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manuel
08-13-2006, 01:49 PM
Well, I'm trying to post my WIP's a bit more frequently.

I've added some extra frames at the start to allow for a fade-in. Also, this way we "discover" the cube together with the main character (cartoon characters can never see anything that's off-screen). Without any textures on the floor, the character looks a bit floaty, but that's just in the OGL preview.

I'm in the process of changing the ending, so whatever is there from the 13th second onwards is very likely to change. At the moment, the main character seems to take forever to come to terms with that cube being there.

The cube follows a different path when being kicked out and re-entering. I think it creates better continuity this way.

Some of the animation in the middle bit has been made to be a bit "sharper", eg. the impact of the cube is a bit harder.... I'm probably the only one who notices the difference. You know what it's like.

I did spend/waste a lot of time last weekend trying to get my head around retiming animations that reside in the spreadsheet, coming from rODEo, as opposed to keyframed stuff. It's a seriously archaic workflow in there and I still don't fully understand the relation between keyframes and spreadsheet, but I've got it working.

This is just an OpenGL preview without any textures of the animation in its current state:
http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed52.mov

The test I posted two weeks earlier:
http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed46.mov

My first test, rendered at final quality:
http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed27.mov

Modelling: Silo
Textures: Photoshop and Combustion
Plug-ins: Xpressionist, rODEo and Encage

Vizfizz
08-13-2006, 04:49 PM
Hi Manuel,

These WIP posts will be moved to the WIPs lab forum later today. Its mainly to keep project related works in progress in a separate area for easier location and finding by other users.

halfworld
08-13-2006, 05:36 PM
Well, I think that's excellent.

I love the concept, animation and the style. Very nice work!

Is the cube animated entirely with rODEo?

:beer:
Ian

manuel
08-13-2006, 08:21 PM
These WIP posts will be moved to the WIPs lab forum later today. Its mainly to keep project related works in progress in a separate area for easier location and finding by other users.
Okay, I'll just keep updating this thread in the WIP part of the forum from now on. The first two threads I started don't contain anything that isn't in this one.
Is the cube animated entirely with rODEo?
Yes, apart from when the cat kicks the cube. When it flies out of frame the first time, it's keyframed. Both the hitting on the head and the entering on the opposite side are done with rODEo.
BTW, the cube never really hits the head, it hits an invisible flat plane. The curved shape of the head would have given a far too random result. As it is, I already did between 10 and 20 tryouts before I had a satisfying result. rODEo would give different results even with the same parameters were being used.

manuel
08-21-2006, 09:54 PM
Well, it's already at version 55, and the end is still not near. It's getting big though, the latest version comes in at 20 seconds and over 7Mb.

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed55.mov

You'll notice there is a lot more stuff happening with the camera. I have to remind my 2D animator brain we're now firmly in a 3D world.
Even so, it's interesting to notice that certain angles simply don't work on this character, just like with its 2D counterparts. Three quarter angles are still most comfortable for cartoon characters, they simply look wrong in a perfect front or side view, even in 3D. So I had to find a camera-move that was sympathetic towards the character.

There are now a few more trees, courtesy of Modo 202. The original tree only worked in front view because of to the bark-texture, which used flat projection. It was one of he reasons I kept the camera quite pedestrian until now. The bark texture is now a perfect 360 degree texture, painted in Modo. Of course, you can't see it in the OpenGL preview I posted, but it's there, honestly.
I'm glad to report that Modo 202 has fixed the FBX export. All the models come with their UV's and even the simple material settings (diffuse colour...) straight into Animator. No need for any translation app. I shouldn't cry victory just yet since I haven't been doing any exhausting testing, but so far it looks good.

A large chunk of the ending has been redone. The character picks the box up at a different time, the acting is completely new. I like to think it's better, but I wont know how well the acting works until I see it with the eyes.
When he runs behind the tree (to get rid of the box, in case you hadn't figured it out yet) the feet have obviously not been done, and neither have the bouncing or the leaning of the body been done. It's really just in the roughing out stage. I thought it might be interesting to show something unfinished, to give you an idea. I want it to end up looking like a very fast, cartoony run, so it'll probably end up being twice as fast.

PS Brian, are you still planning to move this thread into the WIP sub-forum? I'd very much appreciate that.

halfworld
08-21-2006, 10:02 PM
The little camera shuffle when he sees the box in-front of him is genius!

