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Home ? Tips & Tricks ? EXPERIMENTATION STATION!

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25/03/2016 21:22:35

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
A lot of cool experimentation has been going on lately, and in order to keep it from getting lost in the shuffle, this thread is intended as a way of capturing it.

So, if you're trying some cool new trick or workaround, instead of just talking about it, post a link to your set here so others can DL it and experiment with the idea. I'm a firm believer in the concept that a LOT of people working on an idea usually overcome more roadblocks than one person working alone.

Obviously, if the idea is ready to rock, it would be better to post it to the store as an asset that can be used by everybody... but for those ideas that are on the brink of working but maybe not ready for prime time yet... put them on DropBox or similar online storage place and link to it here.

I'm thinking of Braj's many ideas, especially the one with moving water...
and of Claysters experiments with keyframe animation...

and anybody else who is actively experimenting and wants to share the results!
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26/03/2016 03:00:44

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Well, I was working on this today:


Files for the dragon:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9300947/LittleBigDragonParta.zip
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26/03/2016 03:36:34

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
that looks great, Braj!

I was thinking that the main problem with static models is that one frozen pose doesn't work for every action. So one solution to that (for anybody who can model) would be to make a variety of static models in different poses. For dragons, the poses might include the following:

standing
walking
flying
fighting
breathing fire

especially with a tool like poser that lets you rig solid models, then create different positions and save them... the ability to do that combined with the keyframes to create specific movements for each position would really unleash a lot of potential for low level control. If the animator framed and presented the scenes cleverly, I think it could look quite natural.

Thanks for sharing the results of your work so the rest of us can play with it and learn
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26/03/2016 03:39:53

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
you could also separate the head and use it as an attachment for one of the characters that can be invisible except for the head. That would let you control the head moves using the more intuitive MUVIZU tools
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26/03/2016 04:21:09

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Yeah, I am having problems getting poses out of Poser, lol. I need to figure that out ASAP. I do believe I could even animate something frame by frame using different models and just make then hidden, and keyframe their visibility off and on. It is sort of an 'expensive' way to do it though, but I think it would be the way to get the best actual results on Moviezu. If it were simple with just a limited number of frames, and if the payoff for the shot were big enough, it would be pretty decent way to do it.
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26/03/2016 04:23:15

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Something like a basic dragon flying, with a down beat, up beat, center pose, and maybe another in between on each end. So 5 models? And then animate them flying across the sky, one visible at a time in the proper sequence.
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26/03/2016 06:42:23

braj
braj
Posts: 286
OK, so I actually did get using OBJ files as frames working for a flapping cycle, I really do not recommend trying this, it is way harder than is worth it, the results are going to be choppy, the work involved to do it well is excessive, and it is basically a PITA. If you wanted say three posed to do a slight movement or to get a selection of held poses, it would be ok, but anything complex I would not try it again. Here's the three FBX with the set file I was working on, I will be way better off personally doing this in Poser. Learning Blender is easier than doing it this way, basically. At the point you are creating multiple models you really have the skills to do this outside Muvizu. Just I want to make it work, damnit I got something, but it isn't pretty. If someone does want to make this work, I would suggest rendering your dragon animation in a layer as image files, then you can move them around in a video editor more easily. that way you only really deal with a few keyframes in Muvizu, and have the freedom to easily change the timing. I might try that.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9300947/OBJ%20sequenceDragon.zip
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26/03/2016 15:21:12

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
braj wrote:
Yeah, I am having problems getting poses out of Poser, lol. I need to figure that out ASAP.


Not sure what you mean... do you mean problems creating the pose? Or problems exporting the pose?

I do believe I could even animate something frame by frame using different models and just make then hidden, and keyframe their visibility off and on. It is sort of an 'expensive' way to do it though, but I think it would be the way to get the best actual results on Moviezu. If it were simple with just a limited number of frames, and if the payoff for the shot were big enough, it would be pretty decent way to do it.


this would be a great approach if you had a scene where the character required several relatively static poses... but for smooth movement keyframing is the ticket because it interpolates all the positions between the keyframes, so there is no jumpiness. Especially for walking or flying movement cycles where it's the same positions over and over, the ability to copy-paste keyframes would make it quite do-able.

