.

I am creating a mini-movie of cartoon style, to be humorous in style, and reflect the adventures and misadventures of the Terran Space Force!

Dedicated to Protecting Earth from the Ongoing Threats from Outer Space!

As the storyline goes, "Corporal Cosmic and the Terran Space Force" is to be a set of 3dCG animated cartoons based upon another project (on hold) outlined in WAM (

Where the other project is destined to be a video game taking place in present day, and to be of more serious, realistic art style, these cartoon shorts will be whimsical, comical in design.

The Terran Space Force science fiction style reflects the retro "what if" science fiction style of the 1940s and 1950s, presented in comical, humorous style.

What is the Terran Space Force (TSF)?

The TSF, featuring the hero Corporal Cosmic, is an interplanetary defense force established to defend Earth against ongoing threats from "Space Aliens" bent on invading Earth and doing all the unspeakable things that *Space Aliens" are known for - abduction, experimentation, torture and eating of humans and other Earth life.

The TSF has a network of space stations and bases scattered throughout the solar system to keep vigilant watch for threats from outer space. All TSF technology reflects "Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers" style of outfits, ships, weapons, etc., designed from research of alien technology acquired by past alien incursions against Earth (ie. H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, Area 51, etc.).

While the timeframe of the Terran Space Force is set in the 1950s, and operates as a sort of "alternate history," Earth's population of that time is largely unaware of the existence of this space force since the governments involved in the program feel that Earth is not ready to face the idea of recurring threats from "bug-eyed monsters from outer space." While super-powers officially launch to explore space in the historic Space Race between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., a thriving, active fleet of space stations and interstellar ships already exists, patrolling and policing the solar system on the watch for alien incursions from outer space.

Attached is my comical version of the typical Terran Space Force agent/commando, as well as a larger version of the TSF emblem.

As I develop more material, I'll post it here for all to see. Look for space craft, "bug-eyed aliens" and other products as I cobble together the material to create my first cartoon.

Anyone who dares may take on the foolhardy task of speaking up and joining in, though I really don't ask for any suicidal efforts at this point, and am very aware of my history of unfinished projects.

Hopefully, this will be my first milestone in accomplishing something in one of the those unfinished tasks, after which I will step on to the next, and next... and cover several projects that I have put forth in forum over the years.

Once at least one cartoon episode is made, I may likely move forth with new gusto and look at the SteamPunk project that so many took interest in awhile back. I would really like to see that resurrected as well.

General Anim8or Forum / Is it just me, or....
« on: August 21, 2011, 04:51:22 am »
Is it just me, or did a big section of the message database disappear? It seems like the entire month of August is missing in places.... Finished Works in particular.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Mars or Bust!
« on: August 21, 2011, 04:32:00 am »
Well, I've been out of touch for awhile. Now getting back into the 3D bit... I was recruited to design a Mars Lander for a video project.

Check out this thing in the works... Will have more thruster rockets and related details soon.

When finished, the  lander will descend to the Martian surface, land and open up "flower petal" style, releasing a rover type vehicle.

Some of the other images in that photobucket show rough ideas for the Mars Lander stages.

Also, some preliminary basic mock-up experiments to be found here:




submission deadline May 26, 2011

Per the My Tank! Synopsis ( and newly adopted Script (

The My Tank! Music Video Project invites one and all to design the "main character" of the My Tank! Music Video.

Submission Overview:
Create a wacky "mad scientist" character that will be featured in 3DCG format for the My Tank! Music Video. This is a "concept contest", so your submission may created via 2D or 3DCG art formats, hand drawn, painted, computer-generated, etc.

The main character is simply described as a "Mad Scientist," such as of Frankenstein or other stereotypical imagery. Even so, this provides a large area of ideas. He could be young or old, fat or thin, geeky or gawky, on bald or profusely maned, and on and on...

The main thing to consider is that this fellow has decided to build a combat tank for a tank-battle competition. He will begin rather mild-mannered, but will become more "crazed" and "obsessed" -- MAD -- ultimately building a "super tank" using robotic tools of his lab, intending to install a "living brain" into it as the control mechanism. In the end, his own robotic equipment takes him down against his will, and forcibly removes his brain, putting it into his tank... thus the final lyric "I am me... I am My Tank!"

Placing your "Mad Scientist" in action is encouraged. While his surroundings will not be judged, his facial expressions, posing and appearance of "at work in the lab" will all contribute to the character's impression as a "great guy for the music video!"

Award to Contestants and Winner:

All contestants who submit a quality concept artwork (2D or 3D render) will be listed in the "My Tank!" recognized as designers/conceptualists (appropriate title to be determined) project credits.

The winning submission creator will be designated for his or her specific contribution as the conceptualist of the actual "Mad Scientist" character, and be considered an ongoing member of the My Tank! project on through to completion of the video.