Nice to be taken along on this WIP :)
Ian

manuel
08-22-2006, 09:28 AM
Nice to be taken along on this WIP :)
Ian
Yeah, I'm suddenly starting to think I should be posting this in the animation WIP thread on the CGTalk frontpage. It's not really a EIAS specific thread anymore, more an animation thread.
I did tell myself I was only doing an animation test, to test out both the rig and rODEo. But the way it's going now, don't be surprised if I'm posting a feature-lenght animatic next time.

Vizfizz
08-22-2006, 02:02 PM
Consider it moved. :)

manuel
08-29-2006, 11:29 PM
Thanks Brian

On to version 61 now. All the changes are pretty visible. I've been reworking the ending over and over again. I'm still not happy with it, whether it still needs more radical surgery or just some fine-tuning, I'll decide tomorrow after a good night rest.

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed61.mov

Oh yeah, and the run back towards the camera at the end isn't finished yet, so don't mind the legs.

manuel
09-24-2006, 08:29 PM
Okay, the main part of the animation is finished now. All that's left to do is animating the eyes and the tail. The story isn't exactly Shakespeare, but there you go. The last few seconds really put quite a bit of pressure on rODEo. It kept crashing over and over. The mesh reduction tool in rODEo turned out to be the saving grace.

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed67.mov

halfworld
09-25-2006, 02:01 PM
Aha! Thats not far from the ending I was thinking off myself :)

Excellent work, I'm glad rODEo pulled through, just ;)
Ian

manuel
09-25-2006, 03:27 PM
Aha! Thats not far from the ending I was thinking off myself :)
Well it is a cartoon. No real surprises allowed here.
I realised afterwards that my mistake was to use cubes with slightly rounded corners. rODEo didn't recognise them as cubes and treated them as much more complex elements than was necessary. I should have used perfect cubes for rODEo with the rounded cubes attached to them and set the perfect cubes to non-rendering. Ah well, you live and you learn.

richardjoly
09-26-2006, 01:03 PM
Wow! This is excellent Manuel. Really love the zigzag run and the camera moves.
I just wonder where all the cubes comes from... The tree sneezed them out?

worx3d
09-27-2006, 01:05 AM
I reaaally love this!... I would like to know about your rig. I want to see more!

Joel

manuel
09-27-2006, 06:24 AM
I would like to know about your rig.
Some of it has already been explained in this thread. (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=319622)More to follow.

WmH
09-27-2006, 02:22 PM
Wow! This is excellent Manuel. Really love the zigzag run and the camera moves.
I just wonder where all the cubes comes from... The tree sneezed them out?

Deus ex machina...

WmH
09-27-2006, 02:47 PM
Okay, the main part of the animation is finished now. All that's left to do is animating the eyes and the tail. The story isn't exactly Shakespeare, but there you go. The last few seconds really put quite a bit of pressure on rODEo. It kept crashing over and over. The mesh reduction tool in rODEo turned out to be the saving grace.

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed67.mov

Great piece, I saw a couple of the early versions. You have improved it greatly, love the camera moves. If you want to experiment with some cuts try a side or 3/4 rear on the establishing (boom) shot and then cut to a front as he walks off. Also you might be able to push (or cut) a CU in to capture the surprise/puzzlement on finding the box. (or leave it as it is, I actually love it as one long shot)

Also if you are considering submitting this to a vehicle like the wubbcast you might want to soften the effect of the falling boxes. The trend is to allow stuff dropping on someone but that has to be trivial and non injurious. The boxes raining down are fine but you could have him remain upright and just look mad/disparaged (ears flat, squinty frown) it would be more current. The days of squashing toons flat with anvils is gone, Slapstick now has to be engineered to be obviously non-injurious. (if you are targeting a young audience)

http://www.wubbcast.com/ (submission link on the page)
http://www.kidscreen.com/articles/magazine/20060401/wubbcast.html

manuel
09-27-2006, 06:29 PM
Mmm, good comments. I will leave it as one shot. But I'm tempted now to make the ending less "dropping anvils". The way it is at the moment is a bit of a cop out, I admit. Until now the rationale for that was that it is only an animation test. But after working on this for a few months, I might as well give it one more push.
Thanks for the link to Wubbcast.com. Very interesting.

manuel
10-01-2006, 08:31 PM
Well, here we are. Pushed good ol' Rodeo to the limit with this one. I really, really want this to be finished now. It's now more than 30 seconds. On top of my head, I calculated this will take around two days rendering on my machine at full quality. Specially the end with the many cubes seems to take forever to render. Ouch

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed72.mov

WmH
10-02-2006, 01:37 AM
Bravo! I think the ending is far better, even without considering the PC factor. The side glances are a nice touch and your comedic timing on the cube drop is near perfect. I also loved the way kitty's head bobbles in reaction to the falling boxes. Kitty has developed quite a persona (in 30 seconds) Are you going to render it? Now all you need to do is add the foley and find someone to score it.

