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post #91 of 927 Old 05-13-2007, 12:21 AM
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Hey Magius,

Hope you get your RAID array fixed in time so no data is lost.
Hope your business trip is a somewhat fun one. I'll keep an eye on this thread for any updates...

Best,
Den

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post #92 of 927 Old 05-19-2007, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I'm back from traveling and fortunately I found the time to get a few things fixed while I was away. The flickering problems were completely fixed using the "set solid" tip, so thank you to all who suggested that. There is one section of the castle's roof that now looks a lighter shade of blue than all the rest after it was set solid, but other than that everything looked great afterwards.

I also fixed the excessively strong wind by reducing the force by a factor of 10. I'll probably play with this a bit more until it's "just right", but at least I found the correct variable and a good ballpark number to use. One thing I still need to implement is a slightly different wind effect for each flag so that they don't all move exactly in sync. I think that I know how to do this, it just needs a bit of experimentation.

Finally, I worked on the spotlight that follows Tinkerbell around her arc. I used a different technique and the results are far superior to my first test render, but now I have an even better idea so I'm going to do that part over again. I think that by using an armature/bone I'll be able to keep Tinkerbell and her spotlight in perfect sync all the way around the arc, making a much more realistic lighting effect. This is how I did the Universal text coming around the earth, so at least I'm familiar with how it works

As a side note, the movie "Bridge to Terabithia" was playing on my return flight. As it's a new Disney movie it had the brand new castle animation with the fireworks and everything that you can see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:W...ctureslogo.png or here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=FOvLsFKrv...elated&search=. Sure made me wish I was good enough to recreate that animation... but for now the older Pixar version will have to do.
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post #93 of 927 Old 05-19-2007, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Apparently I took too much credit for fixing the hyperactive flags. When trying to make them all move independently of each other the problem of the wind being too strong got reintroduced somehow. I'm not sure how to fix it ATM, but I'll work on it and hopefully it doesn't come down to having to make them all move in sync like they were before...

Anyway, here's an extremely low quality test render showing the full animation. There's a lot of artifacts due to the compression, but I figure it will give those of you who are interested an idea of what the final animation will look like. Comments are welcome.
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post #94 of 927 Old 05-20-2007, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magius View Post

Apparently I took too much credit for fixing the hyperactive flags. When trying to make them all move independently of each other the problem of the wind being too strong got reintroduced somehow. I'm not sure how to fix it ATM, but I'll work on it and hopefully it doesn't come down to having to make them all move in sync like they were before...

Anyway, here's an extremely low quality test render showing the full animation. There's a lot of artifacts due to the compression, but I figure it will give those of you who are interested an idea of what the final animation will look like. Comments are welcome.

Wow! Looks really nice. Especially the way the light from the arcing star reflects off the castle as it goes from right to left. Very nice.

Is it just this test animation or does the whole thing seem too fast? I think it clocked at 12 seconds?? Can it be slowed down?

Really impressive though!

-t
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post #95 of 927 Old 05-20-2007, 06:30 AM
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I prefer the animation you're working on, not too fond of all the detail of the florida swamp lands surround the castle, at least that is what I think of when I see that castle
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post #96 of 927 Old 05-20-2007, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Teknoguy, I do agree that the animation looks a little fast, but I was trying to be as accurate to the original as possible. The original can be seen here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nk_Ow_-sitE and you'll notice that one lasts about 12 seconds as well. I added a little delay at the beginning and end for fade in/out, but I tried to estimate the timing of the actual animation as close to the original as possible to sync up with the music.

Speaking of the music, I tried to run a loopback from my line out to my line in and record the music from the youtube clip above. For some reason my soundcard stopped working after that, and only just yesterday (a week later) spontaneously started working again. I don't dare try it again, but that file is the only location I'm aware of for that particular fanfare. If anybody has a copy of that same music could you please upload it to the thread, or if anyone has sound recording software and wants to do the loopback method I'd appreciate it.

