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  03 March 2003

Im pretty new to AM and I am starting to regret getting AM. I have been reading the posts here and it seems that the majority of the posts are negative on AM and saying that AM can't cut it. Did I make a mistake in AM? I read how great LW and Messiah are or Max even C4d. Did I screw this one up? From reading here----AM has a bad render, not stable, memory stinks, bugs never fixed, features dont work, hair not good as others, cant hang with the big boys. What a list. Not happy.:thumbsdow
  03 March 2003
What exactly do you want to do? Are you using AM for a demo reel? Do you want to be a one man studio?

Give us some more idea what you are trying to accomplish and we can try to make suggestions. Everybody here wants to help, irregardless of what software you use.

I should also mention I'm hearing positive things about what is being worked on for AM and it's future. Be patient. The worst thing that happens is that you improve your animation skills, which are transferable to whatever package you end up using.

  03 March 2003
A:M like most other apps has it issues! The discussion about other apps on the forum come from the frustrated fact the Hash has made many bad choices in the past two years. For a long time Hash has been ignoronging the criticisms that has been fly around on the mailing list. Some pro users in the A:M community got kicked off the mailing list for expressing their feelings on the matter and have now move over to other apps.
But you are in luck, because it seems that Hash has started listening. At the moment there are many good things happening with A:M.

If your main focus is on learning animation, A:M has been your right choice. A:M has one of the best animation tool setup out there, I say this coming from using Max and Maya.

If you have bought A:M for the features displayed on the Hash website, you are probalby gona be disappointed. Most is overstated.

Last edited by daft : 03 March 2003 at 11:06 AM.
  03 March 2003
Animation is hard. Producing something decent requires that you develop many skills related to the process. A:M is the closest that any software can get to being able to deliver all the tools needed to making a computer generated 3d animation.

Learning A:M is not a waste. Due to the mannerisms of the software, it will force you to develop and refine skills you thought you would never need or use. A:M has a steep learning curve. It can take years to refine work habits and skills needed to become a one man studio. So, your expectations need to be realistic.
Animation has many areas that will take considerable study and expense to resolve. There are work-a-rounds for just about everything, but it takes time to learn how to ask the questions and use the tools properly. Experimentation is key, but there are many knowledgeable users who are more than will to help anyone jump the learning hurdles.

A few years later:
Once you get past making the newbie mistakes, A:M will for the most part generate some very nice cartoon animations. Very good models can be created, textured and animated using extremely low level geometries, but learning to get more from less takes practice, dedication and passion.
  03 March 2003
Sounds corny but Id like to have my studio like Eggington and Anzovin. But I want software that can handle what is thrown at it. Eggington uses LW and Messiah and so does Anzovin. What does that say about Hash? I agree with you that AM is great for learning-but Id like to spend time learrning the app that Ill be using 24/7. Not spend a year in AM then hop over to LW C4d. Id like to start there and get rid of the middle man! :>
  03 March 2003
If you are ready and have skills needed for a leap like that then my suggestion is to go for it. Software evolves, but the basic skills needed for animation are fairly constant. Learning the timing and simulation of life takes a great deal of effort.
I personally have no desire to take the time to learn how to program or script all the custom tools the top studios uses to control workflow and make the software jump through hoops.
They can hire individuals to divide all these various task into managable chunks, but one person is going to be hard pressed to accomplish anything on that level within a reasonable time frame. So focusing on the basic is key.

Simplicity and style can carry a good story, but telling the story in 3D is a monumental task.

Best wishes and good luck
  03 March 2003
I don't agree with this Rangler.

We don't have any programmers. . . . Just because our software wasn't purchased at a bargain price doesn't mean we aren't capable of managing all our needs with off the shelf solutions.

AM has a workflow that is very powerful and intuitive. And bolted on to that is a horrific set of "effects" and rendering tools. BUT MOST PEOPLE NEVER GET THAT FAR!

"I wanna build my head". AM can do that.

"I wanna make a cartoon." AM can do that.

"I have an idea I want to try out in 3D." AM's yer man!

Eggington Productions, Anzovin and others are able to produce amazing work out of AM due to a lot of talent and patience. We could have used toothpicks, a Polaroid camera and a flip book and gotten good results. We moved on to other software to add more tools to our belt and to head more into the main stream of the industry.

If your talented and skilled. You will produce good work out of any
animation tool. If you don't have the talent. . . if your sketch book isn't full of amazing characters. . . if you haven't downloaded Wings3D and produced great models etc. . . then. . . Just get AM. Its damn fun and you won't ever have to worry about all these issues I groan and moan about. You will get to play with THE BEST animation tool there is and never have to look back.

The end. . . For now.
  03 March 2003

Again I am so confused. One step forward and one step back. AM can do alot-except for the horrible effects and render. See what I mean I am so confused. AM is good but it sux. So what is it? Please? Can AM with 10.5 hang with the rest of big apps with some help like After Effects or is it better to save my brain and jump ship to Max-LW-C4d? I read that AM is great then in the same post AM sux. Im starting to develop a split personality!
  03 March 2003
Maybe it would help to put it this way:

If your goal is to become a good artist, A:M is a great tool to learn with.

If your goal is to start your own studio, A:M will probably give you some problems.