My only critique is that I would only have had him nod only once (a la "humf... clean!") after looking around. Truly a minor point and I wouldn't bother changing it unless several people (unsolicited) also noticed the same thing.

manuel
10-02-2006, 07:32 AM
Thanks, it's always good to get some constructive criticism. I'm going to hold back on retiming any of the body acting until I see it with the eyes-texture which is the next thing to do.

halfworld
10-02-2006, 08:40 AM
Take a bow! That's a better ending, will you be posting that in the Finished Animation forum when it's done?

Now you just need to pull two days out the hat in order to get it rendered!
Ian
:applause:

AzOne
10-02-2006, 08:43 AM
Then start planning the sale of Kitty toys! I know I would buy Kitty mousepads or a key chain. This might be the start of a franchise!

pollywoggles
10-02-2006, 09:29 AM
Wow. This is really beautiful work. I love the world that you created, and the snappy styalized animation really fits. I definately will be returning to watch the progress.

Here are a few suggestions about the animation...

Between frames 193-194-195 the movement feels a little linear (maybe arc the hips a little more on frame 194).

198-199-200 the spacing feels a little even, I'd like to see a little more acceleration as the character is falling.

201-202-203 the spacing also feels even, I'd like to see a little more play with the spacing (like how you spacedc 193-194-195). The timing on that jump and the jump right after (the one ending on frame 210) is similar, maybe make that last jump a little faster.

Frames 224-228 feel a little too much like the character is hovering. I see your animation is styalized, and that it's used as an anticipation -- but I haven't seen the character hover for that long before, so it doesn't feel "built" into the reality of this snappy little world -- perhaps take some of those frames out -- and use it in anticipation just before it actually does that jump. Also, during that same jump, it might be cool to see the legs completely extended (instead of bent), to really show the thrust.

I'd like to see the spacing of the hips on frame 231 favoring frame 232 (instead of 230). 232-233-234 the spacing feels very even to me. I'd also like to see the spacing in frame 233 favoring frame 232 (instead of just sitting linerarly between those two frames).

manuel
10-02-2006, 01:36 PM
Wow Paul, you went through it frame by frame. Quite a feat considering how small that last quicktime I uploaded is. I'm surprised you managed to read the frame-numbers, unless you took it into your editing app or something.
I'll have a look at your suggestions this evening. But first I'll animate the face, render it out with all the shapes subdivided so the arms and legs show up properly and motion-blur switched on. The timing feels very different when viewed that way.
We may have to agree to disagree on certain style choices, like the floaty jump at 224-228. For some reason I really like that, it contrasts nicely with what follows. Even though it "bends" the rules temporarily, I feel it creates a nice rhythm to the overall flow.
Having said that, all the other remarks make sense. Thanks for the effort.

manuel
10-02-2006, 11:01 PM
Well, I had a look. Pretty much went with all your remarks. Apart from the floaty jump :) Gotta admit, you really managed to pick out all the rough edges. Are you the same Paul Briggs that worked on Tarzan and Hercules? That would explain your eagle-eyedness. Again, thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

velarde
10-03-2006, 01:41 AM
Manuel:

Also been following your animation progress.

It looks better and better with each revision. You've added a lot of personality to your character.

Let me know when you have the final render and I'll be sure to put it in the EIAS "character animation" page.

Good luck and congrats!

fjv

manuel
10-03-2006, 09:20 PM
Thanks, I'll let you know.

manuel
10-15-2006, 10:26 PM
Right then. The end is getting nearer and nearer. Still only an OpenGL preview I'm afraid. I took a few of the comments here on board. Sharpened up the animation here and there. After this I'll start doing the eyes. It may not look very different from the last version, but a lot of little things have changed honestly. Hands up who wants to see a finished version.

Here is a low res version (around 5Mb)
http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed80.mov

And a higher res version (around 16Mb)
http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed80High.mov

Vizfizz
10-15-2006, 10:57 PM
I'd like to see a rendered version.


