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Stunt Pixels
02-15-2009, 02:32 AM
Animation Mentor looks amazing, but at $17,000, it's just not feasible when I have a wife and four little ones (one's on the way :) ). And with his stuff, you're not compromising the quality for the price. The difference is the lack of personal mentoring. But I think that's where the montly webinars help (he does Q&A too in there).

Sorry for hijacking your comment Larry, but I really feel this could do with a more focused thread...

First up, I don't know anything about the Jason Ryan stuff. If he's good, excellent stuff! The more people offering great training the better! My comment is based on my experiences so far with Animation Mentor. I'm very early stages with these guys (week 6) but they are amazing, and the thing that I find most impressive is the community there. Sure the lectures and personal mentoring are great but, at the moment anyway, it's the community and the feedback that is the real kicker there for me.

And this is where my Lightwave point comes in. The community here is awesome, it's just that there does not appear that much interest in character animation here (?).

To put it in context, at Animation Mentor, everyone is given a personal workspace where they can post works in progress, general comments, or whatever, and receive feedback from other students and mentors. This week alone I have received 31 feedback comments offering suggestions for things to look out for with my WIP, and suggestions for improvements. 31 well thought out, considered, bits of feedback. I can't tell you how helpful I that is. Now, there is NOTHING stopping that sort of feedback with the Lightwave community, but it just doesn't happen. I think the last attempt of character work I posted here got 4 responses (?). I'd LOVE to see a dedicated section in the forums for character animation stuff. Where we could maybe have set tasks, and have the opportunity to receive feedback on those tasks, or other personal WIP's. At the moment, I feel this is kind of lost amongst other works in progress.

Maybe the best thing to do would be to section "work-in-progress" into themed areas, so that people can look at sections they are more interested in. I have to say that I currently almost never look at works in progress here, because (as nice as they are) I have little interest in architectural, product, or mechanical renders... Or maybe a special "Character Animation" section, where we could do projects based on an agreed common textbook? Maybe "Character Animation Crash Course" by Eric Goldberg, or "The Animators Survival Kit" by Richard Williams?

Just throwing it out there...

RebelHill
02-15-2009, 05:49 AM
ahhh...

go over to AWN, or CGTalk.... the animation WIP sections there are not hugely better.... cant remember the last time i saw very many comments on stuff on either of those boards, and CGTalk is the busiest ive seen for such things... but even then, a lot of it is just comment, theres still not so much in the way of feedback...

santi_man
02-15-2009, 05:54 AM
My first post here. just to say I would even pay for that forum. I am so interesting in character animation within lightwave. so great idea!!!

Sarford
02-15-2009, 06:01 AM
Good idear, but I do my CA stuff in XSI and not LightWave, so where does that place me in these sceames?

SplineGod
02-15-2009, 06:02 AM
I do CA in LW and am also interested in the topic but unfortunately too many times the discussions seem to degenerate because a few dont like the methods or tools one uses in LW to accomplish it.

DBMiller
02-15-2009, 07:15 AM
I do CA in LW and am also interested in the topic but unfortunately too many times the discussions seem to degenerate because a few dont like the methods or tools one uses in LW to accomplish it.

Even with all the work you put out showing LW character animation methods, especially using IK Booster, there does seem to be a lot of people who claim LW can't animate a character well enough for production. I don't get it at all.
I know studios and freelancers use what ever works best for themselves but this is a LW forum. I'd like to see more of what LW can do and less, much less, of what it can't.

Titus
02-15-2009, 08:21 AM
Hey Stunt! I'm starting AM next term, good to know there are fellow wavers there. Are you doing your homework with maya or LW?

SplineGod
02-15-2009, 08:33 AM
DB I completely agree. Ive repeatedly stated that most people come to a LW forum to learn about LW rather then discuss competing apps. What another app may or may not do doesnt help me or anyone else learn LW better. Bashing on LWs toolset doesnt help either. Myself and others have been successfully using LWs CA tools on many projects.

Sarford
02-15-2009, 08:37 AM
Hmm, I think Stunt Pixels meant it to be an artisticaly discussion forum, not a technicaly, so what program you use should be not important. We do even have a vue section on these boards so I think it shouldn't be a problem either. But maybe I'm wrong.

BigHache
02-15-2009, 09:15 AM
It could probably be both artistic and technical. I wouldn't see the need to forgo one for the other. But there's probably nothing stopping that from happening now without a specific section.

CA is probably the thing I've personally been least interested in for a 3D app. When it comes to that I just have a preference for 2D. Only this past year have I begun to explore it.

I too am not interested in discussing how much better another app's tool are for CA, because, Maya having better tools still doesn't make $2k available for me to go get it whether I want to or not.

I'm game for anything that's gonna further my knowledge and skill set. I don't have enough experience with CA to offer advice. What I do have is years of experience in specifically studying motion to know what I want to achieve.

SplineGod
02-15-2009, 09:19 AM
Doing animation in 3d makes it hard to separate the technical aspects from the artistic. For me personally it seems more appropriate to discuss these things within the context of LW...this being a LW forum and all :)

zapper1998
02-15-2009, 09:38 AM
DB I completely agree. Ive repeatedly stated that most people come to a LW forum to learn about LW rather then discuss competing apps. What another app may or may not do doesnt help me or anyone else learn LW better. Bashing on LWs toolset doesnt help either. Myself and others have been successfully using LWs CA tools on many projects.




I agree .. With Both ..



Michael

precedia
02-15-2009, 11:16 AM
Just show your work to a local school (elementary, middle, high).

They are harsh critics! Children today have seen quite a bit of animation, from historical Disney to modern cartoons and movies; they have watched some of the best CA out there.

They know what they like and don't like and don't hesitate to tell you.

It's very easy to contact a local school and arrange time with one of the teachers to show what you've done. You'll have an entire class of children hanging on your every word and watching your animation.

I have given several talks to the local elementary school. Usually on very specific topics that I clear first with their teacher. E.g. Color. Light. Animation. Hollywood special effects.

Some middle school children (grade 6 to 8 here in California, ages 12 - 14) just fall in love with the concept of computer animation and want to learn more. Typically they want you to come back again to talk about something else; this is a chance to solicit feedback from people who watch animation as opposed to people who create animation.

Thank goodness for free Blender software. It's the one package I suggest to schools who work under a tight budget.

