PatMarrNC - all messages by user

2015/12/31 0:25:03
Is this possible...? I'm using the blob to make a variety of new characters by modelling bodies appropriate for each creature

That works fine as long as the legs don't extend past the bottom of the blob. But I'd like to have an attachment that forces the blob to rise off the ground by the height of my collision object so the creature's feet look like they are on the ground, and the blob begins at the top of the legs. So far, I've created models that work when I import them on their own, but as soon as I attach them to the blob, the blob's physics override my collision object and the legs get pushed below the ground

Does anybody know if it is possible to make leg attachments that lift the character that is bound to them?
2015/12/30 18:20:05
I'm going crazy clayster2012 wrote:
Ok I got v1.5. to work, but theres one problem, it wont let me load up my sets because they were made with the new version

unfortunately, starting over with v.1.5 does require rebuilding anything that was made with a later version. But the upshot is that, after doing so, you won't hit any more road blocks.

My concern is: what if the fix corrects the core problem but doesn't make our stalled projects re-openable? If the problem was caused by omitting just one variable when saving projects, I can't imagine how they'd ever know what to replace.

Bottom line, its a holiday week for a lot of us, and we have time. Rebuilding with a stable version may be the path of least resistance. And if it turns out that our projects can't be reopened after the fix, it might be necessary anyway.

Disclaimer: I'm just speculating a worst case scenario to justify the hassle of starting over, not trying to start a rumor that the fix won't make our stalled projects re-openable.
2015/12/28 17:18:28
Failed to load object from file I find that there are always lots of project-related tasks on my "to-do" list. I've been using this lull time by working on aspects of my project that don't require head moves. I can add them later in a few minutes.

Character and set design is another good way to use the time between point A and point B
2015/12/28 16:22:30
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... I uploaded a set containing characters only, which I guess can be added to other people's favorites list for future quick addition to your own projects. The set contains 11 animals:

2 different dogs
2 different cats
1 squirrel
1 rabbit
1 unknown beavery-looking animal that started out to be a squirrel
1 reindeer (I noticed the Christmas pack has a sleigh, but no reindeer!)
2 white tailed deer bucks (all the deer are based on Fat Man, not the blob)
1 white tailed deer doe

as usual, the basic characters can be copied and changed with the different eyes and color

Later I may post the attachments in a zip file. Or not. I figure that people who don't make their own models only want the characters, and people who DO make models would probably want to make their own better versions. My modelling skills are rudimentary.

More animal packs to come! especially ones based on the blob! The fact that the blob offers a movable head with facial expressions, the ability to lip synch and get sized appropriately makes it the perfect basis for all kinds of modelled bodies and face masks. It is the one truly generic character, able to be morphed into just about anything else!

as I write this, the animal pack has not yet been moderated and added to the store. I figure the Muvizu team is short-staffed during Christmas week. It should appear in the store as soon as it is approved.
edited by PatMarrNC on 28/12/2015
2015/12/28 16:05:14
My Last Video you should probably put your video on youtube.
The current setup requires some kind of download, which typically causes antivirus programs to flip out.
2015/12/28 16:00:31
Failed to load object from file the scenario of promises that come and go without being kept usually comes from one of 4 things:

1) managers try to put heat on the employee by not accepting the real time estimate, and making a public promise that results will come sooner than the programmer told them. Apparently the thinking is that the salaried programmer will work longer hours for no additional pay in order to preserve his/her reputation. I hope this isn't the case, because that's a good way to run your employees off.

2) The problem turned out to be more complicated than they thought. This is usually the case. Especially in software development, changing one thing frequently affects other things, so it becomes a time-consuming process of change-test... change-test until no more new errors are generated. But the users always find new problems that the beta testers didn't catch.

