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Tweening for animation

Posted: Sat, 10th May 2008, 3:42am

Post 1 of 10

cottonproductions

Force: 845 | Joined: 26th Oct 2007 | Posts: 73

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Hi,

I have a good understanding of tweening (atleast I think I do) and am trying to animate a Romulan Warbird (still image from alamdv plugin) from point A to point B on a space background. I am tweening the whole way and have only two key points. Between point a and b, I am also scaling up as the ship is kind of diagnal to the camera. I have tween strength set to max on all three sliders for the ship.

The problem I am seeing is that it doesnt look natural like a ship "floating" through space. It looks kind of jumpy (not much but just enough to not look natural.) I am just trying to get a more floaty look to it and this info would be helpful with other future projects that I plan to do which have to do with an object floating.

I was going to try more keyframes but thought it would add a speed varience or something else that would look worse.

I have a "test" clip up for the weekend and once I get some suggestions I am going to pull it, re-render with new suggestions, and fix some inaccuracy with the disruptors. (Been a while since I watched Star Trek.)
The link for the clip is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzQp-6Y5200

Thanks in advance for any help.

Trea
Posted: Sat, 10th May 2008, 6:48pm

Post 2 of 10

Plainly

Force: 1537 | Joined: 27th Dec 2006 | Posts: 767

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Hi there cotton,

The simple solution, I think, would be to add some rotation to the ship, in the same direction as it's going at the beginning of the clip. Just much slowlier.

Good luck!
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 4:12am

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cottonproductions

Force: 845 | Joined: 26th Oct 2007 | Posts: 73

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Thanks for the idea. I tried slowing down the spin at to make it last until the end of the clip, unfortunately it made it more jittery. Still playing around with it looking for more ideas.
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 7:36am

Post 4 of 10

cottonproductions

Force: 845 | Joined: 26th Oct 2007 | Posts: 73

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I have experimented with different methods of tweening, all settings, rotations, still doesnt look right to me. I re-rendered my original video and changed the weapons they way I wanted them. I also faded out quicker to try and hide the hault of the ship at the end.

the link to the new video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gogyd66PFyE

It is bugging me but I am thinking that there may be no way to make it smoother due to it being a still image rather than rendering the movement in a 3D program.
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 10:43am

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DavidLittlefield

Force: 1905 | Joined: 10th Oct 2006 | Posts: 469

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Are you rendering at full quality? It seems to me the "jumpy-ness" is only because of compression issues (I could be wrong). Try rendering at "uncompressed" and see what happens.
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 12:07pm

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cottonproductions

Force: 845 | Joined: 26th Oct 2007 | Posts: 73

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I rendered it out as an uncompressed .AVI. The canvas is set at anti-aliased. I beleive it is rendering at as high quality as is possible. Once I get the .AVI rendered I am loading it into Sony Vegas and the final version is rendered as a .WMV. I am noticing the jumpy-ness after the original render and before it when I do a preview render.
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 1:34pm

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GeorgiaHoosier

Force: 800 | Joined: 8th Aug 2007 | Posts: 16

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It looks good in your updated footage, sounds like you are using the same settings for rendering and in Vegas that I use.
It took me a while to get the layers sorted out for complex animation, but I would still get some transparency issues. Not sure if that's what you are experiencing, but fortunately Effectslab is so user friendly you can tweak the layers until it is just the way you want it.
I have found that by trying to enlarge the image too much will make the footage look a bit jerky, for that I just created a new still image in a larger initial size.
I do all my animation with stills of models made from cardboard and pie plates and so far have been really happy with the results from Effectslab.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BY03A9N4IQ
(this was before I bought Compositelab for compositing)

By the way, your "through the wall" video looked great, I'm going to try that one too.
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 10:35pm

Post 8 of 10

cottonproductions

Force: 845 | Joined: 26th Oct 2007 | Posts: 73

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Hi... your video looks GREAT. That is what I am looking for, the floating look. My image is a 640x480 .TIF file. I scaled it down at the beginning of the clip to make it look far away then scaled it up as well as moved it from right to left.

I had started thinking that it was because the image is a still so I began playing around with this program new to me called Blender. Last night I was playing with a mesh of the Enterprise and I animated the movement of the camera towards the ship, rendered it as .PNG with alpha channel, and loaded it in effectslab with background of space. Now I am working on adding lights etc so it.

I did another test video of a still I downloaded from the alamdv plugins of the Delta Flyer. It is a VERY high quality still and I think that must make the difference cause I moved from left to right scaled down to scaled up maximum tween and it was smooth as a baby's bottom. smile

If you have time, try a quick test to see if you get the same results so I can get confirmation that it is the image itself that is causing the problems. I downloaded it from the alamdv plugins it's under the Star Trek downloads. (Only Romulan ship on there)

Thanks
Trea
Posted: Tue, 13th May 2008, 11:30pm

Post 9 of 10

GeorgiaHoosier

Force: 800 | Joined: 8th Aug 2007 | Posts: 16

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Thanks.
I know this flies in the face of how Effectslab is supposed to be used, but I was taking a picture of every model and painstakingly outlining them with freehand masks. Since any scene rarely lasts more than 10 seconds I rendered each model into a .mov animation which made each one essentially a video of a still.
Rather than a blur I feathered the masks to an intensity of about 3 or 4 to get that soft edge.
The door on the big ship is actually the garage door to my shop, again I just made a mask that left all the unwanted portions black.

As far as tweaking layers, what I meant was getting in the habit of putting the objects in the right order so nothing looks transparent that shouldn't, it becomes second nature with Effectslab pretty fast.

For instance you can see the outline of Earth through the little ship at the end of this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_UIPiys_fQ
I also hadn't started feathering the edges of the ships.

I know my method raises eyebrows amongst the more Effectslab-savvy members here, but it works for me!

I've since gotten Compositelab too but I still mask out my cardboard models and move them around the screen.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JIHtHCF8TA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhW3B-w23aw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knuRkNAYPMQ
(all pretty short)

One of these days I'm going to get a feature put together with all this stuff

Good luck with Blender, from what I have read it's a great imaging program but I'm too old a dog to learn that new trick, at least for now.
I'm sticking with the Lydecker method of special effects for a while.
Posted: Wed, 14th May 2008, 10:17am

Post 10 of 10

cottonproductions

Force: 845 | Joined: 26th Oct 2007 | Posts: 73

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Thanks for all the help. I am getting things figured out the more I play around. Like you, I am making various clips that one day should look good when combined together lol. I finished my Enterprise animation last night, still needs some work but has potential.

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

Trea