View Full Version : Hash A.M.

01 January 2003, 10:57 PM
I'm very curious about this litle app, it seems a bargain for the kind of work I've seen made on it. Unfortunatly I cant find a demo, and the reviews are all about very old vertions , so I would like to ear opinions from people who know-it.
How good is it? Can it do other things than C.A. (like architecture for instance)?

Also i've seen a site somewere with an article about mid priced 3d software, an interview with Victor Navone and so, but I cant find it anymore :hmm: Somebody has the link?

01 January 2003, 12:16 AM
here is the article:

01 January 2003, 12:23 AM
:thumbsup: Thanks alot!

01 January 2003, 03:36 AM
I've seen some amazing artwork on AM! and I commend the artists who did it!
They most be trully great........


01 January 2003, 07:51 AM
Thanks for replying but I was looking for more specific coments...

To say it sucks simply seems like a personal vendeta to me... There are some packages I dont particulary like but I cant say they suck... Perhaps it just istnt the app for you but could be for others ;)

Thats wy I realy would like to see a demo...

01 January 2003, 10:09 AM
Hash's biggest strength is its animation tools. They kick ass. When I say that, I dont mean it like "It's got gobbledygook blah blah super duper interpolating gizmos which require a degree to use but work really well once running." I mean they're simple, easy to implement and work very well.

If you're planning to become an animator.. definitely get AM. Hash lets you focus on learning animation rather than constantly digging through tons of menus and tools.

AM can do architecture, but you'd be better off doing it another package if that's all you plan to do.

If you're used to modeling in other 3D packages.. throw that all out the window, Hash's system is pretty unique and will take some getting used to. The documentation that comes with it wont help too much, I *highly* suggest that if you order AM you pick up a tutorial cd from or David Rogers' AM 2002: Complete Guide.

Another downside to AM is that it doesnt like to play with other programs. If you've got models in MAX or other packages you can't bring them into AM. There are ways to bring other models in but it doesnt always work too well and cleanup is required if you want to animate the model.

I absolutely love the AM toon shader.. use it all the time. You get a lot of control with it. Toon lines could use a bit more work but are decent enough.

AM has gotten a bad rap the past couple years (which it deserved) because the 2001 and 2002 versions were insanely, crazily buggy.. but 2003 is sooo much better. It still crashes every once in a while, but what doesnt?

If you've got a story in your head and you need to tell it then you should try AM. Unfortunately they dont have a demo version. There used to be one bundled with a book but it's several versions old by now.

Matthew Krick

01 January 2003, 10:14 AM
AM is surely not the stablest piece of software you'll find out there, but then again most 3D programs have their fair share of bugs and problems.

In my opinion
Character setup (good IK, smart skin, etc) and animation, poses and non-linear animation. Great tools for manipulating keyframes.

Slow renderer, different modeling paradigm (ONLY hash splines, no polygons, NURBS or SubDs), texturing.
Unstable at times

There might be some other people who can give you their personal thoughts. For the money, you can't find a better commercial program out there for character animation.

01 January 2003, 04:01 PM
i am a lurker on the AM list and tho i haven't yet upgraded to V10, the people on the list have been raving about its stabilit. As said before the bugs have been fixed. this does not mean that it is perfect, but it is also not the crash prone piece of shyte of a few years ago. I wouldn't recommend it simply because it uses patch modeling, which while powerful is done in such a way that you cannot import/export anything without cleaning up the mesh. that being said if you are willing to stick with AM by itself you can do some pretty powerful things quite easily.

01 January 2003, 04:38 PM
AM does rock especially for the story teller. It is easy to use. Simple yet very very powerful. IT can hang with the big boys in so many ways. Its not the cost of the tool but how you use it. This one is definately something to get your feet wet and or use in real production
You know the film about the killer Bean killing everyone was all done in animation master.

Simply check out the Hash movie gallery. It has everything you need to make the next toy story. Some love it, some hate it.

It has almost everything the big boys have. You can do special fx, compositing, etc.

One draw back, is its lack of power to import various file formats, some crashes depending on video card, and doesn't work well with other progs.

