PatMarrNC - all messages by user

2016/4/1 16:11:50
animation fans I just got around to installing this product and giving it a brief test run, and I think it will be VERY useful for making the kind of backgrounds I need for Muvizu and Anime Studio sets. It's basically a PAINT style program (as opposed to drawing or photo editing) in that it provides a wide variety of brush styles and materials to paint with. A LOT of paint apps do that... But here's what's cool about this one:

Many of the brushes are not just static patterns... they are animated algorithms that change every time you use them! So if you are using a nature brush to create trees or bushes, they all look different and unique! No rubber-stamped look like you see in many apps!

Also, I notice that many of the brushes are motion sensitive... meaning, if you draw faster, the pattern spreads out more, which creates a feathery look.. and again, always different!

The nature brushes alone are well worth the free download!

In the past I have used nature backgrounds that were screen captured from the web, but that's really bad practice for a lot of reasons. With this tool, I should be able to rapidly create just about any background I need... and best of all... put the foreground, middle ground and background on separate layers in order to create a wide vista 3d effect as the camera pans the scene!

Can't speak for everyone, but for me this freebie is a keeper!
2016/4/1 13:34:44
animation fans apparently the 3d terrain creator is NOT part of particle 9, its part of a sister app... particle 9 is a subset of the other app. But the foliage creation alone would be enormously useful in my opinion.

I'm hoping that after registering particle 9 that the other app is available at substantial savings. It's list price is already fairly low, well under $100 USD
edited by PatMarrNC on 01/04/2016
2016/4/1 11:15:07
animation fans I'm posting this here because the thread started out with a FREE SOFTWARE OF THE DAY notice... and here's another one:

One of today's freebees is called PARTICLE 9, and it looks like it would be a useful tool for creating backgrounds in MUVIZU! Based on its demo video, it has a 3d terrain creator, brushes for painting foliage on alpha and a lot of tools for making general painting very fast

The ability to create foliage on foreground layers that characters can walk behind and still be seen partially through the leaves really opens up a lot of possibilities. I'd guess that using layered graphics on multiple backdrops to achieve a 3d look would be a lot less demanding on your computer than filling up a large scene with 3d objects. Plus, you don't need to know how to model if you take this route.

These videos show a background scene being created with Particle 9. It's free today. 'Nuff said.








and here's the link for the Freebie, in case you aren't on their mailing list:
https://www.giveawayoftheday.com/particle-9/

as always, freebee expires after today (4-1-2016)
edited by PatMarrNC on 01/04/2016
2016/4/1 11:04:05
Some new animated foilage? braj wrote:
How about Muvizu releasing some foliage that is more realistic and that is animated. We can add our own trees, but we can't make them sway like the stock props. Thanks!


One consideration here is that nature's default includes a lot of variation. Small tress move in the wind more than large trees. The wind is wispy, and it affects some areas more than others.

Bottom line, just including a few of the default moving trees with some static trees tricks the mind into seeing the whole scene as being animated.

A musical analogy: In a musical composition, including a few audio tracks with some MIDI tracks has the effect of making the the whole song sound more like it was composed with real instruments, whereas a composition consisting of MIDI tracks only will tend to sound synthetic.

Upshot in both cases is that it doesn't take 100% change of elements to create a dramatically improved perception in the audience's mind. Often times a very small introduction of dynamic content makes the whole project seem more dynamic.

(My 2 pence. )
2016/3/31 15:20:16
Set keyframes before animating them
I will show off my animation work around in my upcoming finger pistols are dangerous video so yaw can see how Im animating the animals


looking forward to seeing that, Clayster!
2016/3/30 6:21:32
Poser sale.. half price anybody who has ever thought they'd be interested in Poser as an additional tool in the ol' animation/modelling toolbox... right now it's on sale (50% off) until April 1

http://my.smithmicro.com/poser-11.html

This isn't the same version Braj is using for the cool stuff he's doing... it's a less- featured version than Braj's. But it still does a lot... it's capable of full blown animation, 3d characters that can be intricately posed and keyframed, tools for taking static models DL from the web and rigging them so they have the same built-in movements as the standard poser figures

This is the first time the entry level version has been 64 bit, which is almost essential for a 3d program (Poser 10, 2015's version, was 32 bit!)

If you have any previous version of poser already, you can upgrade and get it for 75% off their standard price

Here is a link to some youtube video about how poser works:
intro:

features:

edited by PatMarrNC on 30/03/2016
2016/3/30 4:14:36
Set keyframes before animating them theotherguy wrote:
Are you using new content you made yourself? I'm always wanting my characters to move a certain way, i.e. slowly turn around and point, would it help with that?

the standard Muvizu character movements can't be keyframed. Just about everything else can, however.

