Bryce Animation Brain Dump (Was "Key-Flame: A.M.L. (Basic Intro)")

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Comments

  • GussNemoGussNemo Posts: 1,855
    edited December 1969

    @Dave: Candle does look better. Hope you'll be able to show the entire project once it's finished.

  • JamahoneyJamahoney Posts: 1,790
    edited December 1969

    Ororboros...a query on final cut - I'm wondering which is the best way to go.

    Say, you have one batch of 3 separately Bryce-rendered Avi's, and another batch of 5 separately Bryce-rendered Avi's - all in preparation for the editing stage for the final cut animation. In terms of final quality output, is adding them all together at the editing stage better than, say, creating one animation from the first batch, another animation from the second batch, and then combining just these two together for final-cut? Is some quality lost the more you re-use separate Avi's (as in re-using them for the combining two stage above)?

    Jay

  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 3,609
    edited December 1969

    Dave - Like Guss, I hope we see your final product.

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited December 1969

    Jamahoney said:
    Say, you have one batch of 3 separately Bryce-rendered Avi's, and another batch of 5 separately Bryce-rendered Avi's - all in preparation for the editing stage for the final cut animation.

    I follow you here.

    In terms of final quality output, is adding them all together at the editing stage better than, say, creating one animation from the first batch, another animation from the second batch, and then combining just these two together for final-cut?

    This is the bit where I lose you a little, so let me give you a little insight, then I'll answer :)

    AVI is a lossless video format. It's uncompressed and huge. Most video editing apps don't actually copy AVIs into the program, but create pointers to the files you have stored on your hard drives. It's not uncommon to have a 10s long AVI hitting 500MB. As most personal comps these days have between 4 and 16 GB of RAM, you can pretty much figure out that this is enough for about 1-2 mins of broadcast quality video if it tried to do that.

    If quality is your focus, and it's a straight cut-job, neither method increases/decreases quality so long as you export your stage edits as uncompressed AVI - In essence, you're just joining one up to the other. IF, however you're incorporating transitions, color editing, things that alter the original footage, and save your stage edit as an AVI... You have to acknowledge that you have altered the originals in some way. So the quality of the output remains pristine, but you have altered the original footage in some way.

    Is some quality lost the more you re-use separate Avi's (as in re-using them for the combining two stage above)?

    No. No quality is lost (unless, of course, an error creeps into the file through a virus, faulty HD, system crash, that kind of thing). There is no 'photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy' effect with digital files...

    ...UNLESS you export your stage edit in an altered, compressed format. There is a compressed AVI format, so beware. If the intention is to use a stage edit later, you should always have an uncompressed master of it.

    Now, to answer your question directly: It's better to add them all together at the editing stage, at the same time. This has nothing to do with quality, but everything to do with logistics and flexibility.

    Once you start going down the sub-edit/stage edit route, you add file management complexity to your project. I tend to create uncompressed footage, add it to my video project, tinker with it, and save the project file. But I don't export to a stage edit: The project file knows where everything is, and I can play a low resolution version of it within the video app in real time if I need to.

    Once you start playing with stage edits you lose flexibility. It may dawn on you later that the storyboard you've going with has a glaring omission, or your story could be better told if you re-arranged the clips. Pretty hard to do if you've already mixed down partially compiled footage.

    This Image is my Final Cut Express HD file for the KEY-FLAME: Animating Materials tutorial. There was NO WAY I was going to do submixes or stage edits for this one: I was pretty much winging it through the 'Waveskimmer' demo movie, doing the Bryce animation, composing the music, the titles, the special effects, and timing everything just so... It would be crazy if I just did the video, bounced it down to a stage edit and THEN tried to sync it with sound... OR, the other way around. It wasn't all done in a day either. Keeping things all loosey-goosey until the final export is less hassle.

    AnimatingMaterialsFile.png
    1696 x 1124 - 441K
  • JamahoneyJamahoney Posts: 1,790
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for that, Oro

    And yes, you answered my query to a tee. I was thinking along lines with using, say, .jpg images, where some loss occurs the more you open and re-use them, and so was inquiring if similar loss occurs in re-using AVIs. I use uncompressed AVIs all the time, so I think I'm safe, so thanks once again for the info.