:)

halfworld
10-16-2006, 08:56 AM
You made me laugh on a monday morning! Kudos! Love the little side steps at the end there. It really emotes buckets!

I also second Brian.
Ian

manuel
10-16-2006, 09:51 AM
Don't worry guys. I will render this baby. :) As soon as the eyes are done and my first low quality test looks good. Thanks for all the encouragement.

WmH
10-16-2006, 12:44 PM
Yes defiantly you must finish it...
Kitty demands it!

Seriously though, I would like to see it, we haven't seen a rendered one since V27.

You know Steamboat Willie was just a doodle of Walt's, that developed into a short test animation. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

manuel
10-16-2006, 01:29 PM
The look of the final render will not have changed that much since that first test. I have to resist the temptation to constantly do GI renders just for the sake of it. Until the Quicktime with the eyes-texture is done, that would be wasted effort anyway. But don't worry, I was just joking when I asked who wants to see this finished. Of course I will finish this.

manuel
10-16-2006, 02:14 PM
I didn't even know Walt could draw. Fact is that I've got a full time job at the moment and I have to budget my time and energy between all things in my life. For the foreseeable future, this will be the end of Kitty's adventures. Who knows if it develops in something more in the long run.
Let's just say that I wanted to develop this into an idea for a television series or a personal short film. The next step would be to write a script, design more characters in this style, flesh out the world, get interest from backers... I wont involve me making any more test animations and posting them here on CGTalk.
To get back to Walt. Maybe it did all start off with a little doodle, but the doodle may well have been made two or three years beforehand.

WmH
10-16-2006, 03:30 PM
Yes Walt was an accomplished artist, illustrator and animator, as well as quite a visionary. It is a shame what became of the company (and some of his visions like EPCOT) after he died. Perhaps Lasseter (now in charge of virtually all creative aspects of Disney) will return some of it's former magic. (I am a boomer so I actually remember Disney's glory days)
Steamboat willie was actually not the first animated short that Walt did. It was just the first to make it all the way to release. (as I recall some of the previous animated shorts were actually released subsequently, based on steamboat willie's success)

manuel
10-23-2006, 10:48 PM
Well, we've got eyes now. The poor thing can finally see what's happening to him. this is the time to start making the last tiny final adjustments. Something bothers me about the way Kitty, as he has been named by the people on this forum, gets up at the end. I'll look into that.
Other than that, any crits welcome. I'll have a first stab at rendering this little monster hopefully this weekend. So if anything stands out like a sore thumb, now is the time to let me know.

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cubed82.mov

Vizfizz
10-23-2006, 11:37 PM
Nicely done. Great job! I love seeing character work being done in EI. A rare event.

manuel
10-25-2006, 08:28 PM
Come and get it while the bandwidth lasts!!

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cat01_full.mov

I couldn't wait until the weekend. The whole render took a bit less than 24 hours. The end bit with all the cubes is an absolute killer, if it wasn't for that, it would have been a good overnight render. Still, I'm very impressed by the render speed, my initial calculations pointed towards 2 days.
As those who have been following this thread will have guessed by now, as soon as I saw the finished result, I thought: "Mmm, there's some room for improvement here. And maybe here too. Oh, and here..."
So I'm not promising this is the final version, but for now, it'll do (looks longingly at the sofa).

Man, I love H264. At this size and length, it still manages to come in under 4Mb. Tip: If you want to create an H264 Quicktime, don't do it from After Effects or anything like that. Use Quicktime Pro, it gives you some extra options (multi-pass and frame re-oredering) which make all the difference.

manuel
10-26-2006, 11:25 AM
By the way. The motion blur on some of the bigger cubes gets pretty ugly. What would be the settings to improve that? Is it just the noise settings? So far I've always used the default settings.

halfworld
10-26-2006, 11:38 AM
Love it. The look is fab and it has more personality then an entire series of some shows ;)

I think, after you've made any changes I'd put this in the root 3D Animation thread.

About the blur settings, in the Motion Blur tab of the render window, set the Blur noise to 0, this will make Animator automaticly calculate the required setting to avoid grain. If that fails to do it, turn multi-frame on to 2, it will obviously double the render time but — if you have a weekend of horsepower available — it gives that little extra.

