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Exercises 9: Flower Power

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hey people.

 

some may have already seen this pic but i thought it would be cool to show it here.

 

my_table.bmp

sorry it is bmp

 

 

I MESSED UP ON THE DATE THAT I PUT... IT WAS THIS YEAR. :D

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Hey, thats nice!

 

My apologies but I'm going to upload this in jpg format so everyone can readily see it.

my_table.jpg

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thanks Rodney.

 

i just was getting tired and didnt feel like spending any longer on here.

 

but now i cant go to sleep so..

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Name: Big E

Exercise: 9 - Flower Power

Completed: March 15, 2007

Comments: Simple yet fun, Definately will be using these techniques in the comming projects..

 

cartoonflower0.jpg

 

Never really put something into cartoon mode. I kinda like the way this turned out as apposed to the other one. Also at the time i thought it looked unique, But now i swear to gosh ive seen something similar. Just have no clue if its my mind playing tricks on me, Or if there really is..

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Looks good Big E!

 

I'm sure you've at least seen things simularly rendered with toon rendering.

More than a few flowers have been rendered in toon.

 

I love the toon effect (it probably my favorite) but it has its place in the scheme of things.

Selecting a style is always an important part of the process.

 

Unless you plan to refine or revisit this one... press on Big E! :)

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Name: Alan Selby

Exercise: #9 (Flower Power)

Completed: March 20th 2007

 

Remarks:

General: Not as complicated as expected. Loads of bones for something relatively inanimate - but useful practice. This was about the third exercise I did after getting A:M as it looked like one of the easiest -

So here it is.

post-10701-1177144557_thumb.jpg

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Name: Elliot Clements

Exercise Completed: Exercise 9: Flower Power

Total Completed Exercises: 9

Date Completed: 28 April, 2007

Instructor(s): Video tutorial's

Remarks/Suggestions: I did this exercise a while ago and found it interesting how the cp points work and I found the bones really easy to use. Hope you like it.

 

It grows fast :rolleyes:

Flower_power.mov

 

What do you think?

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Spot on Elliot. :)

 

As this is most people real intro to the power of Bones and Rigging its an important one.

It seems strange to me on the one hand but more than a few people have really enjoyed creating this flower.

It demonstrates principles of modeling and rigging that everyone can take with them into much more complex creations.

 

 

(I wonder how hard it'd be to rig this flower with the Squetch Rig - Action Install... hmmm....)

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Name: Jeff Bolle

 

Exercises Completed: 9

 

Date Completed: Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

 

Instructor: Rodney, Video

 

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: Just followed the tutorial on this one. A nice review on auto assign for me. I forgot you could do that, haha.

flowerpower.jpg

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Name: Roger Christenson

 

Exercise Completed: Exercise 9

 

Date Completed: 13 October 07

 

Instructor: book

 

I've neglected these exercises while doing TWO animation assignments. Without a new TWO assignment I did the flower exercise today. Here it is:

 

FLOWER.JPG

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Jason Young

 

Exercise 9 'The Power of a Flower' ;)

 

6-1-2008

 

ex9_flower_power0.jpg

 

Jay

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Had time for yet another one!

 

Name: Petri Pirttinen

Exercise Completed: Exercise 9 - Flower Power

Date Completed: Feb 11 2008

Instructor: Manuals (pdf & video)

Remarks: Great exercise! This covers a lot of useful information actually. Thus I tried to gather what I've learned this far and created an action for choreography and rendered following:

 

exercise9.mov

post-11490-1202752414_thumb.jpg

 

Had great time :-)

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Great exercise! This covers a lot of useful information actually. Thus I tried to gather what I've learned this far and created an action for choreography and rendered following:

 

Very nice. Not only did you model and rig it but you put it to good use in animation.

For you this lesson is obviously learned.

 

I agree with you also concerning the content of the lesson.

Exercise 9 reveals a whole lot about modeling, rigging for animation and the artist too.

All in a very simple lesson.

 

I must confess, when I first saw Exercise 9 my reaction was more like, "A flower??? You've gotta be kiddin' me!" Like most wannabes I wanted to model monsters and spaceships! I had no use for flowers. ;)

But there is indeed power in that little flower.

Therein lies the lesson.

 

Listen closely and you can almost hear the old masters say, 'If you can't model that little flower you best be on your way.'

When modeling you'll often find yourself creating things you'd rather not model.

Thats when the fun can just become a job if you aren't careful.

 

So this then is the official test to see if you've got what it takes to be a 3D modeler.

As for you Petri... you've officially passed that test.

Thanks for sharing your work and insight with us here.

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I would be remiss in not giving a shout out to those that posted while I was away from the forum.

Jay and Bishnu... Impressive work guys. Way to plus up an exercise! :)

 

post-8539-1199659544_thumb.jpg

 

post-11380-1201998416_thumb.jpg

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Name: Sean Concannon

 

Exercise Completed: Exercise 9

 

Date Completed: Feb 26 2008

 

Instructor: Manual

 

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: none

post-11452-1204047476_thumb.jpg

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surprisingly making a flower was a lesson I learned tons on.

I expected bones to be very difficult but they are actually pretty easy!

I am liking this software the more I use it. :)

name: The Spleen

Instructor: Video

flowerpowergene.jpg

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I expected bones to be very difficult but they are actually pretty easy!

