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Messages - ENSONIQ5

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Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: May 14, 2017, 01:27:23 am »
I'm very pleased that the references to those other popular 3D packages weren't too subtle, you've absolutely nailed it regarding the narrative of 'Renegade'.  I only had a vague idea of the composition before constructing it, all I really had was the idea of the 'Anim8or ship', identified by its robin-esque colour scheme, and the Maya/3DS ships.  Since the 3DS and Maya logos are basically the same M/3 shape on different angles it was a no-brainer to build a ship that looked reminiscent of those logos when fore-shortened and rotated.  The Blender space station was great fun to build... and insanely satisfying to destroy.  There's definitely something Freudian in that...

FSS: Regarding your final, aside from the strong composition I think what impresses me most is how much like a hand painting it looks.  It can be really difficult to avoid the 'hard-edged' nature of CGI, your techniques in softening the background work wonderfully well in this image (I've seen your tutorial on the grass edge borders, the technique works perfectly in this image).  The rain ripples in the water and the fireflies are masterfully done!  This is an excellent piece of work with a delicate touch that belies what we know was a painstaking process to develop.

Thecolclough: Your final is a totally compelling image that is impossible to glance at, its crisp detail demands a detailed inspection.  I agree with FSS's points regarding the composition, I'm a sucker for dramatic angles and tilted cameras!  The palette is spot on and works perfectly with the Anim8or V1 workspace colour scheme.  Reflections can be a PITA to work with as they can introduce confusion and camouflage the prime focus, your expert use of glossy reflections in this image perfectly sidesteps this problem and gives a prestigious, 'expensive' appearance the 'Anim8or' sign.  I also love the dichotomy resulting from the combination of the abstract space within which the sign is suspended and the satisfying physical reality of the suspension rods.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: May 12, 2017, 02:00:14 pm »
Do any of you have titles for your works?

Don't think I've ever given a name to any still image before... Perhaps "Renegade" comes closest.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: May 11, 2017, 07:35:12 am »
I second this "WOW!" and also apply it to fromsoysauce's entry!  It's the extreme difference in styles that impresses me most... that both were created using the same set of tools is testament to the versatility of Anim8or.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Newbie Hand Issues
« on: May 03, 2017, 01:01:33 pm »
Absolutely correct, Johnar.  My demo hand falls squarely into the anatomically incorrect group!  In my defense, it was a 2-minute box modeled affair to demo the basic concepts rather than an attempt at a useful model.  In reality, even the bones in the palm are able to move slightly, to allow the hand to form a cup.  I guess it all comes down to what the model is for and how much detail and dexterity you need. ;)

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Newbie Hand Issues
« on: May 03, 2017, 07:55:31 am »
The idea with weights is that points mapped to a particular bone with a weight of 1.0 will not change their position relative to that bone.  So if the bone moves, those points will be effectively locked to it.  Points with a 0.5 weight to one bone and a 0.5 weight to an adjoining bone will be partially mapped to both, so if one bone moves and the other doesn't these points will kinda spread out or bunch up in an 'organic' way.

That's a bit of an awkward explanation.  To use an example, if you consider a point on your forearm midway between your elbow and wrist, that point is entirely locked to your radius bone (ignoring the mushyness of flesh and the fact that wrists can twist).  Regardless of how you bend your elbow or wrist, that point effectively maintains its location relative to your radius bone.  Consider another point midway between your elbow and shoulder, that is similarly locked to your humerus.  But if you look at your elbow, there are 'points' there that are kinda influenced by both bones, so the skin stretches on the outside and contracts on the inside when you bend your elbow.  The bone influence and weight painting functions simulate this by allowing you to define how (and how much) these 'intermediary' points should move when the skeleton moves.

