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Painting with Light? It Can't Be Done! Feb 2014

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ItcantB240.jpg

 

 

 

 

We begin "It Can't Be Done", a tutorial thread in which we try to do the undo-able... with Animation:Master!

 

Part1 ICBDEpisode_2014_02_01_H.mov...This month's topic is revealed and we get started.

 

PRJ of example in video ICBD_2_2014_02_line_test.prj

The photograph shown in the video is used with the permission of the artist, Rob Walker.

 

 

 

Part 2

... With comparative analysis we learn to cook our own A:M files.

 

I recommend you Fullscreen it and use the "Settings" button at the lower right of the Youtube player to choose 480p or 720p. If anyone can't view Youtube, let me know.

 

Error: at 7:45 I say "I added three splines to the model" when I should have said "I added three CPs to the model"

 

PSPad.com, for the freeware text editor for PC used in the video. MarkW informs me that TextWrangler can do on the Mac what PSPad does on PC.

 

 

 

Part 3

... We magically create 90 Cps in an instant!

 

Open Office, seen in the video, is available free for both PC and Mac

 

Spreadsheet in .xls format can be loaded in both Open Office and MS Excel Light_Painting_03_Create_Cps.zip

 

 

 

Part 4

... We finish text editing and test it and... it works!

 

Current version of spreadsheet for CPs, bones and constraints Light_Painting_06.zip

PRJ shown in video with working spline animation 90CPs_90Bones_90Attached_89ConstrainedC.prj

 

 

 

Part 5

... See the wondwous wuminous wabbit of wight!

 

Current version of spreadsheet adds Groups: Light_Painting_10_groups.zip

Animation PRJ used as test scene: RabbitPRJ.zip

 

 

 

Part 6

... the painted light emits light of its own!

 

Light_on_Spline_PRJ.zip

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Nicely done Robert!

 

You've given me a few ideas with that approach. :)

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Bravo!

 

There's some great info here that could apply to lots of different tasks.

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tuba part of multitasking ? nicely done played with similar idea sometime ago with worm segments

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tuba part of multitasking ? nicely done played with similar idea sometime ago with worm segments

 

I really like the lag-approach you are doing there :).

I thought of a path with different ease-values for the bones, but your approach seems much more flexibel :) Very cool Robert!

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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"...Can anyone recommend a text editor for Mac that has an ability to display "difference" as PSPad does in the video?

Yes, the Mac version of TextWrangler can do it.

As always Robert you have produced two more excellent videos.

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"...Can anyone recommend a text editor for Mac that has an ability to display "difference" as PSPad does in the video?

Yes, the Mac version of TextWrangler can do it.

As always Robert you have produced two more excellent videos.

 

Very helpful and interesting... If I find the time I will use PHP to create a huge line with that approaches... maybe tomorrow or the day after that... we will see.

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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I remember as I probably said before fixing models with a text editor or at least most of a model...this carries it another step further ..Thanks Robert

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"...Can anyone recommend a text editor for Mac that has an ability to display "difference" as PSPad does in the video?

Yes, the Mac version of TextWrangler can do it.

As always Robert you have produced two more excellent videos.

 

Very helpful and interesting... If I find the time I will use PHP to create a huge line with that approaches... maybe tomorrow or the day after that... we will see.

 

See you

*Fuchur*

 

I would use excel and a macro. The macro can build out the xml-ish string for the cps and bones...make it as long as you like. Perhaps today at lunch I'll work it up and attach post it..

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I'm enjoying these Robert and looking forward to seeing how you automate rigging in Open Office.

Which leads me to my next sentence...

 

Your latest link points to Open Office rather than youtube (along with your link that corretly points to Open Office that is)

 

Looking forward to seeing Episode 3!

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Your latest link points to Open Office rather than youtube (along with your link that corretly points to Open Office that is)

 

Whoops! Fixed now.

 

Thanks, Rodney!

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Thanks Robert!

 

You expertly demonstrate how we can extend A:M by creating our our utilities in A:M itself or via integration with other programs.

Open Office (or a similar suite of tools) should be on everyone's computer whether for the purpose of indirectly manipulating elements in A:M or simply crafting a script, storyboard or framework for holding rendered images (i.e. through html). The fact that A:M's file format is accessible in this way is powerful and the results only limited by one's creative imagination.

 

Thanks again for these videos!

