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Spotlight: AlamDV3 lightsword system

Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:30am

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +12

Back in the mists of time, AlamDV was conceived with a single use in mind – creating lightswords. Along the way somewhere the project grew and became more complex, throwing lasers, explosions and muzzle flashes into the mix. And so AlamDV1 was born. That was way back in 2001.

Work began on AlamDV2 straight away, expanding it to include more effects, with the plugin library eventually growing to over a thousand individual entries. As a useful and easy overlay tool with an unparalleled choice of effects and renders it served its purpose well. That was 2002.

It's now 2004 and AlamDV3 is on the horizon, approaching at full speed. Rather than providing a simple upgrade, we decided to go back and rethink every aspect of the program. While some of the interface will be a natural evolution from advances made during Chromanator’s development, we wanted to make sure that the effects themselves were uncompromised and of the highest quality.

Previous versions of AlamDV have been able to create lightswords easily and very quickly – it’s generally acknowledged to be the fastest way of applying lightsword effects to your movie. With AlamDV3 we wanted to take it that final step and make it not only the fastest and easiest system but also the absolute highest quality.

The new lightsword system has been designed with one aim: to create entirely authentic lightswords. From this initial design the lightsword system has come to include several other features that make it a very flexible effects tool.

Important note about the screenshots: The screenshots to the right are from a development version of AlamDV3, which is why some of the text labels are incorrect. You can see the gradual developments we are making to the masking interface, and Chromanator users will recognise the draw and animation modes. These are work-in-progress shots and do not represent the final program.

Freehand drawing
A crucial new feature is the ability to draw lightswords freehand, using over a hundred points. Inherited from the masking system, this makes all kinds of new effects possible. Of course, your normal lightsword won’t need more than the usual four points to form a convincing blade – two on the hilt, two on the tip. As well as normal lightswords, AlamDV3 will also be able to create all sorts of futuristic weaponry, of any shape. Easily re-create Transformers-style light-axes, or the Balrog's light-whip from Lord of the Rings, or the energy Force attacks from the Knights of the Old Republic computer game. The whole arsenal of fantasy and science fiction weaponry is at your command with AlamDV3!

Sections
In a similar manner to the mask system seen in Chromanator, each lightsword effect can consist of several ‘sections’. This can prove very useful for things such as double-bladed weapons, as you can keep both blades within the same effect, instead of having to clutter up the timeline with multiple lightsword effects. It can also prove useful for when the lightsword passes behind an object, enabling you to use several sections to create the illusion of it being obscured, working as an alternative to using an actual mask.

Glow control
Rather than just a single glow slider, AlamDV3 will give you precise control of several glows. You could apply just one for a traditional effect, or several if you wished to create a more unusual or abstract appearance. Each applied glow has separate attributes that enable you to alter its size, spread and colour, providing much more customisation than ever before. We also intend to include a function that will fluctuate the glow power slightly, simulating the slight lightsword flicker that people have requested.

More options, more power
The new lightsword system is designed to provide vastly more power and flexibility than AlamDV2. Our aim is to make AlamDV3 the best program for lightsword creation, in any price range.

This Spotlight has only scratched the surface of AlamDV3 and we'll be investigating some of the other exciting new features in the near future. Keep a close eye on the FXhome news section for all the latest AlamDV3 info!
Concept gallery

Draw mode

Animation mode

Glow editing

Freehand drawing with double glow
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:33am

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Aculag

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This makes me very happy. Can't wait!
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:36am

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4036Douglas

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/me dies in anticipation of Alamdv3.
Great work guys. Cant wait!!!
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:39am

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Brettsta

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Thats some awesome news! Will you guys change the color of the final interface? It just seems a little too similir to chromy right now, although I did read the part of your post stating how it doesnt represent the final program. Anyways, this is exciting stuff

biggrin
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:39am

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wpl

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nice
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:53am

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Serpent

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One word and one word only, very sweet. OK, maybe 2 words.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:55am

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Evman

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oh god. This is too much. You guys had to realease this info the same day as Return of the King came out on DVD. This is one of the best days of my life! biggrin biggrin biggrin Im having a brain overload...

