Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Potential Lesson 01: Basic Navigation and Splining
Hash, Inc. Forums > Technical Direction and Development (Learning Animation:Master) > The Art of Animation:Master (TaoA:M) < New Users Start Here! > Calling all Pedagogs
Pages: 1, 2
robcat2075
Here's what I know....

-It's long, but I'm not sure what to cut and still leave them informed about what they need to be informed about at this point.
-My delivery is slow and plodding at many points. It needs to be done with more movement and enthusiasm.
-The live segments need better light, audio and hair. Consider these to be placeholders.

It's 48 minutes long, if you have time to watch it I'd interested in what you feel can be improved, and I'd be particularly interested in how useful new users find it.

It has Quicktime Chapters in the pop-up menu on the lower right which I think should be available in any QuickTime player. These let you easily return to specific named sections.

This is aimed at new users who know nothing of A:M and perhaps nothing of CG.

Edit: it was too big to upload, it's in two halves now.

Click to view attachment

Click to view attachment

Errata:

-Mac equivalents not explained well.

-"Workbook" doesn't exist on Mac. Ouch.

-At about 23:10 in the first half I call the Spline tool the "Lathe" tool.

-I refer to the Arrow button (standard select tool) as an Arrow "key" while clicking the button when explaining how to end the spline tool usage on tablet. computers.
Walter Baker
Just watched through the first one and very informative, saw a few little tricks I didn't know. On my Mac though I don't get the workflow option.
Very nicely done Rob.
Thanks
robcat2075
QUOTE(Walter Baker @ Oct 4 2011, 05:46 PM) *
On my Mac though I don't get the workflow option.


No Workbook on Mac?
Vertexspline
Robert -thanks for your effort here and I will check these out tomorrow on my lunch hour --and will give you feedback --
Rodney
Robert... that is approaching perfection.
Outstanding work.

These initial lessons are really simple but so very important and I want to underscore this fact: I DID NOT learn the shortcut keys early and that has been to my detriment. A:M still works just as good without the shortcut keys but you can work a lot quicker after you've formed useful habits as opposed to occasionally recalling them. It's that old principle of 'first learned, best remembered'.

I really like the summary Robert. Most tutorials skip them and when they do that works against long lasting retention.
mouseman
At one point, you mention dragging a point and then right-clicking while holding down the left mouse button to join a point to the end of a spline. How is that done on a Mac?

I learned one thing ... using the CTRL key while turning to turn in a different axis. Based on your recommendation, I'll try out using workbook tabs. smile.gif

It does go kind of long, but it's hard to say where to cut things out.
Rodney
QUOTE
It does go kind of long, but it's hard to say where to cut things out.


Robert paces himself really well and I see his current pace as one optimal for someone following along and actually performing the same procedures as he discusses them. This pace seems ideal for young students and for teachers who want to play the video and then pause for awhile to let their students learn. A prime benefit of this pacing... no one gets lost.

It'd be interesting to see a version that cut out a lot of the quiet moments between descriptions as that would pick up the pace a lot. (Think Greg Rostami demo). This pace would likely be ideal for someone older or who has had some experience with similar programs. The prime benefit here would be for fast paced learners who easily grasp new constucts. If the length is too long though cutting out excess silence would be my recommendation. In Premiere one way to do this would be to automatically replace long lengths of silence with shorter lengths. (Think in terms of Microsoft Word's Search and Replace)

I do not recommend speeding Roberts voice up so he sounds like a chipmunk *unless* he is replaced in the video by an actual animated chipmunk. wink.gif

It's always great to see other people's workflow in A:M. For instance, I've always prepared my lathes by drawing on the left side of the Y axis while Robert draws his on the right. Of course, they can be anywhere on the screen but because lathing from anywhere does take some getting use to it's usually better to just pick one side and stick with it. Here's a view from the old 'Advanced Lathing Methodologies' tutorial that shows the results of lathing the exact same splinage from different locations and orientations. Note that even if on the right side of the Y axis they all are guided by my 'left of the axis' way of thinking (i.e. the shapes always lathe rightwardly because I've oriented them that way):



Unless we are trying to force this (lathe anywhere) methodology to the fore I don't think I would recommend it for brand new users. Most people lathe from left or right of the axis with no change in orientation... and for good reason... it's simple and safe.