Also, I've found that when I look at my own stuff I can also tell if it's good, marginal, or really bad. Do some animation. Let it sit for a few days (or weeks) and then watch it. Many times you can be your own harshest critic. Your brain knows what is good animation and what is not, especially character animation as our brains our wired to detect motion and when it doesn't look right, your brain will tell you.

Daniel

Verlon
02-15-2009, 12:03 PM
I think the standards for 'production' have come under fire also.

Good enough for me isn't good enough for someone else.

Still, it would be nice to have instruction and feedback as you suggest. I am just not sure how to arrange it.

Stooch
02-15-2009, 12:40 PM
Animation mentor has very good crits because... you pay alot of money for them.

personally, i find animation crits to be involved and require alot of typing and back and forth with the artists. CG talk is mostly for people fishing for compliments anyway. i find that a large percentage of people who post their stuff dont really want real constructive feedback, instead they are waiting for comments like "great job" or other forms of ego stroking.

another thing. its very rare that i see animation that is of good enough quality where i feel my feedback can be taken advantage of. sometimes its just so bad that trying to explain it to the artist is too daunting of a task. if i tried, people would just get all uppity and think im trying to be an as$hat and then the thread turns into whining. or some douche steps in and tries to berate me for not being P.C. lol.

so yeah animation mentor is the way to go for this kind of stuff. as far as LW, it never really has been a solid CA package so I rarely expect to see solid CA here.

Titus
02-15-2009, 12:54 PM
I could never try to post an animation WIP on CGtalk, there are better places to find constructive critisiscm like CGchar. Working professionally on CG I can find good animators to give me an opinion but they don't have the time to go deep on their comments. I admire those good self thought animators.

RebelHill
02-15-2009, 01:51 PM
Doing animation in 3d makes it hard to separate the technical aspects from the artistic. For me personally it seems more appropriate to discuss these things within the context of LW...this being a LW forum and all :)

I can agree with this... but only to a small degree... for the most part I disagree very much...

Animation in 3d allows a great separation between the technical and artistic imo... certainly there are a few technical skills involved... like knowing where to place keys time wise, how to manipulate and manage controllers, and tinker with curves... but thats no different to any art form... learning how to hold a brush, how much force to put bgehind the chisel, etc... thats just "piloting" the tool...

A well designed character rig should insulate the animator as much as possible from the technical aspects of how the rig itself is built and functions... reducing the act of animating in the computer to something that is technically non too different to posing a puppet and clicking a shutter cable...

Its the character setup where the tech side is important, and the art side almost non existant... thats where "app specific" discussion/advice, etc has to come into play...

But as for gettting a board that focuses solely on the animation itself, then the apps become unimportant... keyframes are no different in maya,lw, xsi... neither are fcurves (graphs)... nor timing, nor motion arcs, nor acting, nor eyelines, etc, etc....

But as I say... ive still yet to find a good and active board where u can get lots of chatter and feedback going on between folks... so i doubt setting one up here would make any difference...

but if there is such a place and ive missed... somebody, link me pls... and if theres enough folks round here whod favour an animators forum space... then im game, bring it on....

Stunt Pixels
02-15-2009, 02:14 PM
OK, I just got up (times zones and stuff)...

Personally, I don't think the tool should really matter with this. It's talking about the actual animation, and not the methods or tools used to create it. But I can see how it would to some people. Not sure how we could get around that.

Hey Titus. Man, you're in for a fun ride! I'm doing the homework with Maya, cause that's what all the setups they provide are built with, I simply can't rig well enough to make my own rigs for this stuff... Give me a yell if you need a hand figuring anything out with how AM works.

BigHache, you said that you "don't have enough experience with CA to offer advice". You don't need any. Seriously, one of the people who has given me a heap of excellent advice is my wife, who has never animated. But she can tell me whether something "looks" right to her, makes sense, and allows enough time for her to see what happened. People with more experience offer different input, but everyone's input helps.

Stooch, you do pay a lot for AM, and part of that is your mentors crits. But you also get a heap of incredibly valuable crit from other students. That's the community part of AM that I think is so awesome, and what I think we could do here. I totally agree that a lot of people on forums want ego stroking, not constructive feedback, and that's why I think it would have to be a forum dedicated to critiques of character animation WIP's - but yes, egos could be an issue - you kind of have to leave your ego at the door... Also, you say that sometimes it's too daunting to try to get across all of a crit for some animation. The way they do that at AM is pick a couple of things to hi lite, then on the next revision, a couple of others...

It's so interesting to hear everyone's different perspectives. I can see a number of issues I hadn't thought of, and which would have to be considered. But the combination here of energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge, really seems like it would be able to carry a concept like this along. I'm going to get coffee and some breakfast, and think about this some more...

bobakabob
02-15-2009, 02:24 PM
Or maybe a special "Character Animation" section, where we could do projects based on an agreed common textbook? Maybe "Character Animation Crash Course" by Eric Goldberg, or "The Animators Survival Kit" by Richard Williams?

Just throwing it out there...

Stunt Pixels
This is a great idea. I'm still animating using basic rigging techniques and would really enjoy learning the new LW CA tools in conjunction with animation theory, sharing ideas on the forum.

How about an informal moderation policy dissuading the "You can do this better in app X" posts unless users are asking genuinely useful pipeline questions?

Btw, I was looking to download your animation - has the link been moved?

The Dommo
02-15-2009, 05:02 PM
It sure does sound like a great idea. I dreamt of signing up to an AM course, but no way could I afford it.

SplineGod
02-15-2009, 05:40 PM
Theres lots of resources out there including this one.
http://www.jasonryananimation.com/

Stunt Pixels
02-15-2009, 06:32 PM
bobakabob, I think you've nailed the issue there - moderation policy. The main problem I could see is with people who just want to stir up the pot, and offer nothing to anyone. AM takes care of that, because there's only people there that are very keen on being there. There's no such thing as a troll over there... Because Newtek is so open (which is a good thing) it leads to less focused threads. Oh, yeah, I would have deleted that a while ago - I just swapped over servers. I didn't keep a copy, because it was the process I was learning from, not the result.

The Dommo, there's heaps of resources out there. It's the continual feedback that is hard to find. SplineGod linked to the Jason Ryan stuff, which is spoken of very highly. Keith Lango also has some very cool stuff. I couldn't really afford AM either - ended up selling my car so I could (all the walking is probably good for my health too). The feedback part is what I'm wondering whether we could get going on these forums, so people could combine their learning source of choice with good feedback.

