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Ralph

Is there a PC file where the initial file paths are stored?

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When AM launches the file path to Data > Libraries > is never correct.

We have a ten seat network > education license.

When I log on to the computer all the libraries show correctly. When any of my students log onto the computer, none of the libraries show. No Models, no Actions, no Materials, etc. When I go to the Options menu and check the path to the data > library file, the path is always wrong (when my students log on). The path is directed towards the Shaders directory.

 

Note: This problem is only happening on one computer. My other 9 seats work fine.

 

I have tried changing the path in the Tools > Options > Folders tab to point to the correct file path and then I create new shortcuts to the models I want to show in the library. However, when the student logs off the computer and then logs back on... All the library items are gone (again) and the path has changed back to looking in the Shaders directory.

 

I have tried copying the 2 library files from a good working computer and used them to replace the 2 library files on the computer that does not work correctly. This did not fix the problem.

 

What file does AM read that sets the initial file paths and tells AM where the libraries are located? If there is such a file, where is located? Is it a registry entry? Can a person go in and manual edit this file using Notepad?

 

I would really appreciate any help in how I can resolve this problem.

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On PC it's actually a registry setting. I'm not sure how that translates into a network situation.

 

REgEditCapture.JPG

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If you are on a Wondows box, that info is stored in the Registry under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Hash, Inc.\Folders v16.0

In there is an entry named Library Folders. Double click on that and you will see a semicolon-seperated list of the paths to all the libraries that are being referenced.

 

EDIT: Awww Robcat beat me to it.

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And if he's wanting to edit it using Notepad, he's on a PC.

 

EDIT: HI Ralph, welcome to the forums! I hope you're encouraging your students to visit us here too. There's a ton of knowledge and information here.

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Thanks for the information!

 

On my school computers, the Windows directory has many restrictions (students do not have full control) and I think the problem is that when a student is logged on, AM is restricted from writing to the registry file. So when I change the path in the Options menu the file is not being updated.

 

I am not sure how the registry file got changed in the first place. :-(

 

You have given me enough information that I think I can fix the problem.

 

I will post later and let you know how I make out.

 

Thanks again.

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It appears that the education networked version of Animation Master is a different setup than a single seat version.

 

My questions are:

 

1. Does the network version pull the library files off of the server?

2. Are the library files on the local computer used at all? If no.... Does it matter what is even in the Data folder on the local computer?

3. On the student computer, what should the Tools > Options> Files tab > Libraries paths be?

4. When the library files no longer show on the student computers what happened and how do you fix it so students can see them again?

5. Why is it when I log onto a student's computer the library files are visible and when a student logs onto the same computer they can't see any library files?

 

I have two classes of 8th graders coming into my classroom tomorrow and I would really like to get this fixed.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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I have no experience with the ed version but...

 

1. Does the network version pull the library files off of the server?

You could test that by making an obvious alteration to a model on the server and see if the change is in the same named model when you load it on a student station.

 

(Of course, you made a backup copy of this model before you changed it ;) )

 

Or you could make a change on a student station ans see if that appears for anyone else.

 

I'm going to guess that students do not all access the same location or they would be overwriting each other's work.

 

If you RMB on a models name in the Objects folder and do "Save As" you will get a stamdard Save dialog that shows the folder you are aimed at and investigating the path at the top should tell if it is local or reaching across the network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Why is it when I log onto a student's computer the library files are visible and when a student logs onto the same computer they can't see any library files?
This adds a layer of uncertainty that I dont' know much about.

 

 

 

I have two classes of 8th graders coming into my classroom tomorrow and I would really like to get this fixed.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

I realize there are some tuts written that make explicit reference to the Library, but it really isn't necessary to use the Library to access any file for A:M.

 

A:M can open and save files withe the same File>Open maneuvers that other programs do.

 

Aside from the File menu you can RMB on the Objects folder (in the PWS) to navigate to and import models, You can RMB on the Images folder to import images, and so on for chors and just about any other asset that woudl appear in a folder in the PWS.

