EIAS 9 Animator Feature List
New Animator 9.0 Features
- EIAS New 3D Import System
- Bullet Rigid body dynamics
- Smart IBL (Image-Based Lighting) Presets
- Animator Preview
- Animator Performance
- Animator User Interface
1. New 3D Import System.
The 3D import system has been re-designed to provide advanced options and model diagnostics for all imported formats. The importer will validate the geometry uncovering possible problems before you get to the rendering stage.
Custom presets can be created for each 3D format. Multiple 3D files can be added to a project in alphanumeric order with a single import operation. The import software for every 3D format import has been rewritten and support for new formats have been added.
1.1 Zbrush .GoZ files.
The complete GoZ file content (mesh with UVs, bump, displacement and normal map, vertices colors) is imported into EIAS. ZBrush plug-ins for EIAS can be installed from Animator's import dialog box.
1.2 Adobe .ai and .eps files
Animator now supports importing both outlines and surfaces from .ai and .eps files! Colors, compound paths and clipping masks are supported. The .ai or .eps file's structure is transformed into a group hierarchy in Animator. The precision is under your control using the import options.
1.3 Updated support for Alias WaveFront .obj and .mtl files
.obj files are now imported with UV coordinates, material attributes and textures from .mtl files. Watch the video tutorial
1.4 Updated support for LightWave models .lwo and scenes .lws
EIAS now supports the lwo2 model format with UV coordinates, materials and textures. EIAS can import entire LightWave version 5.6, 6.0 and 9.0 scene files, which supports the importation of Pixel Farm PFTrack™ 3d tracking.
2. Bullet Rigid body dynamics
2.2 Bullet Forces
A new "Force" object has been written into Animator. You can add force objects to your projects and animate them in many ways to drive your simulation. Watch the video tutorial
2.3 Bullet Vehicles
Vehicle simulation is built into EIAS 9. The Vehicle plug-in automatically rigs the car model and allows you to simulate vehicle motion with a low-resoultion proxy of your car and render with your hero model.
2.4 Constraints and bones with Bullet
Constraints for the Bullet simulations are created using the tools in Animator that you are already familiar with. Basic constraints are created automatically using the group's Link/Joint information. Bones are treated as rigid bodies with volume and mass. Chains of bones are constrained automatically. Other kinds of effectors (boxes, crosses, etc.) can also be used as constraints.
3. Smart IBL (Image-Based Lighting) Presets
This new feature allows you to configure your lights, all environment textures, and settings rapidly, by choosing from a palette of lighting environments.
Standard .ibl files can be used. Additionally all EIAS-specific settings for environment and Global Illumination can be stored and loaded.
To simplify environment control all of the textures that are part of the preset (Camera Rotoscopes, World and GI maps) can be "linked" and rotated synchronously
3.1 New IBL palette. Using sIBL presets
There are many sIBL presets available on the web and now it's easy to use them with EIAS. Simply download an .ibl file and put it in the "EI IBL Presets Folder". They automatically appear in the new IBL palette.
3.2 Saving and Loading Environment and Light Settings
Saving your IBL presets is easy and, in addition to the lighting effects that are part of the IBL standard, also stores all EIAS-specific information: all texture options, all light settings, all GI settings, and all animated channels. It's like saving the lighting portion of your project and being able to reuse it over and over again.
3.3 New Environment Dialog
This new dialog holds all the options to browse the IBL preset files and folders. It is also used to control which lights are stored in the IBL preset. The dialog displays all of the environment textures in the project. It makes configuring environmental lighting simpler. Textures can be opened, added, configured, removed and replaced in a single dialog instead of switching between the Camera, Global Illumination, and World Info windows.
3.4 Synchronous Rotation for Environment Textures
All or some of the environment textures in your project can be "linked" by setting the synchronous rotation flag in the Texture Info window or in the textures' individual list boxes.. if you rotate one linked texture, then all of others are rotated as well.