Looks great! Absolutely looks great. Does this mean that ADV3 is soon, or a looooonnnnggggg time away?
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 12:57am

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Brettsta

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From the screenshot, seems like they took chromys coding, laid it out. And took out the chromy features, which left them with the interface and masks. Then they added the glow. It seems like they still have a little way to go... but how little smile
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:18am

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Pooky

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*explodes*

If this shows the quality of AVD3, then I think it will be pretty darn popular if you know what I'm talkign about smile

You can DEFINATELY count on me buying it. Can't wait to see the Muzzle Flash system and Penguin.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:22am

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Slick

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Looks nice. Good work guys cant wait to have it, free smile.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:22am

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Gibs

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pooky wrote:

If this shows the quality of AVD3, then I think it will be pretty darn popular if you know what I'm talkign about smile
I would assume that WIP screenshots of Alamdv3 would show the quality of Alamdv3! smile
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:23am

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Pooky

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I mean the actual effect, and system and all.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:29am

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Axeman

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Great teaser! Very impressive looking, as far as the versatility and the quality. Looking forward to more info with great anticipation! Superb work, my most excellent fellows.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:32am

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Marek

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Those sabers in the pictures look amazing!

I cannot wait for this, but i suppose I will have to. I'm strongly considering holding off post production of my latest film to include DV3 effects in it. I'm especially looking forward to the partical generator you touched on in a previous news post.

Looks great guys! (as if you didn't already know that smile)
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:38am

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Slick

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Marek wrote:

Those sabers in the pictures look amazing!

I cannot wait for this, but i suppose I will have to. I'm strongly considering holding off post production of my latest film to include DV3 effects in it. I'm especially looking forward to the partical generator you touched on in a previous news post.

Looks great guys! (as if you didn't already know that smile)
You mean Pinguin or something like that smile. Should be cool but it would bge nice to have unliminited tracks where you could add in more tracks instead of being limited to like 8 or how ever much it is, for alamdv3 and chormy as well.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:41am

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Brettsta

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In alamdv2 we can have 50 layers of effects. Youre not going to downgrade that in 3, are you?
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 1:44am

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Marek

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I'm not understanding what you would need multiple tracks for in Alam... in chromy you obviously do compositing of multiple tracks, in alam your basically just adding effects to your already composited footage smile

Of course, you would need more than one layer of effects biggrin

Oh, and it's 16 tracks wink
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 2:09am

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ssjaaron

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Ya! alamdv3 first screen shots, man i can not wait, i almost wet myself! wink
man, that free hand looks like Majin Vegeta's "M" on his head. lol
i really am excited for alamdv3 now that i have used chromanator.

peace out
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 2:26am

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Evman

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are you gonna be able to put a blur on it still? That one saber looks real square...
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 2:33am

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Brettsta

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YEah, id assume. Youd probably go to effects, gaussian blur, similir to chromy.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 3:16am

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JediMaster33

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Very nice, you have greatly exceded my expectations.

Great screenshots, I can't wait to see more. biggrin biggrin biggrin

Later,

JM33 cool
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 3:38am

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Waser

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damn you csb, you are such teases! I cannot wait, and shal not wait! *begins packing for a swim across the ocean*
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 4:58am

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fertesz

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hugegrin
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 5:49am

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Redhawksrymmer

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Rating: +1

Great work guys!

I think the reason that AlamDV3 looks the same as Chromanator is because they both use the G6 engine. I tink DigiGrade will look mthe same too.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 8:57am

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Joshua Davies

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Yeah, they will look very similar - if you put these image side by side with Chromy you'll notice its a totally different colour (although we've not quite finished the colour stuff yet).

As for layers, AlamDV3 will support 32 layers at first. The core feather can be set just like Chromanator mask - you then add a glow to the core. You can also set the colour of the core.
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 9:00am

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Sisko Kid

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Goodbye ILM!!!

HELLO ALAMDV 3!!!!

This is so awesome!

Amazing, I cannot wait to see how it runs on my G5!!

Thanks for all the hard work you guys have put into AlamDV and the other apps...

Once AlamDV comes out, I'll hit the pay button for Chromanator!!!

I'll buy what ever you got!!!

razz
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 10:00am

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Kram1563

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Wow that seriously looks great.
I for one cannot wait for the new program Alamdv3 looks fantastic and sounds it to.
Keep on suprising us guys, good work.