But it definately will pretty much do anything

01 January 2003, 04:44 PM
I've been using AM since '98. Before that time I used Lightwave and doing character animation with it (5.5) was nearly impossible. When I switched to AM I was amazed at how easy it was to pull of complex character stuff. I've found that you can do the same thing in AM so much easier than other programs (as far as character work). Now, since then, Lightwave has been upgraded and I think I like it more for character modeling. It's MUCH faster. But AM still wins hands down with character animation. I've done a few short films with it and even some semi-professional stuff. It is somewhat buggy, but you just get in the habit of saving often and it isn't THAT much of a problem. So, yeah, if you're most interested in becoming a character animator, I would totally suggest getting it.

However, it's sad but true (as I've found out this past year), that many companies want you to know a particular software program so that you can fit nicely into their studio without any training. So, my advice would be to learn other progams too. Maybe just enough to become proficient with them. It makes you more marketable.

My 2 cents...


01 January 2003, 07:30 PM
OK, To make it right.
I't has it's strong points but dam, I like modeling all kind of stuff
so when it comes to modeling I know what I'm talking about, I
don't like I'ts modeling system, because when you finaly get used
to modeling with A.M. you wont be able to learn anything else, Or
it would be harder to learn a better program, once you decide to
get one.

Max and maya both have a great animation system,
and the modeling is excellent. Hell you could probably
Even get a present version of Lightwave that is much
better. As charecter animation goes did anybody see
Asylum.....(pretty good animation and modeling)

That's what I say take it or leave it, hope I helped....

01 January 2003, 07:57 PM
Thanks for clearing things up for me folks, actualy I used Max and Maya at scool and at work, and im learning Lw now, but Im new to C.A., and interested in learning more of it, so I play around with demos at Home to see what I can get to fit my budgect and style of work.
Its realy a shame that about the import problems.... I may yet give it a go, i'm not sure...:shrug:
Its hard to decide even for 300 buck wen you dont have them laying around. Those guys should make a demo!

Asylum? No I havent seen it, is it done In Lw you say? Were can I find it?

01 January 2003, 01:49 AM
i am a lurker on the AM list and tho i haven't yet upgraded to V10, the people on the list have been raving about its stabilit.

People on the list ALWAYS rave about it's stability. When version 9 came out so many people said that it never crashed, but it mysteriously crashed for me all the time and to top it off would result in corrupt files more often than not, which I never got in v8.0 and v8.5.

Anything that you hear on the HASH forum is sooo biased it makes me sick. I mean with a moderator that will suspend you from the list if you even mention the word "crash", so you only hear the good points.

HASH's reason for it crashing has always been it is some other program's fault. Therefore they always tell you to reinstall windows and only install Animation Master.

If it was stable, which it may be now, it would be a cool program because it is easy to rig and animate in, but modeling all objects with it's "special" modeling method is a pain in the @ss. The logic of their splines was great before subd's, but now it slows things down more so than a std low poly model.

As for saving often, you really have to save often, like every couple changes to the model, you save. You spend more time saving to prevent lost time when it crashes than you spend working on the good stuff. When I started using Lightwave I couldn't understand how come the program wouldn't crash, I knew then that I made the right choice in my switch

Also find out if there is a big manual for the latest version, because I have seen comic books bigger than the one that cam with v9.0.

I admit I am curious about the latest version, but I think I might hold off to maintain my sanity.

Good Luck

01 January 2003, 02:30 AM
i won't really argue with you there. i'm learning maya and will never go back unless i want to do something really quick and simple.

01 January 2003, 03:20 PM
Hi there Mazer

Nice to see another TUGA in the House :bounce:

About A:M check this thread out:

So you are learning LW, thatīs a fine choise you have made :applause:

If u need any help on it, just drop me a line


(a TUGA myself :thumbsup: )

Rabid pitbull
01 January 2003, 04:20 PM
A:M is not a bad program. i used it for a time and actually think it is a great entry level program into 3D. The tools have limitations, but it is fast to learn and realativly easy to use. i wouldn't worry about what the industry is hiring for.. most of the info you get using A:M will make it easy to transition to another app. the modeling technique is the biggest down side, although the splines are very powerful, it is unlike most other modeling styles.