Marvelous!
Ian

manuel
10-26-2006, 12:52 PM
Would rendering in multiple passes help? Quite a few of these bigger cubes show chunks of background where they're not supposed to be in their blurs eg. the green of the tree often gets carried along in the blur.

halfworld
10-26-2006, 01:39 PM
Well, I've just been through the whole thing in slow motion and I see what you mean, firstly, you do need more blur samples, try the automatic mode as that may well fix all these problems, though, I must confess to never having seen a blur carry away parts of a frame as happens towards the end of your animation - the cubes over the tree that seem to disintigrate are simply bizarre!

I wouldn't try a seperate pass for the tree until I'd experimented with the blur sample setting as I can't see that being a cure, though it might make the issue less obvious. Someone with more blur experience should step in :)

I'd like to know what your GI settings were — as it's a nice stable grid you have there —?

Amazing compression on the movie by the way.
Ian

PS. Attached a screengrab for others as a quick refrence.

manuel
10-26-2006, 02:17 PM
Thanks, I'll give that a go.

I'll give you the GI settings when I get home.

manuel
10-26-2006, 10:00 PM
Well, I did a bit of testing and I'm afraid the multi-pass is the way to go. None of the other settings make that much of a difference.

I only use the skylight, no lightsources. My GI settings are just the default settings with primary set to 800 and secondary to 0. The reason it's so high is that I applied a skymap, so the light isn't so even as you get with white skydomes. No secondary bounce was used.

yhloon
10-27-2006, 09:56 AM
Cool, you should post this to under the 3D animation section.

manuel
11-05-2006, 10:39 PM
Just when you thought this thread was finished, I come along and post another update. That has been the system so far and I don't want to disappoint.

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cat03_full.mov

So what has changed.
- GI settings vary throughout now, depending on what's happening in order to reduce rendertimes. Eg. during the downpour of the boxes, the settings are very low.
- I tweaked a lot of the eyes animation. In the last version the eyes didn't always focus where they should.
- Kitty now looks around a bit when walking in the beginning.
- The tail moves more during the same walk.
- ...and I reduced the amount of knee popping during that walk
- The fast run behind the tree is now more jumpy. Before, Kitty almost dragged its body over the floor.
- The self-satisfied nodding after run that has been tweaked to read better. Even though I'm still not 100% satisfied.
- The camera shakes during the downpour of boxes.
- The downpour has been rendered in three passes to reduce the motion-blur artefacts. It seems to work much better now.
- The animation after the downpour has been tweaked, hopefully for the better.
- There's a few more little tweaks all over the place, too much to mention.

My biggest headache at the moment is he GI flicker occurring at the end. If you look at the shadows of the boxes at the end, they literally switch on and off all the time. I have done a few tests, but rendertimes shoot through the roof. I'm thinking of using camera-mapping to "bake" he shadows.

halfworld
11-06-2006, 08:43 AM
During the flickering bit, what are you GI Sample grid (GI Sample level) settings and colour tolorence settings?

The grid should definatly be at least 4x4
I'd try tolorence of 2.5 initially (adjusting upwards (towards 10) until cured)

Then turn on "Show samples" and make sure GI is picking up the boxes in the distance during the drop.

If you have the sample grid set to 8x8 (default) then this is your problem, 8x8 as a size is simply too wide for an animation. You will probably get away with less rays when using a tighter grid and higher Colour Tolorance setting.

Apologies if you're already using these settings!
It looks great though, box blur is much improved! The eyes are ace :)
Ian

manuel
11-06-2006, 10:26 AM
D'oh, I did a test with a 1x1 grid but actually set the colour tolerance to 0.7. The manual gave me the impression that lower numbers=more quality. I'll try that one this evening. Thanks.

halfworld
11-06-2006, 10:48 AM
You're right, 1x1 is a very tight grid, that should provide REALLY stable results...

The colour tolorence should be 2-2.5 to start with though.
Ian

manuel
11-06-2006, 11:22 AM
Well, it didn't. It still flickered, probably due to the low colour tolerance. All I achieved was depressingly long rendertimes.

manuel
11-08-2006, 07:29 AM
The last section, around 160 frames, has been re-rendered with higher settings. 800 rays, 2x2 grid, colour tolerance: 4
It took more than 24 hours just to render those 160 frames. Ouch.
Maybe I would have got away with less rays. But it was simply a case of either spending a whole evening doing tests or just switching to brute force. In the end I preferred the machine to do the work. Still, in the future I'd be interested to play around a bit more with the GI settings. Over 24 hours for 160 frames is not a very productive way of working.