 

There's nothing quite like success! :)

 

Exercise 9 is a good gauge of whether we have what it takes to successully rig our characters and props for animation. Many scoff at this little flower and rush on to rig a dragon or some other complex thing instead.

 

Having a feel for the how things should move helps in the understanding of why models are rigged the way they are. With the earlier exerices already locked into the brain we are set for success here.

 

More than a few have commented on how much they like the ease of rigging in A:M.

The lessons learned from such a simple flower will help ensure our success in any rigging endeavor.

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Name: Tim Roberts

 

Exercise Completed: Exercise 9: Flower Power

 

Date Completed: Oct. 07, 2008

 

Instructor: Manual, forum

 

Comments: Added some poses of the petals: up, down, and "surprised" .

 

exercise_9_final.mov

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Exercise 9: Flower Power

 

Here is my shot at modeling and rigging the flower.

 

I tried a little breeze on a few flowers.

 

I think it still needs some work to look right.

 

post-10558-1233371438_thumb.jpg

 

 

Ex9_Breeze.mov

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Hey Tim,

Thats a nice subtle effect.

I see what you mean when you say you aren't quite there yet.

The effect you seem to be going for is swaying whereas what you've got is more of a pulse.

 

You could probably take what you've got there and manipulate the flowers as a whole in an Action or Choreography.

One way to do it might be Export your current Choreography out as a new Model.

Then bring that new model back into A:M.

From there you could grab all of the flowers and sway them using the Deformation tool or any other of many methods.

There is an online tutorial called 'The Walk and the Whip' somewhere out there that can provide insight into that.

 

I do think you'll have the most success if you can treat all the flowers as a whole rather than as separate elements.

You have lots of options to choose from!

 

You've done very well with this exercise though. Everything else is above and beyond. :)

 

 

 

In other news... Paul Forwood is currently demonstrating some very cool Flower Power effects in his ongoing WIP.

Its interesting to note that his current effort is a combination of several TaoA:M lessons. Working through the exercises here will definitely help in understanding what he is doing there.

 

Check it out!

 

Paul's Playground - featuring Particle Flower effects

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Hey Tim,

Thats a nice subtle effect.

I see what you mean when you say you aren't quite there yet.

The effect you seem to be going for is swaying whereas what you've got is more of a pulse.

 

You could probably take what you've got there and manipulate the flowers as a whole in an Action or Choreography.

One way to do it might be Export your current Choreography out as a new Model.

Then bring that new model back into A:M.

From there you could grab all of the flowers and sway them using the Deformation tool or any other of many methods.

There is an online tutorial called 'The Walk and the Whip' somewhere out there that can provide insight into that.

 

I do think you'll have the most success if you can treat all the flowers as a whole rather than as separate elements.

You have lots of options to choose from!

 

You've done very well with this exercise though. Everything else is above and beyond. :)

 

 

 

In other news... Paul Forwood is currently demonstrating some very cool Flower Power effects in his ongoing WIP.

Its interesting to note that his current effort is a combination of several TaoA:M lessons. Working through the exercises here will definitely help in understanding what he is doing there.

 

Check it out!

 

Paul's Playground - featuring Particle Flower effects

 

I did take a look at Paul's work.

That is some cool stuff!

Over my head right now.

 

I actually tried adding some dynamic contraits and a fan to make the flowers move in my mov.

I think your way may be much better.

I'll give it a look and see if I can figure it out.

 

Thanks for taking time to look at these

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Really enjoyed this quick exercise, and learnt loads of great little tips! Tried to put some texture on the plant pot but it didn't really work. Should I use decals?

post-12530-1235488352_thumb.jpg

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how did you put texture on it? if it is a material you need to render it to see it.

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Hey Masterfunk. I think in this ex I just needed to tweak the settings a bit. I rendered one version with some roughness on the pot but it was waaaayyyy too much!!! I think I'm just confused by what method to use in general (I should probably write this in another thread). I've looked in to texturing a bit but its so overwhelming!!! There's so much to learn! I'm working on a new character and I'm wanting the whole Pixar/Dreamworks kinda style and I don't know whether to colour and texture the guy or decal him!? I'll try to post up a pic in a new thread when I finish work. Any advice anyone can give me is much appreciated!!!

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I've had a lot of problems on this lesson (shocking I know). Oddly not where I thought I would have them. From playing with the program and messing around with some of the models I really thought my trouble would be with the splines. But in reality using the splines was a breeze and I understood the workflow very quickly.

 

The rigging on the other hand gave me all sorts of problems.

 

I was able to make and pose my flowers. BUT; and it's a big but; I don't consider this a passing grade.

 

I need some help and then I'm going to redo this lesson. I'm just not happy with it.

 

I'm attaching my project file (I've saved in several stages so I can go back to the point of my errors and fix them) and of course the image.

 

But it's the only image and that's part of the problem. I wanted to take 2 images and I repositioned camera one. I saved to file the same way I always do. In fact I've done it six times with the same result each time. It renders the image for me to look at and when I click off it it isn't saved as a Jpeg. I've tried adjusting the settings. I've tried saving it as an image file instead of a Jpeg. I've tried saving it as an animation. Despite showing me the image that I want, and the fact that I have "1" selected for the camera 1 view, it will not render it to file.

 

But that's the least of my problems.

 

The biggest issue I had in this lesson was without a doubt the bones. I only deviated from the lesson a little (I added a third leaf on the stem and at an off axis from the other two, I also made more petals than the lesson called for but I did the math and none are overlapping). The video lesson showed these big yellow circles around the bones when he was adding them to the flower. I did not see that.

