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View Full Version : If you love something, set it free (TAFA)



MacReiter
01-08-2020, 01:33 AM
So, um, I've been pretty out of touch and swamped with Real Life (TM). A friend of mine just pointed out that people are still using TAFA and still trying to buy it, even though I let my website die of neglect...

Well, it's a new decade, so let's try this: https://macreitercreations.com

It's the same old version. But it still seems to get the job done ;)

I would also like to say that I am _incredibly_ flattered by the support and reviews of my users. So sorry that I haven't been able to get TAFA2 going.

I hope some more of you find TAFA to be useful, and I'm always excited to see what people produce!

Thanks for everything!
Mac

OnlineRender
01-08-2020, 02:54 AM
Legend ... cheers!

TheLexx
01-08-2020, 03:54 AM
Oh isn't that great.

There is a chapter of instructions in Chapter 20 of the Timothy Albee book Lightwave 3D 8 Character Animation (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1556220995/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1#reader_1556220995).

Thank you Mac.

allabulle
01-08-2020, 04:10 AM
Nice!

fishhead
01-08-2020, 05:13 AM
What a generous move!!
I purchased TAFA a few years back and have to say it still is the absolute go-to piece of software when it comes to morph/blendshape based animation. Pure joy to work with!!!
If you decide to release a TAFA2 you surely can count me in!
All the best and a great 20220 to you, too.

lardbros
01-08-2020, 06:06 AM
Oh wow... those were the days. I remember using the demo and was astounded at the ease of getting lovely animation out of TAFA.

Can't say thanks enough for releasing this into the wild. Is it something you'd consider "githubbing" and opensourcing? Or is that going too far? :)

Thanks again... and can't reiterate how nice this tool was! Yay.

Oldcode
01-08-2020, 06:24 AM
Please allow me to look like a total fool when I say I've never heard of TAFA. May I ask what is does? Some type of morph animation tool?

TheLexx
01-08-2020, 06:44 AM
Please allow me to look like a total fool when I say I've never heard of TAFA. May I ask what is does? Some type of morph animation tool?

Many years ago.... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPXWGxDl7g4)
http://ta-animation.com/FA/

:)

raymondtrace
01-08-2020, 08:48 AM
Thank you!

ianr
01-08-2020, 10:06 AM
Mac U always where a gentleman in my book.

One small point, where do we dig in to make Lwo3. loader ?

Have a good new Year & May the Road rise up to meet You !

MacReiter
01-08-2020, 10:50 AM
One small point, where do we dig in to make Lwo3. loader ?

That's a bit embarrassing, actually... But first, a little history

So, TAFA is C++, and was developed using MS VC6 and STLport (because VC6 had garbage for STL support). Unfortunately, STLport (at least, at the time) was not entirely compatible with what STL ended up being, so trying to move forward from that code base is made difficult. And then there's the problem of it being very, very low level Win32 SDK programming, so kind of bleah.

I tried to fix both of those issues, various times. Tried to port to "real" STL when VS 2005 came out. Even tried porting to Mac OSX (twice). Turned the core morphing engine into a Qt class at one point for a client...

And that's where things went sideways. I had Source Safe for revision control (hey, it was a long time ago). But somehow in the multiple update/rewrite branches, computer crashes, divorce, etc, things got muddled. I can't put my finger on a pile of source code that I can definitively say "this builds TAFA 1.2.2.8". Actually, at this point, I'm not sure I could find a coherent pile of code that would build any working version of TAFA. And I don't know if it matters. The real path forward needs a rewrite to take advantage of everything that's happened in the last 15 years. My rendering code was fast for the time, but it had some UV mapping issues, and free game engines abound. Starting with something like Unity would give me a lot of asset file format support out of the box, and hopefully still be low-latency enough to handle audio-sync work.

I dunno. If I can find something close, I guess I could github it and let it take on a life of its own... No promises, though!

lardbros
01-08-2020, 11:37 AM
It's weird, it says you have 6 posts here at the Newtek forums, but I remember "back in the day" you were quite active on the forums....

Then I think I remembered... it was probably over at SpinQuad? Maybe?
I used to go there more than I did here, it was such a lovely place to hang out. :(

Well, whatever your plans are, and whatever you are doing now, good luck! Thanks for the extra info, I always find it really interesting to hear about the history of stuff like this. :)

raymondtrace
01-08-2020, 11:43 AM
... One small point, where do we dig in to make Lwo3. loader ?...

Lack of LWO3 support is not terrible. Save out a copy from LW Modeler 2018 or 2019 as LWO2 to use in TAFA. The MDD from TAFA can be applied to the newer LWO3 object in Layout 2018 or 2019 (or LW 2020 as of next Tuesday).

Some other nice benefits...

TAFA seems to install and run well in Ubuntu with Wine.

