View Full Version : Making a Animated Film

The Third Man
11-14-2003, 12:37 PM
Im going to start making a animated film soon, got the story and started storyboarding.

But I need some guidance.

1, Im running a Athlon 2000 with 1 gig ram, and 3dlabs 560VP. which is ok, but the render time is pretty slow, especially with the quality I want. What would be good to increase the render times, apart from getting a render card.

2, What software (along with Lightwave of course :P ) should I use, i was thinking of using the following

Poser - Facial and Body
Problem is I need to do Samuria in full battle armour, will this be adaquate?

Bryce 3D - Distant terrains.
But whats Vue e'spirt (or how ever you spell it) like?

I may also be able to use Maya, but never used it before so abit :S

I need to generate Snow, Falling Snow, Japanese Buildings (but not many) a City, seen from the back seat of a car.. A close up of a eye... Dripping Blood.

I will be using Reason 2.0 with a professional sound studio (confetti nottingham) to produce the sound.

Anything I should be aiming for, or trying to use to get the best possible effect for my film

Estimated running time is 5-15 minutes.

11-14-2003, 06:04 PM
All of the things you are describing for your film can be achieved with Lightwave (maybe I'm biased). As far as the render times go, there are things you can do to help cut down on them. Building objects that are not too polygon-heavy (especially if not seen up close). Rendering your forground and backgrounds separately can save a ton of time, especially if the backgrounds are stills. Thinking of shots as composites rather than rendering them totally in 3d can save a lot of time, and give you more flexibility later on. You wouldn't want to be rendering a full 3d landscape every frame if it is going to be a static shot.

Like I said, all of the things you want to achieve can be done with Lightwave (falling snow, terrains, characters). I don't know that using the other software programs you described would give you any 'better' results (except maybe if you know those programs better than Lightwave).

11-14-2003, 08:26 PM
I agree with Axis. I have found Poser to be so different in its way of working that the time wasted would have been better spent mastering Lightwave--both from the point of view of final quality, and my employability. Lightwave is much more direct and malleable, and the animation controls in Poser are ludicrous, involving a very old fashioned, tedious exposure sheet. Poser might be useful just for quickly importing figures into LW, but those figures take a lot of work to customize.
Vue d'Esprit will not let you export detailed terrains or vegetation to Lightwave. For that, you have to buy the overpriced "Pro" version. Vue has its own odd, pointillistic look to its renders, and only imports LW5 objects, rather an inconvenience. Scenes you render in Vue are not going to match scenes done in Lightwave. Vue's animation controls are even more laughable, and it has a bug --on the Mac--it won't export a Quicktime movie. (Also on the Mac it is quite unstable).
There are a few people who do fantastic (still image) work with these programs, and they deserve a mighty hurrah, but it doubles my production time to fool around with them.
You'd be much further along making a complete scene-by-scene storyboard with Lightwave, then getting reactions to it from other people, and from someone with experience if possible.

11-14-2003, 10:59 PM
i was wondering, since i am fairly new to 3d, is if poser is exactly what it sounds like, does it just create the model for you after you check a few boxes or something like that?

3rd man: the movie sounds very interesting, will you be posting it in the WIP or finished sections?

11-14-2003, 11:57 PM
Hello Orson!

If you`ve never used MAYA before I can`t recommend strongly enough that you do not try to learn it during production of this complicated project. It has a monstrous learning curve and you won`t become comfortable with it in under a year of constant use.

Best of luck with the anim. I too am making one, slowly, slowly in my free time. Nothing much to show yet, though.



The Third Man
11-15-2003, 04:55 AM
The Production will have alot of static backgrounds.. thats why I was going to use Bryce because it can produce them quickly and with good enough effects.

I wont use poser now, but I will focus on Lightwave. (Poser is just a program where you say you want hair here, and female body so high and so fat, and change the facial expression with sliders)

I will try to post my progress on here but as its just me I dont think i will progress quickly :( But if i put my mind to it im sure ill be ok

Im not looking forward to doing a Samurai is complete 3D in full battle armour.. But i only need to do one and then just duplicate him and change the colour of his armour and hight for the other soldiers :)

11-15-2003, 06:00 AM

I'm a Vue Pro user and have some input for anyone who cares:

I'm still experimenting with this, but it seems that terrains from Vue make poor renders in LightWave unless you export them in pieces or view them from afar. There are also some annoying bugs in the export module in Vue - hopefully they will be adressed in future patches... :rolleyes:
You'll need trees, right? For now, forget about Vue's exported ones - they look horrible. Again, e-on is aware of this...go with XFrog for now. If you only need trees in the background, use alpha planes.