 

You can RMB on and "Save As" any asset that appears in the PWS also.

 

I realize that may require a bit more PC smarts and focus than some 8th graders have, which may be why there's a Library, but standard computer folder navigation works in A:M.

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5. Why is it when I log onto a student's computer the library files are visible and when a student logs onto the same computer they can't see any library files?

I don't know for certain, but it is possible that A:M (and other programs) create and store separate registry settings for different accounts, so different accounts can use the same programs but one user's preferences don't override another user's preferences. Maybe you can try deleting the old student account and creating a new one?

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First at all , which version ?

 

My questions are:

1. Does the network version pull the library files off of the server?

At this time , no .

But You can change the library path , to do this .

 

2. Are the library files on the local computer used at all? If no.... Does it matter what is even in the Data folder on the local computer?

Yes

 

3. On the student computer, what should the Tools > Options> Files tab > Libraries paths be?

 

Should be

"A:M Installationdirectory"\Libraries for V16

Additional in V15

"Useraccount"\AppData\Roaming\Hash Inc\Libraries

 

I assume here can be a problem occuring , if You are using a 64 bit windows and the 32bit Version from A:M , because the first entry is redirectet to a syswow32 directory,

where only administrators have write access .

 

4. When the library files no longer show on the student computers what happened and how do you fix it so students can see them again?

Here I need to know which OS version (XP,vista or win7) , they have a different right managment for accessing the registry .

 

Please open a bugreport , that we can communicate more direct .

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I have no experience with the ed version but...

 

1. Does the network version pull the library files off of the server?

You could test that by making an obvious alteration to a model on the server and see if the change is in the same named model when you load it on a student station.

 

(Of course, you made a backup copy of this model before you changed it ;) )

 

Or you could make a change on a student station ans see if that appears for anyone else.

 

I'm going to guess that students do not all access the same location or they would be overwriting each other's work.

 

If you RMB on a models name in the Objects folder and do "Save As" you will get a stamdard Save dialog that shows the folder you are aimed at and investigating the path at the top should tell if it is local or reaching across the network.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Why is it when I log onto a student's computer the library files are visible and when a student logs onto the same computer they can't see any library files?
This adds a layer of uncertainty that I dont' know much about.

 

 

 

I have two classes of 8th graders coming into my classroom tomorrow and I would really like to get this fixed.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

I realize there are some tuts written that make explicit reference to the Library, but it really isn't necessary to use the Library to access any file for A:M.

 

A:M can open and save files withe the same File>Open maneuvers that other programs do.

 

Aside from the File menu you can RMB on the Objects folder (in the PWS) to navigate to and import models, You can RMB on the Images folder to import images, and so on for chors and just about any other asset that woudl appear in a folder in the PWS.

 

You can RMB on and "Save As" any asset that appears in the PWS also.

 

I realize that may require a bit more PC smarts and focus than some 8th graders have, which may be why there's a Library, but standard computer folder navigation works in A:M.

 

 

robcat2075: Thank you for your suggestion. On my school computers, the Programs folder is hidden so students can not see or access the Animation Master data folder.

 

So what I ended up doing was to make a copy of the Data folder on the root C: drive (Which is visible) and then instructed my students to go to File > Import > AM_Libraries where they could select the model they wanted to import. This approach worked great and my students were able to work with through the tutorials without a problem!

 

Thank you for suggesting this approach! I would still like to figure out how to get the library window to work correctly but importing models is a good temporary fix. Right-clicking on the model will also allow students to import an action and apply it directly to the model. So importing was the answer to fixing this problem as well. :-)

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First at all , which version ?

 

My questions are:

1. Does the network version pull the library files off of the server?

At this time , no .

But You can change the library path , to do this .

 

2. Are the library files on the local computer used at all? If no.... Does it matter what is even in the Data folder on the local computer?