Back to the animation, anyone that knows how to play with keyframes or the Animation IPO window in Blender could change the timing of the whole thing, but it's no simple task. An easier method might be to lower the rendering rate from 25fps. 20fps would make it go from 12s to 15s, but I have no idea if it would still look alright.
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post #97 of 927 Old 05-20-2007, 12:25 PM
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Magius - really coming together nicely.

Great work.

Cheers,
Mark

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post #98 of 927 Old 05-20-2007, 09:58 PM
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Magius,

Excellent job!!
It does feel a little quick to me also, but i'd still be very very happy with it.

Let me see if i can "make" an AC3 audio track when i get home from work...

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post #99 of 927 Old 05-21-2007, 05:05 AM
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I can get you a music track this evening if you dont have it all ready.

"Don't get mad at me just because you were dumb enough to fall for the ol' Wookie-prisoner gag."
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post #100 of 927 Old 05-21-2007, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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For those who are asking about it I do not yet have a music file. I usually just go with a stereo mp3 with these things because it's all I can typically find, but if there's an AC3 version that'd be great too. As long as virtualdub can take it as an input I'm happy. Go ahead and post it in the thread so that others will know it's available and can use it with my .blend file once I'm done.

Thanks in advance, and thanks again for all the positive feedback. Apparently there's going to be more travel in my future which could be a good thing or a bad thing as far as working on the animation, so we'll have to see how things go...
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post #101 of 927 Old 05-21-2007, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention that I put in an order for all my new computer parts on Saturday so in the near future I won't have to be puttering along with Blender on my old P4 2.4 w/ 512MB RAM. This should drastically help me work on things like the softbody flag simulations and stuff that just takes forever to preview in real-time.

I rebuilt my HTPC in February (C2D E4300@3.0GHz, 2GB RAM) and have been sending .blend files out to the living room for rendering via remote desktop, but there's just no substitute to seeing what each frame looks like in real time while you work.

Interestingly enough, and I know I'm getting off-topic, I was able to pick up 4GB of RAM (two 2GB kits) for $20 less than the exact same 2GB kit cost me in late February... Too bad I won't be able to see it all, but it was so cheap I couldn't resist .

On one last note, someone needs to make a GPGPU version of Blender so that the 12-inch long space heater I bought will contribute something useful when I'm not playing Oblivion OK enough rambling, I'll keep you guys posted regarding further glitch fixes in my animation.
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post #102 of 927 Old 07-12-2007, 05:32 AM
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Magius - where you been? Wondering how the Disney Logo is coming along.

Cheers,
Mark

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post #103 of 927 Old 07-12-2007, 10:33 AM
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You guys are way over my head. Based on previous information in the forum, I rendered my home theater into the "20th Century Fox" type intro. The computer spent 20 some odd hours doing the rendering of 600 shots. Then I tried to animate it into a 18 - 20 second animated intro as I understood could be done. I have failed multiple times in accomplishing this feat.

Is this some software program I can get that steps me through the process or a short course buried in the forums that tells me how this is done?

I managed to find the 18 second (or so) 20th Century Fox music file so IF I can figure out how to animate it in about that length of time, I am ready to burn it to a DVD for my home theater.
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post #104 of 927 Old 07-12-2007, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrk1234 View Post

You guys are way over my head. Based on previous information in the forum, I rendered my home theater into the "20th Century Fox" type intro. The computer spent 20 some odd hours doing the rendering of 600 shots. Then I tried to animate it into a 18 - 20 second animated intro as I understood could be done. I have failed multiple times in accomplishing this feat.

Is this some software program I can get that steps me through the process or a short course buried in the forums that tells me how this is done?

I managed to find the 18 second (or so) 20th Century Fox music file so IF I can figure out how to animate it in about that length of time, I am ready to burn it to a DVD for my home theater.


If you rendered the blender file as an avi with 30 frames per second then it should be close to the 20 seconds, all you need to do is add the music.

I used blender to render it as an avi, then used Windows Movie Maker to add the sound.