when starting out it is best to have something that makes sense than many ways so model. i use lightwave now, and many others have taken this same path. Lightwave is a bit pricey to find out if you like this stuff or not....

the only other program i would recommend for a beginner is at the DV garage, i think they still sell older versions of electric image and loads of learning resources for $200. this is a more traditional package, but may be more complicated, check it out.

good luck

01 January 2003, 04:38 PM
Personally, even though I bought AM 9.5, I found myself only using my previous copy of 7. AM 9 was just too buggy for me. As far as crashing goes, I didn't know how bad it was until I began using Lightwave. I kept waiting for Lightwave to crash every so often...but it didn't. I think in total I've had Lightwave crash like twice or something. Animation Master would crash at LEAST once a day if not many times a day.

That said, the animation tools can't be beat. If it wasn't for AM I never would have learned character animation. I still can't do good character work in Lightwave. I'm going to have to buy Auto Character Setup and Keytrak in order to get to a point where I'm comfortable doing that stuff with it.

I guess the pro is that AM gets out of your way and doesn't fight you when you want to animate and nothing else.

The con is that it makes up for not fighting with you by crashing often.

It's a hate/love relationship


01 January 2003, 07:09 PM
AM v.9.0f is the most unstable application known to this man.


But you know I could deal with that. However, there's also the poor renderer and creasing artifacts. Now it seems that user support just evaporated overnight, because of the events on the mailing list (Steve Sappington banned all advanced users who spoke out against a) crappy software b) oppression of their freedom of speech about it).

The aftermath is going to be interesting - naturally, this isn't the best time to buy a Hash product.

01 January 2003, 08:25 PM
So when will these guys get a clue that maybe they should listen to what everyone is saying and give their program a major overhaul? Maybe they're just too much into their fantasy world that AM is perfect and any speaking of problems is blasphemy.

They'll go the way of the dinosaur if they keep to that route. Especially now that 3D software is drastically dropping in price. People (like me) are finding that you can do the same thing with these other programs so much better. No more creases, no more stupid modeling tools, no more shoddy customer support and most importantly, NO MORE CRASHES!

Plus, my experience has been that you can't get a job with AM (I've tried). Companies for the most part want you to know specific programs. AM was great to start with, but it's outlived its usefulness.

01 January 2003, 10:38 PM
I recommend that you steer clear of this program until the company gets it's act in gear. They have NO respect for their customers (once they've got your money, you're screwed), and you'll basically be working for them for free (as a beta tester). They haven't made a "release" in all the time I've been using the app... It's just an endless stream of alphas & betas that are labelled "releases" by Hash (and if you try to point this out in a constructive way, you'll be banned from their mailing list). Go read some of Martin's Minutes at to get a feel for this companies attitude in general.

01 January 2003, 11:03 PM
:eek: Ok, I think I get the picture:shrug:

Too mutch hash and not enough coding...:rolleyes: ... its a shame

01 January 2003, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by Mazer
I'm very curious about this litle app, it seems a bargain for the kind of work I've seen made on it.
Also i've seen a site somewere with an article about mid priced 3d software, an interview with Victor Navone and so, but I cant find it anymore :hmm: Somebody has the link?

I am a new A:M user (v10/2003) and come to the program via Maya and Lightwave. A:M is not a bad program, but you might want to think once or twice before you get it. If you want to animate then it's great... even rigging I find much faster and more enjoyable than Maya (although much more basic), but I find thelargest hurtle of A:M to be the patch modler.

I read the interview with Victor Navone and others that was in an awn article just last month and that artical got me thinking about A:M. The work I saw from those artists in that interview impressed me and made me think... maybe I can do what I want freelance without needing to get a more expensive package... I needed some software that would give me the option of doing freelance work without spending my life savings.... yes litterally my life savings. Up till now I've had Maya as a student and just can't afford to get a full version right now.

A:M does crash... although v10b is the best I've used... I can work for hours without problems... just don't hit UNDO to many times. :)

I find it unfortunate that I might not beable to use A:M freelance simply because it takes me too long to model the A:M way, but I think through using A:M (atleast for a time) it will reenforce the basics I've learned in 3D and hopefully... in the long run... make my skills more solid and attractive to future employeers.

