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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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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....

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Partial 'out of focus' blur ?
« on: March 26, 2017, 11:41:48 am »
it can, actually, but only if you use the still-image renderer.  there's a checkbox to include a depth channel.  however, Scene mode > Render > Movie doesn't have that checkbox, so you can't do depth-channel renders for a video (unless you go through each frame manually, which would be a pig of a job!)

Oops, I stand corrected!  Thanks thecolclough!

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Partial 'out of focus' blur ?
« on: March 25, 2017, 01:47:02 pm »
Focal blur is possible but you'll need an external 2D image editor like Photoshop or Gimp.  The idea is to create a 'depth map' of your scene where close objects are white and distant objects black, with everything in between in shades of grey.  This map is used to apply a blur to your 'beauty' render, by manipulating the map you can choose at what depth the image appears sharp.  It's tedious in animations as it needs to be applied to each frame separately and Anim8or isn't able to create depth renders internally, however you can simulate the effect with fog.  This tutorial walks you through the process:

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Anim8or v1.0 Beta is available
« on: March 24, 2017, 06:38:10 am »
I received the MS Essentials security warning on downloading the zip file but no problems running V1.0 beta.

EDIT: W7 Home Premium 6.1.7601 SP 1 Bld 7601

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Anim8or v1.0 Beta is available
« on: March 23, 2017, 10:55:00 am »
Agreed, congrats Steve!  I have to admit, seeing "v1.0" in the thread title gave me chills!  Looking forward to checking this out.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Spinning airplane prop
« on: January 11, 2017, 04:34:52 am »
There are several ways to do this.  This example is a quick (1 hour) demo of one way to do it, based on the method used by some flight simulators.

The basic principal is this:

1) Multiple copies of the prop are created, each more transparent than the last (I used 4, you could use more if preferred).  As the prop spins up each copy lags a bit, so the faster the prop spins the more 'separated' the copies become.  This simulates how the human eye tracks fast moving objects.
2) At a certain point, the prop copies are replaced by a disc that rotates backwards and forwards, simulating a stroboscopic effect.  Replacement in this case is done by switching the visibility of the prop copies off in the same frame that the disc's visibility is switched on.

I spent no time creating a proper bump map for the spinning disc and just used the prop texture.  The effect would be enhanced with a fine radial bump so the specular response is greatest at two opposite sides, depending on available lighting.

For some reason I'm not able to upload the .an8 file for you to pick apart. Also, apologies to any aeroplane enthusiasts for the awful prop modelling :p

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Practicing making a tutorial
« on: January 02, 2017, 04:00:44 am »
I don't think you need pauses.  As you say, the viewer can control the pace of the tutorial by pausing, rewinding etc.  I do agree that this could be separated into two separate tutorials, the first explaining the V strip concept, how it works and why it's needed (with a few more examples of scenes with the V strip missing and in place) and a separate tutorial on the technical construction of a V strip.

For the second tutorial, I'm not sure it's necessary to elucidate every single step in detail.  I think you can assume that anybody thinking of joining this project has a basic understanding of the fundamentals of Anim8or.  Where I think you should concentrate is on explaining the more tricky ideas, such as flipping the object to create vertical symmetry (ie. why this is important) and the way the material works (eg. if it includes transparencies or alphas).  Having said that, in a collaborative project it is important that everybody's work meets the project's minimum requirements without the need for someone to make adjustments before it can be used, so there's nothing wrong with defining things like the required scale and angle of the V under different circumstances, etc.

I think your visuals match your verbal explanations very well from an editing point of view, and after watching this tutorial I'm confident that if I had access to the texture used I would be able to submit a scene that met the required protocol with regards to the V strips, so in that sense at least I would consider this warm-up a success :)

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