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Everything posted by cribbidaj

  1. Ah - thanks Robert! I have always just rendered in camera view . . . not a day goes by where I don't learn something
  2. Is there a way to achieve the "perspective" view of a model or scene in a choreography like one achieves by pressing the number pad 9 key in the modeling window?
  3. Hi Chris - thank you for your insights! Yes, giving a character proper weight in animation is an aspect of the process that I have studied and continue to study, but my knowledge and results are limited. There are so many factors in this regard - knowing anatomy and movement, creating a workable model, and utilizing inverse kinematics. I normally gravitate to David Rogers method of rigging the legs: http://am-guide.com/SetUp/, which I found years ago and utilize to some success. I've got books on anatomy by Hogarth which I study, and am currently fascinated with David Simmon's "Squetch Rig" - in part because his modeling of the "Squetch Sam" character is exquisite - clean, precise, and highly animatable. I also agree that the battery scene and the ending in my short could be fleshed out to provide a more cohesive story. Hope to soon address these and other fixable issues suggested in the earlier responses. Thanks! Chris
  4. Robert! I like that comparison regarding the hair style being like a porcelain figure's!
  5. Roger - thank you for your thorough thoughts and response. I believe part of my difficulty in storytelling is that I'm drawn to abstract ideas that do not necessarily translate into a specific outcome or genre. That said, obviously I am lacking in the storytelling department, illustrated by the fact that all of you guy's responses are similar in discussing that you're not sure what is happening and what the "spirit" of the animation is about. I will take these observations to heart and try to figure it out. I'm not a scriptwriter, so perhaps some study in storytelling, script writing, and storyboarding are in order. For my part, with this animated short I was trying to tell a creepy, abstract story in a whimsical way that accomplishes something different than a typical music video. The idea "let the audience interpret as they may" perhaps in this case is a cop-out and doesn't work without me having a deeper understanding of storytelling. Your comment "figure out which story your telling and commit to it fully" does not fall on deaf ears. I truly appreciate and will have these comments in mind as I either try to better this specific story and animation, or continue with other ideas.
  6. Man - this is really helpful. Thanks Robert! I'll dig in
  7. Hi Dan - thank you for your thoughts. Your suggestions are spot on - the hair on little girl was not something I addressed in depth. I'm running A:M on a 2014 Macbook Pro, and some load/render times give me anxiety - hahahaha! - no one to blame but myself! I created the particles with Particle Illusion and imported into A:M. A:Ms particle creation/rendering is very cool, and I've gone through "The Art of A:M" several times since first diving in, but I'm impatient/lazy, and, like all of us, am juggling multiple things all the time, so . . . I really hope to complete a short all in A:M sometime. Also, yes the grass is both a texture decal and hair. Due to running on my older system, I am dealing with load/render times that are difficult at times. You're right, the hair/grass density should be higher. I'm not ready to dive back into this particular story, though I should at some point go back and try to make it better - we'll see. That's why I've posted with my invitation to critique. Either way, your's and Robert's suggestions will be invaluable tackling this or any other creations I decide to move forward on. The music accompanying this particular animation is my own composition, entitled "Frabjous Day", though it really doesn't have anything to do with Lewis Carroll's poem. I just like the sound and enthusiasm of the phrase. I'm a musician - pianist/singer/composer - by trade, so . . . the song is from my latest album, "Whisper & Howl". It's an album of all instrumental music, though my previous albums are more singer/songwriter endeavors. Thanks man!
  8. Robert - thank you for taking the time to address this. Your suggestion to have girl leaning back instead of forward pulling the table is spot on - your storyboard frame example amazingly gets the point across so well, and that will breathe life into that scene. Should've been obvious to me, but . . . yeah, so much better - and funny! A friend who is not a graphic artist or animator also said that the scenes look “flat”, so that aspect of lighting is obviously something I don’t have a handle on. I’ll have to dive into the lighting subforums to gain some knowledge. As far as the meaning of the ending, there’s really not much to say except that it was my intention for the reveal that the little girl is also a machine to be shocking in a “Twilight Zone” sort of way & that the TV Head is building companions in a lab. Sort of a “meta” ending - it’s really not that clever, and it’s kind of a story trope at this juncture. Perhaps I didn’t articulate it well enough in my storytelling. Thank you, as always, for your help & input!
  9. How do I "unhide" the geometry bones in the "squetch sam" model? BTW David - the model and rig is extraordinary! I'm exploring it within an action in v.19.0g and am fascinated with not only the vast amount of poses you've created but also the results of the render. I'm accustomed to rendering in v.18, but it seems to me that rendering in v.19 is much quicker and the depth in the render is of a much better quality. Is that due to changes in v.19? Or is it also because the default in the "advanced rendering" window has 5 passes assigned in the "progressive render passes"?