3) the programmers are evil, and they delight in making people wait even though they've had the problem fixed for weeks. ( I hope nobody thinks this is the case)

Bottom line, this is a case where support can't possibly offer a guaranteed date, and pushing for answers only leads to reason #4:

4) programmer is being pushed by managers and customers, and tells people what they want to hear so they stop distracting him/her from trying to actually solve the problem.;

The answer to the question is self-evident: if there isn't a new version available, it ain't fixed yet. And nobody working on the problem knows when all the related issues will be identified and corrected, so pushing for a concrete date is an exercise in futility and frustration... not only for users but also for MUVIZU.

standard disclaimers: this is only my opinion, not universal truth. Your mileage may vary. There are probably other scenarios that lead to false promise dates. My opinion does not presume that other posters are wrong. I highly value the intellect and good intentions of all forum members and fully understand that what they report is true
2015/12/27 15:50:36
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... clayster2012 wrote:
Very nice, getting the attachments to work is one of the things I always have a hard time at, but with a lot of tweaking and extra time, it always comes out good, I never thought of using the blob character for anything, but you seem to be getting the attachment thing down nicely, great work man!

Clayster, you are the MASTER of attachments and character design! An inspiration to all of us, I would guess! (you certainly inspire me)
2015/12/27 15:46:25
Failed to load object from file zadecat wrote:
as far as i am concerned, the QC stinks, the support is almost as bad, no one seems to able to isolate the problem. so i work and i save often, so when problem occurs i don't have to go to far back. it's like the automatic backup procedures of the 1960's. anyhow i'm not prepared to change my version until i get assurances that the latest version is reliable...

Regarding QC and support: I'd have to disagree. This isn't a huge corporation with deep pockets (like Microsoft). Small companies need to be lean in order to survive, especially when the flagship product only costs $29 USD, and most of their customers are probably using the free version. I think the level of support for a company this size is outstanding!

Small companies also tend to have a handful of "key people" who drive the technology and solve the problems. Unless they're paid well, they tend to get discouraged and quit when the work load gets overwhelming. Since it is in the users' best interest for the product to remain active, heaping stress on the key people is counter productive. Tracking down and fixing software problems (especially in code that originated with another programmer) can be time consuming.

related trivia: when Microsoft was rising to the top, their strategy for defeating competitors was to simply hire the competitor's "key person", after which the company usually went belly up.
2015/12/26 17:54:23
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... I was kind of surprised and pleased to note that , even though the legs don't move, they are attached to a very squishy and movable blob (as WAIST attachment).

Because the legs attachment stays normal to the blobs centerline vector. it introduces movement to the legs... at times looking like the legs are propelling the body (when in fact the legs are just responding to the blob's ever-changing centerline)

I was hoping that a lower jaw attachment (used as a beard) would follow the movement of the character's jaw when he talks , but so far my tests along those lines haven't yielded anything to report. A lower jaw that is the same length as the snout (and moves when the character talks) would be highly desirable for a dragon character.

If I can find the magic combination, however, it would allow the creation of animals with elongated faces whose mouths still respond to dialog. Until then, my workaround is to model the face mask so that it leaves the potato head mouth visible. As cartoons, I figure it doesn't have to be real-looking, it just needs to convey the dialog.

Ideally, a separate mouth object that could be placed wherever we need it (like the eyes and ears etc) would open up a lot of potential to make face masks usable in stories that require the character to lip synch dialog.
edited by PatMarrNC on 26/12/2015
2015/12/26 10:22:11
Quick & Dirty Quadraped workaround... Maybe someday we'll have Dragons and other quadrapeds in Muvizu... but until then, here's one way to simulate dogs and cats using the Blob character with face masks and extended bodies.

It's not perfect by any means, but it's not all that far removed from the potato head paradigm.

Set with characters and the modelled attachments will be uploaded to the store as a free DL when I get a chance.

Using this concept, now somebody who is a much better modeller than I am needs to come up with a dragon. ;-)

edited by PatMarrNC on 26/12/2015
2015/12/25 23:31:48
SKETCH-UV urbanlamb wrote:
the video I linked has the link to the plugin and the tutorial on how to install it (that is why I Linked it just read the description on youtube all the info is there )
edited by urbanlamb on 25/12/2015

Hmmm... I had already installed that, but I still get errors any time I try to export as ASE.

