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Topics - thecolclough

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16
Finished Works and Works in Progress / The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
« on: August 18, 2008, 04:13:28 pm »
hi all
i've just started work on a new CGI short film called The Machine And I - it's going to be a bit more arty and metaphorical, and maybe more soul-baring, than any of my previous Anim8or output, and i'm expecting it to take at least a year to produce.  i plan to do at least 90% of the modelling and animation in anim8or, but i might end up using a different modelling program for the small bits of organic stuff which will appear towards the end of the film, and i might end up picking a different program to render the scenes.  i'll see how things go before finalising any non-anim8or software choices.

anyway, it begins with a sequence called 'The Factory', where we see the final stages of construction and activation of the utilitarian vehicles, one of which is the focus of the movie.  unlike some previous projects, i've decided to start at the beginning on this one, and so far, i've nearly finished modelling and animating the first two shots, except for the vehicles themselves, which are still represented by simple green stand-ins in the attached renders.

the second still took about 16 minutes to render with scanline, using a single local light casting non-soft raytraced shadows, so i'm not sure if i'll be able to get away with using shadows, as the movie should be several minutes long, and the shadows would just make the render times an absolute killer.  if anybody knows a good rendering program which can handle animations from anim8or (not just stills), and is significantly faster than the anim8or scanline renderer, then i'd love to hear about it!

well, that's all for now, i think.  i'll be posting more WIP renders on this thread, maybe also wireframes, and perhaps the odd question, as the project progresses.

also hoping to release my previous CGI short on youtube sometime later this week.

- colclough

17
Finished Works and Works in Progress / New trailer for CGI film
« on: August 01, 2008, 03:03:31 pm »
made this the other day - the third and last preview for a CGI short film, which is finally finished after 18 months in production (18 months to make the film, that is, not to make the trailer ;D ).

you can youtube.com/watch?v=9uV6s4ts69s[/youtube]]see the trailer on its own by clicking here, or if you want to see the whole series so far (including the first two films, and all of the trailers), you can youtube.com/view_play_li[/youtube]st?p=EBEE2325C05BC305]watch this playlist instead.  the finished movie should be online sometime this month, once i've had a chance to show it to my friend, who directed it.

hope you enjoy :)

- colclough

18
Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / default fps and render settings?
« on: July 07, 2008, 02:45:29 pm »
i was wondering if it would be possible for the next update to include options for the default frame rate, and the default aspect ratio and resolution of renders, in new projects?

for example, i usually work at 25 fps (PAL tv standard, i'm a brit), and i render most stuff in 16:9 widescreen, so it would be useful for me if i could set anim8or to default to 25fps with limited playback, and a 16:9 camera frame and render resolution, when i open a new project, rather than 24fps, 4:3 / 400x300px.  at the moment, if i want to make the camera frame in scene mode go to a widescreen shape, i have to render something.  it'd make life a lot simpler if either there was a switch for the aspect ratio, or it could be made to default to widescreen whenever i open the program.

;D

- colclough


19
Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / My first ART render
« on: June 26, 2008, 06:57:38 pm »
well, technically it's my third, but the first two were just low-res test versions of this one.

the object is a lowpoly mesh, originally created by selecting all of the faces in an irregularly-shaped object and doing an Extrude Together, then subdivided to 4 working / 5 final divisions.  the material is a sort of glass / crystal effect, with the transparent attribute, and IOR 2.  the scene includes fog, but that doesn't seem to have rendered.  there's just one local light in the scene, with unmemorable settings ::)

the render took nearly 2.5 hours, and used 134614270 rays.  apparently.  that's what the bit underneath the render window said, anyways.

i have no idea what it's supposed to be, really, it was just my first experiment in ART materials and rendering - i only downloaded 0.97 yesterday - and i thought it looked kinda cool.

.an8 attached in case anyone wants to have a look at it.