For those that want to delve deeper try "Advanced Lathing Methodologies'
Rodney
Robert,
I love your Chapter/Menu listing... Wow. Why have I never taken advantage of that?!? (Answer: I didn't know we could do that!)

This makes me wonder if we can link to those chapters online (or on CD) so that we can navigate via HTML menus.
This would be similar to linking to specific pages/places in PDF files which from my experience doesn't always work so great.

I'm off to Google it...
itsjustme
Great stuff, Robert!
Paul Forwood
Excellent, Robert! smile.gif
Very clear vocally and visually and the pace is perfect for a gentle introduction to the interface and basic navigation and modelling tools.

I'm surprised at the quality of the video and audio. What screen capture software are you using?

These tutorials stream beautifully too.
robcat2075
QUOTE(Paul Forwood @ Oct 5 2011, 04:16 AM) *
I'm surprised at the quality of the video and audio. What screen capture software are you using?


I captured with Hypercam 2 to AVI (all it can do) and re compressed with QT Pro to h.264
markw
I liked it smile.gif
As for the length, I don't think its an issue at all for the first introductory video being somewhat longer than the subsequent lessons.
All of it was clear, focused and engaging. Even if you are already familiar with AM.
And if someone hasn't the patients to watch a 45 minute video in the first place, then animation is probably not the going to be the thing for them anyway.
No, the only thing that jarred with me was the quality of the live footage.
Could that be done to the same audio/visual quality as the screen recording?

A couple of other notes;
To quick access lathe cross section setting on Mac's you still have to Shift Click on the lathe button. Not CTRL Click, which I think is how you do it on Windows now, as of v15?
And its a sad fact that there is no workbook mode on Mac's . (Tabbed windows in the work area for Macs' would be so good!)

You are doing tremendous work here Rob! Really looking forward to the finished products.
dblhelix
the text below is my notes while watching and it's not for a reader,
i think only robcat can make sense of the references. here we go:

(will start using workbook now.)

much tech explanation without action a bit early.
how about changing color on vase, explain tech while doing.
revert back to vase without color.

redoing this phase could fit the explanation of spline/ "two splines to make a patch" from the end of the part 1.
and also emphasize different ways to select.
change color on 1-3 patches(make a stripe) or half a vase resulting in a model w different sides&back for view demonstration.
opening the model surface attributes is as intimidating as importing TW and seeing that file content,
but more relevant to what's happening.


it is a good idea to import another model - maybe something less complicated than TW -
(a prop? vase w/o color made earlier?) to explain the saving processes.

(i would like a briefing into the save model/project/chor, but guessing this could be complicated for a first lesson.)

prepare for shademode meaning when you delete the thick vase and space appears empty.
only forward motion in text, not explaining what just happened. newbie brain processes divide and
crash = following speech progression while remembering&trying to make sense of what just happened isn't optimal work.
(maybe a place for showing "redo" button.)

explaining the spline/poly difference could be much shorter. draw the polyversion next to splineversion,
concentrate on spline, the flexibility of shape,
ease of change (magnitude) and control and just state that fewer cp's are naturally much faster to render. spline
modelling is the huge advantage of animation master. no Paint.

(take it slower in the very beginning of "what we learned".)

i reallyreally like the realworld-excursion in the end; it seems redundantly simple but it's not.
dwelling on that simplicity with repetition is a profound eye-opener into cg. i had this experience
when watching thejobe make a shape i already made, with some devastation, oh time wasted blahblah
why didn't i think of that etc. this is more basic but elementary.

luuuurve the title options in QT!

and the historical vase reference smile.gif


(already feeling ridiculous but when explaining about the esc/RMB at about 0'24'' syntax could be
clearer - i first thought RMB could be something for Mac only, but in half a minute
decided against that. solution: "but i have a two button mouse because i'm on a pc".
don't afraid to speak robotically when instructing about hardware.)
robcat2075
QUOTE(markw @ Oct 5 2011, 10:51 AM) *
No, the only thing that jarred with me was the quality of the live footage.


It's a bit like the Joan Crawford movies where the all master shots are crisp and clear and all her close-ups were shot through several layers of gauze.





robcat2075
QUOTE(dblhelix @ Oct 5 2011, 11:00 AM) *
much tech explanation without action a bit early.


