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Author Topic: More Animation Controls  (Read 2326 times)

That 3d Guy

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More Animation Controls
« on: July 04, 2012, 06:25:29 AM »
First of all..

thankyou very much for the new animation map controls...
a great addition to a great tool.
I can see its going to make my life easier!

I would like however to suggest another option.. along a similar approach to the new animation map, but just gives an extra level of control.
This approach could also create the illusion of multiple custom objects, without having to individually creating and setting them up in forest.

Heres my example..
set everything up exactly as you do now for animation map.. define the map.. samples.. offset etc.. BUT when you hit play.. the actual forest objects dont animate.. they are purely just holding the sample frame drawn from the map.

When the map itself is animated (along an axis or by a parameter) the custom objects then appear to animate (as they are reading new frames).. it could create the illusion of wind currents of higher and lower strength moving along (as some values of the map may never reach full black or white).

This way you could create custom painted maps of eddies of wind travelling through a field of grass or flowers, for example.

Just a thought.

i could try and create animation to illustrate what i mean if that helps??

cheers,

iToo

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 09:13:34 AM »

Sorry, but i don't see the difference with the current implementation: now you can use a procedural map (as noise), and animate the 'phase' parameter to get the same effect.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

That 3d Guy

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 12:24:36 AM »
Yeah, sorry, its hard to describe.  ;D

Or maybe im missing how the Map feature works.

Heres how i understand it (and maybe im wrong?? :-[)
At the moment.. when animation control is turned on (any feature).. the forest objects move when play is pressed.
This can be randomised with the 'Random Sample' feature.
Or controlled with the new Map feature.. Specifying where in the animation cycle each forest object starts from (offest).

But when play is pressed.. the forest objects always move.. and always the full range of animation of the Main object.

I would find it useful if the map drove which keyframe to load onto the forest object.
black = frame 0 of the main objects animation and white = frame 'x' of the aniamtion (whatever the last keyframe is)

So as a custom painted map was animated the forest objects shape only ever matched the value of the map.
This way.. if the map was never animated.. the forest object wouldnt move when play was pressed, but it would have a different (static) shape due to the Map driving which frame of the original animation was loaded on it.
If the map was animated or moved then the objects would be forced to change shape to the new value of the Map.

As the map animated some forest objects might experience the full range of black to white.. and so would use the full range of original animation.
Other forest objects might only experience very subtle or even no change on colour and so would appear not to move at all.

Hope this help to explain my idea.

That 3d Guy

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 12:32:47 AM »
Ive tried to think of a visual representation of what i mean.. and i think this comes closest.

Imagine i have a field of flowers.. and i want them to animate open and closed - controlled by where the shadow of buildings and clouds move.
I could create an animated Map to represent where the sunlight and shadows are.. then use this to control which forest objects are open at what time during my scene.

Easily done with particles on a small scale.. but Forest Pro can create waaaaaaaaay more instances than pflow

iToo

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 09:51:51 AM »

Ok, i understand now. So, the map should work as an absolute frame pointer, instead an offset modifier as now.

It is a nice idea, we should add some extra parameters but i think it can be done. i just added it to the to-do list.

Thanks for the suggestion !

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

That 3d Guy

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 01:15:20 AM »
 ;D

Thanks Carlos,

I think we are on the same page.

It would be quite a powerful way of making each forest object individual too.. e.g. model one blade of grass.. animate the bend, then have forest pro use an absolute frame for each forest object.. instant random grass bends.

Again, a big thanks for a great plugin.

That 3d Guy

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 01:41:03 AM »
I just found a workaround.. though not ideal.

animate the grass, flower etc.. over a huge amount of time, like 10,000 frames..
set the animation control to map and then the samples count to 20 and the offset to something that would cover your animation range.

so for our 10,000 frame example.. 10,000 divided by 20 (sample count) = 500 (our frame offset)

this way when the animation is played down the forest objects move very very slowly (obviously depends on what animation is happening)
but objects controlled by black areas start at frame 0 of the original objects animation cycle and objects controlled by white start at the last frame, but appear to be still.
When the Map is animated.. the forest objects appear to animate based on the new colour values fed to them.

things i have discovered during this..
1. 20 samples can be a bit restricting, as sometimes you can see steps in the forests animation.
2. animation that ping pongs works well, e.g. grass bending back and fourth.. flowers opening and closing (you only need animate the first half as the map controls the reverse)
3. if an animation needs to loop.. i.e. doesnt look right if played forward, slowed and then reversed, then the map needs to have sharp changes from white back to black to repeat cycles.
4. its pretty cool and nice and controllable under the right situation.

PM me if you want my sample file (max11)

iToo

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 10:11:03 AM »

Thanks for the tip !. I can be very useful for other users.

Quote
1. 20 samples can be a bit restricting, as sometimes you can see steps in the forests animation.

This value is limited to 20 for performance reasons; each animation sample must be stored in memory at render time, so it would collapse the available RAM when using heavy models. For simple models (as grass), should not be problems. Anyway, before implementing this feature or modifying the current parameters, we should test it on different situations.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

That 3d Guy

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Re: More Animation Controls
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 02:05:39 AM »
Quote
This value is limited to 20 for performance reasons; each animation sample must be stored in memory at render time, so it would collapse the available RAM when using heavy models. For simple models (as grass), should not be problems. Anyway, before implementing this feature or modifying the current parameters, we should test it on different situations.

Ahhhhh.. that makes sense.