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Ian Ross has just released a book on Anim8or. It's perect for a beginner and a good reference for experienced users. It contains detailed chapters on every aspect, with many examples. Get your own copy here: "Anim8or Tutorial Book"

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Topics - Steve

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Ongoing Anim8or Development / Bone as a Parent to another Element
« on: March 01, 2021, 07:17:50 pm »
The new build v1.01.1396 dated, Feb. 27, 2021 supports making a bone the parent of another element. A character can carry something in his hand, wear a hat, etc., which will follow wherever his hand or head move.

Here's an example of a character throwing a ball. I've attached the project file.

Note: The parent can't be changed, so I have two balls in this project. The first is attached to the character's hand and is hidden at the moment that it is thrown. The second is hidden at the start and becomes visible in the next frame to complete the throw.

General Anim8or Forum / Anim8or Tutorial Book Available
« on: January 25, 2021, 10:47:42 am »
Ian Ross has just released a book on Anim8or. The book contains 295 pages; it is a super nanny guide for first timers learning 3d animation and modeling. It is a step-by-step tutor course, which teaches the up to date version of anim8or including the new sound developments.

Here's a link with more details about the book: "Anim8or Tutorial Book". You can get a copy here: buy a copy here.

Please post your comments and reviews!

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Animated Parameteric Plug-in Scripts
« on: December 24, 2020, 10:44:27 am »
I have a prelimimary version of Anim8or Build 1394+ that supports animated parameteric plug-in meshes. You can reference the frame and time variables to animate them. Here's how it works:

1. Add the new directive #animated after the #plugin("obect", ...) directive.
2. The value of the built in variable "time" will be the scene's time in seconds, and the variable "frame" will be set to the frame number.

There are still a few loose ends in this build, such as the meshes don't revert to frame 0 in the Object editor. I hope to have an oficial buld out soon.

ianross I've modified one of your wave scripts to animate the waves. I added the statement:

$time = $time + time*10.0;

and here's what it looks like in a scene:

If you add a figure to a scene in build 1383 Anim8or will crash. I'll post a fix as soon as I can.

In the mean time, you can use builds 1381 and earlier to build your scene and then switch to 1383 if you want to experiment with the phoneme track.

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Lip Sync Tool
« on: June 08, 2020, 06:52:45 pm »
With Build 1383 Anim8or has a new lip sync track to help add voice. More instructions to come in a few minutes.

Note: I updated the link to 1383 which fixes #101-036 - Anim8or crashes when reading a project that references non existent sounds.

How to use the Lip Sync track to a scene:

1. Start with an Object or Figure that has several Morph Targets that represent different speech phonemes (sounds like "AYE", "OOO", "MMM"). Give them a one letter name or the lip sync track will tend to get jumbled-up.
2. In the Scene editor, add one or more sounds. This creates a sound track.
3. Add the Object or Figure to the scene.
4. Use the Edit->EditPhonemeTrack menu command to add a lip-sync track to the EObject or EFigure. This will appear next to the sound wave in the sound window.
5. Double click on a frame in the lip-sync track to add a phoneme morph.

Existing morphs that conflict with the ones you add in the lip-sync track will be deleted, but you can still use them in other frames. All morphs that are not added to the track are not affected.

This example uses only 4 lip shapes, roughly for sounds A, O, M and N.

You can improve the quality with more shapes. For example, the very talented animator and teacher Preston Blair created a great scheme using 10 different shapes. Here is one description:

I've attached a the project for this video. You can get the .WAV sound file here. When you load the project, switch to the scene editor, double click on the small blank square in sound track at frame 5 and load the sound file.

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Sound in Anim8or
« on: May 01, 2020, 05:20:49 pm »
Beginning with build 1380 Anim8or supports sound. Use the Build->AddSound... menu command to add sound .WAV sounds to the scene. The time track shows a visualization of the sound to help synchronize speech morphs and movement.

Note: While you may use .mp3 and .wav files, only .wav files show the sound wave visualization in the track window!

More to come: Tracks for dialog and sound description, character speech morph targets, and more!

I'm working on some examples to post, so stay tuned!

