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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. ;)

DrJim 11-04-2006 06:32 PM

OK, Pickles
1 Attachment(s)
[B]You're[/B] the one who said it looked like a coffee stain (when enlarged), not me. :rolleyes: Anyway, I also attached another possible avatar for you - it definitely doesn't look like a coffee stain. :) (The resturant, [url][/url] , is pretty good if you're ever in eastern PA).

Shadow Sovereign 11-06-2006 08:53 AM

Ok, what the flip is going on here?
Ok, now my name says that I'm 'Pickles' now...:eek: ... I'm not angry or anything:rolleyes: , but I do hope you guys know that I was kidding when I said that y'all could call me pickles... :rolleyes:

In any case, I guess its a good callsign for now:p . But I don't think I'm gonna even ask where you got that from, jim. LOL

DrJim 11-06-2006 06:17 PM

More "Pickle's"
[QUOTE=Shadow Sovereign;1590] But I don't think I'm gonna even ask where you got that from, jim. LOL[/QUOTE]

After I even included Pickle's URL in case you wanted more of their artwork - [B]I'm hurt[/B]. :o Some of their pictures are even more attractive than Michael Jackson or Orcas. For the record it is a real resturant about 10 minutes from my house where I often go for Sunday brunch - not something I made up.

Re artwork, I liked the art you posted - now understand the Shadow Sovereign name better, even though I still have trouble typing it. Is it your original art or did it come from a web site - and is the dragon an Alin Sand Dragon or some other kind? Also, what do you use GIMP for?

thetrippster 11-07-2006 06:39 AM

1 Attachment(s)
well i showed him GIMP. its a very fun editing tool. i used it to make this custom .gif

thetrippster 11-07-2006 06:40 AM

of course it dosent move since for some reason this forum uploads it as a .jpeg :mad:

Shadow Sovereign 11-07-2006 06:51 AM

It's not a Rise of Legends dragon, but I did find it off of one site on the internet.... can't remember the URL, though. I do have much more Rise of Legends pics if you would like to see them.
As for the Pickles thing, I'm sorry if I caused any offense. I did see that you said it was a real restaurant, but I didn't know it was [I]that[/I] close to your house.
And for GIMP, all I do is just screw around and have fun seeing what I can do with my pics. :D

DrJim 11-08-2006 06:15 PM

Don't understand what happened?
1 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=thetrippster;1603]of course it dosent move since for some reason this forum uploads it as a .jpeg :mad:[/QUOTE]

Wondered how you downloaded the image so that it came out as a .jpeg? Just checked and the animated .gif I downloaded is still blinking away and I didn't do anything special?

Re GIMP - I had looked at the web page a few times but never bothered to download it since I have more than enough graphics programs already on my computer. If it's animation is pretty good, however, I may take a look. It seems (per the web page) to handle alpha level transparency quite well - that’s usually a weakness of “free” programs of that type. Does it support “Flash” animation?

A question to Shadow Sovereign (aka - oh, never mind) - were you able to save the "laser sniper rifle" you showed a few days ago as a single object? By the way, I did import a gun with two separate parts, and a reasonable origin into Alice as a single object (see attached) so I am making some progress.

Shadow Sovereign 11-08-2006 09:17 PM

Not quite...
I haven't gotten around to my FPS yet.... I've been a little busy with some other things lately, because my boss wants to hog up most of my free time (I work at McDonalds). But to fully answer your question, Jim, no. I still can't seem to create a single object from many of them put together yet, so I'm still grouping them into folders for the time being.
I haven't looked at your rifle yet, but I'm about to. I was changing my home PC sound scheme to sound like Rise of Legends sound clips, like instead of my regular windows startup music, I have a snippet of the Doge Ambient. It's so freakin' kewl! :D :D :D

PopnTheDeerInHumanForm 09-02-2007 09:06 AM

I made Mine With a Paint Program, I just cut out the red gogles from a nuclear strike from a worms 3D picture, and a random picture of Tails:D

islandfever 09-02-2007 12:25 PM

[QUOTE=DrJim;1638]It seems (per the web page) to handle alpha level transparency quite well - that’s usually a weakness of “free” programs of that type. Does it support “Flash” animation?[/QUOTE]

I'm not sure what you mean about Flash animations... :(

It does indeed handle alpha level transparencies good, and the animations usually take time. If oyu have GIMP you can also download the GIMP Animation Package (GAP), which allows better animations, and yes it is free too. PLus, with GAP you can incorporate short videos into you main pictures, and you can in a way edit the videos. If so, expect to spend a lot of time on it. :eek:

The way for animation that is not from GAP would mostly be the [B]manipulation of layers[/B], and how you save it. Say you have a sprite for Mario, and you want him to loop jumping as your avatar. You put him on an alpha transparent layer, and then on new layers paste the mario's movements in order. YOu save as a .gif, as this is the only image file type that handles animation. (or on gif's standards, a loop of each layer in order.) You also must then select animation.

Hopefully that helps... :D

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