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Rodney

The Art of Animation:Master

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Swampfoot,

I think you've already got your answer but don't see confirmation of it. You only need to download and install the most recent update... (v11h as I type this).

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TC,

 

Keep rendering!

 

For some reason I'm really drawn to the Flower exercise... I think it may be because you guys' flowers are turning out much better than mine did... (sorry I'm not posting a screenshot!!!) I was a bit to lazy when I did mine... Mine looked like it needed some serious watering... :o

 

When we gear up to start from 1 again maybe I'll redo it and post a pretty flower too!

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Rougue,

 

I tidied up the extra posts! ;)

Let me know if you have any trouble uploading your renders.

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Hey guys, just finished "Move it" and liked the pose so I thought I'd post here.

I'm rediscovering AoAM for the very first time. :huh:

 

Doug

RabbitPose.jpg

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Doug,

Bravo!

Welcome back to the basics! :)

 

I must confess... prior to recieving my mission from the big guy, The Art of Animation:Master (TAoAM) wasn't very high on my priority list.

 

Since then I've really seen how much work and thought went into making the book.

The lessons 'really are' building blocks that hone people's skills and reinforce splining techniques and methodology that are easily overlooked!

 

Oh... and that rabbit... once just another model on the CD to me... has really become a favorite!

 

That's the long way of saying.... Nice Pose! :D

I owe you a certificate!

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Cheers Rodney! And don't worry about the certificate unless of course I can use it to get a job someday. hehe

 

 

Doug

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Cheers Rodney! And don't worry about the certificate unless of course I can use it to get a job someday. hehe

 

Doug,

One never knows... My intentions are to follow Martin's lead as he suggested in the forum... although not quite to the same degree. He suggested a full fledged certification program. I don't think my little certificate fits into that program! It is more to encourage proper use of tools in Animation:Master. It's amazing to see the progress of people when given the right tools with the right information.

 

TAoAM certificates are presented (not awarded... as the draft certificate shows) to those who show the ability to master basic navigational, organizational, and procedural skills. Perhaps most importantly, getting a TAoAM certificate shows that the recipient has *stay power*. The willingness and abilty to complete a task and not leave it laying on the shelf. To complete a task... and move on.

 

I expect those that complete TAoAM will want to move on to other challenges.

 

That makes them automatically more marketable in my eyes!

If I were to ever consider making a short film... the folks that can demonstrate an understanding of the basics would definitely be on my list of candidates to call on.

 

It would be up to others such as the Fellows to initiate any certification or training program at either a beginning, intermediate, or advanced level. Other options do exist as well... The recently announced Animation Mentor comes immediately to mind.

 

One thing I would like to see firm up a little more here is a way to ensure folks that get a certificate are known for their completion of the basic knowledge of Animation:Master.

 

To get this done... is no easy task.

Perhaps there is someone else out there that might be willing to assist to make these certificates more meaningful. ;)

 

For now... it's just little 'ol me and a few certificates. :)

 

And as for a job... your first certificate already got you one job offer! So... I'll get it put together for download! :lol:

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My Can Can won't won't post. :angry:

 

I did it, but everytime I save it on a screen shot, it disappears on final save. Oh well.

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Ok, new attempt at showing exercise 2. I know I beheaded the knight, but he can still dance :D

post-22-1088131265.jpg

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My Can Can won't won't post.

 

I did it, but everytime I save it on a screen shot, it disappears on final save.

 

Are you previewing the post?

It's been said that previewing wipes out the upload.

 

If you previewing stop it! Just post. ;)

 

If that is your problem... Thank Wade Sacca!

If not.... well... tell us more.

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Hello

 

I'm new to Animation Master and I did the first four exercises, well. However, I'm having a little trouble with Exercise 5. I was wondering what the difference between the Action window and the Choreography window. I know the book explains in on page 50 but I'm still a little confused. The Exercise 5 chapter also explains that you can reuse actions of your characters. Thank you.

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Well, the best explanation i can give is this........

 

The action window lets you make movements for just one character. like in exercise 5, you make a walk cycle for the rabbit or in exercise 4 you make a throwing action for the knight, you can not edit any other object in the action window apart from the object you are making an action for.

You can then go into the choreography window, (like on exercise 5), drag in the rabbit and drag that walk cycle on to him.

In the coreography window you can edit actions in even more ways , like (again, in exercise 5) you make a path for the rabbit to follow. The choreography window is like setting up a scene, you can have loads of objects in there, like a floor, a main character, a wall etc, or a lot of charachters all with their separate actions asigned.

 

Hope i have explained this okay. I too am new to AM so im not sure if this correct.

Anyway, hope it helps.

 

 

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

 

I am going to be starting the giraffe exercise soon so i'll post some progress when i get some done.