 

Also, sometimes when I selected a bone and tried to change something my whole screen would go flashing yellow (like for example when I auto assigned my bones... it made that flashing yellow all over my screen despite doing what I asked and assigning the control points to the bones).

 

Lastly, and I think most importantly, my bones did not seem to marry up to each other right.

 

When I was posing the flower the bones in the stem would detach from each other (the ones in the leaves did it too) which would cause the leaves to bust out of the stem and appear to be floating on thier own.

 

My project file is a mess. I tried to do some stuff in model windows that didn't quite work (probably because I haven't learned to use the extruder yet) but everything I did on this project is there.

 

If someone could take a look at it and tell me what I'm doing wrong I would really appreciate it. I'm going to try again and stick strictly to the lesson probably later tonight or tomorrow. So the sooner someone can give me some pointers the better.

 

Thanks.

 

EDIT: It actually is letting me save multiple images.... it just isn't letting me change the file name for some reason and it is overwriting the file name I had for the first image without asking for permission. Wierd. For example, the first image was saved as Lesson 9 flower power 1.jpeg and the second image was saved as Lesson 9 flower power 2.jpeg. When it didn't work I tried it again and flower power 2 took over for flower power one. When I just tried again I tried saving it just as Lesson 9 flower power.jpeg... no number and it still saved it as number one and overwrote the image I already posted here.

 

Really wierd.

 

2ND EDIT: I forgot to mention that I had some majopr issues with the smart skin as well. The lesson shows it working on a leaf and encourages you to try it on any joint you may be having issues with. So since my bones were coming undone from one another and causing my leaves to pop off the stem I figured I would try using the smart skin to force the leaves to stay on the stem regardless of where the joins bend.

 

It seemed like it was going to work, I bent the flower one angle, made the corrections, bent the flower another angle and so on. But I ended up trying this like three times. And every time it ended up the same way. The flower would shoot off like a rocket into infinity and leave just the smallest traces of the stem behind. It took off at about a 45 degree angle and no amount of "undo" wold fix it and no matter how far I zoomed out I could never see the actual flower, just the thin trail of stem leading to where it went into oblivion. So I ended up deleting the smartskin each time and trying again with the same result.

 

I have no idea what gives with this.

 

3RD EDIT: In case you are wondering the coffee table (that's how it was labeled but it doesn't really look like a coffee table to me, more like a bar table or a breakfast nook table) came from the props on the A:M Extra's Disc and the vase I made myself (another little add to the lesson) and put one of the planet (I think it was supposed to be Jupiter) textures on it. I think it came out pretty cool.

Lesson_9_Flower_Power1.jpg

Lesson_9_Flower_Power6.prj

Lesson_9_Flower_Power1.jpg

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I haven't looked at your project - but as for the filenames:

 

A:M appends the frame number to the name of the image that you tell it to save to - so if you say save as blahblah1.jpg (or tga, or png) and the frame you are rendering is really frame 30 - it will save it as blahblah30.jpg. Even tho you may be on frame 0 when you go to render - A:M will use the frame number or range of numbers that is set in the render dialog.

 

 

And if you save as a .mov, or .avi - A:M won't append a number. And A:M will ask you if it's ok to save over an existing file - if there is one.

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It renders the image for me to look at and when I click off it it isn't saved as a Jpeg. I've tried adjusting the settings. I've tried saving it as an image file instead of a Jpeg. I've tried saving it as an animation. Despite showing me the image that I want, and the fact that I have "1" selected for the camera 1 view, it will not render it to file.

 

Need more detail. You are using the render button at the top? Not just hitting Q and rendering on the screen?

 

The video lesson showed these big yellow circles around the bones when he was adding them to the flower. I did not see that.

 

These are "bone falloffs". Probably ON by default when the vid was made. You can turn them ON or OFF for bones in their properties. Shift select any number of bones to turn them ON or OFF together.

 

Also, sometimes when I selected a bone and tried to change something my whole screen would go flashing yellow (like for example when I auto assigned my bones... it made that flashing yellow all over my screen despite doing what I asked and assigning the control points to the bones).

 

On Lost this indicates some sort of time travel taking place. You need to go into the secret cavern below the Swan Station and and turn the big wheel.

 

When I was posing the flower the bones in the stem would detach from each other (the ones in the leaves did it too)
The bones stay attached as long as you only rotate them, which is the only way you would want to arrange the bones in an "FK" rigged flower such as this. You can drag the bones to all sorts of crazy places if you use the translate manip, but that would be crazy.

 

 

 

which would cause the leaves to bust out of the stem and appear to be floating on their own.

 

If I said bones are attached to bones,

and mesh is attached to bones,

but bones are not attached to mesh

would that be a clue?

 

 

 

EDIT: It actually is letting me save multiple images.... it just isn't letting me change the file name for some reason and it is overwriting the file name I had for the first image without asking for permission. Wierd. For example, the first image was saved as Lesson 9 flower power 1.jpeg and the second image was saved as Lesson 9 flower power 2.jpeg. When it didn't work I tried it again and flower power 2 took over for flower power one. When I just tried again I tried saving it just as Lesson 9 flower power.jpeg... no number and it still saved it as number one and overwrote the image I already posted here.