So, when you're mapping your hand model, all the points that need to move 100% with, say, the tip of the pinky should be mapped with a weight of 1.0 to the pinky tip bone.  But those extra points that were added at each joint need to be mapped partially to that bone and partially to the next one down, so they find a half-way position when the pinky bone is moved.  No points on the fingers should map to more than one finger, otherwise when you move the pinky some of the points on the ring finger will move, which isn't what you want.  The 'soft gradient' that can be obtained with the weight painting tool should only be between points associated with two adjoining bones, so those points move in an 'organic' way when a bone is moved.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Newbie Hand Issues
« on: April 30, 2017, 03:50:20 am »
If the Figure is using multiple separate objects there's no way to smooth them together, if you want smooth joints the hand and fingers will need to be a single object.  Using separate objects is ok if you're building a robot hand or a gauntlet or something like that, with solid parts that hinge or interlock.  The trick with organic models is to have enough vertex points in the right locations to allow the mesh to deform with the bones; moving the bones won't bend a line between points, it will only move points themselves, so if the points aren't in the right place the mesh won't deform as you expect.

In Figure mode, you want to build the skeleton structure such that bone joints coincide with the clusters of vertexes in the model.  Mapping which points move with which bones is the really tricky part.  Using 'bone influences' is generally more accurate than 'weight painting' but they can be problematic around the gaps between fingers as points are mapped to bones based on the distance from the bone to the point.  Weight painting allows you to manually map points to bones, regardless of their relative positions, but can be trickier to master and is more like an art than a science.  One method is to start with influences, setting the influence ranges as accurately as possible, then switch to weight painting to make adjustments.

In the example below I used weight painting to map points to bones (not very well, there are a few places where the points don't move evenly in the test animation).  As davdud101 mentioned, hands are kinda tricky due to the proximity of the fingers to each other.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 29, 2017, 07:59:59 am »
Love your work FSS! It's one thing to create great figures, as these are, but quite another to be able to pose them so well.  All your poses seem 'comfortable' and believable without the awkwardness that is so often apparent with posed CG characters.  True artistry, and it's a pleasure to watch these characters develop.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 26, 2017, 07:27:38 am »
ah, one more thing - does anybody have any tips on how to type the Registered Trademark symbol into an Anim8or text element?  can't remember whether the alt-gr key or the alt + unicode-number trick ever worked in anim8or before, but they don't now because alt and alt-gr both toggle arc-rotate instead.

Alt+0173 works in older versions of Anim8or, simplest workaround might be to create the text in an older version and import.  Another way that works is to use placeholder text such as "^Reg^" or similar and save the file with the text un-extruded or filled, then open the file in Notepad or whatever and replace the placeholder text with and save (I just tested it, does the job nicely).

Also, love your design, very dynamic and excellent use of ART :)

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challange #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 24, 2017, 09:37:55 am »
Kreator - There are some really cool models there, and I love how the top of the crane busts out of the Anim8or screen

FSS - I agree with your choice of pose, it's the most 'relaxed' and natural looking and reveals the details of the model well

davdud - The workshop concept, where 3D ideas are brought to life, is a really good idea!

Below is my final (I think) as I need to get back to other projects.  The brightness of the main ship is increased as far as I want to go without having it look too cartoonish, certainly it's much brighter than the original render, and there's a few minor compositional tweaks.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challange #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:20:51 pm »
Yes, that looks much closer to what I had in mind.  I'm determined to avoid any post-processing, to be a splash screen I feel it will only be 'honest' if it's an actual Anim8or render.  I'll have another play with the lighting to see if I can get a render closer to your suggestion, particularly the red 'Anim8or' ship (the 'Blender', 'Maya' and '3DSMax' ships need not stand out quite so much ;) ).  Thanks for your feedback, very much appreciated!

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challange #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 22, 2017, 07:18:57 am »
Thanks for the feedback and awesome to see some works in progress.  FSS, I was hoping the Anim8or chick would make an appearance!

I have re-rendered the scene with improved lighting on the 'Anim8or ship' and a few other minor tweaks.  This render was also done with AA at 64spp but took about 20 hours rather than 75 with the 'ANIM8OR' text at the top taking about 80% of that time (dielectrics look awesome but crikey are they slow to render).  The background is a bit sharper on the earlier version rendered at 2X and resampled down but that's not a bad thing as being a bit softer on the new version it seems to focus the eye a bit better on the foreground objects.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challange #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 22, 2017, 07:11:42 am »
ENSONIQ, you've piqued my interest plenty. How did you make the "jet streams"? Is it basically just a long, curving cone with a high emissive value and a transparency map?
Is everything put together in a single pass? (I'd assume so based on what you said above) I think I'm going to try that myself. I was worried at to whether it'd be possible because I'm using LOADS of attributes AND have to render shadows. That's gonna be a loooong render time!