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Hello class,

Just finished "It's A Pitch" and man was it! No way to post animations here darn it.

I could upload it to Yahoo but it would kill me storage. Oh well, its done.

 

Have a great weekend.

Doug

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:) Ty TC.

 

Only took me a rainy afternoon LOL. But if you could see it, he's really pretty smooth position to position. Uhh after I got his arms turned the right way that is :D

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My copy of AM arrived yesterday, and I've been working hard at the exercises ever since. I've just completed exercise 5 (the walk cycle), and am looking forward to doing the 'mid term' door exercise during the next few days.

 

First impressions of AM... mainly shock.

 

Having used some other apps, I was expecting a huge, heavy manual. 'The Art of AM seemed, at first glance, too lightweight and trivial. This false impression soon faded, and now I'm very impressed with the refreshing change from the usual 'manual' - you know the sort of thing. Page after page of 'This is the file menu. If you click save, it will save your file. If you click save-as, you can save the file with a different name. If you click exit, blah, blah, blah...ZZZzzzzzz' All the info you need, but in a form that makes it essential bedtime reading for insomniacs.

 

The Art of AM teaches me how to actually USE the program. Also, the little non-program specific sections teach the essentials of animation. I've done a fair bit of animating, but still learned something from these.

 

So far, the program still seems almost TOO easy. I look at my little rabbit doing his walk cycle around the screen and think, well, it's *OK*, but hardly earth-shaking.

 

To be honest, if a friend had purchased this program, set me down at his PC with the manual and let me play for an hour or two, I would have come away feeling that it was pretty much a lightweight program for kids. I already know that this is another false impression, because I've seen many of the little movies that people have produced with AM, and (in my humble opinion) the quality of their work rivals that of any big budget or special effects movie.

 

I have a lot to learn before I do anything significant with this program, but at least I know I have a tool that will do the job, once I learn to use it properly.

 

I'm specially looking forward to the modelling chapters. I have a long, long-standing ambition to create and animate my own characters. I've tried this in other apps and given up. In short, I don't know if I have the talent needed to create characters, but already I feel that if I can learn to do it at all, AM will be the program.

 

And now I'm off to start work on seeing if I can get Shaggy through that door!

 

Morph

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Welcome to the A:M Community Morphy,

 

That's quite an endorsement you've got there... If you are willing, I'd suggest you copy it over to the Call for User Testimonials section. I had to read the topic again just to make sure I wasn't in there as I read your post! :lol:

 

Glad to hear that you are having such a great experience with A:M.

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Thanks, Rodney.

 

Well, maybe this is just a honeymoon period and by next week I'll be cussing AM. But I doubt it.

 

Normally I'm hyper-critical about software, and I can only think of two or three programs that I've ever immediately liked as much as AM.

 

I can't wait to get to the modeling sections, because I've wanted to make and animate a humanoid figure for a long, long time. I've tried in other 'Big' apps, and always given up. I'm hopeful that AM will help me manage it (eventually).

 

It feels like a fresh start, because up to now I've always been a big fan of polys, so I'm wondering how I'll manage with splines.

 

Time will tell!

 

Morph

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Exercise 9 - The Door's Stuck - and so am I!!

 

Hi,

 

I'm trying to set up Shaggy with his hands on the door knob. As it says in the book, I'm trying to use the 'clench hands' sliders to make it look like his hand is holding the knob.

 

However, as soon as I move the slider even slightly, Shaggy's hand totally deforms, with his thumb sticking through the back of his hand and his other fingers mangled.

 

One this happens, there doesn't seem to be a way to fix it - moving the sliders makes things a lot worse, but doesn't get his hands back to where they were before.

 

Have other people had this problem, or is it just me?

 

Any ideas how to fix it?

 

Thanks!

 

Morph

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Mr. Morph,

 

There have been a few reports of problems with the pose sliders in Exercise 6: The door is stuck. I haven't been able to make the time to investigate myself though.

 

I think the problem lies in the differences in the newer/advanced (action) drivers in v11 but haven't been able to confirm. It is hard for me to suggest any definitive fix as I'm not currently running the exercise myself. I hope to do just that before long though...

 

As far as returning the hand to the original position... you should be able to delete the action created in the Project Work Space... look first for it as a Choreography action under the model's shortcut in the Choreography.

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I statred Exercise 11 Today, and heres what i've got so far.

Ex_11.JPG

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Thanks again, Rodney.

 

I think the problem just seems to be with Shaggy. Eventually I just deleted him from the scene and replaced him with Rabbit.

 

I've pretty much finished my 'Door is Stuck' exercise, and I'm pretty pleased with it. I just need to tidy up a few odds and ends (like one or two places where his feet drift through the floor.

