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Vong

Craftsman/Mentor
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Vong last won the day on January 2 2015

Vong had the most liked content!

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About Vong

  • Rank
    Journeyman

Contact Methods

  • MSN
    curtisrhoads@gmail.com
  • Website URL
    http://vongvisuals.blogspot.com

Previous Fields

  • Interests
    Filmmaking!!! High Definition!!! Yeah, Baby!!!
  • A:M version
    other
  • Hardware Platform
    Mac/Win
  • System Description
    Intel i7-6700 3.4GHz, 32Gig RAM, GeForce GTX 970 iMac 27", 8Gig RAM, GeForce GTX 780M

Profile Information

  • Name
    Curtis Rhoads
  • Location
    Eagle Mountain, UT
  1. Rob, you do know that YouTube can archive the live stream for you, right? It may not give you the control you're after, but it makes things easier to start. Here's the YouTube support page about it... https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6247592?hl=en
  2. Let me preface this by saying that I have not used A:M for quite a while. I do keep tabs on it though because it does hold a special place in my heart, I've still got a few buds around here, and I'm still seeing kick-arse art made with the program. Let's begin... ----------------------------- CPU+GPU rendering was a way to increase render speed for the Cycles render engine inside Blender. Now that EEVEE is coming on the scene and is basically a game render engine, Cycles will probably be used only for specific tasks that EEVEE can't handle (yet), such as caustics, etc. I don't know what went down when trying to get A:M to render on a GPU, or why there wasn't much of an increase, thus I can only speculate. If A:M is still converting from splines to polygon's at render time, perhaps that has something to do with it? (If you know, please inform those of us who weren't around! ) Would faster render times in A:M be appreciated? Sure. Nobody likes to wait for a render. I don't care who you are or what you actually say, you hate waiting, it's human nature. --Especially those that are on a deadline, whether client or self-imposed. And this is where things like the Advanced Viewport in MODO or VPR (Viewport Preview Render) in Lightwave can come in handy. Turn them on and let the render iterate a bit to get an idea of your texturing/lighting. Something that A:M could use, but will most likely never get, again based on having to convert splines to polygons. Yeah... I think to get a lot of features added into A:M that users have asked for (even in this thread) would mean releasing A:M as open source and bringing in the hobby programmers to try and add the features. A:M doesn't seem to sell enough* to cover the cost of hiring 2-3 more programmers to add some of the functions. Steffen does a great job, but to cover what everyone wants, you need a small team. ^Do note, I'm not suggesting or pushing that A:M be released as open source. Like John Bigboote says, he noticed huge increases in render time when exporting from A:M to Element3D. Which makes me think that it's the converting of splines to polygons that is the issue with rendering in A:M. I don't know how the render engine handles things right now, but if it has to convert from splines to polygons for EACH frame before rendering, wouldn't/couldn't it be possible to convert the entire animation to a cache file of polygons and then render that out? Would/Could that make GPU rendering a more accessible feature? Again, all of this could have been looked at when looking into GPU rendering, I'm not sure. And please, don't think that I'm saying rendering in A:M is a big issue, it's not. Rendering is what it is... And as soon as we can all afford the quantum machines that can render in real time as we think these things up will be the best day of all our creative lives! Just to give an idea of what some former A:M users have talked about... Since the Big Exodus**, there are a few of us former A:M users that have talked amongst ourselves and said that if A:M ever went to a polygon based format, quite a few of us would return. A:M has a simple straightforward way of working. Does the UI/UX need some updating? Yes, but that happens to all programs (Just look at Lightwave). The one thing that us old users talk the most about, is A:M's animation tools. Some of its features were waaaaay ahead of the times and some programs today try to emulate or imitate, but still don't hold a candle to how A:M does it. So, if it were possible to integrate polygon/sub-d modeling, while still keeping splines intact as they currently are, you'd probably see a few old faces popping in again. You'd probably also solve some of the render talking points and probably be able to add all new functionality. A pipedream, but one can dream, right?! Sorry for hijacking the thread... * - This is based on an outsider looking in point of view. Looking at how active these forums are, as opposed to how active they used to be. ** - For those that started using/joined the forum after 2006 -- (Mako Voice) -- But that is a tale for another time... -- (/Mako Voice)
  3. USB keys are a thing of the past. More and more companies are trying to ditch hardware based keys. Foundry currently has standard MODO license setup as a login based system. You install the software and then login from the software using your Foundry account credentials. It allows you to login from up to 2 machines at the same time. If you want to login from a third machine, you need to deactivate one of the machines from your Foundry account on their website. Foundry's system also lets you keep a copy of your credit card info online, so that the maintenance or subscription can auto-renew, without you having to do anything other than make sure the CC info is current. There's always the LW and old MODO way of licensing... Use the license file and when starting the program, check to see if the program is already running on the current network. If it is, then you don't allow the instance that was just launched to run and throw up an error screen informing the user that the software is already running. (Good for if you only want to allow the user to run the software on one machine at a time.) If it's not running elsewhere on the network, then the software launches and the user goes about their business.