Yes

 

3. On the student computer, what should the Tools > Options> Files tab > Libraries paths be?

 

Should be

"A:M Installationdirectory"\Libraries for V16

Additional in V15

"Useraccount"\AppData\Roaming\Hash Inc\Libraries

 

I assume here can be a problem occuring , if You are using a 64 bit windows and the 32bit Version from A:M , because the first entry is redirectet to a syswow32 directory,

where only administrators have write access .

 

4. When the library files no longer show on the student computers what happened and how do you fix it so students can see them again?

Here I need to know which OS version (XP,vista or win7) , they have a different right managment for accessing the registry .

 

Please open a bugreport , that we can communicate more direct .

 

 

yoda64: Thank you for sharing your knowledge about this software!

 

We are running Animation Master on Vista and XP computers. I am trying to find out what OS is running on our school's server... our network administrator has not responded to my email so I do not know if it is a 64 bit or 32.

 

Once I know more about the server OS I will submit a bug report as you suggested.

 

Thanks Again for your help!

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This approach worked great and my students were able to work with through the tutorials without a problem!

 

Yay! 8th graders using A:M! Get them while they are young!

 

If you ever have questions, this forum is the place to ask.

 

I've been using A:M for maybe 14 years and I don't think I've ever used the Library. It's an interesting ease-of-use idea but when it doesn't work it's quite complicated to figure out why.

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We are running Animation Master on Vista and XP computers.

 

I think this is the problem in Your case , XP and Vista/Win7 having a different rights managment for accessing registry and also the program folder .

The machine , where the error occurs is a vista machine ?

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Also, not to be redundant, but when you use a model from the library be sure to do a "Save as..." and save a working copy of the model with your project files. Otherwise you're permanently altering the model that's in the library.

 

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but it's worth repeating.

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Also, not to be redundant, but when you use a model from the library be sure to do a "Save as..." and save a working copy of the model with your project files. Otherwise you're permanently altering the model that's in the library.

 

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet but it's worth repeating.

 

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying....

1. A student opens Animation Master, starts a new project, and does File > New > Choreography window.

2. The student then imports one of the models from a shared folder I created on the hard drive containing many different models.

3. The student imports an action and applies it to the model or changes the pose on an Actor.

4. The student goes to the Project menu and does a Save As to save the prj file to their own network folder.

5. You are recommending that the student should also go to the File menu and do a Save As to save the model to their own network folder. < Is this correct?

 

If the student only saves the project file and does not do a File menu > Save As... are you saying that the original model file stored in the shared library folder will be altered?

 

I appreciate your advice on this... I obviously don't understand the connection between the models and the project file. I thought when you saved your work as a project file the model in that project was only an instance of the original model file and that changes to the instance would not affect the original. I thought the only way I could modify the original model was to open the model file, edit it and then save it using the File> Save menu option.

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We are running Animation Master on Vista and XP computers.

 

I think this is the problem in Your case , XP and Vista/Win7 having a different rights managment for accessing registry and also the program folder .

The machine , where the error occurs is a vista machine ?

 

I am running AM on both Vista and XP computers. As of Friday, none of my 10 seats of the software were showing any models, or actions in the library window. The library window is empty.

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... I obviously don't understand the connection between the models and the project file...

 

A PRJ can either save actual assets (like models) or just file paths to them. It depends on whether the item is "embedded"

 

-If you have a PRJ open and then start a model from scratch and then save the PRJ, the model will be saved as part of the PRJ (the model was embedded)

 

-If you have a PRJ open and then start a model from scratch and then save the model and then save the PRJ, the model is still a separate MDL file and the PRJ you just saved contains a path to that file. (the model is not embedded)

 

-Similarly...If you have a PRJ open and then import an existing model and then save the PRJ, the model is still a separate MDL file and the PRJ you just saved contains a path to that file. (the model is not embedded)

 

-However... If you have a PRJ open and import a model, you can force it to be part of the PRJ by going to its properties panel and switching "Embedded" to ON. Now when you save the PRJ it will contain the model. The original MDL file you imported still exists on your drive, however.