The PROBLEM with copy-paste keyframes is that it would keep the character walking in place, so you'd always have to make the background move instead of the character. But I'd accept that as an incremental advantage we don't have now.
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26/03/2016 16:16:26

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
Braj,
I know you also have Anime Studio... it supports 3D animation, and its keyframing is well developed (and it does allow copy-paste among other things)

Have you tried doing a dragon fly-by animation in ASP with a green screen background, then adding it to your scene in the video editing stage?
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26/03/2016 17:53:29

braj
braj
Posts: 286
PatMarrNC wrote:
Braj,
I know you also have Anime Studio... it supports 3D animation, and its keyframing is well developed (and it does allow copy-paste among other things)

Have you tried doing a dragon fly-by animation in ASP with a green screen background, then adding it to your scene in the video editing stage?


I can do that more easily and faster in Poser. BTW you don't need a green screen, ASP will output all images with transparency when using uncompressed AVI, MOV on Macs, or image sequences. I think what I am going to eventually want is the Mocha Hitfilm 3d camera solving thing.


The challenge IMO is getting the animation to happen in Muvizu, and hopefully in a way that is reasonably easy for users exclusively making their film in Muvizu. Right now it just isn't easy. Once you start making things in other apps, you kinda go outside the target market for Muvizu, and I'm just hoping at some point there are characters and props available that would make it easy for a kid to make a dragon.

I think of the tree props that have some subtle built in animations, if Muvizu could make more animated props like a bird flapping its wings that would be really helpful, and maybe that is the best way for Muvizu to approach this, it wouldn't make the user experience any more complicated.
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26/03/2016 17:56:07

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Oh hey, one more thing about animating 3objects in ASP: they would be static props unless I use the Poser scene import, which doesn't actually give you individual keyframes for each movement in ASP. I definitely looked into that, it is the reason I bought Poser in the first place.
edited by braj on 26/03/2016
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26/03/2016 18:00:59

braj
braj
Posts: 286
PatMarrNC wrote:
braj wrote:
Yeah, I am having problems getting poses out of Poser, lol. I need to figure that out ASAP.


Not sure what you mean... do you mean problems creating the pose? Or problems exporting the pose?


It was just export settings, I am not sure what I was doing wrong, but it wasn't outputting the morphs, just the original pose. It seems sorted now, but I'm not sure how I resolved it.
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28/03/2016 10:09:48

braj
braj
Posts: 286
Here's another dragon, this is a very low poly one that I subdivided actually to make more polys and thus smoother. I put the head in a separate object, the wings were too hard for what I wanted to do, which was create a really simple prop with two pieces you could keyframe easily and that was reasonably ok and easy enough on people's systems too.

I don't know that I can redistribute this so I am just posting the link, the head itself can easily be separated in Blender. It is an FBX but since it has rigging it will not work/might crash Muvizu when importing. You want to make sure armature is not included in the export from Blender.

This is a 5 minute worth of animation work, if you spent a little more time and thought it out, it would be much cleaner than this. This is a sloppy test really.


https://sketchfab.com/models/89888ad3d9694174ac0a38df184eb4c6#




edited by braj on 28/03/2016
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28/03/2016 13:06:59

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
Cool stuff, Bryan!

regarding the flapping of wings:
I'm busy on some music projects at the moment and I won't be free to experiment with Muvizu for several more days, so I haven't tried what I'm about to suggest...

but I have experimented with keyframe animation in Muvizu, and so I know that one of the obstacles to overcome is the difficulty in controlling the pivot point (to keep it from wandering around due to the inability to precisely move objects)

One of my tests (when I get around to it) is to incorporate the principles used in this tutorial for animating doors:
https://www.muvizu.com/Video/14314/Muvizu-Hints-and-Tips-Opening-Doors

Opening a door about a hinged axis is basically the same as flapping a wing about a fixed joint. This tutorial explains how to fix the pivot point ... after which, the animation becomes much more controllable. With keyframes, you should only need to lock down the extreme positions, and everything in between will be interpolated.