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post #105 of 927 Old 07-13-2007, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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BritInVA, I am sorry to have kept you waiting so long for this Disney animation. For whatever reason I simply cannot achieve the results that I want with the flags blowing in the wind and thus have become very discouraged. I also spent a week on business travel and had family staying with me for 3 weeks so haven't had nearly as much time to spend on this animation as I might have liked.

I've toyed with millions of ways to render the flags as softbodies with various amounts of mass, wind and gravity, but nothing works to my satisfaction. Most of the time things will look alright for about 160-200 frames but eventually the system reaches "steady state" if you will, and all motion stops. In other words after oscillating around for some time the force of gravity and the force of wind will eventually just cancel each other out and the flag will come to rest at some awkward diagonal angle. There are ways to "fake" this blowing in the wind effect using a procedural normal texture on a static object, but I am not satisfied with how that method looks in this animation. In short, for lack of a better method I simply cannot finish the project.

What I will be happy to do is release some .blend files for any interested parties. I wouldn't mind quickly slapping together a file where the flags are completely static and don't move at all, so that anyone can go ahead and just render that version. If I remember correctly everything else works well enough, and I'd even improved the tinkerbell arch and fairy dust since last uploading a demo. I can also upload my main file where the flags are set up as softbodies so that anyone can play with the variables and see if their luck is better than mine.

I don't know what we have around here for Blender expertise, I'm a complete noob myself, but if there was anyone with the skill to wave my flags even halfway realistically I would be extremely grateful. Give me a day or so and I will upload what exists of the project so far.
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post #106 of 927 Old 07-13-2007, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I may have spoken too soon...

In an effort to show everyone what I was whining about I wanted to make a quick clip showing what my soft body flags looked like compared to a procedural texture and a plain old static object. I figured this would show the "steady state" behavior problem that I referred to last post as well.

Anyways, by sheer accident I figured out that something I'd long believed impossible is in fact quite easy to do... dynamically changing the wind strength! There is no key for this that you can insert with the "i" key, but on the IPO graph itself there is an "fstrength" key and it actually works. By changing the wind to blow harder and softer over time the flag can never get to a steady state with the force of gravity and is constantly in motion!

Combined with this fact I just stumbled across a tutorial of someone rendering a sail for a boat and realized that they are using different weights for their soft body vertices than I was. A weight of 1 means the vertex is immobile (ie: the part of a flag attached to the pole) and I was using a weight of 0 for all other points to allow them to move freely. This resulted in a very jerky unrealistic motion as there was practically zero inertia, but by setting my vertices to weight .25 as in the tutorial the motion is smoothed out considerably.

So I now submit to you all the demo clip showing the behavior of 3 types of flags both close up and at a distance similar to that in the Disney animation. I'll admit that the wind could use a little more "oomph" but that can be fixed in the final Disney version. You'll also notice that this procedural texture looks like junk up close, but is almost passable at a distance... it just wasn't good enough for me At least I now know how to resolve my flag problems, and hopefully this weekend will get some time to apply the new knowledge to my Disney project.

Thanks to BritInVA for spurring my interest in this again, if all goes well I may just finish this project yet!
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post #107 of 927 Old 07-13-2007, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
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Well I may have spoken too soon...

In an effort to show everyone what I was whining about I wanted to make a quick clip showing what my soft body flags looked like compared to a procedural texture and a plain old static object. I figured this would show the "steady state" behavior problem that I referred to last post as well.

Anyways, by sheer accident I figured out that something I'd long believed impossible is in fact quite easy to do... dynamically changing the wind strength! There is no key for this that you can insert with the "i" key, but on the IPO graph itself there is an "fstrength" key and it actually works. By changing the wind to blow harder and softer over time the flag can never get to a steady state with the force of gravity and is constantly in motion!