- colclough

20
ASL Scripts / Script Request: Industrial FX, eg. smoke, sparks, etc
« on: June 25, 2008, 05:18:04 pm »
hi all
i haven't tried ASL myself (yes, i know i should, really, but i'm kinda busy at the moment), but i was just wondering if some of the more scripting-savvy people out there might be able to write some scripts for various special effects that you might find in an industrial environment, eg. showers of sparks, wisps of steam/smoke coming off things, etc.

i'm aware that it's possible to do this sort of thing by using other programs, or in high-poly ways (i seem to remember seeing a particle-based smoke test once, and the creator said there were x zillion particles in there), but i was wondering if ASL might offer a simpler, perhaps more lowpoly, in-anim8or way of doing things.

for the wisps-of-smoke thing, for example, would it be possible to create a lowpoly model with a transparency map and several morph targets, and use scripting to manipulate the targets in a way that would approximate real smoke movements?  so, rather than positioning the object and then spending ages playing with morphs yourself, you could just run a script, specify the object's location, and let the script do the animating for you.

like i said, i haven't really explored the possibilities of scripting yet, but if anybody thinks its doable and wants to give it a shot, your efforts would be much appreciated :)

ta

- colclough

21
i've noticed that you can't set the divisions of a sphere to more than 32x16 without subdividing the object, and i was just wondering why that is?  is it something to do with how the code works, or is it just an artificial limit, to stop people making ridiculously over-polied objects?  i find it's sometimes a problem, especially when making really big spherical things, such as planets (yes, i sometimes build planets!  who do i think i am, slartibartfast or someone?  :P ;D ), and i was wondering if there could be a way to remove the limit?

or maybe have a switch, so users can turn it off themselves if they really need all those extra divisions...

- colclough

22
hi all
i've been working on this little VB6 game for a few months now, i'm currently on version 4.2, and i just thought i'd post it here since versions 4.0 plus have some anim8or renders built into the interface - yet another different thing i've found to do with anim8or!  ;D  the program icon is also based off a small anim8or render.

anyways, here's the link: ClikEmDead download package.  i've tested successfully on Win98SE and WinXP, and unsuccessfully on Vista.  any feedback on functionality (or lack of) under other OSs would be much appreciated.

version 4.5 is already in development, i'll post the update when it's finished.

enjoy  ;)

- colclough

23
nobody seems to have mentioned this yet, at least on this forum (haven't searched the old one), but how about a scrollbar on the sequence/scene mode timeline when it gets too long to fit in the window?  every other video or audio app i've used (movie maker, audition and audacity, Flash, etc) has one, and i think it'd make life a lot easier when you're working on a long scene if anim8or had one too.  the current click-on-the-last-visible-frame-then-press-the-right-arrow-key method is kinda awkward :P

any chance of implementation in the next 0.97 release?  :)

- colclough

24
i reopened an old file today, did a save-as, and started making some changes.  in scene mode, i got this really bizarre bug, where some (but not all) of the objects randomly took on a texture which was included in the project, but which i never assigned to them.  however, it only did that in the working views - i did a render, and it was fine, then when i went back to working views, it was weird again.  render: fine.  working: crazy.  render: fine.  working: crazy.  kept going backwards and forwards, and it kept being weird, but only in the working views.   :P  pictures below.  anybody got a clue why it might have done that?

- colclough

25
you know we've got reference images?  well, how about reference videos?  exactly the same as a ref. image, but with a video rather than a static pic.

i know anim8or doesn't have any video playback stuff at the moment, but the fact that the renderer can handle multiple compression options, seems to suggest that steve is able to tap into the available video codecs, so i was just wondering, how much work would it be to include in-scene playback functionality?

it'd also be cool if you could make a reference image or video visible in the renders (i guess just have a boolean switch in the ref. image's properties, to set whether it renders or not), so that you could use them to create moving backgrounds, or video/computer screens in your models, etc.  example: if you were building a futuristic city, you could place a 'reference' video on the side of a building to make a giant advertising billboard, a la Blade Runner.   8)

any thoughts, peoples?

- colclough

26
hi all
i built some lightsabre blades in anim8or a couple of years ago, for a movie project which never really got off the ground.  i just rediscovered them, and i thought, since they're quite generic (they don't even have to be lightsabres, you could use them for other stuff if you wanted), i'd post them here for anybody to download and use if they want.  they're 100% freeware, i won't say anything like "you must make sure you clearly label my models in your work" or anything stuffy like that  :P  although, if you do make use of them, i'd love to see a render!

well, hope they're useful to somebody  :)

- colclough

27
i'm currently working on a pretty big short-film project, almost entirely in anim8or, and i've got to the stage where i have dozens of objects, several figures and sequences, and 20 or 30 scenes - and my problem is that it's all in the file in no particular order.  basically i started by making the simplest things first, but i'd now like to be able to rearrange the order my objects appear in the 'Object' menu, so that all the bits of set are grouped together, all the props are grouped together, etc etc.  and in scene mode, i'd like to be able to put all the scenes in the order they appear in the movie.

