v0.9 Release Notes
New v0.9 Features:
V0.9 Release Notes:
V0.85 Release Notes:
How to:
* Transprent Materials
* Make .x Files
* Fill Holes
* Extruding Text
* Using Shadows
* Using Alpha Masks
* Particles

* wglMakeCurrent() Failed
* Viewports Don't Draw Correctly
* Voodoo Graphics Cards
* Can't Find Help File
* Help File Topics Missing
* Textures Don't Show Up
* Making AVI File Problems
* Saved .an8 File Won't Load
* Transparent Objects Not Transparent

* Using Anim8or on Linux

New v0.9 Features:
The major focus for this release was animation.  The new features include:

  • Edge extrude. I wasn't going to add any new modeling tools but this seemed to be on everybody's wish list.
  • Tons more hot keys.  Check out these handy keyboard hotkey maps made by Bob_I_Ts: Hot Key Map and Printable Hot Key Map.
  • Front/Top/Back/Bottom/Left/Right views.
  • Reimplemented all spline code. Splines now behave much better especially in animation keys.
  • Improved OpenGL rendering.
  • New Step key for discontinuous values.
  • Spline editing window for scenes.
  • Painted skinning weights. This isn't as easy to use as I'd like but I'm still working on it.
  • Morph targets. Spline controls can add multiple targets' influences simultaneously.
  • Multiple characters in the same scene can be animated differently.
  • Multiple cameras.
  • Subdivision applied after skinning during animation.
  • Camera and spot light views.
  • Interactive rendering views. Switch between alpha, color and depth images during rendering.
  • Halt rendering at any point.
  • Render window refresh so your computer doesn't appear to freeze.
  • Undo/redo list preserved through renders. (Almost done.)
Unfortunately IK didn't make it into this release.

How to:
Transparent Materials
You can make transparent materials by setting the "Trans" field in the material dialog to a value less than 1.  Zero is completely transparent (but still shows specular hilights) and low values like 0.1 and 0.2 make glass.  You also must enable Transparency in both the View->Preferences dialog in the OpenGL Workspace and the File Output areas for transparency to show.  It also helps to enable Backside visibility for the OpenGL Workspace.
Make .x Files
Anim8or cannot export directly to .x file format.  But you can export objects as .3ds files and use the Conv3ds program provided by Microsoft to convert them into .x files.  See the Resources page for more details.

Sometimes Conv3ds fails with strange error messages.  You can try setting the menu flag Options->Debug->Dummy3DSKData which can help in some cases.

Fill Holes
To fill holes in a mesh, go into the Point editor and select Line select mode.  Select the edges around a hole that you want to fill.  They must be RED or GREEN to get filled.  If an edge is WHITE then it already has two faces connected to it and can't get a third.  Once you have selected all the edges around a hole, use the Edit->FillHoles command to fill
it.  You may also want to add new edges using the AddEdge button on the toolbar.
Extruding Text
To make 3D (extruded) text:
1. Select the text.
2. Build->ConverToSplines: This creates a Group of Splines, one for each letter.
3. Build->Ungroup
4. Build->JoinSplines: Now you have a single Spline object that contains multiple paths.  You could also extrude each letter one at a time if you want to.
5. Build->Extrude
Using Shadows
To add shadows to your scene:
1. Add your own light in the Scene editor
2. Set your light to Cast Shadows in it's properties dialog (double click on it).
3. Set your Objects to Cast and Receive Shadows in their properties dialogs.
4. Enable Shadows in the View->Preferences dialog.
5. Render an image.
Shadows will not be visible in the working views, only in a rendered image.
Using Alpha Masks
To mask an Anim8or generated image into an existing photo using the Alpha channel and Paint Shop Professional:
1. Render an image with image+alpha channel selected.
2. Save both the image and alpha image as .bmp or .jpg files.
3. View them in PSP with your background image there as well.
4. Use the Image->Arithmetic command as follows:
   A. First multiple the mask with the background image. Set the divisor to 255 to make the lever right. Call this Image A.
   B. Then add Image A to the 3D model with a black background. Set the divisor to 1 this time. The result should be what you want.
Note: It's easier to do if all the images are the same size.
Anim8or doesn't support particles (yet :-).  But rounder, an Anim8or user, has written a particle generator called Anitweek that outputs .an8 files that can be used by Anim8or.  You can get a copy here: 

wglMakeCurrent() Failed
This is caused by a failure in your graphics card's driver software.  When you see this the OpenGL 3D graphics library did not run properly.  There should be an error number beginning with "0x" and for common causes there will be an error name like ERROR_INVALID_PIXEL_FORMAT giving an indication of what failed.  If the error shown is "ERROR_???" appears send me the error number if you like so I can add it to the error message table for future releases.

