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tommymamn
11-23-2004, 06:11 AM
Hi all,

I just took on a new job doing an architectural walk-through of an apartment building. I have never done an animation with LW, but I played around with it for a few hours last night and was able to set a path with a spline and assign the camera to the path and even did a little keyframing. I have 2 questions:

1. How do I create a really smooth path for the camera to follow. The animation was "choppy" with the spline I used. I rendered out 1000 frames which made for a 31 second animation. I've seen animations on some websites that are really smooth and "graceful" - how do I acheive this?

2. After rendering to a .mov file my animation was 119 Meg! Whoa! This is way to huge as the client wants to put it on their website. Are there any compression plug-ins or software that you would recommend? What would be the best options for exporting this animation to the web?

Thank-you all for any responses,

From a beginner,

Tom

omeone
11-23-2004, 06:17 AM
Hi Tommymanm,
for the first one use Motion Blur (provided you mean choppy and not jerky <- technical terms btw ;) )

the second one can actually be quite complex, it might be easiest for you at the moment, as a beginner, to upgrade your Quicktime player to the Pro version and export the movies with another compression CoDec, such as Sorenson.

trick
11-23-2004, 06:31 AM
First: render to single frames, then render these single frames to an uncompressed AVI. This prevents headaches when machines hang for some reason...

Second: use this uncompressed AVI as input for Quicktime (about $30) or Sorenson Compression Suite (about $450).

Sorenson produces at least half the file size Quicktime does. With Sorenson you can get a 20MB file for a full color, 3 minute 480x360 animation without many artifacts !!!

toby
11-23-2004, 03:26 PM
You can export Sorenson video (as well as a dozen other codecs) with Quicktime , it doesn't have as many options as the Suite, but it doesn't require you to know how to use them either - I make all my web-videos with QT Pro, my 45 second demo reel (http://tobygaines.com/reel2004.mov) is 11.3mb at 720x480 with audio.

QT Pro can also import your image sequence (then copy-paste your audio) and export your Sorenson from there.

The trick to small file sizes is Keyframes. After a Keyframe, only the data that changes is stored for the following frames - so with Keyframes set to 30 you get 1 keyframe after every 30 frames. The more frames per keyframe the lower the file size and quality. I've had no problems going as high as 360.

trick
11-23-2004, 03:42 PM
...my 45 second demo reel (http://tobygaines.com/reel2004.mov) is 11.3mb at 720x480 with audio...

Keep in mind that a demo generally does not require streaming. The size of the demo you show is actually quite big for what it has to offer: NO streaming and too many artifacts. But again, for this demo it's no issue. A lot of my clients need better quality at much smaller file sizes then this. Just look at all the film trailers on the web: a lot of them are either made with Sorenson Compression Suite or Discreet Cleaner XL.

toby
11-23-2004, 09:38 PM
Yea, I know what they're made with, but I'm not trying to teach how to become a compression engineer - they not only spend thousands on equipment and software, they also have experience tweaking a dozen different parameters, and still spend time testing to get them that small. I'm saying you can get within 90% of their compression and quality with QT Pro very easily, cheaply and quickly.

My reel is about 250k/sec and I usually author it down to 100k/sec., at about the same res as those movie trailers, and I have NO idea what the difference between '1 pass' and '2 pass' variable-bit-rate-encoding is. I also used maximum settings for the audio because I can't STAND QDesign music at lower settings, but mpeg4 isn't as compatible. And no - I don't know how to set up a streaming server, but I doubt that many other 3D artists do either.

trick
11-24-2004, 01:45 AM
Sorenson Compression Suite review (http://www.cgnetworks.com/story.php?story_id=2583)...

tommymamn
11-24-2004, 06:40 AM
Thank-you all for your responses thus far.

After doing some research, I am definitely going to go with Quicktime Pro - I like easy and also inexpensive. As for the animation.....well - that will need practice. I am actually now going to do a QTVR panoramic. I used to have a software package that would generate the 360 fish-eye pano images that can be imported with GoCubic then outputted as a Quicktime movie. I just need to figure out how to get Lightwave to generate those images like one I did a long time ago - see attached. Any ideas?

Tom

toby
11-24-2004, 10:31 AM
LW can render to QTVR -
tutorial (http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/tutorials/rendering/quicktime_vr/quicktime_vr.html)