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View Full Version : Hash Animation:Master... Any good?


Hookflash
03-27-2002, 11:07 AM
Has anyone here used Hash Animation:Master? I've been looking for a complete character animation package within my price-range (as a hobbyist), and was wondering if A:M was any good. Tia

Jordan

Verminator
03-27-2002, 02:07 PM
Animation Master is an excellent program. It's got a great modeller and one of the best animation platforms around. For the price you can't get anything better and it rivals some programs costing much more. Highly recommended.

And Version 9's new interface is very hip (http://www.vermination.com/TempImages/SNAG-0000.jpg) as well.

Rabid pitbull
03-27-2002, 07:08 PM
A:M is a very good intro program, and many can get beyond its limitations(too many in my mind) and use it on a proffesional level. My biggest beef with it is that the modeling technique is rather slow, unprecise, and not like other packages. It is a spline modeler, and it is very good at that, but spline modeling is not the method of choice in other packages, so you have to learn to model again when using other programs. It is a very good deal for $300. But if i was to go back and do it again i would probably choose something like the deal at DV Garage to get electronic universe and detailed training for $199.

http://www.dvgarage.com/

jdates
03-27-2002, 08:55 PM
I highly recommend A:M for it's character animation, and modeling tools alone.

True, it uses a unique form of modeling, but I find that once you master it, it creates light, easy to deform, organic shapes.
As well as mechanical shapes.

For the price you get some amazing features, but tradtionally, A:M is considered a hobbiest package.

I've used A:M for over 6 years now, and you can check out some of the work here:

http://www.reelfx.com/jdates

Also, this entire project is done in A:M

http://www.dayoffthedead.com

It's highly worth the price.

jdates

ambassador
03-27-2002, 10:55 PM
jdates,

great work. horrible web compression.....your thumbnails are 85k each and you have like 30 of them
:wip:

jdates
03-27-2002, 11:00 PM
Eh, true.

I'll get around to compressing those someday.
I figure everyone who is anyone has at least DSL!

:rolleyes:

:p

jdates

<later>

Ok, Ok, you talked me into it. I've recompressed the images to make you 56k'ers out there happy! (get broadband dammit!)

Happy now!?!:D

jdates
03-28-2002, 08:42 AM
I forgot!!

On the SpyKids 2 trailer.. those cybernetic glasses were done at ReelFX and entirely done in Animation Master!!

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Jdates

Frothingslosh
03-28-2002, 10:23 AM
Jeff,

What do you guys use to motion track in Animation Master? Is it proprietary or something that can be obtained by the unwashed masses?

Nico

jdates
03-28-2002, 07:19 PM
We've had the boys at Hash write us a camera exporter for Inferno.

We use Discreet Inferno for tracking in A:M and just export the data to A:M.

works great!

jdates

Frothingslosh
03-28-2002, 07:51 PM
Yeah, those lottery commercials you guys did with all the coins are ROCK solid. Hopefully, with all the improvements to v9's SDK, someone will write one for After Effects or another such program.

Great work Jeff!

Nico

trask
03-29-2002, 02:16 AM
jdates: you work with Tracy McKissick, no?

Im on my last quater at the art institute. She's shown us those Texas Lottery spots before (really love the new ones). All the animations on your page are too cool -definite inspiration!

Having only concentrated on modeling and texturing, I always figured only needing basic animation skills (to move a camera, etc.) was enough. But as you've proved -why stop there!

anyway, new to the board and thought it was exciting to find a (possible) co-worker of a past instructor.

...now i just gotta dig-up those damn trackview tutorials, lol.

jdates
03-29-2002, 06:03 AM
Heya!

Yeah I know Trayc... She used to work here as an FX artist and animator.. I still see here from time to time... She's awesome!

Thanks for kudos!

Jdates

takkun
03-29-2002, 08:08 AM
One downside of Animation Master is that YOU, the customer, are also the beta-tester. Their philosophy is to release new versions that are sort of stable and then release updates once, twice, or more a month as they hear complaints from their customers. Normally companies have beta testing departments that negate the need for sooo many updates. This is a minor problem if you stick with an older stable version. I think they are currently on 9.0o, that means there has been 15 updates so far this year! eek!

Frothingslosh
03-29-2002, 08:17 AM
The upside being that Hash is probably one of the most responsive companies around. Bugs get fixed fairly quickly. The current version has been rock solid for me, though I must admit, the majority of problems I had been having had to do with sone poor drivers from ATI.

takkun
03-29-2002, 08:18 AM
Also, you should know of their reputation as a sleepy company. Some examples are:

Their last press release was in 2000.

If you click on "About Hash, Inc." it will say that it is under construction... it's been under construction forever.

When they came out with A:M 2002, their web site was still describing the features of A:M2000 !

And it should be known that they don't offer REAL tech support. The only tech support is a mailing list where other users might or might not answer your question. They also have telephone support but it is not toll free, I guess you should be happy that they don't charge extra.

I don't want people to think I'm a hash-hater, I like their program but I personally don't like their attitude towards their customers or their business philosophy.

If you just want to make cartoony animations that are not too complex, then this is the perfect program for you.

Frothingslosh
03-29-2002, 08:34 AM
Not to dismiss your comments, but there are many folks doing more than cartoony work. There are also many people who have zero problems with their tech support, which they do in fact have. Yes, the mailing list is very helpful, but talking to some of the actual programmers is, in many cases, even more helpful.

Like I said, I'm not denying your experiences, but I think that is the minority.

Jordan,

Shoot steve@hash.com an email (or call) that you are interested in buying. Doublecheck the 30 day warranty and maybe join the AM list. That should at least let you see if you like the program or not.

Nico

takkun
03-29-2002, 09:02 AM
The reason that I said that this program is only good for cartoony animation is because it lacks the tools to create realistic humanoid characters. For example:
1. It does not have any support (or 3rd party support) for complex hair with shadow casting. Unless you want all your characters to be bald.
2. It's has a low quality renderer with no true radiosity or HDRI solution.
3. I doubt that they will add support for SSS anytime soon.

I said that it's good for things that are not too complex because currently A:M has an object based renderer with horrible memory management. And A:M makes it hard to render out a scene in multiple passes to composite in another program.

So if your looking to create photo-realistic "Final Fantasy" quality animation then don't waste your time with Hash. But if your working with cartoony "Preston Blair" subject matter than A:M is perfect for you.

Frothingslosh
03-29-2002, 09:16 AM
Great points Felytendect, but hopefully some of the current changes to the core program and greatly improving the SDK will change many of them. I know there is some work on hair and some big changes to the renderer coming. Kind of funny, but some of the highest quality photoreal humans came out of Hash many, many years ago. What the heck ever happened to Rod BTW?

and I thought all there was to "Final Fantasy" quality animation was some soulless eyes, weak lip sync and a really poor plot? ;)

Couple of other cool things that are being worked on are some nice pipelines to Lightwave and Maya. So you can do all your animation in AM and then bring it over to say, Lightwave, throw some really sweet Sasquatch fur on the model and render out your animation, a la Anzovin's new Dennis the Dog.

I think the biggest point is that AM is probably the best bet for the amount of money Jordan ( the person who started this thread) is looking to spend. Like I said before, you'd have 30 days to try it if the mbg is still in effect.

Nico

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