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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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Using both animation methods in combination is actually really powerful, great to hear you're moving forward :)

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.

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%).

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.

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.

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.

Great to see Anim8or being used for a serious project, nice work!  There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of the animation, bearing in mind that some will affect render times:

1) In some places it looks almost as if parts of the ship's superstructure are lit from below rather than above.  If you have an overhead light modeling the sun then you may want to check your normals are correct.
2) The lighting appears flat as if some surfaces are emissive rather than illuminated.  Consider having a single overhead shadow-casting distant light as the sun with a bright-ish ambient light level, and ensure the ship model is set to both cast and receive shadows.  This will increase render times but will improve the realism of the scene greatly.
3) Animated water is going to be very tricky no matter how you do it.  Rather than attempting to animate actual waves I would try using bump and trans maps to simulate the effect of waves.  I have had a bit of a quick go at this in the videos below (excuse the very rough ship model, it was a quick job for demo purposes only).

There are three large, square planes in the scene at the water level, as follows:

Planes 1 and 2: material uses bump and trans maps with a wave-like texture, each at a different UV scale and rotation for 'randomness'.  They are on the exact same level (Y dimension) in the scene and are animated to each slide slowly in different directions (+X and -X respectively).
Plane 3 uses a partially-transparent deep-aqua colour to simulate depth, visible through the transparant parts of planes 1 and 2 as defined by their trans maps.  The slight transparency allows the ship to be dimly visible beneath the water.

The an8 file and associated textures are attached, feel free to download and fiddle with the settings, particularly for the water materials.  A lower Roughness figure may improve the wave-top highlights but this will also be very dependent on the 'sun' light's angle relative to the camera.  You might also be able to find a better water bump-map online.

I would also suggest perhaps using bigger, circular planes rather than squares to give a better horizon line, and perhaps they could be rotating against each other rather than sliding (though this would create a centre point that might look odd).

This was rendered with Scanline so shadows could be less than 100% without the need to add more 'fill' lights, using the ART renderer would allow the surface of the water to be reflective which could add to the realism significantly but at the expense of render speed.  Experimentation is the key here :)

Regarding the 'great wake' left behind, this would be really tricky in Anim8or.  Without animatable material parameters (eg. transparency or alpha) it would be difficult to simulate this effectively.  Something to ponder on...

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Thanks!
« on: February 10, 2018, 01:38:01 am »
I see its still impossible to rotate around z axis from front view...

What mode are you having trouble rotating around Z in?  In Object mode it is managed with right mouse button and Z-axis unconstrained (selected).

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Shadows
« on: February 02, 2018, 09:06:06 am »
Yes, soft shadows can be set in Scene mode.  In Light Properties, click 'Advanced' button in Fixed Properties section, select 'Ray Trace' shadows, select 'Soft' in Ray Parameters section and set the size of the light source.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Shadows
« on: January 27, 2018, 02:15:45 am »
Unless this has been fixed in a recent update, shadows are always 100% in ART renderer.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Scanline renderer in stereo view?
« on: January 20, 2018, 01:40:10 am »
How about adding a second camera beside the first and making it a 'child' of the first camera, so they are locked together.  Then run a Scanline render (or ART, whatever) from both separately for a stereo output.  You'll need to fiddle with the amount of offset between the cameras to get the depth correct, there's actually a formula for determining this but I don't recall it from my remote sensing days in college.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Mission: Backup Earth!
« on: January 06, 2018, 12:45:34 am »
Thanks Kevin for the link, much appreciated, and thanks Arik for your support!  All my modeling is done in Anim8or, I'm yet to find a better modeler to be honest.  Its tools are simple but utterly free of malarky, and the ability to wrangle multiple objects within a single project is absolutely crucial to creating really complex models without going insane.  For example, the hotel ('Hotel2.jpg') is a single huge model built entirely in Anim8or.  I can't overstate the importance of being able to build elements in an uncluttered 'workbench' object before cutting/pasting into an 'assembly' object for eventual export to Carrara for rendering (and adding plant objects).  This simple ability is conspicuously absent in many other modelers, forcing the artist to construct and assemble meshes in a single, increasingly complex workspace.

The only reasons I render with Carrara rather than Anim8or relate to speed and material complexity.  Anim8or's ART renderer makes really beautiful images but isn't fast enough for our production requirements.  I also prefer Carrara's very powerful material editor whose channel-mixing functions are capable of almost infinite complexity and control in surface texture definition.

Of the five attached stills:

EngineRoom4: Modeled by team member Daniel Maland, I'm not sure what modeling software was used.  I added the graphics to the display consoles, lighted and rendered.
HershelCorridor: Modeled in Anim8or with the door/frame element supplied by Daniel.  Rendered using mirror elements to extend the length of the corridor.
KofiAnanBridgeTest1: Modeled in Anim8or with some elements supplied by Daniel.
Hotel2: Modeled entirely in Anim8or with plant elements added using Carrara's plant generator.
SlaveQuarters3: Primary model/set provided by Daniel, foreground container elements modeled in Anim8or.

In all cases, materials, lighting and rendering was with Carrara.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Mission: Backup Earth!
« on: January 05, 2018, 02:02:35 pm »
Hey all.  It's been a while since I've posted in this thread, but just wanted to provide an update.  The Mission Backup Earth project is still going strong with many episodes online and several awards in the bag from around the world :).  Working with David Prowse (Darth Vader) was a real highlight, credit to Alex (writer, director, producer) for making that bit of magic happen!  We're always spruiking for new talent, specifically animators and renderers as this is always a bit of a bottleneck, so PM me if you'd like to get involved.

Below are some stills from recent episodes, most of which were constructed in Anim8or.  Some models were contributed by team members from around the world using a range of modeling systems and all were rendered in Carrara.

Edit: After several unsuccessful attempts to link to the Mission Backup Earth YouTube channel I have given up!  No doubt I am doing something wrong, if you want to check out recent episodes just search for "Mission Backup Earth" in YouTube.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Freddy!
« on: January 04, 2018, 12:40:48 am »
Love your work Arik, great to see you back!  And I reckon you'd have a bit of a fight on your hands for the 'unfinished projects' crown :D

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: My Anim8or Projects
« on: December 16, 2017, 12:08:12 am »
Wow, nice work!  'Lemon Juice' is a standout, brilliant use of dielectrics for the ice cubes.  Masterfully done!

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