PatMarrNC - all messages by user

2016/8/30 1:04:28
Muvizu price dropping I can't speak for Muvizu... only they know their game plan and reasons behind their pricing. But I can speculate, and here's the only thing that makes sense to me:

The niche of 3D graphic animation is really two different markets. The first market is between all the different companies that sell similar products (MAYA, DAZ, iClone, Poser, Muvizu, etc. ) Each of these companies appeals to a different demographic with different budgets.

The second market is in add-ons. If you can get people in the door and get them used to the product, then you have a pretty good shot at selling them content packs. As an entry-level product, Muvizu is positioned to put a lot of active users on the ground, and therefore equally well positioned to sell lots of add-ons. EVERYBODY can afford Muvizu! Imagine a user base that consists of over a million active users... highly possible with a reasonably priced product that has global appeal in the information age!

In the same way that the old razor blade manufacturers used to practically give away their razors so they could sell you the blades that fit them, Muvizu makes a little on each license they sell, but hopefully will offset that on future sales of content.

This would explain why all the new characters don't come with lots of accessories... I figure that eventually we'll have an opportunity to buy more accessories . I could be wrong. But I think that explanation explains a lot of what we're seeing
2016/8/29 22:46:41
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 tonyob67 wrote:
Pat, what if you don´t have a paypal account?

Good question. PayPal has become the defacto currency for online transactions. It doesn't cost anything to set up an account, and in my opinion, everybody should probably have one.

However... if the winner doesn't have a PayPal account I guess I could snail-mail a paper check.
2016/8/29 20:33:33
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 Okay! Good news! Ikes has agreed to let me offer his amaaaaaazing T-Rex as a gift to everyone who submits an entry in my contest!

The T-Rex isn't in the store, and may never be... so if you like it and want to examine it to see how Ikes worked his magic... this may be your ONLY CHANCE to get it! He is making it available in 2 versions: One for walking and one for head movement / eating people. Need I say more? Who doesn't need a T-rex in his character lineup?

so far the prizes for this contest are as follows:

-- Best submission from somebody using the free version wins a paid license!

-- Best submission from somebody using the paid version wins a minimum of $50 USD deposited to their PayPal account. I've budgeted $100 for the contest, so depending on the cost of other prizes, any leftover funds will also go to the winner.

-- Random drawing winner (one drawing from all submissions) will receive $25 USD

Everybody who enters a video created with the paid version of Muvizu will get:
1) Ikes' T-Rex
2) my cat (including a whole zip file of eye textures & animations and OBJ models for improving it)
3) the talking orange, in case anybody wants to dissect it & see how that was done

(These will also go to the winner of the paid license... but not to users of the free version, since they can't use them anyway.)

remember, there are practically no restrictions on this contest... any topic... any length.... there is no excuse not to enter!
2016/8/29 20:08:57
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 Rodrisilva wrote:
Very well PatMarrNC!
How did you get time for such awsome work ?
I saw that cat legs were moving at same time. Not a natural cat step but if you try to use crossed models; I mean right front leg with left rear leg it could work.

WOW! Great idea! Yes, I think that could work Rod! I'll give that a try this evening and post the results! I love how people build on an idea and make it better! Continuous improvement is alive and well!

If you (or anybody else) has time to experiment with the idea, I'd love to see what you come up with! That's why I'm giving the cat and all of its OBJ files to everybody who enters the contest. I'm hoping to see others take the idea to a better solution. I'm not the right guy for the finishing touches.

I used this approach because Eugene Cheese recently posted a similar example which piqued my interest, and I wanted to experiment with the idea. The cat pays homage to Eugene and to Ikes for their clever ideas about how to create new and interesting characters given the constraints we have in the Muvizu environment.

edited by PatMarrNC on 29/08/2016
2016/8/29 16:02:06
I can't change the colours Toschek wrote:
Sorry, but the Properties Window was out of the Desktop!

I find that if I maximize the program window, then all sorts of dialog boxes fail to appear. Best to make the Muvizu window sizable, then stretch it to fill the screen (but don't maximize)
2016/8/29 15:59:28
Reworked my minions animation... regarding multiple cameras: if you absolutely HAD to create an entire project using no other software but Muvizu, the extra cameras would be a necessary evil. But since virtually all of us end up splicing a bunch of footage together in a video editor as the last step, it makes much more sense to work with one (or maybe two) cameras at a time. Once all the character actions are programmed, it's very easy to move the main camera to a new vantage point and record the same scene again.