4. Animator Preview
Now up to 8 diffuse textures (per object) can be displayed (shaded or decal) in Animator's View windows. The following texture options now can be previewed as well:
- Photoshop blend modes (such as Multiply, Overlay etc)
- Negative Z option
- Both multi-frame and multi-file textures are synchronized with your project's time line
Texturing is optimized for projects with a large number of textured objects while the quality of the textures as displayed is greatly improved. Watch the video tutorial
The following material attributes now can be previewed exactly as they would be rendered.
- Diffuse Falloff
- Specular Dropoff
- Specular Diffuse Bias
- Specular Gloss
- Ambient (defined in World or by Ambient light(s) as well)
- Fog (all options)
- Luminance with Diffuse Bias and in mode "Shade"
- Transmission (including Edge control)
5. Animator Performance
Animator has been re-architected for better performance. You will see significant speed improvements when saving and loading projects, editing, and writing control files for Camera. We will continue to improve Animator so that it can handle large, complex projects efficiently.
The following table shows progress
|Operation||time in EIAS 8.0||time in EIAS 9.0|
|Load project (30K groups)||Can’t Load||1min 28secs|
|Save project (30K groups)||Can’t Load||1min 49secs|
|Load project (20K groups)||Can’t Load||56secs|
|Save project (20K groups)||Can’t Load||1min 13secs|
|Load project (10K groups)||50 secs||19secs|
|Save project (10K groups)||1min 03secs||36secs|
|Parent/Un-parent (10K groups)||4min 35secs||14secs|
|Deleting (5K groups)||30secs||8secs|
|Undo previous deleting (5K groups)||1min 16secs||6secs|
|Writing ccn (10K groups)||7secs per frame||0.5 secs per frame|
|Setting "lock" (10K groups)||4secs||real time|
Note: results will vary depending on the complexity and settings in your projects. The table above illustrates that Animator v9 is significantly faster than v8. The improvements in v9 will be even more dramatic in projects with a large number of textured groups (with texture preview turned on).
6. Animator User Interface
Animator has several UI improvements to support new features and make using larger projects more efficient.
6.1 New Photon Maps UI
The photon maps UI has been completely redesigned to make setup easier and more intuitive. Simply specify the amount of photons and drag the "Map Control" slider. The rest is done for you automatically.
6.2 Redesigned Raytrace Shadow Settings
The new UI is more organized and will automatically notify you if a light requires dropoff and enable it for you if you choose.
6.3 New and Redesigned Texture Options
Checkbox options "World Texture" and "Disable UV" are removed. instead a new popup "Space" has been added with choices: UV, Model and World.
The functionality of the "Normalize" checkbox (Group Info window, Shading tab) has been improved to make texturing simpler for models that have UV coordinates with typical ranges [-0.5..0.5], [0..1], [-1..1].
Additionally, a new "Custom" Texture Alignment tool has been added - an easy way to map several textures into one UV space.
6.4 Automatic Search Paths
This new tab in the Preferences saves a lot of time when a project is moved from one computer to another or is being used on two or more computers that share the files on a network drive. Watch the video tutorial
6.5 Reveal in Finder (Windows Explorer)
This new choice in the Contextual menu navigates you to the folder on your disk that contains the selected item. For textures, models, plug-ins and shaders, their files are shown. For groups, the choice is "Reveal in model" and the model is shown.
6.6 Copy and Paste Project window names
Now users can copy and paste Project Window item names. You can highlight a group name, copy and paste it to another item.
6.7 Vert Cross batch conversion
Using this new option in Animator's Image Viewer, you can do still and batch Vertical Cross conversion for the new Environment animation option in Camera 9.
6.8 Vertex color conversion
Convert strength maps into vertex color. This feature can be used to make "reactive color" masks for shaders that are stored in your model files.
6.9 More Plug-ins added to host
- Mouse Tracker
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