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Paul Forwood

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Are you using a combo of hair trees and cookie cutter trees? And maybe painted tree backgrounds?

Yes. All of the above.

 

And when you say hair tree - do you mean the hair emitter is a tree image? or the tree(s) have hair leaf emitters?

Both. :)

Edit: (To clarify: the landscape is used as hair emitters and the hairs use hand painted tree images.)

 

your making me look awful!

Not at all, Gene. Different strokes for different folks. Go with your flow. The energy is coming through loud and clear. As you get better at modelling, and as your focus alters, your work will show more and more polish, I am sure. I have quite a high standard for the look and feel of this piece and I want to push the envelope a little. We'll see just how much is achievable in the course of this production. Already I have had to lower my sights several times due to program glitches. Just look at the way alpha data, in the hair images, is treated by fog:

AlphFogWoes3.mov

 

The alpha data seems to be treated differently to the air around it, if you understand me. There also appears to be a problem where the alpha data of a hair in the foreground cuts through the colour data of a hair in the background. This creates a halo of background colour around the hair image which does not exist in the actual image. This can probably be avoided in most cases by compromising my original concepts and planning a route around the problem but ... (sigh)... I guess this is what Martin means when he says I have to adjust my expectations.

 

Ohhhh Yeaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

I'm pleased that you approve, Myron. :)

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Like I said before - Fabulous set!

 

I notice a lighting glitch at the very beginning on the last mov? frame 0 & 1?

 

Are you doing multipass? how many passes? Is halo the same if you do AA, or up the number of passes? Perhaps change the color of your fog (drab it down) to alleviate some of the halo?

 

My guess is that with camera moves, framing, focusing on animation, etc - that the halo wouldn't be noticed much by most viewers, given that it's a stylized set, and "accurate" isn't something one would be expecting.

 

Lighting glitches (abrupt inexplicable changes) does get noticed.

 

Yes, I am still in awe of set!

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I notice a lighting glitch at the very beginning on the last mov?

Thanks, Nancy. Don't worry about any lighting glitches in any of this early work. These are just renders done in the process of building the set and there will always be a million things that need fixing. Although I will be playing around with the lighting I won't be giving it too much attention until I have the set finalised. That could be take a few weeks. After that I can start building the characters and props, rig and texture them, animate them, etc., etc., and finally... I can tweak the lighting. That's a long way off yet.

 

My guess is that with camera moves, framing, focusing on animation, etc - that the halo wouldn't be noticed much by most viewers

Sorry to disagree, Nancy, but you'd have to be blind to miss that. I'm not saying that you are blind but fog just doesn't work with particles as well as I would like. Why isn't the colour data from particle hair treated the same way as colour data from the geometry from which it sprouts? Doesn't make sense to me but perhaps there is some logical reason.

 

I can work around it. I will just have to restrict the fogging to the farthest parts of the set, where no particles will be used. :)

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I notice a lighting glitch at the very beginning on the last mov?

Thanks, Nancy. Don't worry about any lighting glitches in any of this early work. These are just renders done in the process of building the set and there will always be a million things that need fixing. Although I will be playing around with the lighting I won't be giving it too much attention until I have the set finalised. That could be take a few weeks. After that I can start building the characters and props, rig and texture them, animate them, etc., etc., and finally... I can tweak the lighting. That's a long way off yet.

 

My guess is that with camera moves, framing, focusing on animation, etc - that the halo wouldn't be noticed much by most viewers

Sorry to disagree, Nancy, but you'd have to be blind to miss that. I'm not saying that you are blind but fog just doesn't work with particles as well as I would like. Why isn't the colour data from particle hair treated the same way as colour data from the geometry from which it sprouts? Doesn't make sense to me but perhaps there is some logical reason.

 

I can work around it. I will just have to restrict the fogging to the farthest parts of the set, where no particles will be used. :)

 

I didn't think that was your final lighting - but since the first frame appeared to be darker - I was wondering if the halo effect might be minimized with different lighting, fog colors, better alpha (maybe premultiplied funny stuff afoot?).

 

Maybe change the surface color of the hair emitter (to black, or darker)? Might help the halo? As for why is hair different, as you know, the color of hair is computed from so many different things - and I would guess in the computational stream, that there were tricks used to speed the computational process.

 

And I just might be blind - Since there was so much in the scene to look at and the camera movement was so quick (yes I realize its not your final movement), I had to scrub thru many times to figure out what "halo" you were talking about - I was giving you feedback as to how a first time view/glance is experienced.

 

Like you say - there are many work arounds - and you only have to satisfy yourself.

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Good stuff as always Paul. I always look forward to updates to this post.

