1000 birds (Final 1080p animation on page 5!)

Started by Hannes, January 16, 2013, 12:44:46 pm

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goldfarb

if you can post a cycle of the bird animation (obj seq) and a VERY low poly representation of the cliff I'll make you a nice flock of birds...
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Michael Goldfarb | Senior Technical Director | SideFX | Toronto | Canada

Hannes

Thank you, goldfarb! But I already managed to create my own object sequence of the birds. I'll post an example movie asap.
First I'll try choronr's suggestion (Thank you)!

Hannes

OK, the birds are ready to download in the file sharing section.

Andrew March

Very kind, thank you Hannes


TheBadger

Thanks Hannes, just downed it. But I really am more interested in this:
QuoteBut I already managed to create my own object sequence of the birds. I'll post an example movie asap.


If you are talking about animating the birds by that mystery method, than please start a thread on the subject! The only things I have read on it in all the time I have been a member here, are quick conversations in posts and theory discussions. I have not seen any break down of the process, and do not believe I have seen any animations using the method.

Martin (T-U) did happen to discuss it in the lecture last week, and he made it sound that like the process was simple in terms of whats involved; amount of steps. But I think I would like to see someone do it first before I could try it. And if I am asking about the right thing here, it would be great to learn from you what the strengths and limitations are in this method, how useful you find it, and what (perhaps unorthodox) ways it might be used other than the obvious. Since everything in TG2 seems to be good for more than just what it was intended for.

By the way, you won an award in the "toscars". Did you know that?  :)
It has been eaten.

Oshyan

Badger, this is an object sequence rendered, a demo for our 2.3 release: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNf6E0GMJ1g
It really is quite easy, the method shown in the web conference is literally all there is to it. The hard part is really getting ahold of (or creating) an OBJ sequence.

- Oshyan

TheBadger

Thanks Oshyan! That is an interesting view of it. I did a quick search on "OBJ sequence" And found that most of the major softwares have OBJ sequence plug-ins.
C4d has one built in, and I found a free script for maya http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/scripts-plugins/utility-external/export/c/obj-sequence-exporter

Oshyan, please indulge me a little more on this.
Suppose some stubborn person wanted to do a complex (really complex) sequence, the kind of thing most people would just render in another software and then comp; lots of complex natural movement or physics.
And also suppose that this hypothetical sequence can be loaded correctly. Can I then assume that the OBJ sequence will render in TG2 in a way that is consistent with the sequence in the other software? Or do you know of a point where you become limited by what you can do in this process?

In the video the example did not have textures on the objects. I am curious to know if there will be additional issues with UVs and texture stretching on top of any issues in the export software, or if what you see when you output a sequence is only and exactly what you get when rendered in TG2.

Personally I think having objects lit and placed in the same render as the terrain is created is best. As apposed to comping, matching and then correcting 2 or more separate videos. Ideally I mean, it should create the most real results. Yes?
It has been eaten.

Hannes

I won an award?? Where can I see this?
@Badger: I don't know if this is really a mystery method. I had a particle system in 3ds max. After the particles behaved the way I wanted them to, I used the preanimated bird as instance.
Then I used the 3ds max-mesher object to create one mesh per frame. Afterwards I had to find a script that helped me to transform these meshes into .objs and to create the sequence.
TG can read this, when you put "%04d" as prefix in "filename" for a four digit sequence.
Here are the birds in motion rendered in TG. So, I don't see any differences to the original in 3ds max.

Oshyan

Hannes pretty much answers your question. ;) To the best of my knowledge the sequence loading functionality works exactly like the normal image or object loading system, the only difference is it knows to use a different object file for each frame, and it gets the info on which file to use from the file name wild card specified, as in Hannes' example above. So basically, you start rendering with frame 1, it loads birds0001.obj and renders the scene, frame 1 finishes and saves to disk, frame 2 is about to be rendered and now the OBJ loader sees it's on frame 2, it loads birds0002.obj and renders, and so on. So as long as a single instance of your model loads and renders fine in TG, the sequence *should* load and render correctly. After all it's literally just a series of separate OBJ files, no different to if you manually loaded a different OBJ and pressed Render a bunch of times.

The only issue I can think of is if the program that is outputting the OBJ doesn't output multiple corresponding MTL files and only puts out 1, but hopefully that's not something any of them do.

What you need to keep in mind is that fully animating complex models is going to create a lot of very large object data. If you have a 10MB object and you want to animate it over 1000 frames, you suddenly have 10GB of object data. It could easily get into 100s of GBs very quickly.

- Oshyan

TheBadger

QuoteHere are the birds in motion rendered in TG

THATS REALLY GREAT! Are you kidding me? Why don't more people do this?! It really works :o

QuoteI don't know if this is really a mystery method

Most things in life are a mystery to me. I don't hold you guys so low.

QuoteI won an award?? Where can I see this?

Yes, and were nominated for several more. People had some nice things to say about you. It was cool.

If you sign up for a gold pass for the lectures this weekend you get the video for all of the sessions. But as a winner I would hope that someone would get you a video from friday regardless of whether or not you can come to the sessions Sat and Sunday.
Like I said it was nice. And I am glad that they recognised the images you make, I like the work you do too.
They picked a lot of nice work to show. But not a lot of people voted, and not a lot of people voted in every category. I my self waited until the last moment to vote, without enough time to vote in every category. But it was a good idea, we should do it every year, for the work of each year. But with more than a week to do the voting, I think.

It has been eaten.

TheBadger

Thank you Oshyan, that is the sort of boundaries I was looking for. In terms of resources, It is very good to have that information before I start. 100GB is doable, but if your not expecting that before you start it would be a nasty surprise. Had I known how much trouble the ivy on my maze was going to be I would not have started, but I dont know how to quit ;) But this though, looks like any difficulties could really be worth it, if the project is good to begin with.

The birds in Hannes' test make that plain old terrain come alive

It has been eaten.

Oshyan

Keep in mind also that populating animated objects would likely be problematic because of the way instancing works. Either you have a whole bunch of copies of objects moving exactly the same way (unrealistic), or you have the objects with varying rotation, so they have the same motion, but different rotations, looking slightly different, but still wrong, and certainly not achieving any kind of good "wind" effect for example (because there's no cohesion across instances for the motion).

- Oshyan

TheBadger

Argg^^ Then its a question of timing and distance. The eyes would have to be given lots of information, but not enough time to fully transmit everything they are seeing. So the viewer is tricked into believing what they think they see. For example, using Hannes' birds, several shots while the camera is in slight motion, all from different positions, and no edit longer than 3 seconds.
Its very complex then, in terms of effective execution.

It can be done.
It has been eaten.

Oshyan

Or you could just composite the output from TG and the output from 3DS Max/Maya/whatever, like the pros do. They seem to get pretty good results. ;) Either way has its challenges, but the compositing workflow is probably more well documented, and better facilitated by the recently-added FBX support.

- Oshyan