How do YOU animate 3D models?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by strantor, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    I've invested a couple weeks worth of work in Sketchup making some pretty complex models. Now I need to animate them for a presentation. I have been using a plugin called Keyframe Animation to animate them, but it's not really great. I can only figure out how to animate one axis at a time. It can animate linear and rotational, but not at the same time (or at least I can't figure out how); for example, a wheel on a car: you can make the wheel spin and you can make the car move in a line, but if you try to make the car move in a line with the wheel spinning, it will only spin around the original axis, making for a very wonky-looking flying wheel.

    I need two solutions:

    1. I know SketchUp isn't meant for animation, but I don't have time to redraw my models in another program. This needs to be ready for presentation tomorrow afternoon. I need a "quick fix" - either another app designed for animation that I can import my sketchup models into, or a better plugin.

    2. I need a recommendation for a legitimate application designed to make animated 3D designs; something I can use going forward starting next week. Paid software is fine.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    Quicktime? I've seen many 3D examples offered in QT but I have no idea how you'll get your drawing into it.
     
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  3. ISB123

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    Blender is nice 3D modelling Tool and it has powerful animation toolset which was used in movie industry.
     
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  4. tshuck

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    Oct 18, 2012
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    +1

    Whole movies have been made in Blender. There may be a plugin for it to import a SketchUp model, so you may not have to redraw everything, however, it is a feature rich program that seems really daunting to use if you don't know what you are doing, so there is a rather steep learning curve.

    That said, it may not help you with this afternoon, but could be a wise investment (timewise, the program is open-source) moving forward.
     
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  5. bertus

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  6. cmartinez

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    I normally use AutoCAD, and then create a gif, if the sequence I want to show is not too long.
     
  7. strantor

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    I have devoted 24 of the last 48 hours to playing with Blender. All I can say is "holy carp" - and I mean that in multiple ways.
    #1: I do not think I have ever seen an open source/free tool this powerful before. Truly amazing.
    #2: I do not think I have ever tried to tackle a software suite this daunting before. There are options upon options, compounded by more options. Specific ways things have to be done, that you would never figure out on your own. I still feel nearly as lost as I did in my first 5 minutes. I've memorized probably 30 of the 5000 shortcut keys.
    #3: It is super easy to import Sketchup models into blender; no special plugins necessary! I think I will continue making my models in sketchup since that's the interface I'm familiar with, and Blender does not appear to deal in real-world measurement units.
    #4: The physics engine is mind-boggling. It's hard to believe I'm not watching something real.
     
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  8. cmartinez

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    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll take a look at it.
     
  9. strantor

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    disregard. found the option for units.
     
  10. strantor

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    I hope you've got a 3 day weekend set aside to "get your toes wet" ;)
     
  11. strantor

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    Here's an animation I made:
     
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  12. cmartinez

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    Oh my GOD... it's gorgeous! How much time did you put into it?
     
  13. ISB123

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    I spent 7 years working on various video games with Blender and I can tell you that you won't find better software for 0$.
     
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  14. strantor

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    Thanks! I didn't exactly pull it out of my rear though; I followed along with a tutorial for the first half. I didn't realize the new forum automatically embeds youtube links, so you can't see the video comment. In youtube the video comment says:
    Hard to say. About a day wandering lost in the UI to get to the point I could follow along the tutorial. Then a couple hours playing/pausing/rewinding the tutorial, copying the steps. Then around an hour I think, to render it.
     
  15. ISB123

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    You can sculpt stuff in blender and hand-paint them too.
     
  16. strantor

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    @cmartinez have you played at all with Blender yet? If so, what are your thoughts? I've been living in Blender +10 hours/day since I started this thread and I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. I'm off to an especially rough start because everything I need to do requires programming in Python, which until now, I had never set eyes on. I've made some pretty complex scripts in the past couple days, pretty proud of it, even if I did rip off most of the code from websites and patch it together. I'm relatively new even to drafting. This whole thing is an uphill battle on multiple fronts.
     
  17. cmartinez

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    Haven't had the time yet... but I will dive into it, eventually. I have a couple of pending projects in which Blender would be an excellent sales tool.
     
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