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Everything posted by largento

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Sadly, I just read on Facebook that forum member Gene Thompson has passed away.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Hey Simon, you need to get your Mac's MAC address and send it to Jason, so that he can move the license. You can find it in the advanced part of the network settings in your System Preferences.
  12. Here's a video about taking an STL file and using this free slicer software to export the slices as svg. Seems worth a shot. Looking forward to my First Prize medal!
  13. Has it been less than a year yet? My nephew cornered me this weekend asking if I had it yet. I told him about it when I won and he was so enamored with the idea that I was getting a "real" medal that he's still thinking about it and, I gather, told all of his friends at school. My cred with my nephew is in jeopardy here.
  14. Very nice, Matt. The "low poly" look reminds me of folded paper art.
  15. Big congratulations to the winners! I don't want to mention them by name, since that's part of the fun of Robert's excellent video. Well-earned, all!
  16. Not quite that simple. Apparently if you have a later OS than I have and the latest version of Photoshop, you can import the image from your phone (like importing images from your camera) and the depth map is in its own channel. I've also seen an application that uses a command line to write them to a file. Apple bought a company in 2015 that developed this process for using the two lenses to build a depth map. Assuming it still works the same way, it actually creates only 9 layers of depth and it obviously works better in some conditions than others. The image seems to be a much lower resolution one than the actual image, which isn't ideal. There are iPhone apps that seem to let you isolate the depth map, but the two free ones I tried failed to work. I gather the iPhone X and XR are much better than the 8+ I have.
  17. Yeah, that's how I first did it was with my iPhone. It's hit or miss, though. Some would figure it out, but if it was too complicated, you ended up with weirdness. In order to get Facebook to recognize it as a 3D photo, you had to use "portrait mode," which is what the iPhone uses to allow you adjust lighting and focus settings on a photo after it's taken. Presumably the phone is generating a depth map to accomplish this.
  18. That's really cool! I gave it a go with and old cover to one of our graphic novels. You could easily spend many hours working on it. They definitely get your attention when your scrolling.
  19. Hey Aetheria, I'm not sure about the exporting, but if you can use the UV map that you make in A:M, there's a tutorial on using the UV editor by Will Sutton on YouTube here. Hope that helps!
  20. So could you stick a giant model of a spaceship to a place with this thing and then wander around looking at it life-size through your phone?
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