We got the first vase done in less than 3 minutes. Too slow?
Vertexspline
Robert,

First off --great job and effort. I watched them through with no stopping to get the feel. My general comments.

1. Nice pace. gentle , thorough and simple.

2. I would not worry about nearing 50 minutes -its engaging enough for people with experience and brand new folks will be thanking you for taking your time .

3. Your vocals are good. No distractions listening.

4. I also think that maybe less time on the polygon vs spline section. I would streamline that and just indicate the need to be spline efficient and how its not like polygonal modeling.

5. The section on CP points and bias , magnitude etc I would maybe make another quick example besides the base of vase, I still am not good with those things and a beginner would really be helped with another example. (as would I)

6. The outdoor footage although a little less quality I thought was nice touch. I think its good to know who the instructor is and to see the objects with the profile lines was awesome. One thing- the sound as you placed the item down sounded like a crash and might be distracting to some.

I watched them both on my lunch hour and must say it was a hour well spent!!

Thanks for all your work on these
robcat2075
QUOTE(Vertexspline @ Oct 5 2011, 06:57 PM) *
5. The section on CP points and bias , magnitude etc I would maybe make another quick example besides the base of vase, I still am not good with those things and a beginner would really be helped with another example. (as would I)


Yes. I was wanting to include another example case where I went from start to finish on modeling the aluminum can with lathing. I figured that would add another 10 minutes so I may add that as a separate, supplementary video for people who feel they need more demonstration.
Vertexspline
Haha --that's funny----after watching the tutorials one of my assignments I did was a aluminum can and it did manage to work better for me since last one i tried long time ago ---so that's pretty cool. ..anyhow this is going to be an amazing TAOM 2 with this kind of tutorial standard.

And so many more folks will get up to speed faster ---get less frustrated and will become more adept and will keep on using Animation Master for years to come. So your efforts Robert are monumental indeed.
Rodney
QUOTE
5. The section on CP points and bias , magnitude etc I would maybe make another quick example besides the base of vase, I still am not good with those things and a beginner would really be helped with another example. (as would I)


My thought here is that you don't want to spend too much time in lathing before introducing the concept of extrusion. Once the initial concepts are presented subsequent tutorials will reach back to them and improve upon them.

An example of this might be a tutorial that covers shapes that require something more than just simple lathing (i.e. Bias Manipulation, Duplicator Wizard, Sweeper, etc.) I know Robert has his eye set on using some of those in latter tutorials.

There are two tutorials I've seen that really brought home the power of Lathing combined with Bias/Magnitude Manipulation. These were both demonstrated to me by Emilio (the guy who programmed the Sweeper plugin). The first was lathing a simple Nut, where the inner portion of the six sided torus remains a circle and the outer is tweaked to take on the hexagonal shape necessary. The second was a simple umbrella where the Bias/Manipluation forces the curvature of the cloth-like cover to retract as if it was being pulled. As these are really quick lathing demonstrations (each takes approimately two minutes) they might be worth demonstrating quickly with little or no explanation... but displaying basic approaches... showing that such modeling can (quickly) be done while encouraging Models to work out their own problems and share unique/best practice approaches. The viewer might be directed to specific explanations or the place to inquire here in the forum? Some of the other lathed shapes could be the five section cylinder (intro to 5 point patches?), the circle, stars (peaking, pushing and pulling), cones, hour glasses... the list goes on and on and on.

I like that Robert has given an assignment out that forces exploration of the real world. Exposure to these problems helps everyone more thoroughly understand how to think about variable approaches as they translate things into the computer. When we think for them they will tend to only consider the given approach.
robcat2075
QUOTE(Rodney @ Oct 5 2011, 09:35 PM) *
My thought here is that you don't want to spend too much time in lathing before introducing the concept of extrusion.


The FW-190 tutorial is almost all extrusion and one I hope to keep in the lesson plan.



QUOTE
There are two tutorials I've seen that really brought home the power of Lathing combined with Bias/Magnitude Manipulation. .
Have you got links for those? Those sound like good "for further study" tuts to list in this chapter.

QUOTE
I like that Robert has given an assignment out that forces exploration of the real world.


Remember the old SNL "Show Us Your Guns!" video? I'm thinking of something like "Show us your Extrusions!"

largento
I've only had the chance to see a few minutes so far, Robert, but it looks like a great resource for new users!

