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Flog
02-02-2006, 06:23 PM
And just wondering if this is the place.

I have used A:M for some years now. I love the animation tools, the features such as hair and cloth, etc.

However A:M does not work well with other programs, so if a faster shortcut exists I cannot use it. A:M is like that beautiful tropical island with everything you need, but you are all alone. I hate modeling with splines, too slow and so I was hoping that I can find a replacement.

In the ease of use, is it just as easy to learn?
Does it import OBJ wavefront files?

What about Clothe?
Hair?

Are these built in or cheap but good plugins?

Hoping to get an answer as I do not see much in depth on their webpage, just a list of features. I want to know more.

Thanks in advance

Vizfizz
02-02-2006, 07:21 PM
And just wondering if this is the place.

I have used A:M for some years now. I love the animation tools, the features such as hair and cloth, etc.

However A:M does not work well with other programs, so if a faster shortcut exists I cannot use it. A:M is like that beautiful tropical island with everything you need, but you are all alone. I hate modeling with splines, too slow and so I was hoping that I can find a replacement.

In the ease of use, is it just as easy to learn?
Does it import OBJ wavefront files?

What about Clothe?
Hair?

Are these built in or cheap but good plugins?

Hoping to get an answer as I do not see much in depth on their webpage, just a list of features. I want to know more.

Thanks in advance


Hi Flog,

Welcome. I'm gonna answer your question with complete tranparency ok? Can EIAS replace your beloved A:M? Yes and no. Here's my explanation.

First off, EIAS no longer has a native modeler. EITG currently has an arrangement with NeverCenter and their sub-d modeler Silo. This is a wonderful modeler and v2.0 plans to be a great upgrade. The sub-d's are converted to polys upon .fact export and imported into EIAS. The thing is, are you prepared to change your work flow to support two seperate packages? A:M includes an internal modeler right? Sometimes people have difficulty working inbetween packages and since EIAS does not currently permit individual vertice level animation, manipulating the geometry mesh has to be done within the modeling package of choice. Some character animators consider this a major pain. Morphing, however, is supported by EIAS. If you were using Maya it would be very similar to a blendshape. You use a modeler to export out multiple varients of the model with the same topology, but slightly changed to induce a morph between targets within EIAS. This is a standard character animation technique and the morph editor is pretty good.

Animator has recently implemented some new character tools to start bridging the gap from its hard surface animation foundations. FK / IK is of course supported and there is a wide array of excellent deformation tools available. Weighted strength maps and deformations via bones/joints is supported. A new realtime constraint engine is available offering the standard constraints one would expect in a software package. Xpressionist, a new realtime scripting tool, is now bundled within EIAS that will allow you the ability to supplement your characters with customized expressions. All of that plus a new FBX compatibility module. If A:M supports FBX... well, you might have a great marriage between the two programs.

The thing is, A:M was forged around the idea of animating characters first and environments/effects/matte painting/sets second. With EIAS, its the other way around. The good news is, EI is constantly improving its toolsets. I wouldn't doubt that more character tools are on the way.

3rd party vendors have gone a long way to help fill in the gaps. Hair solutions exist, though cloth solutions do not. This could pose a problem for you. I've seen some very successful deformation solutions with EI to mimic cloth, but there is nothing dedicated at this time.

Try getting yourself a demo of the program. Take it for a spin. It may or may not be what you're looking for. The main thing is, you should find a program that fits you. If EIAS can do that, we're here to support you.

Flog
02-02-2006, 08:29 PM
First off, EIAS no longer has a native modeler. EITG currently has an arrangement with NeverCenter and their sub-d modeler Silo. This is a wonderful modeler and v2.0 plans to be a great upgrade. The sub-d's are converted to polys upon .fact export and imported into EIAS. The thing is, are you prepared to change your work flow to support two seperate packages? A:M includes an internal modeler right? Sometimes people have difficulty working inbetween packages and since EIAS does not currently permit individual vertice level animation, manipulating the geometry mesh has to be done within the modeling package of choice. Some character animators consider this a major pain. Morphing, however, is supported by EIAS. If you were using Maya it would be very similar to a blendshape. You use a modeler to export out multiple varients of the model with the same topology, but slightly changed to induce a morph between targets within EIAS. This is a standard character animation technique and the morph editor is pretty good.


This is the funniest thing ever. The whole reason I'm leaving A:M is because I want to use Silo for modelling also my collabers are not A:M users, and that keeps me out of the loop if I want to work with Zbrush modellers, Silo Modelers, etc. I can do the same work in 1/4 of the time. That is good to hear. I would also do my morphs in another program either way, so that is not a problem.

The cloth thing might be a slight problem, and I require hair, lots of hair, but this tool does look promising. I'm glad right now I'm in preproduction. When I'm past the modelling stage and have my army ready to be rigged, this program may be for me. It does look promising. Thanks again for such a good answer and being honest with me.

I would like to see how easy rigging is done in this program, which has been a slight hurdle and the worst part of getting something animated but if it supports FBX maybe I can do my rigging elsewhere. Great to hear

Vizfizz
02-02-2006, 08:39 PM
The most comprehensive hair solution currently available for EIAS right now is Fiber Forge from Konkeptoine.

http://www.konkeptoine.com

Northernlights 3D also offers Placer Deposit 2 which can be used as a fur solution.

http://www.northernlights3d.com

Northernlights has also teased us with the possibility of Shave for EIAS..but that's not available at this time.

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