 

A PRJ can have any assets be embedded or not.

 

You can tell if any model is embedded by looking at its icon in the Project Workplace>Objects folder. A tiny floppy disc icon appears on it if it is saved separately from the PRJ. Likewise for Materials, Actions, and Chors. Images and Sounds are never embedded.

 

One more thing...

 

When you load a chor it will automatically load (or prompt you to find) all assets it needs even if you haven't loaded them in the PRJ yet. This is convenient.

 

 

And another thing...

 

when you "Save" any asset it overwrites whatever was saved under that filename before. "Save as" allows you to choose different filename to avoid that.

 

Save your work often under filenames with incrementing numbers and then if some disaster happens you can go back to some recent version and pick up from there.

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I used to work on a network where we had a 30 seat lab of AM for high school.It was a Mac lab however I have worked pretty extensively with privledges for kids paths to servers for server based software etc. with win xp if you can't get it working I could ask you to send a few screen shots from one of kids workstations email me if you like mullhull@verizon.net Great to hear about AM in education anytime !!!

Steve

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If the student only saves the project file and does not do a File menu > Save As... are you saying that the original model file stored in the shared library folder will be altered?

Short answer to this is "Yes", Ralph. Robcat, correct me if I'm wrong here. I think this is Ralph's main concern.

 

In the past I've recommended "Embed all" as a general, overall good practice, but I've been corrected on this advice, and I think saving each element into a separate, user-created directory makes better sense.

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In the past I've recommended "Embed all" as a general, overall good practice, but I've been corrected on this advice, and I think saving each element into a separate, user-created directory makes better sense.

 

You can, but for smaller projects you dont have too... I save into several versions but embed all in general... it is easier to work with because you dont overwrite a model you wanted to save outside...

 

*Fuchur*

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If the student only saves the project file and does not do a File menu > Save As... are you saying that the original model file stored in the shared library folder will be altered?

Short answer to this is "Yes", Ralph. Robcat, correct me if I'm wrong here. I think this is Ralph's main concern.

 

In the past I've recommended "Embed all" as a general, overall good practice, but I've been corrected on this advice, and I think saving each element into a separate, user-created directory makes better sense.

 

If i have a model loaded into my PRJ and then i alter the model, the model, the Objects folder and the PRJ get a star by their name to indicate there are unsaved alterations at this point.

 

If then i do a PRJ Save or Save As, the altered model gets automatically saved over the old MDL file. The stars go away.

 

If you don't want a future PRJ save to cause an overwrite of a loaded model, save the loaded model with a new name.

 

This true of other assets you may load like actions or chors.

 

 

This is fairly new behavior for A:M. PRJ saves didn't always force saves of its unembedded elements.

 

 

 

 

I use PRJs with everything embedded when I'm developing something with some complex situation involving experiments in both the model and the chor.

 

Like maybe I'm rigging a model and testing it with some odd lighting situation in a chor. By embedding both and saving PRJs incrementally I know when i go back to a previous PRJ version that a specific model version will be correctly paired up with a specific lighting situation I tested it with without having to locate and load multiple files.

 

If either turns out to be a winner i can always save them out separately later.

 

 

When we did "The Tinwoodman of Oz" most of the experimenting was done by the time we got to animating, so we just saved chors for our animation and let them handle loading the needed models.

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I want to thank all of you for your advice and for sharing your expertise as I try to teach myself along with my students how to use Animation Master (and figure out why my library window objects are not showing on any of my computers).

 

As a technology teacher, I see a large number of students who (think) they want to become animators and/or game designers. The majority of these students don't really understand (especially in 8th grade) that playing games is one thing and creating games involves a lot more skills than knowing how to operate a joystick or move a mouse.

 

I thought giving students a chance to experience creating 3D animation using Animation Master would be a great learning experience in my Technology Education classes and it would give me an opening to talk about careers and how animation is used for more than just creating games and to create movie special effects. (For example: Industrial animators, 3D medical animators, and Forensics animators).

