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Squeakypics
09-11-2003, 01:31 PM
I'm toying with the idea of upgrading to Animate or Studio from 1.5 and I was wondering whether in the new versions I would be able to see textures while I'm animating. That function doesn't seem to be there in Animate 3.3.

Also, does Render support rendering out seperate passes (shadows etc) for post production client fiddling?

ThomasHelzle
09-16-2003, 02:37 PM
You can see textures in Messiah:Studio Rev9 - but the final version 1.5 still isn't out.
I doubt if it will be possible in Animate 4, because there is no way to texture things... Any Animate 4 User can confirm this?

The second question is also problematic to answer, because Studio isn't released yet. In the latest Rev, the passes aren't activated, but there is already some interface-stuff for them. There will be passes, but only PmG knows when and to what extent.
There already is a way to get a depth buffer rendered with the help of the new SimpleFog Shader, but it has to be rendered seperately.
An alpha channel is there if you render to a 32 bit format.
I have asked for the RLA and RPF-Formats some time ago and Lyle from PmG has answered that these aren't planed currently. But if enough users want it, it will be implemented...

Regards!

Squeakypics
09-16-2003, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the reply Thomas.
I think I am going to Upgrade to Animate 4 but the way things are looking going with Lightwave for rendering may be the better bet.


I have a copy of LW6.5 will Messiah4 work with it or is it just too old?

ThomasHelzle
09-16-2003, 03:04 PM
Your best bet could be to wait some days/weeks for the final Messiah:Studio to be released. It is never wrong to have a second renderer available.

I "think" that Animate 4 works with LW 6.5, but I haven't used 6.5 for a very long time now so I'm not sure.
Anyone else using this combo?

Maybe the current LW7.5/8/DFX upgrade is the best value after all ;-)

Squeakypics
09-16-2003, 03:17 PM
It IS very tempting, especially with the new character tools. If I go that route I don't think I can afford the Studio upgrade though!

Actually, the same is true if I go for the Animate upgrade. The cost of then upgrading to Studio later makes it very unlikely.

What to do, what to do?

.....
I'm off to buy a lottery ticket.

ThomasHelzle
09-16-2003, 03:35 PM
I know exactly what you are talking about... ;-)

The only advise I can give, is to base the decision on your actual need: If your main work is character animation with audio sync and lots of expression and if you use the 1.5 plugin often and do like the way it works - go for Animate (and if you can afford it, for Studio).
I don't think that LW will be as fast as Messiah any time soon ;-)

Otherwise, the LW update will maybe be more versatile...

Good luck in this software-lottery ;-)

fig
09-16-2003, 06:18 PM
i know that rick (rnb2) is using messiah with 6.5 so i'd assume its got no problems :)

chris

rnb2
09-16-2003, 08:28 PM
Actually, I'm currently using Studio with LW7.5. I haven't tested rev9 with LW6.5, though I probably could without too much trouble, as it's still installed on the home machine. I know that rev8 worked with 6.5, so I imagine that newer versions would, as well.

fig
09-16-2003, 11:14 PM
ok, just kidding, my bad...

i talk to too many different people that use lightwave to keep all y'all straight :)

chris

Squeakypics
09-17-2003, 10:17 AM
Well, I've just got Joe Cosmans rigging CD. He makes it look so obvious. I tried messing with his finished model and accidentaly found myself animating - I have got to have this software!!!

I think I'm going to go for the studio upgrade and assume that I can fall back on LW6.5 if I have to.


Rick:
I have been experimenting more with ZBrush and you are right it is the fun bit of the process - so natural. I have also just got Silo so am moving on to cutting details and the mystical art of forming edgeloops.
After all My stress with AM this new workflow is a Hoot!

By the way, is your icon done with your ZBrush method?

Right! where is that credit card hiding?

Jonathan
09-17-2003, 11:22 AM
Heyas, I'm a messiah animate 4 user. Nope no textures, but then again they really are not needed since all you are dealing with is motion. I use Lightwave 7.5 and M:A4 and it's a great combo.

Alas I was so tired of dealing with SubDs and square polys that seemed to pole at every angle after freezing that I started freezing and triangulating everything after all modeling and morphing was done. Then I ran into the headache of Lightwave's interactive display versus M:A real-time display which of course forced me to abandon lightwave for any kind of character animation once M:A included endomorphs. Using endomorphs with a bone rig allows me to accentuate endomorphs to get far better expression and flexibility than I could get with endomorphs alone. What's cooler however is that you can back-end endomorphs and use them in lightwave after transfer which is what I do with motion designer sometimes.

I find collision detection in lightwave better than M:A4 but I've just dug into it so that opinion may change. But the vertex groups are preserved so I can still restrict vertices within surfaces but it would be much better if motion designer worked with weights.

