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Old 06-11-2002, 07:51 PM   #1
robinmthomas
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Default The Animation Process - When Do You Use What?

First of - What a great forum!! As you can see by my # of posts, I the new kid on the block which is different from being one of the "New Kids on the Block" <---The older crowd will get this one

Anyway, the responses are great. I have participated in a variety of forums and it seems like there are always tools and flammers to slam you down -- I haven't had a bad experience with this one yet.

After asking a number of questions and get a lot of answers, I am little confused about the animation process as a whole and where all the programs fit in.

Once you have planned out the storey and drawn your actors/objects and it is time to move into the CG world, what is the correct process.

Can you please correct my assumptions and also provided programs which fit in each category.

1. Use a 3D modeling program to transfer your ideas on paper into 3D models
--- This might be Maya, Poser, 3DS Max

2. Import the models into your animation program to animate the models and to create the scene
--- This might be Maya, 3DS Max, Lightwave

3. Export the animation to a renderer.
--- This might be Renderman, MentalRay, etc.

Which programs do all three? and more importantly, which programs do all 3 (especially step 3) really well.

Where do you add your audio? What programs do you use to combine audio and animation?

Does this posting make sense? I originally thought that programs like Maya were it (modeling, animation, rendering) but I found out that they don't all do everything

And buying Maya is only half the battle - You still have to buy a render....

What else is needed to go from concept to post-production format (i.e. DVD/WMV/AVI)?



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Old 06-11-2002, 07:59 PM   #2
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Hmm ... actually, with Maya you´re pretty much on the way and you can finish an animation of production quality with Maya alone. However, you could try getting a renderer and with Mental Ray being a freebie to Maya 4.5 users it´ll be quite a lot easier.

You could try using yourself a bunch of programs but, not one of them has a magic button that says "great animation", that´ll have to be yours and as such if you use Maya at a certainly more advanced level, yoú won´t pretty much need anything else. (perhaps a composer though)

My workflow would be this one:
-Create a storyboard, plan out everything first.
-Create the models in Maya
-Texture (or shade them)
-Rig the models
-Prepare the scene (Lights and such)
-Animate the models
-Render (perhaps MRay?)
-Compose

This workflow itself is guaranteed to keep you busy for months if you intend on doing more than one minute.
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Old 06-11-2002, 08:03 PM   #3
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MentalRay for Maya will be soon free for us Mayaers, so you could do 1. 2. and 3. in Maya. More info here: http://www.aliaswavefront.com/en/pro...entalray.shtml

The renderings should be done in passes. That is you render every aspect like color, highlight, lights, etc passes into separate image sequences. After that you combine them in a compositing software like Adobe AfterEffects. This way you have some control over the final result so you don't have to render everything all over again.

After that you could use an editing program like Adobe Premiere to do the final cut for the animation. This is where you add the sound too. You could do this step in a compositing software too, but it's easier to do it in a sophisticated editing sw.
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Old 06-11-2002, 08:05 PM   #4
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hehe adl, you won me by 4 minutes...damn
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Old 06-11-2002, 08:07 PM   #5
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Originally posted by kbrown
hehe adl, you won me by 4 minutes...damn
Hehehe!
However, both replies complement themselves perfectly.
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Old 06-11-2002, 08:38 PM   #6
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That is you render every aspect like color, highlight, lights, etc passes into separate image sequences. After that you combine them in a compositing software like Adobe AfterEffects
I don't understand this - Can you explain? Or point me to a tutorial?


It sounds like for any given frame you will have mulitple pictures and then use stack them (or somehow combine them) on top of each other to create 1 single frame in AfterFX.
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Old 06-11-2002, 08:48 PM   #7
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Yes exactly like that ..

There´s some great info around this thread
Also try out Jeremy Birn´s 3DRender.com excellent resource on rendering in passes.

(and remember, there´s a search feature on the forum, use it since I found lots of threads with rendering and compositing in layers tips)
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Old 07-11-2002, 03:55 PM   #8
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ahhh the wonderful world of matting and keying
you can take different layers of images (reflection, diffuse, ambient, shadow etc) and put them ontop of each other and it would create the final image/animation, this is called layering and matting i believe
its like with a green screen in films, you have a character on greenscreen, and you want to put that character into a CG environment, easy. Take the live action plate, key (removing but keyframed cos its an animation) out the green put this live layer ONTOP of a layer which has your backdrop and there we go all the green is removed to show just the character jumping about on a CG background
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Old 07-11-2002, 06:53 PM   #9
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After doing some research, I stumbled onto this tutorial about rendering in passes.

http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/tut...es_layers.html
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