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Important note: Flocking requires Particles to be turned on in the Render Options Panel.

The Art of Animation:Master (Online)
Please add your exerices to this topic and others will join in.

The Art of Animation:Master is being completed on a continual basis in the New Users Forum. Meeting deadlines can be an important skill to master early on but this course is self paced to allow each person the flexibility they need to learn the basics of Animation:Master. The course can be completed in as little time as necessary or as much as is needed by each participant.

Note: You may want to download the videos first.
All available Video Tutorials related to TAOA:M can be found on one page:
The Art of Animation Master Video Tutorials

The Art of Animation Master Part III: Technical Directors Training

14 - Playing Marble (Materials)
15 - Eat My Dust (Volumetrics)
16 - Smoke, Wind, and Fire (Particles)
17 - Cosmic Bowling (Dynamics)
18 - Waving the Flag (Cloth)
19 - Flying South (Flocks)

Exercise 19: Flying South (Flocks)

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Web (2.6MB)

Zip (2.5MB)

Name:  Den Dotson

Exercises Completed:  Nineteen (Now to pick out my cap and gown)
Date Completed:  Saturday April 9, 2005

Instructor:  Rodney (professor emeritus) and that guy on the web tutorials (I couldn't have done it without you)

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: This exercise was the nightmare or all nightmares. The application would only let me render two (2) frames at a time and then I had to assemble them in Quicktime. I didn't render them all but here is enough for you to tell I completed the exercise.

Here is a link to the 19th completed exercise:

Thanks Rodney,
To give you an idea about how wacky the render is going here is a screen capture of how my screen looks as I rendered these frames. It has never given me trouble except on this flocking exercise. In fact, I went and opened another file in the middle of this nightmare and it rendered fine. It is just this exercise.

Thanks ahead of time for any suggestions,
I've been meaning to test flocking since someone reported having problems.
Especially since one of my projects might need it. wink.gif

It looks like you struggled through though.
Those birds look like they are having fun while they are flocking!

First thing in the morning... look for a link to your certificate here. smile.gif

I graduated!!!

My wife said if I completed the exercises she would give me a graduation party. You, Rodney, and the web tutorial guys are invited of course. If you are in the neighborhood this afternoon!

Thanks so much, it was ALL worth it. I learned a lot and I thought I knew quite a bit going in.

Now on to some projects to try out my new education.

Thanks again Rodney,
Congratulations Den!
You have accomplished something few Animation:Master users have done.

Your certificate awaits.
If you require any changes you have but to ask.

Your completion of the exercises in The Art of Animation:Master demonstrates your ability to see a project through to the end. Your talent is evident in the exercises you've undertaken and completed with style and personal flair.

May this be the beginning of many greater achievements and rewarding challenges.

Please right click on this line and 'Save Target As' to download your certificate. (1.6MB PDF File)

Again... Congratulations! smile.gif
Thanks Rodney!!

It is a thing of beauty.

I couldn't have done it without your encouragement and dedication.

Congratulations Den biggrin.gif

Your dedication and perseverance are inspirational.

Now get back in there and produce some animation so that when I see your work on the big screen I can say to my buddies "I know this guy" laugh.gif
Will Do Dhar!

Thanks for the kick in the pants. We all need one now and then.

Name: Tom Jansen
Exercise: #19 Flying South
Date: May 12th, 2005
Comments: Wow, flocking can be really cool, but it can be a bit finicky too. One of the things I learned is that if you are constraining your flock to a path (using the ease controls to adjust the timing along the path), it seems to be best to set your flock speed to zero. Otherwise the birds fly off ahead of the path and get into all sorts of trouble ;-)

Sorry about the artifacts on this clip, I was trying out some ways to edit views from different cameras together (after I had already rendered them ... probably should have thought this out more in advance). And well, the video editor I have handles its clips strictly at 29.97 frames per second, rather than the 30 fps I rendered my clips at, hence the artifacts.

Anyone know of any apps that will edit QuickTime files? I did some searching today, but the 2 freeware apps I found have been removed. What do you prefer to edit your clips together with?

Here's my clip:

(oh for the record, the sound I used for the plane is from an actual recording of a real life FW-190. I thought that was kind of cool!)

Ok, wow... this was the last exercise. I can't believe I made it through already. It feels like I just got started! Thanks to everyone here (and especially to Rodney) for all the help and encouragement!

Best example of flocking presented integration in a scene to date!

Congratulations on a big finish to the exercises.
Click here to visit the graduate area and to collect your well deserved certificate. You've earned it! smile.gif
Name: Tenez Waggoner
Excercise Completed: 19 Flying South
Date Completed: May 26, 2005
Remarks/Suggestions: I knew I needed to do something extra for the last excercise. So here it is. The flock is flapping awfully fast though wink.gif
Hey Tenez!

The flock is flapping awfully fast though wink.gif

It's not that they are actually "flapping" fast, as much as they are colliding with each other, and smacking each other around. I had that problem for a while too. They are just to crowded. Spacing them out a bit, so that they each have room to flap their wings without hitting each other will help that.