QUOTE(mouseman @ Oct 4 2011, 09:37 PM) *
At one point, you mention dragging a point and then right-clicking while holding down the left mouse button to join a point to the end of a spline. How is that done on a Mac?


You can do it on a Mac if your mouse permits it. (It's actually why I started using 3rd party mouses.) Alternately, you can do the same thing by hitting the tilde key (in the upper lefthand corner of your keyboard) while holding down the left mouse button.
Rodney
QUOTE
Have you got links for those? Those sound like good "for further study" tuts to list in this chapter.


I don't think Emilio ever put together any tutorials on that (unless they accompanied his SetBias plugin). He (patiently) taught me about Bias Manipulation during a chat session.

I'll have to refresh my memory on how Emilio suggested the Umbrella Bias be set (it's easy enough to set them manually however).

In the meantime, attached is a quick down and dirty demonstration of the free beveling we get when we adjust our Bias settings before we lathe. The nut on top is peaked whereas the bottom gets a slight manipulation. Hopefully everything else should be self explanatory.
jimd
watched and enjoyed !
I do not think it went to slow or to far ( well maybe spline verses the other guy ) for a beginner tut
the examples of vases nice touch and seeing the instructor

also the fact you can select a titled segment in the quicktime tab great for going back to a section
speaking of Tabs on a mac we do not have the workbook Tab view feature at least i never found it


now i did try to play this mov on my ipad and it did not
so i was wondering for people who do not have an extra monitor but
have a mobile device it would be handy to be able to watch the tut on it wile working on AM

j
robcat2075
QUOTE(jimd @ Oct 6 2011, 07:10 AM) *
now i did try to play this mov on my ipad and it did not


I wonder why that is? An h.264 mov ought to play on an Apple device, shouldn't it? Anyone know more?
jimd
QUOTE(robcat2075 @ Oct 6 2011, 09:02 AM) *
QUOTE(jimd @ Oct 6 2011, 07:10 AM) *
now i did try to play this mov on my ipad and it did not


I wonder why that is? An h.264 mov ought to play on an Apple device, shouldn't it? Anyone know more?


Ah! now I don't think its the movie itself
I think it might be the Safari browser on ipad
even on my desktop I have trouble sometimes viewing movs on the AM site unless i switch to firefox then all is fine
so i am thinking this is the case
j
robcat2075
QUOTE(jimd @ Oct 6 2011, 09:55 AM) *
Ah! now I don't think its the movie itself
I think it might be the Safari browser on ipad


Well, something is wrong somewhere. An Apple browser on an Apple device ought to be able to play the Apple Quicktime format. That ought to be a certainty.
jimd
I don't think its that cut and dry
i have h264 movs on my site and they play in the Safari Browser and Firefox and utube
so it just might be how the movs get put on the AM site or how the AM site tags the mov in the site not sure
but yes h264 is the right mov for mac

j
NancyGormezano
QUOTE(jimd @ Oct 6 2011, 08:22 AM) *
I don't think its that cut and dry
i have h264 movs on my site and they play in the Safari Browser and Firefox and utube
so it just might be how the movs get put on the AM site or how the AM site tags the mov in the site not sure
but yes h264 is the right mov for mac


I am curious - what is the screen resolution of the ipad? Not sure if these movies resize to fit the screen on the ipad. Perhaps that might be part of the problem because:

I know that if I am working in my normal screen res of 1152 x 864 - this movie is too large, and I can't see the QT controls (FF, PC), and I don't have any control over the movie. I have to change my screen res to 1280 x 960, in order for it to stream properly.

EDIT: just took a gander at the first part - love it! well done! Nicely paced, clear.

Especially love the chapter access - terrific idea. Solves one of my usual objections to long video tuts, ie making one do random hunt for info when rewatching.
robcat2075
QUOTE(NancyGormezano @ Oct 6 2011, 03:22 PM) *
I know that if I am working in my normal screen res of 1152 x 864 - this movie is too large, and I can't see the QT controls (FF, PC), and I don't have any control over the movie. I have to change my screen res to 1280 x 960, in order for it to stream properly.