The URL is still the same one from last time:
http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/cat03_full.mov

Animation wise, I got rid of an annoying little knee-pop. IK is great and all that, but when it plays up, it can be difficult to control, like with this particular knee-pop. I simply couldn't get rid of it. In the end I just painted it out in Combustion which took me the best part of 10 minutes. Not a very "pure" solution, but it works.

Next: sound effects.

FelixCat
11-08-2006, 01:15 PM
Hi, Manuel
Nice animation, itīs going better and better at each iteration. I love the design the most, and the animation has lots of little details very enjoyable. I canīt wait for the sound.
How do you feel EiAS for character animation?
A little story idea... (yeah, itīs a bit late for that) i think if the first cube where something evidently important for the cat, the lost of it in the downpour of boxes could be more funny.

Nice work
FelixCat

manuel
11-08-2006, 01:49 PM
Well, there wasn't much of a story to begin with. It started life as a little animation test where I wanted to test out a few things:
- The rig
- CA in EIAS
- Character picking up something
- Cartoon timing and physics in 3D
- Feasibility of applying the eyes as a texture.
- Rodeo
- GI rendering
I've done all that. I think it's time for me to let this rest and move on.

Character animation in EIAS is feasible, but it could do with a serious kick up its backside. I remember seeing a demonstration of XSI where they showed how the whole process of modelling, rigging, articulation, animation is completely non-linear. After having done this animation, I can fully appreciate why you'd want to work like that. Unfortunately, XSI is not going to appear on the mac anytime soon, if ever.
I could always try Maya. But for some reason, as soon as I open that program, my brain jumps out of my skull and goes for a little walk. Maya and I are simply not made for each other it seems.
Of course, Maxon seem to have done a good job with their new CA-module in C4D 10. But I'm a bit wary of that company. I can't help feeling that most of their software design decisions are of the "me-too" kind. They even redesigned the interface of version 10 to look a bit more like XSI.

MagicEgger
11-18-2006, 12:35 PM
Hey Manuel,

You did one of the best CA animations in EIAS for sure.. congratssss.
I like a lot the animation, Design, render, camera moves and Story.

Can I suggest a idea to the final?
why when the camera pulls out.. showing all the cubes in the floor, you could see a smile face?

How to do that? when the cubes are almost finishing to felt down, add 2 or 3 cubes animated with Rodeo to fall really in front of the camera to obscure the lens.. then change the cubes positions manually.

Will be come really funny showing the cubes making the final joke with the cat.

I really want to see more CA animations in EIAS from you.

Tomasss

manuel
11-18-2006, 03:03 PM
Thanks Thomas, I can see what you mean at the end. But I think it's time for me to move on to the next stage: sound. I've been at it for the last eight months, I don't want to end up hating animation. As soon as I've got an acceptable soundtrack, I'll post it in the finished animation thread and let EITG post it on their website too.

Vizfizz
11-18-2006, 04:31 PM
Wonderful work Manuel....

Here's what I need from you.. summarized if you please. Give me your list of character enhancements you wish to see in EIAS. Combined with my list, I intend to continue shoving them in EITG's face. ;) I want more character capabilities in this program. Period. Its my belief that character enhancements will be the biggest draw for new users than any other function.

Vizfizz
11-18-2006, 04:36 PM
If folks want to see this animation up on the home page... rate the thread with 5 stars. After so many votes, I believe, it can be pushed to the home page. (I'll have to find out how many are needed)

manuel
11-20-2006, 07:15 PM
Wonderful work Manuel....

Here's what I need from you.. summarized if you please. Give me your list of character enhancements you wish to see in EIAS. Combined with my list, I intend to continue shoving them in EITG's face. ;) I want more character capabilities in this program. Period. Its my belief that character enhancements will be the biggest draw for new users than any other function.
Well, here you are. I didn't indulge in blue-sky thinking. I just cast my mind back to all the things that really irritated me. It may be difficult to appreciate how infuriating some of these shortcomings are. Just remind yourself of the things that really get on your nerves in software. It's always the small problems that keep popping up two or three times a day, like a printer that keeps defaulting to the wrong papersize.

- Support for subdivided surfaces straight in Animator. Preferably as an option in the group info window. No plug-in with all its limitations.

- Improved controllers. At certain angles it's almost impossible to grab the rotation controller. Pre-highlighting. Visualisation of the rotation-angle, offset, scale.

