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Ben Lumumba
01-24-2003, 12:30 AM
Hi there

Can EIU be substitte for AM?

Hookflash
01-24-2003, 12:47 AM
Are you talking about Electric Image Universe? If so, I've heard horror stories about that company. For that reason alone, I'd do alot of research before purchasing their product. They just released Universe 5.0, though, and I hear it's got a very fast renderer.

P.S. Oh, and to answer your question: I don't know;)

Ben Lumumba
01-24-2003, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by Hookflash
Are you talking about Electric Image Universe? If so, I've heard horror stories about that company. For that reason alone, I'd do alot of research before purchasing their product. They just released Universe 5.0, though, and I hear it's got a very fast renderer.

P.S. Oh, and to answer your question: I don't know;)
Is that horror horrerer than Crush.Inc AM horror

JB
01-24-2003, 01:39 AM
I've heard nothing but good things about EIU. you could try the 3dtoolkit at www.dvgarage.com for $199, it's a 'light' version of EIU 5.

You can then upgrade to 5 for $799.

www.3dny.org has some EIU tutes and forums and stuff.

Wegg
01-24-2003, 03:00 AM
I tried Universe. I really liked the interface. And the render speed/quality. But the fact that you can't open/edit any of your old models in the modeler. . . and the fact that you kind of have to "Bake" your models into the high res version before you animate them instead of animating the low res mesh and letting the renderer define the SUB-D sufaces. . . really turned me off. No real procedural texture support was kind of a pisser too. We went with Messiah/Lightwave and have been very happy with its performance and quality.

Ben Lumumba
01-24-2003, 05:18 AM
Hi,Weg
So,you went with LW and messiah
Profi tools,almost everybody got it
Specially mesiah is in everybody's mouth
I recently heard about it,,from gcharb
got demo but had no models to animate
I was advise/suggested from this forum to check about EIU
was on EIU's several forum ,dvgarage and 3dny
and meet some faces from AM world
some of them gave up and went with EI and some use AM as
modeler and EI as animator/renderer
one said that it seems that is quite often that AM volks remove to EUI,as natutal transition
didn't understand why

Originally posted by weggingt


But the fact that you can't open/edit any of your old models in the modeler.

what does mean exactly?
I can't model, do test rendering, than go back to remodel and do
test rendering again ?
And can't do low resolution preview and full rendering with complete model with sub's,or nurbs
No texture as AM has or common?

maybe I should clearlyfy what I am loking for :

I look for good life-like character animation tool.Just to add some clue as:Jumanji,Dragonheart,Jurassic Park,Star Wars creatures,Big Family,Ice Age and this kind of character;mostly photorealistc creatures&animals(prachistorics&aliens)insects, seen in those above mentioned movies...
And secondary human-based character,classical character animation.


1)Stability after all
It can be the best pack on the world, if unstabil,I can't do anything in reasonable timespan,project based work has time based dead-line,I have to finish on the time and can't afford 20-40 crushes per day(mose-click,save,mouse-click-save,whole project's files corrupted),I'd like to have some trust-relationship to my pack
2)Learning resources,
It can be the best pack on the world,if I can't use all pack's capabilities it's useless
I think about manuals/documantations and video tutorials(free or paid) to take maximum of its strenght
3)After all above said character animation capabilities for oranic models
are for me more important than modeling;I can work around
with modeling but I mostly concerne about IK,constraints,boning,rigging...
It doeesn't matter if my model looks great,it is only model,still image untill I don't animate
and if I can't animate good is useless,and vice-verse,my model can look bad but I can correct that with good animation(movements,weight,meats-muscle mode,anticipation....)
4)Test rendering;just simply I finished my animation and like to do test rendering in low resolution but full textured/meterialsed(don't forget my creatures should look photorealistic)
and combined with live action footages

About EIU peolpe said defenetly brizant fastest renderer and the best around,didn't count rendermen and MRay
modeler kick @ss similar as power animator from maya
has poligons,sub's&nurbs
But they didn't speak about character work,only reffered
to gallerys page for EIU user

I don't know never used it befor and wonder if anybody out there
has some more deep experiance

John Keates
01-24-2003, 03:01 PM
I mailed the EI man and told him that he might expect people (including me) to migrate from AM. AM was not mentioned as an upgrade option on the website but as you can see below it is an option now.

