Sign in to follow this  
D Shankar

Question on scene/environment modeling

Recommended Posts

D Shankar    237
Hello, For the past few days I've been modeling (in gmax 1.2 & 3ds max 7) a nice European scene with houses and roads; its nowhere near completion, but several questions came up: I'm using gmax 1.2 because I'm on vacation with my laptop (and I don't have 3ds Max 7 on it). I looked into the export option and found that it doesn't have a .3ds exporter. Is there a 3rd party tool for this? EDIT: I found a gmax to MD5 export, and MD5 to max import. See This. Any thoughts? Also, does it make sense to model such a highly detailed scene in gMax? Should I be modeling buildings etc. in Max and importing it to a level editor where I actual create scenes (along with terrain from a terrain editor)? ** My purpose of this scene ** is to create a beautiful render (animate the camera) and create a movie. Since Max can save (animated) renders as a movie file, I thought this might work. If I'm being unclear, please let me know; this is the most important question before I proceed in my work. Thanks; (I would post some screenshots of the scene, but not only is my internet too slow, I can't find the render button in gmax 1.2 and there isn't a "Print Screen" button on my laptop).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Professor420    496
Model as detailed as you'd like if its not for real-time. Usually things like this are done entirely in 3ds... no exporting to a 'level editor' if you're not using it for a game.

Also, never render as an .avi or .mov file... always render in lossless frames (TGA or TIFF) and put them together in an editing program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
D Shankar    237
Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Model as detailed as you'd like if its not for real-time. Usually things like this are done entirely in 3ds... no exporting to a 'level editor' if you're not using it for a game.

Also, never render as an .avi or .mov file... always render in lossless frames (TGA or TIFF) and put them together in an editing program.


Ah thanks. I'm not doing real-time, just pre-rendered for a movie demo. I'm looking into Combustion (I read about it in a book about the making of a short CG film), but is there anything specific you recommend for an editing program? Peice it together in Windows Movie Maker lol? (EDIT: Well the frame editing doesn't really matter right now; the modeling part won't be done for several months.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jarrod1937    522
Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Also, never render as an .avi or .mov file... always render in lossless frames (TGA or TIFF) and put them together in an editing program.

or you could just tell your avi codec not to compress the video, most codecs have that option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Professor420    496
Quote:
Original post by Jarrod1937
Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Also, never render as an .avi or .mov file... always render in lossless frames (TGA or TIFF) and put them together in an editing program.

or you could just tell your avi codec not to compress the video, most codecs have that option.


The reason to render as I said is twofold: first, lossless, can also be accomplished as said, second is that if the render crashes half-way through, the avi file is/can be corrupt while all the existing frames if you rendered to frames are intact.

As far as editing program, Movie Maker may be OK for what you want to do. Combustion (I use Adobe After Effects) is a compositing program, and compositing is a whole different level of what you want to do. I'd suggest either Virtual Dub, or there are many Video Editing programs, Adobe Premiere Pro being the one I use but has a price tag. Figure out what you want to do in post (post production) to figure out your requirements for a program. This can range from just rendering the frames, to color correction, to alpha composits and masks, to full blown particle systems and special effects and custom filters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
D Shankar    237
Alright, I already have vdub, but for totally different reasons. I don't need to worry about editing and piecing together frames right now though. Thanks for the replies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jarrod1937    522
Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Quote:
Original post by Jarrod1937
Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Also, never render as an .avi or .mov file... always render in lossless frames (TGA or TIFF) and put them together in an editing program.

or you could just tell your avi codec not to compress the video, most codecs have that option.


The reason to render as I said is twofold: first, lossless, can also be accomplished as said, second is that if the render crashes half-way through, the avi file is/can be corrupt while all the existing frames if you rendered to frames are intact.