- The motion-paths quickly start to clutter the screen. Some filtering is called upon. For example:
1: Only show motion path of active element.
2. Only show motion path x amount of frames before and x amount of frames after current frame.

- Tools for moving , rotating, scaling and skewing multiple points on motion-paths. In other words, treat motion-paths as you would vectors in say illustrator.

- The only times I end up moving the purple bars that hold the keyframes in the project-window is when I do it by accident. It makes selecting keyframes very awkward. An option to turn off the ability to move them would be great. And if you want to move them, some visual feedback would be nice. (Yes, those purple bars are my pet-hate :) )

F-curves:

- When selecting keyframes in the F-curve window, the selection isn't reflected in the info window where you set motion-type and so on. It's very tedious having to select your keyframes in that little list.

- When right-clicking to add a keyframe, grid-snapping doesn't work. You end up with frame-numbers like 36.01. Not good.

- When the graph editor is selected, the shortcuts to move forwards and backwards in time often end up choosing a different element in he list. Not good.

- A more visual system for scaling selections of keyframes. Both in the graph editor and the project window.

- Can we please, please make it so that the grid follows the frame-rate of the project automatically by default. What are the chances of anybody ever needing a grid that works on a different timing from the actual project.

- The shortcut for changing the tension in Hermite curves is "T" which also picks the translate tool. I always get caught out with this one, thinking I still have the rotation-tool going. Not good.

rigging:

- I'll get back to you on that one.

manuel
11-20-2006, 11:41 PM
Here you are. A little mock-up of what a nice rigging plug-in might look like
http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/Riggit_01.swf

manuel
11-21-2006, 09:55 PM
Well, to show my appreciation for all the support and words of encouragement I received from you guys, even though I didn't always reply to them, here is a little sneak-preview of the sound. It's still a bit rough, it's not mixed and the effects aren't always there, synced or appropriate. But you'll get the idea. The black bit at the end is for titles.

http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/Cat04_Full.mov

ps. Five stars! Gosh, you guys aren't biased by any chance are you? Thanks!

Vizfizz
11-21-2006, 11:07 PM
Maybe a little. ;) But seriously. Its projects like yours that are great resources for promoting the capabilities of the program and we need more things like this to help promote EIAS. Great work Manuel.

yhloon
11-22-2006, 08:31 AM
nice touch to the music! did you compose the music by yourself? it add some life to the whole thing:thumbsup:

a little comment to the story, hope you don't mind:), I feel "sudden" when the kitty hide the cube, my comment is the kitty kick the cube again, and the same inciddent happen, and its feel so angry or curious, than he (or she) hide the magical thing and not let others find out! hope the 'motive' do make any sense.

any way still an Excellent work! :)

manuel
11-22-2006, 01:14 PM
Yes, I made the music myself.
Funny how everybody keeps coming up with little story ideas. I guess it means people can relate to the character, which is a good thing.

3DArtZ
11-22-2006, 02:20 PM
I think the work is great! And the music is perfect as well!
I have a question to you.... if you had to produce this exact piece for a job(animation only),
how long do you think it would take you to do in EI?

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com (http://www.3dartz.com)

manuel
11-22-2006, 04:04 PM
Mmm, how long is a piece of string...I was learning on he job, remember.
I wonder if the choice of software is the biggest factor when it comes to time. I'm sure a dedicated CA app will work faster, but the question is: how much. It's not just the time it takes you to do it, which is important. It's also the flexibility to make the inevitable changes. If it's harder to make changes, than that will translate in more hours.
35 seconds of relatively stylised animation. In studios here in London I would expect to be given around 4 weeks for that. But remember, while you're animating, someone else will be busy refining the rig and the model. Something you can't really do in EIAS.

FelixCat
11-22-2006, 05:43 PM
Manuel, Mike
Sadly, for CA, EiAS itīs not well suited (yet, i hope). To make speak a model is a really pain in the ass, terrible slow and hard. BTW, nice idea the Rigging stuff! hope can be a real Plug in. And something like TAFA could be awsome, i hardly can wait, but the development is alted by now cause Mac Reiter personal problems. No clue when (if) he will work in it again:(
Hoping for the best...

FelixCat

manuel
12-10-2006, 08:46 PM
Here it is (http://www.funnylittlemen.co.uk/Quicktimes/Boxing_Final01), with final soundmix (well, on my headphones it sounds okay...)

And here (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=4063021#post4063021) is the thread in Finished Work: Animation

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