This is the mail that he sent...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
I will give you $400.00 off our price for a competitive upgrade from
Animation Master. Your cost will be $895.00 plus shipping and
handling.
This price will not come with printed manuals (manuals are in pdf
format on
the cd's) but it will include the DUO dongle which will allow you to
run
Universe 5 on the Mac or the PC. Printed manuals are available for
$59.95
but will add 6 pounds to the shipping costs. Call 888-736-3371 ext
107
(Phil) or 109 (Mike) and make sure you have your serial number from
the AM
program. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Pass this
information on and as long as the serial numbers supplied check out,
we will
honor this for your user group.

Best Regards,

Phil Martin
Electric Image, Inc
Sales Team
----------------------------------------------------------------------

HellBorn
01-24-2003, 08:00 PM
He he he...
I'm in the lead ;)

Could it be that Mr Phil Martin has free hands to set the price, uses a random price generator, we are starting to wear him down or is he just a nice guy doing what he can to help.

I dont know but it seems like I got a better deal ;)


EIU does not offer any competitive uppgrade from AM on the webstore but I sent an email:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We are a number of users that have grown tired about the fact that Hash shows more interest in adding to the feature list than to get the product stable. Some of us have allready switched application and some of us is now searching for a replacement of Animation Master.

Any Chance for a competitive upgrade from Animation Master?

Christer Wallentin

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

and got this reply:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Christer,

I will give you $500.00 :bounce: off our price for a competitive upgrade from Animation Master. Your cost will be $795.00 plus shipping and handling. This price will not come with printed manuals (manuals are in pdf format on the cd's) but it will include the DUO dongle which will allow you to run Universe 5 on the Mac or the PC. Printed manuals are available for $59.95 but will add 6 pounds to the shipping costs. Call 949-481-6660 ext 107 (Phil) or 109 (Mike), or email all your information to pmartin@electricimage.com and make sure you have your serial number from the AM program. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Pass this information on and as long as the serial numbers supplied check out, we will honor this for your user group.

Best Regards,

Phil Martin

Electric Image, Inc

Sales Team

But...

As the deal I got $100 under the other one in this tread and as Animation Master now had ben added to the list of applications for competitive upgrades with a $400 price reduction I will again mail Phil Martin and ask for confirmation on the $500 price reduction.

I'll be back...

OK I'm back.
Phil Martin had to admit that he had made a misstake.
But he will stand up to his offer for this AM to EIU upgrade.
So if you want buy, contact Phil Martin directly (phil.martin@electricimage.com) instead of going trough the web store.

Ben Lumumba
01-24-2003, 08:40 PM
Originally posted by HellBorn
He he he...
I'm in the lead ;)

Could it be that Mr Phil Martin has free hands to set the price, uses a random price generator, we are starting to wear him down or is he just a nice guy doing what he can to help.

I dont know but it seems like I got a better deal ;)


EIU does not offer any competitive uppgrade from AM on the webstore but I sent an email:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We are a number of users that have grown tired about the fact that Hash shows more interest in adding to the feature list than to get the product stable. Some of us have allready switched application and some of us is now searching for a replacement of Animation Master.

Any Chance for a competitive upgrade from Animation Master?

