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Everything posted by Rodney

  1. Robert, Immediately after deparing the hangout I noticed the swf files for the composite Tech Talk were created in Camtasia. As i still have Camtasia I felt confident I should be able to open and convert the presentation and... done. Wish I had thought of that last week! As other demos of Animation:Master are likely created with Camtasia this should make quick work of any conversions needed but I especially want to get more info out on ExR capabilities. The Tech Talk uses the Norlock project file and not the Leopard Queen but similar content is covered. Kudos to Eric Webster for the Norlock project which is on the A:M Extras CD. Thanks also to Noel Pickering for the Tech Talk. I'll double check on artifacts appearing in the MP4. Not sure how that snuck through. Composite EXR Tech Talk.mp4
  2. Glad to hear you've found success John. And... given that a new wookie has appeared on 'Book of Boba Fett'... sorely tempted to try to modify that Chewie model to fit the newer character.
  3. If you upload an exmaple of the STL file you wish to convert that will help assess the best way forward. Also, depending on the tools you have at your disposal there are a number of different approaches. Most of us as Animation:Master user will say you'd likely save time just using the STL as a reference and model from scratch with splines and patches.
  4. Attached is the orignal Project file as it was/is directly from the A:M Extras CD. As many A:M users may have the Extras CD the project can be found thereon at: AMExtrasCDVol1\Data\Projects\Image-Contest\Sci-Fi-Fantasy\Leopard_Queen Leopard_Queen.zip
  5. Robert and I were discussing the EXR format and I wanted to share the project file based on Jim Talbot's Leopard Queen image. The project was demo'd at SIGGRAPH 2005 by Greg Rostami. I must assume it is called Boris becuse of the artist Boris Vallejo whose style is captured in the image. Still haven't found the video of the demo yet but perhaps it isn't far away... maybe even on one of the Hash Inc SIGGRAPH cds. Update: I may have found the composite video. It is in .swf format so am attempting to convert to MP4. The CompDemoProject file attached only includes the EXR file. Will also upload the the Project file (which should also be on the A:M Extra CD and DVD. CompDemoProject.zip
  6. Audiate is something of a one trick pony in that it basically just syncs audio/voice with text and allows one to modify the other. How it converts the audio to text (i.e. transcription) is it uploads the audio to IBM Watson which then transcribes the audio file into text based on what it is in its dictionary. If we look into the .audiate file (which is text) each word segment is given a confidence level (on how accurate the transcription is assessed to be. Put in another way... Initially there is only the audio file. Audiate transcribes that audio file into text and keeps it in sync within the UI so that as the user edits the text (mostly deletions) the audio automatically adjusts. The user can do various things like Right Click and assign custom words to the audio segments... or silence the segment. I haven't done much with copy/pasting of words in the audio to have the voice actually say new/different things but that works as well. So in such a case we might have said something inaccurate and later used the correct word. We could copy paste the correct word into place and press on. Finally, and this something I queried the folks at Techsmith about... the textual track can be exported as an SRT (or text) document. In my estimation it would be good to be able to bring SRT files into the program in order to iterate and improve the audio further. But... that isn't the primary purpose of the software. I would say that ideally, the user records their voice directly into Audiate... repairing badly spoken words/sentences on the fly. Once the audio is transcribed into text the user would then remove the bad reading by deleting the text which in turn would update the audio. We cannot type in a new word that isn't in the audio and have that suddenly appear in the audio. I imagine they could probably add a feature that would do a textual search for that word in the current audio and make it available for insertion. Audiate doesn't read the text... it just plays back the audio it has. My assumption is that under the hood they have a file with pointers to various parts of the audio. When playing back it follows the pointers and when exporting it uses those pointers to create the modified wav/mp3 file. The pricing is rather prohibitive for the program... but they do have a trial for those that wish to give Audiate a try. My hope is that they incorporate Audiate into Camtasia but I think they want to pay a bit more for their R&D before moving in that direction.
  7. In other tales... I'm doing some R&D with Techsmith Audiate on some old Animation:Master tutorials. Automated transcription from audio to text... then editing the text in order to automatically edit the audio.