One of the hardest things would be a structured leaning path. I'll look into what I could use from AM without ripping them off...

Dexter2999
02-15-2009, 09:56 PM
There will be some difficulty somewhere down the line in trying to keep the technology separate from the art.

Someone will make a comment about how something doesn't look right and the response will become "well, this is the best I can do with this software." Because it is easier to blame the tools than your lack of patience to massage a piece or work out the kinks. People like to blame the tools when something isn't fast and easy...and real art isn't fast and easy unless you are master. However, more and more today than in years past, people expect for the tools to turn them into instant masters.

I'd love to give critisizm. It isn't worth much as I'm no expert, but I have read about it and studied it a little. The rest is just opinion.

My two cents.

mouse_art
02-15-2009, 11:05 PM
Yep or, http://www.keithlango.blogspot.com/

http://klangoanimation.com/store/VTS_SubscriptionPlans.html


Theres lots of resources out there including this one.
http://www.jasonryananimation.com/

akademus
02-16-2009, 02:11 AM
Animation mentor is the way if you can afford it.

bobakabob
02-20-2009, 06:11 AM
Bump... Newtek, any hope of a Character Animation section on the Forum?

Someone will make a comment about how something doesn't look right and the response will become "well, this is the best I can do with this software." Because it is easier to blame the tools than your lack of patience to massage a piece or work out the kinks. People like to blame the tools when something isn't fast and easy...and real art isn't fast and easy unless you are master. However, more and more today than in years past, people expect for the tools to turn them into instant masters.

Dexter agreed... The new CA tools in Lightwave mean people are running out of excuses now ;) But it would be great if Lightwave animators could share rigs, WIPs and techniques.

akademus
02-20-2009, 06:25 AM
CA tools in LW are just fine. More work on the Graph Editor would be welcomed.

I support the idea of separate Character Animation section on these forums.

Who is administrator here anyway? Who can we contact to ask for the section?

KScott
02-20-2009, 07:07 AM
Its all about the hammer, Not!!:tsktsk:

What you do with the hammer you have, is what is important.
LW is one bad #^$ hammer, now more than ever.
Im in For a CA only thred here.

Kevin

PS: Larry, thank you for all the info ive gained from your posts over the years.

SplineGod
02-20-2009, 09:05 AM
Im also for a CA section as long as people contribute in a positive way rather then excuses why they think CA tools in LW are bad etc.

Kev,
Thanks! Wish I had time to get back to albuquere. Its been awhile :)

lwanmtr
02-20-2009, 06:02 PM
Yeah, a CA section would be nice.

But unfortunately, as has been stated, it always ends up with 'well, i can do x in x app....) Alot of times from folks who havent really tried to do x in LW.

Marvin Miller
02-20-2009, 11:24 PM
Who is administrator here anyway? Who can we contact to ask for the section?

I'll talk to Chuck about it on Monday, I'm interested in getting a CA section started.

jaxtone
02-21-2009, 05:48 AM
Wrong forum... self deleted post!

jaxtone
02-21-2009, 06:18 AM
... then I might be a guy with excuses!

Agree!
The artistic aspect is as you said earlier just as important that the technical side of the Character Animation! (In a show off part of the LW forum or at the NT Lightwave section must or will also excist a complete tutorial section of how each job was done! That´s the best way for rookies to learn and for masters to develope the rigging process!)

Disagree:
I feel that Lightwave´s CA are kind of complicated and would like NT to develope the interface to another more user friendly level in the future. (Is this critisism? Yes!)

I bought a couple of SplineGods CD´s and they kept me awake for about 10 minutes before I fell asleep! Don´t take this to personal because it might have been a combination of too many nights without sleep and the fact that the CA interface in Lightwave craves that you do to many operations separatly instead of in clusters when needed!

I understand that you´re an "old school" and "up to date" master of rigging in LW and I envy this, but up till now I haven´t been able to motivate myself finding a reasonable way to mastering the rigs in LW!

I have rigged some characters during the years and even delivered them in customer projects but find it too time consuming to get into the depth of something that doesn´t seem to be smart with the softwares CA solution from the scratch! Too many small gadgets separated from logic thinking... if comparing with other softwares!




[QUOTE=SplineGod;837742]Im also for a CA section as long as people contribute in a positive way rather then excuses why they think CA tools in LW are bad etc.QUOTE]

thomascheng
02-21-2009, 06:25 AM
There is a "Rename Hierarchy" button that can help with that.

KScott
02-21-2009, 07:27 AM
Marvin, Thank you for taking the time to do so.

Eager to hear his reply.
Question,what sections would be under the heading?
Lipsinc, rigging, bla bla bla.

wondering what others would like to see?

Kevin

userBrian
02-21-2009, 11:26 PM
All the suggestions are great- helping in various technical areas. But I'd like to see a section just for appreciation. So I can learn how effective a section of my animation was at getting a response from people. Did someone notice this or that, what did they like, what made them laugh, what was stunning, etc. Like a fanboy thread on steroids.Where nobody is ashamed to comment just on their take emotionally. With no technical advice. Only positive and inspiring reactions. I think that would be motivational. Comments like "I didn't think those were (whatever) I thought they were (whatever)".
And again, whatever people really like! What it makes them think!

Stunt Pixels
02-22-2009, 12:21 AM
But I'd like to see a section just for appreciation. So I can learn how effective a section of my animation was at getting a response from people.

I respectfully disagree :) For a start, I don't think it would ever work - this forum isn't reknowned for its tact - second it seems artificial to ask for people's honest reactions, but only positive ones... If you have a thread on character animation, I think you have to be open to suggestions for improving the animation, otherwise you will never improve. And no-one is perfect. It's like the joke "How many animators does it take to change a light bulb? Eleven, one to change it, and ten to say how they would have done it better." If you're not open to suggestions on ways to improve it, just post it in the "Gallery - Finished" forum.