I think all of the current dialogs here (in which people are animating with keyframes ) involve static characters that they've created or downloaded from the web, broken into animatable pieces, then painstakingly keyframed the individual pieces to get the animation they want.

Although you can't keyframe the Muvizu characters outright, what you CAN do is model your own arm with a pointing finger at the end, and keyframe it. If you use closeups of the arm or position the character so its own arm is hidden, you can make some convincing moves.

That's basically how Clayster made his Luke Skywalker raise binoculars to his face. That move isn't supported by Muvizu's standard movements, so he framed the scene so that Lukes arms weren't shown, and keyframed a free floating set of binoculars (with attached modelled hand) and used keyframes to move into position. Pretty slick!

You could use something along those lines for your pointing

(But... isn't pointing one of the standard moves built into the characters?)
edited by PatMarrNC on 30/03/2016
2016/3/29 18:33:09
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! ziggy72 wrote:
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


you may have hit on something here, Ziggy... it may be that the DEVs don't want to release anything that isn't as fully animatable as everything else, and therefore they are reluctant to spend the time required to make trick ponies (so to speak)

Speaking only for myself... I'd love to have some basic tools that we can build on... in fact, that the DEV TEAM can build on.

A basic set of 4 animatable legs that can be attached to our imported models would go a long way.

If it came with a floating head that we could move around in space to wherever our creatures head needs to be... all the better

If the legs had attachment points for hooves or paws that users model... even better!

Ideally, if the Dev team created one such critter that came with a variety of foot , paw, tail, mask attachments right out of the box.... Goodness gracious.... you could charge just about any price for that kit and I'd buy it!! But at the usual price point for Muvizu-created expansion paks, it would be a no-brainer acquisition for everybody!
2016/3/29 18:17:07
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! yeah Clayster, I neglected to comment on your horse...

I Love it! It has the perfect Muvizu cartoon look! Its always a bit jarring to me to see ultra realistic models in the Muvizu environment, sharing space with potato headed characters and cartoonized scenery. To me, that's like wearing sneakers with a tuxedo.

But I ESPECIALLY like the fact that you figured out how to animate the little dude! That is cool to a very large degree!

Its fun watching what you and Braj and many others are doing here.. I find it inspiring.. (and a little bit frustrating that I don't have time to mess with it as much as I'd like)

It would be kind of cool to have a HALL OF FAME forum, to honor the people who have really pushed the limits of what MUVIZU can do, and to showcase their videos and techniques. It has been said that "birds of a feather flock together", and in this context that manifests as creative people congregating around products that let them exercise their creativity.
2016/3/29 18:05:21
Has lip syncing multiple characters changed? shiningmonk wrote:

It would be nice if:

3) Each character could have his/her own dialog in the form of a WAV and would automatically lip sync to that dialog, wth Muvzu automatically detecting silences and sounds (I thought this used to happen as well, but I sem to be wrong).


well good news! Each character CAN have his own dialog audio file! But it can only be one file per character per scene, so you have to get the timing right, because you can't slide the phrases around on the timeline, only the whole audio snippet.

Just add the audio snippets individually as you would any other sound effects, then go to PREPARE > DIALOG and assign a character to that clip. You can slide the whole clip in the timeline to time it.

What I do to ensure the timing of my individual clips is to record them in AUDACITY on different tracks. In that environment you can move snippets around until the timing between characters dialog is what you want. Then export each track separately, and import them to MUVIZU and assign them to the appropriate characters! Muvizu does the rest!
2016/3/28 20:15:42
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! 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
2016/3/28 15:12:02
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! 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.
2016/3/28 13:06:59
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! 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
2016/3/28 12:50:11
Super Large Backdrop ? one possible workaround might be to scale everything else down. Making your world half as big accomplishes approximately the same size ratio as making the backdrop twice as big.

Another possibility might be to put your backdrop texture on the environment (ground or sky)
edited by PatMarrNC on 28/03/2016
2016/3/26 16:16:26
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! 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?
2016/3/26 15:26:18
Beautyqueen hair I played around with Poser last night and found that I could export all kinds of hair and accessories as OBJ files, then convert them to FBX and use them in Muvizu. Due to ownership rights, I can't post any of it here, but for others who may have poser (and I'd guess the same is true of DAZ and similar packages) it does open up a lot of additional content for your own personal projects
2016/3/26 15:21:12
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! 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.
2016/3/26 15:05:46
Moving water like in the Chinese History pack? braj wrote:
I guess this is the time to ask for cycles for animations, let the user define a point when the animation on any channel starts repeating. And also being able to copy and paste keyframes would make this all simpler, and looping less necessary. If I were to pick a feature, it would be copy/paste, but looping still would be great too.


+1
The ability to copy and paste keyframes would be huge
2016/3/26 3:39:53
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! 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
2016/3/26 3:36:34
EXPERIMENTATION STATION! 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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