The first thing I did was copy a 3D model I had made called temple scene, this was so I did not damage the original file. By using a duplicated copy with its own easily identifiable name that if that got damaged I still had my original as a back up. This duplicated file was…
The first thing I did was copy a 3D model I had made called temple scene, this was so I did not damage the original file. By using a duplicated copy with its own easily identifiable name that if that got damaged I still had my original as a back up. This duplicated file was then placed onto the desktop. The reason being using the file directly from the server or from a memory stick would likely cause a lot of problems, such as aborting the reanimation rendering through through the animation.
The next stage was a check on the document specifications; this is a good idea to do whenever a new Bryce scene is created. This is because doing it later on in the project can cause problems. The first specification I checked was the document set up, I made sure the size of the scene was 768×576 (as this would be easier to convert into the PAL format). I also made sure antialias was turned on to improve the image quality. If I want the animation to be really detailed I could click on superfine, however this would greatly increase the render time. For this simple test animation that amount of detail was not needed. I could also specify if I wanted the render time to be shown. I choose to have it on, as it would tell me how long it would take to render the animation.
It is often a good idea to start with a very basic setting, and then upgrade up to a standard that your happy with.
Now the basic set up was out of the way the next stage was to sort out the camera. After all only the camera can film the animation and not the other cameras like the director camera.
For example if the director camera is looking at one object like a train, and the camera is looking at another object like a pen. The train would not be seen as the animation is only seen through the camera, and not the director camera. This means that in this case only the pen would be seen. I could make the camera go to the director cameras position, by going to the small upside down triangles on the left of the main window (under the triangle that allows a choice of camera) and selecting “camera to director”. The effect of this is that now the camera sees and follows the directors camera exactly, what the director camera sees is what the camera sees.
I also at this point had to set some more parameters in the animation set up. The parameters I needed to choose where how long the duration of the animation was going to last, which I could easily input into the correct min, hours, seconds, boxes. Plus I could choose to show if I wanted the time of the frame, or the number of the frame to be shown. This was so I would know what time or frame number was being rendered during rendering.
It is always better to render small snippets of animation rather than trying to do it all in one go. Doing it in one go can take a lot of time. One of Rob's suggestions was for long animations render a few seconds of animation on a few computers, as doing this vastly speeds up the rendering process (much like a render farm).
Now that the time has been set a blue bar should appear under the main window. This blue bar is the timeline for Bryce, it is a bit simplistic, but it's a simple program. Under the blue bar are timeline controls, controls to change how the timeline looks as well as a button to nano preview animations to test them out.
Also included is an icon of a key (called the autokey), when the slider on the timeline is over a keyframe, the key will glow yellow indicating a keyframes presence. Lastly there is a toggle button to toggle between the animation controls and the main Bryce display. However autokey can be turned off, and keyframes added manually by using a plus, or removed using the subtract icon.
The introduction of the timeline now means that you will find in things such as material properties boxes will now have a timeline as well, in which properties can be changed over time.
Now that I am all prepared, I can now start to animate something in this case the camera. To animate the camera I have to make sure nothing else is selected. By default Bryce will automatically select the camera as the object to be animated.
With the camera selected start at the point you want to animate the camera from, and then move it into its final position at the end of the timeline. This should result in the start of the animation with the camera in its start position, and at the end of the animation, the camera should be at its final destination. Anything in between the keyframes at the start and end the camera should be moving its position in order.
This way of doing it is strictly perfect the reason being that that often the camera is in the wrong position halfway down the timeline. However this can be easily resolved by selecting a different camera angle and selecting the camera within the scene. This should mean that the camera is not only selected, but its path as well should be visible represented by a blue line.
Keyframes on this line should be represented by a blue dot. It is worth pointing out that if you where to slide the timeline slider at this time, you should see the camera move along the blue pathway. At any point of this blue pathway line you can move around the pathways direction by going to edit and shifting the xyz parameters.
By doing this you can get a far more accurate control over not only the camera positions, but also other animated objects as well.
Now that I am happy with the animation all that is then needed is for it to be submitted and saved. However it is worth checking out the nano preview to make sure that the animation is perfect, this nano preview should give a rough idea what the end result will look like. If this is perfect which was it in my case I had to go to Render animation and double check the start and finish time, making sure this was correct. I then checked the format of the movie and its compression. For Macs it automatically selects the best option which is Quicktime. For PC it is best to save as DVI as Macs can not handle Quicktime created in the PC. By saving it as an AVI in the PC means it can be read by the Macs, without too much trouble. All that is then needed is too select the destination location of the file, which in my case is the desktop. Click OK and the animation should start rendering.
Lastly it is a good idea to watch the first frame of animation to get a good idea of the length of the animation. If it is too long it is worth considering breaking up the animation some more.
My end result was that my animation showed the camera move from its start position to its end position, without bumping into anything.
This was never the end of this first foray into animation; I had to add on time to the duration setting taking my animation from its original 3 seconds of length, to 6 seconds. In this additional 3 seconds I added a small animation of the donut shape in the middle of my villa slowly moving up in parallel with the camera. I animated this on a separate computer, as the first animation was being submitted on another machine. Doing this meant I could animate both the animations in half the time.
The animations where now both complete, they where not great, but not bad for a first attempt at Bryce animation.