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scott frizzle

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Everything posted by scott frizzle

  1. I agree that the current Mac Pro is a non starter; they should have cut the price in half when they announced that they were going back to the drawing board. At some points in the past Apple seemed to have hit the sweet spot with their pro machines, where they cost a bit more than a comparable PC, but offered similar performance but had better design, build quality, etc, plus the benefits of the Mac OS. The old G5 Quad comes to mind as a machine that they got mostly right, but there have been others. I still think that the new Mac Pro needs to be something beyond simply breaking out the iMac Pro into modular parts. I am hoping that Phil Schiller's comment about completely rethinking the Mac Pro means that there are at least some people in the room saying "This needs to be the best f'ing machine for professional users, period." I'm old enough to remember when they would announce a new top of the line Mac at the Macworld expo, and they would always have a "drag race" between the new Mac and a comparable PC to show how fast the Mac was. This is the mentality they need to have with their new pro machine.
  2. I agree that the revamped iMacs are more of a sign of hope than a truly professional solution for high end users. As stated above, if they are willing to go that far with the iMac Pro, then the next Mac Pro *should* be the animal we've all wanted it to be for years. I'm very reluctant to switch to Windows but certainly not against it, especially considering my late 2013 Mac Pro is now seriously outclassed by any new Windows workstation. I already feel like I've waited too long so it's probably 50-50 odds that I get a serious Windows workstation as a hedge, and see what happens with Apple over the next year or two. It seems that we have VR to thank for Apple's new found interest in performance. Without it I'm not sure Apple wouldn't have let their pro machines die a slow, quiet death. I do wonder how much of the high end market will be left once they finally roll out a new Mac Pro though. I think they are going to need something beyond a stylish box with performance on par with the Windows world to break back into that market in a significant way. Perhaps something involving Metal 2 or some other Apple specific technology to differentiate? Time will tell.
  3. I agree that animation software is generally less spontaneous from a creative perspective than music software. I think the only real way around this is to do a lot of animation and learn the software to the point where it's helping you instead of holding you back. This requires a fair amount of dedication and patience. I would try to build very simple things at first. Just getting comfortable with the basics of keyframes will probably make you feel much better about working creatively within the software. After that you can progress on to more complicated things. Trying to mimic existing animations that you like can be a great way to learn, but pace yourself and don't try things that are too far beyond your current skill level or it will just be too frustrating. A lot of people will tell you to have your ideas planned out before you get into the animation phase, which is fine, but in my opinion, not absolutely necessary. I've been doing this so long now that I'm actually more comfortable and effective being creative within the software than outside of it. The trick is being fluent enough so that you don't get bogged down with a technical issue that's going to disrupt your creative process. Also, as with music, knowing the principles of design and animation is going to make this work a lot better for you. Otherwise you're asking too much from software that doesn't have a clue about design, composition, pacing, etc, and doesn't have pre built animation bits from the pros built in like music software often does with drum tracks, loops, etc.
  4. Here's a brief animated commentary on the 2016 United States presidential election. I'm not looking to reignite the infamous mograph political discussions of old; just having a little fun. This is all Cinema 4d/ Sketch and Toon. https://vimeo.com/user4507719/dejection2016
  5. GPU accelerating the Find Edges effect is a game changer. Ok, kidding aside, these look like welcome improvements.
  6. It sounds like the CC Ball Action Effect (Simulation > CC Ball Action) might be a much simpler way to pull this off. Plus, Ball Action is just fun to say.
  7. I did a bunch of stock animation work going back to the late 90's and into the early 2000's, including several collections for Artbeats and 12 Inch Design. At the time there wasn't a lot of it out there, so it was a fairly lucrative deal. I was a partner at a small broadcast design company and the stock animation work was great for keeping employees busy between projects. Unfortunately there is just so damned much of it out there now that I can't imagine it being worth the effort, unless you've got a pile of looping animations sitting on a drive somewhere. For some of the work we did we got a percentage sales for each collection we built, as well and a percentage of any bundle our collections were sold in. For the first year or so the collections sold very well and made a good amount of money for us, but over the years the sales dropped off considerably, mainly due to massive amounts of competition. I've also done work where there was a flat fee for groups of animations; I think it was something like $1,500 for 5 animations at the time, which even then wasn't great and only really worth it if you had nothing else to do. There are tons of sites now where you can upload animations for sale, but generally you are one of thousands of options and aren't going to get much out of it even if your work is outstanding. Again, if you've got a pile of things already built, then it's probably worth getting them out there, but I just can't imagine building stock animations from scratch is going to be worth your time.
