PatMarrNC - all messages by user

2016/1/7 6:10:55
Sketchup Roundup AWESOME Braj!

You are apparently a much faster learner than I am. What you just figured out in an evening has taken me months to unravel!!

I look forward to seeing your next project using all this cool new knowledge!

Here's a quick & dirty way to change textures without navigating menus in Muvizu:
The ASE file is an ASCII text format which can be edited in notepad. A few lines from the top you'll see the path and filename to the texture bitmaps you used in Sketchup. Just edit the filename and reload the object in Muvizu, and the textures will be whatever you edited.

(But make sure files with those names actually exist in the path you specified, or you'll get the "file not found" error again)
edited by PatMarrNC on 07/01/2016
2016/1/7 0:32:00
Sketchup Roundup
My big issue right now is actually general about SU exports: how do you control orientation of objects.

When your model comes into MUVIZU, it should have the same orientation it had in Sketchup... so it's up to the modeler to put it in the right place before exporting.

Any object that mates with a character will need to have X0 Y0 Z0 origin pretty close to where the mating occurs. If its a hat, origin should probably be on the bottom, if its a sword, origin should be on the handle etc

If models don't come in at exactly the right place, the properties dialog box gives you some leeway for adjustment in every direction, including rotation

For one model I created just a cylinder and it stayed on the ground properly, then I added a tower and it tilter over, once I unchecke Keep Upright it fell over. :

yeah, you probably don't want to uncheck "keep upright" if you want it to stay upright. ;-)
2016/1/7 0:22:18
Sketchup Roundup Here's a very simple procedure that works pretty well for me, even without any more plugins

1) in the folder C:\UT3 you already created, edit copies of toto.bmp and save them as the various colors... for example, red.bmp, blue.bmp, white.bmp etc
You may also want to create some commonly used textures in this directory, like wood, fur etc and name them accordingly (wood.bmp, fur.bmp mainly so it's easy to remember the filenames

2) now, You have a model in Sketchup .... open the material editor

3) click on surfaces that you want to be different (color or texture, it doesn't matter)

4) apply a texture, and choose your textures from what you have stored in C:\UT3\
(This will keep from generating "file not found" errors)

5) repeat as needed until all the different colors or textures in your model are defined

6) export as ASE

7) when you bring the model into Muvizu, all the colors will be where you put them in Sketchup. But you can select other colors or textures if you want to by using the color / texture menus in the object's properties.

The whole goal of assigning textures in sketchup is to define REGIONS. The regions remain absolute, but the colors and textures are variables that you can change at any time afterward to your heart's content
edited by PatMarrNC on 07/01/2016
2016/1/6 23:42:36
Sketchup to Muvizu braj wrote:
ukBerty wrote:
braj wrote:
I get a message 'file not found' am I missing something from the setup?

Sounds like toto.bmp to me.

Create a 256x256 pixel bmp file and name it c:\ut3\toto.bmp and this may fix it.
edited by ukBerty on 06/01/2016

Ah, thanks, that fixed it, for the most part. What does that file do, and what color should it be? Does it matter?

I think the reasoning behind making it that awful pink color is so you know that color needs to be changed ASAP before you puke. ;-) It is also a highly visible color.

It works when I create simple objects, but any models from the 3d warehouse still give me grief. But it definitely is progress!

I've noticed the ASE exporter gets really slow depending on the complexity of the model. I usually scale down and simplify models in another program before I try to export them to ASE. When using models from 3D warehouse, (a fairly uncontrolled collection of models, many of which are just terrible) you have no idea how complex or large it might be.

as a side note (too late to keep it simple!) I was trying to convert a fairly complex model to ASE the other night.. an hour into it, it still wasn't converted. So I switched to Blender and exported it to FBX in about 1/3 of a second. That's one compelling reason to look at Blender before you start a learning curve elsewhere.

One thing I don't know how to do is get textures mapped to the objects, trying to apply them in Sketchup results in a missing file error when importing in Muvizu.

Once you create the 256x256 pink bitmap named C:\UT3\toto.bmp that error should go away

Applying anything in Muvizu results in a tiny repeating pattern.

I would really love some tips on using this, though at least I can now create some more diverse landscapes and stuff, I really appreciate that.

One nice thing about SketchUV is that you can see exactly what you've got before you export it to ASE. Watch the videos in that other thread, then keep asking questions and we'll get this sorted out pretty quickly
edited by PatMarrNC on 06/01/2016
2016/1/6 20:51:36
Sketchup Roundup Braj,

I feel your pain. I've reached the "old dog-new tricks" stage of life, and I find it very hard to absorb new information. However, I think this particular learning curve has no direct route. Without taking time to read not only the comments here on the Muvizu thread, but also the instructions and tutorials offered by the various plugins, I'm pretty sure I would still be dead in the water.

Having said that... let's see what we can do. Before we start from zero, tell us where you bog down, and we'll go from there. I presume you already have installed the following:

The ASE export plugin

are you able to export your models as ASE and open them in Muvizu? If so, we don't need to talk about that. If not, then we need to get your models into MUVIZU before we start to refine the process.