 

A:M appends a frame number to your specified filename. That may be causing confusion

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On Lost this indicates some sort of time travel taking place. You need to go into the secret cavern below the Swan Station and and turn the big wheel.

 

Gah! I'd been to the secret cavern below Swan Station and grabbed the mushrooms but... How long has that big wheel been there?!?!?

 

If I said bones are attached to bones,

and mesh is attached to bones,

but bones are not attached to mesh

would that be a clue?

 

To add to Roberts clue:

Hierarchy (placement order) is important in the Project Workspace.

The order and level of objects and groups will dictate how the end results turn out for you.

Hierarchy gives you some options that you otherwise wouldn't be able to use.

 

The video is outstanding but don't forget to read through the manual too.

Page 98 outlines this with a graphic to demonstrate how it looks.

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-Your model bone is about 80 x bigger than it should be. That's the big yellow flash when you click away from the model. It's the model bone appearing.

 

set it in its properties to maybe 10 cm long.

 

 

 

 

-the spline rings by the leaves are not part of your stem. that's why the stem isn't moving with them.

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Nancy, thank you so much for the help. Let me see if I understand what it is you are saying. With this project, I put all my poses and camera angles that I wanted on frame 1. Then I rendered to file, as a Jpeg, the range of frame 1 to frame 1 and named it Lesson 9 Flower Power. Jpeg.

 

Then I moved the camera to another angle and moved the model a bit to fix some pass through's with the leaves (all done still on frame 1 essentially altering the keyframes I made with the initial poses). Then I tried to re render to file the range of frame 1 to frame 1 again only this time changing the file save name to Lesson 9 Flower Power2.jpeg.

 

We know the result. What you are saying is that A:M doesn't work that way. That once I render part of the file with a file name, regardless of what part of the animation I try and render in the future, regardless of what I change in that animation, it will still always render to that same file name? Did I get that right?

 

So advancing the timeline to frame 2, making my pose changes and camera angle changes on frame 2 and then rendering to file with a different file name and a range of frame 2 to frame 2 would not work and would yield the same results I got already? Is that right?

 

So my next question of course is how do you get two seperate files with seperate file names out of A:M? Do I render to file and then go into explorer and change the file name of the original file and then just render to file again once I make my new poses and camera angles?

 

Thanks so much for your help.

 

Rodney,

 

I followed the heirarchy of bones in the lesson strictly. I even named them exactly as they are named in the lesson. As always I watched the vid once (twice in this lesson) and then did the lesson with the vid and manual open.

 

The video did say a couple things that I didn't understand exactly.

 

First, right around 12:20 he is making the "Root" bone and says that he wants it to be the most parent bone, but he doesn't want to click directly onto the base of stem one as he does not want the two to attach to each other. I guess I'm confusing the terms "parent", "heirarchy" and "attach" because I thought the heirarchy decided what was parent and therefore what attached to what. A glossary on these three terms as they apply to rigging would be very helpful.

 

The second was when he talked about "Attached Parent Property" at around 17:28 into part two of the Lesson Vid. He said the only time a bone will appear next to the bone you associated it with is if you click directly on the circle (what circle? If he's talking about the little circle at the tip of the "Bud" bone it sure looked to me like he was clicking directly on that circle when he made all those petal bones... was this a trick of 3d in a 2d presentation?) and we really don't want that because it would create an attached parent (or attached to parent I'm not sure exactly which he said) properties which he says would be difficult to create and would give strange results. What? And why?

 

Now I can tell you when I made my petals they did not appear at the base like his did. They appeared at about the mid point of the model and I moved them up from there. I don't know if that makes a difference but I'm still not sure exactly what he means by clicking on the circle and the results of doing it/not doing it and under what circumstances either choice would be preferable.

 

As always Rodney your presence is greatly appreciated.

 

Robcat,

 

Need more detail. You are using the render button at the top? Not just hitting Q and rendering on the screen?

A:M appends a frame number to your specified filename. That may be causing confusion

 

I think between you and Nancy I know what I'm doing wrong here. Now I just need to know the workaround to get multiple images out of a choreography if I need to.

 

These are "bone falloffs". Probably ON by default when the vid was made. You can turn them ON or OFF for bones in their properties. Shift select any number of bones to turn them ON or OFF together.

 

Where would I turn them on/off by default and what benefit is there to having them on? They aren't mentioned in the lesson; what are they used for (or should I not concern my empty little head with that now until I become more acquanted with the program as they are something I neither need nor will use at this juncture)?

 

Your model bone is about 80 x bigger than it should be. That's the big yellow flash when you click away from the model. It's the model bone appearing. set it in its properties to maybe 10 cm long.

 

Thanks. I'll dig around and see if I can find out how to select it and change its' properties. I don't know why it's so big. I didn't even know it was there.

 

The bones stay attached as long as you only rotate them, which is the only way you would want to arrange the bones in an "FK" rigged flower such as this. You can drag the bones to all sorts of crazy places if you use the translate manip, but that would be crazy.

 

"FK"? No comprehndo. What does "FK" mean? In the video the guy just grabs his flowers bones and starts posing them. The bones always stay inside the stem. The first time I got to that point in the lesson I moved my bones and they immediately popped out of the stem tearing the leaved off the stem and sticking out and twisting the stem in all manner of unnatural ways. I was able to put them back together with a great deal of effort but anything more than the slightest posing (which is why I stuck to moving the bud bone for the most part as it was the one that caused the least ripples through the rest of the rig) would cause the flower to essentially fall apart on me again. I do not believe I tried to translate these bones but I cannot be sure. How would I know? All I did was highlight the bone and (just like I did with Rabbit and Shaggy) bend it by grabbing the top or bottom point of the bone and/or the rotate handle.