=======update==============

I took a minute to test this, and discovered that the rotation point is not available in keyframe mode. However, in directed mode it should be possible to create a convincing wing-flap... (although I couldn't seem to get the same motion out of my test object that was achieved in the tutorial with the garage door... I had to put my rotation point in a different place to get the vertical motion shown in the tutorial)

(Aside to dev team: any chance of getting a rotation point option for keyframed movement?)
edited by PatMarrNC on 28/03/2016
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28/03/2016 15:12:02

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
braj wrote:

The challenge IMO is getting the animation to happen in Muvizu, and hopefully in a way that is reasonably easy for users exclusively making their film in Muvizu. Right now it just isn't easy. Once you start making things in other apps, you kinda go outside the target market for Muvizu, and I'm just hoping at some point there are characters and props available that would make it easy for a kid to make a dragon.

I think of the tree props that have some subtle built in animations, if Muvizu could make more animated props like a bird flapping its wings that would be really helpful, and maybe that is the best way for Muvizu to approach this, it wouldn't make the user experience any more complicated.


I agree totally... and I think everyone on the forum would as well.

. On the other hand.. the workarounds are so much fun! Maybe not for everybody, but for those who are inclined to see what can be accomplished with a little sorcery... that's part of what I love about this software! The fundamentals are easy enough to grasp that the cheats are attainable. In more complicated software, I'd never be able to ramp the basic complexity up to a higher degree of complexity.

I think what's compelling to me about Muvizu is that they have presented everything in terms of fundamental building blocks... moving Legos. There is leeway to add new content and snap Legos together in new ways. When you look at the body of work that has been assembled by the users of this software over the years, a lot of innovation and clever workarounds are evident. I like that.
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28/03/2016 17:43:18

clayster2012Muvizu mogul
clayster2012
Posts: 653
I did a work around that works for me, and I was able to animate every part of my models, here's a picture of a horse that I animated in muvizu, it's part of a scene of my next video Finger Pistol Are dangerous part 2, he lifts his head up chewing on grass and looking at the main character funny, of course there or other models that I animated in the video as well, but this should give you an idea how I'm doing it.
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28/03/2016 17:45:31

clayster2012Muvizu mogul
clayster2012
Posts: 653
of course I'm still working on the problem of the models coming out looking like it was made up by a mass of squares..lol!
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28/03/2016 20:15:42

PatMarrNCMuvizu mogul
PatMarrNC
Posts: 1742
clayster2012 wrote:
of course I'm still working on the problem of the models coming out looking like it was made up by a mass of squares..lol!


have you tried saving as ASE? That format does a lot more smoothing of the surfaces and eliminates most of that polygonal look. But the ASE models import at a smaller size, so you may want to create separate versions depending on whether you plan to export as ASE or FBX

cool stuff you're doing there, clayster! I can't keep up, but its fun to see what others are doing

(Aside to DEV team: See what hoops we're willing to jump through to get quadrapeds? Man, if you ever come out with anything at all that makes the creation of animals easy...
you...
will...
sell...
a...
BUNCH of them!! Perhaps your biggest seller of all time!

Supply and demand. You know the drill. ;-)
edited by PatMarrNC on 28/03/2016
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28/03/2016 21:29:18

WabbyMuvizu mogulExperimental user
Wabby
Posts: 98
clayster2012 wrote:
of course I'm still working on the problem of the models coming out looking like it was made up by a mass of squares..lol!


Very nice horse Cool

Yes, your model is in flat mode, that's why you have all these "squares". You have to put the mesh in smooth shading (the method depends of your software).
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29/03/2016 12:21:28

ziggy72Muvizu mogulExperimental user
ziggy72
Posts: 1988
LOL that's a good horsey - and like Pat says, if you can fake up that, surely the Muvizu Devs can do something similar...? We're not looking for show jumping trick ponies here, after all
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