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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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Haha!  What do they say about great minds? :D

This was a lot of fun to watch, and the animation is nicely synchronised with the soundtrack.  A couple of things I can suggest would be higher-poly penguins or better edge smoothing and some beak-synching as johnar suggested as sometimes it's tricky to know who is singing/rapping which part.  Also, while the choreography of the background penguins is admirably tight it might add a level of realism* if some were just slightly out of sync and if there was some variance in the amount of movement.  In other words, perhaps a mix of 4 or 5 slightly different sequences scattered through the chorus line.

* Possibly a bad choice of word given the theme ;)

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: June 05, 2017, 10:34:18 am »
Just for fun :). Modelled in Anim8or, rendered with Carrara.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: June 01, 2017, 11:17:32 am »
Congratulations thecolclough and to everyone that entered the contest. I would be happy with any of the entries. So, while I've uploaded the official v1.0 release here with thecolclough's winning "Red Letter Day" as the new splash screen, I've also included a .dll that with all the entries. Place this file in the same directory as anim8or.exe and it will use a different one each time it's run. Or, to always see your favorite you can use the command line:

anim8or.exe -splash #

where # is a number from 1 to 7. (I added the original Anim8or splash as number 7 even though it wasn't in the contest. Hope nobody minds!)

This is very cool Steve, working nicely.  Cheers!

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: May 29, 2017, 08:01:59 am »
No problem ronaldefarmer, totally understood.

I'm very happy with the winner of the poll, 'Red Letter Day' would have been my choice if it was up to me.  Congrats thecolclough, it's an excellent piece of work and a deserving winner :)

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: May 28, 2017, 08:21:03 am »
Nobody specified any criteria for judging.

This is absolutely true, I had no intention of saying how folks should vote and apologies if that's the way my post came across.  I haven't had time to comment in detail on all entries but I hope to do so at some stage as I am truly inspired by all of them.  The 'suitability' of each entry as a splash screen was one factor in how I voted but wasn't the only factor, I think 'Renegade' is not particularly suitable for the reasons I said in my first post.  It also doesn't highlight Anim8or's abilities as well as some other entries do, "Amplify your Vision" included.

This is awesome work!

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: May 28, 2017, 02:34:32 am »
... for such an auspicious event as the release of the long-awaited version 1.0...

This adds an interesting perspective to this 'comp'.  It's not about whose image is 'best', it's about which image works best as a splash screen for Anim8or.  Which image best exemplifies what Anim8or is, and what it can do?  If there's one thing the entries show it's how diverse a group of artists we are, and how wide the range of uses we all have for Anim8or is, and I'm not sure any single entry could possibly cover everything.  I have my favourite and I enjoyed taking part, and I'm very glad the decision isn't mine to make ;)

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #34: Anim8or 1.0 splash screen
« on: May 17, 2017, 08:18:45 am »
No probs, here 'tis.

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.

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