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Very WOW Paul, very cool stuff here, all your experiments are inspiring, I hope be able to learn to handle that type of effects with the particles, Animation Masters is more and more impressive everyday... :lol:

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Thanks, Jirard. I enjoy seeing your progress too.

 

Thanks to you too, Jaff. A:M may not have all of the bells and whistles that the big players have but it is still capable of producing some amazing work. It takes much time to know what you can and can't achieve realistically and that is where these forums are so helpful. Enjoy the journey! :)

--------------

 

It's been a funny old week. I haven't moved ahead with Fishin', short of working a few thing out in my head. I am off to the science museum now to take my daughter to Wallace and Grommit's "A World of Cracking Ideas". My son will be coming back from university this afternoon, for Easter, and it will get a lot noisier around here so progress may be a little slow over the next few weeks. We'll see...

 

I am going to have a break from thinking about the set for a while and start on some of the characters. There are quite a few so the sooner the better. :)

I will attempt to update the blog over the weekend. Also I must write to Myron!!!:D

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It's been a while. I've been dabbling with the intro for "Fishin'" but I haven't been able to properly focus on it for about a month. While I dabble away on one PC I also dabble on another trying silly things like this:

post-183-1241638527_thumb.jpg

ChoicesComp1.mov

I just threw a bvh file onto my caveman model and this is what came out. I did have to key the toes as they aren't captured in the bvh file. There are obvious things that need attention such as the weighting, bone alignment, and he could probably lose a couple of translate-to constraints, but considering the size of this character's head in relation to the actor's head I'm pretty pleased with the results. The left shoulder just had to be realigned on one frame, with "Animate" mode off, and that fixed the alignment for the rest of the sequence, compensating for the over-sized head.

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Thats a helluva good charector and bvh works well ,nice rocks by the way

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nice rocks by the way

:D!

Ha! Just spheres.

 

I have been trying to get dynamic chains to work in A:M15 but I get different results between realtime, shaded and final renders. I've tried both with and without pre-calculating spring systems but it still seems that something is damping down the dynamics. Is there a known problem with the current version? (A:M 15e). I'll post an example...

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bvh work just like an action?

Yes. You create your bvh container in an Action and import all the data into that. MoCap data is often captured at 60fps, but could be anything, and you get all of the bvh rig's bones keyed on every frame so the resulting timeline is much busier than your average hand-keyed Action. You could then go in and clean out the extraneous keys or try the key reduction command. (I've never dared to try that!) ;)

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I've tried both with and without pre-calculating spring systems but it still seems that something is damping down the dynamics. Is there a known problem with the current version?

 

Hey Paul- COOL STUFF! Are you remembering to set the 'Reduction Tolerance Error' setting to zero before you run the SSS (Simulate Spring Systems)

 

-Choreography property window

-Dynamics tab

-change Reduction Tolerance Error from 0.1 to zero. It's been said to make a difference, though I don't notice it too much.

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Thanks for the tip, Matt! I'll try that and see if it changes anything. It all seems to work so well in realtime but the dynamic chains just seem to stiffen up when rendered:

Choices_BVH__A08f.mov

***(I replaced the Sam Cooke version with a silent version)***

 

The bvh file that I am using had no description, it's name is simply a number, so when I first saw this character performing the actions I wasn't sure what he was doing. I thought he looked a little as though he was looking for something, perhaps in a cluttered shop. I then realised that he is carrying something so I'm adding a little creature, currently just a proxy.

----------------

 

Still sketching ideas for Fishin' and still working on getting the set for that long flying intro to look acceptable. Not great at the moment but I'm sure that I will settle on something soon.

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See--- the GENIUS behind a clip like that is that it is derived from actual HUMAN motions... and actual human motions are VERY difficult to emulate/animate. They are HIGHLY believable, but since you and I 'fish' for random actions in free BVH format, it's hard to try to 'dream-up' a story that goes along with the 'free' action you have received. This is the next hurdle we need to jump. IMAGINE if you could generate your own actions... and of course, since you are an ANIMATOR you would hold the power of enhancing a mocap file so that the jump is a little higher...the extreme is a little more- extreme...the 'bing' is a little more BANG etc.

 

I'm a big believer in this BVH thing... you just have to know that it is only a PART of the equation, not the answer.

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I'm a big believer in this BVH thing... you just have to know that it is only a PART of the equation, not the answer.

 

It's just a bit of fun really. The file was there so I tried it. The great thing about doing this is that it is an excellent way of testing a model.