  10. I'm using v.18p, but sometimes when I click on the alias it opens in v.19. In general, I'm working in 18p
  11. Hi All - attached is a finished animation accompanied by a track from my album "Whisper & Howl". Posting in part because I'm somewhat proud of it, but also because I've got a lot of work and learning to do still with a number of aspects of this deep and thrilling software, and I'm hoping for valuable critiques of anything you all can give. For my part, I feel the areas I need to concentrate on most at this juncture are lighting & rigging (I really need to start using fan bones in joints). I'm a conscientious student of the animating process, but realize I am still at a relatively low bar when it comes to creating the "illusion of life". This is due partly because of time constraints (and, of course, impatience - I attempt to create a 3+ minute animation instead of creating, say, 20secs of thoroughly worked out animation). Please feel free to chime in with any or all suggestions. Frabjous Day_animation.m4v
  12. Hi Robert - yes, rendering to image sequence (.tga). As a follow up, I'm assuming now that the problem is in some part of the specific scenes I've been rendering. Perhaps lighting, or transparency over a model's eye's, or something I'm not catching. These scenes take place within a house I've modeled, but the lights in the choreography are in their default states, which causes some camera angles to render with different shadows, darkness, etc. Because I really don't have a deep grasp of lighting I just render with something that "feels" cool. When I have rendered scenes without the house as the "environment" all rendering works without crashing. I've finished rendering the scenes, so . . . I may upload the project soon so that I can hopefully learn from you or someone else on the forums what is going on in those specific projects. Thanks man!
  13. I'm using A:M 18.0p SE3 on a Mac running OS 10.11.6 with an nVidia Geforce GT 750M. When rendering a choreography at Super35 res I'm able to render one frame at a time successfully, but while attempting to render multiple frames A:M consistently crashes. I've stopped many of the background processes on the computer to allocate as much processing power to A:M as I can, but the crashes still consistently occur (only when attempting to render multiple frames - the software successfully renders to first frame I've selected, then crashes). My current workaround is to stay at the computer and render one frame at a time, which does not cause the software to crash. Any idea what's going on?
  14. I'm toon rendering a model in a simple choreography with the character walking along the ground. How do I get the character's shadow to render on the ground plane? The character's "toon" settings are: Line color: dark gray line size: .8 Toon bias: 2 The ground's "toon" settings are: Line color: white line size: .8 Toon bias: 20 "shadows" are enabled in render settings.
  15. Thanks John - the render times were very reasonable - between 2:48 and 3:11 min per frame. At some point I'm considering doing a Globial Ambience render of something and then bringing the frames into a paint program to add color to parts of the models in order to add some hand drawn color & shimmer and shake to the final animation. Not quite envisioning how I want to approach it. For this choreography I rendered every 2 frames. I also find rendering every 4 frames instead of every 3 gives my movements a pleasing stop-motion aesthetic, similar to the the Rankin/Bass Christmas films of the 60's. Also, I was reading on the forums that the Darktree materials and SimbiontAM don't work with A:M version 18. Is that correct?
  16. Here's a short gig promo I created in A:M recently. I really like the Global Ambience option and parameters the software offers. Thanks to Nancy Gormezano for her posts regarding this subject. Her work is illuminating. Jack In The Box.mov
  17. Thanks Rodney! I use Logic to record multi tracked audio. I write the script (with pencil and notepad - old school, but fits my workflow best), then record each character's dialog separately on separate tracks. I then edit them to get the timing I desire. Next I improvise a separate abstract piano track during the piano ventriloquist's dialog, trying to match timing and inflection. For this episode I recorded a separate piano track as the dummy begins to play, starting with JS Bach's 25th variation from the Goldberg Variations then morphing into an improvised stride piano thing. Mixing goes fairly quickly from there, then I bounce to a .wav file and bring it into A:M for animating. As a side note: the insults hurled between the characters toward the end is a nod to New Orleans jazz musicians' banter called "playing the dozens", which was first observed at the turn of the 19th into 20th century. I don't know the origins of the term, but it's obviously been adopted by people from many different walks of life.
  18. Here's a new episode using these characters. Ventriloquist_Ep2_Bach Breaking.mov
  19. Thanks, all, for the feedback!
  20. Thank you, Rodney! Yes, a camera zoom for closer shot is good advice! The dummy lipsync is straightforward up and down. I perhaps should make it's eyes blink a little more often. The head and neck are on one bone so that I can rotate it on x axis, which seems to be the right thing to do. For the piano-ventriloquist's lipsync, I've created a number of poses for the mouth. I did some CP weighting, but failed to do smart skinning, so the white of the bottom of the keys shows through in a number of poses. Basically, I just got this done to where it made me laugh. I'm considering creating a number of "episodes" for these characters, so I'll get in and do the busy detail work before animating again. I really like the way A:M allows audio into an action and the choreography. I've been using the software since 2004 and ran into problems early on with that function - mostly due to a slow computer and user error - but it's a flawless workflow now. In short, I'm still amazed that I can accomplish this with this software. I can't imagine how programmers create such a deep program that enables one person sitting at home with a laptop to grapple with all the capabilities that this software can do. It's like magic to me.
  21. I'm posting this recent short animation I made with A:M with a note of thanks to everyone at Hash. Among others, Robert Holmén and Mark Largent have been extremely quick and helpful in answering questions and solving problems I encounter onVenriloquist Show.mov this journey of learning animation, and A:M in particular. This software and these forums are so very important to me - thank you!
  22. My previous license expired 3 days ago. I just purchased a new yearly license and received an activation code, but I can't open A:M in order to activate it. Please advise. Thanks. • Please disregard - I figured it out. Removed the license file from my A:M folder and reinstalled •
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