Combined with this fact I just stumbled across a tutorial of someone rendering a sail for a boat and realized that they are using different weights for their soft body vertices than I was. A weight of 1 means the vertex is immobile (ie: the part of a flag attached to the pole) and I was using a weight of 0 for all other points to allow them to move freely. This resulted in a very jerky unrealistic motion as there was practically zero inertia, but by setting my vertices to weight .25 as in the tutorial the motion is smoothed out considerably.

So I now submit to you all the demo clip showing the behavior of 3 types of flags both close up and at a distance similar to that in the Disney animation. I'll admit that the wind could use a little more "oomph" but that can be fixed in the final Disney version. You'll also notice that this procedural texture looks like junk up close, but is almost passable at a distance... it just wasn't good enough for me At least I now know how to resolve my flag problems, and hopefully this weekend will get some time to apply the new knowledge to my Disney project.

Thanks to BritInVA for spurring my interest in this again, if all goes well I may just finish this project yet!

OK, now I see what you were worried about and it makes sense.

The soft body definitely looks better than the other 2.

Congratulations on the Discovery! Please let us know when you think it's ready.

-t
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post #108 of 927 Old 07-14-2007, 09:56 AM
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Thanks to BritInVA for spurring my interest in this again, if all goes well I may just finish this project yet!

Glad that I could be of inspirational assistance

Cheers,
Mark

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post #109 of 927 Old 07-14-2007, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Well just for the heck of it I thought I'd upload what the project looks like in its current state. The softbody flags are working much much better now, but I have to admit I'm still disappointed in the end result, and all of the work that's gone into them just doesn't seem worth the effect achieved. I think the biggest part of it is that they are so far off in the distance that the detail of the softbody simulation is lost.

For comparison's sake, this .zip file also has an older test render from back in May where I believe I referred to the flags as being "on crack". This should show just how far the effect has come since I first started twiddling with it, but I think at this point I'm going to just call it "done".

Please let me know if you guys see anything abnormal with this final test render or if you have any last minute suggestions or fixes, otherwise later tonight or tomorrow I'll upload the .blend file and call it a wrap on this effort.

Oh as a special bonus I'm uploading the result of an idea that I had around the 4th of July that never made it out of the conceptual phase. I spent an hour or 2 playing with this and reading tutorials and unfortunately got fed up with it and don't plan on touching it again . I just thought perhaps someone else might draw inspiration from the idea, or else it's just a cool screenshot .
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post #110 of 927 Old 07-15-2007, 10:55 AM
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That to me looks excellent - see what you meean about the effort vs. how noticible the flags are.......maybe on the big screen they will be more noticible.

Have you thought about fading it out at the end to blue screen for aiding transition to another clip in a intro? Those that don't want the transition can easily not render those last frames.

Will the Walt Disney text be easily editable to replace with a custom name?

Great work and glad you found time and the solution to be able to finish.

Cheers,
Mark

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post #111 of 927 Old 07-15-2007, 02:28 PM
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Agreed, I think it looks good. Will serve as a perfect base for a lot of custom work. Always kind of cool that you know a bunch of people are using your artwork and showing it off.
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post #112 of 927 Old 07-17-2007, 03:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the positive feedback. To answer a few of your questions:

The extra time at the front of the clip where nothing moves was put there intentionally to allow you to fade in from black on top of it or simply crop to the point where the movement starts, depending on how you want your clip to start. In a similar vein, at the end of the clip I left some time where nothing is moving except the softbody flags, to allow you to fade to black if that is what you want. In my own final render I anticipate fading both in and out of the clip, but other people may simply use it as demoed or even crop the sides.

The Walt Disney Text couldn't be easier to edit. If you're familiar with my 2D version of the Disney animation you'll remember that it's just straight text with an imported font. All you do is select it, press tab, delete the existing text and type what you want it to say. Maybe some re-centering is required if you type something very long or short, but otherwise it's cake. The goal of the animations I produce is to minimize the effort that someone else has to put into customizing them

Now, there is one thing that I will have to ask "the community" to assist me with if anyone is willing. I have tried and tried but been unable to find a music file to match with this animation. The one that I want can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLWAt-6Oli0. I'm sure that with a loopback the audio could be recorded from YouTube, or it could be ripped from a Disney/Pixar DVD, but my soundcard input is busted and I'm too lazy to go hunt for a DVD. I would very much appreciate if someone could provide an .mp3 file of that music to couple with this animation.

