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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 - ENSONIQ5

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Finished Works and Works in Progress / Work in progress
« on: January 18, 2024, 02:51:00 am »
Haven't posted anything for a long time and this project is a bit of a departure from my usual SF-related stuff, so I thought it was worth posting.  The eventual project will include 12 synths, this is the first five of them modelled and rendered in Anim8or (ART renderer).  The .an8 file size is getting pretty big so I might split it across 2 projects.  The seven synths yet to be modelled are Oberheim SEM, ARP 2600, Roland Juno 6, Sequential Prophet 5, MiniMoog, Buchla Easel & Yamaha CS80.  Could be a while on this one!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Playing with IK
« on: September 23, 2016, 08:49:34 pm »
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.

General Anim8or Forum / Interesting challenge for a 2D specialist
« on: April 01, 2015, 03:41:42 am »
A bloke I have been working with on another collaborative project is starting up a personal project which needs a bit of animation, specifically the sort that looks flat and 2D.  His message is as follows:

"This is a personal note and hope that someone in the group can advise or assist. I am putting a personal project together that needs some basic animation - Think Hitch Hikers Guide meets line drawing! Its going to be a ten minute short, if you want to read the script to see what I am doing please message me and I'll send it over. Thanks in advance...Anthony Straeger"

I don't have time to assist and 2D ain't my thang, nor do I have any more details at this stage.  If anybody is keen for a challenge and a bit of exposure (Anthony has many contacts in video production) let me know and I'll have my people contact your people to arrange a time for them to meet his people... Whatever, if you're keen, post below or PM me and I'll hook you up.  Cheers Anim8ors!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Paddle Steamer engine
« on: April 04, 2013, 04:25:21 am »
With a lull in other projects I thought I'd re-visit a favourite subject of mine (steam engines) and a favourite 3D software (Anim8or).  The engine I'm building is a twin cylinder single expansion unit of the type often used in the paddle steamers that still navigate the Murray River in Australia.  These boats were once the main thoroughfare for produce and passengers from the coast of South Australia into the fertile interior of the Murray-Darling basin.  Although many are still running, these days they mainly serve the tourist trade.

This engine is not modelled precisely on any particular engine, rather it uses ideas and systems drawn from a number of engines of the type.  There's still much work to do on the modelling, once complete the intent is to animate it in motion, preferably in Anim8or.  Maybe one day I'll model a boat for it to go in, but that's getting a bit too far ahead of myself!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Crash landing
« on: January 12, 2011, 09:14:41 pm »
Hi all.  I thought I would post a link to an exercise I have been working on recently, here .  Although it was rigged and rendered in Carrara, the modelling is mostly Anim8or.  Basically it is an exercise in particle generation, trying to get to grips with the many, many settings and variables.  The sound track was constructed from 16 separate audio tracks in Krystal (it's a free download) and needs a bit of adjusting to better demonstrate the approaching/receding effect (ie gets louder and softer, maybe with a bit of Doppler shift).  A final render is planned with full motion-blurring and tweaks to the particle generators to make the streams 'softer' and more realistic-looking, though this is expected to take quite a few days with 3 processors on the job!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Chain Reaction revised
« on: September 12, 2010, 09:50:04 am »
Hi all

For a change I figured I would actually keep a promise to myself, and redo my Chain Reaction submission closer to my original intention.  All of the modelling and UV mapping remains Anim8or work, but all keyframing, lighting and texturing was redone in Carrara, though I have tried to keep as close as possible to the original animation, in terms of 'storyboard'.  The final renders are also from Carrara.  Where appropriate a physics simulator was used to define some of the motion, but the bulk of it remains keyframed.  The sound effects are a mixture of downloaded copyright-free and personally recorded.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Red and moving steam thing
« on: May 30, 2009, 01:38:52 am »
G'day all.

Although the comp is long finished, I have continued working on this thing.