 

To introduce the basics, I am using many of the introductory tutorials available online and provided with Animation Master. Since I am working with 8th graders my objectives are pretty basic:

 

- how to pose a premade model (Actor) and use the pose sliders

- how to apply an action to a model

- how to render an animation to create a movie

- how to work with keyframes and create a short keyframe animation

- how to make an animated object follow a path

 

Since my students are not really doing anything very sophisticated, do you really think it is necessary to teach my students how to embed the models into the project file? I am trying to keep things pretty simple and I think it might be easier to simply renew the library files before each new group of students begins using the software. This way if a mdl file is altered or corrupted I will simply replace the entire library with a new copy before a new group of students starts work on the assigned lessons.

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Since my students are not really doing anything very sophisticated, do you really think it is necessary to teach my students how to embed the models into the project file? I am trying to keep things pretty simple and I think it might be easier to simply renew the library files before each new group of students begins using the software.

I guess it all depends on how many class sessions you have with each group of students, and how many groups of students you have each day.

 

It is probably reasonable to assume that at least one curious student in each group will eventually (given enough time) make some kind of unsupervised change to a model in the library (not a shortcut) and then save his/her project file, thus changing the original model. This might make it difficult to troubleshoot difficulties a student in the same class is having with the assignment.

 

For example:

 

Say the class opens the rabbit from the library and you direct them to pose the rabbit in a new choreography. One student, Bob, is really curious about all the buttons in the UI (or he is just bored), so he clicks on the Bones Mode button (or accidentally presses F6), which allows you to edit the bones in the Original Model (not the model shortcut). He moves some of the bones in the Choreography window and then saves his project, thus changing the original model. As long as no one in the class reloads the model, they are fine, but Mary accidentally closes her project and must re-load the rabbit from the library. Since Bob changed the original, when Mary re-loads the rabbit, it is all funky now. Since Bob didn't tell anyone that he changed the original model you will have a difficult time trying to figure out why Mary's rabbit is all messed up and none of the other student's are having a problem. Bob's rabbit is probably messed up too, but he is isn't saying anything because he doesn't want to get in trouble :)

 

So then, to save yourself some grief, you start telling the students to embed all their models and materials in the project file. This is a very easy thing to do - right-click the project name in the PWS and choose "Embed All". However, it is probably reasonable to assume that some students, especially Bob, will forget to do this at some point.

 

One method to avert these two scenarios would be to:

Make the original models and materials "Read-Only" via the file properties in the Windows file explorer, so they cannot be overwritten. AND tell your students to "Embed All".

 

When they have trouble saving their projects, you will know that they forgot to "embed all".

 

Images, however, are never embedded, nomatter what you do, but it is far less likely that a student will alter an image file. They would have to load the image in an image editor, such as Photoshop.

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To introduce the basics, I am using many of the introductory tutorials available online and provided with Animation Master. Since I am working with 8th graders my objectives are pretty basic:

 

- how to pose a premade model (Actor) and use the pose sliders

- how to apply an action to a model

- how to render an animation to create a movie

- how to work with keyframes and create a short keyframe animation

- how to make an animated object follow a path

 

I'll suggest this revision for quicker gratification and more logical flow:

 

- make and save an object (something very simple like a lathed vase or a missile) I think it's more fun initially to model something yourself even if it's very simple

Like this: QuickCGMissile.mov

 

- make the object follow a path in a chor and save the chor

QuckMissilePath.mov

 

- how to pose a premade model (Actor) and use the pose sliders (If the model has the "Dynamic Pose", ignore that. It's a bad example of a pose slider)

(stress using the (R )otate manipulator for turning bones, don't drag the tip)

- how to work with keyframes and create a short keyframe animation (something simple like a character standing up from sitting on a box)

- how to render an animation to create a movie (show them how to choose a codec so their movie isn't 50 megabytes)

 

 

 

 

Since my students are not really doing anything very sophisticated, do you really think it is necessary to teach my students how to embed the models into the project file?

