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Full Version: Episode 8 is Online!! ***
Hash, Inc. Forums > Featured > Special Topics > Subject 99
With great jubilation, Episode 8 is now online for all to enjoy. smile.gif


I just got back from my holiday travels and let's just say I won't be traveling soon. hehe A 5 hour flat tire adventure on a busy, busy traffic filled highway all but ensured I don't want to relive that experience anytime soon. tongue.gif

Episode 8 is being created as I type. I'm still working on the book and hope to have that out sometime at the end of January 2009. Not sure if it will be a paper book or a downloadable PDF. Still trying to decide the best cost analysis for that project.

Hope everyone is doing well, and has a wonderful holiday time.

****Updated Post: Here are some new pictures on the production of Episode 8. It's taking a bit longer than usual, due to work schedules. I'm hoping to have Episode 8 out by next Sunday, Feb. 1 2009. smile.gif Enjoy

Click to view attachment Click to view attachment
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night tongue.gif

It's been awhile. I've been busy with work and holidays and such. But, I should be able to get some things done today having the day off. I just wanted to keep people up to date. Episode 8 is still ongoing and I'm also working on a new project as well.

Here is a sneak peak picture for episode 8:

Click to view attachment

I'll be updating things today as I progress. Hope everyone has a very wonderful day today and enjoy the time with family and friends. smile.gif
Looking forward to it as usual!
Thanks Gerry. Still looking into the video player thing, as well. Looked at your suggestion on the MP3 player thing, still trying to figure it all out. smile.gif
Does anyone know if I can repeat or loop a set of imported sequenced images?

For example, I have a sequence of images 0 - 72. I have them decaled on a model. My shot is about 180 frames long. I would like the images 0 - 72 to loop or repeat at least 3 times to cover the 180 frames for the shot. Can this be done? I looked in the properties of the images, but do not see a repeat or loop option.

Thanks in advance.
Off the top of my head I don't think you'll find it in the image's properties. I believe you need to apply the image sequence as a decal, then in the chor you *should* have options for timing and looping. [edit] - You need to check the "Show More Than Drivers" icon.

Sorry I never came up with a solution for a volume control. As I think was mentioned earlier, if you were to publish as .flv from within Flash (probably v.8 or better) you can automatically attach controls for playback, vol, etc. but as for manually building a volume control, I know it's possible, but as you may already know about ActionScript, the more you know the less you know! I know just enough AS to get myself into trouble.
Thanks Gerry. In lieu of looking for a loop option, I just made the image sequence 180 frames. hehe

I'm with you on the AS thing. I know a bit and unfortunately I have only Flash MX before all the fancy gizmo stuff. Maybe some day I'll upgrade. smile.gif
Okay, I just went through this process quickly so I could explain it better. So here goes...!

1) Import an image sequence that is numbered;

2) Apply the first image of the sequence as a decal to the model;

3) Place the model in a chor;

4) Click "show more than drivers" and you'll see a "decals" item for the model;

5) Create keyframes so you have a time frame for the animated decal to run (not sure if this step is necessary, but the keyframes can always be moved/removed);

6) Now you've got to drill down to find the timing settings: Click on the plus sign next to the decal icon; Click on the plus sign next to "Images"; Click on the triangle arrow next to the image name; Click the triangle arrow next to "Image"; Click on the triangle arrow next to "Timing".

7) There's where you should be able to set the first and last frame of your animation at the appropriate keyframe, and you can set decal frame 1 at timeline frame 1, and decal frame 50 at timeline frame 20, then decal frame 1 AGAIN at frame 21, and decal frame 50 at timeline frame 100, or whatever you want. You have total control over the speed of the decal and how many times it plays.

Just so you know, I had to apply the decal three times before it worked properly, and I don't know if it was "user error" or a missed setting. Hang in there. It's tricky to get it to work but it's well worth it.
Kewl, I'll try that in a bit. Working on another shot at the moment. I just love this forum. smile.gif
Just an update for everyone. I've been concentrating on website admin stuff as of late, and today I finally accomplished getting the Volume control on the video player page. It has been tough trying to create something that you have little experience with. smile.gif

But suffice it to say, that is one less item on my large To Do List for the series. I have just a couple of other items that I want to add to the video player (scrub bar and time display). But, those can come later. The volume issue had the highest priority.

On to animating again.
today I finally accomplished getting the Volume control on the video player page.

Congrats on making that a reality. I understand that element has stumped more than a few people.
Gerry is going to want to get your insights into that.

So... now we'll have volume control while watching Subject 99? Too cool! smile.gif
Thanks, Rodney. I'm sure the code is not pretty to programmers. hehe When it comes to slinging code together, I use a weed whacker. tongue.gif
Congratulations on the volumn control. Presentation may be the last little bit of the production process, but I think presentation is a biggie.
That's big news! When I do Flash video the vol control is "included" so it wasn't an issue for me. I think the deal was that ernestx wasn't using that work flow, so had to build it from scratch. But if it works it works!

EDIT: btw I've just signed up for some advanced ActionScript tutoring later this month, so hopefully I'll be in a position to help folks around here a bit more in that area.
Thanks HomeSlice. I agree that's it's the little things in a presentation that make it more enjoyable.

Kewl, Gerry. Yes, in newer editions of Flash, there are built in components to deal with video players that make it easier. I am using Flash MX. There are no built in controls and building from scratch is a must.
just another update picture for those tuning in: smile.gif

Click to view attachment
Updated first post to reflect new production pictures for everyone. I'll include them here as well.

