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Messages - ENSONIQ5

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1
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.

2
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.

3
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

4
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!

5
Awesome Steve, I'll check this out asap :)

6
I'm not sure of your workflow but if you are creating these objects in Anim8or there is a quicker way to get the end result.

1) Create the object with no thickness (Fig 1) and place a copy in a second Object
2) Select all faces (Fig 2)
3) In point-edit mode, select the connected extrude tool (Fig 3)
4) Pull out the faces, creating sills in the process (Fig 4)

The original object should fit perfectly inside the extruded outer object.

7
ENSONIQ5,

I agree that working on 1/4 of the mesh is a good idea, regardless of the workflow. What do you recommend as the best way to accurately split the mesh (exactly on the axes). Important to do this as exactly as possible so that are no tiny gaps when mirrored later.
Is there a way to delete every part of a mesh in a selected quadrant? ... or is the cutting tool the only way?

Cheers
CC

I would use the knife tool constrained to the grid which should cut dead on the axis centres, assuming your grid isn't too fine.  Once you've knifed the mesh just delete all points from 3 of the quadrants, leaving a single quadrant to work on.  In fact you could just cut as close as you can to the line and not bother with the grid, when you come to the merge stage and start merging points together each new merged point will be mid-way between the two points that merged to form it, and therefore dead on the axis with no gaps.  You may need to fiddle with the merge range a bit, so long as you cut pretty close to the line you should be able to use a very small merge range which will prevent merging of points that should be separate.  Note that meshes need to be joined before their points can be merged.

8
I can't comment on the undo function, but your workflow is not how I would do this.  I'm a bit old-school, rather than working with faces I'd be deleting lines and points in a click, delete, click, delete fashion.  I'd also be making it as easy on myself as possible, since your object is symmetrical in two dimensions I'd be splitting it through the middle in the X and Z dimensions, leaving a quarter of the model to work with.  After creating a copy I'd delete all inside lines, leaving the outer shell with sills.  On the copy I'd be deleting all sill vertex points leaving only the inner faces.  Then both models can be mirrored in X and Z, points merged and you're done.

It would be tedious but I don't think you're going to be able to avoid tedium at this stage.  To be honest it would probably just be simpler to re-build the model from scratch in two separate pieces but I don't know the project so maybe that's not feasible.

9
ASL Scripts / Re: Complete history of scripts posted in ASL forum .
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:40:06 am »
This is astonishing!  Brilliant work Gyperboloid :)

10
The ability to copy/paste or duplicate elements would be amazing.  For scenes with multiple lights that need to be identical, eg. a row of streetlights, manually setting each light's many parameters (colour, range, angle, soft shadow width etc.) in turn can be tedious and it's easy to mess up.

Just as I'm typing this, how possible would it be for 'child' elements to be spawned from a parent element with each child drawing all parameters other than location and orientation from the parent/master?  So changes to a master light's colour or max range are reflected in each child light.  Just a thought (and probably should be in the development thread).

11
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Old Hallway candle lighting ideas?
« on: September 27, 2017, 07:18:58 am »
Excellent work, this looks great!  To be honest I think the light variance looks pretty correct, based on the action of flames themselves, and the candle flames and wicks are really excellent with a very realistic appearance.  The main things I'd be looking at relate to scale, the candles and flames are very large relative to the bat and the (seriously creepy!) approaching figure.  Great job on animating the figure's robe by the way, very nice indeed!

Also, while it would negatively affect rendering speed, softening the shadows cast by the lights would help to get rid of those hard-edged, dark circular shadows on the floor under each candle.  They can also be reduced by ensuring the max range of each light overlaps each other, so the shadows are partially cancelled by illumination from each adjacent light.

Finally, higher resolution textures for the walls and floor/ceiling would improve overall 'realism', and adding a bump map would also make the walls look less flat.  Just dropping the same texture into the bump channel and setting the value to, say, 60 would work quite well without needing to develop a separate map.  If there's already a bump map in place perhaps increase the bump value, turn up the specular value and reduce roughness which should improve how the lights interact with the map.

Well done on this, very impressive!

12
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Old Hallway candle lighting ideas?
« on: September 25, 2017, 02:18:18 pm »
Light cones & glow spheres are difficult to get right in Anim8or, I have tried many different techniques and never really been happy with any.  A method I tried ages ago was to encase the camera in a reversed-normals sphere with the front-facing hemisphere transparent/reflective and the rear half glossy reflective (scattered reflection), kinda like an eyeball with a reflective retina.  In theory this should work, the scene is reflected in a diffuse way in the retina projecting a secondary reflection on the inside of the clear front half.  In practice, as you increase the reflectivity of the clear front part its transparency drops proportionally, so the glossy reflection diminishes and there's no 'sweet spot' where bright parts of the scene are reflected in the back of the lens in a diffuse way (also the scene darkens since you're looking through a lens that's less than 100% transparent).

Another option is to position spot lights at each local light source set to be always facing the camera, with a similar 'retina/lens' object setup as above.  The problem is that spot lights project a cone of light, so the more distant lights end up with a larger light sphere than closer lights, which is reverse to reality.

Unfortunately Anim8or doesn't support translucency where an object can be 'rear lit', which might have been a solution.  I'd be very keen to see how you go with this and if you can develop something that works and looks fairly realistic.  This was my test scene for trying different lighting setups, drawn from an old project that never went anywhere.  Seems to be a popular theme :)

13
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Old Hallway candle lighting ideas?
« on: September 21, 2017, 09:10:01 am »
Best guess is something weird with the material, ie. not enough difference between Ambient and Diffuse, too low Specular or global Ambient level too high.  Maybe upload the an8 file so we can take a look.

14
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Old Hallway candle lighting ideas?
« on: September 21, 2017, 12:57:10 am »
Local lights emit light in all directions, as opposed to spot lights that can only emit into a hemisphere at maximum.  Lights of this type should illuminate the walls, if no illumination is apparent it may be due to the normals being incorrectly aligned on the walls (if so, flip them) or something to do with the walls' material.

Regarding the radius settings, effectively the light will illuminate anything within the Inner Radius 100%, and anything outside the Outer Radius 0%.  So something that falls half way between the inner and outer radii will be illuminated 50%.  Depending on the scale of your model you may need to adjust these settings to get the result you're looking for.

Glow spheres are a bit trickier, especially if you are rendering with ART which always casts 100% shadows*. A sphere around the flame will effectively block any light inside it from illuminating anything using ART, if you are using Scanline you can set the spheres to not cast shadows.  An alternate method would be to place circular objects between the flames and camera that simulate the glow from each candle, so long as the camera is static it should look ok.  If the camera moves you will need to move the circles too.

* May have been resolved in an update, I'm a bit out of touch with recent developments.

15
General Anim8or Forum / Re: Folding paper around a drum
« on: September 18, 2017, 12:56:38 pm »
Having done something similar a long time ago (folding a paper plane) your method is correct, and about the only way to do it within Anim8or (though editing the AN8 file directly isn't a bad idea at all, once you've worked out what's going on).  Weight painting is the best place to start, make sure your 'paintbrush' is small enough that you can accurately target individual points without touching adjacent points.  I would also suggest using a coarse mesh with 15 faces ('strips'), to align with each bone joint, before converting to a subdivision.  It will be a bit painstaking however you do it and it may require a bit of experimentation to get right, but I'm also keen to see how you go.

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