 

No, but you will want to show them how to save something so they can use things they made on a previous day.

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One more thing , Ralph... before you start explaining keyframe animation, watch my screencam tut on "Keyframing Options".

 

I don't recommend you show it to your students to start with because it's a bit too much information, but beginners will almost certainly punch wrong buttons without realizing it and it's important for you to be on top of this so you can know why they are getting unexpected results and know there's a reason for it.

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Thanks everyone for your recommendations!

 

I made the folder containing my models a read only folder.

I have instructed my students to Open the Project Workspace window and right-click on the top icon and select Embed All so that the student's models will be saved to the project file.

 

Unfortunately, I have had some problems with students deleting a few of the Rendering presets (Final) on some of my computers and on another computer a student closed several of the toolbars. These are all things I can help them fix but it would really be nice if there was a way to set up Animation Master so it would always open to the default workspace and everything would be reset to the default settings every time they open the application.

 

I have tried using the Help menu > Reset option. Reset does restore the toolbars, however it apparently does not restore the Rendering preset buttons (Final, Preview, Toon, Real-Time, etc.). Does anyone know how to restore the render preset icons easily without having to right-click on a preset in the Render to File Settings dialog and select duplicate and then edit the preset to the desired settings? Are these presets stored in a folder that I could make read only?

 

When the written instructions the students are following say go here and click on this or that and those items are missing in the program it is a little frustrating.

 

The majority of my computers are still not showing the Library window objects. I have also noticed that when students exit Animation Master they are getting a dialog stating that the program has quit working. The school's computers have many access and permission restrictions and I can't help but wonder if this is causing some/many of the problems I am having.

 

Thanks again everyone for your help!

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Are these presets stored in a folder that I could make read only?

 

They are stored as .pre files.

 

On my computer they are in

 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Hash Inc\V15.0\Presets

 

Your path may be somewhat different but there must be a presets folder in your install somewhere.

 

When the written instructions the students are following say go here and click on this or that and those items are missing in the program it is a little frustrating.

 

The majority of my computers are still not showing the Library window objects.

well, you've heard my opinion of the library... Get them to use regular file operations. :)

 

Outside of TAoA:M references to the Library are exceedingly rare.

 

There's always more than one way to do things and that concept would be a good lesson for them.

 

 

 

I have also noticed that when students exit Animation Master they are getting a dialog stating that the program has quit working.

 

Don't know the answer but that's better than getting that message before you want to quit. ;)

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Ralph,

I'm very interested in the problems you are having and would like to work on specific solutions tailored to your needs.

TaoA:M is sure to be refined in the future and it's important we take your needs into consideration.

 

User to User we are in the business of providing solutions for each other. :)

 

it would really be nice if there was a way to set up Animation Master so it would always open to the default workspace and everything would be reset to the default settings every time they open the application.

 

There are several ways to get this done but your needs may dictate which approach you want to take.

 

You can have A:M open a default project.

 

or

 

You can have the students open a folder filled with shortcuts that each open a specific project.

 

or

 

You can have the students open up a webpage and click on a link to open a specific project.

 

Lets try one?

 

You can recreate a shortcut to Animation:Master and in the shortcut add the project you want A:M to open with. Example: "C:\Program Files\Hash Inc\V16.0\Master_64.exe" G:\AMFiles\Projects\ThomSetup.prj

 

When clicking on the shortcut A:M will open with a project on the network drive G: in the folder AMFiles\Projects named ThomSetup.prj

Once you've got that shortcut created you can move it to a specific folder or link it into a local webpage and your students are off and running.

 

When considering files that may have gotten overwritten and making the files read only isn't an option you might consider the shortcut running a batch file that copies the original files over the files the students will open. Then it doesn't matter if the students change them or not... the files they open will be freshly copied. Of course the students should be directed to save their creations to their own private folder or else they will be overwritten. I'm not a fan of using read-only files as that can cause problems when the system tries to write to them.

