Depth of field in Antics3D

October 16, 2008

Depth of field is a great effect to place emphasis on a particular character or object in your scenes. It’s a simple technique, but one that can really drive forward the narrative of your shots.

There are a couple of ways you can achieve a depth of field effect in Antics3D, as demonstrated by this short clip from YouTube user manecolooper:

Manecolooper posted this up as an entry to our student competition – create a short clip demonstrating a filmmaking technique. Every student that enters will receive a free V4 Professional license. The top 3 clips will win their creator a cash prize of up to $1000. The deadline is the end of October, but it won’t take you long to create such a short clip in Antics3D.

Back to depth of field. One way to achieve this would be to place a billboard behind the character or object you want to focus on. Apply the frosted glass texture (or similar) to this and everything behind the billboard will be nicely obscured, bringing your character or object into sharp relief.

That’s a fairly quick workaround. Another solution would be to use a blue or greenbillboard behind your focus object then take the scene into a post-processing package.

It’s also possible to use lighting to focus on the desired elements in your scene. Antics3D regular Tony Bannan posted some shots on his blog to demonstrate this a little while ago. Realtime shadows have been added to Antics3D since then.


Antics3D Version 5 – just released!

October 9, 2008

Exciting news! The latest version of our software Antics3D, V5, has just been released – with a host of new and improved features. You’ll save time with our improved user interface which features context-sensitive buttons, and several other simplified tools like a unified Edit tool. But most of all, the feature you’ve all been waiting for is finally here: character emotions!

We’ve worked really hard to bring this incredible new feature to the product. You can now add all shades of expression to your characters, and animate it all in the same easy point-and-click fashion. Use preset emotions such as happiness, anger, surprise – or fine-tune the exact amounts of aggression, excitement, sadness, etc. that are present in the expression, to really achieve a subtle feeling.

There’s tons of improvements all across the board, and you really have to check it out to get a good feel for them. You can download a free trial, or for more information point your browser to: http://www.antics3d.com/v5.

If you did that, you’ll also notice we’ve come out with a completely new website, alongside the new logo and colour-scheme which you can already see on this blog. We hope you like it – please getintouch with us with any feedback you have, or any problems you may encounter. We’ve done our best to iron out any bugs, but as with any new website there may be teething problems – we’ll fix them as soon as we can.

One of the greatest things about the new website is the revamped asset management system. You can now download singular assets (like just 1 table) rather than having to download entire content packs. This means it’s cheaper and faster for you, and the choice is entirely yours. What’s more, all of our products now come standard with 6 months free access to all of this premium content!

We really hope you enjoy V5 and we’re continuing to improve the product daily. Please email in with any suggestions or feedback – we love to hear from you.


Antics3D website maintenance, Thurs 2nd October

September 29, 2008

Our IT team are performing some essential maintenance on our website. Affected services will include the Antics3D Forum, website and store. Downtime will be minimised and we will let you know here as soon as normal service is resumed.

Sections of the website will be unavailable from Monday 29th September at 5pm BST / 12pm ET / 9am PT until further notice.

You may find that while you can still browse our existing forum that you are unable to make any new posts until the migration to our new forum has been completed.

We aim to have all work completed as soon as possible.

As we approach the release of Antics3D V5 there are many updates, upgrades and new features that we have planned to improve your experience on our site. Essentially we will be coming back with an entirely new website, content store and forum, so I hope you can bear with us while this work is completed.

If you should encounter any difficulty during this time then please contact us at support@antics3d.com


Student Teacher Competition – Every entry wins Antics3D Pro

September 19, 2008

If you’re a student with an interest in filmmaking then we’ve just launched a great contest for you.

Use our free 21-day trial to produce a short clip showing a filmmaking concept and you will receive a free copy of Antics 3D V4 Professional ($295 on our web store).

What’s more, the top clip will earn $1000 cash for its creator. With two runner up prizes of $250 each you’re in with a great chance of picking up some cash as well as some free filmmaking software!

For more details, including how to download your trial copy of Antics and how to submit your video, check out this link

The choice of which filmmaking concept to demonstrate is yours. For example you could show the rule of thirds, the 180 degree rule, a shot-reverse-shot. This is the kind of thing we’re looking for:

If you have any questions then email us at getintouch@antics3d.com or post on our forum.

Full time students at any level, from any country, can participate. Proof of student status may be requested.


What you need to get started:


Congrats to Ammo Previz – 10,000 Antics3D blog views

September 16, 2008

Ammo Previz (aka Antics3D user Tony Bannan) runs a great Antics3D community blog over at antics3d.blogspot.com. But then, you already know that as his blog is amazingly popular amongst Antics3D users; it’s just passed through the 10,000 views mark

With articles on all things previz and some great tips and tricks the blog is essential reading for anyone with a copy of Antics3D.

It’s packed with detailed how-to articles that are always a great read, such as this recent post which shows us how to get our characters jumping. You’ll also find extremely useful techniques on how to achieve particular effects in Antics3D; who would have thought to use windows to make a bullet hole effect in a wall?

If you’ve read one of Tony’s recent articles on this very blog, such as the SketchUp masterclass, then you’ll know what to expect. So congratulations to the Antics Community Blog, here’s to the next 10,000!


Antics3D at the Cambridge Film Festival

September 15, 2008

The 28th Cambridge Film Festival will feature a machinima track showing around 50 films, including the winner of the Antics3D Medical Shorts competition that we ran earlier this year. Tony Bannan’s short ‘Folie a Duex’ will be screened alongside movies made in a variety of Machinima tools, including Antics3D, iClone, Second Life, Moviestorm, The Sims, Half Life 2, and Second Life.

Running from September 18th to 28th the Cambridge Film Festival is one of the largest in the UK. Audiences have grown by 40% in the past 5 years, reaching 16,500 participants in 2007.


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