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Vanz

Creating small animated soldiers

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Vanz    204
How would you recommend I create small animated men like this: http://www.gecdsb.on.ca/d&g/dougpete/webquests/castle/animated%20knight.gif I basically want them animated in only a couple directions and then will use them as animated bitmaps on a web page... Basically I'm looking for stock models if possible, where I could either pay for the models and add clothes then animate... I think all these apps could do it but which would be best suited and would have the least steep learning curve for creating simple warrior, archer, cavalry...etc animated pics like the example above? 1. 3d Max 2. Poser 3. Light wave 4. Maya 5. Other? Thanks, rhuala

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RDragon1    1205

There's no "create animated soldier" button in any of those applications that I know of. If you have some stock 3d model that you want to animate, it's going to come down to which software are you comfortable animating and rendering in?

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Vanz    204
There's no "create animated soldier" button in any of those applications that I know of. 




Obviously... I'm a novice at this and am just looking for a push in the right direction....

I'm a beginner in 3 of the 4 apps (never touched Maya), so at this point I have no preference (should prob include Blender too I guess)... I'm like a stream of flowing water, and like many here I would assume - I'd like to take the path of least resistance to get to my final destination... :)

Thanks for any suggestions...

rhuala

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It's a really big task to make an animated character. Learning how from nothing would take around a year or so, and even just making the mesh is only a tiny part of the process. You might be able to buy something or even get something free but 99.9% of what's available like that has some issues of some kind for game purproses.

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Buckeye    10747
Are you interested in creating an animated gif (which is what you reference), or creating a 3D animated mesh (with mesh vertices and an animated frame/bone hierarchy)?

If you're interested in animated gifs (or something similar), the modeling programs you list probably won't help you with that. Those applications deal primarily with 3D animated models, not animated pictures. For animated gifs, google for "create animated gif" to see what applications would better serve you (Photoshop, Fireworks, etc.).

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Vanz    204
Hi Buckeye, I'm interested in creating an animated character (not necessarily a gif) as shown in the link:

http://www.gecdsb.on.ca/d&g/dougpete/webquests/castle/animated%20knight.gif

But at three different angles, so as seen here, then two more with the soldier pointing at 30 degrees to the left and 30degrees to the right. May want to also use in a program, so I would store them as a series of bitmap images that I would animate in a program that I would like to sell.

If there was an easier way you can think of to do this that would be great...

I envisioned buying or using a freeware human mesh (not creating the mesh from scratch). Skinning it with my own clothes bitmap, and using one of the programs above to create distinct movement frames at preset angles. Snap shotting every motion and animating it later in my program.

So if I bought the mesh or was able to use a free mesh, I would be using the program to:
1. Add my bitmap desired clothes (which program is best for this?)
2. Add a sword to the model
3. Move the module in steps from start swing to end swing (which program is best for this?)
4. Take snap shot bitmaps of each frame.
5. Rotate the model and repeat

I basically just need a bit of animation in my program but do not want to program all the 3d mesh moving code for it as I do not need a lot of animation and want to keep things simple...

Hope that made sense...

Thanks,

rhuala

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Vanz    204
I'm thinking this may be a good place to start poking around...

http://www.renderosity.com/mod/forumpro/index.php

But would still value any advice given here...

Thanks,

rhuala

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Buckeye    10747
If your ultimate goal is to have several frames and later combine them somehow, using a 3D modeling program and taking screen shots is one approach.

You might also consider PovRay. You can create and move models as desired and render them directly to an image file. You won't have the immediate visual feedback for positioning the model that you would with a modeling program, however.

Be aware that your initial investment in time to learn modeling (before you even get to the posing and screenshot stage) may be quite high.

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UltimaX    468
Poser would most likely be the fastest approach since you don't have to model the actual mesh, do the rigging, or the animations/morphs manually. Poser would make it "turn dial a, turn dial b, etc." type of thing.

In 3D Studio Max you could always use the video post... That would render/export all of the frames for you. I know it will export to an avi so it may export to gif as well? Regardless you would have all of the frames you need. Just set the nth frame to something like 3-5 so you get 20 frames and not 100 frames. That will save you from having a ton of 'almost identical' looking images.

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badjim    100
It might be easier to draw the bitmaps directly in something like Photoshop. That knight is only 16 frames and full of detail that's fairly easy to draw but time consuming to model. Plus there is almost no learning curve.

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