 

I think it will take me a while to get used to the animation system. Most of my previous animations were done in Poser, where I enter numbers or twist dials to move limbs, rather than dragging them with a mouse.

 

Also, presumably because of the IK setup, in AM I sometimes find than when I try to drag a limb it makes a sudden and unexpected leap to another position.

 

Just teething problems, really. I still think this is a great program, and that I'm still only splashing around in the shallows.

 

I'm going to use the next hour or so to finish Exercise 9, then move on to 10 this evening.

 

Morph

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Morphy, I have trouble moving the bones sometimes without them twisting all spastic on me. So I click on the bone I want, hit the R key, then rotate it. This works better for me. If I do still mess up, undo is great :)

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Thanks, Rogue - that's a useful tip.

 

I've now finished ex. 6 (not 9, as in a previous message - I must have been thinking upside down or something) :)

 

Anyway, I got Rabbit through that door. Now it's time to move on to 7, and see if I can get Keekat to ask me if I can keep a secret...

 

Thanks again!

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This is just an attempt to upload a file, to see if I can do it... This is a toon render of my attempt at exercise 6

 

Morph

post-22-1088361438.gif

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Thanks, Rogue, but I managed to screw up the upload after all!!! This wasn't quite the final tweaked version. In this one, the ears don't flap very realistically, his foot sinks into the door frame a bit, and his shoulder gets pretty mangled at one point. I did manage to fix these.

 

Also, for some reason I don't understand, the gif plays a lot more slowly than the actual movie (the movie takes 5 seconds)

 

But it was fun. I definitely like this program. I'm not sure I'll ever totally quit Poser, but I can definitely see myself spending less and less time with Poser and more and more with AM.

 

Morph

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Aren't gif animations wonderful! :)

 

That is an outstanding way to complete an exercise!

 

Bravo!

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Thanks, Rodney!

 

Today I want to finish the lipsynch exercise, and then I can move into the modeling tutorials, which is what I've really been waiting for. I've only done some very basic modeling (and that was with polys), so I'm curious to see if I've got what it takes to make and animate my own AM models.

 

Morph

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KeeKat's Secret - I have another problem!

 

Hi,

 

I'm working on Exercise 7 (Can you say that), and as far as I can see, I'm doing everything just as instructed in the book and video.

 

But I must be missing something or doing something wrong... At the end of each phrase, Keekat's mouth is drifting open.

 

"I've got a secret" (mouth slowly drifts open)

"Can you keep a secret?" (ditto).

 

Is this something I need to fix using the motion curves or something?

 

Thanks!

 

Morph

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Maybe this isn't the place to ask (so feel free to move it) but ...

 

How does one convert these exercise to animated .gif's for posting here? That would be cool to know. Thanks.

 

Doug

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When you render your movie to .avi, you can drag the .avi into Microsoft Gif Animator and then export it as a .gif. Thats how to do it if your using a PC, there will probaly be a program like that for the Mac.

 

Nice work there Morphy.

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Thanks for the info re: Gif Animator TC !

 

Here's my attempt at It's A Pitch.

 

Cheers!

Doug

ItsAPitchmini.gif

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Exercise 9 - Flower Power.

 

I never did figure out how to stop Keekat's mouth drooping open between phrases, so I moved on to the next few exercises.

 

Any modeling I've done in the past started by taking a cube, doing lots of extrudes, and eventually subdividing it to make it smooth, so I've really been nervous about what it would be like to have to start using splines.

 

Actually this exercise was a nice gentle intro, and I found that it was really enjoyable and oddly relaxing. Anyway, here's my flower!

 

Oh, BTW, now that I've made a model, could someone please tell me how I can save it into my model library? Thanks!

 

 

(nice pitch, Doug!!)

 

Morph

post-22-1088450974.jpg

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RE: Create shortcut for model - In the view pull down make sure "Libraries" is selected. Now with your model open, right click in the model window. Look for 'Create shortcut in library. Once you do this it will be added to the current library selected.

 

Cool flower. Did you use duplicator? I tried this exercise many moons ago and couldn't get it to work right. Perhap it will work this time around. Keep on!

 

Doug

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Glad i could help, modernhorse.

Nice animation aswell.

 

And nice work with exercise 9 Morphy, keep it up.

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It's always a lot more fun when people do the exercises together!

...and you guys are almost in sync.

 

Thanks for helping each other through the rough spots.

That is what makes these exercises go so well.

 

Morphy,

I think you can get the mouth to cooperate if you change the action driver to linear.

This as opposed to slope, etc.

 

Look for it in the timeline once you've selected the action in the Project Work Space (PWS).