Very nice ending! Ha! Loved it.

Tommy already commented on your ending. That made me laugh. smile.gif

Now you've gone and done it. You've completed the last exercise.
What are you going to do with yourself now???

Congratulations Tenez!

You can find your certificate > here.

(Don't be a stranger Tenez!)
Name: Leo Mitchell
Exercise Completed: # 19 Flying South
Date Completed: 08 June 05
Instructor: Web tut guy

Birds Fly

Just a note to let you know I've started your certificate. It'll take a day or so to get it completed... hopefully tomorrow.

I'd guess you might be going back to pick up/enhance some of the earlier exercises... in the meantime I'll try to get your certificate personalized to the best of my ability.

Congrats for crossing the finish line! smile.gif
Name: Paula Waslen

Exercise Completed: #19 Flying South

Date Completed: Jun 25, 2005

Flock of Birds
name : Erik Kirschberg

Excercise completed : #19 Flying South

Date Completed 9/17/05

instructor : Web tutorials

Comments : this one was pretty easy follwing along with the web tut. i'm Glad i went through TAoA:M again after being away from A:M for a few months, its really helped me remeber things i had forgotten. Next stop Boot Camp smile.gif
Congrats Erik!
That was quite a race you've been running... speedy!

I'll review your last posts and get to work on your certificate ASAP.

Woo Hoo!

Name: Melissa "Elissa" Heldenbergh

Exercises Completed: 20

Date Completed: Oct 18th, 2005

Instructor: A few years of A:M use, the book, and web tutorials, plus also doing the mentor program with Paul Daley. David Rogers book... Jeff Lew's DVD.

Comments: I attempted to use flocks> Crowd for my own animation, but my computers couldn't handle this feature. The birds seem to produce a glitch despite numerous renders.

Elissa said:

...and I say:
Well Done!

Congratulations for seeing it all the way through.
I know I haven't yet delivered the recent alumni's certificates but while you are waiting here is your official push into Preproduction of Tin Woodsman of Oz (TWO).

Animators should press on to Alonso's Ultimate Bootcamp to gain the practice they'll need when full production begins. It will also get the Animation Directors familiar with your work and provide the basic 'demo reel' requirements.

Hone those skills and you can expect to see some really prime opportunities for animating in TWO. Show Alonso what you've got!

TAoA:M certification has a lot of hidden benefits too.
- Completion of TAoA:M and The Animation Bootcamp qualifies you for the mentorship program. Look for openings and note that many of these Mentors are working on TWO as well.
- You have the same foundation as other TAoA:M Alumni
- You are automagically enrolled for a chance at a free upgrade to A:M at the beginning of *each* year (courtesy of the New Users Forum).

Now go on... get out of here... TWO awaits!

Hi to all the new TAoAM graduates. TWO (The Tin Woodsman of Oz) movie project does await you.

Let me introduce myself. I'm David Higgins, another AM user, who has the job of managing the TWO project. Unlike the other project manager (the Producer, Director, Art and Animation Directors) I have the job of making sure we have the resources the project needs to move ahead as well as defining the objects and tasks that need to be completed.

We are currently in pre production and madly building models and there are a large number of both complex and not so complex modles yet to be built. The models do not reuiqre texturing at the moment so if you can model well lets jump in.

Now a word of caution. Having taken on a model and completing it will not necessarily mean the model will be either accepted or used. You MUST be prepared to model and remodel until the Art Directors are happy with the result and don't get upset if the model is not used in the movie - things change as the mood and vision of the Directors gradually gell.

So, jump over to the movie forum, view the storyboards, pick a model from the lists (and let me know) and lets start modelling.

Congratulations on completing TAoAM and welcome to the next step biggrin.gif

Thanks David! Now that is what I call an invitation.
OK, what's happening? The flock excercise isn't working. No flock of geese appears anywhere in my chor. And I mean NOWHERE!

Please help.

See attached.
Names: James A. Owens
Exercises Completed: All
Date Completed: 22 October 2005

Any Hash Fellows available to help out ?

I'm still stuck on this excercise sad.gif
Name: John Kuepper
Excercise Completed: 19
Date Completed: Nov 11, 2005
Remarks/Suggestions: All Done!!!!

QUOTE(Dhar @ Nov 8 2005, 06:55 PM) *

Any Hash Fellows available to help out ?

I'm still stuck on this excercise sad.gif

Do you still need help? Im not a fellow though.

If you do, just let me know
QUOTE(Dhar @ Nov 3 2005, 06:28 PM) *

OK, what's happening? The flock excercise isn't working. No flock of geese appears anywhere in my chor. And I mean NOWHERE!

Please help.

See attached.

make a new project, start the tutorial, and drag the goose to the shortcut to birds1 in you PWS under the choreograhy 1

it should work!!
Thanks for trying John, I tried that already - didn't work.

I was in Seattle, Wa. over the weekend and had the opportunity to visit Hash inc. The answer was in the render option where I had the Hair Particle turned OFF.

It's all good now smile.gif

Name: Dhar Jabouri

Exercises Completed: 20

Date Completed: Nov. 13th, 2005

Instructor: Online Tutorial. Hash Inc. staff in Vancouver, Wa.