Normally the only way to fix these errors is to update your graphics card's driver.  Sometimes you can get around the problem be changing the color depth, or "bits per pixel", of your screen, etc.  If you have a VooDoo see the section below.

Viewports Don't Draw Correctly
The most common cause of the viewports not properly drawing is your graphics card and it's driver software.  The best thing you can do is to download and install the latest driver for your graphics card.
Anim8or uses many more features of the OpenGL graphics library than any game does.  The primary focus for 3D cards is gamers so graphics card makers always make sure games work before releasing their products.  Unfortunately they don't spend the same amount of effort on the rest of OpenGL.  They do keep improving and releasing newer drivers, however, so chances are there's a better one waiting for you now.
Voodoo Graphic Card Problems
The 3DFX series of Voodoo work with Anim8or if you have one of their good OpenGL drivers.  Many people have reported problems with the new 1.07 DX8 driver and Anim8or.  They have solved this by reverting to previous 1.06 DX7 driver.  I don't know when, or even if, this will be solved given the current state of 3DFX.  If you have a Voodoo, I suggest that you get a copy of both of these drivers and keep them in a safe place.
Can't Find Help File
Anim8or looks for a help file named Anim8orHelp.hlp in the same directory as the executable file Anim8or.exe.  On some operating systems there was a problem with versions of Anim8or prior to v0.62 where you could not access the help file.
Help File Topics Missing
The current help file has some problems.  The Index doesn't show any topics and links don't always work.  You can use the Find tab to search for key-words, however.
Missing Textures
1. The most likely reason that texture are not showing up is that they are disabled.  This is true for both the working viewports and for any rendered images.  To fix the problem, select the View->Preferences command from the menu.  Make sure that Textures is checked in both the OpenGL Workspace area and the File Output area.  You also probably want to check the MipMaps box in the OpenGL area, too.
2. Your objects also have to have texture coordinates assigned for textures to work.  Most things built in Anim8or will have default values assigned for you.  If not, or if you import something that doesn't have texture coordinates, you can add then with the UV tool. 
3. Another reason that your textures may be visible is your graphics card.  Each card has a maximum size that it can use to store textures.  On some, such as the VooDoo 3000, the limit is 256x256 textels.  If you reduce the size of these images using any paint program you can use then on such cards.
On rare occasions these boxes become un-checked for no apparent reason.  I think the problem is in Anim8or but I have been unable to find the cause.  So until I do, if it happens again just go back and check them again.
Making AVI File Problems
There is a problem with the .avi compression library in Win98 that can cause Anim8or to report an error when you try to create an .avi movie file.  You can usually solve this by choosing a different codec (image compressor).  There are also some newer codecs available for free on the web.  Several people have reported that the Intel Indeo codec solves this problem.  Anim8or should not crash but should catch any error and recover.  If not let me know and I will see if I can fix it.
The following codecs should work with Anim8or v0.7 and later:
Codec Win98 NT 4.0 Win2K Win ME
Divx (Recommended) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Intel/Lycos Indio 4.x
Intel/Lycos Indio 5.x
Microsoft Video 1
The Divx codecs are of particular high quality.  They are available on the web at no charge from www.divx.com.
The Indeo codecs are also fairly good.  You can find them at www.ligos.com.
Saved .an8 File Won't Load
If you can't reload a .an8 file after you have saved it there are several things that you can do to try and save your work.  The file is written as an ordinary text file so you can load it into any text editor and look at it.  The most common problem is that the file has been truncated.  When this happens you can delete the end of the file until the {}'s are paired (to the point where a closing } is not indented) and the file might load.
*** Note: There was a bug in v0.7 and earlier versions Anim8or that could cause a file that is *exactly* one character longer than the input buffer to fail to read.  In this case simply add an extra blank line at the end to fix the problem.  This has been fixed in v0.8.
Transparent Object Not Transparent
Make sure that the Transparency box is checked in both places in the View->Preferences dialog.  The working views are only approximations of what your object will look like when rendered.  Multiple layers of transparency is too
computationally complex to do fast enough for the working views with current 3D hardware.  To see the final result you need to make a test rendering with File->RenderPreview.

Using Anim8or on Linux
All Linux fans will be glad to know that that you can run Anim8or too.  It reportedly works quite well on Redhat 7.1 using WINE.

This page was last updated on January 30, 2005.
Copyright 2005 R. Steven Glanville