Check out my demo
1.6 meg WMV real-time demo M:A4 & Lightwave 7.5 (http://www.btinternet.com/~jonathan.west3/images/shorts/Demo.wmv)

rnb2
09-17-2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Squeakypics
Rick:
I have been experimenting more with ZBrush and you are right it is the fun bit of the process - so natural. I have also just got Silo so am moving on to cutting details and the mystical art of forming edgeloops.
After all My stress with AM this new workflow is a Hoot!

By the way, is your icon done with your ZBrush method?

Right! where is that credit card hiding?

Dave,

Yep, the character was sculpted in ZBrush, with small details done in LW Modeler, rendered in Studio. He's even sporting his new (probably placeholder) UV color map painted on him in ZBrush - spent a lot of time over the weekend figuring out the workflow, since there are still hoops to jump through.

I can certainly understand your excitement - that's pretty much how I've been feeling lately.

One more thing about ZBrush - make sure you start your models as ZSpheres, with negative ZSpheres for the eyes and mouth - this will actually get passable edgeloops out of ZBrush when you adaptive skin them.

Rick

Squeakypics
09-17-2003, 06:41 PM
Oh yes. I'm there with the negative Zspheres. The thing I don't like is doing hands with more than 3 fingers. The mesh just gets too messy for me so I'll be trying to do them in Silo.

Are you using adaptive tiles for your UV's? If so how are you finding them?

I took the plunge ordered Studio so my nexrt stage is lurking in the bushes outside of my house waiting for the postman!

rnb2
09-17-2003, 09:02 PM
Dave,

Congratulations on your order - hope you enjoy working with it (I know that I am!).

For doing fingers/hands in ZBrush, you really need to use Digits Zif Widget from here:

http://www.pixolator.com/zbc-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=010409

Also, Bonecradle did something of a tutorial on how to use it here:

http://www.pixolator.com/zbc-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=012048

Basically, it allows you to change the resolution of individual ZSpheres, even after you create them - this allows you to have more divisions in one direction (say, across the top of the hand, where the fingers attach). Worked quite well for me, but it did take a while to figure out - the hands that are on my character now were done after the rest of him, and then I stitched them onto the mesh in Lightwave Modeler.

I am using AUVTiles, and it seems to be working well. Had to struggle with the process a bit over the weekend, but I did eventually get it working to my satisfaction.

Rick

maks
09-18-2003, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by Jonathan
Heyas, I'm a messiah animate 4 user. Nope no textures, but then again they really are not needed since all you are dealing with is motion.

Hey Jonathan,

are you sure about this? Is your project directory set correctly? I use studio 9b, but I work with it in "animate mode" (by removing the rendermode.dll, wich actually is the render module, you can turn it into animate, according to Lyle), and I see textures... Then, Lyle once told me (before the last revs) that texture display will be in this rev of m:animate, so I believe it should be there now - you might doublecheck...

M.

lmilton
09-20-2003, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by maks
Hey Jonathan,

are you sure about this? Is your project directory set correctly? I use studio 9b, but I work with it in "animate mode" (by removing the rendermode.dll, wich actually is the render module, you can turn it into animate, according to Lyle), and I see textures... Then, Lyle once told me (before the last revs) that texture display will be in this rev of m:animate, so I believe it should be there now - you might doublecheck...

M.

texture maps do show up in messiah:animate. If not, please report it.

-lyle

Jonathan
09-20-2003, 09:19 AM
That's interesting, I never see texture maps and I've used several different models. There's also no rendermode library on my HD. Not like I'm really worried since everything else works. I guess I better report it because there could be other bugs I have not yet caught.

ThomasHelzle
09-20-2003, 10:57 AM
You have to switch your model to the "material-view" mode with the little "m" in front of the object, where you also switch to wireframe, vertexes etc. But I don't know how complex the textures can be - it should for instance work (does for me) if you use one UV-Map and one imagemap on an object - maybe try it with something simple first ;-)
And of of course messiah can't import procedurals etc. from lightwave...

Jonathan
09-20-2003, 11:44 AM
I went through all of the settings. I thought the T setting was for texture however. Anyways, I clicked through all of em and on the L, M(bold), and m I get nothing at all.

I sent a e-mail to PMG however. I'm waiting their reply.

Squeakypics
09-25-2003, 12:31 PM
Well. I've had my Messiah:Studio for a few days now and I think I made the right decision. This is a deeply lovely app with tons of real world useful features.
I am currently exploring the motion graph and key frame handling and they are are by far and away the best of any Animation software I've used.

So, thanks for everyones help.

lmilton
09-26-2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Jonathan
I went through all of the settings. I thought the T setting was for texture however. Anyways, I clicked through all of em and on the L, M(bold), and m I get nothing at all.

I sent a e-mail to PMG however. I'm waiting their reply.

Can you post an mpj (complete with image & object) so we can all test?

-lyle

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