Comments: I learned that the Hair Particle function of the program is the one that creates the flock/ swarm/ crowd !
Wow Dhar... talk about personalized service!
It's not every A:M User that drops in on Hash Inc HQ to troubleshoot their TAoA:M exercises.

Thanks for posting your fix here too.
That is sure to help others as they work through this exercise.

One certificate coming up!

A big congratulations to John Kueper too!
I hope to get all certificates out NLT this coming weekend. (Sorry for inevitable delays... Been busy of late)

Thanks to all who have perservered and completed The Art of Animation:Master.
It is quite an accomplishment.
QUOTE(Rodney @ Nov 13 2005, 02:30 PM) *

Wow Dhar... talk about personalized service!
It's not every A:M User that drops in on Hash Inc HQ to troubleshoot their TAoA:M exercises.

Thanks for posting your fix here too.
That is sure to help others as they work through this exercise.

One certificate coming up!

A big congratulations to John Kueper too!
I hope to get all certificates out NLT this coming weekend. (Sorry for inevitable delays... Been busy of late)

Thanks to all who have perservered and completed The Art of Animation:Master.
It is quite an accomplishment.

Rodney; the guys at Hash are the most helpful and friendly people I've ever come across in the corporate world of CG. I will post my notes and some photos in the forum soon.
Hi Rodney

Name Chris Wheeler

xersize- Flocking
Completed 11-22-05

Ok Last addition here- I couldnt resist adding a "crowd" of trees as well

While I haven't yet seen all your exercises I want to take this opportunity to say Congratulations!
I know the folks in charge of Tin Woodsman of Oz will welcome your talent so... get on over there and let them know you are here!

I am of course assuming you are both interested and able to get involved.
I hope that you are.

Once again... congrats!
Thanks Rodney, yes I am involved, and hope to be more involved in the animation as well as the modelling. If you want to let me know what clips youve not seen. I will find a way to buzz them over, once again, thanks for all your work and encouragement on this forum!

I'm very much interested in getting involved in TWO. Animation is where, I believe, my strength is.

Starting Boot Camps soon smile.gif
While I don't often take the time to comment on the Bootcamps I do keep an eye on them.
I'll be watching for yours!

I've got you down as being owed one certificate! smile.gif

Name:Marc Vancouillie
Exercise completed #19: flying south
Date completed 12/10/05

Instructor:t.a.o.AM book and reading
in this topic what people have done before me.

Remarks:I have the impression that some of the gooses
have drunk to much coffee.

So this was the last one.
Thank you Rod for all the efforts that you are doing for
this training as well for all the advice and encouragement
you have given to me and the other participants.

What next? Well animation bootcamp I guess.
Nice finish Marc! Great choice of background I must say too.
I see what you mean about the coffee drinking geese... still too cool though.

Congratulations on completing TAoA:M!
I owe you 1 certificate and (I just saw) 2 chances at the upgrade to v13.

Thanks for showing us your talent.
Have fun in the Bootcamp and beyond!
Name: Splinesmith(Kurt Lange)

Exercises Completed:19
Instructor:the manual.

Remarks/Suggestions for improvement:
Name: Douglas Karpp
Exercise: Excercise 19: Flying South
Date Completed: January 1, 2006


Name: Jody Krivohlavek

Exercise Completed: Exercise 19

Date Completed: January 6, 2006

Instructor: AM Handbook, Video Tutorial and everyone that's ever posted to these forums.
(Been around since the Playmation days )

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement:
I believe I'm getting the overly caffinated geese as well. (Particle model collisions?) unsure.gif blink.gif dry.gif

Only one more to go for certification... YAY! tongue.gif
Name: Ross Klettke
Exercise completed: 19
Date completed: 1-24-06

remarks: Used the outside environment created from reading David Rogers' book and have the geese flying in the background.

All done with the Art of Animation Master! biggrin.gif On to working on my short!
Congrats Ross. You've blazed thru these exercises. But before you start on your own short, give the bootcamp a try in the Students section. It just might help you on your short. Just a suggestion smile.gif

This week is certificate week so I hope to get all 2005 certs out in the next few days.
The 2006 certificate will be just a little different but I hope to have them out this week as well.

If you don't have your certificate... and are waiting for it feel free to remind me at:

I'm having fun putting these certificates together. smile.gif
Yeah ill be finishing TAoA:M before this week is over Rodney.
Name: Micah Jank

Exercise Completed: Exercise 19, Flocking

Date Completed: January 25, 2006

Instructor: None. Ive never had an instructor

Remarks/Suggestions: Hahaha! Looks like one of the birds hits the camera at the end
Hey, I 'd like to thank Dhar, Jody, and Rodney for all the help and encouragment throughout the exercises.
From here I'm planning to do some of the animation bootcamp exercises and hopefully work on modeling the character for my short (have to be ready for the mini movie contest smile.gif)

Thanks again,
Congrats Ross! Your certificate is in the works.

Good luck on the Bootcamp and beyond!
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