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Thread: Get learning Anim8or!

  1. #1526
    Voice Actor
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: South Korea
    Quote Originally Posted by Ottoj55 View Post
    don't use anim8or's texture tool, its crap. use lith unwrap and make proper texture maps.
    I think it depends on the complexity and purpose of the project. Anim8or is slow going compared to Blender, and version 0.95's UV tool is less capable but also less buggy than version 0.97. Also, Anim8or can render bizarre shadow artifacts when more than 3 lights are casting shadows in a complex scene. But Anim8or is easy to use, and the principles you learn can be useful if you decide to move on to a professional-grade tool like Blender. I spent months back in 2006 trying to learn Blender, and got pretty good with the meshes, including joins and welds. But the textures never worked for me; I tried to follow the tutorials and never got the advertised results, so I went back to Anim8or.

    Obviously, I had a lot of help when I was starting out. Yandros and others encouraged many of us to try Anim8or starting in 2004. Targa taught me to make an object from Anim8or into a BIN file in 2005, though I don't remember how anymore. Lazarus taught me about video editing in 2006. It was fun to learn and I still apply the modeling and video skills now and then.

    Some years ago, I created the outro video (drone destroyed and the aftermath) for Privateer Gemini Gold as a 1280x720x30 AVI, using a variety of tools to make the textures, Anim8or to "shoot" each scene, and Adobe Premiere for post-production editing. Each scene was 5 to 14 seconds of finished video and took all night to render, which definitely made my pace myself toward the end. But it worked, despite the"improper" texture mapping. Compared to that, the classic T1/T2 style videos I made for a couple of FMs were simple.

    This past spring, I used Amin8or to model the interior of a large 2-story building that was still being built, including furniture and decorations, and then made walk-through videos, so a 3-star general and a couple of 1-star generals (including my boss' boss) could see how the place would look. That took a couple of weekends. The architects should have done it, but this was a government building so, lowest bidder and all that. The generals liked the result, so it was worth the work and a lot more fun than other work I might have been doing.

    So anyway, I agree that Anim8or's UV tools aren't as efficient, but they do work. What inadequacies do they create in, say, a finished BIN file?

  2. #1527
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    It won't do any harm to the bin file, so the method you use is a matter of preference. I used to use Anim8or's tools, and when they weren't sufficient, I'd use LithUnwrap. That program can show the texture in the background, and can show you a 3d model preview. Some people have suggested UVMapper, but since Anim8or now has basic UVMapping (cylindrical etc), it seems futile.

    A while ago I switched to Blender for two reasons:
    1. I've been making objects for another games, which uses .dds textures. I started using Anim8or but it became tiresome to have to make jpg versions and then swap them after exporting.
    2. UVMapping is very good, and once you get used to it, it becomes quite easy.

    I first looked at Blender version 2.49, but the interface seemed broken, so I removed it. Then I tried 2.5x, which has a new interface, and after watching some video tutorials, I found it quite easy to use.

  3. #1528
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: United Kingdom
    You know what I really love about Anim8or?

    1 unit is the same in Anim8or as it is in Dromed which means you can make model versions of bsp brushes at the same size as they are in Dromed without worrying about scale.

    Is this the same with other modeling programs?

  4. #1529
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Between dreams and shadows...
    In lightwave, 1 metre is 1 dromed unit, which makes life pretty easy.

  5. #1530
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    It's the same with Blender. I've been using that for a while now, mainly for things for my rFactor track, but I've made a few thief objects too. Units don't mean much to programs. Vertex coordinates are just numbers, and it's up to each program to decide how to interpret them, and there's no reason for 1.5 to be read as anything other than 1.5. In rFactor the basic unit is a metre, whereas in Thief it's a foot, but in neither case does one have to rescale an object.

    Although I barely use Anim8or nowadays, I think the simplicity of the interface is a good thing. A fancy interface can make a program look hard to use, which can put people off. Of course in truth a simple object is easy to make in any decent program, but first impressions are important.
    Last edited by R Soul; 15th Sep 2011 at 09:19.

  6. #1531
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    3dsMax lets you choose unit scale. So it can get complicated using different engines. Some engines are metric, some standard, some just accept 'generic' units which is also a choice.