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Hey those look great! I had to use Opera to see them at the real speed. For some reason gifs run slow on my IE6. Keep it up! :)

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Hi, Guys.

 

Doug, thanks for the tip on how to get my models into the library.

Yeah, I used duplicator for the petals. It seemed a bit buggy, though. The first time, it put the petals on the wrong axis, even though I'm sure I'd selected the right one. (I mean, ALMOST sure... I mean... well, I MIGHT have been wrong... :D )

 

But I've also found that when I use the duplicator once, it won't open again until I've shut down the program and reloaded.

 

 

 

Rodney, thanks for the info about using linear for Keekat's slackjaw problem. In the final anim, it's not nearly so noticable, but it's nice to know how to fix it for future reference.

 

At the moment I'm working on the FW-190 fighter, but I've hit another problem...

 

On page 111, second para from botton, it says:

 

"...click on the part of the last spline ring. It will change color to show it is selected, then pick [edit] [compliment spline]"

 

I just can't get this. I've tried clicking on a control point on the last spline ring, and I've tried group selecting the whole thing, but I can't find an [edit][compliment spline] anywhere, either in the top menu or by right-clicking.

 

I can't resort to the video for help, because the tut for the fighter is way too big for me to download (slow internet connection, with a 2-hour auto-disconnect)

 

Help?

 

Thanks again!

 

Morph

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If you draw a bounding box round the whole spline, you're basically doing the same thing. If you only pick a part of the spline(part of the line goes green) you can either press "," or go up to Edit> Select Spline. The manual is obviously out of date in the name. :)

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Thanks, Ken.

 

yes, I ended up just selecting the whole spline right then doing a copy/paste, and it worked fine.

 

I'm having fun building my plane, but I have to admit that this is the first exercise where I sometime have problems figuring out exactly what the manual means. It's definitely going to take me a lot more than the 2 hours!!

 

But maybe sometime before bedtime today I'll have a completed plane to post :)

 

Morph

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lol Have fun! It'll come naturally soon enough. Indeed, you'll probably find yourself getting faster during that tutorial. :)

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lol Have fun! It'll come naturally soon enough. Indeed, you'll probably find yourself getting faster during that tutorial. :)

Hi, Ken.

 

Actually it's starting to drive me nuts and is reaching the point where it's no fun at all. For the last hour or so, I've been trying to make sense of the last paragraph on page 112 (starting the wheels).

 

I keep doing what I think is exactly what it says on the page, and getting weird results that are nothing like the illustrations.

 

I'm going to have a long coffee break, do something else for a while, and see if it makes more sense when I come back to it!

 

You're right about speeding up, though. I find I'm using keyboard shortcuts more and more.

 

Morph

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I'm going to have a long coffee break, do something else for a while, and see if it makes more sense when I come back to it!

Heya, Morphy. I was just gonna suggest this. I get frustrated alot (stupid lousy brain !!) and I have to just ... walk away. Then often i'll come back and it will work.

 

Anyhow, look at it this way, you're probably say 25% (insert your own percentage here)at this program than you were yesterday. I have to keep telling myself this when I get mad that i'm not moving as fast as I want to.

 

Looking forward to your plane. You've now moved way ahead of me. :P

 

Cheers.

Doug

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I had a (short) coffee break and took the manual with me. So far as I can see, I'm doing what it says, but I'm probably overlooking something basic...

 

Here's what happens...

 

When I try to do ANY of the lathes to make the plane's wheels, the lathe seems to be using the big green vertical axis in the modeling screen as its pivot.

 

Have I got this wrong? I draw a two point spline on the plane's tire (ie, well away from that big axis), and translate the pivot out slightly. I click one point in the spline to select it, and then lathe. Shouldn't this lathe around the spline's pivot?

 

Again, I have a circular closed spline as a cross-section of tire. I move the pivot to where the centre of the tire should be, then rotate the pivot as described on page 113. At this stage my setup resembles figure 4 *exactly*, including the orientation of the pivot. I press lathe, but instead of getting a nice tire as in figure 5, I get a horrible (flat) mess that extends the full width of the plane from one wheel to another because, again, lathe has operated round the big vertical axis of the modeling window, not the pivot of the spline.

 

Is there some setting somewhere I need to change to get this to work? Is it some Global/Local coordinate thing?

 

Any help would be much appreciated!

 

Morph

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I'M AN IDIOT!!!!

 

I worked it out, and I *wasn't* following the manual's instruction properly after all.

(It was to do with the shift click.)

 

Anyway, I learned something useful!

 

Mid you, it never fails... I can spend hours trying to figure something out, and within minutes of posting a long, boring plea for help, I suddenly see what I was doing wrong...

 

Sigh...

 

Oh well. Back to those darn wheels... :D

 

Morph

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