This is why I was resisting the calls to make these 1280x720. I still think there are many devices out there that don't fit that (although you should be able to do View>Fit to screen in the Quicktime player to size it down)

But i never stream Quicktime movies. I always download and play.
NancyGormezano
QUOTE(robcat2075 @ Oct 6 2011, 02:31 PM) *
although you should be able to do View>Fit to screen in the Quicktime player to size it down)

But i never stream Quicktime movies. I always download and play.


If my screen res is set at 1152 x 864 - I can't see the QT controls in the player to even size it down, if I play it from the forum (FF 3.6.3). I am not able to grab anything to get them in view. They are off the screen and I can't get ahold of them.

However, I too normally download these large resolution movies first, and then view/set it to half size and then stretch it to fit my screen.

However this time, I changed my res to 1280 x 960 (with nvidia controls), and the movie fit within the browser, so that I can see the QT controls, and stream from the forum. Of course text then appears smaller, for everything else. I would prefer to stream, because I don't want to wait.

It could also have to do with the way the active image area is centered, expanded, adjusted on my viewsonic CRT monitor (using the buttons/hardware controls on front of monitor) that I have difficulty viewing. But I ain't gonna fiddle with those anymore, no thank you very much. It works for everything else, all other web sites, all other programs.

I'll upload a screen grab as to how it looks at 1152 x 864 to me (in a bit).

EDIT: heres what it looks like to me - there are no QT player movie controls to be found to allow me to resize, replay, see chapter choices etc, nor anything that would let me scroll hroizontally or vertically to get ahold of them.
Rodney
QUOTE
If my screen res is set at 1152 x 864 - I can't see the QT controls in the player to even size it down


Nancy,
You should be able to double click anywhere on the top frame to resize the Quicktime movie (assuming it isn't embedded in a webpage).
robcat2075
CTRL-3 is the QuickTime shortcut for Fit To Screen.
NancyGormezano
QUOTE(Rodney @ Oct 6 2011, 03:43 PM) *
QUOTE
If my screen res is set at 1152 x 864 - I can't see the QT controls in the player to even size it down


Nancy,
You should be able to double click anywhere on the top frame to resize the Quicktime movie (assuming it isn't embedded in a webpage).


It IS embedded in the web page, when it is being streamed from hash forum. My browser is fully expanded to my screen size. Note that there are no QT controls viewable, and that the extent of the movie is cropped.

That was the point I was making as to not being able to do anything about it, other than FIRST increasing my screen res to 1280 x 960 before streaming, in which case I then have access to at least the player controls (stop, play, chapters, etc)

ctrl 3 does not work when streaming from forum in firefox.

I don't know how else to put this.

If I download it first, then I can resize it of course. That is not the problem. That was not the point. I was only trying to guess at what might or might not be the problem with playing on an ipad (as jimd was experiencing) or any other fixed resolution tablet thingy.

EDIT - here is what it looks like to me when I set my screen res to 1280 x 960 - I can then see the QT controls. Compare this screen grab to the screen grab uploaded previously here
jimd
Hi Nancy
nope size dose not matter in this case
i emailed a 1280 720 to myself and it played just fine on the pad
also utube plays fine on the ipad

I think its a browser thing at this point
for example if i click on Roberts link in the safari browser from my desktop it will not play
i can however download it and it plays fine

if i go to firefox everything works just fine and everything plays
i started noticing this stuff happening more and more over the yr but never thought about it until now
and i'm not sure if any other mac guys have the same thing going on
so mac guys chime please
j


robcat2075
I guess we'll need to include a warning to "Download first". Can you even do that on an iPad? Is it streaming media only?

BTW I really made it 1260x720 so the entire QT interface would fit on a 1280 pixel screen
robcat2075
Fun fact: the signature on that vase says "SOPHILOS PAINTED ME"
markw
QUOTE(jimd @ Oct 7 2011, 01:11 AM) *
I think its a browser thing at this point
for example if i click on Roberts link in the safari browser from my desktop it will not play
i can however download it and it plays fine

if i go to firefox everything works just fine and everything plays
i started noticing this stuff happening more and more over the yr but never thought about it until now
and i'm not sure if any other mac guys have the same thing going on
so mac guys chime please
j