 

If I said bones are attached to bones,

and mesh is attached to bones,

but bones are not attached to mesh

would that be a clue?

 

Sadly no. I'm not being intentionally stupid here. Sorry. I just learn by doing something and asking questions while I do it. I've never been great at learning from a book and learning by doing without being able to ask questions (while I'm doing) leads me to this... a whole lot of unanswered questions.

 

If bones are attached to bones then why did the guy in the lesson say he didn't want the root bone to attach to the stem one bone? If bones are attached to bones then I don't understand why mine are coming detached? And if mesh (which I assume is the stuff made up of splines and control points) is attached to bones why isn't my mesh following the bones; instead letting the bones bust out of the mesh? And lastly if mesh is attached to bones then bones wouldn't really need to be attached to mesh... because the mesh is already attached to them. But logically that doesn't make any sense to me because my brain tells me they are either attached to each other or not; you cannot have one thing attached to another and have that other thing unattached to that one thing. Attached is attached. But I'm guessing I don't understand the context.

 

-the spline rings by the leaves are not part of your stem. that's why the stem isn't moving with them.

 

Yeah, when I couldn't keep my leaves from popping off and my bones from jutting out, and the smart skin kept locking up and launching the flower off into eternity I went back to the model, copy and pasted the control points in my stem and put the new control points near the leaves in hopes that with additional control points associated with certain bones in the stem and leaves they would stay better married together. It didn't work but I was getting desperate.

 

In hindsight I made an error there. I copied and pasted the control points but they never really were part of the stem even though they looked like they were because I never attached them to the splines in the stem. Durrr.

 

I wonder if that would have helped mitigate my bone popping problem if I had done it right.

 

I'm "Lost" on your TV show references guys. I don't watch much TV. My sister talked me into watching an episode of that show awhile back and it prompted me to informing her that I "hated it with fire." Too contrived and convoluted. Not to mention preposterous. LOL.

 

It reminded me of the third season (the last one I watched) of "Alias" where the wheels just came completely off the story and everything became just absolutely silly. Heroes is like that now too. Motivations and allegiances constantly changing. I usually end up sitting there and saying "just shoot him in the head and you won't have to worry about his motivations."

 

Robcat, thanks for all your help. I know I'm a lot more "needy" than many other newbies and I really appreciate the extra attention.

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Rob,

I get the feeling you are either looking to far into some of this or are researching a book. I'm not sure which one at the moment. ;)

 

I guess I'm confusing the terms "parent", "heirarchy" and "attach" because I thought the heirarchy decided what was parent and therefore what attached to what. A glossary on these three terms as they apply to rigging would be very helpful.

 

These words mean exactly what they suggest so you are right on track. You've got it.

A child is a heir of the parent but may not be in practice if they are not attached in some way.

 

When you create a series of Bones if you click on another Bone before created the new bone they will be attached at the moment of creation (the new Bone will be a Child of the Parent Bone). If not then both Bones will reside on the same level of the hierarchy unless you cause a Child Bone to inherit the attributes of a Parent by moving it under the Parent Bone.

 

That may sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo but you are up to it.

I've read your comic strip. It's very cool. :)

 

What you are saying is that A:M doesn't work that way. That once I render part of the file with a file name, regardless of what part of the animation I try and render in the future, regardless of what I change in that animation, it will still always render to that same file name? Did I get that right?

 

I should let Nancy field this one but...

You've got that right. All you need to do to render to another file name however is to type in a different name. A:M will render to that filename until you tell it otherwise. You may find it of interest that you can specify the filename in the camera settings so that different cameras render to different filenames.

 

Not to confuse you but I've occasionally found it useful to render out to the same filename and then change the name of the folder the images were rendered into via the operating system. By the time you've created a few dozen folders you've got a lot of sequential images in those organized folders. Then its a lot easier to merge/edit the images in those folders.

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I think between you and Nancy I know what I'm doing wrong here. Now I just need to know the workaround to get multiple images out of a choreography if I need to.

 

Animation:Master is designed first and foremostly to generate sequential images.

When setting the range for the render its rare that you'll want to set the render to only one frame.

 

A:M excels at single renders too but usually this is where the artist sets up a Choreography designed to render out only one frame.

 

Having said this you can create whatever you want in a Choreography on each subsequent frame and then tell A:M what to do with it.

 

For instance, if you have what you think is ideal images set up on frames 1, 10, 12 and 23 you could set a Custom Range in A:M's renderer for 1,10,12,23 and render.

 

These will all have the same name with the sequence number attached but its extremely easy to rename the files right there in your Windows or Mac folder. "Cool Shot from Top.jpg", "Close Up of Sad Flower.jpg", "Jumping.jpg" and "Dead Flower.jpg" for instance.

 

If these were very complicated or detailed shots many artists might duplicate their Choreographies and set them up to render to different files. In this way its easier to control what will change in each scene.

 

Most people do not render frame 1... adjust the next frame... render frame 2... adjust frame 3... etc. Although you certainly can do that.

 

P.S. I've never seen an episode of 'Lost' either so haven't a clue what Robert was referring to. ;)

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-the spline rings by the leaves are not part of your stem. that's why the stem isn't moving with them.

