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An update to Anim8or, v1.00b, is available with a few bug fixes. Get your copy HERE. See the "ReadMe" file for details.

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Messages - ENSONIQ5

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General Anim8or Forum / Re: Arrgh! Hard Disk Crash!
« on: January 09, 2019, 07:16:07 pm »
A sound engine, either as part of Anim8or or an external utility along the lines of Terranimator, would be very handy.  To be able to apply a sound (sourced online, synthesized, recorded etc.) to an object and have the active camera behave like a stereo microphone would be amazing, especially if doppler shift and volume could be synthesized automatically based on relative velocity and proximity to the camera/mic.  Ideally it would need to include some sound manipulation tools (and/or a full blown soft synth).

I had wild ideas of building something like this when I first found Anim8or, but have lacked the time and the requisite skills to get anything going.

PS: Congrats on completing the re-write :)

I don't know the capabilities of the game engine, but the only way I can think of doing this would be to set the sphere to 'point at' the camera.  So as the sphere moves relative to the camera, it rotates to always keep the 'pupil' pointed towards the camera.

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 20, 2018, 03:35:48 am »
Trevor: Definitely possible, I'm planning an animation test with multi-threading and will include coronas :)

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 19, 2018, 08:49:09 am »
Agreed, they compare very well indeed and the speed is really impressive.  If anything I think the Anim8or 1329 render has the edge, there is a richer saturation and it's a more pleasing render overall.

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 18, 2018, 09:41:49 am »
I've done some more testing and run some render time comparisons between Anim8or V1.0, Anim8or build 1329 with multi-threading, and Carrara.  It's tricky to run a fair comparison with Carrara since it is an entirely different package with a different set of parameters but I have attempted to match the AA, materials and lighting as close as possible on a quick still life with lots of lights (14), ART attributes and soft shadows.  Materials and lights in Carrara have been set to match Anim8or as closely as possible, and the model is identical.  Renders are attached and times are below:

Anim8or V1.0 AA100: 50m 11s
Anim8or V1.0 AA100 (fast AA): 11m 10s
Anim8or build 1329 AA100 multi-threading on: 5m 47s
Carrara: 9m 5s

There are some minor issues with the 1329 multi-thread render (some previously noted):

  • Graininess in the lower-right of the glass ball
  • Apparent lack of AA on objects visible behind the glass ball - some jaggy edges (may be the same issue as above)
  • Slight step in shadow at near corner of wooden ramp, though it is actually more pronounced on both V1.0 renders

Aside from this, the handling of shadows in general and the quality of the lighting is significantly better in 1329 than V1.0 and, remarkably, rendered quicker than Carrara.  This isn't a 'Carrara vs Anim8or' thread by any means as both have their advantages (Carrara for its massively powerful materials engine, Anim8or for it's workflow and simple UV editor), this comparison is only about rendering times.

Ongoing Anim8or Development / Re: Multi-Threaded Rendering
« on: July 17, 2018, 03:48:22 am »
This is a game changer!  Rendering speeds are fantastic, attached took about 2 minutes with AA at 100 on i7 quad core (8 threads), image size 1920x1080.  No problems to report at this stage, testing animation at the moment.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Morph targets and linear distortion
« on: April 19, 2018, 03:46:48 am »
Using both animation methods in combination is actually really powerful, great to hear you're moving forward :)

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Morph targets and linear distortion
« on: April 13, 2018, 03:55:48 am »
Only way is to add intermediate morph points but the motion will still always be linear and there will always be distortion, unless you add a morph point at every frame.  Bones really are the way to go for rotations (bends) of meshes, morphs are better suited to non-rotational distortion.

Just rendering it with Scanline should give the same effect as the earlier post, so long as you have a single overhead 'Sun' light (distant) which will illuminate the tops of the waves due to the water material's high specular value.  Basically the wave texture is loaded in the Bump channel and the reverse (negative) version is loaded in the transparency channel.  This makes the 'troughs' more transparent than the 'peaks', so the under-lying 'deep water' object/material is more visible there.

I posted the .an8 file in the original post, were you not able to load it?  It was created and saved in V1.00 though it should work in any version back to probably .97 as it doesn't use anything new.

Also, under View>Preferences, make sure all available checkboxes in the 'File output' section are checked (Textures, Shadows and Transparency in particular).

Re OpenGL vs Scanline, yes, there's a huge difference.  Though I don't often use it, I believe OpenGL rendering is roughly equivalent to what you see on screen, whereas Scanline is far more accurate.  For reflective, refractive and ambient occlusion properties the ART renderer should be used, noting that it does not respect shadow density settings as Scanline does (if engaged, shadows are 100%).