  4. While you all are thinking that it might be a software problem, there is a chance that the problem lies in system memory. Chuck says that the system is "fairly new", but what does that mean exactly? 1, 2, 6, 9 months old? If possible, re-seating the RAM might fix the issue (as long as that won't void any warranty). It could be that a stick of RAM is starting to fail and that A:M is attempting to load portions of the render into that section of RAM, thus the crash. I can't say for sure that it is a RAM oriented problem, but if you're still crashing after a format and reinstall of the OS, then it sounds like a hardware problem to me.
  5. Richard Willimot aka Pengy, a former A:M user, passed away today at the age of 48. A couple of years ago he ended up with a collapsed lung and was in the hospital for over a year. We had been hoping that he would be getting better and that he'd be back to joking and animating with those of us who still hang out in the #hash3d IRC channel. He will be missed. Godspeed, on your new adventure, Pengy!
  6. Former A:M'er Joe Cosman was one of the unlucky ones let go. I wonder if they hired him back! :-) From what I could tell back when they were shut down, it seemed like pretty much everyone there was sent packing. The studio shutdown made most of the local news casts the day it was announced. This seems to be Avalanche getting back to their roots. Good to see that you can't keep a good company down!
  7. Wow... I haven't talked to Jeff in a few years....Last I heard he was still trucking on out there in Reno, NV. William Eggington's C4D tutorial for fastMDD had more to do with folks trying to use Messiah:Studio's fastMDD plugin to get stuff out of Messiah and into C4D. In the video you came across, he mentions using a trial version. William is now a Blender user... I miss some of the old users.... (Myself included!) :-)
  8. Continuing down my road of memories while I pack for the big move.... One of the first "Third Party" training books for A:M... And the Pro Series Videos, for all your learning needs... If I come across anything else I'll post some pics up. I think I might still have the boxes from when I first purchased Martin Hash's 3D Animation Pro (before combining the "consumer" and "pro" versions of the software using just the name Animation:Master, which was the name for the "pro" version originally).
  9. Rob, it was! :-) Rodney, you're welcome! I've got more stuff that I'll be posting shortly... As I'm going through and packing things up, I'm hanging on to all my A:M stuff, but sending the Maya books to the be recycled or donated. :-)
  10. So, I'm getting ready to move and as I pack things up, I'm coming across some old (older?) stuff.... Here is what the printed A:M Manual to v8.0 (circa 2000) looked like. And here's how thick it was...
  11. Digital Tutors is pretty selective about what programs they will do tutorials for. With them being acquired by a new company, they are expanding the programs they release tutorials for, however I don't think A:M fits in with their audience. It wasn't until they were acquired that Blender and Lightwave were added.
  12. If you have the right team, I think it could be done. South Park does what equates to a short in 6 days, with multiple "shorts" making up a season. If you can find it, check out the documentary "6 Days to Air : The Making of South Park". Very interesting stuff and some of their stories show you can write a decent (crass) story in a few days. Of course, it's limited animation and nothing on par with Pixar, Disney or the other big boys, but it's still being done. I think that you can still get away with doing a full feature on your own on your kitchen table if you're willing to make compromises. Look at M Dot Strange's stuff, he's one of a few folk that have shown it's doable. Mr. Sutton should know, he was on M Dot's podcast! And M Dot was doing a web series at one point too, which was only taking him roughly a week to do per episode. Read back through his blog, wealth of info there as well. I've been working on stories that I'm at a point where I want to start producing them as animated movies or possibly a web series. So I've been looking at all the options. Maya and Max, are not going to cut it in the realm of low budget, shoestring, crank it out, 1-2 person animated shows. For something like what I have in mind, you focus more on story than you do on how well the animation looks. And yes, I am looking at A:M as a possible contender. IMO, TWO and Scarecrow are successes, because they were finished. It's hard to finish something like that. To bring this back to marketing, like I said before. With a package like A:M, the only real way to market it, is to show off what it can do and "Wow!" some people into checking it out.
  13. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Interesting to see that some of the ideas presented in this thread are similar to the ones us "old duffers" had back before the Great Exodus of 2005/2006. I remember a time when A:M (and it's predecessors) were advertised. It wasn't advertised as much as the big boys, but it did happen. Mostly, A:M was marketed by word of mouth. I first heard about it from reading "The trueSpace Bible". As I recall it was in a side panel, that mentioned A:M's great character tools. That's what brought me to A:M. Over the years, it was more the users that brought in the new blood than any real marketing. The work they were doing and showcasing in these forums, as well as other forums, was what brought in a lot of people. Users like Brian Prince, Joe Cosman, Victor Navone, Billy Eggington, Jeff Lew, Peter Lin, Armando Afre, Jim Talbot, Wesley Holder, and a crap load more that I'm forgetting. These artists were pushing the software to the extreme. It also helped that Hash was attending more trade shows