 

Yeah, when I couldn't keep my leaves from popping off and my bones from jutting out, and the smart skin kept locking up and launching the flower off into eternity I went back to the model, copy and pasted the control points in my stem and put the new control points near the leaves in hopes that with additional control points associated with certain bones in the stem and leaves they would stay better married together. It didn't work but I was getting desperate.

 

In hindsight I made an error there. I copied and pasted the control points but they never really were part of the stem even though they looked like they were because I never attached them to the splines in the stem. Durrr.

 

 

flowerMP4.mov

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These are "bone falloffs". Probably ON by default when the vid was made. You can turn them ON or OFF for bones in their properties. Shift select any number of bones to turn them ON or OFF together.

 

Where would I turn them on/off by default

AFAIK, you can't.

 

 

 

and what benefit is there to having them on?
If you can't see them you can't adjust them.

 

 

 

They aren't mentioned in the lesson; what are they used for (or should I not concern my empty little head with that now until I become more acquanted with the program as they are something I neither need nor will use at this juncture)?
They are not needed for this lesson. they are an automated way of mixing CP weights between multiple bones. As the bones "fall off" they attract less CP weight to themselves.

 

 

 

 

Your model bone is about 80 x bigger than it should be. That's the big yellow flash when you click away from the model. It's the model bone appearing. set it in its properties to maybe 10 cm long.

 

Thanks. I'll dig around and see if I can find out how to select it and change its' properties.

Don't dig. Just select the bone, and look in the "Properties" window. If you don't have the Properties window open, open it. Hint: It's in the View menu. While you're there you can see the keyboard shortcut that will do the same thing.

 

 

 

The bones stay attached as long as you only rotate them, which is the only way you would want to arrange the bones in an "FK" rigged flower such as this. You can drag the bones to all sorts of crazy places if you use the translate manip, but that would be crazy.

 

"FK"? No comprehndo. What does "FK" mean?

I knew that would cause trouble as soon as I wrote it. You dont' need to know now except that it's what that Flower rig is. The opposite is IK

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In the video the guy just grabs his flowers bones and starts posing them. The bones always stay inside the stem. The first time I got to that point in the lesson I moved my bones and they immediately popped out of the stem tearing the leaved off the stem and sticking out and twisting the stem in all manner of unnatural ways.
Then you ain't doing it like th guy in the video.

 

But remember the rotate manipulator I showed before? the R key. The red green and blue rings. Why aren't you using that to rotate bones? that's the most controlled way to pose a bone. And that means it's the easiest.

 

The rotate manipulator is also mentioned and shown in the text. It also tells you there's a button for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to put them back together with a great deal of effort

 

Just go back to the previously saved version. You're making this too hard.

 

 

 

but anything more than the slightest posing (which is why I stuck to moving the bud bone for the most part as it was the one that caused the least ripples through the rest of the rig) would cause the flower to essentially fall apart on me again. I do not believe I tried to translate these bones but I cannot be sure. How would I know? All I did was highlight the bone and (just like I did with Rabbit and Shaggy) bend it by grabbing the top or bottom point of the bone and/or the rotate handle.

 

Hit the R key. Use the rotate manipulator. Rotate the bones into he position you want.

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Rodney,

 

Although writing is my biggest hobby I think if I was trying to write a book on anything as complicated as animation my head would explode. I'll stick to fiction thanks. ;)

 

On the flipside though, "looking too far into some of this" which is code for making things more complicated than they need to be... Oh yeah. That's me all right, I've been hearing that all my life. It's part of how I learn. It's great for me, a real pain in the ass for my teachers. Thanks for hanging in there.

 

I understand what you are saying about the bones and the heirarchy. In theory I mean, because in practice it hasn't worked for me yet. I still don't understand why they physically seperated from each other but I suspect Robcat must be right and I must have translated them somehow instead of rotating them.

 

I really appreciate the kind words about the webcomic. Remedy has been the only thing keeping me sane during my last year of unemployment.

 

You've got that right. All you need to do to render to another file name however is to type in a different name. A:M will render to that filename until you tell it otherwise.

 

I tried typing in a different file name, that didn't work. But I'm guessing you mean I type it somewhere other than the file properties portion of the render properties dialogue box. Where?

 

Animation:Master is designed first and foremostly to generate sequential images.

When setting the range for the render its rare that you'll want to set the render to only one frame.

 

A:M excels at single renders too but usually this is where the artist sets up a Choreography designed to render out only one frame.

 

Having said this you can create whatever you want in a Choreography on each subsequent frame and then tell A:M what to do with it.

 

For instance, if you have what you think is ideal images set up on frames 1, 10, 12 and 23 you could set a Custom Range in A:M's renderer for 1,10,12,23 and render.

 

I'd really like a better understanding of how this works. Is there a tutorial on the Rendering functions and options that could clear this up a bit for me? For example I've heard you mention rendering in sequential images before and I'm not sure what the difference is between that and rendering a moving image file like an AVI. Or for that matter how you would tell A:M how to do such a thing.

 

I'd like to know more about how all that works... if it's in an upcoming lesson though just let me know that and that will suffice for now.

 

Robcat,

 

That movie you made me is just the best answer I've ever gotten for anything ever. Mostly because you answered almost all my questions in one shot but also partly because it looks like I almost accidentally figured it out on my own which; I just love it when that happens. I was so close.