You might be able to think of A:M as a system that can get what you want done. However, it will be like doing college physics with Algebra and not Calculus.

01 January 2003, 05:14 PM
Mazer, you asked about A:M's non-CA abilities.

A:M's spline modeling is amazingly undeveloped, given the time that has passed. It once ruled in organic character creation, but over the years, amazingly little has been added to its toolset. A 3rd-party user/developer has created several mostly-free tools that are extremely useful, and bring A:M's modeling abilities up a notch, or two, but it is still totally spline-based, with not enough additional help provided in the way of patch, spline, or point manipulation, and this is not the ideal for mechanical or architectural modeling. Sharp or small-radius edges are more difficult in A:M than in other modelers. They are not impossible, but without the add-on tools, they are time-consuming to create and work with, IMO.
Consequently, most A:M users stick to organic characters, and you rarely see nicely-done mechanical models. Most of them tend to look like a clay-mation model: a little too rounded on all the edges. Mechanical objects can and have been done well in A:M, but A:M has the exact opposite problem that the older polygon-based modelers had. They did mechanical modeling better than they did organics. Now these poly modelers have new tools that make them more or less equal to A:M's organic modeling strengths, but A:M has not improved its own weaknesses at all. The 3rd-party plug-in tools help some.

As far as crashing, A:M has just gone through a period of instability that would have brought down lesser companies. In all fairness to A:M, v10, just now out, appears to be 'better'. The problem is that 'better' is still not necessarily 'acceptable' to those who may have the quaint notion that software should never crash, and A:M's history suggests that this is a temporary state of affairs. Hash is run more like a shareware company, releasing software that has not been adequately debugged, and fixing it as they go, all the while adding new features and bugs. An amazing number of these bugs, IMO, are fatal exceptions of some sort, or cause corruptions to files, or require an exit and restart. Many of us on here have endured this last year of crashing and corruption, and you will see some of our frustrations surface in this forum. Again, v10 is beginning to get the rep of being abnormally stable for a Hash product, so many of our complaints may not be relevant to the version that is now shipping.

I know that one significant A:M studio has switched to LW/Messiah, and that another uses LW for modeling, A:M for CA, and LW for rendering, I believe. All of the guys at these studios will rave about A:M's CA ability, but not much else.

IMO, A:M is best used on a simpler scale. Don't try to create a Final Fantasy, or even a Shrek. Use A:M for it's strength to learn CA, and create something that will showcase what you've learned. Whether out of knowledge of this, or by sheer luck, Victor Navone has taken the exactly ideal path of creating short animations with a simple character that showcase his animating talent. Think VegiTales. Think Alien Song. Sure, you can do better textures, and more complex models, but the more advanced you try to go, the less likely you are to finish or even to accomplish your goal of learning CA. If you try to do a realistic human model because you saw what Den Beauvais or CommieKeebler has done, you may never even get to the animation part.

Keep It Simple. Do an anthropomorphic pencil with two eyes, floating eyebrows, and maybe a mouth. No legs, no arms, no hair, no clothes, no spring systems, etc. Now, you will be able to get into the animation part relatively unscarred, and with most of your hair intact. Create a story for your character and animate it. The animation part is what is going to be important to employers, if that is your goal. They won't count your A:M modeling ability as very important, because you will have to learn a significantly different modeler anyway, and in a studio, modeling is usually done by one person, while animating is done by another. So if you get hired by anyone base on your A:M output, it will probably be for your strengths as an animator, not a modeler.

Ben Lumumba
01 January 2003, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by Mazer
Thanks for replying but I was looking for more specific coments...

To say it sucks simply seems like a personal vendeta to me... There are some packages I dont particulary like but I cant say they suck... Perhaps it just istnt the app for you but could be for others ;)

Thats wy I realy would like to see a demo...

okay just simply buy it and try it
and you will see that it is a good one or not good one
your personal experience

01 January 2003, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by Mazer
Thanks for clearing things up for me folks, actualy I used Max and Maya at scool and at work, and im learning Lw now...

I think a much better solution for you is Messiah animate 3.0 or just get ACS4 for LW ($90 USD). Going from Max, Maya and LW to A:M would be a huge step down!

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