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Gerry

Rolling hills background for hand-drawn animation

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HI everyone, it's been awhile I guess! As some of you may know, I put computer animation aside about four years ago after learning and working in A:M for over ten years, to focus on learning traditional cel animation. I've got one project, "Sexy Texie", that has been making the rounds of film festivals for the past year. You can see it on Vimeo. I tried to add a link here, but the post got wonky!

I'm working on a new one, a poem about an eight year old boy who builds his own hydrogen-powered race car to enter in the big race. They won't let him enter because he's only eight, but he decides to enter anyway.

 

I've got this one shot that I'm unable to draw by hand, and Robert Holmen invited me to stop by here to see about some bit of help. It is, as he says, the kind of shot that CG was invented for. I no longer have any CG software on my computer.

 

The shot is a rolling, hilly landscape that we are flying over. The landscape is actually calendar pages, that I'm using to indicate the passage of time. I'm attaching a video of the rough shot, and a still of the way the calendar pages will look. It's all pretty rough but I think the intent is clear.

It's fifteen seconds. I can provide hand drawn calendar art for a map.

 

If anyone could take a crack at this I would be eternally grateful!

verse07_Shot1BG_fr07.jpg

RollingHillsTest_h264.mov

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Just a quick question as to what you are looking for...I see the rolling hills and I assume the hills will have the calendar pages draped over them and what you are looking for in a animation is the flying over the hills/pages.

 

It would be like a drone going over the landscape

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This is very crude and I crushed the heck out of it to make it a small file, but this may be a way to do it.

 

In AfterEffects, bring in your art and use the spherize effect on it to turn it into a globe. Set the rotation angles and speeds. Pre-compose and then scale them to flatten the globes into hills.

 

Once you've got them all arranged and moving how you want, I think it will create the effect.

 

Not a 3D solution, really, but a solution.

 

test.mp4

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Hey Gerry, do you still have a version of A:M you can install? One of the CD versions perhaps?

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Hi Gerry, it's great to see you!

 

I'm not satisified with my test but I went with a rotating set of decalled cylinders... I'm leaning more toward a static plane of hills with animated deals rolling over them (ala shadows moving across hills from clouds).

That seems to be more in line with your example movie. For that an animated project map might work wonders.

Actually rolling the hills almost makes them not seems like hills. ;)

 

 

An underlying and important aspect of this is to consider the timeframe the calendar represents.

For instance, what is the timeframe under consideration that is flying by.

I say this because even if the year(s) are not seen, the calendar layout will likely reveal this information.

In the attached I selectd 1996 and left that on the decal mainly as an aid to tracking.

I assume the year would be removed in final rendering to grant a larger appeal.

Figuring out what date is actually represented would be for the truly devoted to decipher.

 

If I run another test I think it might be of a projection mapped grid with bumpy hills.

The projected image would be animated to give an additional time-flies-by effect.

 

 

 

 

timeflies.mov

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Hi everyone-

This is a great response! Thanks so much for these.

 

Johnl3D to answer your question, yes, like a drone flying over a landscape.

 

Robert, I don't think I have any versions that will load up on a Mac with OSX. Back in the day I did almost all my AM work on the pc at work. I did a little work on the Mac but not much.

 

Mark, that's a good fix! I may mess with 3D in After Effects.

 

Rodney, nice solution. I'm not so worried about the time frame or precise months/dates. I anticipate drawing the calendar grids to maintain the hand-drawn appearance. I just want to suggest calendar pages.

 

Robert, I like your test. If the position of the horizon can be maintained and new hills appear in the distance that would be ideal. maybe a different depth of field and a hilly landscape (or arrangement of objects) that is curved so that it turns toward the camera. Here's a sketch:

CameraAndLandscape.jpg

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Try the last CD version you have on your Mac. Or do you ever run Windows on your Mac?

 

I think you'll have greater pride of ownership if you do the 3D yourself. :)

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I agree with Robert but since I asked decided to a quick try ...added fade to red at the end

 

flyover.mov

 

 

flyover.wmv

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Thanks for the test, John! I think I need to look around for another solution. May be time to renew my subscription!

