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oshiroii
09-18-2004, 10:04 AM
Does anyone know if there is a demo version of A:M? I'm got pretty intrested in AnimationMaster, but I can't find a demo version on their site? I'd like to check it out before buying it.

thanx!

Dalemation
09-18-2004, 10:21 AM
There isn`t a demo version now, presumably for security reasons. However there is a demonstration video of how it works that can be found here...

http://www.hash.com/VM/

Hash also give a rock solid 30 day money back guarantee with A:M. I don`t think you will need this though once you start to use the software. It`s probably the best thing I`ve ever purchased.

runejw
09-18-2004, 07:07 PM
There isn`t a demo version now, presumably for security reasons. ...
Haha, get out of here, that's got to be the lamest argument I've ever heard for not having a demo. AM's own argument why there's never been a demo is that they think no average user will figure it out in a short time... go figure...

30 days return policy is correct though, but that's rather short time, especially if you are an international customer where also the cost of return is very significant. I know, I was.


Cheers,
Rune


OT: You might want to check out a real downloadeable 30-day demo first http://www.softimage.com/home/ and click on the "Try it free for 30 days" - a bit big (175 MB) but worth it. No limitations in functionality whatsoever compared to the full Foundation version.

Dalemation
09-18-2004, 08:01 PM
Well, whatever the reason is for there not being a demo version, (and there has been one in the past btw) I answered the best I could. A:M is VERY easy to learn but obviously, as is the same with anything, not everyone will get on with it in the same way I and many others have. In this respect I think a months trial is very fair as most people should know within quite a short time if it is the software for them or not.

At the present time I am lucky enough to be able to afford whatever software I like. It hasn`t always been like that believe me! However, I choose to use A:M because it is the only animation software that works intuitively for me. Anyone else is free to choose whatever software they like or suits them.

oshiroii
09-19-2004, 09:59 AM
Dalemation and runejw I don't know the reason either, but I was pretty suprised to not find a demo version. I'm intrested in this software because it's for animation and the price is pretty low. If you compare it to XSI, XSI costs a lot more. I understood the real animation tools start from the essential edition and that version costs 2000 compared to 300. How is the EXP edition? That's a free-student edition right?

I saw the AM video demo and I learned that Hash inc. makes animation software for 17 years now. Which is quite a lot and I think I can depend on them to make good software. I saw Jeff Lew using the software and the animation tools look very good and very easy. I havn't seen all of the features and the video is kind of simple. I'm really into animation and I think this would be a wise choice as an animator. But I'm not sure about the other features, I'd really like to check them out, especially the modeling features. I heard AM uses spline modeling instead of poly's? I don't really use splines very often and I never use it for characters. So I'm kinda sceptical about that and thought it might be better to test it before I'd buy it.

Thx for the quick replies! :D

KenH
09-19-2004, 03:45 PM
Splines are probably the reason there is no demo version. They have a learning curve especially in a world dominated by polys. Does that make them inferior? No. They are part of the reason AM is so easy to animate with. Once you get your head round them, it's plain sailing.
But with AM you also get a great hair implementation and in the next version, fluids and cloth are scheduled a revamp. AND the CD will be packed full of goodies done by the cream of the community. If you can wait till Dec/Jan, then do so.

Kalimol
09-19-2004, 06:03 PM
Yeah, because the workflow is so much different, there's just more to learn than switching from one poly app to another, especially since AM is basically a closed system, with little import capability and no advantage in export since its strength is its animation tools.

KenH
09-19-2004, 07:13 PM
I should add....don't quote me on future feature lists, but the above was the talk over on the other forum a while ago. Ultimately, it's in the hands of Hash.

runejw
09-20-2004, 10:34 AM
Dalemation and runejw... If you compare it to XSI, XSI costs a lot more. I understood the real animation tools start from the essential edition and that version costs 2000 compared to 300. How is the EXP edition? That's a free-student edition right?

