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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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46
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.

47
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


48
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 :)

49
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Anim8or-chan's Little Dance
« on: December 08, 2016, 09:18:31 am »
Mesmerising!  Your character animation is superb, the attention to detail regarding the motion of Robin's tail feathers and hair is very impressive.  It'll take me a while to get that $&@! song out of my head now but seriously, I'm very impressed with your rigging.

50
General Anim8or Forum / Re: "An8-Chan" side project
« on: November 21, 2016, 06:31:13 am »
This idea certainly isn't trash.  I'm not really into anime and I can't offer any ideas design-wise, but as an admirer of your consistently awesome work I'm honestly looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

51
General Anim8or Forum / Re: locking meshes from edition?
« on: October 23, 2016, 12:46:07 am »
I was going to suggest this but on testing it I found a bug (it's probably already a known one, I haven't been checking the bug reports) in build 1250.  If you lock/unlock layers using the "1 2 3 4 5..." links at the top of the screen everything works as it should, however changing locked status from "Layers..." in "Options" doesn't seem to work correctly in that it doesn't seem to affect point-edit mode (ie. points in meshes in layers locked using the dialog rather than the quick links are still selectable and deletable).

52
General Anim8or Forum / Re: locking meshes from edition?
« on: October 22, 2016, 01:01:26 pm »
Points in grouped meshes aren't movable, grouping the mesh you don't want to modify generally does the trick.  I can't recall if you can group a single mesh with itself, if not just pop a sphere or cube somewhere out of the way and group the mesh with it.

53
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Diversions
« on: October 17, 2016, 06:12:03 am »
Hahaha!  Brilliant johnar, love your work :D

54
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Playing with IK
« on: September 24, 2016, 08:13:03 am »
Spot on johnar.  Bone rotation limits will not stop unwanted object intersections, collision detection would be required for that.  Obviously CD would be required as part of a physics engine but for IK I think it will always be necessary, at times, to tweak some of the joints as you say.  And that's cool, part of the learning curve is knowing when to use IK and when FK would be better.  For example, in another thread I mentioned that arms should be IK terminating at the wrist, and fingers should be FK but in rigging the T-Rex it became immediately apparent that an IK chain down the toes (effectively 'fingers' from a joints point of view) was a far better idea.  It made the process of ensuring the toes were in contact with the ground when they were supposed to be SO much easier!

I haven't yet played with effector locking which sounds amazing and is something lacking in Carrara.  The possibilities of this are astounding!

55
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Playing with IK
« on: September 24, 2016, 06:42:18 am »
Steve:  Cool, thanks for considering it!

I may need to bring Eraser Man out of retirement to see what he can do with a bit of IK ;)

56
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Playing with IK
« on: September 24, 2016, 04:33:14 am »
Re the motion, there's a few places where objects intersect (leg bones into ribs, for example) which is probably due to the model being anatomically incorrect (it was based on a few photos of different T-Rex skeletons some of which were assembled a long time ago, and early paleontologists sometimes got things a bit wrong).  I moved the ribs a bit to accommodate the thighs but not enough, if this was about modelling correct motion (which it ain't) I'd fix this easily enough.

I agree with the idea of the XYZ buttons controlling the plane of motion/rotation of bones in a chain, seems like the reasonable solution if possible.

Happy for this thread to be used for posts related to IK, along the lines of experiences and successes as opposed to faults and operational questions which would be better placed on the development thread methinks.

57
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Playing with IK
« on: September 24, 2016, 12:49:34 am »
Not sure if this is the best location for this but I didn't want to hijack other threads.  With the development of IK in release 1247-1250 I couldn't resist giving it a go, since it's something I've been hankering for since 2007 or thereabouts!  I've used the T-Rex model I built for the skertches a while back since it was already boned and already had most rotation limits applied.

