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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 - Maxfield

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Hi Steve and everyone!

I thought I'd better write something as I've been lurking here for some time, and using Anim8or for a couple of years. First off, thanks Steve for a wonderful program. Although I use software like Carrara for rendering, there's nothing better than Anim8or for trying out a quick "doodle" of an object, or modelling something quickly and easily. When I'm modelling, I tend to think in Anim8or terms nowadays - it's a very easy program to use.

This is simply my list of observations about Anim8or and what I've found to be its limitations. I'm not a coder, so if I've made any assumptions here, forgive me. I'm trying to remember that everything is probably difficult.

For me, Anim8or's big weakness is its shaders. Some way of independently tiling the texture channels of each shader would allow a much bigger variety of materials. And of course, even a few basic procedural modes like noise, marble and wood would increase this.

Is there any way to blend shaders in a chain? Something like the double-sided material, but with the second texture blended (add or multiply) over the first?

Ambient channel - most people agree that ambient shading is ugly and unrealistic. But what if you could connect the ambient channel to a box or spherical map, rather than a flat one? You might get some kind of fake global illumination. A couple of years back, there was a thread on a Poser forum about doing this. Someone connected the ambient channel to a simple gradient image, mapped to a sphere, light at the top/dark at the bottom, and got a rather subtle illumination, without using a single light.

ART raytracer - wow!  And all written in just a few months. Take that, Povray! But animation projects tend not to use raytracing, as it's too slow. Most animators would appreciate a really kick-ass scanliner that churns the footage out. So don't neglect the scanliner, please!

In scene mode, rather than have widgets popping up to change the properties of something, could they be confined to a toolbar down the side of the workspace? Copy, paste and connecting up the delete key would be a help, as would a drop-down list of objects in the "point at" box.

Of course, the moment scripting is available for all different modes, Anim8or will probably explode into something like Blender, but way more user-friendly.

Now here's my biggest, boldest suggestion - what about Gelato support? I heard ;) that Nvidia has some guy working for them who wrote his own modelling and animation program - surely he must know the right people to talk to?

Once again, Steve and everyone who's contributed to this project, well done. I have a tiny app on my computer that will let me model pretty much anything I want. If I'm showing stuff to a client, I can just put Anim8or on a disk with the project and make changes to it there and then on any computer he's got. If I think of something in the middle of the night, I can fire Anim8or up and sketch the thing out in 3D without loading up a big, slow program. May Anim8or go on and on!

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