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RobK

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About RobK

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  1. RobK

    Old Modelling Toys

    HI everyone, I still like to use Modeller and Amorphium from time to time. On the PC Amorphium died after Vista - but appears to run really well in Microsofts free VPC with XP as guest OS. Modeller starts to have drawing errors (rulers, mouse etc) with Vista onwards. The old 3DTK Modeller runs well in VPC but I can't get modeller 5 to see the dongle from inside VPC - any ideas. Also any ideas if this works with VPC running inside a Mac running Parallels. Nice to use the old toys once in a while. Also it is sometimes useful just to get a nice fac out the other end. Regards, Rob.
  2. RobK

    quad view problem

    Hi everyone. Hapy Xmas and all the best for New Year. I picked up a cheap Fujitsu ST 5112 tablet for sketching out things on the go. Bargain prices now. EIM and A7 both have the same problem - will only support 1 3d view. The rest will not update. Put A7 into software mode to fix this, but EIM does not have this so still broken. Tablet runs Vista Business - already tried the compatibity modes. Would prefer to run XP tablet, but can be tricky to sort / license. Any ideas - thanks Rob.
  3. Hi Tomas, Igors I bought Encage a while ago. Initially had a problem in 7 with encage and copy protection. The Igors kindly gave me the new rsc file which sorted this out. Have now switched to PC and have the same problem. Would it be possible to have the rsc file to make encage function with 7 PC. Thanks, Rob. PS have already asked on the old email link - no reply, but may be out of date.
  4. Hi, has anyone got the old Amorphium PC installer. Seem to have my password just not the installer. Must have deleted the old download in an untidy moment. Still find it useful for the odd, odd thing. Thanks, Rob.
  5. RobK

    Old EIAS Linux Installer

    Thanks Tom, Matt, just thought I would enquire - still see it on some of the older websites / adverts. Can I follow it up with another obscure question. Has anyone got any version of EIAS successfuly running under Wine - I noticed that Lightwave 6.xx (?.7) is listed so I am assuming there is a way of getting dongle recognition going. When I try I can get everything installed, but I cannot get anything to launch as far as trying to find the dongle. Might this be a processor thing - the little potable I would like to run things on has an i386 compatable VIA chip I think. Would be useful - opens up a lot of cheap hardware / software options, particularly for portable stuff away from home. Obviously I'm not going to render anything serious with this setup, but its an easy way to play with rig setups etc. Thanks, Rob.
  6. Does anyone have the old EIAS (3 or 4 I think) Unix / Linux Installer. For various obscure reasons I would love to try and run this with Ubuntu. Thanks, Rob.
  7. RobK

    2D Cell Shaders

    Hi, my little creature has two legs - I'm shooting for stylised cutout type character but I want to try animation with Jurassic Park Raptor real world weight and camera moves. I imagine a combination of camera mapping and illumination lists that tie lights to specific objects and move with the animation would tidy up the shadows and allow alot more to be done in camera. Again probably good for a character walking in one direction without lots of rotation that make the shadows look in the wrong place. Other possibility - if you can get your animation out of EI and in to Carrara - Carrara's NPR shader is very flexible. You can set it to give a nice sketchy/line effect that looks good in animation and comes out with a good quality alpha. Lots of shading possibilities depending on the brushes you choose. Also you can purchase Vectorstyle 2 which outputs rather good swf and illustrator files with that flat shaded look. Just not enough info out there to make me want try rigging anything complex in Carrara. You can pick up C7 for about a fiver off ebay - magazine freebies, but you get the pro version without the baggage. Attached - couple of bits from an old project still in development hell. R2 style robot made in EIM for outline shading only really. Black background from Animator, white background a more sketchy feel done in Carrara7. Overall project was to generate an animated outline that could be layered over an old blueprint paper type so that I could play with interaction of 2d and 3d shapes - finish some day. Regards, Rob.
  8. RobK