Can you post a still render of any frame, rendered in ART?  Not sure why it wouldn't be working for you but a render may help to narrow it down.

itsstillthinking: No problem, the updated Anim8or file (with ART attributes) is attached.  It uses the same textures as on the previous post. (Note: Project created using V1.00)

Regarding the lighting, most often this sort of thing is caused by the normals being flipped.  My only suggestion would be to make sure your normals are front-facing and remove all lights other than one overhead 'Sun' light and see what happens.  To check normals, in node-edit mode with 'Front' selected and 'Back' deselected, click on a face.  From 'outside' the mesh the face should highlight yellow (front) and from the inside it should appear blue (back).  If they are reversed you can use the 'Flip normals' and 'Fix normals' commands in Edit to sort them out.

Also, some of the meshes could be malformed with concurrent front and back faces in the same location.  If you're not sure, consider posting the project so we can check the mesh.

fefe01: The water makes use of bump and transmaps on separate flat planes that are moving in different directions giving the illusion of waves, nothing is actually moving up and down.  The ART reflective property is sensitive to bump maps so the surface appears wavy, so yes, it's an illusion.  In reality, waves always propagate outwards from a source, as is obvious when making ripples in a smooth pond.  At sea, there are many, many wave sources heading in many different directions resulting in 'noise'.  In this experiment there are only two planes but more could be added moving in more directions, which should provide a noisier, more realistic effect, but at the expense of render speed.  Feel free to download the file and experiment with the settings.

Here's a version using ART but be warned, this took about 5 hours for two i7 quaddies to render 75 frames each.  Some tweaking of the material parameters would be required to make it look a bit less Caribbean or South Pacific and a bit more North Sea.

Great to see Anim8or being used for a serious project, nice work!  There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of the animation, bearing in mind that some will affect render times:

1) In some places it looks almost as if parts of the ship's superstructure are lit from below rather than above.  If you have an overhead light modeling the sun then you may want to check your normals are correct.
2) The lighting appears flat as if some surfaces are emissive rather than illuminated.  Consider having a single overhead shadow-casting distant light as the sun with a bright-ish ambient light level, and ensure the ship model is set to both cast and receive shadows.  This will increase render times but will improve the realism of the scene greatly.
3) Animated water is going to be very tricky no matter how you do it.  Rather than attempting to animate actual waves I would try using bump and trans maps to simulate the effect of waves.  I have had a bit of a quick go at this in the videos below (excuse the very rough ship model, it was a quick job for demo purposes only).

There are three large, square planes in the scene at the water level, as follows:

Planes 1 and 2: material uses bump and trans maps with a wave-like texture, each at a different UV scale and rotation for 'randomness'.  They are on the exact same level (Y dimension) in the scene and are animated to each slide slowly in different directions (+X and -X respectively).
Plane 3 uses a partially-transparent deep-aqua colour to simulate depth, visible through the transparant parts of planes 1 and 2 as defined by their trans maps.  The slight transparency allows the ship to be dimly visible beneath the water.

The an8 file and associated textures are attached, feel free to download and fiddle with the settings, particularly for the water materials.  A lower Roughness figure may improve the wave-top highlights but this will also be very dependent on the 'sun' light's angle relative to the camera.  You might also be able to find a better water bump-map online.

I would also suggest perhaps using bigger, circular planes rather than squares to give a better horizon line, and perhaps they could be rotating against each other rather than sliding (though this would create a centre point that might look odd).

This was rendered with Scanline so shadows could be less than 100% without the need to add more 'fill' lights, using the ART renderer would allow the surface of the water to be reflective which could add to the realism significantly but at the expense of render speed.  Experimentation is the key here :)

Regarding the 'great wake' left behind, this would be really tricky in Anim8or.  Without animatable material parameters (eg. transparency or alpha) it would be difficult to simulate this effectively.  Something to ponder on...

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Thanks!
« on: February 09, 2018, 08:38:01 pm »
I see its still impossible to rotate around z axis from front view...

What mode are you having trouble rotating around Z in?  In Object mode it is managed with right mouse button and Z-axis unconstrained (selected).

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Shadows
« on: February 02, 2018, 04:06:06 am »
Yes, soft shadows can be set in Scene mode.  In Light Properties, click 'Advanced' button in Fixed Properties section, select 'Ray Trace' shadows, select 'Soft' in Ray Parameters section and set the size of the light source.

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