...Thx for the quick replies! :D
The Foundation version is $500 and animation-wise it is quite complete. The things they left out are mainly hair, rigid body dynamics (soft body dynamics is included), Syflex Cloth (SI cloth is included), poly reduction and compositing
http://forum.softimage.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2148
http://www.softimage.com/products/Xsi/v4/comparison/
Nothing removed from animation features as far as I know.

Jurassic Park I/II/III (made with SI/XSI) is better IMO than Jeff Lew's animation. Although that was also the animation that made me buy AM in 2000 (when XSI cost $7000)


Cheers,
Rune

runejw
09-20-2004, 10:55 AM
Splines are probably the reason there is no demo version. They have a learning curve especially in a world dominated by polys. Does that make them inferior? No. They are part of the reason AM is so easy to animate with. Once you get your head round them, it's plain sailing.
But with AM you also get a great hair implementation and in the next version, fluids and cloth are scheduled a revamp. AND the CD will be packed full of goodies done by the cream of the community. If you can wait till Dec/Jan, then do so.Yes, I'll give AM that - it's quite intuitive, which is also why I never understood their non-demo policy.

You don't need to begin with spline-modeling. If you begin with animation, using the ready-made Pterodactyl and make a couple of poses for wing-flapping, a path, a constraint to follow the path and some lighting and camera constraint(s) you are pretty much set up for making your first animated short of a Pterodactyl in flight! No gripes there.

However to potential buyers, remember that your $300 is the fee for the year you buy it (and all updates/new versions that year). Come 2005 you must pay $100 more to get new versions or fixes for existing versions. That's why buying in january makes more sense than december. Of course you could skip some years (and not get updates) and let's say update to the newest version in 2007 instead.

Reasonable you may argue, but not something AM is making you aware of when you buy it.

EDIT: Of course with XSI after a couple of bugfix versions (4.01/4.02 ?) you know it's going to cost probably more than $100 to upgrade to 4.5 or similar, but at least bugfixes for the version you buy are free.


Cheers,
Rune

oshiroii
09-20-2004, 11:22 AM
Just checked out the XSI pages runejw posted and they're quite intresting. I understand XSI foundation can be compared to maya complete, which is pretty good and the commercial version isn't too expensive. Are there big differences between AM and XSI? I think I'll download the EXP version :)

KenH
09-20-2004, 11:25 AM
Perhaps Hash don't have the time to devote to a demo. They are a small company as you know.
Regarding new users not knowing to wait till Jan to buy...I would have agreed, but in the last few weeks there has been numerous people(here and elsewhere) asking if they should wait. So, they're finding out from somewhere.
And what they get for that year will invariably result in a stable version(if it isn't already). v11 is rock solid and it has been for quite some time. They also have the security of being able to report a specific bug that's affecting them and getting it fixed within a couple of weeks.

KenH
09-20-2004, 11:27 AM
I'm not sure what XSI have. But from what runejw said it sounds like hair isn't in that version. Obviously AM has it.
Another thing AM has is intuitivity. You do want to animate right? ;)
Ever heard of The Setup Machine? They have released a new version. Currently it's only available on AM.

Bugle
09-20-2004, 11:41 AM
Of course you could skip some years (and not get updates) and let's say update to the newest version in 2007 instead.
You CAN do that, but don't expect to be able to use all your models & animation files successfuly

immerzeelpictures
09-20-2004, 12:12 PM
I thought TSM was also available for Maya? Although it is not the most current release...

As for the demo, I heard that you have a 30 day money back garantee. But I don't know for sure.

AM is very intuitive. Setup en rigging is kept very simple, so you are animating you own character in no time.

oshiroii
09-20-2004, 01:05 PM
thanx for the quick replies all!