My overall opinion so far - if you're gonna use Vue with LightWave, you have two options:
One - use compositing software. Either bet on Vue's camera-matching plugin (haven't tried it yet) or tweak camera moves...a lot.
Two - export terrains and piece them together in LW. Use XFrog for trees.

Option one pros: Vue Pro has some very nice wind effects and the procedural textures makes it possible to very close to things. XFrog trees are a possibility, but afaik cannot be used with Vue's wind generator.
Option one cons: Storyboard needs to take into account that characters can't be too close to terrain objects. Needs compositing software = £££. Expensive stuff! (Can LW do compositing??). XFrog only exports a tree at a time, afaik(just ordered it). I'd expect lighting to be a tricky affair.
Option two pros: Character shadows, interaction with landscape etc. - just perfect. XFrog trees look nice!
Option two cons: Render times needs a tight leash. Terrains may have texturing issues. XFrog trees takes time to create!

If you need trees, check these out: [XFrog Japanese tree collection] (http://www.xfrogdownloads.com/greenwebNew/products/libJapan.htm). Beautiful, aren't they?

As for Poser - it is supposedly good at making human characters, but a samurai in body armor? Hmm - I'd stick with LightWave, but try asking the Poser forum at Renderosity.

Should you choose to go with Poser or Vue, note that they are running a campaign offer at the moment. Some links:

Lastly, should you be interested in experimenting with some exported Vue terrains XFrog trees or whatever, let me know and I'll put some into this thread..

11-15-2003, 07:38 AM
I'm getting in the mood to take the time (again) to make a couple of my stories as well... I created an animated bkg (using iff as the format, I think...whatever was acceptible for my version 5 back then) this is a very very small thumbnail

then, I made the main characters in the foreground
Since the main backgroud was mostly black it rendered quite quickly.

Using an animated GIF for your storyboard can help get the exact idea of what you want to do across, too...with a real small filesize

(Sorry for not getting the hyperlink correctly)

11-15-2003, 01:14 PM
To Samurai Slayer:
Poser does allow you to load standard poses and figures from a library by clicking on boxes, but these figures are instantly recognizable and won't get you any respect! You can move the figure, scale it, rotate joints just like any other 3d program, except Poser has its own set of tools and special user interface. I find the tools fun to use, but it took a long time to learn to get precise poses. Some people dislike the Poser tools and interface. It requires patience and building up of a skill.
On the Renderosity site there is an artist called "jjsmlee" you can find by doing an Artist Search, who does the most unbelievable, eye-popping work with Poser--recommended to all who haven't seen it...

The Third Man
11-15-2003, 04:03 PM
I started modelling today :)

Samurai Armour is not going to be as hard as i thought. My collection of Japanese books on samuria etc is coming in very handy as reference..

For my reference I have used alot of images by Oscar Ratti - Illustrator of "Code of the Samurai" and "Secrets of the Samurai: The Martial Arts of Feudal Japan" I would hightly recommend Code of the Samurai its a very uplifting read.

I will post each armour piece as i have completed them.

First model: Jingasa (A conical hat with a large brim, worn by low ranking Samurai)

Second Model: Kabuto (Helmet worn by Bushi - Japanese Warrior)

*crosses fingers* lets hope all goes well :) Thanks for the input guys (and girls!)

11-15-2003, 04:59 PM
Samurai are cool! I'm looking forward to seeing your work - best of luck with your project! :)

The Third Man
11-16-2003, 05:28 PM
I have a few questions, Ive started now and im constantly thinking about how I can design my film, but when i come to do it, it goes totally wrong.

Does anyone know a good place as a point of reference for LW7 (keyboard shortcuts, explanations) It needs to be something I can briefly look at and find what im looking for. I started with LW7 a while ago but stopped using it because my PC back then kept crashing, so my mind has gone blank to alot of stuff.

The armour that im designing.. would it be advisable to design the armour with no body reference, simply size ratio to go by. I want to know that if i design the armour, will it be easy, later on to wrap around a torso etc...

11-16-2003, 06:01 PM
Alt F9 will get you to a shortcut list of all tools.

Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body (http://www.bartleby.com/107/) Is a good place to get info from.