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Shadow Sovereign 10-31-2006 08:19 AM

Question for DrJim...
I have a question about your picture. I know this'll sound stupid, but did you draw that in paint or something? It is quite unique.

DrJim 10-31-2006 10:40 PM

[QUOTE=Shadow Sovereign;1462]... I know this'll sound stupid, but did you draw that in paint or something? ...[/QUOTE]

Yes, I did draw it "in Paint or something!" :D

Actually I [I]don't[/I] know what it was first created in - I stared with it as an "actor" from a 2D animation program, called "Tales Animation", which I really like. You can download it from [url][/url]. Unfortunately, the site seems currently inactive.

I modified the character several times (with at least three different programs) before deciding to use it as an avatar for this forum. When I decided to do that, I also decided to see how small I could make the file and still have it look OK - for that I used a combination of Paint Shop Pro to do the pixel reduction and Paint to restore hard outlines afterward.

Shadow Sovereign 11-01-2006 06:52 AM

Wow, that's a heck of a lot of effort. I don't think I would've thought to go through that much trouble just for a customized pic, but that's only because I never thought of it.

Anyways, I was just curious. :D

gabe 11-01-2006 11:29 AM


Are there any other 2d/3d animation/programming tools out there that you've found interesting? We are always interested to see what others are doing in this field.

DrJim 11-01-2006 05:29 PM

Several reply's combined.
[B]Shadow Sovereign[/B] - I agree it was way to much effort just for an avatar. :eek: What I was trying to find out was how low I could go in size still have it look fairly good. I was surprised I could get down to 9K - with animation. :)

Just re-adding a solid outline to a figure after you reduce it is pretty easy, however, and often worth the effort. (If you upload the version of your avatar from the web and blow it up, it looks like two ghosts (or maybe one is Alice) deer hunting. As for Tripp's ??? :p - no offence - just fact. :) )

[B]Gabe[/B] - Know you're already familiar with Takeo Igarashi 's stuff - it's great. For 3D I've looked at the Irrlicht Engine, [url][/url] , a few times. It's a bit hard core in the programming part for me but a lot of people like it. Finally, although it's limited to 3D landscapes, for that application Terragen, [url][/url] , can't be beat - my opinion as well as a number of game makers.

One thing I like about Terragen is that the user can set up a (landscape) scene, animate the movement of the camera and then automatically generate a sequence of .jpg images which can animate with other tools. That gets the user the basics he needs without having to worry about setting up CODEC interface in the program (personally I've never gotten that right on the first try :o ) - and the programmers don't have to worry about that kind of stuff and can keep focused on their real objectives (sound appealing?). :D

In 2D, a number of good artists have used EasyToon and it's worth looking at for that reason (see [url][/url] ) - as an actual tool it's pretty weak. For learning basic animation, I like Pivot, [url][/url] . I personally find the msn user's group a bit hard to take but it's [B]very[/B] active (!!!) and there is a lot of good information there if you take the time to look through the examples and links.

Tales Animator (TA) probably deserves a separate post - I'll try to get around to that over the weekend. It really does complement Alice in several ways - for example with you can generate long text-to-speech .wav files and mix them with other audio and/or run AVI's (including Alice animations) against a moving flat background and then record them as animated GIF or AVI - or start a frame grabber which will give you standard .mpeg and DVD formats.

[B]Both[/B] - If you look at the "Forward" to the Herbert text, you will see quite an interesting history of the Alice effort, including the VR phase, from the CMU leads. You should be able to read it on if you don't have the text.

Shadow Sovereign 11-02-2006 07:50 AM

Uh-oh, tripp's coming...

Just Kidding. But I didn't think you could downsize a pic like that and sharpen the image. Normally, if I were to enlarge a picture, it would sooner or later look like a huge, colorful coffee stain. But downsizing it normally butts some images down to a weird thingumabob where some pixels look like they're missing.

Anyway, I'm rambling again.

thetrippster 11-02-2006 07:50 AM

:confused: ummm what do you mean "As for Tripp's ???" what about my avatar is there something wierd about it?

DrJim 11-02-2006 10:52 AM

Will answer Tripp's question with a question - what [B]is[/B] your avatar? :confused:

Shadow Sovereign (do you have a nickname like SS or something? ;) ) - You're generally right - the key is to reduce the size of the picture in steps and then manually restore hard outlines in each step. You obviously loose detail but you do keep the intent of the picture intact (and [B]yes[/B], it's a bit of a job - but not that bad after you get the hang of it and a quite useful skill). The technique I like best I got from a Manga book - that style obviously lends itself to such an approach.

If you'll zip a large copy of your avatar and post it, I'll see what I can do - it would be interesting. I tried seeing what I could do with the forum copy but too much detail had already been lost. I just changed a colorful coffee stain :) to an ugly one :o .

Shadow Sovereign 11-03-2006 07:20 AM

Here ya go...
1 Attachment(s)
1. If you're tired of calling me Shadow Sovereign, then you can call me pickles or The King.... either one. :D

2. Here are some pics of mine that you can play with if you want them: my original avatar and some Rise of Legends concepts.

Shadow Sovereign 11-03-2006 08:18 PM

Wait a sec...
Since when is my dragon a coffee-stain?! (:rolleyes: just kiddin':rolleyes: )

Seriously, I've tried doing whatever I could find in Paint and GIMP, and its interesting to see the different results.... it also helps to remedy the constant boredom of school life :cool: !

P.S. Just kidding about the pickles thing..... call me whatever you like. ;)

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