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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: 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.

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!

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