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#51 harunw

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:33 AM

Exercise 13 - Show Some Backbone

 
For this exercise, I decided to rig using Mack Chappelle (Mechadelphia) Saucy Rig v1.5.
This rig comes in 3 flavours, so you need to try out each to see which one you prefer, differing in the way the body/pelvis is controlled.
I am using the "classic" rig for this. The short video clip below shows the rig in action.
I only used smartskinning for some parts, while the rest I used lazyskinning (ie cp weights)....

 

Ex13 - Show Some Backbone.JPG

 

 

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#52 harunw

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:36 AM

I forgot to upload the rigged model....here it is...

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#53 Rodney

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 04:08 PM

Hey!  That rigging turned out quite well! 

Nicely done.  :)

 

(Kudos... and thanks to Mack for the rig which has some really nice features)


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#54 harunw

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:54 AM

Exercise 14 - Playing Marble
 
This exercise was pretty fun, and I had a bit more time to try playing around with more combiners and mixing them with Darksim's materials.
The hierarchical nature of materials makes it simple to build them, it's a bit like layering, however it is tricky to imagine or plan what combination would result in the look you're after. Nevertheless, you can experiment with the various attributes and values easily.
 
Below is just a quick test of materials as well as material effectors...
 
Ex14 - Playing Marble.jpg

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#55 robcat2075

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:28 AM

I presume you did what the tut instructed but I'll note that a more anatomically-pleasing appearance can be had by putting the hip/leg/body axis higher, rather than at the crotch level.

 

HipAxis.PNG

 

 

In a real human the axis is quite a bit above the crotch...

 

 

Skeletal_colour.png

 


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#56 Rodney

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:43 PM

RE:  post-145-0-88598800-1518533334.jpg

 

Way to go above and beyond the call of duty!

Nicely done.  :)


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#57 harunw

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:19 AM

I presume you did what the tut instructed but I'll note that a more anatomically-pleasing appearance can be had by putting the hip/leg/body axis higher, rather than at the crotch level.

 

That makes sense....didn't realised that....will re-rig his hip higher next time...thanks Rob!



#58 harunw

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:21 AM

Way to go above and beyond the call of duty!

Nicely done.  :)

 

Thanks a bunch, Rodney!



#59 harunw

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 06:29 AM

Exercise 15 - Eat My Dust

 

One thing this exercise introduced wasn't just volumetric dust, but also action objects, in that you can embed and even constrain, in this case, the dust, into a walk cycle. And also time the activation of the constrained dust depending on the walk cycle itself. This opens up many possibilities for making reusable animations easier. I also tried out volumetric mist that would rise from the hillside, as a departure from my overusing the fog effect...

 

 

Attached Files



#60 robcat2075

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 09:01 AM

My feeling is that the dust should Poof! and then slowly settle and dissipate.  Somewhere around here someone did a version with particles and it really looked like dust.


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#61 harunw

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 06:02 AM

My feeling is that the dust should Poof! and then slowly settle and dissipate.  Somewhere around here someone did a version with particles and it really looked like dust.

 

Yeah, that dust looks like a little explosion....will check out on particles or maybe sprites, thanks for the suggestion!



#62 robcat2075

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 08:53 AM

Don't worry about it too much. Effects like that tend to have to be tailored for every scene anyway.


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#63 harunw

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 05:27 AM

Exercise 16 - Smoke Wind Fire

 

I think I followed the steps correctly, however the resultant fire that you see below is mainly red in colour....i thought there should be some yellow or orange shades in the flames but not sure what happened....the wind does affect the fire and smoke in a reasonably way....rendered using v19d....
 
 

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#64 Rodney

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:02 AM

Yes, definitely too red!

 

The first thing I might look at is the Tint color  although... it can be good to have some solid red in a fire represented.

The next would be the opacity.  I think with as many particles being emitted you might be able to get away with an opacity setting below 5%.

That might not seem like much but when Additive Color is turned on and each particle color shows through to the one behind it 5% might even be too high.

After adjusting Opacity to 10% and changing a few other settings such as Tint I started to see something reasonable.

 

The speed of the flames is definitely running too quickly.

 

Here's a single frame of a much much milder frame that doesn't quite hit the target I was after.

I went too far in the other direction.  ;)

 

 

Is that area around the camp all scorched earth?

If so... nice touch!

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Tweak006.png

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#65 Rodney

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:09 AM

Here's that same setup with Opacity (of the Flame Tint) turned up to 30%.

I think previously I had it set to 5% but I had also reduced the velocity and emission rates.