  8. My initial impression running the new update on a Mac Pro/ El Capitan is very positive. Overall everything feels a bit faster and tighter, and several annoying bugs that I was encountering before (keyframes moving after releasing mouse button, slow playback frame rates, weird caching issues, etc) have been dealt with. I haven't gotten into the new features yet but I look forward to checking those out. Great job on the update!
  9. Just to clarify: There was a free script called Imageplane developed by James Kaufeldt many years ago that does something different than you are requesting. James' version creates a plane with the same dimensions as the selected image, and automatically creates a material using the image and applies it to the plane. It's very handy, but it's not quite what you're describing. It's interesting that the plugin you reference has the same name, I wasn't aware of that.
  10. I probably should have been more detailed in my description as there are some things that can go wrong. I've included a simple scene file that illustrates most of this at the link below. Here are some things to check: Your geometry is fairly high resolution so depending on the distribution settings in the Cloner, you may be creating way too many lights. I assume your neon objects are Extrude Nurbs or editable geometry? Try using the Surface or Volume distribution settings in the Cloner and experiment with the Count to get a good balance of render time vs realistic lighting. The distribution of lights will not be perfectly uniform but I doubt it will matter. Make sure the light you are cloning has falloff enabled in the Details tab. Otherwise you are casting infinite light from all your cloned lights which of course will over light the scene. I'd use the linear falloff setting which will be more controllable for this purpose. If you have shadows enabled for your cloned lights (which I imagine you want) try using soft shadows at the default setting. Using area shadows is going to murder your render time with so many lights in the scene. Again, be sure to set the Project settings of the cloned light to exclude your neon geometry. Neon light scene file
  11. As Mylenium alluded, Mograph is going to be your friend if you're going the non GI route. Material luminance doesn't cast any light into the scene when GI is off, so you have to replicate this effect using regular lights. By placing a light into a Mograph cloner set to Object mode, with your neon objects as the reference object, you can place lights on the surface of your neon geometry which will create the lightning effect. You may want to set the project options for the light to exclude the neon geometry to avoid the light being blocked by the geometry and having to deal with weird shadow issues, etc. This is likely more than you're going to want to get into right now, but a while back I created an Xpresso setup to create strobing, pulsing and flickering lights (the setup also works on virtually any other parameter in Cinema). This setup came from a project where I had to create a bunch of neon signs; so I figured I'd pass it along in case you might find it useful (link below.) Strobe, Pulse and Flicker
  12. I've opened about 8 different projects in AE CC 2015 with no problems, and I've seen truly impressive improvements in interaction speed and previewing. There's more testing to do but I wanted to add my voice to the "nice job, keep going!" chorus.
  13. My advice would be to stay the hell away from Drobo. I used to use an FS purely as backup. It was slow as hell (no way I could work from it) but it seemed fine as a backup for a while. I even went through one disk failure/ replacement without a hitch, and was impressed until it happened again shortly afterward, which initiated a clown show of back and forth with Drobo tech support which basically amounted to them having me try the same damned thing over and over again with no results. It seems their bulletproof data protection isn't so bulletproof if the wrong disk dies on you, despite their claims. Luckily I had backed the Drobo up elsewhere after the first disk failure so I didn't really lose anything, but it's pretty disconcerting when a machine designed from the ground up as a reliable backup turns out to be less reliable than all your other gear. At the time I read a lot of online commentary from Drobo users and it seemed that my experience was pretty common. It's really a shame since there are some great things about their hardware/ software setup; it just doesn't seem to work all that well in the end.
  14. At first I was glad to hear about Metal in OSX, but it is concerning that Apple seems to be going down another path that could leave Pro users out of the GPU party once again. I'm sure future versions of FCP and Motion will be very speedy, but those of us using apps like AE and Cinema 4D on Macs could very easily be left on the sidelines as the rest of the industry gravitates toward something cross platform like Vulkan, or even something proprietary but well established like Cuda. I already have a Mac Pro sitting here with lots of theoretical GPU power that never gets used; I'm not going to roll the dice again and hope the industry decides to follow Apple's lead.
  15. Impressive. I've been working a lot with NaviƩ Effex (formerly DPIT Effex) and while this isn't a full fledged replacement for something like NaviƩ or TFD, it looks like a very solid entry into the world of fluid sims. I haven't had my hands on this yet, but it appears to be very speedy and easy to use. If they can keep it moving forward those other players are going to be feeling the heat. Having a robust ballistic particle system integrated with a FLIP solver is a big advantage.