 

 

Edit: For those with the propensity to dream big dreams, I hope through videos such as these they can see how they can take the first step toward realizing those dreams.

Creating a workable prototype (in Open Office or any program) can be a critical forerunner to programming a plugin and utility. If the process can be broken down and demonstrated to someone with a talent for programming then that process can then more easily be transferred, streamlined, automated and extended in other (programming) languages.

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Ferocious fourth episode is up. Link in top post.

 

(It's OK to watch even if you didn't do your homework from episode 2. :) )

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Muy muy bueno! Love seeing the A:M data structure revealed & explained, as well as how to use spreadsheet and text editor. Wonderful new helpful info !

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Superbly demonstrated Robert.

 

That carriage return... gah! That has eluded me for a long time and I thank you for bring its code (in spreadsheets) to our attention.

(I've actually just been too lazy to look it up in the past but now thanks to you have it delivered straight to me!).

 

There are several things that this latest demo brings to mind (beyond just this latest 'It Can't Be Done' focus on painting with light):

 

- Fluid drawing with splines without constantly clicking works very well in real time (I hope that angle on spline technology can be further leveraged in the future in A:M).

- The approach you outline using a spreadsheet or other program to automate text can be used to solve many other 'It can't be done' scenarios. The one that immediately springs to mind is the automatic scripting of animation via xsheet/dopesheet... even easier to implement than constraining bones to CPs in a spreadsheet.

- It can be useful to maintain the entire A:M file structure inside the spreadsheet (with different elements on different tabs) all feeding into one master spreadsheet. Then when data on one tab is updated the master sheet is updated as well.

- Immediately after opening a file created externally from A:M it is a good idea to save the file from inside of A:M as A:M will often 'repair' elements that aren't ideally formatted. (example: an empty value might be filled with a default value because A:M knows 'something' must be there.

- Programs such as Visual Basic for Applications can further automate A:M file creation. (I'm not sure what macro/basic language is used with Open Office)

 

You've given us a lot to consider and I am indebted to your patience.

Taking time to create files in the way you've demonstrated can be difficult and running through it step by step even more so... especially with such clarity!

 

Thank you Robert for delving so deeply into this.

It is very illuminating. :)

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Thanks for the good reviews, everyone!

 

 

- The approach you outline using a spreadsheet or other program to automate text can be used to solve many other 'It can't be done' scenarios. The one that immediately springs to mind is the automatic scripting of animation via xsheet/dopesheet... even easier to implement than constraining bones to CPs in a spreadsheet.

 

Yup. There's lots of potential in it. That's kind of why i picked this "painting with light" topic, I thought it might provide a good case study for explaining text editing.

 

I'm glad the Spreadsheet stuff works; i hadn't actually tried any of that before I got started. :D A big breakthrough was when I realized i could export in "Comma Separated Value" format... without commas!

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I recall that the original TSM was an app outside of A:M that would read a MDL file and save out a modified MDL. They wrote it in Macromedia Shockwave and basically it was automated text editing.

 

Now that I know this spreadsheet thing works... I'm thinking TSM2! I think it may be possible to recreate TSM2 as a manipulation done by a spreadsheet.

 

You could paste your entire MDL into one cell at the top, magic would happen somewhere in between, and then you'd copy out the rigged MDL from a cell at the bottom.

 

And it would work for both Mac and PC again.

 

Somebody do that. :D

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That would be awesome!

 

Maybe this is something that could benefit the new rigs we've got or even serve as an open-source type rig for the community.

 

 

I recall that the original TSM was an app outside of A:M that would read a MDL file and save out a modified MDL. They wrote it in Macromedia Shockwave and basically it was automated text editing.

 

Now that I know this spreadsheet thing works... I'm thinking TSM2! I think it may be possible to recreate TSM2 as a manipulation done by a spreadsheet.

 

You could paste your entire MDL into one cell at the top, magic would happen somewhere in between, and then you'd copy out the rigged MDL from a cell at the bottom.

 

And it would work for both Mac and PC again.

 

Somebody do that. :D

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Today's episode will probably not arrive until Saturday. Just in case anyone was staying up late waiting for it. ;)

 

 

Rabbitpose46.jpg

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...You could paste your entire MDL into one cell at the top, magic would happen somewhere in between, and then you'd copy out the rigged MDL from a cell at the bottom.

 

And it would work for both Mac and PC again.