Since, the story is vital to this series, I am concentrating mostly on that. Due to less hours to work on the episode each week, I want to make sure that each episode carries the story along. Introducing new characters and how they interact and what they bring to the story is also a big concern.

All in all, I should have the next episode out by Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009.

Click to view attachmentClick to view attachment
Some of these images have a heavy ink feel to them not unlike some of the early Marvel comics work of Jack Kirby.
I like that style a lot.

Any updates? I'm curious to see what happens next!
Sorry for the delay. I had to take some time off and go enjoy life in Vegas for a week. It's one of those trips that injects life back into life. With all that is happening in the US and economy and the world, I needed to recharge my batteries. It worked.

I have so many ideas now that I want to incorporate into my website and animations and Subject 99. I'm back with passion for my art where my passion was getting a bit low. Trying to figure out what to do with the website and how to make a living from what I really love doing.

I will have Episode 8 up very soon (as I practically have it finished, just a few enhancements) and hopefully incorporate some changes into the website.

I feel going forward, I will have to integrate my own forum on my website; because I will be showcasing various animations and videos other than Subject 99 and I don't feel that I should take advantage of Martin's generousity of hosting Subject 99 on Hash's forum for people to discuss other animations that are showcased. I am looking into how to do that on my site as I type this. I'll have to see what is the best possible solution to this.

Have no fear, this is what I love and enjoy doing, so I'm not going anywhere. Just going to try to change the world of animation a bit more. smile.gif
I'm there!
Oh, yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about.

Another tour de force, Ernest. When you're done with this series, you need to fly up so we can talk.
Hehe I'm there. Anytime.
This is awesome! The number of characters, sets and rendered frames knocks me over... someone is working their butt off! Just the over all size of the project makes me shake my head in wonder! I like the look and feel. The lip sync is very good. Over all, the animation is good. The story I can't say because my wife is sleeping next to me and I watched it in silence.

I normally avoid constructive crits, especially if not asked, but your project is so impressive I have to point out the two things (and IMHO the only two things) that... well, drag it down a little so to speak (and I'm sure you are aware of these already). I think that to the average person (not us over critical animators) your production would be drop dead perfect (and I have only seen this from a very few people) if it weren't for the hands and a few of the walk cycles. The hands jump out at you as always frozen in the default position. I think you need more movement and micro gestures (or something). Also, some of the walks jump out at you as being unnatural and/or too slow. Even if both these items were animated perfectly to real life or done with motion capture, they look off in the context of the media. If you've saved each scene which I'm sure you have (you could not have produced this if you were not organized) it would be well worth the effort to go back and tweak these items. You wouldn't have to fix and re-render everything, just a few shots or areas here and there.

I (and I'm sure other animation people) could point to other things but I believe none of them matter to the average viewer.

Or you could just leave it as is and it flys just fine! Despite my two constructive crits, I am totally impressed!

Between watching Subject 99, The Mountain by frosteternal, Just A Wooden Sword by kit, and The Wannabe Pirates, it feels almost like a mini "golden age" of A:M animation. It's very inspiring seeing you guys persevere and keep working regularly on these projects, putting your heart into them. And the results are quite impressive. The scope of yours is especially impressive, in story line and characters and sets. I know from the work I did on my project that you really have to work animating into your lifestyle, which means sacrificing time that would have been spent on other worthwhile things.

One idea for some of the things rusty mentioned is recording reference video of yourself doing the actions. There is a great example of this for Horton Hears a Who.
Paul Forwood
You are a machine, Ernest! wink.gif
Is this a one man project?
Oh, thanks for the comments everyone. smile.gif The AM community is so great and such a valuable resource not only for questions and tips, but for feedback and thoughts and ideas.

Rusty: Thanks for those words. The opening sequence of Episode 8 is quite nice, you might have to wake the wife for a listen. hehe And I agree with your criticisms. I enjoy getting feedback and I agree that my walk cycles need work and the small gestures would add to the characters. I do save all the scenes (I've got DVDs full of all the episodes' projects) and it allows me to go back and change things. For example, on all of Subject 99's run scenes in the warehouse, I originally had a different, weaker run action that I didn't like. Over time, I created a run cycle that I did like. With AM, I just open the scene, import new action and drag and drop on the model, and voila, new run cycle just works. Having reusable actions and characters with same rig setup makes making changes a breeze. Thank you, Martin smile.gif

Mouseman: Thank you as well. Animating is a way of life. You have to dedicate time to doing it. But, it's also being aware when you're not animating. When I'm out and about, I observe people, watch them, how they move, different characteristics, gestures, body types, etc. And thanks for the link to the Horton video. What a great example of using reference footage! Quite inspiring. The only thing I have to comment about that is the difference in tone of my series. For lively animated characters (such as Horton) I would want to do gesturing and posing such as that. For my series, I'm going for a different tone, almost like a film noir movie from the 40's or 50's. But, I hope to add a bit more life into my characters as time allows. I do want to do something more lively as the next series, so, keep watching.

Paul: Machine? hehe perhaps and yes, it's a one man project, just lil o' me and my laptop. smile.gif
Paul Forwood
Machine? hehe perhaps and yes, it's a one man project, just lil o' me and my laptop.

Only refering to the speed at which you are turning out these
Oh I didn't take it as being a negative Paul smile.gif
I missed the announcement for Episode 8.
But not by much.

You continue to surprise and entertain and you've got some especially nice effects and camera work in this one.

Thanks for another great episode.

Thanks Rodney. I try to make them entertaining given the time that I have to make each one. In response to your earlier post about line work, it's all A:M. I just tweak the settings a bit to make'em look like I want hehe. smile.gif
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