Note: I updated the above link to point to the latest version on May 6.

ASL Scripts / New Write Image Functions.
« on: March 13, 2019, 05:47:45 pm »
In the latest development build 1356 you can save rendered images in BMP, JPG and PNG format.

class image {
    int WriteBMP(string fName); // All functions return 1 if OK, 0 if failed
    int WriteJPG(string fName [ , int quality = 95 ] ); // 0 = lowest, 100 = highest
    int WritePNG(string fName [, int IncludeAlpha = 0 ] );

image GetImage(int image_id); // Returns NULL if no such image.

I've attached a sample script.

Ongoing Anim8or Development / New Clay-like Display Option in Build 1348
« on: December 13, 2018, 09:09:27 pm »
I just posted a new development release Build 1348 with an option to show models using a clay-like material. This can make it easier to see the shape, especially for complex colors or transparency, without needing to change the material. Just click on the little clay pot in the upper toolbar to toggle it on and off.

Front facing polygons are shown in beige and back facing ones in blue to make it easier to find errors in the direction of normals.

General Anim8or Forum / Allert: Missing Member Accounts!!!
« on: September 10, 2018, 09:55:06 am »
Several members who recently joined have repoted that their accounts have dissppeared. As far as I can tell if you registered in the past two weeks or so your account may have been lost.

Please re-register! You sould be abe to use the same user name, etc. If you have any problems e-mail me at:

support (at) anim8or (dot) com

General Anim8or Forum / Arrgh! Hard Disk Crash!
« on: August 10, 2018, 01:53:06 pm »
My disk crashed this week. I have a back-up service for my data. Unfortunately when I added a new disk last April it suspended backing up the Anim8or source files.   :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

Sooooo, now I get to rewrite everything from mid April. This includes multi threaded rendering and the new bone editing code.

Don't worry, I'll rewrite it all. It was a lot of fun the first time, and it should be even more fun the second!

Ongoing Anim8or Development / New Bone Editing Tool
« on: August 06, 2018, 03:10:42 pm »
As suggested by nemyax in a previous post I'm working on a different way to edit bones (hot key 'J'). I have the first part finished where you click-drag on a joint and it only affects the bones attached directly at that joint. I'm still working on the second part where you can move a group of selected bones.

Please try build 1332 out and let me know what you think, especially the following points:

1. Do you like the new bone joints appearance?

2. Should this new mode be added to the existing Edit Bone tool (hot key 'E') or be a separate tool?

3. Any other feedback is appreciated.

Here's the original video that nemyax posted:

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 08, 2018, 03:08:38 pm »
I just posted a new development release  v1.01.1329 dated July 7, 2018 that uses all of your CPU's cores to render ART images. It also has an improved FastAA algorithm that improves shadow edges, especially for soft shadows, and properly ignores shadows from objects marked to not cast shadows.

Note: There are some minor issues, particularly with noise in movies when the image isn't changing. These are cause by the separate threads calling the random number generator in different a different order for each render. I'm working on fixing this.

Please give this build a try. Let me know of any problems that you have, and how much it speeds up your renders.

Ongoing Anim8or Development / File Input add to ASL in Build 1321
« on: March 15, 2018, 07:34:47 pm »
Build build 1321 dated March 15, 2018 supports text file input in ASL Object Command scripts.

The ASL spec has been updated to show the new features. I've attached some sample files as well with a bit of explaination.

file_read_obj.a8s - imports .obj data files.
file_read_tokenize.a8s - lists the contents of a file as tokens.

Here's a link to the part of the spec that describes how to use the text scanner.

Anim8or can prompt the user for the out file name and location with the #file Directive in an Object Command or an Untyped Command script.

The current development release is v1.01.1402, May 17, 2021:

These notes are for the development branch of Anim8or, currently labeled v1.01.xxxx. As changes are verified many but not all will be rolled int the main branch, v1.00x.

The following is a cumulative list of major changes to this development branch since the latest "official" release, v1.00b.