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Thanks, guys! :)

 

I seems that hair may be the cause of the problems with my dynamic vine. I rendered with hair off and everything sprung back to life. The following example shows the vine overreacting because I hadn't set the dynamic chain's properties back to something more sensible than the extremes that I had been trying with hair:

DynamicsAndHair.mov

I'll have to try just turning off hair dynamics and see if the dynamic chain will work like that.

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File a report and maybe Stian can fix that in 15f. Now you have to give him helmet hair, put the vine on Xanax, and let us see what you had in mind. :D

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Thanks, guys! :)

 

I seems that hair may be the cause of the problems with my dynamic vine. I rendered with hair off and everything sprung back to life. The following example shows the vine overreacting because I hadn't set the dynamic chain's properties back to something more sensible than the extremes that I had been trying with hair:

DynamicsAndHair.mov

I'll have to try just turning off hair dynamics and see if the dynamic chain will work like that.

 

Have you tried?:

 

1) turn off hair/particles (shift 8)

2) make sure your chor length is set correctly (expand Choreography triangle - set length if not correct, do not do it in the timeline - as its sometimes doesn't correlate.

3) right click in chor - Simulate Spring Systems (this will bake the dynamic chains)

4) go to frame 0 - turn on hair - right click - Bake Particle systems

5) Save & render

 

 

This worked for me when I was doing my Pass the ball entries - all 3 of which have both dynamic hair and dynamic chains.

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File a report and maybe Stian can fix that in 15f.

I think you mean Steffen, Myron. Stian is busy building cathedrals. :)

 

his walk looks so human, excellent job Paul

Ha! I can't take the credit for that, Kat. It's all Motion Capture data. :D

 

Nancy, that sounds like the way to go. Thank you again! :)

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I just tried your suggestion, Nancy, and received a bunch of "Exception 033 Realtime render" errors followed by an "Exception 035 Trouble transforming hair/particle system". A:M didn't crash or lockup so I am rendering a shaded example. It aint pretty. :(

 

I may have to compromise again and just go back to helmet hair, as Myron suggested.

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I just tried your suggestion, Nancy, and received a bunch of "Exception 033 Realtime render" errors followed by an "Exception 035 Trouble transforming hair/particle system". A:M didn't crash or lockup so I am rendering a shaded example. It aint pretty. :(

 

I may have to compromise again and just go back to helmet hair, as Myron suggested.

 

I've had that happen (exceptions) sometimes, not always. I haven't had to go to helmet hair. I'm on a PC. I have 3 gb RAM. My hair dynamics are usually default spring settings, with drag changed to 20%, use forces, but don't use gravity EDIT (don't use collision detection either) - but change radius to 60 degrees or something

I have found even with getting those exceptions - that if I just try and bake particles again - it works. OR ...Perhaps start clean - delete those baked particle channels (that show in the chor after it adds a "group" thing), and rebake. Perhaps A:M is having trouble writing/closing the particle file? Files are created with extension .par - (can't remember) - and indices into the file are assigned to the different particle groups/types in your chor.

 

Do you have more than hair particles going on ? (sprites, etc) There are settings to bake some particle systems and not others. You might try doing 1 at a time (I haven't had to do that). I've had LOTS of different hair particle systems with lots of dynamics going - have not had to isolate. But I haven't tried it with sprites, etc.

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Nancy, I have just two hair emitters, one has dynamics but the other does not. None of the hair has collisions turned on. There are no sprites. There is a dynamic chain in the vine and it has collisions turned on.

 

This is what I got from running Simulate Spring Systems, without hair, and then Baking Particle Systems with hair:

post-183-1242162566_thumb.jpg

SimSpringsAndBakeParticles.mov

I think that I would prefer to keep the particle hair and just hand animate anything that would normally be taken care of by dynamics. It's a shame. It seems like the interaction between the various dynamic systems is problematic. Maybe it is just a matter of finding the perfect settings so I'll experiment a little longer...

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Ah yes - I know that one well - the "long-crazy-WTF-is-that" hair.

 

What I do when I get that is - before rendering -- go to frame 1 then back to frame 0 - the crazy hair seems to disappear. Then render.

 

Also you are doing shaded - not final render -

 

Baked Hair and baked bone dynamics do not interfere with each other - they are baked - not recalculated on the fly - this is so one can distribute the rendering as well - it's quite an improvement over ver 14.

 

If they are not baked - they will interfere with each other.

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I noticed a "Particle Baked" option in the hair properties so I turned it on and A:M started, very slowly, to compute dynamics again but this time it is very, vert slow. When I say slowly I mean slowly! About 75 frames in around 15 minutes, so far, and no way to abort unless I use the Windows Task Manager to shut down A:M so I will let it do it's stuff. If the realtime display is anything to go by the result will not be worth the wait though.