And ultimately you have a lot more control at the editing stage if you give yourself a little extra footage to trim at the edges. (a luxury you don't have if you direct camera activity while recording)
2016/8/29 15:38:40
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 ziggy72 wrote:
That's a pretty good cat! Fat little bugger though Big Grin

Yeah... the large round body is necessary to hide the underlying character that can't be made invisible and the extreme leg movement. Its a catch 22 with the current state of things: the only characters that have foot attachments for adding extra legs can't have their arms turned off. Likewise the newer characters that can turn off various body parts don't have foot attachments.

Until we get a utility character or (and?) a professionally designed quadraped that we can edit into other creatures, we're kinda stuck with workarounds.

Until then I think the best option is to design and rig characters in other software, then merge the output in HitFilm. But I needed something that works 100% in Muvizu to give away as a contest filler.

There is probably some unused cat body volume that could be judiciously eliminated by a person who is more willing than I am to fuss with it. Once I see that an idea can work, I lose interest in it and move on.

You can get better results with the legs by editing the XML, but that voids the user agreement. Hopefully Muvizu will eventually introduce an approved version that we can all run with.
2016/8/29 7:41:18
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 Here is another demo that uses bits and pieces of ideas that several people have posted. The legs are based on Eugene Cheese's min-quadraped... the form and function is based on Ike's Birds... and the eyes can also use AVI animated loops in addition to using static eye position graphics. Eyes blink by turning the eye lids visibility off and on (either by directing or by keyframing... visible eyelids = blink)

Mouth opens and closes by directing visibility of his jaw (visible jaw = closed mouth)

Everybody who submits an entry to my contest will get a copy of the cat, four sets of eye graphics, (green Cat eyes, large blue eyes and smaller blue eyes and black dots... plus a bunch of animated eye loops

To illustrate the difference between the eye loops and the static eye textures: The talking orange demo uses the animated eye loops. The cat demo uses the static images that get swapped out one at a time as needed. The animations are smoother, but the images are more programmable. But you can use all of the above as needed for your project

I'll also include the OBJ files for all the attachments in case anybody wants to make UVMAPS and Textures for different kinds of cat fur.
The cat won't be in the store, so the only way to get it is by entering the contest.

In fact, I've got skin in the game.. at least $100 of my own money at stake for various prizes, plus multiple sets. I reserve the right to cancel the contest if fewer than 5 contest submissions are made by the deadline.

There may be more prizes announced. If Ikes agrees, I'd like to offer his T-Rex as one of the prizes to everybody who submits an entry.

edited by PatMarrNC on 29/08/2016
edited by PatMarrNC on 29/08/2016
edited by PatMarrNC on 29/08/2016
2016/8/29 1:30:31
Reworked my minions animation... with that kind of horsepower, I wouldn't expect any problems whatsoever.... which raises the question of whether hardware acceleration needs to be turned on in Muvizu, or does the software automatically recognize it and use it when its available?
2016/8/29 1:27:42
Lip Synch Problem With Singing, Song, Music, Sync has anybody ever tried lip synching to an MP3 of a synthetic voice (like on a GPS)... seems like a computer generated voice would feed the synch algorithm exactly what it needs in terms of clarity, stability and sameness.

I may have to try this to see how it works...
2016/8/26 2:52:54
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 One of the contest prizes will be the animated eyeballs with several different AVIs that continously loop a canned eye movement... plus 3 sets of 2D eyes that can be keyframed. Once you have the sets you can easily edit them to make other versions of eye textures. The 2-D sets I'm providing include one normal sized set, one oversized set, and one set of cat eyes. That's in addition to the 10 different looped animation textures. Also included is the Anime Studio file used to create the animations.

Also included will be the talking orange set so you can see how the skin was made with a variety of different mouths.

edited by PatMarrNC on 26/08/2016
2016/8/26 0:26:46
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 ziggy72 wrote:
That technique doesn't get used much because of the (relatively) low resolution on the face mask, and the odd way it reacts to light (as you can see in your vid, it goes very dark off to the edges). I think characters can 'wear' movies as skins too, but the same problem applies. Regardless, you got it working quite well there Pat, nice job. If you over-lit the sides of your face when filming yourself, it might counter the shading effect - or masked off your face in HF and used an effect to brighten the surrounding footage, that could also counter the darker edges.

I might have inadvertently caused the dark edges by feathering all around the masked image. In some cases Muvizu seems to treat alpha as black. In this case, I was more interested in showing that animated textures can be used in a variety of interesting ways that you don't see very often in forum videos.

Regarding its usefulness and resolution: I'm not one who thinks that "more realistic" is necessarily better. Especially in terms of humorous works, the goofy look that often goes with a hastily scrawled 2D drawing is part of what makes me laugh, and when the work gets too polished that's the first thing that falls through the cracks.

Part of my goal with this software is to figure out ways to take advantage of its rapid prototyping power and recreate some of what I consider to be charming about 2D animations. I'm working on another little demo that is very crude, but that's the look I'm going for.