There is still more work that could be done (when is that not the case?), like putting in a driver and perhaps adding a few more dynamic things, like a swinging tow chain on the front bumper or whatever, but I'm done with it for now (gotta get back to other projects).

Everything that rotates is controlled by a script, such as this one below which controls the rotation of the left front wheel:

float $speed;
float $speedbasic;
float $workingframe;
float $a;
float $b;
float $c;
float $d;
float $e;
float $timekey;
if (frame<201)
else if (frame<221)
else if (frame<280)
else if (frame<300)
$orientation = (sin($speed*$workingframe),0,0,cos($speed*$workingframe));

The script rotates the wheel first in a forward direction at a constant speed, decelerates to zero, rests for a bit, accelerates in reverse, and finally reverses at a contant speed.  This script would have been WAY simpler if it were possible to define variables that could be remembered from frame to frame.  At present it is necessary to calculate the position of each rotating object at each frame relative to the object's initial orientation, rather than relative to the objects position in the preceding frame.

The smoke is also scripted, separate scripts controlling each smoke-puff's rotation, location and scale in a cyclic fashion.  The pistons and various valve linkages are keyframed, though scripts would not have been impossible to figure out.

The mechanisms were assembled in Scene mode, rather than defining the whole machine as a figure, using parent/child object relationships to ensure mechanical integrity.  Rendering was done with ART, total rendering time estimated to be over 150 hours.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Show car
« on: October 12, 2008, 09:23:12 am »
G'day all.  I am working on a model to be submitted in's "Refflections" still frame mini-contest, and I thought some of you might like to see how it's going.  It is being built in 0.97d using the ART renderer, and I am going for accuracy and high quality in the final render rather than low poly.  There is still much work yet to be done, especially in constructing the space frame and modelling the interior, and the background and lighting setup is only temporary.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Eraser Man
« on: September 28, 2008, 10:43:20 am »
G'day.  I have been working on this animation for the past 4 weeks, for the "Brought to Life" contest, and since it is more or less finished (more work to be done on the soundtrack) and was by far the most complicated and difficult animation I have produced so far, I wanted to share it with the Anim8or community.  It was produced entirely with Anim8or v0.97c (though it uses Scanline not ART) with a very small amount of 2D work in Corel PhotoPaint.  I would appreciate constructive criticism, and if you would like to see more of the excellent work done by other competitors in this contest and the previous ones, please visit Animanon, using the link at the left of the screen.

Eraser Man

Hello fellow Anim8ors.  This is possibly my final submission to the Need for Speed contest being run on (it's a running contest, all are welcome to submit entries, from all skill and experience levels).  I may add sound effects if I get time before this stage of the contest ends.  The lens effects were added frame by frame in Corel, otherwise the modelling, rigging and rendering were all performed using Anim8or V0.95.

Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / Environment panoramas
« on: March 20, 2008, 05:23:12 pm »
It seems environmental background images, like the image panorama setting, no longer render with ART, nor are these background images reflected in objects with anim8or or glossyreflector attributes.  Hopefully this is an easy fix, Steve, and not a big issue.

Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / ART syntax please?
« on: March 20, 2008, 05:02:13 am »
I have had a bit of a fiddle with ART, and I am afraid I do not understand the interface at all.  Could someone provide a more detailed "how to" for this old dog?

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Finished stuff
« on: March 13, 2008, 09:49:44 pm »
I have been posting this stuff elsewhere for comps, and kinda forgot that this is where it all started for me!  Here are two recently finished movies (or more accurately abandoned due to a burning desire to get on with new projects, something I do an awful lot) done in Anim8or.

Edit: Another one added here:

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Finished space sequence
« on: December 20, 2007, 07:13:30 am »
Ok, I've finished (or at least abandoned) the space movie thing.  Here's the YouTube link:

The opening sequence of 32 seconds (800 frames) took over three solid weeks to render, fully anti-aliased this time.  This was the most fun I have had in ages (I know, I have no life).  I am moving away from the whole science fiction thing for a while, and have started building a medieval castle.  Hope to post something here soon.

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