Anyways, I was tied up this weekend so I apologize for not posting. I will attempt to stick the .blend file online this evening after work. Thanks again for the compliments!
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post #113 of 927 Old 07-17-2007, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I'm going to need some suggestions and assistance in getting the .blend file uploaded to the forums. Because the softbody simulations are actually pre-baked right into the .blend file, the final size is something like 11MB. Even using maximal compression .zip or .rar I could only get it down to about 4.5MB which is far too large to post here. I tried using a multiple part archive but because of the file extension limitation I cant post .001 or .r01 files, only ".zip"

I don't want to break any forum rules trying to get around the filters for attachments so if someone would be willing to host this somewhere for me it'd be appreciated.

I'm going to start a 1280x720 render to run overnight and find out if there's any little glitches to take care of, but I believe that this is ready to go pending a place to put it.

BritInVA,
I have to admit I didn't read your initial question closely enough and I didn't see that you were asking about fading to "blue" at the end of the animation. This is certainly possible by setting an Alpha IPO on the materials used for the castle, text, arch, etc. and have them all fade to 0.000 alpha at the end of the clip. Everything would just gradually disappear leaving only the blue background color. For now I will leave that as an "exercise for the reader", but if you would really like it that way and are having trouble with Blender I could probably whip something together for you.

Thanks everyone for your support. Please let me know if someone is willing to host this, and also if anyone can find the accompanying audio file for me it would be much appreciated!
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post #114 of 927 Old 07-17-2007, 06:49 PM
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I will host it for you. I am trying to get the audio for you. Once I get you the audio, you can add that to the blender project and send me the zip file.


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post #115 of 927 Old 07-17-2007, 07:57 PM
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Magius,

Great work. Would you be willing to add the name of my theater to the intro and render it for me for a nominal fee? I could never get the hang of blender.

This would make a great addition to my universal intro!

let me know via PM. Thanks.

Greg


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post #116 of 927 Old 07-18-2007, 03:52 AM
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Hi Magius,

Great work!!

I can host it for you too... The Fox .blend intro is already on my site. I can set up FTP for you to upload it.

I'm at work now and can't play the YouTube video, but would this be the original Disney music theme that is in the original clip?
If so, why settle for an .mp3 version? I once extracted the Fox Fanfare from DVD as a AC3-track. If I can only remember how i did it ( )i'd be happy to do this for the Disney anim aswell.

I'll see if i can get around to it this week... (both the remembering and the doing... )

DenW
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post #117 of 927 Old 07-18-2007, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by DenW View Post

Hi Magius,

Great work!!

I can host it for you too... The Fox .blend intro is already on my site. I can set up FTP for you to upload it.

I'm at work now and can't play the YouTube video, but would this be the original Disney music theme that is in the original clip?
If so, why settle for an .mp3 version? I once extracted the Fox Fanfare from DVD as a AC3-track. If I can only remember how i did it ( )i'd be happy to do this for the Disney anim aswell.

I'll see if i can get around to it this week... (both the remembering and the doing... )


If I remember....DVDdecrypter will allow you to de-mux the audio portion out.
I did the same thing for the FOX fanfare track. I'll do it for the Disney track if folks have problems. Just won't get done till the weekend.

Let me know.

-t
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post #118 of 927 Old 07-18-2007, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the rush of support!

W84no1 already supplied me with a .wav file and I spent a bit of time playing with it to sync it up to the animation. Despite my best efforts, I didn't render this at exactly the same speed as the original so it doesn't exactly match the music. A bit of tweaking to the .wav file and I bet I can make it close enough though. I will be sending him the file to host tomorrow and hopefully have a modified audio file to accompany it. I'll send the file to anyone else that wants it as well, and you're all free to rehost it or do anything else with it that you like.