If your problems are mostly regarding textures then I suggest installing the SKETCHUV plugin and then watch every Youtube tutorial you can find on how to use it. Before you add any other plugs, let's get each of these steps nailed down:
1) Sketchup is installed
2) ASE export plugin is installed and working
3) SKETCHUV plugin is installed and working
here's the link for the plugin DL:

here are a few Youtube videos that show how to use it:
2016/1/6 19:38:35
Moving custom characters to new computer AWESOME! Thanks Neil! I was hoping somebody from Muvizu would chime in with the key information!

Note: On my Windows 8 machine, the path is C:\ProgramData\Muvizu\Favourites\

I didn't specifically choose that directory, so I assume it happened automatically.. which would suggest that other people's favourites may be found there too. (It may be peculiar to an operating system or OEM's schema )
edited by PatMarrNC on 06/01/2016
2016/1/6 17:42:32
Sketchup to Muvizu ziggy72 wrote:
As for getting the textures off imported objects, the easiest way is to use the Raylectron Texture exporter, a little plugin that I find invaluable.

You load up your object in Sketchup, then under Tools use the exporter - it will export all textures from your object and put them into whatever folder you want. You can then reassign them in Muvizu, one by one.

AWESOME! Thanks for this info, Ziggy! It'll be very useful!
2016/1/6 17:30:33
Moving custom characters to new computer I've been wondering about how the "favorites" are managed by Muvizu. There must be a database file somewhere that keeps track of everything that gets added . I can see how in time, anybody who actually added all the characters from the store to their favorites list for easy recall could have a very hard time fitting all the favorites into a set for transfer to another machine. So, if there is in fact a database file that could get copied and moved, that would be slicker.

For small transfers, however, I think adding them to a SET works pretty well, because you don't have to worry about separately saving and moving all of the attachments etc that were used to create the characters

I recently bought a 1 terabyte mini USB drive exactly for situations like this when I need to move a whole installation of something to another computer without missing anything. Such drives are cheap now. I was surprised.
2016/1/5 17:54:59
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... I thought I had seen somewhere that it was done with Muvizu, but the ending credits do not mention it in the "software used" section... so you are absolutely correct!

As I read through the credits, I was REALLY impressed by the amount of collaboration involved.. voice actors, model makers, music... the whole Hollywood shebang! I have to suspect that Wabby is more than just an enthusiast...
2016/1/5 17:40:09
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... MrDrWho... I'm talking about this one: (even the dialog is cinematic quality.. as I listen , I can easily imagine this conversation being extracted from a Hollywood blockbuster)

edited by PatMarrNC on 05/01/2016
2016/1/5 17:26:24
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... Wabby wrote:
Wow ! Very smart use of Muvizu and the characters are so nice :-) Bravo !

Wabby, after you posted this, I clicked on your name and watched your movies.. they are AMAZING! So full of interesting technique, great models and textures... some of the most cinematic work I've seen here! You are truly a master of your craft! I noticed that the characters in your Indiana Jones movie look different than the current character set.. was it made with an earlier version of Muvizu? Or did you create those characters in some other application?

Likewise, the teaser you made for the Ridley Scott movie was also stunning.. the Roman architecture, the prison scene, the street vendor... all so good! I even like your intros and endings!

And the scene in which Indiana Jones and his dad are in the plane... you used some great technique to make that look right! I can see I am in the right place to learn from the masters!
2016/1/5 6:20:48
Star Wars Spoof (The Dark Side Tickles) At last! The long awaited SWS (StarWarsSpoof)!

Man, your characters are AWESOME, and I love the way you incorporate the original music and backgrounds to achieve the whole effect!

I thought the concept of the emperor's lightning making Luke laugh instead of die was pretty clever. But for me the lighting stole the show. The scene at 3:40 where we just see reflected light on whatever the stuff is in the scene... very well done! I wish I knew how to do that sort of thing. Likewise, the lighning... was that done in your video editing program? Or Muvizu?

You've put a lot of work into your sets and characters and it really makes a difference in the end result!

Artpen, great job on your voices! What did you do to get the various pitches for each character?

More! More!
2016/1/4 17:20:38
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... ukBerty wrote:
Sorry - I really didn't mean to sound like I was saying "already done that"......

I didn't take it that way...

A lot of my sets and objects, probably 95%, are from DAZ.
that explains the high quality of your resources and the consistent look and feel! Great idea! I will be watching you for ideas!
2016/1/4 16:10:45
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... ukBerty wrote:
These are really terrific. They work so well.

My current project features some birds which I eventually got together using the blob, invisible ground planes, some DAZ models and a lot of swearing.

God I really hate those parrots.....

I should have known that somebody already beat me to it and did a much better job of it! Those parrots are AWESOME! And of all creatures to texture, you sure picked the hardest one!

As usual, Berty, I am stunned and inspired by your work! This is one more reason why I'm looking forward to seeing your upcoming film!

(GREAT idea to use DAZ models! I have Poser... I should probably be looking at what can be re-purposed for use in Muvizu...
2016/1/3 22:41:15
Coming Soon 2016 I am absolutely gobsmacked by the quality of work y'all create with this software! I can't wait to see the finished product of all the previews shown here!