My initial suggestion was for a forum along the lines of the way someones "Public Review" section works at AM. To give a clearer idea of what I was talking about, I'll just point out that the stuff I am finding really helpful is comments that point out problems with my animation. I'll give a couple of examples. This weeks assignment - the first term is sort of focused individually on the fundamentals of animation - is focused on overlap. Here's a link (http://www.swoon.com.au/AM/Final.mov) to where I've ended up this anim the week. I'll put a couple of people's comments in so that I can show the stuff I am finding incredibly useful - I did attempt to fix up these in the animation linked:

"From 1 -40, See if you could try refining the overlapping action by smoothing it out. In comparison to the tail on the other side of the gap, the tail flow (overlap) looks smoother. Fr 1 -40 Seems a little stiff in comparison."

"I would take a look to the tail at frame 28, it seems almost the same shape as frame 27, and i think that the white tip of the tail should be facing a bit upwards (make it like if that part were looking to where it was at previous frame (does this have any sense?)"

"At the very beginning when it enters the screen the time it stays in the air seems a little too long compare to the other bounces, and it makes it a bit floaty. I also had the impression at first sight that tailor decelerates a bit fast when it arrives in front of the gap, maybe it's because the fall between frame 35 and 36 is slightly too vertical, if you moved tailor just a bit further on frame 36 it might solve the problem."

I found all these comments, as well as many more, really great at helping me improve my anim. I really think we could have a great character animation specific "Personal Review" section on the forums here. That said, I think it would be great to have a specific area to discuss rigging and techniques as well...

akademus
02-22-2009, 03:44 AM
I'd say your squash and stretch is a bit off. If you take a look at frame 77 you'll see tail is attached on a wrong side of the ball :)

We can combine things. Have a C&C part as well as appreciation part. Also, I firmly believe section like this would help a lot of people get their hold on a complex area like this and boost a lot of energy for lightwave made CA.

omeone
02-22-2009, 04:37 AM
All the suggestions are great- helping in various technical areas. But I'd like to see a section just for appreciation. So I can learn how effective a section of my animation was at getting a response from people. Did someone notice this or that, what did they like, what made them laugh, what was stunning, etc. Like a fanboy thread on steroids.Where nobody is ashamed to comment just on their take emotionally. With no technical advice. Only positive and inspiring reactions. I think that would be motivational. Comments like "I didn't think those were (whatever) I thought they were (whatever)".
And again, whatever people really like! What it makes them think!

I see where you're coming from, there's a lot of nonsense critique out there and it can be hard to seperate the good from the bad, especially if you work on something for a month and it only takes 2 minutes to receive 10 apparantly negative comments. But... I think what you describe could potentially be very unhealthy.

I think a single topic should do it, breaking it down into sections of technique / for critique / not for critique / lip-synch /resources etc would dilute the whole thing. I would say start with a single-topic and think about seperating them only if that gets out of hand.

There could be a single sticky post that gets constantly updated linking to key posts and include a charter. A few gentleman's agreements would go a long way.... like not critiqing a piece until you have posted 5 pices of work yourself. Using you real name on a critique (like they do on CGCHAR) goes a long way towards making people more thoughtful about what they write.

Critique is a very difficult thing to do right. Some people like to point out every little technical thing thay can that looks wrong to them, and forgetting about the overall mood and response from the viewer (like userBrian is getting at). My issue with this is that it generates very homogenous animation, basically Disney / Pixar style, and doesn't encourage experimentation. I like critiques that only focus one aspect of a piece (even when they see 10 things the could comment on), and I think ALL critiques should include links and other references to help get the point accross.

Posting pices should carry responsibility too - why waste your time make a considered response when someone doesn't want it? a poster should identify first if they want and critique or not - if it is a finished piece, critique might be a watse of time? Maybe identify the parts you are unsure about. State the idea behind the piece, because no critique should ever try to change that, and nobody want to offend someone accidently.

Anyway, that's my feeling on it :)

akademus
02-22-2009, 06:53 AM
I'll talk to Chuck about it on Monday, I'm interested in getting a CA section started.

Oh. Awesome. There is a huge possibility there in improving how people think about doing character animation in LW which is on a pretty low level these days.

Thanks and I hope we'll see the section soon!

akademus
02-25-2009, 04:45 AM
Any news Marvin?

KScott
02-25-2009, 08:37 AM
Wondering myself, Ill post a wip as soon as we have a place.

Kevin.

LW_Will
02-25-2009, 11:53 AM
I agree that CA is difficult to separate from the app. Hell, this forum is put up BY the App maker, so that's not going to help.

I think if we set down rules that state;

a) this is Lightwave, that's it. If you want improvements, go someplace else.

b) anyone stating a thing about tools or problems with said tools will take a crap storm of criticism. People have done WONDERFUL things with whatever they are using, including a bunch of sand on an animation stand so shut the frak up.

c) you must give a critique to get a critique. This does not mean comments like "I hate it" or "I love it." Both are equally unusable. You must critique with DATA. If you love it, why? If you hate it, why? This isn't Animation Idol and you aren't Simon Bloody Cowel!

I had a teacher, useless bloody woman, but she did teach me HOW to critique something. Partly it was knowing what I was looking at and understanding how to convey those thoughts to the artist. Very useful in my old age.

I think that with Mentor, the idea is not new or innovative. If you went to Cal Arts, they had stock sorts of exercises as they do in AM. I think the idea that you get more out of it than what those lessons can give you is the point. The students ARE what you are paying for. And the money is to give you an incentive to ANIMATE. With $10k on the line, you are going to be there when the bell rings (or whatever for the lessons...)

I agree, we need this as a stepping stone from the animation streets to the playground. Allot of what I know in computers was learned by me to get Lightwave to work correctly. Now with CORE, it seems that we are at a cross roads. The tools work now. They do what we need them to do. Now I want to learn how making animation works. I want to get better at it.

omeone
02-25-2009, 12:03 PM
I agree that C...at it.
:agree:

vncnt
02-27-2009, 02:59 PM
Good idea to start a separate Character Animation thread!

I'm reading a lot of CA books and I'm investing in hardware, software and knowledge/experience.

The focus on technical stuff might be explained by the fact that technical problems keep me from focussing on character animation.

Why? Guess I'm making the same mistake as others. I try to wear too many hats.
I try to develop a story, a character, a script, a voice and do voice acting, audio recording, try to be a microphone expert, modeler, rigger, camera, light, animator, editor, etc, etc.
And I try to keep up with the updates, ignore all technical errors, try to find the best set of tools (and trying to find workarounds) and last but not least I'm trying to make a living by making training video's during 4 days of the week.