 

For the movie and the subsequent posts. Thanks so much. I could have simply done the lesson exactly as is, and my image would have looked like the end lesson product. And I could have left it there; but that's just not my style. I can follow directions sure but I want to understand what I'm doing and while theses lessons are great at the how and some of the why you guys are just fantastic at filling in the rest of the why, when, and where (and a good deal of how that I need usually because I've gone beyond the instructions).

 

Thank you so much. I learned so much from that video. Any newbies reading this... you should download my project file, watch Robcat's movie and then fix what I did wrong... you will learn a lot.

 

AFAIK, you can't.

 

AFAIK?

 

QUOTE

and what benefit is there to having them on?

If you can't see them you can't adjust them.

 

 

 

 

QUOTE

They aren't mentioned in the lesson; what are they used for (or should I not concern my empty little head with that now until I become more acquanted with the program as they are something I neither need nor will use at this juncture)?

They are not needed for this lesson. they are an automated way of mixing CP weights between multiple bones. As the bones "fall off" they attract less CP weight to themselves.

 

I'm going to ignore these and just hope thier functionality is discussed later in the lessons or something. Although they appear in the video lesson (and the manual) they, for whatever reason are not turned on for me and neither lesson mentions what they are or do anything with them so I'm just going to let it go for now.

 

But remember the rotate manipulator I showed before? the R key. The red green and blue rings. Why aren't you using that to rotate bones? that's the most controlled way to pose a bone. And that means it's the easiest.

 

The rotate manipulator is also mentioned and shown in the text. It also tells you there's a button for it.

 

I guess I didn't use the rotate manipulator because the guy in the video doesn't. He just grabs them and starts moving them. In the lesson in the book it just says to move the bones around a bit. In the future, I'll use it.

 

One question I do have though; I could grab any bone in the models like Rabbit or Shaggy and as long as I didn't go into the properties and enter values for translation (obviously I'm talking about regular bones and not control points like ankles or hips which are supposed to translate {translate being basically another word for movement or travel over a virtual plane}] the bones would stay attached to each other no matter how screwily I moved them.

 

But with my flower I grabbed one of the lower stem bones and gave it a yank and basically my entire skeleton toppled.

 

Is this the difference between an FK and IK rig that you were referring to... or should I say... one of the differences? I know I don't need to think about this. I'm just curious.

 

Lastly, since my print screen function doesn't work on my computer because of the duel monitor setup I've had a hard time explaining some things to you guys that should have been easier.

 

Robcat's wonderful video makes me think I need some screen capture software; but I've never used anything like it. I've done tons of capture off of TV's and video games but I've never tried to capture my own monitor before. Can you guys recommend a program that's free (or at least very cheap)? I'm sure I have all of the equipment needed. But I've had bad experiences with software before when I've bought it without getting reviews from people who have used it before.

 

I'm off to redo this lesson.

 

Thanks so much guys. I really appreciate it.

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You know what... I do have one more quick question. When I was originally working on this lesson I thought to myself "nice... I'm starting my stable of models. Soon I'll have my very own library of things I can use in my own animations and it all starts with the flower and the vase I made."

 

But I could not for the life of me figure out how to save a model to my library (or hard drive) independent of the project so I could use it in other projects. If someone could tell me how to do that I'd appreciate it.

 

One of the things I wanted to do was to make different colored flowers. But since the model in the project defines the colors, and I was dragging multiple models from the project into the choreography I couldn't change the colors (at least I didn't know how) like I did with Rabbit when I dragged multiple models from the library into the choreography and altered thier individual surface properties in the project workspace.

 

I only made one halfhearted attempt at the color change so I might have missed something but it seemed to me that as long as the model was created in project there was only one set of model properties to alter and when I changed them, it changed the color of all three flowers.

 

;)

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I'll take a crack at a few questions that looked like easy pickin's:

One question I do have though; I could grab any bone in the models like Rabbit or Shaggy and as long as I didn't go into the properties and enter values for translation (obviously I'm talking about regular bones and not control points like ankles or hips which are supposed to translate {translate being basically another word for movement or travel over a virtual plane}] the bones would stay attached to each other no matter how screwily I moved them.

 

In a Bone's properties you can set Manipulator Limits.

For instance, you can turn off Rotate and Scale and the Bone will only Translate.

You can turn off the Translate and Scale and the Bone will only Rotate.

You can also limit the distance or degree in some cases.

 

There is a lot of functionality to be found the further you dig down but as Robert suggests there is a time and place for digging. If you spend too much time digging you'll never get the foundation built.

 

 

When I was originally working on this lesson I thought to myself "nice... I'm starting my stable of models. Soon I'll have my very own library of things I can use in my own animations and it all starts with the flower and the vase I made."

 

But I could not for the life of me figure out how to save a model to my library (or hard drive) independent of the project so I could use it in other projects. If someone could tell me how to do that I'd appreciate it.

 

There are several ways to get an asset into a Library.

The most reliable is to Right Click inside the Library window and select 'New' and then 'Shortcut'. From there you browse to the location where you've saved the asset and select it. Boom. You've got your asset in the Library.

 

Now... the reason I say that way is the most reliable is that many options are context sensitive. In other words the option will only show up if all conditions necessary are present to allow it to be available. Take for instance Right Clicking in a Model window and selecting 'Create Shortcut in Library'. In this way if you need a Model added to your Library you can do it. If however you are trying to add an Action to your Library you won't be able to do it from the Modeling window. Make sense?