    2D Cell Shaders

    Hi, like the Animatrix stuff. Although some of the more gruesome stuff slightly nausea inducing despite animation. The one when the girl goes to find her cat and they find a glitch that allows them to play in zero G is rather charming. Been playing with hand drawn look for a while now. The observations below may not be a solution but might cut down the leg work. If you look at older Dysney stuff the characters are actually coloured alot flatter than you think, at least to my eye, and the shadow lines / areas move much less realistically than you think once you analyse it. At the same time there is great control over the lines and silhouette. This kind of economy of style gives a beautiful final result. This is where 3d cell look really falls down. The shadow areas are far too smooth and realistic crawling backwards and forwards across the surface of your model / character. Also you have almost no control over any line, again autodrawn lines crawl backwards and forwards and appear and dissapear in a way that you just wouldn't draw it. The human brain is extremely good at pattern recognition and picks this kind of thing up instantly. In the UK Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam have just gone fully 3D/CGI. If I ask my work colleagues who have young children and have nothing do with computers what they like, I often get ' the old stuff is good but the new stuff is rubbish.' When you try and draw out what is rubbish about it, it is all the things that CGI is good (and bad) at - crisp clean colours, smooth movement, lack of real texture, repeating texture, lack of finger prints and bent bits of animation clay, bright lighting, dramatic cinematic camera angles. So, cell look is a tough sell. I find characters brought in from any SSD modeler like Silo really disappointing. You can control the flat cell look but virtually nothing else, the shadows and lines bounce about. You can try baking the shadows onto your model in some way then animating it. Despite seeming unrealistic this actually gets you alot closer to the original 2D look but obviously really falls apart if your model turns around or you rotate the camera alot; and you still really have no line control. You can get some control over lines if you carefully break your model along the lines where an illustrator might draw them ask Camera to shade these edges, but this works quite badly with SSD type models. NPR shaders - in my experience this works for print only. With every frame the texture is redrawn significantly different, so in animation it just boils. This really jumps out. One solution I have found with mechanical characters. Build them in EIM, in simple wireframe mode you get an idea of where Camera will shade the edges. Try and do very little cutting, this just seems to add extra loops which get shaded - try and build as much from artful primitives as possible. Add fake npr lighting with textures or other shaders to stop boiling. Animate like you are telling a story in an old platform game - little camera or in camera rotations. Render an edges layer and a texture layer if possible, then comp. Textures for lines and shading - hmm, actually rather difficult. Draw something in Anime Studio Pro, colour it with a nice real world texture and animate over a scanned paper background and everything looks rather crisp and gorgeous. Now try and repeat this process in Animator and you spend a very large amount of time just trying to get those textures mapped and right. Also, in my experience all the crispness rapidly falls apart too close or too far away from your model limiting the value of doing it in 3d in the first place, because you have to lock down the camera alot. Painting high res hand drawn look texture maps in something like Carrara or Bodypaint can work quite well, but again works best for shots where the camera positions are relatively locked. Another solutions is to use a style that is hand drawn ish - gives that feel without trying to be too accurate, but is internally consistent to itself. The little character on the attachment is a first shot at dino/monstery type thing that my son might scribble on a bit of old lined paper (no eyes yet I,m afraid). I'm trying to give the feel of hand drawn while using Animators strengths. There is a base shape with a paper texture made entirely from shaders. The scribbles are all wobbly lines drawn in Illustrator, export in eps, output from EIM as wires and then shading broken by applying something like Eroded. The advantage of this setup from my experience is that it gives a much crisper render that remains over a very considerable range of camera angles/positions. Also shaders are very flexible. This little character seems to animate well with bones, everything staying in registration, although you have to be a bit careful how EIM puts out the geometry. Less successful with deformer type rigs. Sorry so long. Hope some of this helps - sorry if any falls in to the sucking eggs category. All the above just experience and opinion about the difficulties with process, not a slag off of EI, which I rather like by the way. If you have solutions, love to hear them. Building my little monster to test some rigging and animation ideas - rather inspired by the rig interfaces in Pepe's TD showreel over on CGTalk. Regards, Rob.
  9. RobK

    Good rigging tutorial

    Hi, Thanks Richard, I might try and contact him one more time, some of the older tutorials still looked interesting. Thanks Tom for taking the time and fixing the downloads. Looking forward to 9 with interest. Hey Felix ... I can see you at the back of the class ... did you throw something. Come on now be honest. Regards, Rob.
  10. RobK

