In my previous article, I spoke about the charm of 2D animation and gave an overview on how efforts using 3D technology have struggled to replicate it. In this post, I’m going to talk about current technology and the direction of technology that will allow for production of better animation, especially anime style.
Despite everything I said in my previous post, I am now going to write on a topic that would be of interest to people in Japan, and even more ironic, I’m going to type in on the computer because it’s one of those topics I can ramble on without being too picky about my words. See how that works? Alrighty, let’s get started.
The topic of today: The current and future technology that will be powering the production of animation as well as it’s effects on the overall quality of the said product. Since I am a technical kind of guy and this is my line of work, I’ll be giving you some fascinating insider details. (Hint, hint, that means a long blog post.)
~ Table of Contents ~
- What is Premake?
- Initial Steps
- File Format
- Your Project File Structure
- Creating Needed Objects
- A Little About Lua
- Setting up a Premake Project
- Setting up Irrlicht
- Putting It All Together
- Additional Notes
You are free to copy, modify (if necessary for maintenance), and share this article as much as you wish, but I make no guarantee of the accuracy of anything herein. This clause is primarily intended for wikis.
~ Introduction ~
Irrlicht is a free, zlib-style-licensed 3D engine, having its own built-in engines as well as acting as a wrapper for OpenGL and DirectX. It is tailored primarily towards speed (and thus, gaming) and is relatively easy to modify.
If you’re a new C or C++ programmer, you may have heard of “Make” and “CMake”. Make is a program on Linux distros that sends commands to the compiler for how to.. well, make a program executable. CMake is supposedly the cross-platform version of “make” in that it creates make files for different operating systems. However, I’ve heard complaints that it’s a mess, and it just adds to the work. In steps Premake…
Anyone who explores the internet long enough should already be well aware of frequent image re-posting. While for some things, this is acceptable, in other areas, it leads to the ever louder cry of “art theft” and helps keep the lawyers active in the courts in D.C. and the halls of the copyright office. It is rather easy to copy a 2D image, and with Adobe CS 6, it is easy to remove a watermark. While images with watermarks removed may not be an exact copy (due to the algorithm for image correction and the style of watermark), the average naked eye won’t notice. But what’s more important is that a work with possibly a great deal of time put into its production (depending on if we’re talking about amateur photo or something like a realistic digital painting, etc.) is now available to everyone, and unfortunately, allows for just about anyone to take the credit. This tends to tick off artists and has lead to a whole lot of bickering and lawsuits.
Interestingly enough, what one might call the “calamities of Flatland” have yet to hit the 3D world. But here’s how that could change…
Metasequoia is a 3D modelling program designed by a lone Japanese guy (Osama Mizuno) in downtown Tokyo (At this site: http://metaseq.net/en/.). Surprisingly, it’s a stunningly popular program. This is probably because it’s like PaintToolSAI – most things you need are directly in front of you and easy to use.
About a year ago, I developed a method (or methods) for artwork that combine 3D models and fractals. Because it was written a year ago, it is now a tad bit outdated (in technique and grammar). However, for the most part, it is correct and will get you going. Any modifications to the method will probably be put in this post rather than in the pdf files (sorry), though I’ll probably update them anyways.
Note that the images are specifically for Gimp 2.6 to 2.8 and Metasequoia 2.4 to 3.0 and I have no intention of updating those images for future versions of those programs.
THIS IS A VERY LONG TUTORIAL!
For some time, I’ve wanted to make a fractal generator… but have more control over how the fractals are drawn and control that is less confusing than most fractal programs make it. Also, rendering fractals is very time consuming since fractals are point clouds. Those reasons are why people don’t use them for what I’d like to do: making 3D maps (for game worlds and such). My recent CS ventures now include writing a software (called “Flicks” for now) that applies transforms to a set of points (which I will use as vertices for models – after I figure out how to optimally connect them). In this way, I can generate interesting (but controlled-shape) 3D worlds without slowing down my machine to generate a point cloud.