 

There are other ways to add resources to your Library.

For instance, you can find your files on your harddrive and simply drag them in.

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What you are saying is that A:M doesn't work that way. That once I render part of the file with a file name, regardless of what part of the animation I try and render in the future, regardless of what I change in that animation, it will still always render to that same file name? Did I get that right?

 

I should let Nancy field this one but...

You've got that right.

 

Nope Rob, you got it wrong. You can change the name of the file(s) that gets rendered, by setting it in the render dialog to whatever you want.

 

The part that you missed is that I said A:M APPENDS frame numbers to the filename IF you are rendering still images - ie - image files with the extension jpeg, tga, png. It does NOT append a frame number to movie files with the extension .mov or .avi - because they contain more than 1 frame usually.

 

So if you tell A:M to render blah.jpg AND you are rendering frames 0-24 - you will get files named blah0.jpg, blah1.jpg, etc. If you tell it to render notblah.jpg - it will create files named notblah0.jpg, notblah1.jpg, etc

 

If you tell it to render blah100.jpg and you are only rendering frame 2 - it will create a file blah2.jpg, and NOT blah100.jpg.

 

If you tell it to render blah.mov or blah.avi - it will NOT append frame numbers to the filename.

 

ok? Got it?

filenamechanging.jpg

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AFAIK= As Far As I Know

 

 

To save a model, right click in the model window>Save as

 

 

Before you do, look at its icon in the objects folder. Notice how that changes after you save the model. The model is no longer "Embedded". Your project will now look on your HD for that model. In the model's properties window>File Info>Embedded you can also see if a model is embedded or not and change whether it is or not.

 

 

Remember where you saved it to.

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Thanks for all the great answers everybody. I feel much more in touch with this lesson now and I'm redoing it.

 

Nancy, even after you explained the file naming thing I have to be honest... I didn't get it. I have to be honest. Since I have yet to have a lesson or tutorial that explains the saving in sequential images feature and what it does exactly I still don't.

 

But I do now understand what will happen if I add a numerical value to the end of my file name and I also understand how to get those multiple still images from a single frame if I need to. With your help and some fooling around you can watch the attached video to see what it took for me to figure it out.

 

Please forgive the video quality. I wanted to keep the file size small and this freeware screen capture program is all I can afford right now.

 

The quality of the actual AVI is fantastic and I was going to save it as a Quicktime video but none of my Quicktime codecs for Premier Pro 1.5 would behave (to be honest I've never had much use for Quicktime and I don't think I ever tried to encode in it before) so I went with what I know and stuck with WMV.

 

I've already got most of my flower built but some personal stuff has kept me hopping the last couple days. I'll post it as soon as I'm doine. Thanks again for all the help.

 

Everyone. :)

File_Renaming_for_Stills.zip

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Nancy, even after you explained the file naming thing I have to be honest... I didn't get it. I have to be honest. Since I have yet to have a lesson or tutorial that explains the saving in sequential images feature and what it does exactly I still don't.

 

But I do now understand what will happen if I add a numerical value to the end of my file name and I also understand how to get those multiple still images from a single frame if I need to. With your help and some fooling around you can watch the attached video to see what it took for me to figure it out.

 

 

A:M must add a frame number to uniquely identify images in a series

 

if you render "Monkeylovin" from 00:00 to 00:03 you will get

 

Monkeylovin0.jpg

Monkeylovin1.jpg

Monkeylovin2.jpg

Monkeylovin3.jpg

 

 

 

A:M uses any trailing numerical characters in a file name as a template for how many digits it will add to the multiple files it will create when you render a series of frames

 

if you render "Monkeylovin5" from 00:00 to 00:03 you will still get get

 

Monkeylovin0.jpg

Monkeylovin1.jpg

Monkeylovin2.jpg

Monkeylovin3.jpg

 

if you render "Monkeylovin000" from 00:00 to 00:03 you will get get

 

Monkeylovin000.jpg

Monkeylovin001.jpg

Monkeylovin002.jpg

Monkeylovin003.jpg (this is very useful when rendering more than 9 frames)

 

 

If you need "Monkeylovin5" to be in every file name then put another non-number character after it

 

if you render "Monkeylovin5_" from 00:00 to 00:03 you will get get

 

Monkeylovin5_0.jpg

Monkeylovin5_1.jpg

Monkeylovin5_2.jpg

Monkeylovin5_3.jpg

 

 

 

A:M has the option of rendering animations to image sequences because some apps will prefer them to .MOV or AVI. Whenever you render to a still image format A:M presumes you are creating a sequence and appends a frame number.

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Wow I learned a ton on this lesson.

 

I'm calling it done with this though.

 

It went pretty smoothly once I had time to sit down and bang it out and even the spline workflow is getting familiar.

 

I did turn on Glow and then couldn't figure out how to turn the damn thing off. Then I remembered heirarchy (and assumed that group properties would be automatically assigned to the model) and found out where the culprit was.

 

I think it came out nice... and now I have a vase and a flower in my stable of models.

 

Thanks for the tons of help on this one everybody.

 

;)

lesson9flowerpowerfinal0.jpg

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I think it came out nice... and now I have a vase and a flower in my stable of models.

 

Another successful TAo!

 

 

 

 

Wow I learned a ton on this lesson.

 

 

yay.gif

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