  16. This annoyed me too until I realized that clicking in the address/ search window calls up everything that used to be in the bookmarks bar. It's still a two click versus a one click operation to get to your bookmarks, but still better than using the side console.
  17. I've had no problems after a couple of days working in Cinema and the Adobe CC group. My New Mac Pro actually seems zippier now but that could easily be in my head. I actually think the design and most everything else I've discovered qualifies as an improvement, whereas the last couple of updates just seemed to add headaches and a new desktop picture.
  18. I can't speak to the PC side, but after having a maxed out new Mac Pro for the better part of a year now, I would say that the value proposition on these boxes is questionable with the software vendors still taking their time with Open CL acceleration. Don't get me wrong; it's a terrific machine and I don't regret buying it, but until those expensive dual GPU's are making a significant contribution to your every day workflow, it's hard to justify the full cost of the box.
  19. Just to be clear: By pipeline, I mean the AE rendering pipeline, not the different project pipelines associated with VFX, mograph, etc. Of course people are all going to do things differently, but in AE, there's often a way to do something with 4 layers and have it render in near real time, and a way to do it with a dozen pre comps and have it take 15 seconds per frame. I'm confident in calling the second method inferior, rather than simply different. As far as organization goes, I'm happy as long as someone has made the effort to make the file understandable. But even then, a well organized file with 75 comps that don't really need to be there is still going to be a pain to work with. Ok, so this can all basically be summed up with "Waaaaaah." It's Friday and I need a drink.
  20. This is more of a rant than anything useful, but it seems there is a continuing trend (at least in my world) towards absurdly slow and complicated AE files. I've learned to dread hearing from a client that there is an existing file that I can use for an animation. I think part of the problem is the persistent belief at many agencies that everything must originate with a print designer using Photoshop (can't have animators designing!), so you often get someone who doesn't have a clue about animation setting up the "master" PSD file, which you then get to sift through for hours trying to find the drop shadow layer to turn off. Aside from that, I think a lot of AE jocks just don't have a clue how the AE pipeline works, despite often being able to create quality animations. I'm sure one already exists, but if not, I think it's time that someone with more free time than me creates an AE pipeline tutorial.
  21. You can also try the Wrap deformer set to Spherical, with the settings in the Wrap deformer set to match your sphere. Be sure that your extruded logo has the spline intermediate points set to "subdivide" and the caps set to Quadrangles with Regular Grid checked. Adjust the resolution of the grid accordingly, keeping the Width setting the same as the Maximum Length setting of the spline(s).
  22. I recently started using Backblaze for cloud storage and I'm very happy with it. It's $5/ month per machine, with unlimited storage. Any drive you have connected directly to your machine is still included in the $5/ mo. While it took many weeks for initial backup of something like 6TB, it's now caught up and is only uploading new files as they are created. Just after the initial upload completed, I had a perfect storm of drive failures so my main work RAID and backup RAID were both dead at the same time. I would have lost a ton of work had I not had everything up on Backblaze. You can also download files whenever you need them, but they will also ship you a drive or several drives if need be, which is what I did to have a local copy of the 6TB that had been backed up. I honestly haven't done much price comparison, but I can vouch that their software is easy to use, and their system has worked flawlessly for me.
  23. I'm glad you found these useful. They've come in handy for me on a couple of projects already, but it's always nice to hear that other people are finding uses for them!
  24. Yes, I hate the look of 60fps whether it's footage or animation. I'd try inquiring a bit about the 59.94fps requirement with your client. On many occasions I've been given the same spec, but if I ask around I'll finally get through to someone who gets it and says that 29.97 is fine. I will do pretty much anything to avoid higher frame rate delivery, both from a render time and aesthetic standpoint. In the old days there were the same issues regarding interlacing. Engineers insisted that if you didn't render at 59.94 interlaced as opposed to 29.97 progressive then the piece wasn't "broadcast quality". I had some interesting arguments when working on animations that were purposely done at 15fps for that specific look, only to be told to re-render them at 59.94i or they would be "unfit" for broadcast. Anyway, a lot of times these are just specs in an email that people have been told to follow. It's worth a little leg work to get around them if it's going to cause you headaches.
  25. Try this: Create a single, long, high resolution rectangular solid using a Cube primitive, and then use a mograph cloner and maybe a random effector to create a cluster of these rectangles. Then create your spline path that you want these shapes to follow. Place the cloner into a null object, and then drop a Spline Wrap deformer into the null. Drag your spline into the "spline" field of the Spline Wrap deformer, and your cluster of rectangular solids will now be following your spline path.
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