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Hash, Inc. - Animation:Master

largento

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largento last won the day on September 23 2023

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Profile Information

  • Name
    Mark R. Largent
  • Location
    Dallas, Texas

Previous Fields

  • A:M version
    current
  • Hardware Platform
    Macintosh
  • System Description
    iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015), 4GHz Intel Core 7, 24 GB RAM
  • Self Assessment: Animation Skill
    Knowledgeable
  • Self Assessment: Modeling Skill
    Expert
  • Self Assessment: Rigging Skill
    Familiar
  • Programmer
    NO
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largento's Achievements

Animation:Masters

Animation:Masters (9/10)

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  1. One of the problems I've run into importing my A:M models into Blender is that most of my models have very limited geometry. I can add a subdivision modifier, which does smooth out the parts and pieces, but it also reduces them in size, so I end up with a model that no longer looks like it did in A:M. Today, I watched this youtube video... A subdivision modifier that keeps the model's volume! And suddenly, an old friend appeared, looking not a day older (or skinnier!) I'm busy with the latest Stalled Trek, so I can't really go off on a deep dive right now, but if you've run into this problem, this appears to be a solution!
  2. Thanks, guys! Switching to Blender wasn't my idea, Robert! I don't know what will happen with all of this in the future. At 55, I'm not really actively looking to start a new career, but if somebody showed up with a dumptruck full of money, I'd certainly listen to what they had to say!
  3. Stalled Trek: The City on the Edge of Foreclosure is on YouTube now! The last of the film festivals I submitted to is over, so I've finally set the movie free. 😀 You can see it on my YouTube channel here: Stalled Trek: The City on the Edge of Foreclosure
  4. Tried both (as well as Shift+6) with no success. I don't think it's a processor issue so much as a Parallels issue. This happened when I tried using it on an Intel Mac a few years ago, too. When I used Boot Camp, it worked fine, but Parallels had this issue. However it is Parallels is attempting to emulate Open GL, it's not playing nice with A:M's realtime rendering. Boot Camp is no longer an option with new Macs.
  5. I seem to recall that being a setting, but I've looked through all of the options, and can't find it anywhere. I should point out that I haven't noticed any issues with rendering to an image. The problem is in the actual use of A:M. Tumbling around a model, or moving anything, causes the shaded view to fail. It's appearance is similar to it being submerged into an alpha channel. There is no indication that it is patch or poly-based. Instead, it appears to have something to do with the z-depth of the entire model. If it were just reversed normals, I'd expect to see only the incorrect patches disappearing. This looks like a graphics card issue. Whatever the case, the only real way to work is in wireframe mode. Quick Render can be used to see what it looks like, but shaded and shaded with wireframe views aren't usable. I'm not really using A:M, though. Maybe you'll be able to figure it out with more use.
  6. Haha, I fear I've forgotten nearly all I knew, Chris! I'm not sure if it's the backward facing polys setting. I don't think that feature ever worked on the Mac version, so it's not one I think I used much. Was it only for rendering? This issue just effects the display of the model while you're using A:M. It doesn't appear to be a normals issue, though. I used to spend a lot of time correcting the normals on my old models and since I used Porcelain, they stuck out like sore thumbs when they were flipped. It happens even with a simple cube. I think it's probably something to do with how Parallels does Open GL. This same issue was there when I tried using Parallels many years ago, so I don't think it has anything to do with the the new Mac. Still, it's been fun to be able to open up a bunch of my old models.
  7. I just purchased a subscription (rather than doing a trial), so it didn't ask me to do that. Sounds like something I'd have to do if I renew, though, so curious to see if Rob's tutorial works for you.
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. Sadly, I just read on Facebook that forum member Gene Thompson has passed away.
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