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Opening A:M with the factory-settings can be done by pressing SHIFT while clicking on the shortcut (and I think while startup, so I dont know that exactly).

If you can send the SHIFT-command by a shortcut (I know you can manipulate the open-command of a shortcut) you may be able to archieve that.

 

And there is a setting in the options of A:M (Tools > Options > Global), if you want to reload the last chor or not... that may be helpful too.

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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Are these presets stored in a folder that I could make read only?

 

They are stored as .pre files.

 

On my computer they are in

 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Hash Inc\V15.0\Presets

 

Your path may be somewhat different but there must be a presets folder in your install somewhere.

 

When the written instructions the students are following say go here and click on this or that and those items are missing in the program it is a little frustrating.

 

The majority of my computers are still not showing the Library window objects.

well, you've heard my opinion of the library... Get them to use regular file operations. :)

 

Outside of TAoA:M references to the Library are exceedingly rare.

 

There's always more than one way to do things and that concept would be a good lesson for them.

 

 

 

I have also noticed that when students exit Animation Master they are getting a dialog stating that the program has quit working.

 

Don't know the answer but that's better than getting that message before you want to quit. ;)

 

 

Robcat 2075:

 

I have instructed my students to close the Library window and to import their models and actions from a folder they can easily access on the C:\ root directory of their computers. The students have been doing this without any real problems. I thank you for suggesting this approach! :-)

 

Before the students start the hands-on activities I have been having them watch the (Hash) video tutorial for the lesson they are going to be working on. All of these videos show the models being dragged onto the Choreography window from the library window. This is the main reason I would like to figure out why the library window isn't working correctly. The video is showing one way to do things and now I am telling them to do things a different way.

 

When I teach students starting out on new software, I usually like to have all my instructional materials to be in agreement as to procedures on how to do things. Otherwise, some students get confused.

 

In regards to the rendering presets... The different preset files in the Presets folder have not been deleted. The icons in the Render settings dialog are what were deleted. What I am trying to figure out is how to restore the preset icons. The software must store information somewhere as to what icons are displayed in the Render settings dialog and I was wondering if there was a way to make it so my students couldn't go in and delete those icons. Again when the instructions tell the students to select the Final render icon and that icon is no longer there... 8th graders are not happy. When you have 20+ students in the room needing help all at the same time it is not a pretty picture. My goal is to try and avoid this situation.

 

My class is set up so 1/3 of the class works in Animation Master, 1/3 works through introductory lessons in Photoshop, and another 1/3 of the class is working through tutorials using a CAD (architecture) program. The students cycle through these three areas.

 

AM has been giving me the most trouble because it is too easy to alter the interface of the software and it does not reset itself when a student logs off the computer and another student logs on. Everyday when class starts, I don't know what my students are going to be looking at when they start up AM. What is going to be there and what isn't... that is the question.

 

Thanks again for your support!

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A:M is designed to store its last configuration in the registry so a user can easily pickup where he left off.

 

As a general rule I'd have each student do a "Reset settings" at the start of each exercise and get them used to closing that Library window and other startup rituals.

 

I like Rodney's idea of running a script that copies clean copies of everything you need to the various satellite computers before your class.

 

Absent a script, if you can see the satellite HDs from your station it would be a matter of preparing a master folder you can copy the contents from to the matching folder on the satellite. One drop and drag per machine.

 

The imagery for the presets is actually contained in the .pre file. A preset doesn't appear and yet is present in that station's A:M folder? Being a methodical person I'd compare files between a station that displayed them and a station that didn't. I see six presets in my preset folder

 

If the fault isn't obvious I'd just reinstall A:M on that machine.

 

(I never use the presets. I check the "advanced" button that enables setting individual render parameters.)

 

"Final" Option settings

RenderOption.JPG

 

"Final" Output settings and "Save Options" settings (Compression)

RenderOutputSettings.JPG

 

 

 

All of these videos show the models being dragged onto the Choreography window from the library window. This is the main reason I would like to figure out why the library window isn't working correctly. The video is showing one way to do things and now I am telling them to do things a different way.

