View Full Version : Pro question

03 March 2003, 06:08 PM
I just saw the demo reel for soulcage - great work. You have to go see it. Over at the demo reel forum. Youll need Divx 5. But my question is this. They did great work using AM. Why are their so many hits on AM? Is it good or not? For every good post there are three bad ones. I started using Strata but just didnt like it. Instead of harping I left. I read how AM is bad and needs to be fixed. Creasing and rendering and bad support. After so long is it ever going to be fixed? Wouldnt it be better to leave? If enough people leave thats another way to send a mesg to Hash. Just trying to get a handle on this love hate thing with Hash. After reading through this forum I think holy crap AM sucks and I need to buy LW. Did I go wrong with AM?


03 March 2003, 08:12 PM
Unfortunatly that is a question that is not easily answered. If you got in with v 9, you have a bad version. If you started with v 10, you might be ok, although there are still problems. Hash seems t go at a pace of 2 steps forward and 1 back for fixing bugs. It can be frustrating. I would suggest that if you need solid software, A:M may not be the best , but get other oppinions, I haven't been using v 10 much.

Cheers, Graham

03 March 2003, 10:48 PM
Here's my take on A:M and Hash.

A:M is *very* powerful and *very* capable...if...and the "if" is big...

I F... learn to work the way the Hash and the application want you to work. are willing to find work arounds to do sometimes simple things. don't make use of the "advanced" features that don't always work. never want to see another Polygon. are willing to spend a decent amount of time post-processing images to clean them up from the render artifacts and aliasing issues. consider value for the dollar.

v10 and 10.5 will help to address some of the issues but A:M will always be inherently unstable due to the development cycle Hash follows.

If you can get past those things than A:M has great rigging and animation tools and is a tremendous value for the money. The people that turn out quality work with A:M spend a *lot* of time developing work arounds or reaching out to the community for help. Wegg can probably comment on that better than I.

As for whether it's better to leave or not... Consider the investment in time and actual dollars that some folks have and it, honestly, just doesn't make sense to move on unless you are making money from your work and have the time to learn a new package and it's quirks.

Put in the time with A:M if you own it. It's a great learning tool and has incredible potential if you are willing to bunker down and fight back as hard as the app fights you.

03 March 2003, 12:10 AM
There is a demo reel forum?

03 March 2003, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by Wegg
There is a demo reel forum?

Not a demo real forum, but a finished ready for crit forum on the main page. The soul Cage real is here:

You have to be patient (SP?). I couldn't view it on my Mac anyway. I don't like Divx. :thumbsdow

Cheers, Graham

03 March 2003, 04:49 AM
Originally posted by Graham Clark
I couldn't view it on my Mac anyway. I don't like Divx. :thumbsdow

Cheers, Graham [/B]

Like you, I don't support of the multi-CODEC fan club. Quicktime is quiet sufficient.
Hey Graham! If you could, test this java based video demo out on the On2 website. I don't have a Mac, but it looks like a solution for the future of crossplatform broadband viewing.

On my Wintel box, the VP4 java video comes up instantly. The quality is excellent as well.

03 March 2003, 05:17 AM
The VP5 sample loaded very quickly and played clearly. I preffer a player that I can scrub back and forth though. I am a QT fan.

Cheers, Graham

03 March 2003, 07:20 AM
Ah, but no codec to hunt for and download. A plus is that everyone can at least view it.

03 March 2003, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by Rangler
Ah, but no codec to hunt for and download. A plus is that everyone can at least view it.

This would be realy great, if everyone would use it, and stop using Divx.

Cheers, Graham

03 March 2003, 09:56 PM
I'm a big fan of just plain old MPEG 1. It plays on almost any player. . . can be scrunched down real small and most systems. . . even real old pentiums and 604s can play them just fine.

03 March 2003, 12:38 AM
Are motion JPEG A and B the same as MPEG 1 and 2? In QT 6, I have the option of Motion JPEG A,B and MPEG4, among all the others. Just wondering if MPEG 1 and 2 are different. I'd like to be able to encode MPEG 2 so it will play on my DVD player.

Cheers, Graham

03 March 2003, 12:51 AM
I have no idea what those codecs really mean. . . sorry.

If your on a Winblowz box. . . you can use the free TMPGEnc. It does a very good job at making clean .mpg movies.

03 March 2003, 07:17 AM
I learned something about MPEGs. Motion JPEGS or M-JPEGs use JPEG compression for each frame. MPEGs use key frame compression, same as JPEG, along with P and B compression for frames that don't change, giving a smaller file size. MPEG1 is VHS quality and used for VCDs. MPEG2 is DVD quality and is used for DVDs, no surprise there. If you want to learn more, check these links:

Cheers, Graham

03 March 2003, 04:55 PM
This is slightly off topic, but since ya'l are talkin' about the pro's of Quicktime, I'd like to relate why I don't & won't use the newer versions of QT.