now, i know it's possible to open up the .an8 file in a text editor and rearrange the code manually, but that's quite a formidable task in a project of this size.  it's also possible to do it with the 'Import' commands, but that takes ages, and is a pain in the neck.  so what i was thinking is, for each program mode (object, figure...) it'd be really great to have a 'manager' panel, where (for object mode, for example) you could rearrange the order of your objects, easily duplicate objects, and manage object importing/exporting - i was thinking it could be done as a list box thing, sort of like the 'List Items' box, but with some extra controls on the side to allow re-ordering and other stuff.  if this was implemented, then when you import objects from another file, you could use the same interface to present a list of all the objects in said file, and you just ticked a checkbox next to each one that you wanted to import, and then pressed an 'import all' button when you were done, rather than working through an endless list of message boxes.  you could also take the 'Delete Object' command out of the 'Edit' menu, and make it a part of the object manager, allowing you to delete multiple objects simultaneously if you so desired.  and maybe 'Object Settings' could be moved into the 'Object' menu and/or the manager as well?  i don't know about everyone else, but personally i don't think having it in the separate 'Settings' menu is the best of arrangements.

so your 'Object' menu would now look something like this:

New Object
Manage Objects
-----
object01
object02
object03
etc etc etc
-----
Object Settings

and the Object Manager would include the commands New, Import (always enabled), and Settings, Move Up, Move Down, Duplicate, Delete, Export (enabled when you have one or more objects selected)

...and then, a similar system for Figure, Sequence and Scene settings, which (i'd guess) would be able to share a lot of code with the Object one.

well, that's how i'd do it, what do the rest of you think?

and steve... any chance of implementation?

- colclough

28
Finished Works and Works in Progress / my part-Anim8or comic strip
« on: April 02, 2008, 07:11:42 pm »
hi all
don't know why i didn't think of posting this earlier - i wrote almost 600 episodes of this comic strip a while back, and i've been posting them online at 5 or 6 a week, i'm currently just past #350.  the characters (well, most of them) are anim8or renders, but the sets (when i bother with them) are mostly drawn in in Microsoft Paint 98 (which i used to add the dialogue and master the comics as well).

i guess it's a case of "it's anim8or, jim, but not as we know it"... just thought i'd share it, as it's a slightly more unusual way to use our favourite software.

you can see it here: Cylinder and Miserable.  hope you enjoy  ;D

- colclough

29
Finished Works and Works in Progress / i got no guts...
« on: March 31, 2008, 10:25:58 am »
hi all
i'm working on a short movie in anim8or, going to be about 6 minutes long, and it has some scenes of a medical nature.  i've already built all the sets and characters, and some of the props, and i've animated more than half of the film, but i still need one more set of models, which is a selection of innards, for a scene in an operating theatre.  i need 5 pieces, including a beating heart, and i'm not really sure how to go about making that sort of stuff.  i usually do geometric stuff...  :P

i was wondering, has anyone else out there modelled internal organs and might be willing to share them, or does anyone know where i might be able to find some, or if not, then is there anyone who's good at modelling organic stuff and would be willing to make them, or offer me some advice on how to do it?

i don't need them to be photorealistic, as the film has a rather stylised, geometric look, but they still need to be organic-ish, and recognisable as body bits rather than abstract reddish-purple blocks / blobs.

i guess it's a bit off-the-beaten-track and all, but if anyone can help on this, it would be much appreciated.  you'd get a mention in the end credits, of course  :)

thanks in advance!

- colclough

30
Finished Works and Works in Progress / The Great YouTube Directory Thread
« on: January 25, 2008, 11:16:06 am »
i've noticed quite a few of us seem to be on youtube, and we've got various youtube links scattered in several threads on this board.  so i thought, why don't we set up a single thread where everyone who has a youtube account posts a reply with a link to their channel, so we have a centralised 'directory' which lets us all find everyone else's videos quickly and easily?

no "i've got a problem" posts here, just "here's where to see my vids".  please  ;D

anyway, here's mine to start with:

Anim8or.com username: thecolclough  ::  youtube.com/thecolclough[/youtube]]YouTube channel: thecolclough[/b]

hope this works...

- colclough

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