But that brings me to another question:
I WAS able to export in FBX, but the resulting model looks a lot blockier in Muvizu than the same model generated as ASE. Apparently the ASE files get smoothed by Muvizu.... which I like, because that lets me get smooth looking models out of low poly object files.

I guess the detail is a lot better in FBX, and if I want to see fine details in my models, I need to save in a higher resolutin and then export as FBX?
2015/12/25 23:26:55
SKETCH-UV PatMarrNC wrote:

FWIW, it took me a while to get it to work, because a key step or two was not mentioned in the tutorial. (I don't think this was necessary using the material editor)

You have to select the surface before you can use the plugin... but in my case, I couldn't select any surfaces on an imported model until I did this:

1) right click > EDIT COMPONENT
2) Right Click > MAKE COMPONENT
3) Right Click > EDIT COMPONENT

only after doing that have I been able to select a surface so that SKETCH-UV will work

Interesting. I notice that after doing the 3 things above, I can paint on curved surfaces even with the standard Material editor!
2015/12/25 18:09:30
SKETCH-UV thanks for the useful video UrbanLamb! Maybe I'll eventually warm up to Blender if some of the mystery gets whittled away...

Can you tell me where to find the ASE plugin for Blender? I know it natively exports FBX, but I'm an "all the options" kind of guy....
2015/12/24 1:45:11
layers and movements Am I correct in thinking that I'd start out with all 3 layers so that when my character walked BEHIND the fountain, the foreground 2d graphic would hide him...

then if my character walked around the front of the fountain, turning off the layer that contains the foreground image would then let the character become the foreground, blocking out whatever part of the video fountain in the background he happened to be standing in front of...

very cool, and pretty slick too!
2015/12/24 1:36:38
SKETCH-UV Wabby wrote:
ziggy72 wrote:
... And it's free - what more could you want?!

Blender !


Merry Christmas !
edited by Wabby on 23/12/2015

Blender is an amazing program, no doubt about it.. especially for the price! (free)

But I get menu claustrophobia... when I first installed Blender and opened it up, I took one look at the clutter and closed it again. The main reason why I use Silo2 is that it has a remarkably uncluttered interface, yet it is powerful enough to do everything I need to do. (Except it can't export to ASE, which is the primary reason I use Sketchup)
2015/12/24 1:29:19
SKETCH-UV ziggy72 wrote:
Awesome - and it works with Sketchup 8, which is vitally important on this here forum... Good find Pat! I've always struggled to get any texture to wrap around anything that isn't flat in SU, so this is just great. And it's free - what more could you want?!

Free is good! I like free!

FWIW, it took me a while to get it to work, because a key step or two was not mentioned in the tutorial. (I don't think this was necessary using the material editor)

You have to select the surface before you can use the plugin... but in my case, I couldn't select any surfaces on an imported model until I did this:

1) right click > EDIT COMPONENT
2) Right Click > MAKE COMPONENT
3) Right Click > EDIT COMPONENT

only after doing that have I been able to select a surface so that SKETCH-UV will work

If you build your models in SKETCHUP, you may not have to do that. I model in SILO2 then open it in Sketchup only for the purpose of UVMapping and exporting to ASE
2015/12/23 17:20:15
layers and movements very helpful! Thanks!

Without these examples, I'd waste a lot of time in trial and error!
2015/12/23 9:53:01
SKETCH-UV According to the WIKI here about mapping colors to Sketchup models, it hasn't been possible to put a texture onto a surface that isn't planar... until now! I just discovered a Sketchup plugin called SKETCH-UV that makes UV mapping easier than ever, allowing surfaces of all kinds to be textured. Check out the videos:

sketchup to unreal engine:

sketchUV overview:
2015/12/22 22:35:20
Merry Christmas to my friends and family! urbanlamb wrote:
I dont tend to do much critiquing I just like to cheerlead LOL, but I will lurk and read the thread.