    Jay

  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 3,609
    edited December 1969

    Trying different very basic animation.

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/504192120757261527/

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/504192120757273082/


    Inspired by Dave’s rocket launch, I got out my toy rocket for this one:

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/504192120757273088/

  • JamahoneyJamahoney Posts: 1,790
    edited December 1969

    Ah they're cool, Mermaid. I'm thinking more will want to do ani's., after seeing these...let the revolution begin ;)

    Jay

  • GussNemoGussNemo Posts: 1,855
    edited December 1969

    More may try, Jay, but where do they start?

  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,418
    edited December 1969

    I would guess here would be the best place Guss: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFCr9K8dbZNwZ981MAdCSoIXwqO3tCk7c

  • GussNemoGussNemo Posts: 1,855
    edited December 1969

    @Dave: That does look like a good place to start. Thanks for the link.

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited October 2014

    GussNemo said:
    @Dave: That does look like a good place to start. Thanks for the link.

    "Thanks for the link"???

    Just goes to show: signatures at the bottom of posts do squat :/

    Incidentally, I've recently done a personal video reply for a complete newbie to animation. Anyone who has commented in this thread will learn almost nothing from it, but here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4wq2WSRIew

    My question: should it it be part of the KEY-FLAME playlist or not?

    Post edited by Oroboros on
  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 3,609
    edited December 1969

    Oroboros said:

    My question: should it it be part of the KEY-FLAME playlist or not?

    Cool video- Yes without doubt Oro you should include this video to the Key-Flame playlist :)

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited December 1969

    Consider it done, Mermaid :) But I'll probably replace it a better job of it later.

  • GussNemoGussNemo Posts: 1,855
    edited December 1969

    Oroboros said:
    GussNemo said:
    @Dave: That does look like a good place to start. Thanks for the link.

    "Thanks for the link"???

    Just goes to show: signatures at the bottom of posts do squat :/

    Incidentally, I've recently done a personal video reply for a complete newbie to animation. Anyone who has commented in this thread will learn almost nothing from it, but here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4wq2WSRIew

    My question: should it it be part of the KEY-FLAME playlist or not?

    Oh, right, signatures. How could I be so myopic? Signatures do work, when one remembers they exist. After watching your beginner video I agree with mermaid about it being part of your other videos. After watching it my interest has increased.

  • JamahoneyJamahoney Posts: 1,790
    edited December 1969

    That's a great start, Oroboros, for beginners...and I bet more will now get more interested in trying it out.

    I'm no expert at Bryce animation, however, since beginning to learn it from a 1995 YouTube vid some years back (can't remember the presenter's name, but he did animation in Bryce 5.0 I think), it was a great eye-opener for more advanced stuff. It's great, therefore, to have a 2014 update, and so hope you'll do more for the beginning levels?

    Jay

  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,418
    edited October 2014

    Oroboros said:
    GussNemo said:
    @Dave: That does look like a good place to start. Thanks for the link.

    "Thanks for the link"???

    Just goes to show: signatures at the bottom of posts do squat :/

    Sorry Oro, I suppose I should have put the grinning smiley at the end of my post or credited you, because all I did was click on your signature and then copy & paste the url (I don't think you can use tags in this forum software to create masked links...

    So signatures do have a use (even if it's only to confirm I have nothing to offer) :cheese:

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 33,604
    edited December 1969

    Oroboros said:
    GussNemo said:
    @Dave: That does look like a good place to start. Thanks for the link.

    "Thanks for the link"???

    Just goes to show: signatures at the bottom of posts do squat :/

    Sorry Oro, I suppose I should have put the grinning smiley at the end of my post or credited you, because all I did was click on your signature and then copy & paste the url (I don't think you can use tags in this forum software to create masked links...

    So signatures do have a use (even if it's only to confirm I have nothing to offer) :cheese:

    By masked links, do you mean like this From Oro's sig bar

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited October 2014

    Jamahoney said:
    I'm no expert at Bryce animation, however, since beginning to learn it from a 1995 YouTube vid some years back (can't remember the presenter's name, but he did animation in Bryce 5.0 I think), it was a great eye-opener for more advanced stuff. It's great, therefore, to have a 2014 update, and so hope you'll do more for the beginning levels?

