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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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Messages - ENSONIQ5

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General Anim8or Forum / Re: How long does it take to learn Anim8or?
« on: August 26, 2022, 10:10:06 pm »
Let me know what part of my response doesn't make sense and I will attempt to clarify.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: How long does it take to learn Anim8or?
« on: August 25, 2022, 05:09:56 am »
There's no single answer to that question, but compared to other 3D animation software Anim8or has one of the shortest learning curves.  It's also not necessary to memorise everything before starting a project, the manual is short, simple and is a handy reference that can be checked at any time.  The tutorials are designed to teach you in stages, so you learn the basics of modelling before moving on to rigging figures, animating sequences, building scenes, setting lights, creating complex materials etc., but you may choose to ignore them and just start working on your own projects, referring to the manual as you go.  This forum is also here to help for more complex things that may not be covered by the manual.

I'd recommend starting with something simple and don't expect to be up to ILM or Weta Workshop standards in your first week.  With Anim8or, learning the basics of 3D modelling and animating is relatively quick but, like anything, mastering it will take the rest of your life if you do it properly ;)

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Lighting
« on: January 27, 2022, 12:49:32 am »
Cool, Anim8or can handle Ambient Occlusion via scene attributes and to be honest I totally forgot about that! It would have improved the output though using soft shadows and fiddling with light range/angle settings does go some way towards a similar effect.  I wasn't able to get anything like the original image with a single light source (which I presume the original image used, apart from some ambient lighting) but that may have a lot to do with the materials and how they interact with the light.  So my image is really a 'cheat' that uses a bunch of lights including one to fake the sphere's caustics.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Lighting
« on: January 26, 2022, 04:07:03 am »
Photon mapping can be simulated to some extent with some ART attributes (specular > glossy) and a few extra lights.  This scene took 10 minutes to model and about an hour of fiddling with light positions and attributes, with a bit more fiddling it would probably be possible to get closer to the original.  AN8 file attached.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Imagined Engines
« on: November 20, 2021, 10:17:48 pm »
Love it, love it love it!  For a frustrated engineer and musician like myself this is deeply pleasing on a number of levels.  Absolutely brilliant!

General Anim8or Forum / Re: ART thread optimisation
« on: October 05, 2021, 02:44:09 am »
Note that there are extra computations for the pixels around each chunk so if you make it too small it could slow the render down.

I frequently reduce chunk sizes in other renderers for the exact reason thecolclough stated, to ensure there's more than one or two threads left battling their way through a complicated bit of the scene at the end of a frame, and I've often wondered what disadvantages there were (if any) to small chunk sizes.  So this is good to know :)

General Anim8or Forum / Re: 3D Printing Using Anim8or
« on: September 19, 2021, 01:01:37 am »
WRT rollers, long ago I found a Torus .a8s plugin by Tyson Collins. I modified it to be able to generate a 4-sided cylinder (3-60 sides) with up to 2000 rings. You can specify inner and outer diameters, too. I've attached an example of it in use, along with a zip of the plugin.

Very cool!

General Anim8or Forum / Re: 3D Printing Using Anim8or
« on: September 18, 2021, 12:10:47 am »
Okay, man, you totally lost me there. How do I go about "reinforcing: the edges? I can see WHAT you did, I just have no earthly idea HOW you did it. Care to share?

As with most things in Anim8or there are a few ways to skin this particular cat.  One way is to include a few extra points in the initial rectangle before it's lathed (An8-roller-6a).  They don't need to be close to the top and bottom edges yet so if you are using 'snap to grid' you don't need to fiddle it down to a superfine setting or anything, just whack them in anywhere but keep them on the same level on each side of the rectangle.  After the rectangle is lathed, switch off any grid-snapping and select all the nodes in the horizontal lines created by the extra nodes ('Point Edit > Drag Select'), then drag them up close to the top edge (An8-roller-6b).  Repeat the process for the bottom edge.

If you forget to add the extra nodes before lathing you can add them to the cylinder by dragging the 'Point Edit > Cut Faces' tool across the cylinder (tip: disable the axes you don't want the knife to move in).  Or you could select all the faces in the roller ends and use the 'Point Edit > Extrude Faces Connected' tool to pull the faces outwards slightly, which has the same effect of doubling-up the edges around the inner and outer rims.