All submissions must be created "from scratch," completely original work, of your own design and creation. No use pre-designed, previously copyrighted/trademarked/etc., material is acceptable.

Acceptable Art Submission Formats
All submissions must be submitted in bmp, jpg, or png format. 3DCG submissions likewise must be in a final rendered format.

Your final submission may be posted here for all of this community to enjoy, but it must also be presented at the My Tank Project site: for judging.

As this is a "Concept Art" project, the exact choices of "art media" (pencil, paint, Photoshop, Blender, 3DS Max, etc.) is wholly up to you, the artist, so long as the final "art" submission fits the above-mentioned file formats.

3DCG Models, Material, etc.
If you opt to design using a 3DCG model/animation software package (Blender, 3DS Max, Maya, etc.), your final model work will be accepted for actual video production. However, you may be asked to resize your model and export it into a "general purpose file format" (obj, 3ds, etc.) to accommodate future 3DCG needs of the My Tank! production team.

General Anim8or Forum / YAY!!! FLOYD!!!! 1000 posts!!!!
« on: April 05, 2011, 04:22:49 am »
I just noticed that Floyd reached 1000 posts today! CONGRATS MY MAN!!! (or monkey??)

As I've mentioned recently, I've been conscripted into a couple of projects. I hadn't mentioned this one until now, but since I've started on it now, here's a bit of the work.

For fun, can anyone guess what I'm working on? A fair hint, it's associated with a prominent piece of television production...

I just began working with textures on this tower part of the bigger project (note the panel work on the walls)... experimenting with bumpmap.
I also still need to detail the underside of the floor, but am waiting while trying to figure out if there should be a trapdoor access, a ladder, or what based upon being as faithful to the original subject as possible.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Rockasaurus!
« on: March 14, 2011, 05:23:41 pm »
Well, folks, yes... I seem to have fallen through cracks again, but really, no, I haven't quite.... As noted in the Steampunk thread, I've had to sidetrack onto another project...

That project involves learning my newly acquired MessiahStudio5 software for all those things MS5 is best for...

Thus, I've been recruited to work on a music video... actually, it's been the hope of developing a music video (at least one) in working on several ideas for several songs that a musician I know has in his repertoire.

After bouncing around three songs - one a sci-fi theme, another a western theme, and lastly something "prehistoric," I've settled to work on the "prehistoric" song as my chief tool for learning MS5 while using my beloved Anim8or as my model tool.

As for the video ideas being entertained, they include:

1) Rockasaurus:  Dinosaur invents Guitar  ;)
2) Gunslinger:  Western/Cowboy storyline
3) Firestorm:  Sci-Fi space battle

So, here I have a work thread just for Rockasaurus... and will post models, etc ., as they develop.

Lyrics for


words and music by Zd Zrdn

Once upon a time
One hundred thirty million years ago
The Earth was ruled by the dinosaur
Fightin' to survive
Livin' for tomorrow's light
One lone caenagnathus wanted more

He worked and he sought
To build the perfect instrument
Pushed the limits of his every skill
Finally, he attained success
Fruition of his vigilence
Forged in the fire of his will

Rockasaurus - the Late Cretaceous' brightest star
Rockasaurus - music hatched to please
Rockasaurus - awakened now for all to see
From his long-term hibernation freeze

Now he's here at last
Freed from all the ice and snow
Makin' sweet rock candy for the ear
Yes, his time has come
Wild and free and goin' strong
Comin' at you boldly, loud and clear

Rockasaurus - the modern era's greatest prize
Rockasaurus - brought here just for you
Rockasaurus - comin' forth to show us all
Metal noise in scaley green and blue

Rockasaurus - don't get close, just take my word
Rockasaurus - amplifiers fried
Rockasaurus - once again to rule the world
Watch the future and past collide

Copyright 2001 by Zd Zrdn.  All rights reserved.
Any and all violations of this copyright shall be deemed as implied consent for substantial financial compensation and/or death by slow torture at the copyright holder's sole option.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / "Firestorm" - a Music Video
« on: January 24, 2011, 02:53:09 am »
Hello, All... Yes, I've sidestepped the Steampunk project for a moment in order to work on something for a musician I know. He asked me to try and put together a sci-fi space battle for his rock-n-roll instrumental score, named "Firestorm."

No sense hiding the work from everyone, so, without further adieu.... the project as it develops.

First main scene I'm working on...

The bridge of the Zalaman Interplanetary Exploration and Colonization Ship (no name yet...)

(to be updated as more develops)

Shown here, very rough work in progress of the "Holographic Planet Projector" located in roughly the center of the bridge." The planet "image" in the glow-cylinder is set with a .75 transparency so that, when the bridge scene is complete, it will have a ghostly, semi-transparent effect and features of the bridge that are behind it will show through. The planet and its moons are all textured objects from another project I had saved on an old memory stick. I still need to adjust the lighting and shadows of the planet and moons...