Mark
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 10:40am

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Andreas

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Impressive!
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 5:13pm

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MrShmoe

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I can't wait until AlamDV3 is finished!!!!!
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 7:12pm

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rmw

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Looks amazing! biggrin

I just want to know if alamDV3 will support linear animation?
Posted: Wed, 26th May 2004, 7:18pm

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Xcession

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linear as opposed to? nucleated?
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2004, 5:37pm

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rmw

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I mean Linear interpolation between the keyframes.
Posted: Thu, 27th May 2004, 9:25pm

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Evman

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can you still use the alamdv1 four click method for every frame? or will it be doomed, like the masks in chromy, to reposition the points for each frame?
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2004, 12:22am

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andrewlogan

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Rating: -6

I keep getting my post deleted? Is it something I said?
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2004, 12:26am

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Marek

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Obviously.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2004, 12:49am

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Axeman

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rmw - I'm sure AlamDV3 will support linear keyframing. Chromy does, and I'm pretty sure the keyframing system in the two will work exactly the same. (That is the purpose of the "Tween Power" slider. Set it to 0, and it will keyframe straight from one point to the next.)

By linear tweening you mean it will just evenly space them between the keyframes, right? As opposed to ramping the animation in and out? If you mean something else, let me know.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2004, 1:23am

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Evman

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maybe it has something to do with his signaure. That sounds ominous.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2004, 8:33am

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Xcession

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I was deleting them because he repeatedly used this thread - one about the technicalities of lightsword placement - to vent his silly (and wholely mooted) preconceptions about how csb-digital have let the world down. It was irrelevant and has been addressed countless times before. ergo: deleted.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2004, 6:41pm

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rmw

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Thanks Axeman!

I havent actually animated anything in chromanator.
Posted: Fri, 28th May 2004, 7:14pm

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Evman

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evman101 wrote:

maybe it has something to do with his signaure. That sounds ominous.
yep... i was right
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 9:57pm

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Evman

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evman101 wrote:

can you still use the alamdv1 four click method for every frame? or will it be doomed, like the masks in chromy, to reposition the points for each frame?
um, yeah. no one gave an answer...
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 9:58pm

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Aculag

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What's the difference between clicking 4 times to add a mask, and clicking 4 times to move a mask?
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 10:03pm

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Evman

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Aculag wrote:

What's the difference between clicking 4 times to add a mask, and clicking 4 times to move a mask?
Its easier to:
A- Do- if you have many points, and the weapon moves a great distance, then this would be much harder
B- Hard to see where the thing is. Its hard to see where the prop blade is.
Posted: Fri, 4th Jun 2004, 10:04pm

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Aculag

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To each his own, I guess. I personally think it's much nicer to move an already existant mask.
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 4:38am

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Atom

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in alamdv3 will it still have the switch interface option? Like, if we just want to use the original plugins from the plugin library in the alamdv2 interface, but then want to use penguin. Also, are the existing plugins valid in 3?
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 12:54pm

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SBoholm

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It looks REALLY great! I can´t wait! biggrin
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 1:43pm

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Klut

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I hope alamedv3 is easier to use, in dv2 i have problems to make one layer be in front of one other, and if a (for example) hand gets in the way, I have to make many laser around the hand.
Alamdv3 is going to support sound right? Couse it hard for me to tell when I fire my pistol.
But the painting oppertunety (rigthly spelled or what?) migth come in handy if.. let say there's an exploison (aackh) in a house, the effect whoud not take place outside..
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 1:58pm

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Brettsta

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Klut wrote:

I hope alamedv3 is easier to use, in dv2 i have problems to make one layer be in front of one other, and if a (for example) hand gets in the way, I have to make many laser around the hand.
Alamdv3 is going to support sound right? Couse it hard for me to tell when I fire my pistol.
But the painting oppertunety (rigthly spelled or what?) migth come in handy if.. let say there's an exploison (aackh) in a house, the effect whoud not take place outside..
Its called masks. Read up in teh tuts
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 2:54pm

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Klut

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Brettsta wrote:


Its called masks. Read up in teh tuts
???

By the way, wil exporting go faster?
Posted: Sun, 6th Jun 2004, 2:57pm

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Mellifluous

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In AlamDV there is a toolbar below the effects one, called Masks. Check out the shapes & what they do. Basically, you can apply an effect & place a "mask" over it so that the area the mask covers is not affected by the plugin. This is great for placing explosions slightly behind buildings etc.
Posted: Mon, 7th Jun 2004, 11:16pm

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Evman

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more... i need mooooorrrrrreeeeee alam dv3 info! Morrrreeeeeeee!!!!! PLEASE!!!???!!!???!!!??? AHHHHHH!!!! im going insane!

tard tard tard tard tard tard tard tard tard tard
Posted: Tue, 8th Jun 2004, 11:31am

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Mellifluous

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Btw, I don't recall it being established yet, & I haven't used Chromy yet so wouldn't know, but will I have to keep AlamDV3 running maximised with no other programs when rendering?

