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Whinning Stupid Movie Question
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RickB
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Question Whinning Stupid Movie Question - 11-04-2006, 07:43 PM

Hi,

Newbie first-time poster here. I did the search and read all the posts about exporting to movies. In all the posts I kept reading that the export to movie mode was "some day" going to be fixed/re-instated. I find the practice of having to do the third-party screen capture thing waaaaay to cumbersome for my needs. So, as the saying goes..."it's got to be some day some where in the world."

Any idea/timeline when the export to movie feature will be patched back in?

Thanks, RickB
   
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What do you feel is the minimum needed?
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DrJim
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Question What do you feel is the minimum needed? - 11-04-2006, 08:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
Hi,

I find the practice of having to do the third-party screen capture thing waaaaay to cumbersome for my needs.
Since this is a frustration I share, I'm just curious as to what your needs actually are. Would they be satisfied by an option that just produced a regularly spaced set of images (10-12 fps) that would then have to be assembled into an animation, edited, sound added, etc with another program (i.e., similar to the output from Terragen, if you've ever used that)?

Actually, in the couple of times I've used it, I've found the BSR screen capture program to be quite nice, especially considering that the simple version is free. It is limited to .avi format and, in the free version, doesn't do sound - but sound output is not an Alice strong point anyway.

Still it is a frustrating work-around, especially when the other option for sharing worlds - saving to a web page - doesn't work very well either. Unless you need to share an interactive version of your world, I'd go the screen capture route for now.
   
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RickB
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Default Reply to the Reply - 11-04-2006, 08:27 PM

DrJim,

Thanks for the swift reply. Here's my dilemma. Monday I start teaching a Design Video Games college-level course and the University has not yet purchased 3ds Max for bureaucratic reasons along with lots of other software. I decided, for good or bad, to use Alice 2.0 for at least one semester to get my students “3D something” because it is free and cool. None of our required software is purchased yet. So, I am also using Game Maker 6.1 for game authoring and Springboard 0.77 for storyboarding. The trend here is that all the software I am using is free until we get the more sophisticated stuff. One of the course requirements is producing stand alone 3D animations, hence Alice. The thought of another third-party screen recorder to record the animations as stand alone with watermarks is, to say the least, daunting. I fear I am being forced to use so many different applications I will loose the “design” part of the design course and will become a meandering “held desk” masquerading as college faculty. Yes, I’m whining and I’m frustrated. But, at least I’m still better looking at least some, but not all, of the Alice characters.

Sorry for the long and rambling answer,
Rick
   
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A Thought
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DrJim
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Default A Thought - 11-04-2006, 11:32 PM

Well at least you gave a very clear answer to my question - NO, what I've been thinking about won't work for you. Afraid I can help you much with your problem - I'm not a teacher and am primarily interested in animated films, not games. Hopefully someone who understands your problem better will follow up with some good information.

I can make one comment from personal knowledge. The two local universities that are teaching something similar are both using Maya - an advantage it has is that their learning edition is free with (I think) no expiration date, see http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...112&id=7639525 .

Maya has a fairly steep learning curve - the couple of students I've known taking the course series were barely able to animate a simple object (airplane on a runway) at the end of their first semester - of course they had also created the airplane from scratch. The advantage I see in your situation is that you could get started free with a truly mainstream tool designed for animation - Alice is really tool to teach programming.

There probably are some other options - there is a nice game design book out for Blender, for example, and export to .html from Alice should work well enough to give you feedback on game designs - but I'll leave more suggestions to others.
   
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gabe
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Default 11-05-2006, 12:42 AM

We feel your pain. The chances of a movie exporter being reinserted into Alice 2.0 is slim. I apologize for past statements that may have led you to believe otherwise. The original movie exporter caused nothing but issues. Sound never worked. It crashed all the time. I believe we finally just removed it. Too many other things to get right and by the time the movie exporter issue came up again, we just had run out of time and had to move on to Alice 3.

Don't get your hopes up, but I will email the crew and see if anyone is interested and has the time to take a stab at it.
   
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Honest Answer
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RickB
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Default Honest Answer - 11-05-2006, 08:51 AM

Although not the answer I was hoping for, thank you very much for the honesty. My goodness how refreshing!
   
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Possible Movie Export
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DrJim
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Default Possible Movie Export - 11-05-2006, 10:32 AM

Gabe,

If you are going to check on possibilities, would you consider just adding the frame capture code from Squrrel into the Alice framework. It would suffice for a minimum video output - the frames could be reassembled in Movie Maker or something similar.

I'd actually been thinking of trying something like this myself, however - considering how fast I write code - the result would probably be available after Alice 5.0 or so. (It would be an interesting task, however. )

Jim
   
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Squirrel?
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RickB
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Default Squirrel? - 11-05-2006, 01:28 PM

I take it you don't mean the small, grey, furry kind that my golden retriever (see avatar) chases after. I am completely unfamiliar, please...tell me more.

Thanks, RickB
   
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roofy
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Default 11-05-2006, 01:49 PM

Hi there,
I found RickB's explaination very interesting that the univeristy he works for does not have any professional software and the way how the university is getting away with providing a course without having the tools the students need to learn. Also, if I understand RickB correctly, you are teaching Video Game design course. if that is the case, then why are you thinking of using Alice since Alice does not let you design your own models? Also, for animation purposes, having a game designer student drag in method tiles in Alice will not teach the students how to mark keyframes into a timeline. Boy, and I thought Camden County College was having its own problems. Myself being a graphic game design and development major, I am certainly glad I am not in your university.

Also, to Dr. Jim, FYI I learned the modeling and animation part of Maya 6.01
in about 4 months. In addition, this was just by reading the help files and surfing the internet, so I really do not see how you think Maya is difficult. In fact, finding tutorials for Maya and Max are the 2 easist to find, compared to Blender, Cinama4D, Lightwave, Animation Master, and SoftImage.
   
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Squirrel and Other Subjects.
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DrJim
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Talking Squirrel and Other Subjects. - 11-05-2006, 02:34 PM

There is probably not a lot of resemblance between the two types of "squirrel. Squirrel the Program is one of several small Java programs developed by Takeo Igarashi ( http://www-ui.is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~takeo/ ) at the University of Tokyo as part of his research programs. (Another, Smooth Teddy, was used some to generate characters for the first version of Alice - and still works with Alice 2.0.)

His web pages are definitely worth a look and generally include at least some of the source code - but believe him when he says the programs are research code and likely to crash. I mention Squirrel, which was done for a spatial key-framing study, specifically because it includes a basic but useful "make movie" option - see attachment.

P.S. for Roofy - Think your experience is pretty close to the case I cited - nice to know a formal university training environment doesn't slow down the learning experience too much - as you say there are good tutorials available for Maya. My comparison was to design and animation approaches in general - detailed 3D computer generated models are not the fastest (or cheapest) way to go - nor do they appear very intuitive to use for many of the more artistic animators I've been around.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Squirrel_SS.JPG (28.7 KB, 265 views)

Last edited by DrJim; 11-06-2006 at 06:14 PM. Reason: Better fitting picture
   
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