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largento last won the day on February 26 2019

largento had the most liked content!

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  • Name
    Mark R. Largent
  • Location
    Dallas, Texas

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    iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015), 4GHz Intel Core 7, 24 GB RAM
  • Self Assessment: Animation Skill
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  1. Hi everybody! Just wanted to post this on the off chance anyone wishing to use A:M on a Mac wonders if you can use Parallels to run the Windows version of A:M on a Mac. I'm working on the third (and last!) of my Stalled Trek films and wanted to see if I could make use of some of my old files for extras on the boxed set I'm making, so I purchased a subscription to A:M and tried to use it in Parallels. I'm using a Mac Studio with an M1 Max chip on Monterey. This is version 19.0P of A:M. The chief issue is presumably graphic card related: It's possible to see a model and tumble the view in wireframe, but shaded view doesn't work. (see screenshot.) Quick render does work, so if you work entirely in wireframe mode, it is possible to use A:M. It's not ideal, obviously. IMPORTANT: Working with files is dependent on them being saved to the Local drive of Parallels. You can open files from your Mac, but saving to your Mac (including rendering), will crash A:M every time. Everything needs to be saved to the Local drive. This is something to consider when determining how much drive space to give to Windows. I'm not doing much more than rendering some old shots and exporting models to OBJ, so I haven't done any kind of extensive testing. There may be other issues. Frankly, it's been so long since I've used A:M, I don't really remember how to do much. Hope this is helpful to anyone considering this as an option!
  2. An update! It's been a wild six months! The film just won its 10th award! I hoped it would do well, but I certainly wasn't expecting the success it's had! One of the big thrills was that I was invited to premiere the movie at the big Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas! It was held in August and the screening was hosted by the film critic, Scott Mantz, who seemed to genuinely love it! For a Star Trek fan like me, showing it to a Star Trek audience was huge. The next week, my boss arranged for me and my fellow employees to see a screening of the movie at a Movie Studio Grill. Seeing my movie in an actual movie theater was a dream come true. I hope this inspires some Hashers to go ahead and make a film. It's been a long time since I installed A:M that first time, but I never thought it would get me here. I've entered more festivals that will take place next year, so fingers crossed, I'll be able to add a few more laurels to the poster. Cheers, everyone!
  3. Just a post to close out this project! After much longer than expected and many, many obstacles, Stalled Trek: The City on the Edge of Foreclosure was completed on April 10, 2021! As you can see from the poster, I ended up going back to an updated version of the original character designs from Amutt Time. I resisted it for as long as I could, but since I had to remodel everything in a new application, I gave in. I'm glad I did. I think they're funnier that way and even though this one and Amutt Time look different, it's good that the characters aren't too dissimilar. This was easily the most difficult project I've ever completed! I knew it would be tough, but I wasn't prepared for it! Amutt Time was a breeze compared to this one. So many speed bumps: a new full-time job, learning new software, health problems, and a world-wide pandemic! So many setbacks, but I kept at it and finally reached the finish line. The hard work was worth it, though. I'm really proud of this one. Hopefully this will be some encouragement to all the people who are struggling with their own films. There's a light at the end of the tunnel! I should be getting the blu-rays back from the duplicators in the next couple of weeks and I've already started submitting it to a few film festivals. With the pandemic, many film festivals are still shut down, but I hope to be able to see it screened with an audience.
  4. Thanks, Michael! Nothing so formal as that, but there is a work in progress thread here: Stalled Trek 2012 I went through it again and it's wild now to think about how quickly it went. I started it as my New Year's resolution at the beginning of January of 2012 and finished animating it in April and had DVDs shipped to me at the beginning of May. It seemed like all the stars lined up to make that one go. Unlike City on the Edge of Foreclosure, which seems to have every obstacle possible being thrown in its way! I ended up getting hired full time, had to switch from A:M to Blender (which meant learning new software and re-modeling just about everything), various life events and illnesses (two rides in ambulances!) and then the pandemic ...and last week, the winter storms and blackouts in Texas! I'm starting to get paranoid about what might happen to me before I get this one shipped out!