Major changes for build 1402 dated May 17, 2021:
#101-054 - Element's location changes when making a bone the parent.
Add double clicking item list to edit item properties.
Add bone folders to sequence editor

Major changes for build 1400 dated March 14, 2021:

Fixed a few bone-as-parent issues and other bugs.
#101-049: Blank parametric parameter field suspends dialog.
#101-050: Making a bone a parent causes element's position to change.
#101-051: Light direction incorrect for light with bone as parent.
#101-052: Moving an element with a bone as a parent works incorrectly.
#101-053: Deleting last knot in a controller crashes.
New Scene Navigation Keys: Home, End, PageUp, PageDown

Major changes for build 1396 dated February 27, 2021:

New: Bone in Figure as Parent: You can not make any bone in a figure the parent of any element. When the figure is animated the child element follows it's motion.
ASL Scripts: String and identifier lengths can be up to 4096 characters in length.

Major changes for build 1395 dated January 5, 2021:

New: Time Dependent Meshes: Parameteric Plug-In Scripts can now reference the time and frame variables to create meshes that change over time. The value of these variables is always 0 in the object editor but changes with the frame in a scene. Requires an #animated directive in the script.
Subdivided Meshes: Parameteric Plug-In Scripts can be subdivided after the script runs. You can choose the levels of subdivision in the properties dialog in the object editor.
Autosave directory moved to %USER%/AppData/Local/Anim8or/temp

Major changes for build 1393 dated September 7, 2020:

Fix #101-046: Renaming bone deletes controllers keys in scenes.
Fix #101-047: Script bone controllers aren't saved to .an8 file.
Fix #101-048: .WAV sounds that don't match sample rate, number of channels and bits per sample of project sound spec aren't output to rendered movies.

Major changes for build 1390 dated August 9, 2020:

Fix #101-044: Crash when rendering a scene.
Fix #101-045: Bone folders not working in Scene mode.
Add Sound Spec to project for format of rendered sound stream.
Add phoneme references to key frame clipboard so copy/past works with full phonemes.
Improve visuals for phoneme keys in time track.
Build merged sound track support for future multiple format/multiple stream audio support.

Major changes for build 1387 dated July 12, 2020:

Fix #101-041: Skinning was broken when support for working vs. final subdivision levels was added (in cl-1386).

Major changes for build 1386 dated July 9, 2020:

Fix #095-059: Different subdivision levels for working and rendered views isn't implemented.
Scrubbing Sound: And one-frame sound playback when scrubbing or using arrow keys.
Delete lead and tail keys when deleting a phoneme ref.
Phoneme track: various visual improvements.

Major changes for build 1385 dated June 29, 2020:

Fix #101-039: Import scenes with figures doesn't include figure; can crash.
Fix bug: where morph targets used as phonemes in a scene interfered with morph target menu in object editor.
Allow user defined keys to intermix with phoneme keys.
Add color to phoneme keys in graph editor and time track.
Add user specified strength of phoneme keys, lead and tail timings.
Connect changes in graph window with phoneme definitions so that editing the graph window updates phonemes properly.

Major changes for build 1384 dated June 13, 2020:

Fix #101-037: Copy/Paste of a mesh causes images to disappear.
Fix #101-038: Morph target derived from a previous morph target only works if the default name isn't changes.
Fix #101-040: Adding a figure to a scene crashes.

Major changes for build 1383 dated June 09, 2020:

Fix 101-036: Anim8or crashes when reading a project that references non existent sounds.

Major changes for build 1382 dated June 08, 2020:

Add lip-sync track: There's a new animation track that make scheduling lip-sync morphs easy to add and edit. Chek out this topic for more details!
Add 500 msec pause between cycles when looping a scene or part of a scene. This should make it easier to animate characters when the action continues past the rang that you are looping.
Fix ShowIK setting that would change after a render.
Don't alter camera or light position or FOV if locked, layer is locked, or licht or camera is hidden when using Arc-Rotate.

Major changes for build 1380 dated May 06, 2020:

Sound output in .AVI files: see this post for more details.

Major changes for build 1379 dated May 03, 2020:

Fix 101-033: 16 bit .wav sounds don't display waveform.
Fix 101-034: .wav sound with spaces don't display waveform.