Now this is all fun to do but this all also distracts me from learning the animation skills I need so badly before I'm really able to make my first character animation short.

This said, I hope there will be a CA thread in this forum that helps me to focus on character animation using LightWave.

If we're lucky LW CORE will make CA a lot easier.

CGI Addict
03-02-2009, 01:13 AM
How about splitting the CA forum into three sections:

Character Animation - Artist Critiques
Character Animation - Lightwave Specific
Character Animation - Any Tool

vncnt
03-02-2009, 10:27 AM
I hate to get my 3D-animation books in the Software section of book stores. They assume 3D-animation titles are limited to LightWave, Maya or Max and think it has nothing to do with scripts, storyboards, art, editing, acting or business management. (I also hate to find my 3D-animation blu-ray disks in the Childrens section. I remember my sister-in-law asking me why I owned so many DVD's that were meant for childeren. Duhuh!)

So how about slightly software neutral? LW is not intended as a standalone production environment. Besides that, it is clear to everyone that we are already in a LightWave forum.
"Artist" and "critiques" sounds too general to me so I'd say:

- Character Animation - Workflow Techniques
- Character Animation - Production, Storytelling and Acting

CGI Addict
03-02-2009, 03:36 PM
I hate to get my 3D-animation books in the Software section of book stores. They assume 3D-animation titles are limited to LightWave, Maya or Max and think it has nothing to do with scripts, storyboards, art, editing, acting or business management. (I also hate to find my 3D-animation blu-ray disks in the Childrens section. I remember my sister-in-law asking me why I owned so many DVD's that were meant for childeren. Duhuh!)

So how about slightly software neutral? LW is not intended as a standalone production environment. Besides that, it is clear to everyone that we are already in a LightWave forum.
"Artist" and "critiques" sounds too general to me so I'd say:

- Character Animation - Workflow Techniques
- Character Animation - Production, Storytelling and Acting

I have to agree, maybe the terms "artist" and "critiques" are a bit too vague. "Character Animation - Workflow Techniques" and "Character Animation - Production, Storytelling and Acting" is fine. I do think we need a part of this animation section to be related to LW specifically though. There are far too many LW issues relating to CA that need to be addressed by individuals needing help or wanting to offer assistance. If there is going to be a place on the internet reserved for CA in LW, this should be the place for it. It would also be very beneficial to be able to find all LW CA threads in one place instead of having to hunt around and doing word searches.

So maybe something along these lines perhaps:

- Character Animation - Lightwave Tools & Techniques
- Character Animation - Workflow Techniques
- Character Animation - Production, Storytelling and Acting

Larry_g1s
03-05-2009, 10:04 AM
Sorry for hijacking your comment Larry, but I really feel this could do with a more focused thread...

First up, I don't know anything about the Jason Ryan stuff. If he's good, excellent stuff! The more people offering great training the better! My comment is based on my experiences so far with Animation Mentor. I'm very early stages with these guys (week 6) but they are amazing, and the thing that I find most impressive is the community there. Sure the lectures and personal mentoring are great but, at the moment anyway, it's the community and the feedback that is the real kicker there for me.

And this is where my Lightwave point comes in. The community here is awesome, it's just that there does not appear that much interest in character animation here (?).

To put it in context, at Animation Mentor, everyone is given a personal workspace where they can post works in progress, general comments, or whatever, and receive feedback from other students and mentors. This week alone I have received 31 feedback comments offering suggestions for things to look out for with my WIP, and suggestions for improvements. 31 well thought out, considered, bits of feedback. I can't tell you how helpful I that is. Now, there is NOTHING stopping that sort of feedback with the Lightwave community, but it just doesn't happen. I think the last attempt of character work I posted here got 4 responses (?). I'd LOVE to see a dedicated section in the forums for character animation stuff. Where we could maybe have set tasks, and have the opportunity to receive feedback on those tasks, or other personal WIP's. At the moment, I feel this is kind of lost amongst other works in progress.

Maybe the best thing to do would be to section "work-in-progress" into themed areas, so that people can look at sections they are more interested in. I have to say that I currently almost never look at works in progress here, because (as nice as they are) I have little interest in architectural, product, or mechanical renders... Or maybe a special "Character Animation" section, where we could do projects based on an agreed common textbook? Maybe "Character Animation Crash Course" by Eric Goldberg, or "The Animators Survival Kit" by Richard Williams?

Just throwing it out there...Dang....I totally missed this...Why didn't you PM me? lol

As per your comments. Please understand, I'm not knocking AM, I was seriously trying to consider it. It just wasn't feasible. Then I came across Jason Ryan's stuff. If you don't now much about him check out his two sites:

http://www.jasonryananimation.com - Online training
http://www.jrawebinar.com - Monthly 2hr live webinars

There you'll find a more extensive bio. But in short he is one of the original Animation Mentor's and most popular when he was doing it. He had to back out due to time constraints. There are many present & graduate AM students taking his online training and/or montly webinars. He's an Animation Supervisor for DreamWorks, just finishing with Monster's vs. Aliens, and now working on Shrek 4....the guy knows his stuff. What I really really like about his stuff (besides the fact it's affordable and top notch), is that his background is in traditional animation (2D), so he brings a wealth of traditional animation in to the 3D realm.

I too wish the LW community here had a stronger character animation section...which is why I introduced to the forums now a couple of times the information about Jason Ryan Animation. I believe the key in growing such an area in this community is proper training. And you can't get much better then someone who's worked for two of the top CG animation studios (Disney, and DreamWorks). And like I said on that thread, though he uses Maya for the 3D stuff, he like AM is teaching the principals of animation...so the info translates right back to LightWave.

I think a CA section would be absolutely fantastic! I think it needs to be kept on topic of...animation! not the app. Personally I think because this is a LW forum, it should be kept to LW CA. But if not, I'm all for that too sense I'm doing my animation practice in Maya to keep follow along easier with the training I'm doing with JRA. I think LW is VERY capable of doing CA. I took a course back in 2000, and we had an animation supervisor from Pixar come in and with in minutes of just familiarizing himself with LW, he was animating. He said the computer is nothing more then a glorified pencil. Obviously apps. have their advantages and dis-advantages, but all in all it's true. Heck...Victor Navone who's been working at Pixar for years now, got hired with his 'Alien Song' animation that was done in AnimationMaster...a $200 program.

