Dylly - all messages by user

2017/4/19 16:32:29
WHERE ARE YOU? I'm here!

No down here! I'm still loafing around between Lincolnshire and bobbing around on a boat on The Norfolk Broads. Well not so much 'bobbing' as 'sanding, varnishing and restoring'. It's amazing where Muvizu can take you. An interest in making models for Muvizu to make films got me working with 3D and 'building things' which in turn gave me a better understanding of design and construction which was useful in teaching myself woodwork so I could do the work on my boat myself which lead to making films about restoring my boat which has lead back into Muvizu to animate various sections of the films I'm making.

I do pop in from time to time, but until I've finished this restoration my time is severely limited. Almost done...mind I say that every year but there's always one more bit I need to replace. Thankfully my brother in law has become a boating fanatic and has joined the team so things should start moving quicker now!

All the best to everyone
Tim AKA Dylly!
2016/1/6 10:06:59
Sketchup to Muvizu Texture is sadly where SketchUp is lacking. Unfortunately I deleted my collection of SketchUp plugins but have a look around for one entitled something like 'texture export'. This little exporter not only exports your model as .ase but also exports all of the textures you have placed on it into the same folder.

At the end of the day you will find you have to move on to software that will allow you to UVW unwrap your model and then you can create models with integral textures which make use of quite a number of different kinds of mapping such as Ambient Occlusion to get those lovely shadows on your models textures. Free software route you would use Blender. As I find Blender particularly over complex I would recommend modelling in SketchUp and then learn to UVW unwrap and texture in Blender as a starting point, before transferring to making all of your models and props in Blender.

My personal preference for modelling software is 3Ds Max but this is expensive. Together with Maya these seem to be the 'industry standard' applications. There are free educational licenses available for both 3Ds Max and Maya.

When I started this thread and my first attempts at making models for use in Muvizu I didn't realise just what a rabbit hole Muvizu had lead me down and how enjoyable, time consuming, rewarding, frustrating and never ending the ancillary skills to animating with Muvizu could be.

Just for reference my current suite of programmes for modelling and the modelling process I use is as follows:
Old fashioned notebook with squared paper for jotting down thoughts and rough designs in pencil.
3Ds Max for modelling and UVW Unwrapping in conjunction with the original plans in a notebook to record measurements.
Depending on the model I will either make a high and low poly version for Normal Mapping Extra modelled detail or move straight onto rendering and texturing if it is a simple low poly prop.
3Ds Max for rendering out AO Maps, Cavity Maps, Wear Maps etc as a starting point for texturing.
Gimp with the Gimp Painter Plug In to paint textures. (I do have Photoshop but learned quite quickly that algorithms for certain functions are better quality in Gimp).
3Ds Max to apply textures.

Some things I wish I had known about when I first started:
Learn to model in quads, four sided shapes, with the occasional use of a triangle if there is no other way to build the model.
Keep an eye on the number of polygons you use and keep it as low as you can remembering that when you convert to mesh to import into Muvizu that count will double.
Avoid N-gons or multi sided shapes.
Always remember 'KISS' or Keep It Simple Stupid.
Plan your collision from the concept stage.
Make your sets all in one process. Model First and note dimensions setting etc. UVW Unwrap everything in the next stage, and then texture all in one stage. This stops you making small changes to your processes as you go along and keeps your sets uniform in shape and colour.
Try to avoid the 'discovery of a new plug in' midpoint through building a set.
Build a catalogue of textures you use regularly and keep it safe.
Model and build exactly what you need for a shot. It's pointless building an entire city if all you need is a shot of two walls of a living room in one house.
Try to remember that prop building is just a single part of making your animation and work from a script, and use a storyboard to plan your shots and act as the base for your model.
2015/11/30 8:26:12
Anime Studio Pro 11 sale til Dec 1st Don't forget guys that most if not all of the features that 2D animation packages offer can be done for free with GIMP and the GIMP animation plugin GAP which is also extremely useful for sorting through and editing those TARGA files.

I currently use GAP 2.6 available HERE with GIMP 2.8. I recently took a look at GIMP 2.9 (unstable) to see what will be coming along with GIMP 2.10 (stable). Very impressed with the new engine!
2015/11/11 17:34:18
Batten Down The Hatches Batten down the hatches in Muvizu land! Weather report just said Storm Abigail was due to a lot of hot air in the west of Scotland...come on, own up who was it?
2015/10/7 20:30:12
WINE on a Mac Two bottles of Rioja last night and despite the odd hiccough I still managed to do a spot of animation! Buddies
2015/9/30 4:29:13
did you know..... Have attempted combining flies with fire effect...resulting in use of soundtrack by Jerry Lee lewis & a trip to casualty!
2015/9/11 9:26:21
Can't keep this old animator down! Give us an update Big Wally? How are you doing?
2015/9/9 9:13:48
Modelling Best Practise ZUHQ "Wax on...Wax off!" Ah Sensei I'm in about 5 tutorials and things are starting to make sense. It may be a combination of the Sensei UI being more logical to use and the chap doing the Sensei tutorials is a very good teacher...but it does demystify and declutter the scatological Blender immensely. Could we be seeing the dawn of a new era for Dylly's PC...with Muvizu and Windows 7 being sole proprietary software? What's that I here you whisper? Linux? What's that about then?
2015/9/9 0:41:58
Modelling Best Practise ZUHQ I have to admit I don't like the corporates when it comes to software. I use Openoffice, Photoshop got kicked into touch years ago...but Blender I'm afraid is a step too far for me. It may have changed in the last two years but an hour with Blender is like swimming through a sea of spaghetti trying to unravel the knots hoping beyond hope that I find a strand that will lead me from A to B without having to open another tin of spaghetti to find the particular strand that's still in development and will change the face of free 3D modelling, but its not here yet... there may be a workaround on the youtube, but may arrive soon. After weeks of trying to get my head around Blender I took the drastic but satisfying step of taking my PC outside and putting a UK size 12 through it...the MD didn't like that one bit.