If you're new to 3D, there's no harm in learning the trade in Animation:Master. If you eventually outgrow it, it won't be difficult to migrate to a different software, but don't worry about that until you've at least got the basics down.
Brian "balistic" Prince
"tessellaters gonna tessellate"
digital art / hi-tech soul music
  03 March 2003
Quote: Originally posted by binder3d
Sounds corny but Id like to have my studio like Eggington and Anzovin. But I want software that can handle what is thrown at it. Eggington uses LW and Messiah and so does Anzovin. What does that say about Hash? I agree with you that AM is great for learning-but Id like to spend time learrning the app that Ill be using 24/7. Not spend a year in AM then hop over to LW C4d. Id like to start there and get rid of the middle man! :>

Not to be rude, but are your skills up to running your own studio? The Eggington and Anzovin crews got where there are through their abilities. I'd wager most of these guys could do great work with an old copy of Truspace albeit quite a bit slower.

If your new to 3d, take the time to really wring AM out a bit. Don't fall in to the trap that so many of us do always looking for the bigger badder software before we may be ready for it. Most of the skills you would learn from using AM can be used with other software if you need to migrate. Plus some of what we feel are issues with AM does teach you how to think outside the box.... always a good thing!

  03 March 2003
The problem with A:M really is it's mystique. All of us here are, to a greater or lesser degree recovering A:M groupies who felt let down.

Someone in another thread posted something called the "cluetrain manifesto", which is all about how companies have to become humanized and interact with the users etc... which I found ironic (As well as full of pre dot-bomb naivete, but I digress) because A:M was exactly that kind of company in 2000, we were all pumped with the possibilities and genuinely grateful to Hash inc. for having given us such a magical app. at such a low price.

The implied promise we all assumed, that A:M would become the top dog of 3D apps didn't quite come true, and from what Wegg tells us wasn't really part of the master plan.

So we're bitter. The app is good for it's price though (Hell, I still use it, and so does everyone else here, that's why we're here) so don't worry too much, keep a balance between disenchantment and starry eyed infatuation and you should be OK.

You bought it already, so use it.
We'll help you out, and we won't kick you out if you tell us it crashed on you either
  03 March 2003
Well said Bugle. . .

Where are my gold star stickers. . .
  03 March 2003
Didnt really read the thread so i might be rudundant but...
When i first got A:M i was very excited about it. However as i found posts on forums such as you are finding i become more and more aware of the deficiencies of the app and focused more and more on those. I slowed down, and at times stopped using because i was so frustrated. As immature as this is, i had not had this problem before i was aware of everyone elses complaints, i just took the punishment and made stuff. But after that it was torture to use.
Ignore everything negative about AM. The companies messed up, but the software has some excellent features.
Learn on it. Restarting is not a big issue, losing your work is, but if you save it shouldnt be a problem. Not being able to use a feature sucks, but the animation tools work and those are the reasons you bought the app in the first place. You know that youll have to upgrade to better software later but for now the simplicity that AM has is a great benefit. You dont have to learn as much of the app just to do a tiny thing.

Character setup: you will not find another app were this is as easy and powerful.
Modeling: good, not great but useable.
Particles, Softbodies, Cloth...still on 8.5 so im not sure how things are now. But you can do these in other apps.

But if you do want to jump ships, investigate Kaydara. you can get a fully functional, nothing disabled non-commercial version for only $100 through . I dont use it, so i cant give you much info, but it is supposed to be very nice.

The App does not matter. Its what you do with it. And with AM it takes less time to do something, even if you cant do everything.
  03 March 2003
Re: Doubts

Quote: Originally posted by binder3d
Im pretty new to AM and I am starting to regret getting AM....
Did I screw this one up? From reading here----AM has a bad render, not stable, memory stinks, bugs never fixed, features dont work, hair not good as others, cant hang with the big boys. What a list. Not happy.:thumbsdow

Unless you have a bottomless pit of money, you did not screw up. Mine is a budget plan mentality, others may disagree.

Just because A:M may be deficient in some areas, doesn't mean it's useless. Other packages are deficient in areas as well...most praise for Rendering goes to outside programs anyhow, but things are looking up for A:M's rendering ability. (exception: some folks like Lightwave's, some like C4D...I've never heard praise for the render engine in Maya or 3DSMax) A:M excels at animating. Other programs are better for making stills. You can do a few neat effects in A:M, but you can't count on those all the time to save your butt. What you do will get you work, more than what a program can do...that takes talent and practice. You will eventually discover that no single program can do everything. Most people I know putter around in at least a couple...using each for its particular strength. You can add on to your collection as you get more money to spend or actually get work to help fund and grow your business.

Many of the good things in A:M have come from years of user input. Yes, they have listened and still do. They just drop the ball from time to time for whatever reason. Bugs get fixed weekly, which is better than some programs where you have to wait months to over a year for a patch or revision. Not all the bugs get fixed, and sometimes the fixes create new bugs, but you may get used to that (Hang on to the versions and updates that work, so if something is broken, you just reinstall the version that worked for you).

Just don't fall into depression...get working on something. Sounds like you have the time which I wish I had more of.
  04 April 2003
I have found AM V10 to be very stable. I work extensively with it at the moment and it only crashed once on my laptop (probably due to low memory and not an AM problem anyway).

I work in stop motion animation for a living so I do CG as more of a hobby - although I am trying to create something in AM that I will try and market if it turns out okay. If not, well, I`m having fun. If it stops being fun then I stop.

I have to stress that I am quite a newbie also with regard to my familiarity with AM. However, I have found it far easier to learn than some previous attempts of mine with other apps with which I gave up fairly quickly. I really enjoy using this software. It`s possible that I will encounter the occasional problem later on as I get deeper into the features but there are usually workarounds.

Also, I have found Hash to be very helpful and responsive to me. Almost every other company I have approached for support via the internet seems to do all they can to discourage you with pages of forms to fill in of details of your system etc. It took me weeks to get a response from Pinnacle when my editing software kept crashing and corrupting my whole partition. That`s what I call a bug!

Keep with it I say. Just have fun with it. Good luck.
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