It also runs well portably in Windows from a USB thumb drive, just like LW.

fishhead
01-08-2020, 01:02 PM
... (or LW 2020 as of next Tuesday).... Really, the year passed real quick, is it April 1st already? LOL ;-P

Qexit
01-08-2020, 01:03 PM
(or LW 2020 as of next Tuesday).

OK, so what do you know that the rest of us haven't heard yet ? :)

raymondtrace
01-08-2020, 02:35 PM
...is it April 1st already? LOL ;-P...

No. I'm serious. Ubuntu runs TAFA.

146570

TheLexx
01-08-2020, 02:56 PM
No. I'm serious. Ubuntu runs TAFA.

Great information that TAFA runs on Linux. Your images shows Ubuntu 19,04.3 LTS 64 bit - so I just find that and it has Wine built in ?
Also, you mentioned a USB stick. Do I just download/install TAFA onto a stick and it will work out of the box pluffed into a Windows machine ?

Many thanks. :)

MacReiter
01-08-2020, 03:14 PM
Pretty much. One of our design goals was to make it easy to have TAFA with you whenever inspiration struck. Train rides, flights, visits home, whatever. So it's basically just an EXE in a directory with its configuration file. There is an installer, but it just unpacks and sets up menu entries. Give it a location on a USB stick or a DropBox drive or whatever works best for you.

raymondtrace
01-08-2020, 03:18 PM
That Ubuntu screenshot is a version or two behind the latest/greatest. Any recent version will do. Wine is not bundled in the default Ubuntu install but it is a quick and free addition through the Ubuntu software center (the third icon from the top left with the A on a shopping bag). But don't put yourself out installing Ubuntu just for that. I was just pointing out that despite Mac's comment that this is old code and limited to Windows, it still has legs and can go farther than expected.

With the core program files not exceeding 1.39 MB, you could probably run this from a floppy disc. That's some good code.

MacReiter
01-08-2020, 03:37 PM
If you're a Windows user trying to adjust to the Linux world, you might want to try Mint Linux. Not a perfect match, but a lot less jarring transition than Ubuntu (at least for me). Mint is based on Ubuntu (which is in turn based on Debian) so the available/installable tools are mostly the same. Mint just "feels" more like a Win7 machine.

It also tends to be easier to use nVidia cards with Mint, because they go with pragmatism over open-source purity. Don't want to get any wars started there, 'coz that's really up to what's important to the given user. But did want to mention it in case it's important.

(and, in a perfect world, I really wish nVidia would just open source their driver like AMD did... but we're not in a perfect world, so my personal preference is to use the closed source driver for the higher performance, 'coz I'm just that kind of person.)

Oldcode
01-08-2020, 07:46 PM
Many years ago.... (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPXWGxDl7g4)
http://ta-animation.com/FA/

:)

Thanks! That's a pretty cool tool. I've downloaded just in case it might be useful. Not sure how it will be in my particular workflow, but it's a great tool none the less! :D

gar26lw
01-08-2020, 07:49 PM
Really, the year passed real quick, is it April 1st already? LOL ;-P

maybe it’s “see you next tuesday” ? :p

squarewulf
01-08-2020, 08:22 PM
This is great, brings back memories. Thanks!

CaptainMarlowe
01-09-2020, 02:11 PM
If you're a Windows user trying to adjust to the Linux world, you might want to try Mint Linux. Not a perfect match, but a lot less jarring transition than Ubuntu (at least for me). Mint is based on Ubuntu (which is in turn based on Debian) so the available/installable tools are mostly the same. Mint just "feels" more like a Win7 machine.

It also tends to be easier to use nVidia cards with Mint, because they go with pragmatism over open-source purity. Don't want to get any wars started there, 'coz that's really up to what's important to the given user. But did want to mention it in case it's important.

(and, in a perfect world, I really wish nVidia would just open source their driver like AMD did... but we're not in a perfect world, so my personal preference is to use the closed source driver for the higher performance, 'coz I'm just that kind of person.)

OH yes, Linux Mint is really great. Next rig, I get rid of Mac OS for Linux Mint. I also tried Elementary OS : seemingly nicer out of the box, much less flexible in my book.
Happy to know that TAFA works with WINE, I have to try it ASAP.

Thanks for letting it free. That's a generous move.

erikals
01-09-2020, 07:11 PM
Beyond Generous!

https://i.imgur.com/aCk2llm.png

MacReiter
01-10-2020, 01:44 PM
For those of you going down the Wine emulation path, I want to leave this here: https://www.linuxuprising.com/2019/09/how-to-install-wine-staging-development.html

Wine-stable seems to run TAFA just fine, but if you find you need newer code from wine-development or wine-staging, things can get complicated.

