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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: 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 :)

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.

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.

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).

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.

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

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!

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