OK I'll chime in.
But I'm afraid all I can say is that I've never had problems watching stuff from the Hash site with Safari 5.0.5 or Firefox 7.0.1 on my Mac.
(Now trying to navigate around that site is a different matter but that could just be me huh.gif )
I don't have an iPad so can't comment on that one.
But like Rob I nearly always download and watch things from the net, just to avoid the little pinwheel of eternity saying "Buffering"
jimd
ok now i'm stumped
SAFARI and I made no changes
i just played Gary's h264 clips ( bty can't wait for the final on that one )
and they played
so i went back and played Rob's and it popped right up and i mean right up!
when it was first posted it sat like a brick and not just this one, thats why i went over to firefox for a view
so i'm stumped maybe it needed a kick in the pants

as far as downloading to the ipad
not directly but threw itunes
but ios5 for the ipad will dose not need a pc so we'll whats up with that


anyway lets put a fork in this one and get back to Rob's tut
and if i find anything i'll start a new post

j
Vertexspline
Robert,
I see above you indicated you were going to keep the FW - 190 tutorial in the lesson plan---I hope you would be doing a new video for that as I find your videos to be so much more detailed and thorough and learn the concepts faster and better from your style.
thumperness
QUOTE(Vertexspline @ Oct 8 2011, 08:07 AM) *
Robert,
I see above you indicated you were going to keep the FW - 190 tutorial in the lesson plan---I hope you would be doing a new video for that as I find your videos to be so much more detailed and thorough and learn the concepts faster and better from your style.


Also, I had a heck of a time trying to get the rotoscopes to match up in the different views. Please be very specific about scaling and how to get these things lined up correctly so stuff lines up when you switch views. I ended up just skipping this excersise.

I am so excited to see all the videos that will make up the new TAoAM... cool.gif
robcat2075
QUOTE(thumperness @ Oct 19 2011, 07:35 PM) *
Also, I had a heck of a time trying to get the rotoscopes to match up in the different views. Please be very specific about scaling and how to get these things lined up correctly so stuff lines up when you switch views. I ended up just skipping this excersise.


Short answer... They dont' match up. I did the whole tut for the first time recently and found there is no way to make them fit exactly. You have to make do and use the view that presents the best detail for what you are making.

That probably needs mentioning.
thumperness
Finally had a chance to watch these all the way through. Luv them.

I'm anxious to get home tonight and work on my coke can. blink.gif
phatso
Why dontcha insert the live video as an inset in a title page. Then it would be smaller and the quality difference wouldn't be obvious.

Slow is good. It's easy for those who have been doing this for a while to forget how little the beginner knows. What's plodding to you is right for the student.

robcat2075
Has anyone downloaded these videos and NOT been able to play them?
elliotclem1
These are fantastic, love the assignments. Wish these had been around when I first got A:M.
NETech2470
Very Professional Video, Easy to understand, well spoken and demonstrated.
It really helped alot,
Thank you
TheSpleen
I love this!
robcat2075
There are further chapters on the way.

"On the way" means they exist in nebulous form in my mind and I need to get up the mental energy to nail down the details and commit them to tangible recorded form.
NETech2470
Robcat2075, you did a great job on this one so im sure the others will be just as wonderful.
Your tutorials are a must see for everyone.
i learned some tricks not mentioned in the manual and left with a much better understanding of how splining works & why.

Rob, I know that you never once asked for anything in return and m grateful for your kindness. I just wanted to say that I did see the link at the bottom of your post and if i I was able to at this time I would click that link to show my gratitude for the time and effort you put into this, as well as the quick replys you have givin to my questions in the other posts.
So even though at this time im not able to, I do not forget and will do so when i m back on my feet again.
Thank you so much!

QUOTE(robcat2075 @ Mar 28 2012, 11:48 AM) *
There are further chapters on the way.

"On the way" means they exist in nebulous form in my mind and I need to get up the mental energy to nail down the details and commit them to tangible recorded form.

Fuchur
QUOTE(robcat2075 @ Oct 4 2011, 12:47 PM) *
Errata:

-Mac equivalents not explained well.

-"Workbook" doesn't exist on Mac. Ouch.

-At about 23:10 in the first half I call the Spline tool the "Lathe" tool.


One to add: You are refering to the Arrow button (standard select tool) as a Arrow key while clicking the button when you explain how to end the spline tool usage on tablet computers.

See you
*Fuchur*
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.