Major changes for build 1378+ dated May 02, 2020:

v1.01.1378+ fixes movie render bug in v1.01.1378
Add .WAV Sound Support: You can now add .wav sound to scenes.
Fix #101-031: Anim8or freezes when playing or looping a scene or sequence.
Detach Selected Faces: Fix crash when detaching large number of faces.
Add Extrude Faces by Normal: Extrude Faces Shftl+LMB.
Bug fix: Fast Select used to change value when canceling the Configure UI dialog.
Fix #101-030: Scrolling in camera view sets key when camera layer is locked, and related bugs.

Major changes for build 1363 dated July 30, 2019:

Add Joint Rotate to Scene Editor: This is similar to that added to the Figure editor discussed inthis topic except that the child bones retain their global orientation. Note: In Scene mode this is still a work in progress. Joint limits and locked IK targets are not yes supported. See that topic for more information.
Z Limits Bug: Progress on clipping bugs that appear with very large (in scale) objects.
Fix frame MM:SS bug in the status bar of the Scene editor that assumed 24 FPS.

Major changes for build 1357 dated March 15, 2019:

ASL scanner: Add tokens for at sign "@" and question mark "?":
Fix #101-028: Arc-Rotate Crashes in Perspective and Stereo Crash views.
Stereo Views: update in parallel when using Arc-Rotate.

Major changes for build 1356 dated March13, 2019:

ART rendering: Improve fast AA for transparent and reflective materials.
ASL scripts: Add "wb" option for ASL files.
ASL scripts: Save render images in script with new type image and output functions:

class image {
    int WriteBMP(string fName); // All functions return 1 if OK, 0 if failed
    int WriteJPG(string fName [ , int quality = 95 ] ); // 0 = lowest, 100 = highest
    int WritePNG(string fName [, int IncludeAlpha = 0 ] );

New member "GetImage()" in project type:
image GetImage(int image_id); // Returns NULL if no such image.

Fix #101-026: Sequences that go beyond the end of a scene don't extend the scene.
Fix #101-027: Stereo Crossed option doesn't do anything.
Stereo: Fix View->User and View->Stereo menu commands.
Stereo: Add menu option to swap left and right images for use in VR viewers.
Arc Rotate: When using Arc-Rotate in a camera or light view, alter the position and orientation of the camera or light accordingly.
Frames or Seconds: Add menu option to toggle between showing seconds or frame numbers in time tracks.

Major changes for build 1348 dated December 13, 2018:

Clay Model Style: Added a new rendering style for working views and renders that displays all objects using a two-sided clay material. This can make it easier to see the shape when you're modeling especially for objects with patterned materials.
Fix: Edit | Rotate doesn't work for components again.
Fix: Art FastAA crash when more than 256 samples are used.
Fix: GLSL fragment shaders: emissive weight was wrong, it used Ks instead of Ke.

Major changes for build 1345 dated December 2, 2018:

Reimplement: changes in builds 1325 to 1332 that were lost due to my disk crash.

Major changes for build 1332 dated August 6, 2018:
New Bone Editing Idea: This build has one major addition, an alternate way to edit a Figure's bone structure, plus a new way to show bones. Please post your comments about it in this topic.

Major changes for build 1330 dated July 22, 2018:
ART: Increase maximum number of threads for multi-threaded rendering from 8 to 16 (with an 16 core CPU).
ART: Add int attribute "MaxThreads" to set the maximum number of rendering threads.  0 = use Anim8or default. -N = use #cores - N.
Scene Editor: Add camera move/pan widget. Active in Arrow/Move and Arrow/Rotate modes.
ASL BUG: Restore LockAmbiantDiffuse, SetAmbientColor, SetDiffuseColor, etc. function calls that were accidentally deleted in earlier drop.
Fix bug from cl-1324: Edit->Rotate menu accidentally disabled in point editor when Delete Unreferenced Materials was added to Edit menu.
Fix #101-025: Image, Panoramic and Cube Map Backgrounds rendering issues.