Yes, the 'contrails' are modeled (extrusion of 12-sided polygon along a path before subdividing) with transmaps used to fade them out.  There's a yellow>red>black gradient in the Ambient, Diffuse and Emissive fields and a black>white gradient in the Trans field (the gradient maps are attached).  Importantly, Specular is 0.0 so the scene lights don't affect the contrails.  The same idea was used for the engine flares and the explosion under the Blender-logo-esque space station.  Be aware that these elements will all cast shadows with the ART renderer so there was some juggling of positions in the scene to ensure this didn't happen (ie. a long black shadow from the contrail cast on the planet would kinda spoil the effect!).

Rendering was done in a single pass with no 2D editing other than the text at the bottom and a slight increase in overall saturation.  No external software was used for compositing or UV mapping, the only non-Anim8or software used was for 2D photo editing to process the texture maps.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challange #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 20, 2017, 08:00:20 am »
Ok, here's mine.  It probably won't be much use as the actual splash screen for the following reasons:

  • While it took about 13-14 hours to build the models and rig the scene, it took approx. 75 hours to render the double-size version on an i7-2600 Quaddy with AA at 64 samples per pixel! The main ship element uses glossyreflector and specular reflection while the 'Anim8or' title uses dielectric attributes, these are the main reasons for the slow render time.  The time would have been much less if I rendered at final size, there probably wasn't much benefit in the large render... I just wanted to see it more clearly.  The render stats are: init=0.16, render=255090.63, rays=519908721. So that's over half a billion rays  :o
  • I couldn't resist having a not-so-subtle dig at that other free 3D package, with a bit of a nod at the two most popular non-free packages. Fun, but perhaps a bit too politically-incorrect for a spash screen :D

Regardless, I had a ton of fun doing this!  I should mention that this was all done in 1.0 beta with no problems found, everything I used worked exactly as expected.  There is still the problem with the ART renderer having uncontrollable shadows (always 100% with cast/receive options having no effect) which played a bit of havoc with the layout of the scene, but this is a known problem and with a bit of forced perspective it wasn't insurmountable.  The only non-3D element is the copyright and website info across the bottom, no other 2D processing was done other than a slight increase of overall saturation for the small version.

Both the 'final' version and the original full-size render are attached.  The AN8 file and textures will be provided if required, note that total textures file size is about 9MB.

I'm really looking forward to seeing more submissions, there's a lot of talent in this forum across a wide range of styles.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challange #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: April 15, 2017, 04:45:28 pm »
Sounds like fun!  It's been ages since I've worked something up entirely in Anim8or.  I'll be sticking to my usual genre of science fiction of course, should be a nice variety of submissions :)

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Why do we love anim8or?
« on: April 14, 2017, 02:01:04 pm »
I do all my modeling with Anim8or, transferring models to Carrara for rigging, animating and rendering.  While it's not the most advanced modeler (Booleans would be a cool addition) I appreciate the ultra-clean, uncluttered workspace and simple but effective tools.  Frankly, it leaves Cararra's very weird modeler for dead!  I'm not much of an organic modeler, most of my work leans towards the mechanical/technical/science fiction genre, with lathe and extrude being my most used tools.

The recent updates to Anim8or, embodied in the much-anticipated Version 1, have brought Anim8or much closer to a 'complete' package.  The IK function is excellent, particularly the ability to lock IK terminators to the 'world' to allow skate-free walk cycles (genius!).  The main reason I don't work in Anim8or alone is the render speed which is significantly slower than Carrara, mainly due to Carrara's multi-thread enabled renderer.  I do prefer the quality of Anim8or's renders though, the ART renderer is capable of some truly stunning output if you're prepared to wait for it.

The other thing I LOVE about Anim8or is the workflow, separating out Objects, Figures, Sequences and Scenes, with unlimited numbers of each.  This simple separation of functions allows for a modular approach to production, and is conspicuously missing from Carrara with its single cluttered workspace.  It's basic features like this that have been in place since the beginning that make Anim8or stand out, along with its tiny impact on resources, shallow learning curve, and of course the fact that it's free :).

EDIT: I should also add that Anim8or has NEVER crashed on me...ever.  I'm looking at you, Carrara....

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