    A 1995 YouTube vid, you say... Well now. Given that Bryce 5 came out in 2001 and YouTube in 2005 I think we can all safely reach the logical conclusion that YOU ARE A TIME-TRAVELING WIZARD.

    There are two things that prompt me to make vids on Bryce animation. First, I'm brain dumping. That means I'm moving on to different software, but before I go, I just wanted to pass on the knowledge, particularly when we're in a time when several bits of necessary software is now super-cheap or even free to make Bryce content video.

    Video content: Bryce
    Real time video editing and effects: Jahshaka
    File conversion to just about any file format you want: MPEG Streamclip
    Sound production: Check these out
    Sound Effects: Freesound (check out my page :) )

    Of course, getting free software doesn't make you an expert at it. But if you take things slowly and find tutorials on the web, you'll be fine.

    Second, I'm up-skilling on communicating via video. I'm a technical writer by trade. A technical writer writes instructional documentation - manuals, basically. But I'm a tech. writer that HATES writing manuals. No-one reads them, they're expensive to print and a total arse to keep updated and distributed. I'm not saying manuals are bad: documentation is a necessary communications medium, and many people (including myself) prefer to read about certain topics rather than be shown them. However, there are other topics where I practically insist on using video as the primary instructional medium (and still others where I like audio-only: I do podcasting too).

    There are many, MANY challenges in getting modern companies to accept video as a primary educational delivery system... Most of which aren't technical, but involve breaking down entrenched managerial thinking. So doing these tutorials allows me to discover more about how to communicate to large groups of people... even though of course, I'll be lucky to break 500 views in 5 years on any Bryce tutorial I care to make :-D I don't monetize any of my video content on YouTube because ads hog screen space and/or time for no real benefit to the audience.

    I think I have about 2-3 more vids in me on animation, so if you guys would like to volunteer suggestions on topics I'll do my best to oblige. It could be simple, it could be complex, but my aim will be to explain it as clearly and as entertainingly (YES THAT'S A WORD... NOW) as I can.

    Post edited by Oroboros on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 8,264
    edited December 1969

    Oroboros said:
    No-one reads them, ...

    A new name for me, then: No-one. Indeed, I do read technical documentation and manuals. I go to great length to find them if they are not included with the product but hidden somewhere on the Internet. :-)
  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 3,609
    edited October 2014

    Oro it will be cool if you added a few more basic videos. There is not much on Bryce animation online and most are the bouncing ball or a spinning bouncing ball. It will be cool to have nice videos on animation just like how David has videos on the various topics of Bryce.

    Although I did Robin Wood’s butterfly tutorial I only really understood the concept of parenting when I did your Simple Orbits tutorial. Only when I watched your video yesterday I understood what tracking an object meant.

    A long time ago Jay posted some very cool animation and that started my interest in Bryce 3D animation. Then I tried David’s Bryce 10 minute animation project - Kaleidoscope effect http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2owWP1Bg2fw and used Robin Wood’s tutorial to setup the animation:

    Here are two examples

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/504192120756762526/

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/504192120757305601/


    And these are something I tried hopping between Robin Wood’s tutorials and Oro’s Key-Flame – a sphere flying all over the place.

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/504192120757305741/

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/504192120757305701/


    Edited: I learn more from watching than reading ;)

    Post edited by mermaid010 on
  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,418
    edited December 1969

    chohole said:
    By masked links, do you mean like this From Oro's sig bar

    Lol.... Yes exactly like that Pam :lol:

    Note to self: Masked URLs do work on the forum.

  • GussNemoGussNemo Posts: 1,855
    edited December 1969

    Like Horo, I'm one of those people who do seek out documents when needed, which is often, and do read them. I like to have the information in hand when I encounter those times when I get stuck or can't find what I'm looking for on the web.

    This not only pertains to any 3D software I may be using at the time, but I did the same thing when I was employed. We'd be given a test set, or some other piece of equipment, and in most cases the manual which came with the set didn't provide all the needed information for our particular situation. Many times I'd stay 30 minutes to an hour after work searching the manufactures' site for information or just a general search on the web.

    There have been many manuals, or documents, written by a very knowledgeable people, who forget they are writing for individuals who many not have a clue about the subject mater. They write as though the reader is well versed in the subject, so that when a clueless person reads the material, instead of gaining knowledge they become more confused.