Christer Wallentin

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

and got this reply:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Christer,

I will give you $500.00 :bounce: off our price for a competitive upgrade from Animation Master. Your cost will be $795.00 plus shipping and handling. This price will not come with printed manuals (manuals are in pdf format on the cd's) but it will include the DUO dongle which will allow you to run Universe 5 on the Mac or the PC. Printed manuals are available for $59.95 but will add 6 pounds to the shipping costs. Call 949-481-6660 ext 107 (Phil) or 109 (Mike), or email all your information to pmartin@electricimage.com and make sure you have your serial number from the AM program. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Pass this information on and as long as the serial numbers supplied check out, we will honor this for your user group.

Best Regards,

Phil Martin

Electric Image, Inc

Sales Team

But...

As the deal I got $100 under the other one in this tread and as Animation Master now had ben added to the list of applications for competitive upgrades with a $400 price reduction I will again mail Phil Martin and ask for confirmation on the $500 price reduction.

I'll be back...

Hi-he,Hi-ho
May I aspect to see my old fellow broders from AM list and former AM user in EIU?
Will it be the mayor 3d mass-migration in the recent history
I 'd like to see it
There are alredy som people in the forum that already migrated to EIU

Wegg
01-24-2003, 09:05 PM
Ok I'll try and be really clear.

You can't import an OBJ, DXF, 3DS or anything. Nothing. The modeler only works with its native format.

And if you eventually build something in the modeler you like. . . then you have to "BAKE" it into a really high res polygon mesh in order for the animation portion of EI to use it.

EI is not a product I found to be anything close to AM's usability. . . .

I did like the render speed and interface simplicity. . . but it has some major flaws.

JB
01-24-2003, 09:22 PM
In Animator you can open a obj, dxf, 3ds, or lightwave model, then export it to the native Fact format.

HellBorn
01-24-2003, 09:36 PM
Well lets collect the info we can get over here.
Then we send a mail to Electring Image for comments.

I wish I could afford Light Wave but unless they can make us an offer around $800 it's out of my reach. I have hear you can buy it second hand for a fair price but I wont risk all that money buying from someone I don't know over the net. I simply don't have a company loss account.

;)

Wegg
01-24-2003, 10:13 PM
Dude stick with AM. Your not going to find anything easier. Unless your actually in a production environment. . . I doubt you will ever hit the same walls we did as a company.

AM 8.5p++ is still a kick ass peice of software that kicks EI's ass all over the place for creative freedom.

EmotiveImages
01-24-2003, 10:59 PM
Just in case you decide to try the 3DToolkit -> EIU route you should know that the 3DToolkit version does not have IK. So you won't be able the evaluate the character animaton abilities of EIU that way.

I spent some time checking out EIU with a view to upgrading, but didn't feel that it had the character animation tools I was looking for. You won't find too many people using it for that purpose either. Sure it has a ton of movie credits to its name, but not for character animation.

The Universe rendering engine is REALLY fast.

The modelling tools are good for certain things, I didn't find them all that easy to use for character modelling.

There is a trial version of EIU 5 if you want to check it out yourself.

Hope this helps.

Ben Lumumba
01-24-2003, 11:04 PM
Originally posted by weggingt
Ok I'll try and be really clear.

You can't import an OBJ, DXF, 3DS or anything. Nothing. The modeler only works with its native format.

And if you eventually build something in the modeler you like. . . then you have to "BAKE" it into a really high res polygon mesh in order for the animation portion of EI to use it.

EI is not a product I found to be anything close to AM's usability. . . .

I did like the render speed and interface simplicity. . . but it has some major flaws.
Hi again and really,thank for time taken to clear out
I just come back from forum
they import and export difefrent file tipes
C4D
3DMax
MAYA
Poser
LW
*.obj
*.dxf
Canone
...etc
either directly in modeler by its own or through plug ins

http://www.ramjac.com/software/gallery/o2f_gallery.html
or direct
http://tripledtools.com/ramjac/samples.html