  8. This isn't related to Adventure Cat but was drawn about the same timeframe. I call her 'Feature Request Lady': And yeah, she could probably appear in an Adventure Cat episode. Why not? The theme during this drawing was 'cats'... so, see if you can find the cat!
  9. Thanks guys! A long time ago I did this image: But I really didn't have any plans for a driver at that time. I even thought it might be more of a 'Cars' type setup where the vehicles were alive and didn't have drivers. BUT... Adventure Cat might be the perfect driver for that truck and more. Time will tell. I have no idea where the models are for that desert scene with the truck but it shouldn't be hard to remake if I cannot find it. I recall thinking at the time that I needed to strive for simplicity in my designs and modeling.
  10. My previous doodling topic was titled 'Tuckertown and other Stories' for reasons I believe I mention in that topic but... Here I'm not so interested in Tuckertown as I am in other tales that might be told... or explored. Recently I was doodling and came up with a character I just call 'Adventure Cat'. This topic will try to focus on him and his world mostly to give my doodling in 2D and 3D a little focus. At any rate, I thought I would try to create a vehicle I had drawn for Adventure Cat in 3D with the latest release of Animation:Master. Here is the result:
  11. Here's a proof of concept for animating the biases of a four Control Point lathe to have it morph from circle to square. In this case not directly moving into the shape but changing size and delaying the shape change a little. Project File attached as well. square2round.prj
  12. I'm a bit late to the party. It's great to see you @mulls! If it is an option I've found that leveraging patch images and then manipulating the splines to influence the shape of the image works quite well. Then the 'text' can be created either inside A:M or another program and then the splines... dangling splines often working best... can be manipulated to gain whatever curvature is needed... to include curvature created via lathing (as Fuchur describes). The image/text can then be updated easily to change font, style, color, etc. without concern for adjusting the path. This approach wouldn't work well if the text is needed as geometry... for that an approach such as Robert has mentioned would likely work best.
  13. The black outline is typically an indication of premultiplied alpha channels... and perhaps especially if/when the process of premultiplying the alpha channel has been done more than once. Contrast this with a white outline which is an indicator that images are being used that are un-premultiplied and need to have that process applied in order to lose the outline. Interestingly, this can go a lot deeper and even touch upon our favorite topic of... gamma correction! This wikipedia article provides some of the math involved: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_compositing Aside: Something I learned from that article but probably should have known already: Only the color channels get color corrected... the alpha channel is always linear. Regarding the alpha channel... or the area that is normally transparent appearing as black... there are two primary things to consider here: 1) Programs need to display the transparent portion of an image in some way and black is often the default because the value zero (i.e. black) denotes complete transparency in the alpha channel versus the value 255 (white) denoting full opacity. 2) Different programs deal with displaying transparency in different ways but in general the transparent area is logically read/interpreted as black although the area is still transparent in the original file. In other words, it can help to consider whether the image being seen has been fully processed (i.e. with premultiplied alpha*) versus the program processing to UI/display with the transparent area using a default color (usually black). The area under consideration may in fact not be black but is simply being displayed with the default value of zero (black). Some programs use the checkerboard pattern to display that area instead although the smaller the icon the less likely that is to be the case as it can be hard to see a checkerboard pattern at small size. *In compositing it is often best to use images that are un-premulitplied so that we aren't dealing with combinations of the color channels being multiplied with that of the alpha channel... allowing the user to make the decision of when/where to initiate that rendering process. Added: Returning to this for a clarification (of sorts). I suppose technically speaking the value of the alpha channel is a percentage from 0 to 1 and not a value from 0 to 255. This gets a little confusing... again... because of how different programs display the values. This is also why we might see percentages for transparency in HTML/CSS after RGB values. It seems nothing is ever as simple as it should be.