...a little 3D walkaround test of the holo-thing...[/youtube]]http://www.


Finished Works and Works in Progress / Steampunk World
« on: October 24, 2010, 05:43:41 pm »
This message has been fully reworked to serve as the summary of this project, and will be updated accordingly as people contribute.

Since a few folks have expressed interest in this project, I'm beginning with a storyline below, and then will have separate messages for each element or idea of the project as they come up.

Thanks to all that want to have a go at this. I do hope this can be a fun project for all. This could work well in some sort of movie format, or as a video game.3D comic, or as a video game.

For now, though, I think its enough to just create the immediate neighborhood/street on which the story would begin.


 - Metalsmith Shop / Office and Attic Dwelling (Arik_the_Red)
 - Mechanic Shop ($imon)
 - Urban Housing Ideas ($imon)
 - Factory/ies (kreator)

 - Small dirigible 1 man craft (Arik_the_Red)
 - Steam-powered bike (Raxx)
 - Steam Limousine (Ensoniq5)

 - Metalsmith's Apprentice - Male character (Arik_the_Red)
 - Mechanic - Female character (Raxx)


It was the beginning of Mankind's era of Industrial Revolution. The invention of the steam engine brought new wonders to the world. Locomotives chased long, gleaming rails over vast expanses of land, carrying people and wares tirelessly across continents. Ships of steam chugged over lakes, winding rivers and even across seas, connecting nations, cities, and families as never before.

And a piece of Heaven's foundations fell, shaking the world. The skies burned... Storms of fire swept over the lands... A shroud of darkness blotted out the sun, and then came the Long Winter. In the Dark, death and famine prevailed... Green turned to brown and black, and the survivors of wondered if the sun would ever shine again, or would the sky be an eternal, dismal gray.

But, in time the sun did return, the blue skies did return, and the world was reborn from the ashes. And the very cause of Man's - the Earth's - misery was discovered. In the heart of a massive, ragged hole in the world glowed a mountainous rock from Space... radiating, pulsing of orange light, hot to the touch, hard as a diamond. The cause of the world's grief, however, brought with it a wonder as well. When the rains fell, the waters burst into steam on touch... And Man found a gift in the heart of the world's destruction...

People found a way to mine the massive meteor, slowly removing small portions, and constructing great machines powered by the strange element's means of producing steam. And the Age of Steam was reborn, fueled by the scrapings from the massive, glowing rock. New machines provided new wonders, and crafts of land, sea, and air... and thus was that, with the dawning of a new century, the Age of Steampunk was born, and blossomed.


The time frame of the storyline is roughly the 1900s, in the area of the 1920s-early 1930s. Thus, the technology would best be reflected as Steampunk-version of anything from the late 1800s to the mid-1930s. Of course, in place of technology formed of the petroleum industry, is the development of anything steam-powered. After all, with the Long Winter and the need for Mankind to rebuild after what is essentially something akin to nuclear winter, the discovery of an element that is in relative abundance and able to create high levels of steam in small quantities would intrigue scientists and engineers deeply enough to delay, possibly even completely halt, the pursuits of petroleum fuels.

The city could be a city in partial ruin from the time of the Long Winter, and the styles of the buildings and such would be heavily influenced by the Victorian Era. As is, the new/rebuilt city is formed around a massive steam power plant that maintains vast boilers and equipment for the production of electricity and also extreme pressure steam pipes to areas somewhat closer to the plant as sources of heat, steam and hot water for businesses and residences.

Vehicles and equipment are powered by a boiler system that takes a mere grain of the meteor for smaller engines, and water tanks that provide the steam on contact with the meteor fragment in question.

The story begins with the main character being a metalsmith's apprentice who lives in the attic of the smith-shop of his employer/master. He awakes late in the morning, far later than "Master" would have him... to find that no one is about... that there are no people in his neighborhood. The plot is for the main character to discover what has become of the people.

The fact of the matter is that the main character had been out too late the night before, and drinking/carousing heavily, and slept in well past noon, completely oblivious to the world. During that time, all people that were easily found were rounded up by an alien invasion, the aliens having come to Earth in pursuit of the element of the and the meteor that fuels Man's Steampunk Revolution.

A few scattered humans, holed up like the main character was - in attics, sewers, or other difficult-to-find areas, can be found. But, by and large, the aliens took almost everyone, and it is for the remaining few to determine what happened, and ultimately how to put an end to the aliens' occupation, and free the humans that were captured.