http://www.electricimage.com/products/universe/plugins/univplugins.htm

I don'really understand, you build your animal in modelar and
than you animate it in Animator but
you can't model it in high res becaues it won't animate
in animator as softly as it looks like in modeler??
Is it not that much if I ask again for a bit more clear way
I don't like to make mistake as with AM
And really can't imagine that something can be so bad as compared with AM usability
really
Just PLEASE,take a look at this site:

www.eridia.com/tbf/

www.drummondesign.net/Content/ContentMicrobes.html

http://www.electricimage.com/products/newprodsplash.htm


Really don't take it as I favorise EUI or I am biased toward it,
only I was suggested from here to take a look at EIU
and I use AM still and will give it a last chance with final 10 when it arrives here in europa in february

I got demo of mesiah

Wegg
01-24-2003, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by Ben Lumumba

I don'really understand, you build your animal in modelar and than you animate it in Animator but you can't model it in high res becaues it won't animate
in animator as softly as it looks like in modeler??
Is it not that much if I ask again for a bit more clear way I don't like to make mistake as with AM And really can't imagine that something can be so bad as compared with AM usability really


You can import those models into the animation section of EI just fine. You just can't EDIT those models. You can't delete polygons. . . flip normals. . . or anything. Try it yourself. They have a downloadable demo.

3DArtZ
01-25-2003, 04:36 AM
Hi guys.... I use electricImage... alot.
I can't really add anything new about it's pros and cons... If you are animating a jet flying over water or any other sort of mechanical/environment type of animation it is possibly the best app. Render quality is amazing.
HOWEVER the character animation tools are non existant. It's almost retarded.
As far as the model issue, ElectricImage has a free utility on thier site that will convert your dxf... or actually just about any model format out their into native fact format with a whole bunch of options(force correct normals and stuff).
It's called electricimage transporter. You can find it in the downloads section at http://www.electricimage.com/

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com

Ben Lumumba
01-25-2003, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by 3DArtZ
Hi guys.... I use electricImage... alot.
I can't really add anything new about it's pros and cons... If you are animating a jet flying over water or any other sort of mechanical/environment type of animation it is possibly the best app. Render quality is amazing.
HOWEVER the character animation tools are non existant. It's almost retarded.
As far as the model issue, ElectricImage has a free utility on thier site that will convert your dxf... or actually just about any model format out their into native fact format with a whole bunch of options(force correct normals and stuff).
It's called electricimage transporter. You can find it in the downloads section at http://www.electricimage.com/

Mike Fitz
www.3dartz.com

Hey,
how are you
when your AM rigging CD come to europa/www.am-user.de
a lot of people will by it
Me to
BTW could you check this character work done with EUI
really
Just PLEASE,take a look at this site:

www.eridia.com/tbf/

www.drummondesign.net/Content/ContentMicrobes.html

http://www.electricimage.com/products/newprodsplash.htm
and compare it with AM toy/hobby animation work
I didn't see AM work that can compete with this
just want to examine all solution
I couldn't use AM as production tool

3DArtZ
01-25-2003, 03:57 PM
Hi Ben, yes EIU's output is better, much better than AM's. But getting to the point where one could produce the type of work you are asking about from ElectricImage will take a seasoned operator or a very crafty and production savy individual.
However... getting AM's output to match electricimages output would be just as difficult.
It's hard to give advice as to which is better suited... both apps will take time to master and even more time to figure out how to make it really work for you.
I use AM for all my character work and I composite it over, between and behind environments I've created in ElectricImage. I build all the props, models and whatever in AM and I convert them using ElectricImage transporter... then I use an app I wrote that will convert camera data from Hash to electricimage camera data which allows me the flexability to go between the two apps.(adjusting world orientation)
Bottom line,
Hash for character work
ElectricImage for background work.
What do I wish for
to be able to render projects made in AM with EelctricImages renderer. I'd pay big time for that.
Mike Fitz
by the way, the 3D ArtZ joint tutorial is available worldwide.... the only thing is that it's written in english!

rammanman
01-25-2003, 04:18 PM
I am selling my license of EIU 4.0, fully upgradeable to 5.0. It'll come with lots of dvGarage training stuff. Drop me a PM for details.