An alternative method that gives a neater, slightly rounded edge is to bevel the edges that you want to reinforce (An8-roller-7a & An8-roller-7b).  It can be pretty tedious carefully selecting only the edges to bevel, especially if you want to further reinforce the edge with another bevel, but it's an option.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: 3D Printing Using Anim8or
« on: September 16, 2021, 05:46:33 am »
Screenshots of the extrude method:

General Anim8or Forum / Re: 3D Printing Using Anim8or
« on: September 16, 2021, 05:37:43 am »
There is also another way to create a 'roller' object with 100 facets by creating 2 concentric 100-sided N-gons (or create one and duplicate/resize it), selecting them both and selecting Build > Join splines, then extrude with start and end caps both ticked in the extrude dialog.  100 sides is the max for the N-gon and the end cap triangulation means smoothing probably isn't an option, but it's something to consider.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: 3D Printing Using Anim8or
« on: September 16, 2021, 05:29:43 am »
Smoothing with a tension of 1 just places edges and points between existing edges and points without actually smoothing anything, whereas a tension of 0 would give 64 smooth facets.  Your point about the end caps is valid but this can be addressed with 'edge reinforcing' prior to smoothing.  There are a few ways to do this but the goal is to double- or triple-up any edges you want to keep sharp before smoothing.  The roller below was lathed from a rectangle with 32 facets (first image - note the tripled edges around the inner and outer rim) before being subdivided (second image).

General Anim8or Forum / Re: 3D Printing Using Anim8or
« on: September 15, 2021, 08:45:29 am »
A simple roller solid can be created in Anim8or without booleans by lathing a rectangle.  The object is limited to 32 facets around the circumference but this can be improved with smoothing and the topology of the ends is tidy.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Stephen Question Re: Lathing
« on: September 03, 2021, 08:25:59 pm »
Yes, you can certainly lathe a 100-sided N-Gon into a sphere shape, though you will end up with a doubling of the mesh since the object would actually be a torus with a diameter of zero.  A simpler way is to start with the basic sphere primitive and subdivide it, either by converting to a subdivision object (Build > Convert to Subdivided) or converting it to a mesh (Build > Convert to Mesh) and using the Build > Smooth Object command with a tension of 0.  In the latter case you can smooth as many times as you like, doubling the number of lat/long lines each time, and the result is an exportable mesh.

Subdivision objects use an algorithm to determine subdivisions between the basic mesh so an exported version of the object may only include the original low-res mesh, but this can be resolved using Build > Convert to Mesh.  Subdivision objects are excellent for 'organic' models that will be morph-animated, since you only need to animate the coarse mesh while allowing the subdivision algorithm to smooth everything out.

One thing to note: due to its topology the sphere primitive may look a bit pinched at the 'poles' when subdivided.  Subdividing the dodecahedron or icosahedron primitive results in something more like a geodesic object without polar distortions and approaches a spherical shape with a couple of subdivision stages.

EDIT: I momentarily forgot that the sphere object can be converted from lon/lat topology to geodesic by double-clicking to open the object dialog, and the geodesic divisions can be defined (max 6).  While not strictly a true geodesic it may subdivide more smoothly than the lon/lat topology.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Stephen Question Re: Lathing
« on: September 03, 2021, 04:00:09 am »
This isn't an answer to why lathing is limited to 32 steps, but you can create a cylinder with up to 100 sides by extruding a 100-sided N-gon.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: My projects in progress
« on: August 22, 2021, 08:21:46 pm »
Aside from polygons being the culprit for your slow render times, as RudySchneider has suggested, I can't see anything in your render that's the obvious cause.  Slow render times are usually the result of things like numerous complex ART materials, lots of lights, soft shadows, AO etc. and none of these are evident in your render.  One other potential cause is massive texture maps but even then I wouldn't expect anything like 35 minutes to render the frame713 image.

I would recommend a process of elimination, replacing complex textured materials with simple materials, removing extra shadow-casting lights etc., until the cause of the slow render is found.  Without seeing the project as a whole or knowing your system's capabilities it's hard to say how quickly that frame 'should' have rendered but from what I can see (accepting that there's likely to be a lot I can't see from the render) that frame would have rendered in less than a minute on my system.

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