Solved

Animation - What software do I need.

Posted on 2004-10-04
6
228 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I use 3D Studio Max at work but want to get into better quality, professional looking animations, that can be put on to High Volume DVD. What's the best software solution for this? I've heard that professionals often render a sequence of MPEG stills, and then piece them together in Adobe Premier. Also, what about sound editors? Is Cool Edit Pro good enough?

Do I need to use a compositor?

What format do I need to end up with, and how to put it to DVD?
0
Comment
Question by:Jason210
  • 3
  • 2
6 Comments
 
LVL 9

Accepted Solution

by:
j3one earned 460 total points
Comment Utility
-> 3DS max is one of the most powerfull packages out there, and definantly can do what your wanting, in the hands of the right person. A less costly aproach would be lightwave, ut less quality, also some concider Maya to be top of the line, but once again it depends on whos hands it's in. If you are faniliar with 3ds max I would stick with it, you can do about anything with it.

*I have been in the 3D/video comp/animation/jumpback type stuff, business for a few years, and so heres my input for what it's worth...

-> 3ds is great, because it is high end, you can use top of the line rederers (Mental Ray) and plug-ins, and if it's not out there you can write it yourself. PLus it works hand in hand with combustion and AfterEffects (compositing/effect programs)

-> Premier is good for high voulme editing, and a neccicery tool if you enjoy Adobe ;-) as I do, but AfterEffects is king. This is what you need for your mpeg compsiting and looping, plus its like having photoshop for video. Can't live without it.

-> Basicaly a good linup would be, Photoshop, AfterEffects, 3ds max, SoundForge (cool edit pro is fine, depends on your workflow..)

**What format do I need to end up with, and how to put it to DVD?**
-> MPEG sequense, and if you are used to adobe, you can't beat Encore...
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Jason210
Comment Utility
Thanks - I value your input here. Just a few more questions:

I'm new to this field, my previous work has been rather limited to the 3D Max 4 animation package, and I did everything in there. So firstly, if we get Max 6 licenses, would I need to get an additional renderer, or are these renders like Mental Ray built in now?

Secondly, what exactly is "compositing". It's a word I hear a lot but don't really understand.

Thirdly, what do you mean by "looping"?

Forthly, am I right in understanding that if I get AfterEffects, I don't need premier? Just out of interest, how much is an AfterEffects license?

Finally, would it be possible for you write down your work-flow procedure, so I can see how you do it?

0
 
LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:bitter_chicken
bitter_chicken earned 40 total points
Comment Utility
Point of interest: Cool Edit Pro is now Adobe Audition

bc :-)
0
IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:j3one
j3one earned 460 total points
Comment Utility
good point bc...

-> First of all, you ask some good questions! ;-)

1. -> MAX comes with mental ray integrated in some packages, but you will have to check on that, btw: 3ds max's render engine is exelent by itself, but not the "top of the line" sullution. http://www4.discreet.com/3dsmax

2. -> Compositing is taking ellement of different fomats, ie. video + 3D - or - greenscreen video + 2D ellements from Photoshop...
In other words, making a 3D dinosour chasing people look real by combining video of set jungle with greenscreen + background of real jungle video + 3D Dinousour. You take into consideration lighting, keying, masking and tweaking and you get a believable scene. * or * Touching up 3D, adding special effects and stuff...

In your case, say you want to make a generic motion graphic (vdeo) for a use in wedding videos.
-> You will use 3ds make to animtate pink and red rose petals falling continuasly (this is where looping comes in)
-> Then take live photage of a couple dancing in front of a screen.
1. Bring in your dancing video to after effects, then your 3d petals.
2. select a background color, maybe make one in photoshop, somthing simple like a light pink with intertwined hearts faded in like a waer mark
3.  Key your video of the dancing, so there is no background, then fade it and tweak a little. Maybe create an oval mask with soft edges (shows only a portion of the video, with the rest outside the circle gently faded out as to not be sharp and cut off)
4. lay your 3d petal vido over it all and key out the background (basicaly) and fade it a little.
5. To finish it off, you use some extra transition layers to achive some light effects, maybe a plug in or too and some color change on the petal layers. Maybe color the dancing video uniquely...
-> of course you will allready have decided on length of the video and stuff ahead of time.


3. -> Looping: I am not sure if you are trying to do what I think you are, but when I hear "professional looking animations, that can be put on to High Volume DVD" I think of this type stuff
-> http://www.digitaljuice.com/products/product_volumes.asp?cid=1&pvid=2

But f you are wanting just 3D animations that look good, I miss understood. If so please clarify exactly what you will be doing with the animations you make (That will help me help you ;-).. as you can see I have alot to say, so you can get what you need out of me by bing specific :-)) As for now though I will continue down this vain just in case ;-) If you use MPEG sequense, that means you are going to be marketing them to people who have a program like premier, that will imort them to use in thier projects, but if you are going for anything else you need DVD MPEG format...