Roger Eberhart
01-25-2003, 04:24 PM
One thing to keep in mind with EI, it is a very Mac-centric program. It doesn't use the right mouse button for anything. Instead, the viewport navigation controls require hitting multiple keys at the same time. Also, at least half (maybe more) of the plug-ins are Mac only. Just thought I'd warn the PC users out there.

Ben Lumumba
01-25-2003, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by rammanman
I am selling my license of EIU 4.0, fully upgradeable to 5.0. It'll come with lots of dvGarage training stuff. Drop me a PM for details.
Hey RAM
How are you
Is the license translateable?
May I email you privately,is this PM? Or you email me,ben_lumumba@chello.at
I think of switching EIU but unsure about it
Don't know about character work how it is going.
And stabilities,learning resources,there is competetive upgared
from AM to EIU,you save $500,I just visited EIU site
if you read the first message about "EUI as substitute" I posted here than you can figure what I am looking for
Is it okay ?

HellBorn
01-25-2003, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by Roger Eberhart
One thing to keep in mind with EI, it is a very Mac-centric program. It doesn't use the right mouse button for anything. Instead, the viewport navigation controls require hitting multiple keys at the same time. Also, at least half (maybe more) of the plug-ins are Mac only. Just thought I'd warn the PC users out there.

I'm currently evaluating the demo.

On that version the right button is for the popup menu.

I agree that it is a bit Macish to at least not use the middle button.

The worse thing with using the left button for object AND view handling is the risk you take to move something by misstake. In this area Cinema is the worst of the one I tested so far. In Cinema both the raight and the left button has double functionality. Add to that that the last used command not gets deactivated after use but remains the active one. Just move the mouse the least when right clicking for the popup and you might have moved something in your models structure. Something you might not see but will create hours of work later in the process.

What was most annoying in EIU was that it not allways was the same keys for the same function. It did differ between the modeller and the animator as well as between 2D and 3D views.

Also, the view handlin I do the most (rotate the view) had the worst key combination (space-ctrl-shift or o). So either I had to allmost breake my arm of or I had to look down in order to find the 'o' key. Plain stupid. Appart from that the application did feel solid. The horizontal view rotation was in the direction i prefer ( Cinema and TrueSpace is not). It imported my models straigh into the animator and at the same time it created the model in native format. I also got it into the modeler but I did however not have any succes in editing the model. I will contact EI and ask about this. The renderspeed was remarkable. I admit, no advanced scene but I think its impressive anyway. A 30000 polygon f-104 fighter jet. I did render at 640 x480 at about 1/2 to 1/3 of a second.

Ben Lumumba
01-26-2003, 01:02 PM
well
you are right
first EIU is the best and fastest renderer around
some would say renderman or mantel Ray but you shouldn't notice differences and will wait a millenium,apart that you should be almighty programmer to render/shader

second the interfaces is really as MAC(little akward),and like AfterEffects
I learn simple AE for justcombinig live action foootage and my CG
character ala Jumanji,DragonHeart,Jurasssic Park ,Disney's "Dinosaurus"
I did change my model moving a knot or CV because no diselect
but I think you should DOUBLE0CLICK RIHJT MOUSE BUTTON
to deselect last command
and got modeling,I guess is millenium apart from AM
I don't know hoe much time you spend for your fighter
and I don't know how long will take in AM to deo same
modeling,texturing,rendering for output

but I am mostly concery about character aninmation capabilities

How come you couldn't chage your model
You couldn't change in Modeler or animator?
For example I have model of leg
and import in animator
when walk cycle is taking place I notice that a bend is not good
so I switch in modeleer to add extra details
and go back for another test rendering,twicking,rigging/constraining
And most important,does EUI crush?
How about manuals/documentations?
And character animation possibilities?
That is I want to switch from AM?
What about rigging,constraints,boning,animate?
Does it work?
And oreganic modeling for animal and monsters/creatures is more difficult than in AM or not?
Does it crush Ior Ican trust it in production enviroment?