There are 22 separate IK chains in this beast:

  • Legs X 2
  • Toes X 6
  • Arms X 2
  • Fingers X 4
  • Neck
  • Spine from shoulders to pelvis
  • Tail X 6 (includes one from pelvis to halfway along the tail to overcome the max number of bones in a chain issue)

There's a bunch of faults in the motion and I have no idea how a T-Rex actually moved (does anybody?) but that's not what this was about; it was all about playing with the IK system.  The process of defining the chains, setting keys, tweaking positions etc. was absolutely seamless and from a workflow perspective it's hard to find anything to criticise.  I had so much fun with this and it's testament to the process that the walk cycle sequence (repeated twice in this video) was completed from start to finish in 3-4 hours.  There was no back-tracking, no unexpected functionality, no frustration... it all just worked!

The only thing I would like to see (and it may already be there, I could easily have missed it since I've been away from Anim8or for a while) would be the ability to lock the motion of an IK chain with elements rigged to rotate in multiple directions (eg. a spine) to a certain plane.  So, if I'm working in Front view, it would be handy to be able to move the effector knowing that the chained bones will only move in the X-Y direction and not in Z.  This would allow more precise positioning but should definitely be switchable somehow, as full motion in all 3 dimensions would also be required in many cases (in other words, 'IK chain locked to view plane' ON/OFF).

I haven't had so much fun on a project in ages as I did with this over the last couple of days.  Whenever I'm working with Anim8or I always have a big smile on my face, which somehow sums up Anim8or to me.


58
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: IK tool
« on: September 22, 2016, 12:57:54 pm »
Could be intentional but I'll mention this anyway, if IK is selected in Scene mode the IK widgets associated with a figure element actually render as solid cubes (build 1250).  Deselecting IK stops them being rendered so all good but I would assume they should be a non-rendering item.

59
Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: IK tool
« on: September 21, 2016, 01:03:10 pm »
I loaded 1247 this evening and have had a play with IK, so far everything is working as it should (though I haven't tested everything yet).  I have some chains of 12+ bones, no problem, but I did have a crash when I attempted to chain 20+ bones (I will attempt to recreate the fault).  The only other thing I've found, and I'm not sure it's a bug (could be my local settings) but when 'playing' a sequence to check motion it isn't possible to stop the playback after about 20 or 30 frames.  Attempting to stop it results in the circling cursor and the window 'whiting out', and nothing can be clicked.  The playback continues to the end, once it completes everything comes good.

I have some experience with Carrara's IK setup so I thought it might be beneficial to provide a comparison.  Anim8or's IK is at least as powerful and simple to use as Carrara's, which is a pretty amazing achievement Steve since that package has had $$$ worth of development.  The only advantage with Carrara's system over Anim8or's that I can detect is that IK can be applied to a boneless object hierarchy, ie. bones are not required.  The equivalent would be the ability to set the joint type when setting an object element as the child of another object element in Scene mode, with no Figure required, and the setting of IK chains across these elements.  This allows for some more complex joints, such as sliders (like hydraulic rams).  Truthfully, it's a minor advantage that would seem (from my awestruck perspective) to require an awful lot of work that I don't think would be worth it to be honest.  There's other ways to achieve the same effect with the existing setup.

One big advantage with Anim8or's system is the ability to lock effectors in Scene mode.  I haven't played with this (yet) but certainly plan to, its positive impact on the ability to create realistic walking action cannot be overstated!

I'm adding IK to an existing project (T-Rex skeleton) and hope to have something to show for it soon, and I'll let you know if I find anything that doesn't work as expected.  This is seriously the coolest thing to happen to Anim8or in ages, can't thank you enough Steve!

60
Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Diversions
« on: September 20, 2016, 12:21:18 pm »
I haven't worked with Anim8or's IK (yet!) but I have worked with it in Carrara many times.  I think your method is spot on johnar, effectively setting the wrist joint as the IK terminator.  Anything you need full control over, such as hand position and finger joint angles, should be left FK.  It might help to think of it like the way you think of using your hand to, say, grab a glass of water.  You think about moving your hand to the right location and angle to grasp the glass, you don't think about angling your shoulder and elbow to position the hand correctly (that would be FK).  Conversely, you don't think about moving your fingertips to the correct location, they are only moved once the hand is in place.  Therefore the hand (or more precisely the wrist joint) would be the ideal IK terminator.

Nice work on IK'ing Froyd, johnar!  I'm looking forward to having a play with Anim8or's IK, it's one of the things that's been on my 'wish list' for as long as I've been working with Anim8or :)

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