    Good rigging tutorial

    From someone who spends alot of time trying to make simple objects move in complicated ways I would have to agree. With the death of various old websites there is almost no current rig stuff out there for Animator. Luckily I managed to download quite a bit of what was available. Also, notably 3DNY took my money and sent nothing before it closed its doors - anyone here involved in that, shame on you. I kind of thought, perhaps wrongly, that everything was going into the render and that Animator was becoming part of the pipeline to camera from other animation apps, or that the focus was on stills from hard body objects like architecture. Animation tools in Animator are beautiful to use but have been relatively static for a while. I don't want to start a conversation along the lines of if you don't do this I'm leaving because that's just a good way to embarrass yourself, but it is worth noting that modern rigging doesn't really happen without a well documented scripting language and or node based control. Without the ability to set up arbitrary links between objects you can't really set up a modern rig interface. I got hold of some training stuff from Alonzo - excellent. Made a lot of stuff click into place, particularly using XP to build quick rig interfaces. At the risk of completely hijacking this thread and being stoned out of the forum, I think that your pricing model is upside down. It is worth noting that at whatever price you set your software I'm going to grumble about it. Why, because I want everything better, brighter, cheaper and I want it like yesterday, oh and it needs to help save the planet as well. It is worth noting however, that I handed over about 90 bucks to Alonzo without blinking and regarded the cdr I got in return as very good value. Why, because like most people I view purchasing things that help me learn very differently from purchasing things. I'm not suggesting that you set up Animator Foundation, but personally I would drastically reduce the software prices and start generating a lot of paid for educational materials, shader presets, base models, ready rigs and lots more. Anyway apologies for hijacking. At the end of the day software isn't religion ... it is er ... more important than that ... er sorry ... might have that the wrong way round ! Genuinely interested to hear your opinion ... One last thing. I do actually live in the kind of UK village that US films like to portray where the elves bring packets of information every other Thursday if you bribe them with magic gingerbread. So, streaming video of any kind as an educational tool feels like asking your pet goldfish for help with algebra homework. Please can we just have some downloadable quicktime vids as well. Regards, Rob. hey what was that ... did one of you throw something ...
  11. RobK

    Aligning painted colour maps.

    Thanks for the offer Tom. Decided to take a slightly different approach - maybe play with it again in the distant future. Regards, Rob.
  12. Hi everyone, having some problems texture maps. I'm making some small 2d monsters in a hand drawn style - like a childs drawing of dinosaurs. Process Outlines start in illustrator. Use EIM to generate a nice single layer billboard type polymesh. Into silo to generate UVs - using recreate UVs per polygon as this seems to paint really well in Carrara. Into Carrara 7 - using as a cheap painting solution - paints very nicely. Out to Animator using fbx ver 6. Into Animator and select use UVs and normalise. Everything OK except texture map only aligns when x and y co-ords set to .5. Renders well except that polygon outlines can be seen faintly. Example - I have a small spiky creature painted green overall and then in a separate photoshop layer generated within Carrara I paint on orange spots and orange spike tips etc. When rendered each orange polygon is outlined by a faint line of green showing through from underneath. Tried lots of different settings - no solution. Anyone else tried this / got a magic cure - Carrara 7 being free is a very cost effective painting solution so would be nice to solve. In the attached file I have turned off blur and anti-alias to make it stand out a bit more. Thanks in advance, Rob.
  13. RobK

    Baking NPR

    Hi, thanks for the help - need to play around a bit more but that is looking more useful. Regards, Rob.
  14. RobK

    Baking NPR

    Hi everyone, I have a character rendered mainly with outlines to give the effect of a drawn blueprint. I have added some shading using the NPR Lite shader set to give a light pointillism mainly responding to the diffuse light. The effect is a light stippling of white dots that softens the hard outlines and gives an impression of depth. However the texture 'boils' even when I set the light to match object movement. Is there a way to stop this and effectively bake the shading. Thanks, Rob.
  15. RobK

    Training Materials

    Hi everyone, working my way through the Deformer Rig DVD from Alonzo - fantastic. Animator is a real joy to rig in. I'm a recent convert to DVDs having used training books for years. But Alonzo's DVDs just take so much of the pain out of learning this stuff. I would really love to see Alonzo's DVDs adopted and released formally along side a DVD of Ians excellent tutorials - if everyone involved is willing of course. In terms of income generation this is the sort of stuff I would be willing to pay for month after month - look at VTC and Gnomon. Weirdly I've always thought that a bit of a paradox exists with software - in that people, myself included, will argue about the value of an upgrade endlessly, but are happy to fork out large amounts for quality training materials on a regular basis. This seems to me a good business model - it is working very well for Blender. Regards, Rob.
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