As far as editing program, Movie Maker may be OK for what you want to do. Combustion (I use Adobe After Effects) is a compositing program, and compositing is a whole different level of what you want to do. I'd suggest either Virtual Dub, or there are many Video Editing programs, Adobe Premiere Pro being the one I use but has a price tag. Figure out what you want to do in post (post production) to figure out your requirements for a program. This can range from just rendering the frames, to color correction, to alpha composits and masks, to full blown particle systems and special effects and custom filters.

i guess its a preference thing, that and i see you don't use max very much. when rendering to an .avi in max if you cancel the rendering process or have max crash it will never corrupt the .avi file, atleast from all of my experience when doing it. if the renderinf process is somehow cancled then the .avi simply is completed there and is completly playbale and editable.
i think rendering to many frame and having to put them all together is just an extra step, but at the same time i can also see the benefits of such a thing.
i do render to frames myself every once in a while, to .tga's or .png's with precomputed alpha, but those are for a completly different reason than video (i made an interactive 3d spin-around of one of my companies products using max and flash).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Professor420    496
Every professional I've ever spoken to renders in lossless frames. There are other reasons too:
If some frames are bad shots or angles, you can just re-render those and simply overwrite the existing ones without matching and splicing together different avi files.
You don't have to export as frames from the editing program if you need to take anything into photoshop to run batch processing.
You can load smaller and arbitrary chunks of video, thus taking up less memory than loading the entire clip.

The reasons go on and on. Rendering to frames take no longer steps than a normal import. Its just a matter of clicking a checkbox, usually. Frames are industry standard, and unless you're doing a very short (test) render that you don't want to bother (and you should be using Preview for this instead probably), always use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jarrod1937    522
Quote:
Original post by Professor420
Every professional I've ever spoken to renders in lossless frames. There are other reasons too:
If some frames are bad shots or angles, you can just re-render those and simply overwrite the existing ones without matching and splicing together different avi files.
You don't have to export as frames from the editing program if you need to take anything into photoshop to run batch processing.
You can load smaller and arbitrary chunks of video, thus taking up less memory than loading the entire clip.

The reasons go on and on. Rendering to frames take no longer steps than a normal import. Its just a matter of clicking a checkbox, usually. Frames are industry standard, and unless you're doing a very short (test) render that you don't want to bother (and you should be using Preview for this instead probably), always use them.

well, perhaps next time i am rendering a rather large video i will force myself to use frames just to see how i like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
red_produkt    199
rendering to frames saved my ass once, on an animation I was making. after it was finished rendering (which took a *lot of hours) to my horror I discovered glitches on various frames in the lighting, and a few objects- just on certain frames, they didn't show up when I was rendering test stills.

Since they were seperate frames, I could load them up in photoshop and do some touchups to erase the occasional glitches and it all turned out fine, so I think its a good idea too :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jarrod1937    522
Quote:
Original post by red_produkt
rendering to frames saved my ass once, on an animation I was making. after it was finished rendering (which took a *lot of hours) to my horror I discovered glitches on various frames in the lighting, and a few objects- just on certain frames, they didn't show up when I was rendering test stills.

Since they were seperate frames, I could load them up in photoshop and do some touchups to erase the occasional glitches and it all turned out fine, so I think its a good idea too :)

thtas actualy a very good point there... ok.... i am sold on the frames idea ;)
so you say vdub supports importing frames? and its free?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WorldPlanter    266
It's already been said plenty, but there's no harm in reiterating the advice. Rendering to frames is always the best approach for animation unless you are simply trying to create a preview video. I don't know a single professional that I've worked with in the past or currently work with that produce full avi or mov files from their 3d package. If you have any composition or post production at all it's virtually a necessity.

For most of my animations I go one step further and render to layers as well. Once you learn the power of rendering to seperate layers such as a diffuse pass, a beauty pass, a shadow pass, a specular pass, a reflections pass, etc. you won't want to ever go back to rendering all elements in a single pass. The power to be able to change your shadow intensity without having to rerender frames or to use blur effects on specular and reflection or any other element is extremely valuable. In one animation I had a beauty pass, specular pass, reflection pass, shadow pass, and particle pass for a animation sequence that involved a dog surfing on a curling wave. When my project leader wanted to change the relfection intensity, the shadow sharpness/softness, or the particle density of the spray and foam I didn't have to rerender anything. All these types of changes could be done in post and the result is actually better than what I could get out of the 3d package (Maya in this case).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this