I may take another look, you may have twisted my arm...although if the UI is anything like I remember, its delete time! I don't think I can afford the therapy I will require from a close association with Blender...and Lamb will have to provide tea, sympathy and paracetamols!
2015/9/8 21:59:18
Modelling Best Practise ZUHQ I'm thinking of having a go at building my own custom PC...saving up for the right bits and pieces...but its one of those projects where I know nothing about it at all. I want a machine that will run Max, 3D coat or mudbox, whichever I settle on, and my Muvizu with extreme ease. I have started on my custom work station though...well got as far as purchasing the timber. My current desk has a bit of history to it...it used to belong to Douglas Bader the WW2 fighter pilot, but its not suitable for modern PC work...its too tall and I end up with shoulder ache after a few hours. I'm currently designing a new desk with built in light box set into the surface, my graphics tablet and keyboard set into the surface and space for all of the cables, additional storage drives etc to be hidden out of the way.

Back to the polycount...the spline built version of the model comes in at around half the polycount of the extruded version so far!
2015/9/8 20:09:13
Modelling Best Practise ZUHQ Now then my young lamb What you a doing of?

Just in case you are a little confused about my usual greeting to you...I'm just showing my age! Of course this is what Earnest the Policeman would say to Larry the Lamb in the Adventures of Toytown. I had a little reminisce and watched the following episode...chortling at the double entendre contained in an episode made way before political correctness was invented.

I like the Tales of Nalestone Tutorials. I'm seriously thinking of purchasing 3D coat...however the trial version I've just downloaded seems to go weird on my lappy...probably not enough power to run it?

I've gone for my usual approach of topology first. Although it means a higher poly count, about 1800 faces in that one section, it makes for a more interesting asset. I shall keep trying to reduce that count though as it seems to be around half of the count for the whole scene...and I need multiple copies of the model in the scene. I might try knocking something up from splines and see if this will give me the 'smoothness' I need in the curves yet keep the polycount more manageable. Although I seem to have a need to connect all of the vertices to keep my topology smooth...maybe I'm being over fussy?

Edited to add: Going back to Larry the Lamb...Just goes to show that 'Low Poly characters were around before the software to create them!
edited by Dylly on 08/09/2015
2015/9/7 14:22:46
Modelling Best Practise ZUHQ A question for the modellers out there and of course at ZUHQ.

I'm currently modelling a gable end which contains a round window and frame. Now the simplest method of construction is the 'ol Boolean subtraction. However my personal preference is for using a subdivision method, more stable, better topology although polygon intensive.

I suppose the real question is how important is topology in creating Muvizu assets?

Edited to add...just realised that Muvizu HQ in the Norfolk dialect comes out as Zoo 'aich Coo!
edited by Dylly on 07/09/2015
2015/8/31 11:00:01
is there a set of scaled reference models...? Scale took me quite a while to crack. It didn't help that at one point there was a difference in scale between Muvizu Standard and Muvizu Play+. There's also the question of the 'Unreal Unit' which alters with each new release. Currently, and to the best of my knowledge, there are approximately 15.3 Unreal Units to the foot and 50.3 Unreal Units to the meter.

Before I go any further could I point out a number of strokes have left me unable to count the change in my own pocket. A recent trip to a lumber yard to buy several hundred 'feet' of mahogany for my boat (expensive) and boats are built using the Imperial Measurement system, resulted in the salesman explaining 'they only sold wood in meters'. I replied 'I only buy in feet' and went to the yard next door to spend my couple of grand.

These days I use 3Ds Max for my modelling having spent years trying to get my head around various packages and modelling 'rules' or should I say conventions. I finally realised the importance of modelling in quads, hence ditching dear old SketchUp, and settled on a rough scale of my own.

I set Max up to centimeters as the unit measurement and equate 1 unreal unit to 1 cm. So far so good, but this helps in no way with scaling for Muvizu which seems to have a scale all of its own. You only have to look at the proportions of the different characters to see what I mean. Sinister is so much taller than any other character, yet when he sits down...he sits to the same proportion.