 

You just gotta present the change the right way:

 

"Treasured students... that video showed one way... but I'm going to show you the way the real hard-drinkin' CG artists do it..."

 

 

Dragging also works from the windows interface.

 

You can drag a .mdl or .prj or .cho file from an open folder into A:M and it will be loaded into the PWS

 

then you can drag a model into a chor, or RMB>edit it.

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Hello,

 

I do not know if this has been covered but in most cases you can just add the server path in windows to any file server. I think this is the best way to share A:M data.

 

\\machine name\path_01\Data\library\

Or where ever you have your .lbr file at. Now all users most see the path the same.

 

Now students do not have the right to change setting of what you see at log in. The best way to do this is to log in as a root admin on a machine change the settings to what you like and have your IT staff distribute out the registry paths.

 

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Hash, Inc.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Hash, Inc.

 

It's best to set up all settings, library paths, open windows and other settings before It distribute out the settings.

 

Most of the time none admin users can not see C:\program files\ in school settings so you can remove that path. if you are going to have each computer have it's on path it is best to have IT add it and make it read only something like C:\AM_files\Data\Library\

 

If you have anymore questions you can email support@hash.com and we can help you out.

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You just gotta present the change the right way:

 

I tend to agree with Robcat on this one. If you explain to your students that while the tut shows it being done one way, there is a better way. Explain the differences, the reasons, the logic. Spend 15 minutes at the start, drive it home, and the students will understand. It is actually a good life lesson. Up to this point your students have had stars in their eyes about what animation is (as you said earlier, to them it's all about video games) and have no real concept just how difficult is can be. That includes using, sometimes cantankerous software. A:M is actually one of the easier apps to use, what's difficult with animation is that the software is simply a tool, learn to use the tool properly and you're about one third there. I'd actually like to see animation classes to also delve into the other aspects of animation (production, direction, business, writing, art, etc.) and that every animation movie you see out there took hundreds of folks working several years and spending multi-millions of dollars to get a project to the silver screen. Get the stars out of their eyes, a dose of reality never hurt anybody, especially 8th graders.

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fortunately, the dose of reality thing is part of his goal

As a technology teacher, I see a large number of students who (think) they want to become animators and/or game designers. The majority of these students don't really understand (especially in 8th grade) that playing games is one thing and creating games involves a lot more skills than knowing how to operate a joystick or move a mouse.

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robcat2075 the information about

The imagery for the presets is actually contained in the .pre file
gave me the information I needed to help me restore the missing preset icons. I simply copied the .pre files from a computer where all of the presets were still showing and replaced the .pre files on the computer where the icons were not displaying correctly. This did the trick.

 

As far as the recommendations that I should just tell the students here is another way to do things... I wish it would be that easy. Unfortunately, many of the students I am working with have very weak reading skills, don't follow written instructions very well (even when I include a lot of screen capture images in my handouts), and I am currently supporting the lessons using Hash's video tutorials. I have also recorded the text in audio files so students can just listen as I read the step-by-step instructions to them. Did I mention some of the students have short attention spans.

 

After 9 weeks, some students are still getting confused about how to navigate to their network folders so they can save their files correctly. :-(

 

This is by no means a description of all of my students, but in U.S. public education the philosophy currently is "No child left behind" and if the student doesn't get it... it is the teacher's fault.

 

I do appreciate the recommendations several of you have made, but for the students I am working with and the wide range of abilities these students seem to have, my strategy has been to try and create really simple introductory tutorials that every student can do and then to make available more advanced tutorials for the students who have the interest, the ability to read, the ability to follow instructions, and can work independently. I will reserve the "try another way instructions" for these more advanced learners.

 

Thanks everyone for your help and support.

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Is your class set up so that they can see you working on your machine, perhaps on a large monitor?

 

Walk them thru the steps of loading a file by the conventional means.

 

 

-Open Windows Explorer

 

-Navigate to folder with files

 

-Drag file into A:M

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