I just tried a second time to put a link in my post for "Sexy Texie" on Vimeo,but it doesn't seem to want to let me include a link.

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I just tried a second time to put a link in my post for "Sexy Texie" on Vimeo,but it doesn't seem to want to let me include a link.

 

There is an unresolved issue with posting of (certain video) links in the forum.

From what I can tell the code that formats video links parses the URL but doesn't format it correctly.

 

The workaround is to proceed the link by another character such as the letter 'x'.

So... just proceed your URL with the letter x.

 

I often add this letter to a posted (invisible) URL but in your case you removed that link from your post so there is nothing there for me to repair.

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Thanks for the test, John! I think I need to look around for another solution. May be time to renew my subscription!

 

 

What you want to do is absolutely doable in A:M and we can walk you through the steps here if you want to go that way.

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Hmm, actually when I use the Import command, the window is now active, I navigate to the jpg, select, click Open, and nothing happens. So far. Comments welcome.

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Hmm, actually when I use the Import command, the window is now active, I navigate to the jpg, select, click Open, and nothing happens. So far. Comments welcome.

 

 

 

Are you talking about in the forum?

If yes, then don't forget there is a second button we have to push to upload the file. The first is to choose the file/image (via Choose File button) and the second to upload/attach to your post (via the Attach This File button. Finally don't forget to hit the Add Reply button to post.

 

If you are talking about something in Animation:Master then... more info please. :)

 

 

Okay, I see your other post. Disregardo!

 

 

 

P.S. You had me wondering with that 'Gerardo' username Gerry. I was wondering 'why is this guy posting this message here? ;)

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Sorry Rodney, I made two posts and the first one seems to have disappeared.

 

My issue is importing an image into a project on the Mac platform. I know there used to be a workaround, but I can't seem to get an image to import.

 

When I use the Import command, at first the Open window was all grayed out, then I tried again and the Import window was working, I navigate to the image, click Import, and nothing happens.

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I forgot my password and when I went through the process of getting a new one it changed my username to Gerardo for some reason. It wasn't me!


EDIT - never mind, it imports a .tga just fine, I guess it's fussy about .jpegs!

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I forgot my password and when I went through the process of getting a new one it changed my username to Gerardo for some reason. It wasn't me!

 

If you'd like your username to be something else just say the word. :)

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No, everything's good!

Here's a quick-and-dirty test of what I was after. The artwork is just a pencil sketch but the final art will still be hand-drawn calendar pages in keeping with the look of the animation. In fact I may just render every fifth frame or so, as the smoothness may also be a mismatch with the style I'm going for.

LandscapeTest4_h264.mov

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Suggestion... instead of having the calendar pages all decaled on the same surface how about having multiple surfaces, so there's a page for each page.

 

Same general rolling hills effect but there some separation between overlapping pages.

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Thanks for the looks! Robert, that was something I was mulling over...decided against it for now, but I'm not ruling it out.

 

I do have a question though, where are the toon lines settings for thickness, color, etc. Been poking around but can't find them.

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I do have a question though, where are the toon lines settings for thickness, color, etc. Been poking around but can't find them.

 

Look for those in the Toons Render option in the Render Panel.

You'll want to toggle on Override Lines.

ToonLInes.png

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Here's a rough render of the scene, mostly pencil sketches. But the ground animation part is done for now, though I may tweak it a bit yet. I rendered only every tenth frame to keep the look of the hand drawn elements.

verse07Test2_h264.mov

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Hooray for CG!

 

I rendered only every tenth frame to keep the look of the hand drawn elements.

 

 

That would be 3fps?

 

Typically in these situations they will match the CG fps to the hand-drawn fps.

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Thanks guys. Robert, this is indeed 3 fps for now, but I'm still deciding how many inbetween frames I'll have for the hand drawn parts. But that's a good point. For now this is the only segment where frame rates would need to "match up".

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