**LOOPING: making your animations loop seemlesly so that your consumer can run it for 30 sec or 30 min....


4. -> After Effects vs premier... You wont need premier unless you plan on doing video editing. You can do video editing in after effects for your smaller projects, but if you are editing video, premier is great. ** After Effects however, is simmilar to combustion (but easyier to learn, tons of tut's) and it offers the power to take several 3d elliments or anything (2d - video) and combine it into one video.
** And if you are going to get it get AfterEffects "Pro Full"  (US $999.00) WORTH IT (or at least pro upgrade)

Work flow...
I dont just render 3d to do animations, I always have a movie or show/video or project in mind, so I will go from that angle.

1. Clarify project and brainstorm on ideas followed by a storyboard.

2. Create the neccissary elliments in 3D and then render them. (also experiment alot, unless you know the exact look you want..)  -> Also make any 2d(photoshop) ellements or video neccissary. (this includes creating material maps and stuff)

3. combine the elliments is a composting program. Render to apropriate format.

4. Burn onto dvd (maybe make cool dvd menu with "looping video"

Hope I am getting you some good info, let me know if I am going down the wrong river...
0
 
LVL 11

Author Comment

by:Jason210
Comment Utility
Hi

Many thanks for your time and help, j3one. I appreciate it.. You've answered all my questions very well, and definitely deserved 500 points, but I just need some clarification on Compositing and Rendering.

Firstly, in no. 3, you say " you use MPEG sequense, that means you are going to be marketing them to people who have a program like premier, that will imort them to use in thier projects, but if you are going for anything else you need DVD MPEG format..."

As I understood it, to get the best quality animations, one must render the animation as series of MPEG stills at high resolution, since MPEG stills don't use video compression, which I am told impairs the quality. After rendering this series of MPEG stills, one should then piece them together in Premier. I've seen companies do this, and wondered if it's like a standard way of working in a professional environment.

Continuing with 3, you say: "If you use MPEG sequense, that means you are going to be marketing them to people who have a program like premier"

Why would a customer want an MPEG sequence? Isn't this just extra work for them?

You finish 3 by saying "if you are going for anything else you need DVD MPEG format...". I'm not sure what that is. (You're talking to a guy here who has never rendered an animation as anything other than and avi with dIVX codec!!!)  Is DVD MPEG format just for DVDs, or is this the same as the ordinary MPEG file format that you can play in Windows Media Player?

Now my question about compositing, which arose when I read your workflow. What format do you do compositing on? A series of MPEG stills or what?

Many thanks. The points are yours. If I have any more questions I'll start a new thread at 500 points in this folder, so you can extra points there.



0
 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:j3one
j3one earned 460 total points
Comment Utility
k, your right, the mpeg stills are the most common way to do it but any lossless format would work.

* Why would a customer want an MPEG sequence? Isn't this just extra work for them?
-> this is only aplicable if you are creating "motion graphics" for broadcast or video needs. They are going to want it in that format.

*  Is DVD MPEG format just for DVDs, or is this the same as the ordinary MPEG file format that you can play in Windows Media Player? -> The format your animation will need to end up in is either a series of stills for motion graphics, or a video file. The point of rendering as lossless stills is to habe the highest quality when edditing and compositing, but eventualy you will render your stills and whatever else into one file, a video file. DVD requires you use MPEG 2 compression for your final video file. Also you want the highest quality of animation when compositing with live video (ie, for an animation of a pre-visual designed building you would take some video of the empty lot that will be it's future home, and then match your 3d world to it and render your building, then composite it with the video of the lot. the end result would be a building thier engineirs built in autocad relisticly displayed on the lot they own)

--> Compositing is only neccissary when combining more than one elliment to a shot. In other words you would use Premier to edit together several cammera angles of an animation of a ball rolling down a spiral tube, but to add a real hand underneath the tube opening that catches the virtual ball, you would need a compositing program like AfterEffects.

*all the work you do in post production of an animation can be in whatever format, ie. premier can load pictures, sound, mpeg sequences, video - then put it all together for your final product, and render off to a tape or video file for use on a  DVD, interactive cd-rom or the internet.
0

Featured Post

What Is Threat Intelligence?

Threat intelligence is often discussed, but rarely understood. Starting with a precise definition, along with clear business goals, is essential.

Join & Write a Comment

Preface In the first article: A Better Website Login System (http://www.experts-exchange.com/A_2902.html) I introduced the EE Collaborative Login System and its intended purpose. In this article I will discuss some of the design consideratio…
What is Node.js? Node.js is a server side scripting language much like PHP or ASP but is used to implement the complete package of HTTP webserver and application framework. The difference is that Node.js’s execution engine is asynchronous and event…
Learn the basics of inputting and editing your text components in Prezi. We will cover how to set styles, position, and group your text components. In your Prezi editor, click anywhere on the canvas to add text: A flashing cursor informs you that yo…
Learn how to download your full Prezi presentation for offline presenting. Prezi doesn’t have to be viewed and shared in a web browser, even with a free account you can download your full presentation to share with others. Be sure to download any vi…

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

6 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now