*CAUTION* When following the instructions, pay careful attention to which version of which distribution of Linux you're using. For example, Mint 19.* is based on Ubuntu 18.04, but it's very easy to think you should follow the instructions for Ubuntu 19.04. Just be careful.

TheLexx
01-10-2020, 02:58 PM
This is great info, thanks Mac.

Can I ask anyone a slightly strange general Linux question. When Linux is installed on a laptop or desktop, does it fundamentally tie itself to some sort of hardware ID, or is it possible to take a backup "disk image" and reinstall the entire drive to a completely different machine ? I think Windows cannot do this because of the operating system serial number and required activation, but Linux might be able to ?

MacReiter
01-10-2020, 03:36 PM
Quick link: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/2-methods-to-clone-your-linux-hard-drive/ (they actually have 4, but that's the link URL...)

Linux is all about enabling you, not restricting you. It has no activation codes, and no reason to tie itself to hardware IDs.

Cloning drives is fairly common in Linux. The "everything is a file" mentality of the Unix design even makes it fairly easy (there are some caveats, but still easier than most OSs). Each partition on a drive looks like a file, which you can simply copy. Or the drive as a whole -- with all partitions and partition table -- can be seen as a file and copied. It's probably still better to use a drive cloning tool to handle the details (Clonezilla is the one I know, but there are others)

Another option that is widely recommended is to have all of your "user" information or "local setup" information on a separate partition (or at least, separate directories), like "/home" and "/usr". Then you can install clean Linux on the new machine, which is generally pretty fast, and just copy over your /home and /usr to get set up. Again, there are caveats, but migration is something that is very important to Linux users.

You might also be interested in Docker and other similar systems, where you create a "container" that has programs and settings inside it, and then that container can be docked into any system that runs Docker. Then you just back up or migrate your containers. Don't have much personal experience with this, but it seems very popular.

And best of all, pretty much any of this that you want to do is free, open source, and supported on the web. It may be a little bit messier or less turn-key, but there's always ways to do it and people willing to help.

https://alternativeto.net is an interesting site that lists community recommendations for alternatives to various programs. You can filter by operating system and license. Some of the alternatives are only tentatively related, but it's still a helpful way to find things in the wider world.

raymondtrace
01-10-2020, 04:24 PM
Gee whiz. This Linucks thing sounds fascinating. NewTek, are you listening? You're so close with LW running in Wine. :D

kingtut
01-11-2020, 05:09 PM
First, Thank you for the kindness in releasing TAFA.

I have wanted to try it out but I am more base in the poser world and would like to try to integrate it into what I want to do. I have seen people mention CR2 files with TAFA but I cannot find how or any information on it. Is this possible?

Thank you for any help.

MacReiter
01-11-2020, 06:14 PM
Poser was one of the major targets for TAFA, right behind LW. CR2 files are supported natively, and it generates Poser animation files. Now, those file formats are circa 2005-2010, so I make no guarantees about modern Poser. But definitely give it a shot!

TheLexx
01-12-2020, 05:47 PM
For info - the first three TAFA links on the TA Animation (http://ta-animation.com/FA/) site are dead so I pulled links from the Webarchive, since they are worth looking at:-

TAFA Sightings:
NewTek Profile (https://web.archive.org/web/20051023213759/https://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/profiles/TimothyAlbee/index.html) (blank images can be viewed by clicking for the larger image)
HDRI 3D Magazine Feature Article (https://web.archive.org/web/20060622052432/http://www.hdri3d.com/xtra/albee/)
In-Depth Exploration of TAFA (https://web.archive.org/web/20060218160505/http://kazeghostwarrior.com/FA/)

:)

erikals
01-12-2020, 07:14 PM
thanks, nice links, saved them as html5  https://i.imgur.com/bcwLfNX.gif

erikals
01-12-2020, 07:28 PM
if you guys haven't already, download this archive >
TAFA Tips Tricks
https://tinyurl.com/T-TT-download

lardbros
01-13-2020, 08:04 AM
if you guys haven't already, download this archive >
TAFA Tips Tricks
https://tinyurl.com/T-TT-download

Thanks Erikals! Much appreciation for your time and effort!

erikals
01-13-2020, 08:15 PM
https://i.imgur.com/tJGL61i.png


subnote; TAFA article at CG channel >
http://www.cgchannel.com/2020/01/mac-reiter-releases-tafa-for-free

caralvive
01-27-2020, 03:24 PM
OMG thank you soooo much Mac, I was a happy TAFA user until I upgraded my system, but I had lost my TAFA instalation and license files a lonf time ago and sadly couln't use it anymore. I even tryed to buy it again but it wasn't possible...NOW I'M BACK IN THE GAME BABE!!!!....Thank you.
Please go for TAFA2...I"ll buy it inmediatelly!!!

Best,