I purchased QT Pro back in version 3. At the time, one of their selling points for the Pro version was free upgrades for future Pro versions. Apple held up their end of the bargain for v4, and I was able to upgrade to v4 Pro at no additional cost.

That ended with v5. Additional payment was required to upgrade to QT5 Pro. Now, aside from the fact that they originally offered free upgrades to future versions, I recongnize that this probably didn't mean free upgrades for life...although it could have been easily construed as such from their sales pitch back in v3.

But here's the kicker...
The free viewer can not co-exist with older versions of the Pro app. In other have the ability to view QT content produced with versions 5 & later, I have to give up using software I paid for, and works just fine for what I use it for.

So, I continue to use QT4Pro for what I bought it for, but I have not, nor will I, upgrade my free viewer to the newer version, nor will I purchase a Pro license to these versions.

Purposefully disabling software people have paid for is BAD.
Forced upgrades are BAD.

Shame on Apple.

03 March 2003, 05:31 PM
Odd. I have QT pro 5 and 6 and could still use 5 before I paid for 6 pro. I could even view MPEG4s in 5 with a free 3ivx plugin. I assume any compatibility you ran into was with newer codecs in 5, that 4 didn't have. Also, if you have 5 installed, that will become the default player, but you can still use 4. As afr as I know QT works well on both Macs and PCs, which is more than I can say for Divx.

Cheers, Graham

03 March 2003, 06:33 PM
Also, if you have 5 installed, that will become the default player, but you can still use 4.


IIRC, the QT5 installer doesn't give you the option (on PC) on where it is installed. I searched and hunted, wrote Apple tech support and posted to the QT support forum at Apple and have been told that the only way to use QT5 and above would be to upgrade to the newer Pro version, that is, if I wanted the Pro features. The free version of QT5 completely overwrites the QT4Pro I have installed.

03 March 2003, 08:19 PM
I see, overwriting would cause some problems. Having your pro version overwritten sucks. I can see why you dont' like QT. Too bad. Do you know anyone with QT4 for the PC? I don't know if overwriting is the norm on the Mac, I may have saved the newer version in a different file. On the Mac you always have the choice of where to save a file. Sorry I can't be more help.

Cheers, Graham

PS sorry for getting OT. Bad habbit from the list.

03 March 2003, 08:57 PM
You guys kinda derailed this dude's thread :)

About A:M, it's a great tool to learn in, or to do a demo reel. What it can't easily do is fill the role of primary app in a more serious production environment. A number of factors contribute to this; such as an inability to work with other packages, a renderer that becomes ineffective when dealing with complex scenes, and a closed architecture that limits the number of plug-ins that can be developed for it.

There is also the issue of Hash Inc, who have said that they really aren't interested in supporting the needs (and demands) of studios. I think they like to think of themselves as a leg-up into the industry, and not the backbone of it.

That reel's a hoot, by the way. Hope they find work.

03 March 2003, 09:06 PM
Where have you been? :> I thought with 10.5 that they were going to "fix" the render. Maybe it will finally handle those large scenes. What do you mean large anyway? Are writing plug ins that important in production? know they do that alot with Maya. I wish Hash would listen to the users and become more competitive with studios. Studios can make AM more popular and have more people buy copies of AM. So is that why most people then go to LW, Max, C4D and EI? For "pro" work? I thought with After Effects that it could help AM in areas that it is weak in. Like how 3DArtz is using AM and EI together?

03 March 2003, 11:00 PM
large can be anything from several low resolution characters, to one single high resolution characters.

i.e. I would consider the splash screen orc from 2000 a 'large' scene. Brian never makes large scenes, he makes 'INSANE' scenes. :)

03 March 2003, 11:29 PM
getting back on topic here, you'd think that studios could help move units for Hash. Truth is, they do. And that's because the people working in those studios still have stories to tell, and try their damndest to use what they've got.

the downside is that eventually, you're gonna have to leave the sketchpad alone and get working on canvas. The pencil may feel comfortable in your hand, but if you're getting serious, you will need to learn how to hold a brush.

those wishing to tell stories are going to have to face the fact that you cannot create one without a whole hearted commitment.

I spent 5 years in A:M trying to do 'animate a feature film on the kitchen counter', to paraphrase Martin's mission statement.

it was only about a year ago that I realized that I need to be more commited and open about getting things done for a story. it means putting zealotry aside and embracing whatever options you've got to make it work. Be it Career or just hobbyist ambition, You will eventually need to invest in software, hardware and knowlege that isn't related to Hash inc. to tell your story. That's really the whole goal, isn't it? Getting your idea into a medium that you can share with others? if that's the end result, itdoesn't matter what you use.

so, once you have an idea, you can employ whatever means possible to make it tangible.

that means using AfterEffects, and Electric Image, and Bryce, and Poser, and Gimp, and even people on this forum to get the job done.

Once you are comitted to something, I think the answer you posted will be easier to come by.

just remember to clean the brushes when your done :-)

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