    A technical writer should never presume the reader is experienced with the subject. They should presume the reader is reading their material in order to learn from 'A' to 'Z', and every thing in between. Technical jargon should be kept to a minimum or left out altogether. The technical writer should put themselves into the shoes of the reader and make sure they've conveyed the information in a manner which leaves no questions unanswered, or to a minimum.

    Whether written or in videos, if someone is trying to convey information they should make sure to go back to their very beginning and remember what it was like for them to learn the material they are now trying to teach. Doing this may help them construct better teaching aids.


    @Pam: How is a masked link created. This is something I've never heard of.

  • Peter FulfordPeter Fulford Posts: 1,325
    edited December 1969

    Oroboros said:
    That means I'm moving on to different software, but before I go, I just wanted to pass on the knowledge...

    Sad to hear that you're soon to be away. Thanks for dumping your brain on us.

  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,418
    edited December 1969

    GussNemo said:
    @Pam: How is a masked link created. This is something I've never heard of.

    Basically, it's using a url tag ( using the [ and ] brackets) with a line of type inserted in the right place.
    If you quote either Pam's or this one of mine's posts, you;ll see the code and be able to figure it out.

    You may find this useful too

  • OroborosOroboros Posts: 326
    edited October 2014

    GussNemo said:
    A technical writer should never presume the reader is experienced with the subject. They should presume the reader is reading their material in order to learn from 'A' to 'Z', and every thing in between. Technical jargon should be kept to a minimum or left out altogether. The technical writer should put themselves into the shoes of the reader and make sure they've conveyed the information in a manner which leaves no questions unanswered, or to a minimum.

    LOL... Telling me how to do my job, Guss? :)

    I'll have to correct you on a few points, I'm afraid. Tech. writers write for specific audiences. The only reason a tech. writer would write as if people had absolutely no knowledge on a subject is if the audience the instructional aid is targeting has absolutely no knowledge on the subject. (There are far many MORE instructional aids designed for audiences with some understanding of the topic.) Assumptions about audience profiles must be created. The KEY-FLAME videos for instance, are not really for complete beginners: I make assumptions about the user knowing how the interface works. I make assumptions about where and what materials/textures do. I make assumptions on the level of spoken English people are familiar with.

    Consider my latest tutorial that (roughly) covers the basic basics. Much of what I talk about has little to do with animation, and a lot to do with just finding interface commands and tricks. Can you imagine the duration the other videos would be if I had to cover interface instructions along with the actual animation work? If I had to explain the difference between the Camera and the Director in every video?

    KEY-FLAME isn't a formal course in Bryce animation, just a series of videos around loosely grouped information. Earlier, I said to Mermaid that Robin Wood's information should be bought by DAZ and incorporated into the Bryce manual - I stand by that. But Wood's instruction places equal value on all information: it makes a great reference guide, but the guide is a poor teacher of how to do things.

    The KEYFLAME tutorials are a different approach. They don't cover everything at the SAME TIME, nor do they cover ALL of the things. What they try to do is trunk-to-twig tuition: explain the core, 'trunk' procedures of a lesson that provide solid understanding, and only indicate where the refinements, or 'twigs' of the subject may be found. So:

    The AML Basic video covers the big three areas, but it doesn't cover adjusting tick marks, sharp A.C.E. modifications, memory dots and some other options;

    The Fly-bounce video covers Aligned movement and the T,B and C modifiers and the X, Y, Z constrain movement keys, but it doesn't cover the I modifier (that's a capital 'i', for twisting), nor using some appearance features for trajectories, like line vs. ribbon views.

    The Simple Orbits video covers... Well, simple orbits :) (More generally, building a simple rig through parenting, and an introduction to the power of looping.) But it doesn't cover scaling animation timelines or working ranges.

    I haven't even touched Paths, which could be the subject of another video. I hesitate to do so, because paths have a couple of idiosyncratic behaviours that annoy the crap out of me. They're still useful, but for the majority of animation tasks in Bryce they're completely unnecessary – that's why I haven't felt compelled to do a video on them.

    In summary, these vids are just me getting to grips with what I consider to be core tasks in animation, with many of the frills left out. Not only do I believe these frills are not really necessary for Bryce users to understand, it's often better for people to discover hidden features or special techniques for themselves. Self-Discovery is often the best teacher, where exhaustive tutition on the minutiae can lead to confusion.