I'm a closed-minded American, designing things in the American measurements... So, I have been working with the idea that:
 - 10pts = 1 foot, and the average height of a human being 60pts
 - 60pts = the height of an average human (6 ft, or a bit shy of 2 meters/metres)

The style I'm aiming for is roughly realistic in proportioning, though I think I will have some slight exaggerations in the making of characters. The heads, hands and feet may be somewhat pronounced and enlarged as is appropriate to create more interesting style and such. As I get the main character in order soon, I hope it shows well enough what I have in mind.

Anim8or Materials: I am attaching a version of Kubajz (sp?) Material DB because I like the metals, and have been working from that file to create my own materials as well. My dirigible (incomplete) is also attached so that some of my own materials are included. I'd encourage people to likewise use the attached file as the basis for materials to provide some continuity to things.


Well, anyone with any ideas on how to further develop what is shown above, please do! I will be glad to consider and implement any contributions to the best of my closed-minded, egotistical brain's ability ;)... Just speak up, and I'll try and figure out the best way to make any new ideas work out, so long as it sticks to the general theme described above.


It's only appropriate that credit be given where credit is due, therefore I will hold rights to the initial storyline and anything that I create. Likewise, anyone who contributes to the project will maintain ownership of their respective ideas and contributions.

On the outside chance that this project does move on to any wondrous chances of fame, glory, and endless riches, it should only be on the conditions that all contributors can agree to. No one should profit from this project except in the sense that all can agree upon how they should share in the benefits.

That being said, lets forget all that for now, and just have some fun!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Minding my own beeswax
« on: September 08, 2010, 07:15:36 am »
Making a little bit of stuff for a local bee hive company...

Firstly, I have the worker bee.

Notes: The gloves and boots are borrowed from older creations... boots from Piglet (gone bad), and gloves from something I had started on a few years ago. They look good, so I decided they were worth dredging up for recycle.

I'm considering having him standing in front of honeycombs, with each chamber being like a wine cask or old-fashioned keg with a spigot... and him having a bucket to pour honey "from the tap"...

I know this got started under the "lamp" thread, but since I've diversified, I'm beginning a new thread...

I am making an Antarctic abandoned whaling station on a small island as part of a game idea. While the concept ties into my "Corporal Cosmic" idea, this particular development "level" is quite capable of being a game all its own.

Therefore, I'm working it out as a self-standing game.

Plot: The player character/hero is a US special agent dropped off in the water in a lifeboat in the guise of being a shipwreck survivor. The mission is to explore the island because the US government believes there may be more going on than mere whaling operations.

Right now I'm working on the project from the beginning of the "gameplay," starting with modeling the ship dock on the island, then working onto the land and station facilities, and on from there.

The design will be rather surreal, and not solidly realistic in proportions of objects... this is partly because I just do better modeling that style, and it takes more "mental energy and time" for me to try and do purely real.

Anyway, attaching images that I am using for inspiration for starters... The 1st three pics are of a rather famous whaling station on Deception Island in the Antarctic.

The last image is not related to the station images, but shows the art-style I hope to convey. It's from a game made in Blender that I found on youtube..

There are some great things in the real whaling base... a partially sunken whaling ship, rusting hulks of buildings and equipment, etc. I collected a whole load of pics for inspiration.

Of course, the station I am making will be a bit less complicated, I do want to have the dock and sunk ship, several types of buildings and equipment to get the feel of the real place, and, like the real place, the island is going to be a small, dormant volcanic peak where the real mystery lies in the crater beyond the station/village ruins.

General Anim8or Forum / rendering differences...
« on: August 17, 2010, 02:41:08 pm »
Check this out.... the first image was rendered on my mini-PC...

Now, I've moved it all over to my main machine - my desktop tower... and the exact same rendering comes out like below!

I went through and I think the settings match for both anim8or programs and files.

Why is there such a difference in rendering?

Below, Image 1 from the Mini-PC, Image 2 from the Tower PC.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / lamp
« on: August 14, 2010, 03:46:20 am »
Lamp for a project.  Just a minor detail of something bigger. I always liked these sorts of lights.

EDIT - Testing a hallway tunnel sort of scene...

I am looking at animation options for the current challenge - "fierce...awwww"...

I have made a basic character of "Piglet", and have been wondering if  morphing would work for the primary movements - making him walk, make expressions, etc.

Piglet is a very curvey character - lacking any real straight shapes (per below artist rendering)... I want to show more proper motion in the bending of elbows and knees, etc., and I don't see it being easily accomplished with bones and such as they are generally straight, sharp and angular. Is morphing the better way to accomplish this for what I want to do?

I haven't really done any morphing and have only read the basic tutorial...

Also in these regards, would it be best to have Piglet's body parts as separate morphing pieces, then assembled for the whole character?

Looking for ideas and ways to make this come out "really great"... well, at least as "great" as can be made with anim8or....

I will be working with tests using a "basic Piglet," and then once I determine what works best, I'll move on to the "fierce Piglet" character I'm putting together.

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