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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: Suggestions Solicited
« on: April 24, 2024, 08:32:39 pm »
No problem, happy to help and looking forward to seeing your work :)

Re the "star drive" dome, having multiple co-located objects and animating the 'visibility' setting such that only one is visible at any time is a common method of simulating an object changing appearance within an animation.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Suggestions Solicited
« on: April 23, 2024, 07:11:46 am »
There's a couple of ways to do this, here's one.  The method requires a transparency map with a vertical gradient so the light cone is brighter at the top than the bottom, but also with blurred sides matching the profile of the cone (see attached file "GlowThrustReversed").  I used Corel to build this using a screenshot of the cone as a reference to get the angles right.

The real trick is to ensure the trans map UV is correctly oriented to the front view of the cone (see attached "UFOrigA") and that the cone always presents the same side to the camera in Scene mode, otherwise the sides of the cone won't appear blurred as the camera and/or ship move relative to each other.  In Scene mode set the orientation of the cone object to "Facing Other" and select the camera in the drop down (see attached file "UFOrigB").  Assuming your axes are correct it should look something like the attached file "UFOrigC" with the cone's orientation changing to stay at right angles to the camera's long axis throughout the animation.

A screenshot and video is attached of a quick and dirty test of the concept.  The further overhead the ship is the more distorted the cone will be so this method won't work for all applications.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Hello there!
« on: January 30, 2024, 04:18:41 am »
Amazing detail on this, well done!

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!

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Normals Acting Odd
« on: December 15, 2023, 08:52:04 pm »
Re faces being flipped after lathing, this depends on how you prepare the spline that is rotated/lathed. A lot depends on whether the spline is created to the left or right of the centre line (assuming the lathe will be around the Y-axis) and whether the resulting object will include internal or external angles.  In the attachment below, the upper two objects were created from splines drawn to the left of the Y-axis centre line, the bottom two from splines drawn to the right of Y-axis centre line.  The normals of the upper object with external angles are 'correct', the next one down with internal angles are reversed.  The reverse situation is evident in the lower two objects where the splines were drawn to the right of the Y-axis centre line.  I've got into the habit of checking the normals of lathed objects as I can never remember which way they will go :)

Also, re edge creasing, the Edge Property Editor (accessible by double-clicking an edge in point-edit mode) allows individual edges to be creased or smoothed irrespective of the mesh's Smooth Angle set in the Mesh Editor, though you may need to open the Mesh Editor (double-click the mesh) after changing an edge's properties to see the changes in Smooth view.  Importantly, changing the Smooth Angle for the mesh doesn't over-ride any individual edge creases you may have set for the object which is good but means there's no simple 'reset' to clear any individually-tweaked edge creases.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: trouble with painted weights
« on: December 14, 2023, 06:54:47 am »
Hi thecolclough, long time no post too!  I'm not sure there's a way to numerically control weights at each point, at least I'm not aware of one.  For your figure you might be better off running a set of radial bones from the root, each aligning with a set of points (eg. a separate bone for the cyan-circled points, separate bone for the green-circled points, etc.) with the points weighted 100% to their respective bones.  This method would also maintain the relative distances of all points from the object's centre which wouldn't necessarily be the case with a single bone so there should be less distortion of the figure.  On the downside there would be more bones to wrangle in Sequence mode.

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:

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