I'm more the cheerleader type too.

I am like this because personally critiquing does very little for my progress I tend to do my own thing but then I am a hard core introvert and its the extroverts that want critique.

I'm pretty much a hard-core introvert too. Myers Briggs type INTP. I ask for critique not because I don't have an idea of what I want, but because I seem to lack the ability to see how it comes across to others. Content providers who see themselves as artists tend to let their art stand on its own merit, whether people like it or not, they don't care. What's important is the expression of the art.

I see myself as an entertainer, not as an artist. As such, the MAIN thing I'm interested in is whether or not my audience is entertained. And since I seem to lack the gene that allows most people to guess correctly and adapt on the fly, I have to ask for input.

I have always been that way in work and in school it would baffle teachers and then I would just saunter in and do my exams or submit my stuff and produce an A. I always got criticized because "you dont ask any question" it seems that asking questions is an in thing for many teachers.

MY response would be "i dont have any to ask" and to which they would say "well then your gonna fail" but I never did LOL.

that sounds exactly like my dear departed wife... she was very smart and talented but quiet and did not seek attention. She was an enigma to her teachers

So I just cheerlead because of my own personal habits and besides its more fun Big Grin
edited by urbanlamb on 22/12/2015

Cheerleading counts as input! Its the equivalent of applause at a gig... it helps the band to know if they are connecting with the audience
2015/12/22 20:24:02
Merry Christmas to my friends and family! FWIW, here's the logic behind this video.

1) It's intended to be a series, so it has to be simple enough to allow new episodes in a timely manner, without getting too bogged down in details

2) Part of the plan is to encapsulate a joke or two into each episode, as part of introducing the characters. The jokes in this 1st episode include:
____the parking lot, with a sleigh parked among the cars.
____the more obvious stupid elf joke, used mainly to introduce the infectious elf laughter
____the surprise "end"-ing (pun intended)

3) story development at this point reveals Santas workshop to be a typical dysfunctional organization, with all the usual personality types. Since interaction between different personalities is one of the main sources of humor in sitcoms, it is important to develop characters that are simple enough to understand, yet complicated enough to throw us a curve occasionally.

The elf characters are identified as immature bullies, stuck in a middle school mind frame of pre-pubescent humor and abusive power play relationships

The reindeer characters are introduced as dependable, value-adding employees who want to do a good job, but are frustrated by a system that does not play to their strengths.

Other characters will be introduced in subsequent episodes, and the first episode for each character will seek to establish that character's personality traits so the audience understands why the various characters interact as they do.

4) The ongoing theme will be to create cognitive dissonance between the idealized fairy tale legend of an altruistic Santa Claus who loves the children and brings them gifts out of the goodness of his heart, and the modern idea of Santa as capitalist corporate entity who is in it for the money, has no problem with taking advantage of his employees. This Santa has PR people on staff to spin everything into a global perception that St. Nick really is jolly and not an @$$hole.

5) the idea is not new... but then, there are only about 10 different plots around which all stories are told. The trick is to tell the old story in a new way that either resonates with the lives people are living today, or in a way that is so different that it helps them escape from the lives they are living

6) A key question to ask is "what's the point? Why would I take the time to create this series?"

In my case, the answer to that question is that I'm a working musician who needs a way to draw people to his web site. There are so many musicians competing for so few gigs... and most of them are doing all the same things to attract attention... I'm hoping that the popularity of humorous animations will be something that my target demographic will find interesting enough to visit my site every week to see what's new and where I'm performing. My band will make guest appearances in the episodes.

Anyway, I said all that in order to make the point that there is a plan. And there is a point to the plan. As the series develops, I'll post it here, and I strongly encourage your comments and criticisms to help me learn more quickly. Be brutal. I'm not looking for ego massage, I'm looking for constructive criticism.
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