  14. I am sure to have nightmares after seeing that. Probably just needs the wings and all will be fine. hehe
  15. I hear there is now a free deluxe mega multi powered copy of 'Birds-Eye-View-Queue' with every purchased copy of Animation:Master! Now look what you've done Mr. Robert Holmen... you've convinced me to update my subscription to A:M! (Disclaimer: I have heard rumors to the effect that the B-E-V-Q offer is not available in some specific galaxies and black holes and where otherwise prohibited by law) Translation to the above: Thank you Robert for the excellent reminder of the Birds-Eye-View-Queue. I have mentioned this feature to some folks that have never used Animation:Master and there really is no way for them to properly comprehend how this works (ala Undo/Redo) without trying it for themselves. It's a great feature.
  16. Robert mentions the book on Villains by Thomas and Johnston (and their 'Illusion of LIfe' of course is well known to animators) but their other book 'Too Funny For Words: Disney's Greatest Sight Gags' provides good insight into how to 'write' animated sequences without words. The concept of 'the gag' has largely fallen out of favor but the underlying idea of entertainment and humor is still just as popular. Something I find interesting is how Disney got the entire staff involved in coming up with good storytelling visuals and some even made some extra income by submitting gags that were used in their films. I'm sure it led to more than a few promotions as well. In part 2 Frank and Ollie break gags down into the following basic categories. The Spot Gag The Running Gag The Gag-That-Builds The Action Gag The Tableau Gag The Inanimate Character Gag The Funny Drawing Specialized Gags (Color, Effects and Caricature) It is also very interesting to me how this approach to 'writing' pulls in aspects of thumbnailing, brainstorming, storyboards, etc. The whole idea being that while dialogue and other elements of story are important it is essential to tell the story through visuals; pantomime, character, performance, mood, etc. to the point where the story can be told without them but then is plussed up even more through their inclusion. The Disney approach was of course heavily influenced by silent film and that carries through well into caricatured performances. Most of the illustrations in the book have been posted online in some form or fashion over the years but the book is unique in it's collecting of the story gags into general categories. This not to present a formulaic approach so much as to explore what makes visual storytelling work. This thought and theory then can be applied to the creation of shorts and films in animation or live action. Note: There are several books with the title 'Too Funny for Words' out there so if purchasing online make sure it's the right one.
  17. Mesmerizing. It reminds me of some of those old lead ins for TV and movies back in the 70s that didn't have a lot to do with the show itself but did the job of setting the mood and displaying the talent involved via credits... but yours much much better.
  18. It's great to hear from you Teresa! And good to get caught up with what you are up to. Here's hoping you make the transition to whatever will be smoothly and without too much disruption.
  19. Rodney

    AM Films

    A:M FIlms has been disconnected for many years... both the old (classic) A:M Films as well as the updated one. You'd likely be the exception to the rule if it was working for you. There is a youtube channel that contains most of the content from earlier A:M Films (although not strickly those that use to be found via A:M FIlms): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClx0zURG5-KTOzQewFRpASg/videos There is also the Hash Inc FTP site that has quite a few videos.
  20. There is an Animation:Master discord but... it never really took off: https://discord.gg/jtZmXvc Please feel free to drop in and make suggestions to inject some life into it. Link updated!
  21. Just days ago I found myself wondering what Disney might end up doing with Blue Sky Studios which was part of their recent acquisition of 20th Centry Fox. Even before I got a chance to google it... into my news feed came the reports that Disney would be shutting down the Studio. Several old time Animation:Master veterans work there... a few since the very early days of Blue Sky Studios... and here's hoping they make the transition well. I saw in a separate report via Linked In that one Blue Sky Studio animator in particular, Teresa (Nord) Storhoff has recently been promoted to Training Lead which if true would suggest a role in transitioning some of the 450 employees to other studios and Disney departments. From what I understand Disney still has plans to continue the Ice Age franchise in some capacity. I fully expect to hear of a new animation startup ramping up in the not too distant future to cover the dearth of animation work on the east coast but the recent move to more telecommunicated projects prompted by Covid 19 may have animators dialing in their work from all parts of the world remotely to Disney... Good luck to everyone involved!
  22. Congrats to all the winners! That was a fun contest.
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