So again, I think LW is VERY capable of doing CA and I hope to change that perception if people think otherwise. We just need to be properly trained in CA and then apply that to LW. I have a friend who works at DreamWorks and with the announcement of CORE we hope to help establish and provide some tools necessary for making LW a solid CA app. :thumbsup:



Theres lots of resources out there including this one.
http://www.jasonryananimation.com/Glad to see your check his stuff out...amazing training. ;)

Marvin Miller
03-05-2009, 10:19 AM
Hey everyone,

Sorry I've taken so long to reply, as you can imagine it's a busy time in LightWave land. Just to let you know I talked to Chuck and he said I could start a Character Animation subsection on the forum. Give me about a week to get that set-up, I need to discuss some of the rules we might need to have and what topics it should cover.

If you have anything in mind, post 'em here.

(And for full disclosure, I am an Animation Mentor alumni!)

Larry_g1s
03-05-2009, 10:26 AM
So cool Marvin! An nice to see an AM alumni here.

Some section ideas:
'Work in Progress' - for critics
'Finished work & Demo Reels' - self explained
'Technical' - section for tools, plug-ins, traing, tutorials, etc.

I don't believe we should have two sections on the application (i.e. LW work, and all others). I think NT needs to make a decision on either this is a NT forum so only LightWave work is posted, or this is an animation section where LW artist post their animation regardless of the software used.

I understand why just posting LW specific work...because this is a LW forum. So I'm all for that. That said....I use a 2D program for working out my timing & spacing before jumping in to 3D, and as I said earlier, presently using Maya for 3D to better follow along with the JRA training I'm doing. So I'd like to show LW specific animation, but right now, in this training mode, it might be more limited for me. So it's kind of a catch 22 and I think NT just needs to make the call on it. On a side note, I'm using Point Oven to bring my Maya animations in to LW for final polish.

CGI Addict
03-05-2009, 10:28 AM
Thanks Marvin, setting up this section is going to be a benefit to both us users and NewTek.

akademus
03-05-2009, 12:19 PM
Hey everyone,

Sorry I've taken so long to reply, as you can imagine it's a busy time in LightWave land. Just to let you know I talked to Chuck and he said I could start a Character Animation subsection on the forum. Give me about a week to get that set-up, I need to discuss some of the rules we might need to have and what topics it should cover.

If you have anything in mind, post 'em here.

(And for full disclosure, I am an Animation Mentor alumni!)

Yay! I'm more and more into character animation this year and I have feeling we'll have a lot of fun there.

Thank you Marvin.

bobakabob
03-05-2009, 04:09 PM
Great that there will be a CA section to the Forum. Looking forward to learning more about the new rigging tools. Some good suggestions esp Larry's but is there a danger considering the apparent lack of animators too many subsections will be overdoing it?

Also there should be strict rules to prevent the "App X has better CA tools than LW" flames - they've surely had their day.

Larry_g1s
03-05-2009, 04:12 PM
but is there a danger considering the apparent lack of animators too many subsections will be overdoing it?That's why I mentioned just three, one for final stuff, one for wip, another for technical stuff (plug-ins, techniques, tutorials/training, etc.).

bobakabob
03-05-2009, 04:21 PM
Larry, yes I was just now editing my post agreeing with your suggestions after giving them more attention :D I just a worry it may be a little "diluted".

It would be cool to have more focused feedback... I've had zilch on my latest animation in the WIP section.

Larry_g1s
03-05-2009, 04:28 PM
Larry, yes I was just now editing my post agreeing with your suggestions after giving them more attention :D I just a worry it may be a little "diluted"..lol gotcha.


It would be cool to have more focused feedback... I've had zilch on my latest animation in the WIP section.I think this is a fundamental problem with people on the forums (not just this one) not just a particular subject. People need to be considerate enough to post on threads they visit.

dballesg
03-06-2009, 01:29 AM
Thanks Marvin for open a CA section.

Really a good idea.

David

akademus
03-06-2009, 01:56 AM
These are some toughts about how I see CA section.

- Should have separate stickies for books, DVDs, schools and online resources
- Should have rigging section for technical approach
- Should have LW CA tools section for suggestions on improvements

Along with WIPs and finished animations I'd also like to see sort of personal workbook section. A place where people can place their findings, works, sketches, plans, blockings and so on... These make a great deal for personal improvement.

Also, I'd like to see this section heavily moderated so anything not related to CA, but related to software fights and whatever should get sacked.

Lets roll...

tischbein3
03-06-2009, 05:32 AM
Im also for a CA section as long as people contribute in a positive way rather then excuses why they think CA tools in LW are bad etc.
Ok, but I don't think this is really 100% avoideable...

...At least it would be far easier to filter such threads in an own section than stumbling upon those in the general discussion.
So really do think its a good idea to try

omeone
03-06-2009, 05:46 AM
Ok, but I don't think this is really 100% avoideable...
not with that attitude! haha :)


...At least it would be far easier to filter such threads in an own section than stumbling upon those in the general discussion.
So really do think its a good idea to try

The problem almost never occurs with the first post of thread, it's usually the result of a discussion being pulled off on a tangent, so a seperate section might not solve this one...

tischbein3
03-06-2009, 07:55 AM
not with that attitude! haha :)

:D



The problem almost never occurs with the first post of thread, it's usually the result of a discussion being pulled off on a tangent, so a seperate section might not solve this one...

Sure, but information on the general discussion or even in the general technique section tend to vanish quite quickly on page 5 or 6. And therefore a destined to be discussed over and over again.

Even if there IS a longterm character bashing thread going on, it could be used to nail down problems properly / refer to the thread once the topic comes up again in another thread.

Also a good opportunity to add a sticky thread with some important links to tutorials / references towards CA.

bobakabob
03-06-2009, 08:05 AM
Inevitably there will be references to other CA apps especially where there are workflow issues. No problem.

But these tired old "Brand X is better than LW" flame wars go nowhere, they're a senseless waste of human life. And I'm speaking as an XSI and Max user.

This is a Newtek forum after all and there are users who want to learn Lightwave CA tools. Simple really :)

SplineGod
03-06-2009, 08:14 AM
Thats my take as well. For the most part 'discussing' other apps has done zero to help me or anyone else learn LW better.
I dont think that a CA forum here is the place to discuss things Newtek could fix etc because there are other places to do that and again, dont contribute to learning the tools we have right now at this moment.

hydroclops
03-06-2009, 08:57 AM
Why not just one category called Character Animation? Let the chips fall where they may.