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  • Opacity30.jpg

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#66 Rodney

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 07:14 AM

The tutorial does need an update because A:M has changed in some respects.  I'd say this is for the better but... that can prove frustrating for folks that like to follow exact steps.

The underlying differences can make following those exact steps in the manual not always return the results expected.


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#67 harunw

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 07:58 AM

Thanks very much Rodney! As you suggested, by tweaking the flame's opacity, emission rate, and velocity, I got the result below, which is closer to what i had expected....this was done using v19e...

 

 

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#68 Rodney

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 08:00 AM

Yes!  The color reads 'fire' much better.

 

I'd crank down that velocity considerable though as it reads 'rapid inferno' at present.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Velocity.jpg

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#69 Rodney

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 08:06 AM

Note that now that you've posted the initial video and project file you don't have to post videos of minor tweaks.

For anyone that wants to explore that they have your project file(s).  :)

 

I'm moving more toward a 'real time' approach to TaoA:M and sharing Project files is a great way to do that.

Especially as the 'renders' can look pretty awesome right there inside A:M.

 

Of course, everyone is free to post all the videos they require.


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#70 harunw

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 08:07 AM

Yes!  The color reads 'fire' much better.

 

I'd crank down that velocity considerable though s it reads 'rapid inferno' at present.

 

Hehe, yes, and the lesson learnt here is that one needs to experiment with combinations of minor adjustments as it leads to quite different effects....thanks again :)



#71 Rodney

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 08:14 AM

the lesson learnt here is that one needs to experiment with combinations of minor adjustments as it leads to quite different effects

 

 

Most definiltely.   That and to save resources for later use and tweaking.

We usually don't want to use the exact same thing again later (unless the story calls for it) but use it as a foundation to build upon.

This also where A:M Libraries can come into play because as soon as a useful approach is created it can be stored for later reference.


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#72 harunw

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 03:25 AM

Exercise 17 - Cosmic Bowling

 
Is there a way to group select the bowling pins and apply the rigid body settings, instead of doing it one by one?
 
I noticed that the result of the simulation is affected even by the slightest change in the bowling ball's speed or rotation, so it was kinda fun and unpredictable (kinda like the real game) to simulate it over and over again...

 

 

Attached Files


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#73 robcat2075

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:08 AM

Exercise 17 - Cosmic Bowling

 
Is there a way to group select the bowling pins and apply the rigid body settings, instead of doing it one by one?
 

 

 

I thought it could be done by a copy and paste of a constraint keyframe but it seems these settings do not make keyframes. :angry:

My alternative would be copy/paste in a text editor after doing the constraint on the first pin.

If you are not sure how that works, ask and I can show it.


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#74 harunw

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 12:29 AM

Bug in v19e when doing Ex18 - Waving the Flag (Cloth)

 

When trying to do Exercise 18: Waving the Flag, at the last step of running the SimCloth simulation, the flag simply drops from the pole and passes right through the ground.
Upon reopening the project file, I noticed that the "custom groups" property of the SimCloth object of the "Shortcut to cloth" is set to None. 
 
Capture2.JPG
 
It is supposed to be "Attached".
Capture1.JPG
 
Maybe v19e is not saving this property to "Attached" and has set it to None.
 
Attached is the project file. This contains all the steps except the last SimCloth Simulate step.
I've reported this as a bug #6862
 

 

Attached Files



#75 robcat2075

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 06:53 PM

 

Exercise 17 - Cosmic Bowling

 
Is there a way to group select the bowling pins and apply the rigid body settings, instead of doing it one by one?
 

 

 

I thought it could be done by a copy and paste of a constraint keyframe but it seems these settings do not make keyframes. :angry:

My alternative would be copy/paste in a text editor after doing the constraint on the first pin.

If you are not sure how that works, ask and I can show it.

 

 

 

D'oh! I overlooked a plugin that Steffen has included for this very purpose.  RMB in the chor and choose Plugins>wizards>Add Bullet constraint to multiple models.

 

Its default value for "margin" is 0.25 whereas a manual constraint defaults to 0.025 which seems to work much better.


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#76 robcat2075

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 07:05 PM

Bug in v19e when doing Ex18 - Waving the Flag (Cloth)

 

When trying to do Exercise 18: Waving the Flag, at the last step of running the SimCloth simulation, the flag simply drops from the pole and passes right through the ground.
Upon reopening the project file, I noticed that the "custom groups" property of the SimCloth object of the "Shortcut to cloth" is set to None. 
 
 
It is supposed to be "Attached".
 
Maybe v19e is not saving this property to "Attached" and has set it to None.
 