HUuuu a lot of question

take a look at this please and tell me your opinion okay

www.eridia.com/tbf/

www.drummondesign.net/Content/ContentMicrobes.html

http://www.electricimage.com/products/newprodsplash.htm
and from here go to gallery,and tham to animation portion of galler(lower left) and than "rapa" movie right ,stuart little up left
of big family elefants left
real damn good character wotk not seen with AM
let me know
I get eui too and try to figure damn rigging/constraints/bonong

HellBorn
01-26-2003, 09:27 PM
>How come you couldn't chage your model

Well when I got it into the modeller and click a vertex the whole object gets selected. Could it be because it's a demo version?

I have sent a mail to EI and asked.

Wegg
01-26-2003, 11:58 PM
Nope. . . thats just the way it works. Weird huh.

Ben Lumumba
01-27-2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by HellBorn
>How come you couldn't chage your model

Well when I got it into the modeller and click a vertex the whole object gets selected. Could it be because it's a demo version?

I have sent a mail to EI and asked.

You mean after your model has been modeled ans saved in modeler and when you reload it you can't modeel at vertex level
or so?
Maybe you should select some option as editing at vertex/edges/faces/object level or similar as in MAYA?
Or after you have exported it in animator's file type and want to take it back im modeler
I concerne EIU because of its speed&rendring quality,otherwise...?
LW is bit pricey,and add messiah,too
Certanly,I will go with MAYA very affordable,very affordable fo me
defacto standard in undustry
just learning curve ...nothing under 2 years,that is gor long term
I need some for short term
I must say I work over day just another job,(brick/facade layer)
and in the free time I learn MAYA
I decided to breack in industry
I just have to examine all possibilities

Wegg
01-27-2003, 04:38 PM
I have hopefull 3D artists come applying for work at my company all the time. They pretty much think that if they know Maya or Max. . . they can get a job. They get a little shocked when I tell them that their complete lack of a portfolio and traditional art skills is what didn't get them the job. . .

If you want to "break in". Then put a portfolio together of great work. IN ANY PACKAGE!

HellBorn
01-27-2003, 10:53 PM
Ok so here is the simple for why you can't edit your polygon models imported to EIU.

Straight from Phil Martin:

Our modeller cannot handle polygon models.

Ben Lumumba
01-27-2003, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by HellBorn
Ok so here is the simple for why you can't edit your polygon models imported to EIU.

Straight from Phil Martin:

Our modeller cannot handle polygon models.
Sorry
I am really not that stupid but...
from where you import it actually?
from Modeler in Animator as *eim?
or from Animator as *.FACT to Modeler back?
Or from...?

HellBorn
01-29-2003, 11:38 PM
I imported an .obj model into the Animater and when doing so the Animator created a .fact file version.

I the imported that .fact file into the modeller.

Whatever I did I could not access anything else than the parts it was built from.

So I checked with EIU and they say I can't do it because it don't handle polygons.

Not a big problem as I see it if you have another app in witch you can fix your model.

Ben Lumumba
01-29-2003, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by HellBorn
I imported an .obj model into the Animater and when doing so the Animator created a .fact file version.

I the imported that .fact file into the modeller.

Whatever I did I could not access anything else than the parts it was built from.

So I checked with EIU and they say I can't do it because it don't handle polygons.