I tend to use 'character volumes' when modelling as an initial guide. For example Sinister occupies roughly, approximately, there abouts, an area equal to a box that is 70cm x 70cm x 270cm. This is the area covered by his stance...feet spread. By all means I'm willing to share my 'toolkit' just message me and I will email you a copy. However if you were to make your own measure for use in Muvizu I think it would give you a better 'feel' for the scale. Set your modelling software to 'cms' and make two boxes around 400cm tall divided into 10cm gradations. Texture the thing so you can read the scale and then import it into Muvizu. This will give you an idea of how the units in your modelling software correlate to Muvizu.

So back to the volumes...making a hat for Sinister it will sit on a plane of 70cm x 70cm in my modelling software. I then import it into Muvizu and adjust the scale to fit. Read off the scale...then email my Father in Law to do the math for me, this bit of course is optional and although Phillip is an amiable chap I do have to help with mowing lawns and cutting grass in return for the calculation assistance...and then adjust the scale of my model in the modelling program to suit.

The old fashioned pencil and notebook (squared paper) is often employed to jot down certain measurements. For example I model Muvizu chairs from a cube measuring 46cm.

The thing that has fascinated me regarding Muvizu is just how it prompts you to develop skills in other areas, such as modelling, graphic design etc. Whilst struggling with a particular model I was making two years back I noticed that my local university ran a degree course on computer game modelling and 3D animation. So I gave them a ring to see if they could help and whether it would be interesting to actually take the course as a (very) mature student. I was quite taken aback when they replied 'Oh that's a bit too advanced for a degree course. Have you ever thought of teaching?".

As I slip into my dotage I'm looking forward to reading the article in The Times, after I've checked the obituaries to make sure I'm not dead, where the likes of MrDrWho13 have won the animation Oscar and I can tell the care staff 'I met him once you know' before they spoon the rest of the liquidized smoked haddock into my cakehole to stop my senile ramblings. You never know!
2015/8/28 10:20:23
is there a set of scaled reference models...? As Ziggy says 'been asked for but no news yet'. But in the meantime here is how I get around problems of scale within Muvizu.

I built my own tool kit as props for Muvizu all scaled to my preferred measurement units of my modelling application. The measure in the image is one of the tools I use the most along with a protractor for measuring angles.

Dreeko made a tutorial on importing floorplans to work from as a guide to set building, but as Ziggy says it's pretty much trial and error but my little prop tool kit does help me to nail things a little more accurately.

Edited to add:

Whilst modelling my High Poly models I use a set of Muvizu Character 'volumes'. The coloured boxes in the image below represent the area taken up by each Muvizu character. This gives me a handy guide for things like door clearances etc and to scale 'by eye' for props in a scene.

edited by Dylly on 28/08/2015
2015/8/25 17:34:16
4/8/15 Release Bugs Jamie1 wrote:

It's available now, what are you waiting for? Big Grin

The 'make, multi million pound earning, academy award winning, animation extravaganza instantly button' ! Eat popcorn
2015/8/22 21:51:59
Audio issue Hi Scott,

I occasionally had conflicts with different types of audio within Muvizu. Some file formats seemed to work better than others. While not being able to help with your specific problem I can tell you how I adapted the way I work with sound to get the best quality I could.

First thing buy a damned good microphone for recording your voice. I use a Samson Meteor and put the microphone on a stand...a proper stand not the small types that sit on your desk as the mike will pick up the rumble of your computer. Then record your voice through the mike using audacity and import the file into Muvizu.

I only use the voice track in Muvizu itself. Everything else, music, sound effects etc and the original voice recording are all then mixed together on separate tracks in Audacity. When mixing I use a good set of speakers not headphones and I also check the sound through the bog standard speakers on the PC...most folks won't have top notch speakers when watching the animations...just to make sure everything is really clear no matter what speaker system people are using. I also stick to using MP3 for sound files in Muvizu but WAV for everything else in audacity.

To be honest designing and mixing the sound on a finished animation is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process.
edited by Dylly on 23/08/2015
2015/8/22 19:05:17
Loser ( 3d animated short ). Classic! fantastic animation!
2015/8/22 19:03:52
Asset File Structure Currently working on a new set design, and although a long way off at the moment, I'm putting some thought into 'packaging' the final model set for use in Muvizu. Have we come up with a commonly used protocol yet as to how models and textures etc for use in Muvizu should be packaged?

I know when I was making products for Poser/Renderosity etc there was a standard convention to the file structure. Just wondered if we had come up with one for Muvizu yet?
2015/8/22 7:35:00
Can't keep this old animator down! Get well soon damn it and get back to galloping over the hill of senility shouting 'Yipee' with the rest of us!Uncle Sam
2015/8/21 8:19:07
Windows 10 Update Issue HELP! MuvizuPlay+. I have problems with my windows. The beagles sit on the window sill and dribble on them. I solved the problem by rebooting the beagles off the window sill and running an application of Wilkinson's Window Cleaner 3.0 and wiping windows with microfibre cloth 2.0 and a final debugging with clean bog roll 1.0.

As for Windows 10... I had to be led into a cool dark room when I was forced away from my beloved Windows XP to Windows 7. Having faced the nightmare that was windows 8 on the father in law's laptop I'm giving Windows 10 a miss.
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