Splitting up the topic is no guarantee of avoiding pitfalls. Too many categories might dilute participation.

just my 2 cents...


Larry, what 2d program?

SplineGod
03-06-2009, 09:13 AM
The whole chips falling where they may has been tried and it always ends up with LW sucks for CA because....
or Software X is better because...
It leaves a bad taste and then people are hesitant to try and get something going again. Its not a lot of ppl who do it but its typically the same people.

As far as 2D apps...
Anime studio (moho)
Pencil Test
:)

Larry_g1s
03-06-2009, 09:41 AM
Why not just one category called Character Animation? Let the chips fall where they may.

Splitting up the topic is no guarantee of avoiding pitfalls. Too many categories might dilute participation.

just my 2 cents...


Larry, what 2d program?Which Larry? lol If you're asking me, I use DigiCel's FlipBook (http://www.digicelinc.com/). Very solid program and very inexpensive. It's the one Jason Ryan uses on his training and webinars.

As far as the catagories...guy's it's real simple:

'Finished work & Demo Reels' - self explained.
'Work in Progress' - for critics
'Technical' - section for tutorials, plug-ins, training, tools, books, rigging questions, etc. (basically everything else that would accompany CA).

Triodin
03-06-2009, 12:22 PM
Anime studio (moho)


Boo ya! ASP gets some love!

I've been trying to get my ASP techniques into the 3D world - gotta love rigging - but I'm dying for switch layers in LW!

I'm in the works of putting together my dream of an episodic 3D animated web cartoon - have been trying to research LW CA specifically - have my eye on your IKBoost training, Larry ;)

All I know is that is I'd love to see a marriage of traditional CA techniques and how to pull it off with Lightwave... So count me in as a lurker / learner.

tischbein3
03-06-2009, 12:40 PM
But these tired old "Brand X is better than LW" flame wars go nowhere, they're a senseless waste of human life. And I'm speaking as an XSI and Max user.
Sure but I also think an LW- CA thread popping up once and a while in the GD section does actually provide better nurishing grounds for this, than a static section.


It leaves a bad taste and then people are hesitant to try and get something going again. Its not a lot of ppl who do it but its typically the same people.

Sure, might be also a problem, but just look at this thread: It already got several links to online courses, a few links to 2D anim sketch software, and a few thumbrules/guides.. and we both now that this stuff is pretty much lost in a few weeks.
People searching for that info in a month via the search function certainly do not take themself the time to skim through such a thread.

Or think of the big ikboost thread we had half a year ago (wich imho slept in right before the things really got interesting in nailing things down) :

I do know how to find it, and I do know it got plenty of good advises (and not only ikb related...) in it. But I do also know I would not invest the time to reread it.

anyway, future will actually show us how things will go.

hydroclops
03-06-2009, 02:20 PM
Yes, the chips falling where they may is wrong. Preventing tiresome arguments and flame wars is good.

But multiple categories doesn't prevent this, and makes it confusing where to post what, and interesting CA discussions can be missed.

A sticky with rules? No complaining about lightwave, no comparing software, etc.

I look forward to however this turns out.

ericsmith
03-06-2009, 03:52 PM
I think all that needs to happen to prevent threads from degenerating is to simply post actual animation, and then discuss the work on it's own merits. Critiques in this kind of thread will be based on animation principles and aesthetics rather than how the animation was created, unless the original poster decides the steer the thread in that direction.

On the other hand, in threads that are only discussing the pros and cons of various methodologies, it's inevitable that there will be differing opinions about which tools are the best for the job. This is even true inside of LW (ie. weightmaps vs. no weight maps, or skelgons vs. bones in layout), let alone looking at other apps. But in spite of some people's inability to discuss the merit/pitfalls of particular tools in a rational manner, I think that at the end of the day, a lot of people actually learn something useful from these debates.

It seems to me that the title of any given thread would clearly indicate which category it would fall into, and readers could choose up front what they want to subject themselves to.

Eric

Dexter2999
03-06-2009, 04:13 PM
As far as the catagories...guy's it's real simple:

'Finished work & Demo Reels' - self explained.
'Work in Progress' - for critics
'Technical' - section for tutorials, plug-ins, training, tools, books, rigging questions, etc. (basically everything else that would accompany CA).

I'll second.

I would also hope that if there are any flame wars they keep themselves in the "Technical" section.

akademus
03-06-2009, 04:26 PM
I strongly believe we'll make this section as good as it gets.

We have Larry and Marvin here and with a little of positive contribution we can make some really good stuff rolling and also get the LW back where it belongs in the character animation.

I'm very positive about this.

I've seen stuff like this pulled so many times before by great lw community and things will turn out for better to all of us.

Best of luck, see you in LW Character Animation.

P.S. Can we get Tim Albee into this. That would be AWESOME! Anyone?

CGI Addict
03-06-2009, 06:35 PM
Originally Posted by Larry_g1s
As far as the catagories...guy's it's real simple:

'Finished work & Demo Reels' - self explained.
'Work in Progress' - for critics
'Technical' - section for tutorials, plug-ins, training, tools, books, rigging questions, etc. (basically everything else that would accompany CA).

Dexter 2999:
I'll second.

I would also hope that if there are any flame wars they keep themselves in the "Technical" section.

I'll third.

jasonwestmas
03-06-2009, 06:46 PM
The whole chips falling where they may has been tried and it always ends up with LW sucks for CA because....
or Software X is better because...
It leaves a bad taste and then people are hesitant to try and get something going again. Its not a lot of ppl who do it but its typically the same people.

As far as 2D apps...
Anime studio (moho)
Pencil Test
:)

TV Paint? I've only used mirage a little.

hrgiger
03-07-2009, 03:48 AM
I don't see why it's bad to discuss how things are done in other packages. Especially considering that animation in Lightwave is probably changing in the near future with Core. Lightwave will hopefully no longer be a destructive patchwork of tools that dont' really work well with one another.
I like the idea of an animation section but I think we should be open about new ideas and not try to squelch thoughts because they might not always say 100% positive things about Lightwave. We don't really need the Lightwave sucks comments but I think an explanation of why things would be so much easier if it were more like this is ok.

bobakabob
03-07-2009, 05:03 AM
I don't see why it's bad to discuss how things are done in other packages. Especially considering that animation in Lightwave is probably changing in the near future with Core. Lightwave will hopefully no longer be a destructive patchwork of tools that dont' really work well with one another.