  7. #1532
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    I'm really desperate!

    I want to rotate this torch "newt02.bin" and save again!



    Its from the "enhancement pack"!

    Than it should looks like this:



    i thought i ve to use this option to do that....?



    But after convert back to ".bin" the torch is blinking in game (thief gold) to both sides....what did i do wrong?

    I want to do that because i want to use the new torch for thief gold! And the original torch ".bin" in TG shows to the other side...

    i hope you understand what i mean
    Last edited by Gecko; 15th Oct 2012 at 10:10.

  8. #1533
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    The torch cycles through several models. Have a look at its Tweq > Models property. Each model has a slightly different flame shape, so the cycling creates the illusion of movement.

  9. #1534
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    Ah, okay! Thank you R Soul.

    i have no idea what i've to do. Is it difficult to fix that problem?

  10. #1535
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    There are 6 torch models and you must change them all.

  11. #1536
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Germany
    Ha! Of course ... thx!!!

  12. #1537
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2009
    Location: 22 Jump Street: Jump Harder
    Stupid question, but has anyone ever used Blender in FM building? Anim8or is pretty good for what it is, but I think Blender is far in a way more evolved. And it might have better texturing capability, from what I've seen.

    Just saying that it's a good alternative, is all. It's only 10-15MB larger, for starters. And all other sorts of things... Plus the fact that I know how to use it better.

  13. #1538
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    I've been using Blender for quite a while. It can export as 3ds, but there's also a plugin to allow direct exporting: http://sourceforge.net/projects/darkexporter/

  14. #1539
    Vertical Contest Winner 2009
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: The Great White North
    or, like i did, you can stop the model tweak and use a single model for the torch, relying on a particle effect flame rather than that crappy model flame thing.

  15. #1540
    NewDark 64 Contest Winner
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Location: Locked Inside Dromed
    Quote Originally Posted by R Soul View Post
    I've been using Blender for quite a while. It can export as 3ds, but there's also a plugin to allow direct exporting: http://sourceforge.net/projects/darkexporter/
    I was having trouble with Blender. I've never been able to actually export anything using Dark Exporter. I select .bin as the export type, and choose where to save it, but it never creates the .bin file in the directory. Did I forget to mount part of the add-on?

    And if I export as .3ds I can't get the textures to actually show up when I use 3ds->bin. I have the Dark GFX Converter script mounted as well, but not sure what to do with it.

    Is there a better readme at all for the darkexporter?

  16. #1541
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    Quote Originally Posted by R Soul View Post
    I've been using Blender for quite a while. It can export as 3ds, but there's also a plugin to allow direct exporting: http://sourceforge.net/projects/darkexporter/
    Someone who knows about Blender should start a "Get Learning Blender" tutorial thread. Hint, hint.

  17. #1542
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Hooker Dinosaurs
    I could copy and paste the tutorial I did for the TDM guys awhile back. It'd be a good excuse for me to finish it, too.

  18. #1543
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2008
    Location: Finland
    I got one quick question:
    How does one mirror one face in Anim8or? I'm trying to make flat surface that is rendered and has texture on both sides. For now it has texture only on one side.

  19. #1544
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    If you want a two sided texture, just check the box in the Material Editor and then define the texture for the other side.

    If you want to flip the normals on a face, select the face and Edit>Flip Normals is the menu for you.

    If you want to have a thin wall, you don't want to mirror a face, you want to duplicate it, offset it, and then flip the normals.

  20. #1545
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2008
    Location: Finland
    yea i knew it would be something as simple as that

    thanks

  21. #1546
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: LosAngeles: Between Amusements
    I recently had to reduce the polys of a mesh I was building and after cursing myself for making the model too detailed for Thief, I remembered that I had downloaded a couple of Anim8or scripts a year or so back, and in those scripts was a poly reducer.

    In case there are Anim8or users out there who are unaware of Animator scripts and their power to extend Anim8or, you should look here for a complete list. Lots of cool stuff there!!

    If you want to write your own Anim8or scripts, the language guide is found here.

    But back to the subject of poly reducing. What you'll need is one main script -- Poly Reducer (Reduce Triangles) by Kubajzz -- and (possibly) two helper scripts: Triangulation plugin by Claude and Un-triangulation plugin by NickE.