  5. With the animation for Stalled Trek: The City on the Edge of Foreclosure finally completed (only took two and a half years!), I went back and made a new HD version of Amutt Time for the blu-ray! Going back to a project that's almost a decade old was definitely a challenge! For one thing, it was my first real attempt at doing a film. Although I would eventually develop some organization, the beginnings were a mess! I didn't have production notes, so I had to do a lot of digging to find things. In the first sequences, files were scattered around in different places and there was some of that "final_revised_2b_final_b" kind of naming going on. I was assembling it in Premiere on top of the original video, so I at least had that to work as a blueprint. Originally, I had experimented with re-rendering the frames in 1080, but it turned out that just wasn't going to work. At the time (more than two years ago), there were plugins that no longer worked on the Mac version, mainly the Darktree textures. Attempting to render them in the Windows version failed because for some reason, the decals would all have to be renamed and updated. This worked sometimes, but not always. I'd open a choreography and the decals would be checkerboarded across the models and it was just a mess. Also, for the most part, there really wasn't any detail in the models. Most models just had colors assigned to them with maybe a noise pattern. This meant, after the added time of rendering a frame in 1080, the results didn't look noticeably different. So, I went with upscaling the original frames and it worked surprisingly well. Thank goodness I hadn't thrown them away! It helped also that I could re-do the post-render Photoshop work in HD. Although there wasn't a lot of detail, there were places where the added resolution was noticeable. Usually this was because what I'd done to the shots after the fact had given them a soft focus look. It was very weird going back to this after so many years. Especially after having just worked on a newer Stalled Trek. The temptation to just re-do the whole movie was definitely strong. That old adage about creative projects never being finished, but abandoned is definitely true. But re-doing it wasn't what I wanted to do. I also didn't want to "Special Edition" it up with new things. The biggest change is the color, which was greatly hindered by the original renders just being too blown out. Especially the reds. All that stuff about the gamma that I never understood did come back to bite me! I spent a lot of time trying to dial it down with limited success. I'm keeping both versions up on YouTube.
  6. Sadly, I just read on Facebook that forum member Gene Thompson has passed away.
  7. I never had a lot of success with importing polygon models. I do think the Prop thing worked at the time, but I didn't make use of that. The imports almost always came in looking like an exploded bowl of spaghetti. It's been a couple of years since I used AM, but I was able to make use of the OBJ exporter in v19, so at least that must've been present at the time.
  8. The gate is attached on both sides, but there's no division between it. (It can't open.) Still, it could just be ornamentation above the actual entrance.
  9. Hey Simon, just a suggestion for layout. It would look more appealing and read easier if there was more of a focal point. If you set up the shot so that the infant was more prominent, I think the viewer would cast their attention to the baby. Having him in color does help, but when everything is relatively small, it's hard for the viewer to know what he should be paying attention to. Also, you can emphasize that his back is to the piano playing, which sends a stronger message that he has a barrier up. Just one option. There is, of course, more than one way to skin a cat.
  10. They look great, Robert! Thanks for all the work! Can't help but think of this as a great way to commemorate my time with A:M! When I first tried out A:M 15 years ago, winning an image contest was way beyond a possibility. The Wannabe Pirates, Stalled Trek, The Wobbling Dead ...made a lot of memories with A:M.
  11. I just updated to the latest Mac OS and wanted to let the Mac A:M users know what to expect. As expected, A:M is NOT really usable in Mojave. Many things still seem to work, but the primary problem is that the Project Workspace is unclickable. It's responsive in that selecting something in a model window or choreography will highlight the specific element in the PWS, but no amount of clicking on it will allow you to select it or interact with it via the PWS. Fortunately, the menus and item specific pop-up menus are still functional. Most of the other windows do seem to function: Timeline, Properties, Poses, etc. Some of the tool panels are also unclickable. Ironically, I haven't once encountered the old Finder access problem that has plagued A:M Mac users for a decade or more. It's possible, with a different workflow that you could still use A:M. Some of the tools that can't be clicked should be able to be mapped to keyboard shortcuts. I don't have the time to explore all of the elements to see what works and what doesn't, so there may very well be other obstacles I've not come across. Mojave is supposed to be the last Mac OS that allows use of 32-bit applications, so beyond this, A:M will no longer be usable at all on the Mac. From my experience, I would recommend not upgrading your Mac beyond OS 10.12 (Sierra) if you plan to use A:M. (My experiences with using it under 10.13 were frustrating.) If, like me, you just want to open some of your old models and export them to other formats, this does seem to work.
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