Not a big problem as I see it if you have another app in witch you can fix your model.

hi
I was the same problem
but it is simple
let say you have Left-Knee.FACT model in animator
when you have your model in animator and see that for example it doesn't bend good because it is not modeled good in the knee area you load that LeftKnee.eim model again in modeler and reshape it and save it inderr the same name and next time when you open that project in animator
you have all those bones setup and rest the same with your
LeftKnee.FACT remodeled
that's all

you just have to reload the same model in modeler 's native format, reshape and again save it under the same name
next time when starting animator,it calculates automaticaly changes you have benn done and then you havw model with anough vertexes/CV points/rings whatever in knee arae
start aniamtio preview and see if bending matches your need

I alredy purchased it

best regards,
Ben

Wegg
01-30-2003, 12:13 AM
But that assumes that you have modeled in EI. You can't work with Wings or AM or anything else and expect that same level of interaction.

I was also shocked at how high you have to make the polygon count in order for models to look smooth at render time.

Its a bit too "freaky weird out there" for me.

3DArtZ
01-30-2003, 12:42 AM
Hi ben, I just update my version too. the new character tools look pretty good and I have no real problem importing or exporting my models.
If I made it in hash, I just fix it in hash and prepare the model using ei transporter.
If I made the model in eimodeller, than I just fix it and export it from there.
It's not that big of a deal for me to work in different modellers, even though being able to bring everything into ei's modeller would benice.
Mike Fitz

Wegg
01-30-2003, 12:46 AM
Try and make facial shapes to do facial animation in AM.

It doesn't work. :-(

I spent a good two weeks with EI trying to get it to work for me. . .

/me lifts up his pant leg to show his scars.

3DArtZ
01-30-2003, 01:55 AM
tresher shark.... or are we talking about different movies?
I've gotten it to work in the past, but I took a version off from EI and spent it with Hash.... So I've forgotten the steps I took. What you're also saying may mean that it, for some reason in no longer possible.... which I'm sure I'll soon discover.
Did you run the dxf from hash through transporter?

Wegg
01-30-2003, 04:26 AM
I don't remember their being any "transporter" at the time. This may be something they fixed. Who knows. I'd be interested to know if you can get it all to work.

SavageCreature
01-30-2003, 06:09 PM
It's not that you can't import models into Electric Images Modeler from other applications, is that you can't edit them once you have. You canít even edit their native fact files once theyíve been exported. The key word here is EDIT. You can get the model into the application, (transporter has been around since version 2 at least) but you canít change it once itís there. You can animate it, however. (in animator of course) If there was something about the mesh you didnít like youíre pretty much S.O. L. You have to go back to the model file (which is a separate thing from the .fact file) alter the mesh and re-export.
The renderer? One of the best, I think. I find it odd that everyone always talks about how fast it is but never mention if itís any good or not. Doesnít matter if itís fast if the finished product isnít any good, but in this aspect E.I. really delivers. And itís pseudo-global illumination is not only beautiful, but itís just as sceamin fast as the rest of the render system.
Character animation? Well, it can be done, but itís surely not the best tool for the job. EI continues to improve their character animation tools and they have improved considerably since I started using it, but they donít compare to LW/Messiah or, of course, Maya.
EI is best for environmental and mechanical animation. I canít think of anything better in that arena, but if youíre focusing on character animation, especially photo real stuff, I would think hard before you decide to go down that road. (though, you never would have managed truly photoreal stuff with Hash, either. Not with that render system.) You can do it, but itís gonna take more effort for the same results. I worked out a system to use low res proxy models, but honestly Iíve havenít worked with a character model that was poly heavy enough for me to care, so that might be a non-issue, but it doesnít have any sort of dynamics system without purchasing a plug in (or two), it doesnít do fur/hair (always a good thing if youíre doing characters) and it doesnít really have any kind of a UV mapping system. (all of this as of the last version of 4.x, though I didnít see any of those features in the list for 5) Itís morphing system works, but is somewhat touchy and leaves little room for error.
Donít get me wrong. I love EI. I just donít try to make it into something it isnít.
And one last thing. In my opinion buying the write tools, no matter what they cost, is half the battle of creative expression. You donít see auto mechanics down at the flea market buying cheap tin wrenches and you wonít be able to push yourself to the limits of your creative vision if the software you chose isnít the right package for the type of work you want to do.
Just to make it all the more confusing, I included a couple of renders of a character model (in progress) that Iíve been working on in EI.
Just my buck and a half's worth

JoeW
01-30-2003, 11:32 PM
I've been an EI user since V1.1 (a long time ago). EI doesn't compare to AM when it comes to character animation tools - not even close - BUT - If you're not doing character work, or rudimentary character work - EI may suffice.