Attached is the project file. This contains all the steps except the last SimCloth Simulate step.
I've reported this as a bug #6862
 

 

 

It just occurred to me that the workflow has recently changed a bit.  The attach group need to be set in the Chor rather in the Objects folder.

 

At Shortcut to Flag, enable "Show more than drivers" to expose the Groups folder and its contents...

 

ClothAttachGroup.PNG

 

 

 

Yes, the TAoA:M exercise should be edited to include this change.


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#77 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 07:50 PM

When trying to do Exercise 18: Waving the Flag, at the last step of running the SimCloth simulation, the flag simply drops from the pole and passes right through the ground.

 

 

The classic fix for that is not to select all of the splines and patches in your group that will contain the SimCloth material but to leave the spline closest to the pole out of the group.

Then when simulated all of the mesh except that spline will be effected and the spline will keep the rest in place.

 

I need to read up on this Exercise and review this in light of recent changes.

For instance, I see two instances where I can select 'Simulate Simcloth'.

The first one gives an 'Simcloth unsolveable' error while the second crashes A:M.

 

Edit:  Yes, as Robert has suggested the Simcloth feature is broken (apparently a breaking change) in current release.


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#78 robcat2075

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 08:12 PM

I just did it and it was fine. How are you breaking it?


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#79 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 08:17 PM

I just did it and it was fine. How are you breaking it?

 

In many ways.

1. We cannot use Simcloth as we have since it was first introduced to A:M.

2. A:M Crashes upon initiating Simcloth simulation (Using Harun's project as well as projects created from scratch)

3. There are two options (In Chor) to Simcloth Simulate (one relates an error while the other crashes A:M...)  I've seen it crash with both options as well.

 

Added:  I just read through some of the simcloth related changes in v19 changelog and some things reported as fixed do not appear to have remained fixed.

For instance, the Boo project you used to demonstrate that a v18 Simcloth project crashed in v19 still crashes in v19e.

 

A good test would be to open an older project that is known to work and see if it still works in v19e.  (Edit:  Done, see next post)

 

If the old Simcloth methodology has been replaced we definitely need to get the word out but attempting the old Simcloth shouldn't crash A:M.


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#80 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 08:34 PM

Yeah.  I'd suggest going through all of those Simcloth related issues listed in the change log again.

The v18 Cloth with Hooks project you tested with also crashes in v19e.

 

I hadn't realized Simcloth was being updated and should have been paying closer attention.

We had an entire forum devoted to v19 beta testing and no change to Simcloth was ever mentioned.

In seeing a Simcloth bug listed I must have assumed an innocuous bug had crept in.


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#81 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:01 PM

Here's a quick and very basic project set up in v19e that crashes upon simulation for me:

So this isn't just about old projects not working in current releases.

 

I realize that some processes might have changed but I'm just testing the old Simcloth methodlogy here prior to further troubleshooting... and revelations.

If there now are some additional things that need to be done to get Simcloth to work I'm not aware of what that is.

Attached Files


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#82 robcat2075

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:04 PM

This flag project works in v19e for me....

 

Attached File  clip4209SimClothTest.mp4   14.64MB   8 downloads


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#83 robcat2075

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:06 PM

Here's a quick and very basic project set up in v19e that crashes upon simulation for me:

 

I was able to open that and simulate it without a crash.

 

Just to try... try doing a Reset Settings


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#84 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:20 PM

Very strange.

Reset didn't do anything.

I think I will try reinstalling A:M just to make sure nothing is amiss there.


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#85 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:32 PM

Good news... the reinstall worked!

The duplicated options** are now only one option to Simcloth Simulate and the simple test project simulates (with no crash).

I didn't want to play around with this so I did a full uninstall and even reactivated A:M (as opposed to just copying the license file over).

 

I will note that the new option via the Chor and all that doesn't apply to that basic test.

There isn't such an option to select groups and such and at the moment I'm not sure what process allows that to happen (surely it can't just be that of creating a group name 'attached').

But.. the important thing is that the old Simcloth methodology is working.

 

**When I see duplicates like this in a user interface it suggests to me that a standard reinstall over the top of a previous install may not work because older settings (or personalizations) may remain.  I'm not sure if that was the case here but when facing persistent problems a clean install of the program by first uninstalling is a good bet.


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#86 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 09:42 PM

My Mod of Harun's Project simulates fine now as well (without any need to use Custom Groups in the Chor):

 

I see (or had forgotten) about the Custom Groups option as I've mostly used a more manual method such as in this case where I left the spline nearest the pole out of the Cloth group.

I need to explore that Custom Groups option.

 

Edit:  Exchanged the project with a Mod I like a little better.  Not quite there but... 