Also, an AC3 rip sounds like a great idea but then I wouldn't be able to play with it to sync it up better with the animation. On my previous Fox and Universal intros I just used a stereo mp3 as I doubt my audience will be discriminating enough to notice Hosting an AC3 version would be good though for those who want to take that route.

Greg_Mitch: If it comes down to it I can probably make you a custom .blend file when I find a little more time, but you'll have to render it on your own machine. Otherwise I'm not sure how I would get it to you as the end videos can be a little large. I wouldn't feel right charging you for it, as it's not hard to do, plus I don't want to step on Disney's copyrights/trademarks . Perhaps once the source file gets hosted another member will be willing to do it for you as well in case you don't want to wait for me to get around to it.

Thanks again everyone for being so supportive. It's thrilling to see this thread come back to life after so long of inactivity. I halfway expected nobody to be reading it anymore and that only 1-2 people would notice the completed animation. If only the other members who were working in Blender had news on their latest projects... I'd really like to see if anyone else is still playing with the program.
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post #119 of 927 Old 07-18-2007, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magius View Post

Thanks everyone for the rush of support!

W84no1 already supplied me with a .wav file and I spent a bit of time playing with it to sync it up to the animation. Despite my best efforts, I didn't render this at exactly the same speed as the original so it doesn't exactly match the music. A bit of tweaking to the .wav file and I bet I can make it close enough though. I will be sending him the file to host tomorrow and hopefully have a modified audio file to accompany it. I'll send the file to anyone else that wants it as well, and you're all free to rehost it or do anything else with it that you like.

Also, an AC3 rip sounds like a great idea but then I wouldn't be able to play with it to sync it up better with the animation. On my previous Fox and Universal intros I just used a stereo mp3 as I doubt my audience will be discriminating enough to notice Hosting an AC3 version would be good though for those who want to take that route.

Greg_Mitch: If it comes down to it I can probably make you a custom .blend file when I find a little more time, but you'll have to render it on your own machine. Otherwise I'm not sure how I would get it to you as the end videos can be a little large. I wouldn't feel right charging you for it, as it's not hard to do, plus I don't want to step on Disney's copyrights/trademarks . Perhaps once the source file gets hosted another member will be willing to do it for you as well in case you don't want to wait for me to get around to it.

Thanks again everyone for being so supportive. It's thrilling to see this thread come back to life after so long of inactivity. I halfway expected nobody to be reading it anymore and that only 1-2 people would notice the completed animation. If only the other members who were working in Blender had news on their latest projects... I'd really like to see if anyone else is still playing with the program.

Ripping an audio stream is nothing compared to what folks like you are able to do with Blender!
I've nearly beaten my head against the concrete walls trying to figure out the basics of changing the text in the blend files. Never mind figuring out how to make a circle colored blue.
You wouldn't believe how many saves I do per edit...

Thank you for the hard work.
-t
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post #120 of 927 Old 07-18-2007, 10:10 PM
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Hey guys, been reading through this thread and sounds like a bunch of interesting projects are going on. I know after I saw the FOX intro that I figured I'd give it a go an try to create my own custom intro. Its not based on any studio intro or anything like that, but more like some of the intros for the theater itself that I remember seeing. Any how, I wanted to post a video of my finished project and see what others think about it. I've left it as a still fairly large .avi file (4MB encoded with XVID) so I've got it hosted off site. Download it from htintro_xvid.avi

Just a little synopsis to explain some elements in the video. The remote control you see is an accurate 3D representation of my actual HT remote. The second half of the intro actually takes place in a 3D model of my theater room. I think I've spent upwards of 300-400 hours (or more) on this, and it feels SO good to finally feel like I'm done and have accomplished something.

I'd love to hear any comments and feedback on this, good or bad. Thanks, and good luck to everyone on their own projects.

- Tim
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