 

Somebody do that. :D

That sounds like the Holy Grail of rigging to me! I drop a model in the top, press a button and out it comes rigged and ready to go! Ah, if only!

 

But back to your latest video there and its another great one! Thank you for doing them.

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I'll note that my rigging scenario still involves you assigning CPs and fan-boning or weighting or whatever. <_>

 

But if you like the TSM2 workflow, the spread sheet could revive the part the TSM2 did which was adding all the non-geometry bones and constraining them.

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Awesome. Not only educational... entertaining! :)

Well worth the wait as well.

 

I think I know where you are headed with this in the next episode.

If not... I'm thinking of a decent alternative.

Time will tell!

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Wow Rob, this is so interesting and helpful… but...

 

(Perhaps, I am doing something wrong) but, when I download the Prj.zip file , all I get is a "BlueHorizon.tga" picture file and no project file.

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Wow Rob, this is so interesting and helpful… but...

 

(Perhaps, I am doing something wrong) but, when I download the Prj.zip file , all I get is a "BlueHorizon.tga" picture file and no project file.

 

 

Sorry! Try again, it should be fixed now.

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Just played with your Project file.

 

Awesome.

 

Everyone in the world should have a copy of A:M just so they can play with files like this. :)

There's nothing like realtime spline animation... except perhaps realtime spline anmation mixed with spline based effects!

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OK, cool, got it now… thanks so much.

 

Really looking great Robert :) Well done!

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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Bravo!! Very well done. I loved the part about the glow differences.

 

Netrender I see at the end is causing some issues.

 

Steve

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Netrender I see at the end is causing some issues.

 

Now a reported bug! :P

 

v17 was able to render it properly so i think this is a blip that can be fixed.

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There will be a slight delay for Episode 6. I'm pondering my way around a few exotic bugs I've encountered. :)

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I think what I've found is that multi-pass motion blur doesn't always slice time exactly right.

 

For example, 256-passes slices time in the increments that one would expect for 225 passes and then the last 31 passes are all on top of each other. This is almost never noticeable for motion blur purposes but when swinging a light around it is detectable. B)

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I've got this episode edited, I just can't get After Effects to spit it out.

 

It Can't Be Done! :angry:

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The shadowy sixth episode is now posted!

 

Link in the post at top of thread.

 

Episode 6 is a bit long but it introduces a number of important concepts that many A:M users are not familiar with...

 

-path constraints and "ease"

-multipass and motion blur

-fractional keyframes

-channel post-extrapolation

-animating light color

-rendering in passes

-A:M composites

-composite Post Effects

-compositing modes

 

 

CompositeGlow128.jpg

 

 

 

If any one has questions about what has been discussed so far, post them and I may incorporate them into the last episode.

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Outstanding episode Robert.

You cover a whole lot of territory in this one!

 

There are so many areas of interest you cover in this video that it's hard to refer to just one but EVERYONE should watch it.

The intro to A:M Composite alone will be enlightening because that feature is so seldom invoked.

 

You explored one thing I have never even glanced at before... because I didn't think I had a use for it... but you have expertly demonstrated how shortsighted my thinking was.

That was your use of the Repeat Interpolation. Whoa... why haven't I been using THAT one!

 

You delved deeply into some other areas that I've only scratched at as well and it's always good to see that exploration validated.

 

One of the things I note is that you run into the problem of the default color of the ground plane being white.

If it were a mid grey I believe you wouldn't have had to intially adjust your light because the ground plane was too bright.

Turning down the illumination was a proper solution but darkening the ground plane would work well also, especially if only wanting to change the effect of the light on the ground.

 

When you move into the arena of glow there is one area that will pay off big dividends and that is Lens Flares

There are some attribute of Lens flares that have not yet been leveraged to good effect in Animation:Master but are there to be exploited by anyone with sufficient time and curiosity.

(Tip: When in doubt get rid of everything except the part of the Flare you want).

 

ThankyouThankyouThankyouThankyou for this series of video tutorials.

A W E S O M E ! :)

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Excellent! excellent! excellent!...umm...AND did I mention absolutely excellent?

 

Amazing treasure of good info!

 

These videos are incredibly chockful. You have a wonderful style of presenting information in a simple and easy to follow way.

 

You're a keeper! :lol:

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Robert

 

Just wonderful! Thank you so much for doing this! I took away a great deal of information!

 

Steve

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