Attached Files


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#87 robcat2075

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 10:18 PM

Hold on... I may be wrong about setting that thing in the chor... it does work but that may not be the change I recall Steffen making... I need to sleep and think this through a bit.


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#88 Rodney

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 10:44 PM

Sleep well!

 

It's not good when other people experience problems but troubleshooting those problems can help us reexplore and reexperience features we have long neglected.

I had forgotten how much fun Simcloth could be.

 

Here's a quick example of some randomly placed cylinders/pylons used to generate some terrain:

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • SimClothTerrain.png

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#89 harunw

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 04:29 AM

 

When trying to do Exercise 18: Waving the Flag, at the last step of running the SimCloth simulation, the flag simply drops from the pole and passes right through the ground.

 

 

The classic fix for that is not to select all of the splines and patches in your group that will contain the SimCloth material but to leave the spline closest to the pole out of the group.

Then when simulated all of the mesh except that spline will be effected and the spline will keep the rest in place.

 

 

Yup, that solved it! No wonder the flag just falls to the ground, it had nothing to latch onto....



#90 harunw

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 04:43 AM

Exercise 18 - Waving the Flag

 
Thanks to Robert and Rodney, I got the SimCloth to work again in v19e.
I reused the "Space Marines" project and copied over the flag, then got the soldier to wave it around. I think it loops nicely too...
Also, this clip was assembled using the new Davinci Resolve 15 - thanks Rodney for pointing it out...

 

 

Attached Files


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#91 Rodney

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 05:02 AM

Nice!  Your reuse of available assets to plus up the exercise again demonstrates your creativity and resourcefulness.

 

this clip was assembled using the new Davinci Resolve 15

 

Awesome.  I hope more will take advantage of Resolve because an A:M + Resolve combination is a seriously powerful package.


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#92 harunw

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 05:36 PM

Exercise 19 - Flying Dragons (Flocking)

 

I again reused an existing project, this time the "Dragon Castle" with which to try out the flocking birds effect...
Done using A:M v19e and assembled with Davinci Resolve 15b2, although I think my animation is a bit stiff...
Appreciate your comments and any suggestions for improvement.
 

Attached Files


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#93 Rodney

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 09:34 PM

Woah.   Going above and beyond the exercise again I see!

 

Nicely done Harun!

 

There are some aspects that indeed read as stiff and that detracts from the enjoyment here.

There are some settings in the flock parameters themselves that can be adjusted to get a little variation to the flocking and that might pay off well.

My sense is that the dragons maintain their distance from each other too strictly and that robs them of a sense of individuality and differing weights.

And/or perhaps a little vertical movement in the dragon's flight (action) would help.

For that just change the height of the main bone (in the Dragon) for the Fly action.

Then in the Flock make sure to change the Action offset so each dragon's motion will be timed differently.


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#94 harunw

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 11:08 PM

There are some settings in the flock parameters themselves that can be adjusted.....

 

Thanks Rodney for taking the time to provide your valuable feedback and suggestions. In any case, I'm just happy I managed to complete the scene, as I had pre-visualized it in my head. I wasn't even sure I could animate the part where the dragon lands on the arch (forget about trying to model the dragon, that is almost unthinkable) but just to be able to see one's efforts to try to breathe life into these creatures is quite satisfying :)



#95 Rodney

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 03:08 AM

just to be able to see one's efforts to try to breathe life into these creatures is quite satisfying 

 

 

Amen to that!

 

I must admit I got a thrill seeing that still scene come to life!


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#96 robcat2075

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 06:15 AM

A couple notes about flying....

Rodney mentioned the up-down of the body. It's a contrary motion sort of thing.  When the wings push down the body is pushed up. Of course, the body is a much larger mass so it doesn't move as far as the wings.

 

wingflapping.png

 

 

 

Flying animals are pretty clever about using as little energy as the can. When they come in for a landing they will typically swoop down low, then coast up to burn off speed, then plop on their landing spot.  Basically they are trying to stall out right before they hit their target.

 

A bird that nests on a high cliff can do a very deep swoop down and back up while a bird landing on level ground has to do more furious wing flapping to get stopped.

 

birdlandings.png


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#97 harunw

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:32 AM

A couple notes about flying....

 

Thanks very much Robert, this makes perfect sense.... for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.... and helpful sketches too!



#98 robcat2075

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:36 AM

Of course, the dragon reality may be more complicated than I sketched.

 

Here's a wild clip of a goose flying alongside a car.

 

https://youtu.be/v-jaa0U0-yw

 

 

You can see the body moving counter to the wings but the head and tail are compensating to stay in place either way.

 

wingflappingSide.png


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