I think if you're into animation and just want to animate and not worry about high-detailed meshes, AM is the thing for you. It sure sounds that way, but what if I'd get to a moment where I do want high-detailed meshes? Could I import a model made in wings? I think I'm gonna wait for the new version, I would have done it anywayz, but still....
AM is probably one of the best animation packages, since it has provided 11 versions of animation software, compared to 6 maya versions for example. It is also more focused on animation. Thanx for all the info, you're really helping :thumbsup:

KenH
09-20-2004, 01:11 PM
[QUOTE=immerzeelpictures]I thought TSM was also available for Maya? Although it is not the most current release...
QUOTE]

Yes it is. It's also available for Lightwave. But the fact that the makers have chosen to make the new version available for AM first might indicate something :shrug: . It also halfs the work needed to make a similar rig to the old TSM.

oshiroii
09-20-2004, 01:18 PM
What is TSM anywayz?

runejw
09-20-2004, 03:08 PM
I'm not sure what XSI have. But from what runejw said it sounds like hair isn't in that version. Obviously AM has it.
Another thing AM has is intuitivity. You do want to animate right? ;)
Ever heard of The Setup Machine? They have released a new version. Currently it's only available on AM.
Yes, hair/fur definitely is not in the Foundation version. There's some 2D Hair/Fur free shader available, but it's barely good enough for grass... :)

To make up for the possible lack of intuitivity there's 5 x DVD's included with in-depth training of all aspects of XSI (valued at $150) - some 40+ hours of tutorial videos. (Not sure how long they will be bundled with XSI Fnd though - time limited offer).

Also the FX in XSI is a big step up in quality from AM. (Particles (fluids, smoke, age triggered events etc), volumetric effects...

Scripting is also very advanced and simple - so a lot of functions it's possible to make yourself - and in fact that's what the big studios do for complex animations etc.


Cheers,
Rune

immerzeelpictures
09-20-2004, 03:34 PM
Explaination of the setup machine: Link (http://www.rafhashvideotapes.com/setupmachine10.html)

runejw
09-20-2004, 04:39 PM
Explaination of the setup machine: Link (http://www.rafhashvideotapes.com/setupmachine10.html)
Aha, but that adds another $100 to the price of AM and maybe more $$-$$$ if you want some training material to go along. The difference in price collapses.

Look at the "Character Rigging" video (or other) under Character Tools section:
http://www.softimage.com/products/exp/hl2/default.asp?pg=quickstart/kfvt.htm
(Biped guides incl with XSI Fnd, quadruped not, but you can import ready-made guides)


Cheers,
Rune

cosmonaut
09-20-2004, 05:32 PM
Could I import a model made in wings? I think I'm gonna wait for the new version, I would have done it anyway, but still....You can export AM models directly from Wings. Works reasonably well though you still need to do some clean up to get the splines running in the proper direction. JoeW also has a method of getting poly models into AM. Do a search if you are curious. If you really want to do animation Animation Master is definitely a great way to go.

And do we really need another app flame war here? Where's Wegg when you need him...

SevenString
09-20-2004, 06:50 PM
(Biped guides incl with XSI Fnd, quadruped not, but you can import ready-made guides)Actually, both the biped and quadruped guides have to be explicitely imported from the XSI samples folder. But this is no big deal, because once you do this with either biped OR quadruped guides, "Rig from Guide" works like a charm.


BTW, I haven't seen any flames yet. Just feature comparisons and discussion, and it DOES relate to A:M.

My $0.02: it's not a flame war until personal attacks are made against someone, and it's not an app war until someone starts bashing software X.

Shutting down a thread because the subject matter MIGHT turn into a flame/app war seems premature to me.

just MHO, of course.

Obnomauk
09-20-2004, 06:58 PM
Ok lets keep this on the A:M topic here kids. this isn't the XSI forum. Points have been made and I think the thread is finished.

I'm going to lock this down, in the absence of wegg and he can yell at me if he wants. and while it may seem premature to some :) well... three posts down the road from yours it will be an app war and two (or fewer) from there it will be a flame war. Most of us old timers are a little weary from all that.

-David