Ziggy, the camera work and especially the scene design in your videos is stunning! I can't imagine the work you put into your productions! And the attention to detail in all of the little accessories you use to make each scene look like it stepped out of real life and onto your page is just awe-inspiring!

It's kind of paradoxical that real life is cluttered, so it takes a lot of extra work to make a scene look "ordinary" in terms of visual stimulus. I'm too lazy for that. In my world of 2d comic strips where there is limited space in a panel, I strive for the minimal detail needed to make my point. But I have great admiration and respect for those of you who pursue a more cinematic approach. I am simply blown away by what you accomplish!

UKBerty.... I struggle for words to describe your art... really, you have taken this medium to places where I doubt the creators themselves ever thought it could go! I'm not at all surprised to hear that you have pending deals for having your work shown in theaters! In my opinion your work is on par and in some cases far better than stuff that routinely gets shown in theaters!

Your film noire dark and shadowed approach requires a whole set of lighting skills that I'd guess relatively few Muvizu users possess... but you seem to have it NAILED! And your use of realistic textures and uber-detail really and truly captures the look and feel of the genre you do so well! I can't wait to see this film, and I know I need to search for and watch every one of your previous films. You are truly one of the great Muvizu directors!

Clayster... in my opinion you win the title of resident George Lucas! Your reproductions of well-known characters and sets are ...well, to say they are amazing would be conservative, but I can't think of a more appropriate term at the moment. Let's just say they have "bling!"

In the same sense that reproducing a well-known song note for note is a LOT harder than playing your own version of it, reproducing well-known characters in specific detail is also MUCH harder than approximating them. You have really earned your audience by taking the time to create your characters and props in such detail that nobody could wonder who and what they are supposed to be. Can't wait to see the final version of your upcoming spoof!
2016/1/3 20:33:51
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... I also think that 99% of Muvizu's users are NOT power users, and they just want simple solutions for their presentations. These birds and mammals partially address a void that has been present in Muvizu from the beginning, and they work exactly like all other characters, so there is no learning curve.

For the casual user, I'd guess that both of these downloads are a no-brainer.

For the power users... I look forward to seeing any and all improvements to the idea of blob-based characters!
2016/1/3 20:28:07
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... I really appreciate such kind words from people whose work I hold in high esteem... thanks for taking the time to encourage a relative newbie!

Regarding the textures: I'm a cartoonist, and for my uses flat colors and cartoonish looking creatures achieve the look and feel I want.

However, I know that a lot of you have figured out how to make your muvizu scenes very lifelike and authentic, right down to a level of detail that I'd never be able to achieve. That's why I encourage anybody who finds this idea useful to expand on it and improve it. I don't even care if you implement these or your improved version in asset packs that you sell. I tend not to be protective about my ideas... I just put it out there for any kind of use or abuse.

The interesting thing about the movement is that birds DO hop! In fact, analyzing the blob's movements is what inspired the idea of a bird character set. Of all creatures, birds are not that far removed from the blob.

The point about using these characters in non-moving scenarios so they can respond to the environment... what a great idea! That opens the door to a whole new set of larger animals that aren't intended to walk, but which could be shown standing or in partial view in order to take advantage of animated faces!

What a great community of people who encourage one another, share ideas and just generally have a lot of fun with the same software!
2016/1/3 3:14:25
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... The "not-quite-quadrapeds" character pack I uploaded about a week ago still hasn't been approved and made available by Muvizu... but here's a promo video for my next set of blob-based characters. This set is all birds. It contains one each of the following birds:

bald eagle
blue jay
grey gull
plus a cage for the parakeet

They'll be available in the store as a free DL too, as soon as MUVIZU releases it

Nothing to write home about modelling-wise, but they fit the Muvizu character pardigm, and work better than static models imported from sketchup when you need background creatures in a video.
edited by PatMarrNC on 03/01/2016
2016/1/1 18:17:14
2 Questions please help! I like to record all of the dialog in Audacity, putting each character's on its own track. In this environment, all dialog can be played back at once, which lets me slide things around until the timing is what I want. This approach gives you one contiguous dialog track for each character

Then I export each track, naming it for the character who will speak the lines .

Then I PREPARE > AUDIO and add each of the clips to the time line...

Then I PREPARE > DIALOG and assign each clip to a character

Then switch to DIRECT and record the whole dialog at once

Getting things lined up in Audacity (where there are a lot more editing and positioning tools) makes things easy in MUVIZU.

If you want multiple characters to be saying the same lines, add those lines separately to each characters track and get it semi-synchronized with the other characters tracks when they say the same lines. (I say "semi-synchronized" because there is always human variation when a group of different people sing, and building that into the audio file will sound more realistic than cutting and pasting identical snippets of the same phrase.)
2015/12/31 5:02:58
Is this possible...? Thanks to everybody for the various insightful responses. First of all, to Fazz, for describing perfectly what I've been running into (makes me feel somewhat less crazy) Some combination of all the other ideas will give me something to play with until I understand how all this works.

--------------------- follow - up -------------------------

I just tried the invisible plane idea and it worked perfectly!
edited by PatMarrNC on 10/01/2016
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