I still use EI for a lot of things. It's renderer is *outstanding* and the fastest one out there. Last time I did a comparison, it was on the order of 40 times faster than AM's - with vastly superior quality. EI is still the king of handling heavy scenes with lots of lights, but it's poor hardware display support is really starting to make it cumbersome to use.

I think EI is a great *additional* tool, but if you depend on CA work, then I'd look elsewhere...

My $.02...

Joe W

Hookflash
01-31-2003, 12:26 AM
Originally posted by SavageCreature
...and it doesnít really have any kind of a UV mapping system.

Well, how the heck do you texture? Is it all procedural? Do you have to use cumbersome mapping objects? Sounds like the 3d tool of Satan...

Wegg
01-31-2003, 12:44 AM
This is Satin's spawn. Imagine having to use Gizmo. . . through a straw.

binder3d
01-31-2003, 04:06 AM
Couldnt you make an animation in Hash export the bvh and then use Lifeforms to bring into EI? Just think about animating a proxy model in Hash. Then use the bvh info to animate a model created in EI. You can get Hash animation with the superior render of EI. What about exporting dxf or 3ds from hash - bring into FormZ and then save as SAT? You then can edit in modeler.
Just thinking out loud.

Maybe work in Wings 3d somehow since it can read dxf and mdl files?

howardt
01-31-2003, 11:23 AM
Maybe work in Wings 3d somehow since it can read dxf and mdl files?

Actually, wings 3d does not read mdl files. It does write them, after a fashion (a plugin I wrote). I don't know of a way of getting it to read dxf files (directly) either. The current 3d import formats are .ndo (Nendo), .3ds, .obj.

With some work, wings could import .mdl files, but I've lost my enthusiasm for making the wings <-> AM connection work well. I don't have v10 to test against, for instance.

3DArtZ
01-31-2003, 03:02 PM
AM and EI both can take advantage of bvh files but the bvh files from hash need some work done to them inorder to get it to work.
I've been using camera data export from hash, with an app I wrote to "reorient" the data to control the camera in EI. I then layer my character animation from hash over, behind or in between environments rendered in EI.
So, yeah it does work but it's a little difficult to get it working perfectly.
Character renders in hash to the tune of 4 hour renders... EI does the environments with character animation layer from hash in 30 minutes to an hour.... usually.
My wish would be to use ei's renderer for everything. But it's just a wish.
Mike Fitz

JoeW
01-31-2003, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by binder3d
Couldnt you make an animation in Hash export the bvh and then use Lifeforms to bring into EI? Just think about animating a proxy model in Hash. Then use the bvh info to animate a model created in EI. You can get Hash animation with the superior render of EI. What about exporting dxf or 3ds from hash - bring into FormZ and then save as SAT? You then can edit in modeler.
Just thinking out loud.

Maybe work in Wings 3d somehow since it can read dxf and mdl files?

You CAN do this, but as was stated earlier, you have to restructure the data in the BVH file out of AM - it's not in the exact format it needs to be (I think there's issues with spacing or something like that).

The downside is that you don't get any smartskinning, and you can pretty much forget facial morph targets as AM changes the vertex order when it exports morph (pose) data - and you have to have perfect vertex ordering or the morphs won't work.... well, work *right*......

I don't know if the OBJ importer that's available for EI will bring in textures, either..... Hmmmmm...

JoeW

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