More free content libraries

September 4, 2008

Last week I posted up a list of online libraries where you can grab free content for use in your Antics3D movies.

This inspired many of you to send in your own recommendations of sites that you use regularly, so here’s an updated list. You can never have enough mocap, audio and textures when creating a scene so keep the suggestions coming.

Free BVH Motion Capture

Carnegie Mellon University

Mocap Extras


Free BVH Editors

QAvimator

BVHacker


Free 3DS models

3delicious

Archive3D

Artist-3D

Free audio

Soundsnap

Freesound


Free textures

Textures Forrest

And finally a library of stock effects such as gun shots, blood and explosions that I found on Overman’s blog

Updated 08/09/08 – Thanks Darryl

Advertisements

Essential maintenance – Wednesday 3rd September

September 2, 2008

This mainetenance is now completed. If you encounter any licensing difficulty please let us know in the Installation & Getting Started section of our forum.

Our IT team will be performing some essential maintenance on our licensing server this Wednesday, 3rd September. Downtime will be minimised and we will let you know here as soon as the license server is available.

This will only affect you If you are attempting to activate Antics using a license key. Similarly, if you need to make use of the ‘unlock’ facility in Antics to move your license from one machine to another.

There will be no impact on our other services – the Antics web site, online store, community forum and blog will all be operating as usual.

If you should encounter any difficulty with the activation process outside of this time then please let us know over in the Installation & Getting Started section of our forum.


Making the fairy fly – SketchUp advanced class

August 28, 2008

An angel, a demon, a wizard and a fairy share the folder in the newest character pack released from Antics. There are some screenshots further down this blog for you to check them out. I love getting hold of these new assets, they start me thinking about new little stories that I can tell with Antics. I thought it might be fun to go through the steps needed to make the wings of the fairy move. It’s possible to use the tab key to allow selection each wing, set a pose or two and then get the fairy to blend from one pose to another, but, I thought you might want to have a little more control, plus this way you can have your fairy free to do other stuff. (Like walking.)

For this you’ll need some eggs, a little flour and an inclinometer. (just kidding you won’t need the eggs!) Actually this process works best with photoshop and sketchup and of course Antics. We’ll be plucking the wings off our fairy and then sticking a couple of new ones on. So place the fairy on a new room. To remove the original wings, right click the fairy, choose textures then right click on the wings.ksh texture in the list, to select edit. Under the colour tab you can set the transparency to 100%. So now you have a wingless fairy. Not bad looking as a female character, bar the ears and the ridges in her back!.

The next step is to set up for creating or own wings. We do this by importing a new fairy and positioning her so that all we see is the wing sticking up through the floor like a wing shaped floor mat. (Turn off the snap to position,rotation option.) Line your camera up to this wing and when it’s large in frame save out a single frame. This’ll be what we use the create and texture our new wing. Your wing should look like this…….

Using sketchup, import the wing still frame (as an image) so that we can trace the shape. I found a Bezier Curves plugin for Sketchup which made the job much easier. Once you have a completed the outline of your wing, you can import the stillframe again (as a texture) and apply it to the surface. A little scale/rotate/position fiddle and we are all set. Remember to do the other side as well. Ok now save the .skp file as wing.skp then back into Antics and jump into the file/import and select your wing.skp

All good. So now you should have a wing and a wingless fairy. At this point I saved the Antics project. When you do this you can access the texture map being applied to the new wing so that you can set the look of it to match the original wing texture map. These maps are found in a “maps” folder within the saved project. The original wing was mapped with a fairy_hair_wings.tga file. If you want the new wing to be identical to the original you’ll need to use photoshop to match the RGBA channels. Otherwise you could set the transparency value so the new wing has the look you want.

The next part of the process is to get the new wings flapping. As usual, I’ve gone for the old, “use a camera to create a motion curve” trick. If you haven’t heard of it before, it goes something like this. Put a freecam in the spot where you want an animatable axis of some sort. Link the asset/prop to this freecam. Now use the pan, tilt and dolly values to drive your prop. In this way the values are recorded via the camera’s motion curve, and therefore editable. For the wings, make sure the pivot point is in the right spot, then link each wing to it’s own freecam, which you put, right on the ridge on the back of our wingless fairy. It’s useful to have two viewports open. One is the Mastercam, framed so you can see the whole wing, (say from the top). The other viewport (which you make active) is to see what the freecam is looking at. When you pan left, the asset will swivel to the left. Make sure the freecamera animation is recorded in the timeline.