It's just a bit annoying not being able to do other things when rendering.
Posted: Tue, 8th Jun 2004, 11:33am

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Simon K Jones

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Definitely not. AlamDV3 will be able to render in the background just like Chromy.
Posted: Tue, 8th Jun 2004, 3:27pm

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Lord Soth

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I'm new with this. Me and a friend are working with a movie right now, but we don't have a good pc and AlamDV on it, but does AlamDv work on windows98??
Posted: Tue, 8th Jun 2004, 7:54pm

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Serpent

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Alam DV2 does, Alam DV3 doesn't. I highly suggest upgrading to XP and getting a new system for making movies.
Posted: Tue, 8th Jun 2004, 8:03pm

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Rawree

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Serpent wrote:

Alam DV2 does, Alam DV3 doesn't. I highly suggest upgrading to XP and getting a new system for making movies.
All that they've said is that it may not work on Win98, it hasn't been tested on it.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 1:20am

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Serpent

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I've been owned again! mad
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 1:29am

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Evman

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Serpent wrote:

I've been owned again! mad
its p-zoned... get it right! Geez... biggrin
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2004, 2:24am

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DigiSm89

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Tarn wrote:

Definitely not. AlamDV3 will be able to render in the background just like Chromy.
The rendering was actually rather funny. I had AlamDV 1 and tried to render a demo scene. I had paint opened up at the same time and I was busy drawing. When I checked my exported movie, I found that Alam had captured frames from every step of my drawing.

AlamDV3 will be great!!! I will be sure to actually buy this prog.
Posted: Mon, 14th Jun 2004, 2:08pm

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Serpent

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I did that, sort of. I had a screen saver up and when I checked my movie, it was my movie and then a random Game Cube logo popped up, which was my screen saver. Kind of odd.
Posted: Wed, 28th Jul 2004, 2:10am

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FiveIronFrenzy

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*stands starring, in awe*

I think I might die...I need it now!
Posted: Wed, 28th Jul 2004, 2:31am

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Evman

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its been too long for a news post... wouldn't it be cool if they just randomly put DV3 up without warning or any news posts? That would be better. if you say : "its coming out in a week" then we will be dying all week. If its random, everyone's happy! biggrin
Posted: Wed, 28th Jul 2004, 2:32am

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er-no

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It will be out when its out.

Don't force beauty.
Don't force brilliance.
And don't question time. wink
Posted: Wed, 4th Aug 2004, 9:58pm

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terrain23

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There needs to be more updates on this project. I mean come one it has been over 2 months now with nothing. Is anyone else bothered by this?
Posted: Wed, 4th Aug 2004, 10:08pm

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sk8npirate

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They just said they would be beta testing soon.
Posted: Wed, 4th Aug 2004, 10:30pm

Post 66 of 71

terrain23

Force: 200 | Joined: 29th Mar 2004 | Posts: 11

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Interesting .... I must have missed that news posting
Posted: Wed, 4th Aug 2004, 10:59pm

Post 67 of 71

Evman

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wasn't a news post.
Posted: Thu, 5th Aug 2004, 12:15am

Post 68 of 71

Serpent

Force: 5426 | Joined: 26th Dec 2003 | Posts: 6515

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Yeah, it's in the Alam DV3 thread under CSB Product discussion, I think.
Posted: Sat, 8th Jan 2005, 4:03pm

Post 69 of 71

obidean

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If I buy Alamdv2 right now, will I have to pay full price for Alamdv3 when it comes out or is it a free upgrade?
Posted: Sat, 8th Jan 2005, 4:09pm

Post 70 of 71

Pooky

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Free upgrade smile
Posted: Sat, 22nd Jan 2005, 9:29pm

Post 71 of 71

Lord Soth

Force: 30 | Joined: 8th Jun 2004 | Posts: 36

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Now I'll almost do anything for alam dv3!
It looks so... uhm... Cant describe it:D