    The Poly Reducer takes a selected triangulated mesh and reduces the number of poly by a percent. To quote Kubajzz:

    Create an attribute called "reducer" to specify the amount of reduction in percent. The default value is 25, you can enter anything between 1 (slight reduction) and 95 (maximum reduction).

    Although I tried hard to optimize the algorithm, this script works very slow, it takes about 5-10 minutes to reduce a 1000 poly mesh... If you work with very complex models (3000+ polys), the script execution will probably take too long and I recommend using an external tool. You can abort the script during the execution by creating an attribute called "stop".

    The script saves the materials and UV coordinates, but you'll probably have to redo the texturing anyway since the script changes the whole structure of your mesh.

    Ok, that's all you need to know The script file and demo image are attached below.
    To create an "attribute" use the top menu: Object>Attibutes... to bring up a pop-up window. Then just select New and name your attribute reducer. The data type needed is Int.

    If your mesh is not triangulated, use the Triangulation plugin first. If you want a quad mesh instead of a triangulated one, use the Un-triangulation plugin when you are all done.

    You can watch the Poly Reducer script running (if you like watching grass grow, this should prove fascinating) in the Anim8or Debug Output window. It outputs a little period symbol (.) every now and then as it grinds through the mesh. Not fast, but it seems to do a very thorough job which results in reasonable reduced poly meshes.

    If you have a very complex shape, my suggestion is to cut out targeted sections of your mesh and reduce them individually, sewing them back together after.

    Have fun!


    Bonus Thought: There is a motion capture file (BVH) converter script by NickE which, might be useful to the motion editor folk to point a way to convert BHV files into Thief motions ... maybe.
    Last edited by LarryG; 22nd Aug 2013 at 19:54.

  22. #1547
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Drinking baby lemonade!
    Resurrecting this glorious old thread to ask a question. I'm simply trying to import three existing models into Anim8or so I can position them and export as a single object. Two of them use multiple textures, though, and when I import either of them, the UV Mapping changes to use all one texture, even though I have three materials created, one for each, and all three get brought into the object's materials list when I import it. Is there any way to preserve the texturing so I don't have to redo it? Cause I totally suck at that part of Anim8or.

    I should have mentioned that all three models were converted to 3ds using 3ds2bin, and gave no errors during that process. They also look fine on import aside from the texture mapping.

  23. #1548
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    Sometimes that just happens, but reassigning materials is easy. Go into edit mode, right click on each face, middle click to deselect, select the material and click on Apply. It's not possible to suck at that. If the object is complicated that has nothing to do wit suckery.

  24. #1549
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Drinking baby lemonade!
    I've done that to the easy faces already. But there are many-faced cords wrapping around one of the objects which I'm not sure I can do properly. But sounds like this just happens and I'm stuck making the best go of it I can.


    Edit:
    Ok, it wasn't as hard as I feared. I guess the mapping was mostly preserved, so just selecting the right faces and reapplying the original texture worked in most cases. I had to manually retexture part of one object, and while it's not as good as the original, it should be passable. Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by Yandros; 27th Jan 2015 at 12:54.

  25. #1550
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: United Kingdom
    Over 10 years later...

    Still using good old Anim8or for all my modelling needs.

    These days, I'm making models for my Visual Basic programs.

    Here's a couple that I'm rather proud of...





    I have a big .zip file of all the models I've created with Anim8or and it's huge! There's thousands of files in it!

    As for Thief models, since this thread began, I have over 800 .bin files in my Obj folder!

    Here's a couple of my most recent Thief models...





    Not only do I use Anim8or for modelling, I also use it for making textures, and resizing images. For example, I might take a 640x480 image, create a 640x480 cube, detach a face, apply the image to that as a texture, then I render the plane at the size I want.

    Also, I have a little tip for you...

    When I want to UV map a face, I detach the face, center it, then go to "View" and choose "Frame Selected" then I UV map it, select it, and then change it's coordinates to 0,0,0 which will place it back exactly where it was when I detached it.

    I've never really been unhappy with Anim8or. I have tried other modelling programs of course, but they wasn't for me. I just love Anim8or so much!

    Thanks Steve!

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