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I noticed a "Particle Baked" option in the hair properties so I turned it on and A:M started, very slowly, to compute dynamics again but this time it is very, vert slow. When I say slowly I mean slowly! About 75 frames in around 15 minutes, so far, and no way to abort unless I use the Windows Task Manager to shut down A:M so I will let it do it's stuff. If the realtime display is anything to go by the result will not be worth the wait though.

 

oy oy oy

 

Don't fool with that switch yet. Abort.

 

There was no reason to redo Bake particles to get rid of streaks. (I don't think?). The toggling between frame 1 and 0 should do it.

 

However - if you want to re-bake - best to rt click (in chor), unbake particles then bake particles - for now. Make sure you are on frame 0 when you do. You will still probably (not always) have to toggle (after baking) between frame 0, 1,0 before rendering (to get rid of streaks).

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Nancy, the frame toggling didn't work for me, even with excessive bashing of the space bar.

 

So what do you mean " Don't fool with that switch...YET"? What IS that switch?

 

I can't abort.

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Nancy, the frame toggling didn't work for me, even with excessive bashing of the space bar.

 

So what do you mean " Don't fool with that switch...YET"? What IS that switch?

 

I can't abort.

 

Task manager ABORT.

 

I don't fool with that switch. I haven't had a need to yet. BUT I do believe it is for the purpose eventually of isolating redoing particles and leaving others baked - but when I tried it - I also ran into funnies - it's been awhile (at least a coupla weeks - and in old people years - that's awhile).

 

Heres something else to try - I believe I have never had the funny crazy hair when I have used an image for the emitter (not 100% sure, but 99% sure)- so create an image the color(s) that you want your hair to be (any proportions - as your length & width & shape properties will scale it properly) - and use that instead of "no image" - see if that helps with crazy hair.

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I just let it run it's course and then did a shaded render. It all looks okay, dynamic chains are working, dynamic hair is working, there are no erratic hairs sticking out. The only problem now is that the caveman's hair tends to bounce into his head.

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The only problem now is that the caveman's hair tends to bounce into his head.

 

That's why the neanderthals died out...

 

Also thats why I make angle limit something smaller than 180 - say 60? - for dynamic options on hair - could also try collision detection (shudder)

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That's why the neanderthals died out...

Ha, ha!

 

I usually set the angle limits to about 70 degrees but that normally overrides the grooming and spoils the effect.

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That's why the neanderthals died out...

Ha, ha!

 

I usually set the angle limits to about 70 degrees but that normally overrides the grooming and spoils the effect.

 

I've never had it override the grooming. But I always set dynamic options on hair material to Use forces but NOT use gravity. And I use spring constraint as well

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Paul couldn't you render the vines seperatly with Alpha mmm on second thoughts you probably allready thought of that .Just egnore me

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Here is a toon version of the "Take on me" concept that I was attempting in this thread

Much better results are possible with careful planning This was just another quick test of the concept for illustrative purposes:

Toon01.mov

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WOW! That's a cool effect!!!!

 

I know it's a quick test but when you do the final where it lines up perfectly, it's going to look great!!!

 

Excellent work!!!

 

George

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Thanks, George. It's not worth fixing this shot but I would like to have a more planned attempt at this effect later. For now I will leave you with my last tweak:

post-183-1242432617_thumb.jpg

Toon_04.mov

Toon03_Feathered_.mov

I think I should have turned off hair dynamics while it passed through the clipping plane because it is getting snagged. Next time I will use modelled hair for the toon world and, (as I finally found the lead for the camcorder), I will get some better quality video.

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I thought that I would try using that BVH file on my alien and now it's turning into a "Pass the Ball" submission. Wrong format and direction at the moment but I'll fix that before the final render.

I might not get around to doing any texturing but I should have at least one animated sequence. :)

post-183-1242611604_thumb.jpg

Fetching_A00j.mov

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Nice models Paul.

 

It looks like the BVH rig is not scaled correctly.

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I still have not been able to get a bvh into a choreography.

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Nice models Paul.

Thanks, Mark! This model is just 1500 patches and is about as lean as I can make him. I'm going to be increasing the patch count slightly when I give him a pair of antenae, (for the dynamics). :)

 

 

It looks like the BVH rig is not scaled correctly.

Are you refering to his very crouched position, Mark? I quite like the comic quality of that. :)

 

I still have not been able to get a bvh into a choreography.

1) Import the BVH data into an Action.

2) Constrain your model's rig to the BVH rig.

3) Drop the Action on your character in a Choreography.

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I can export bvh but no option to import it.

MOT and KFM is what it offers.

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