Ideally, I'd like to create a library of hand drawn face mask textures that can be applied a little more seamlessly to characters. Ultimately I want to create characters that are uniquely mine,and that will require using conventional resources in unconventional ways.
2016/8/25 21:14:27
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 Ikes Birdies already showed how to make standalone eyes that can be placed pretty much anywhere on a character, then the eye position can be changed by keyframing a variety of different eye textures. Very cool! Thanks Ikes!

If you have a convenient way to make 2D animations (like Anime Studio or similar program) you can also apply animated textures to such eyeballs. That lets you treat them like loops that glance around and blink repeatedly. A variety of animated loops used in conjunction with keyframed still textures can yield a lot of different eye configurations!

You can also create a bunch of different skins for a character, and load the one you want with keyframes. This allows different eyebrow configurations or mouth shapes etc. Demo video to follow....
edited by PatMarrNC on 26/08/2016
2016/8/25 20:59:28
reason for buying other peoples' assets Speedking5 wrote:
I had a few characters that I want to upload for free to the Muvizu store . How would I go about doing that do I need to Email Muvizu and get permission ?

click on your avatar at the top of the page, and it will take you to your user profile.

Under your photo in the profile, you should see a list of options, one of which will be "UPLOAD A FILE"

Click that and follow the instructions.

We can only upload sets, videos and textures (character skins)

Hope this helps! Thanks for making your work available to others for free!
2016/8/25 20:38:38
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 it also solves all those lip synch problems with music videos
2016/8/25 20:28:09
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 Here's another interesting technique:

I was experimenting with the face mask, and discovered that in addition to adding static photos to it, you can also add animated textures! This has potential to add a lot of facial expression in a few moments that might otherwise take a long time to add programmatically. Any mouth, eye or eyebrow position gets captured!

This also works on modelled attachments for those times when the new head is too far away to use the standard Muvizu eyes and mouth. This is just a quick example... you'll want to take more time with your projects... but it shows one new way to combine animations and stock Muvizu accessories to get new options!

edited by PatMarrNC on 25/08/2016
2016/8/25 17:40:28
Pat Marr's Contest: Entries due by Sept 15 Can't think up an idea for the contest? Here's a brain jogger:

You may have seen youtube episodes of the Annoying Orange
(If you aren't familiar with this character, search Youtube for "annoying orange" then get a drink and sit back for several hours of laughs)

The contest rules prohibit using other people's intellectual property... but You can use the following procedure to add a similar effect to your own custom Muvizu characters!

1) create a character without any eyes or mouth. It could be a stock character with those attributes left off, or you could create a character with a head attachment that lacks eyes and mouth.

2) make a video of your face (or that of an evil accomplice)... make sure your eye movements and mouth movements are exaggerated

3) bring the video into your video editor... I recommend HitFilm, but any good editor that allows masking can do what needs to be done

4) stabilize the footage at the corners of the eyes so the eyes do not move. This should force all the movement to the outside of the clip where it won't be noticed. (I'm going to assume you know how to stabilize a clip in your own favorite editing software. )

5) Make 3 copies of the stabilized clip and name them LEFT EYE, RIGHT EYE and MOUTH. This is so you can move each item separately and position them with total freedom on the face you have prepared

6) on each clip, draw a mask around the part you want to keep (eye or mouth). You may need to make the mask around the mouth a bit oversize to allow for the difference in size when the mouth is open and closed. Ideally, you should keyframe the mask so it follows the size of the mouth... but if you go with an oversize mask, feather the edges so it blends with the face under it

7) in your composite layers, put the character's face below all the other layers. Since they are all masked, it shouldn't matter what order you put the other layers in, except they should all be above the face

and that's it! True, the magic happens OUTSIDE Muvizu, but it illustrates one of many ways that you can use the power of your video editor to make Muvizu even more useful!

edited by PatMarrNC on 25/08/2016
2016/8/25 16:58:10
End of August sale - 50% OFF! I reposted this to some other animator sites on Facebook. As far as having a variety of tools in the ol' tool box, Muvizu is already the best deal in town... when it's on sale, it's downright foolish NOT to buy it!
2016/8/24 22:51:58
Surprise in the park It's probably a good thing that you space your ideas out... I'm still assimilating what you've done already!
But I do hope you submit SOMETHING for the contest... maybe something using the T-rex, chicken and gator....

it would be the first time any of them had appeared outside a demo video... that's got to be worth points! And maybe a prize...
2016/8/24 21:25:55
Surprise in the park its been a few days since our resident magician Ikes has blown us away with his creativity... which makes me wonder what he's working on...

I hope its something for my contest...
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