and conventions back in the day, although now that I think about it, there were more trade shows and conventions to attend. Also, back then you didn't have a decent open source program to lure the masses that couldn't afford multi-thousand dollar programs. Thus A:M flourished. Today, I see some pretty awesome stuff, but the "Wow!" factor stuff doesn't seem to be as prevalent as it used to be. The OP states that Hash seems to have left the public forums. Hash was never really involved all that much in the public forums. This forum here is where Hash did 95% of it's postings. The remaining 5% was split among the public forums, which were handled mostly by users. So saying they left, wouldn't be entirely accurate. They weren't really there. Even the IRC chat room #hash3d (which still exists), was abandoned in favor of the internal chat system in A:M. Users have asked for a loooooong time for A:M to be more open to other software. Even LightWave has recently (since v10) seen that being part of a pipeline is better than not being in a pipeline at all. However, being open to other software is a 2 way road and something that Hash never seemed too interested in doing. Rodney made mention that he'd like to see other software being more open to A:M. That's not likely to happen, mostly because of A:M's spline technology. Even NURBS have been pushed aside in content creation, in favor of Sub-Division Surfaces and raw polygons. NURBS only truly exist still in CAD and Design packages now. I don't see any other programs implementing splines, but A:M could implement an SDS/poly workflow that might bring in some new blood. FBX is a nice transport format, but it only understands SDS/polys. So going from A:M to another program works, but bringing it back into A:M could be troublesome. (Unless things have changed drastically!) And with Alembic becoming more popular.... Selling A:M on Steam might sound like a good idea, but I have doubts. Just because you could, doesn't mean you should. Licensing changes are one thing, but does Hash have the manpower/ability to support the program on 2 fronts? Better yet, do they have the will to want to support it on 2 fronts? Pixelplucker pegged it. The target audience is a single user. And if we borrow from Hash.... That wants to create animated movies on their kitchen table! Pixelplucker goes on to say that Steam will be good for A:M and that more users equals more revenue, thus the ability to put more features into A:M. Guess what?!?! We were there!!! Asking for features to be implemented and in a timely fashion is partly what led to the Great Exodus of 2005/2006. Actual studios were using A:M in real production environments and were asking for features to be added. Martin got upset and noted that the software was never intended for studios, but for that single artist. Which then led to some things being said and some of the greats leaving. The only time after the Great Exodus and before all the programmers left, that I saw new features being added was in support of the films. Now times have changed and if there was the ability to hire more programmers and add new features, I say go for it. A:M easy, Blender easy, it all depends on what YOU actually find easy. I know plenty of people that have had a hard time coming to grips with splines, while they can toss polys and SDS around like a pizza maker tossing a pie. But the same can be said in reverse. I've played around with quite a few programs and there is always that initial curve to get over. Blender has it and A:M has it. I didn't like Blender back in the 2.4x days, but it's easier now than it was. In fact I have come to count on it as one of my main players for getting client work done. Faster rendering... Every package needs faster rendering. Until rendering speeds can catch up with the thought process of most humans, there will always be a need for faster rendering. Will said that Martin created AM Films because he saw that it was the way forward. It was always the way forward. Martin started the software as a means to creating the films he wanted to make. Somewhere along the line he got caught up in the software and the films were relegated to the sidelines. A:M was a means to an end and it still is. I have great memories of using A:M and this community. I still check in from time to time, check out what's going on and sometimes say something. All software is a means to an end. It's not religion. All software dies eventually. You think that A:M is fading? Go hang out on the LightWave forums some time. LW has supposedly been dying since v6 was released and it's now at v12 (Better known as 2015). The good software, likes to linger on life support until it goes away naturally or the plug is pulled. I haven't played around with A:M in a long time. I think A:M 2005 (whatever version that was) is the last version I have. The things I miss the most are A:M's kick ass animation tools and how easy texturing is. (At least that's how I remember it!) I think there could be a "new renaissance" with A:M if a poly/SDS modeling engine was added into it. I know it won't happen, but I can dream right? I've thought many times about buying a license again, but I haven't because A:M doesn't fit into my pipeline anymore. This could be the year that changes. I don't know. One thing I do know, is that I'm not ready to pull the plug on A:M yet. Sentimental? Maybe. But I have yet to find another community that equals what the A:M community was like all those years ago. Several come close, but they're not quite there. So you want A:M to be marketed really well? Do some really kick ass art with it and start showing it around to forums other than this one here. Get your friends involved with A:M and have them start making kick ass art as well and showing it off. The Power Is Yours!!!!!
  14. Vong

    AM 2008 rig

    Just downloaded and took a look at this rig... Impressive. Gonna go play some more....
  15. Rodney, umm.... Is he gonna grow wings and fly? Cause that sure looks like an aircraft wheel to me!!
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