    That's my 5c on tech. writing :)

    ===

    @Guss: URLs have always been able to be masked. On a webage, if you click a button, or an image, or a short bit of text that says "Click here to go to some web page or other"... that's a 'masked' link.

    I've never called it a masked link before: a link's a link :D In HTML, a link, ANY link, has the structure:

    The text/thing that appears on the web page that people see

    It's just that if you copy/paste a URL into a forum page, like

    https://something.com
    there's often some smart tech in the background that detects the link and turns it into:
    https://something.com

    @_PJF_: I've been drifting away from the Bryce community for a while now so it's not exactly a shock :) But this is kind of a localised burst of activity, just to get some kind of practical documentation done about a subject I like a lot, that DAZ just... I don't know, forgot about or something. It's just useful information that has actually earned me money in the past, so it might be useful, or just plain entertaining, to have these little nuggets of knowledge available to the community.

    Post edited by Oroboros on
  • GussNemoGussNemo Posts: 1,855
    edited December 1969

    @Oroboros: You, David Brinnen, Horo, and a few others for other 3D software, are a few of the best presenters of software usage I've encountered. What all of you provide is a concise and clear presentation of whatever subject that's being discussed. None of you offer any distractions like extraneous music, background noise, or any other sorts of distractions. All of you make a person feel they too could do what they see in the video(s). Many people could learn a lot from watching the videos all of you have provided.

    As to my rant, and I'm sorry about that, it comes from 34 years as a cable splicer with AT&T and being thrown into vats of equipment usage where the manuals were written by the people who designed the equipment. Part of that problem dealt with no prior training before using the equipment, and part came from most of the manuals being only about theory on how the equipment works. Don't get me wrong, theory has its place, but not in a manual supposedly written to teach people how to use the equipment.

    Tech. writers writing for a specific audience, already know the knowledge level of that specific audience and can gear the material just so. But when they don't know the knowledge level of an audience, they should consider the audience may not have any knowledge of the subject matter and gear the material in that manner. As I said above, I've seen too many user manuals which required a Doctorate degree just to understand what was being said, so the manuals were of no use to me or others who needed the information. As new users we needed an 'A' to 'Z' guide that helped us get up and running without too much loss of time. Not a manual where we spent most of our time reading between the lines as to how to use the equipment.

    @Dave: Like Oro, I've never heard it called a masked link but now that it's been explained I know what it is and have used it.

  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 3,609
    edited October 2014

    All this talk about technical issues, and you guys overlooked my last attempts at animation, so sad. ;-) :lol:

    Being an accountant the only time I came into contact with anything technically was an adding machine, then migrating from written accounting to computing accounting, nothing really technical to learn there.

    Back to animations, Oro for me your Key-Flames tutorials really got me moving, Thanks a trillion. As I mentioned earlier I learn more by seeing than reading. I hope you will add a few more videos before you leave the Bryce scene completely…….. no doubt a great loss to the Bryce committee.

    Btw the for last two animations I used paths.

    Post edited by mermaid010 on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 8,264
    edited October 2014

    GussNemo said:
    @Dave: Like Oro, I've never heard it called a masked link but now that it's been explained I know what it is and have used it.

    I'm not going to contribute more to the tech manual topic, because it's sort off-topic, though I could go on easily. A tech writer performs very important job - though there are good ones and better ones to put it friendly.

    I've neither heard of masked links and I've been doing websites since the 90ies. It's just a HTML tag and I add a target so that a new window or tab opens and the content doesn't cover the page with the link.

    whatever.

    This is accepted by this forum software.
    Post edited by Horo on
  • JamahoneyJamahoney Posts: 1,790
    edited December 1969

    YOU ARE A TIME-TRAVELING WIZARD

    Heh he, Oroboros, yeah, must have been 2005 when I started it...I was a bit unsure. Hmmm, I think the 1995 time I mention was WHEN I became a time-lord ;)

    Jay (psuedonym: Dr Who...no, wait, he came before I became a...:) )

  • Dave SavageDave Savage Posts: 2,418
    edited December 1969

    Meh!.... I always view history as a thing of the past Jay. :cheese:

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