Absolutely, there is even a thread on CGTalk about stealing features from other apps. These discussions are constructive but should really be in a Feature Requests CA thread. Many of us are using apps like XSI and Max and there's no doubt it gives you another perspective on CA. There are pro animators like Pooby who know other packages inside out and their knowledge is invaluable in developing Lightwave. I really hope they continue contributing and there is a forum for their views.

However the problem is a lot of specific requests from LW CA users to learn the native LW tools are derailed, not by experts who have contributed so much to aspiring animators over the years but in the main by trolls who seem to think "LW CA sux" is funny. A scenario where a question about bone tools on a Lightwave forum is met with "try XSI" wouldn't be acceptable in a DAVE School class so why should it be here?



I like the idea of an animation section but I think we should be open about new ideas and not try to squelch thoughts because they might not always say 100% positive things about Lightwave. We don't really need the Lightwave sucks comments but I think an explanation of why things would be so much easier if it were more like this is ok.

Agreed, it would be absurd to pretend LW is perfect. The heated debates of the past between Larry and Pooby made for insightful reading. A great deal of useful info about IK Boost was revealed in one particular thread. But unfortunately trolls always seem to show up with their own agenda. These kind of debates need their own space. There are always workflow questions e.g. XSI -> LW that need resolving. Maybe there should be more focused moderation to ensure discussions stay on track?

Larry_g1s
03-13-2009, 11:16 PM
Any new info. Marvin? And when did you graduate AM, if you don't mind me asking?

sammael
03-14-2009, 06:52 AM
Add my name to the list, I would love a CA section as well. I mainly make characters but I never rig them beyond a simple rig for posing and rarely do any animation, it would certainly be very helpful for those of us who dont want to pour a whole lot of money into training. If I could make a decent rig that functioned properly beyond basic poses I for one would be a whole ot more into it.
Who knows we may even see more decent Lightwave CA stuff start to surface after a while.

Sarford
03-14-2009, 08:06 AM
I still think we should be able to post stuff made with different programs.

It is propably best if we split it up into two sections, artistic and technical.
Artistic: Any program goes (2d, 3d, pupet, clay, pixelation etc). Discuss the artistic sides of the animations, no app-centric discussions

Technical: LW CA specific stuff, with a technical nature. Discuss all technical stuff of LW CA, for the artistic stuff, go to the other forum.

We might have more (artistic) stuff on the boards, thus more stuff to learn from. We could even link to web-videos which show awsome CA etc.

Limiting everything to only LW doesn't do justice to learning CA.

Dexter2999
03-14-2009, 08:38 AM
I still think we should be able to post stuff made with different programs.

It is propably best if we split it up into two sections, artistic and technical.
Artistic: Any program goes (2d, 3d, pupet, clay, pixelation etc). Discuss the artistic sides of the animations, no app-centric discussions

Technical: LW CA specific stuff, with a technical nature. Discuss all technical stuff of LW CA, for the artistic stuff, go to the other forum.

We might have more (artistic) stuff on the boards, thus more stuff to learn from. We could even link to web-videos which show awsome CA etc.

Limiting everything to only LW doesn't do justice to learning CA.

Limiting it to LW may not do justice to learning but this forum is by definition a Newtek and therefore LightWave centric forum.

I think opening up the forum to other methods has the advantage you are thinking of but I think it also opens the door to app. comparisions and by extension flame wars.

Sorry, but on the idea of posting CA done in other app's I am a "glass half empty" kind of guy.

CGI Addict
03-14-2009, 10:02 AM
Again with regard to including other apps, it's not a bad thing necessarily but the inevitable wars will surface which is counter to what this section should be about.

I also believe as others have said that this section must somehow be more or less Lightwave related, as the point is to learn how to do CA work in Lightwave. I don't think Autodesk would open a section that's geared to helping folks learn how to do CA in Lightwave. So far, the consensus is going this route per Larry_g1s:

'Work in Progress' - for critics
'Finished work & Demo Reels' - self explained
'Technical' - section for tools, plug-ins, traing, tutorials, etc.

But how about we add:

'Other Technical' - nonlightwave tools

for those who want to add some insight with other apps. This section would cover all unrelated LW CA tech talk, offering competing apps ways of doing things, options, etc. One other good thing is it keeps potential wars and bickering in one place.

SplineGod
03-14-2009, 10:17 AM
Im with Dexter. This is a LW forum. While CA animation is CA regardless its application is always going to be filtered thru the software its being done with. Theres no getting around that. Theres tons of books, videos etc on CA in general but not matter what the material it will have to pass thru LW no matter who is doing it.
Opening up the discussion as to how things are done in some other app in no way helps nor anyone else do it in LW and only encourages the same old people to come out of the woodwork.
For th ose who feel that discussing other apps somehow will improve LW well theres the hardcore forums to discuss all that.
With the current version of LW it provides very little help.

akademus
03-27-2009, 03:08 PM
Bump up!

How is the new section going anyhow? Are we going to see it soon? Marvin?

akademus
04-10-2009, 07:26 AM
Bump up again.

Any news one the new section?

KScott
04-10-2009, 07:58 AM
wondering also.

Larry_g1s
04-10-2009, 11:08 AM
Marvin?

Marvin Miller
04-10-2009, 06:21 PM
Sorry I haven't replied in so long, it has been a lot busier than expected around here. I will see about getting that put up on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Larry_g1s
04-10-2009, 06:23 PM
Sorry I haven't replied in so long, it has been a lot busier than expected around here. I will see about getting that put up on Monday or Tuesday of next week.Busy with what? ;D I kid, I kid...

We appreciate it Marvin, thanks.

LW_Will
04-14-2009, 09:03 AM
In a lot of cases, the limitations to CA (or anything for that matter) can be seen as a struggle to be over come, not a limitation to be held down.

I say, that it is for current users; Lightwave v9.3.1 ... critiques not, "Great" or "sucks", and workflow. I think that people believe that there are 70 billions ways to do things in LW. I think we need to develop rigs and rigging techniques that can be used in LW, are efficient and quick, and are adaptable to other Animation programs...

But I wrote all this down earlier in the thread...

KScott
04-17-2009, 08:41 AM
bump.