Once you’ve got your cameras doing their thing, link them to your fairy. Now she is free to be directed, and the wings will perform on cue.

Have fun.

T.

This article was posted by Antics user Tony Bannan of Ammo Previz


Free content libraries

August 20, 2008

You can never have enough content at your fingertips. More resources mean you can be more creative with your animations.

Here are some great free libraries suggested by Antics users:

Free motion capture

http://www.mocapxtras.com/

This is a massive library and I’ve imported a few of their animations with no trouble at all. If you find an animation that needs editing, why not use another suggestion – BVH Hacker

Free audio

http://www.soundsnap.com

Another large library, I’ve found many useful .wav files here, and most seem to be in the correct format to drop straight into Antics

Free textures

http://textures.forrest.cz/

The same for textures to help customise your props

Gary


20 new Antics characters now available

August 15, 2008

Five new content packs are now available for you to download. Containing 20 characters, these packs will bring your fantasy scenes to life.

For those who wanted to get hold of the scary Nosferatu character we used in our V4 shadows preview video, now’s your chance. He’s available in the Characters Horror 01 pack, along with Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula and a Mummy.

The characters are fully interactive and can be dropped into any Antics scene. Some come with their own special walk animations. As you can see in the V4 preview video, Nosferatu has his very own Mr Burns-esque shuffle.

The packs retail for £3.95/$7.95/€5.45 and of course are free for Antics Professional users.

Characters Horror 01 (Premium)

Characters Fantasy (Premium)

Characters Medieval 01 (Premium)

Characters Medieval 02 (Premium)

Characters Casual Female Adult 08 (Premium)

(You’ll need a fair damsel or two to rescue from Nosferatu’s clutches!)

If you’re a BasePack user and were thinking of taking the $95 upgrade offer to get V4 Professional then now’s the time to do it as you’ll get all 5 packs for free. Be quick though, the discount code is only valid till the end of August.

If there’s any content packs that you would like to see in future then please let us know over in the Content Wishlist area of the forum.

I hope you enjoy the new characters, be sure to share your horror and fantasy inspired videos on the forum.

Gary


For your consideration…

August 8, 2008

There have been a couple of Antics created videos which have caught my eye lately.

The “Twaddlers” short by Antics regular Yan has kicked up a real storm on YouTube.

What do you think of this?

Picked up recently by Machinima.com, the video has generated an unbelievable number of comments in the few days it has been on their YouTube page:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRMYjdbLn5I

Some like it, others seem to take it as a personal insult… opinions are certainly polarised, and voiced very strongly! I’m glad to hear that Yan is pressing on with the second instalment – I can’t wait!

Then there’s a pop video called “Nothing” by Red Ash and the Love Commandos.

http://www.vimeo.com/859834

This has also caught the eye of the Guernsey Lily Film Festival 2008 where it has been judged “Highly Commended”.

Gary


Antics at the Director’s Guild of America Annual “Digital Day” Event

August 1, 2008

Antics will be exhibiting V4 Professional at the Director’s Guild of America annual “Digital Day” event on Saturday, August 2nd from 830am-4pm in Hollywood, CA.

The event is put on by the DGA’s Special Project’s Committee and this is the 2nd year in a row that Antics has been invited to demonstrate. It will be a whole day of learning and networking with guild members and industry colleagues exclusively for DGA members.

Other than the exhibitor area, the agenda looks interesting: sessions on motion capture, performance capture, 3D television/films, virtual worlds, and developing content for the Internet and mobile phones. The theme for this year is “Size Matters: Creating Content for Big and Small Screens.”

Among the speakers are 3D cinematography gurus Vince Pace and Steve Schklair; Eric Brevig, director of ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’; directors Penelope Spheeris, Marshall Herskovitz, and Demian Lichtenstein; and lots of animation and visual effects supervisors.

There’s also going to be a session on “Working in Virtual Worlds: More than Fun and Games? Using Online Virtual Worlds as a tool for Pre-Production.” I’ll be sure to check out the seminar and let you know what is discussed, but I already know that Second Life will be covered and how some are using it to hold virtual production meetings remotely.

Apple, Avid, Red, Panavision, Thomson Grass Valley, JL Fisher, ARRI and Technicolor are some of the other vendors that will be giving hands-on demos.

Antics is the lone pre-viz software that will be exhibiting, as Antics’ usability and speed in which 3D animation can be produced, accommodates the director’s busy schedule and is the only tool that allows them to visualize their own creative ideas.