Major changes for build 1329 dated July 7, 2018:
ART: Add multi-threaded rendering. Increases speed up rendering up to 8X (with an 8 core CPU).
ART: Improve Fast AA rendering speed and accuracy. (depth, light-mask, normals, materials)
Normal Maps: Fix problem in ART Normal Map rendering.
Normal Maps: Add new option to swap U coordinate direction.
Fix ART bug: where something marked Don't Cast Shadows do so anyway.
Fix #101-023: Ctrl-A Doesn't Select Faces in Groups.

Major changes for build 1325 dated May 30, 2018:
Delete Unreferenced Materials: new command.
Improve texture file searches: fix "./" file path bug.
ASL Materials: Add numerous new members, include two sided support. See the ASL spec for details.

Major changes for build 1321 dated March 15, 2018:
Fix crash loading project introduced by cl-1320.
ASL Files: Add support for reading text files using GPScan token scanner. See this topic for more details.

Major changes for build 1318 dated January 25, 2018:
Scene Editor: Added Element Folders which all you to group element in the track window for easier management of large projects.
- Fixed several minor Undo/Redo bugs such as Element name changes not being applied.

Major changes for build 1317 dated January 14, 2018:
Fix #101-017: Issues with Groups and Layers.
   Use group's layer instead of each component's layer when displaying or selecting a group.
   Use the group number of the components in a group when creating a group.
   For multiple group numbers, use any one of them.
Fix #101-018: Reading a .an8 file with a script-based parameteric shape in a group crashes.
Fix #101-019: Script controllers for scene morph targets with aren't saved in .an8 file.
IK effector: Change to not move location of effector unless the user have specifically moved it
(i.e. not when it was moved because it couldn't be reached when the whole figure was moved).
Connected Face Extrusion: Expand cases when new faces are kept parallel to original faces.
Inset Tool: Change to inset edges parallel and equal distance to original edges. Previous behavior (that moved edges relative to the length of each individual edge) is available using the Shift key.
Scene Editor: Add menu command Edit->Bones->KeySelectedControllers.
Fix #101-020: Object Editor: Copy/Pasting a Group with a sub Group doesn't work correctly.

Major changes for build 1314 dated December 20, 2017:
Depth Channel: You can now make movies of the depth channel.
Depth Channel: Fixed small bugs in Z-near/Z-far dialogs as they relate to rendering.
Frame Viewports: Hot-key f changed to frame only the focus view. Hot-key Ctrl-Sh-F added to frame all views.
User Lights: Added an option Options->UseDefaultLighting to disable user lights and use default lighting in the scene editor:
CAD: Display the angle between selected adjacent edges.
CAD: Highlight values in orange when the mouse moves over the component.
Material Samples: Fix bug where they didn't render when layer 0 was hidden.

Major changes for build 1312 dated December 11, 2017:
Fix #100-010:GLSL materials with more than 4 textures are broken.
Fix #100-011:Rendering a scene a second time hangs
Fix #100-012:Shape rotations don't follow object coordinates in object editor.
Fix #100-013:Object/Move command uses World coordinates when Object coordinates are selected.
Fix #100-014: Shell and Extrude Connected commands can cause spikes.
Fix #100-015: Sliding Resized Figures with IK.
Scene Editor: Add Copy/Paste for Scene Elements.
Object editor: Add Build->SplitSolids command that separates unconnected parts of a mesh or subdivision surface.
Pivot: Add Edit->Pivot->CenterPivot, AlignWithShape, AlignWithWorld commands.
Point Editor: Implement Edit->Rotate->Rotate commands.
Text Object: Add default font to project: type-face, size, italic, bold

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Experimential Track Ball for Arc Rotate
« on: October 16, 2017, 05:51:30 pm »
I just uploaded Build v1.01.1306 to get some feedback on using a Track Ball for the Arc Rotate widget. It allows finer control of rotation in various axes, and in either Screen coordinates or World/Object coordinated depending on that setting.

I'm attempting to make Arc Rotate work better with touch screens. Needing 3 mouse buttons doesn't work so well on them.

My opinion so far: rotation is easier but panning and zooming is a bit harder. I'm experimenting with other ways to do these, maybe using the right mouse button to pan, but that would defeat the original purpose.

You can revert to the original Arc Rotate by checking Options->Debug->Use Original Arc Rotate

Let me know what you think.

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