barrys - all messages by user

2011/7/22 10:14:32
Character Texture maps Hello

I'm glad to see that people are 'getting' the weird subject of UV co-ordinates. I occasionally have to teach 3D graphics and it's often the trickiest thing to explain. Anyway, I thought you'd like to see how the 'Kill Bill' costume was created for the video tutorial. Here are two links to the Photoshop file and resulting PNG file:


Penman - the laces on the shoes were copied from another photo and pasted in place
Everyone else - if you don't have photoshop there are plenty of free PSD viewers out there, including GIMP.

2011/7/13 13:49:17
Textures everywhere Hi

Importing clothes and attachment for the character isn't possible I'm afraid. It's on a to-do list and may pop up in the future. We've just not had time to expose those features and wrap them up in a user-friendly set of controls.

But...Jon Bez's suggestion...a few comments back about fully-painted characters...?

Watch this space.

2011/6/6 10:15:37
Muvizu and mice Hi

Before spending a fortune it's worth noting that the minimum you need is a bog-standard 3-button mouse with a scroll wheel. That's what the Muvizu Team uses. We're too cheap to buy anything fancier.

2011/5/26 10:30:18
New objects Hi

I can't recall who requested it, or in which forum it was requested, but I've added no-undercarriage variants of the Jet Fighter and UFO objects to the online 3D library. Download these objects if you want your craft to appear in-flight.

Two words of warning though:
1. they're big objects so Muvizu will complain if you try to spawn them too close to the ground. Make sure you're in plenty of empty place when you try to import them.
2. the online version o fthe jet fighter has an opaque cockpit. Sorry, but it's a limitation of our importer. I discovered when making it that our importer can't properly handle transparency. A Bug report's been created.

2011/5/12 16:07:08
Coming soon Hi

We're nearly there so I think it's safe to start making these:

2011/5/10 10:17:40
Textures everywhere Being able to put custom textures on characters has been, up until now, a no-no. The unreal engine wouldn't allow multiple UV sets on skeletal meshes. But, this has since changed and it's something we can definitely look at.

Better news is that Alan's reconfigured all of our Abstract building block objects to take textures. So, in the next release of Muvizu you'll be able to put textures on the various blocks, cylinders and balls in that set of objects. You'll also be able to scale the textures on the objects too.

Happy days


2011/3/24 15:11:16
Camera Order Another approach I take is to assign a small amount of "Junk Time" at the start of any animation I'm making. I typically use the first 4 seconds of an anim to pick my first camera, stand or seat the character or do whatever else I need to set up starting positions. When you come to MAKE MOVIE simply set your in-marker at 4 seconds and all of this faff wont be rendered.

edited by barrys on 24/03/2011
2011/3/17 10:37:11
Eyes?? It's my plan to change ALL the eyes in Muvizu to include:

recessed (not embossed) pupils to avoid all the cut-throughs with eyelids
the ability to shut the eyes completely

Thanks for the feedback

2011/3/10 9:52:22
Is it possible to add video or animated textures? Yeah you can add videos to:

Certain objects that support textures like TVs and Picture frames
The Sky
The ground
Characters' chests and backs
...and shortly you'll be able to add you own videos and textures to the abstract blocks
2011/2/25 11:32:57
prOp Animations Hi inlimbo

It's a good idea to have some stand-in props to tide people over. It's an idea that's floated around the team for a while now. When we're deciding what features to include in a Release there is usually a 4-way discussion that takes account of:

A feature's commercial benefits, i.e. the business case for doing it
Code's resources
Art's resources

Some suggestions on the forum are quick and easy to do but yours is a big request involving Modellers, Animators and developers and we need to think about it thoroughly. You can feel reassured that this idea, and every other one we receive DOES make it onto our big wish list, honestly. Bear with us and keep the ideas coming...

2011/2/16 12:29:08
What actions would Muvizuers like to have? In the interests of managing expectations...

Objects (Done) > Character Attachments > Animations > Characters months and months of work. And then some more months.

edited by barrys on 16/02/2011
2011/2/14 14:02:04
Why Realistic Motion & Design Doesn't Work Hi

When we were coming up with the idea of Muvizu there were certain arguments about digital puppetry that I had to win. In particular I remember being in the staff kitchen trying to convince someone of the merits of 'animating in passes'.

There were lots of these discussions in the early days. One of the things I NEVER had to argue about was the art/animation style. The Art Team were all of the same opinion: let's avoid photorealism at all costs. We did this because of a number of reasons:

- Business: it would separate us from the competition who all embraced realism
- Money: Motion capture is expensive
- Boredom: making realistic animations and objects is dull for an art team
- Users: working with realistic 'uncanny' looking models is creepy. The videos are not watchable
- Physics: as soon as you strive for realism then you're making a rod for everyone's back. Realistic models demand realistic animations, realistic physics, realistic behaviors. Gravity, collisions and interactions all have to be spot-on or the visual success unhinges itself.
- Hands: Motion capture doesn't grab finger movement and that's where a lot of expression comes from.
- Time: we were quicker getting non-realistic assets out there.

Personally speaking I think we were right to go down the toon route. I just think it's a quicker and less cluttered approach to story-telling. Our users can get a story on the web without having to worry about skin-translucency or anisotropic hair rendering, blah blah.

One of these days I'll upload some of the animation tests and puppetry concepts we explored. I have a few videos kicking around...

Art Manager
2011/1/28 13:33:51
Keep Youutube from Blocking Music Hi Dwino,

It depends on whether youTube's formed an agreement with the music rights holder(s). Sometimes you'll add a video with a music track and it will get accepted BUT you'll see a link to the song on iTunes. Those are the cases where youTube has an agreement.

The last time I had this problem was uploading a Status Quo track. I feared the worst but youTube accepted it and simply put an iTunes link.

I found this video the other day. It's a youTube person explaining why and how they filter uploaded music for copyright infringement. It's very interesting.

2011/1/26 14:07:03
facial animation workaround That's a nice idea, Dreeko. You'll be pleased to hear that the facial animation system is something on our to-do list. Honestly, I'm looking at the list right now: it's a massive cardboard sheet covered in wee cards arranged next to the year's release dates.

The pub-chat phase of the design work's already started. We've not got to the stage of plans and documents yet and, to be honest, that's not going to happen for a bit, but I thought you'd like to know.

Thanks for stirring the debate. I like it.

2011/1/21 10:06:06
BIGGER CAMERA WINDOW Hmm, yeah, using a second monitor. Now that's an idea.....

I've said enough

2011/1/19 10:16:40
Creating a story for new animated series... Hi MerdeK

Well, you've asked the very question that has tormented every single creative person that's ever lived: How do you get a fresh idea?

I'm afraid there's no magic button with this one. You have to wait for inspiration to hit you or actively seek it out. I reckon the former hasn't happened so you'll have to chase inspiration. Look at other people's work, do silly things, study unrelated fields, listen to odd music, watch TV, observe people on the train, go somewhere you're not comfortable, go somewhere you love, eat rancid food, dump a partner, find a new partner, get sunburnt, streak or design a jet-pack.

In short, try to put yourself in situations where you're emotionally inexperienced.

And when you get your idea write a story as if it was designed for radio. If it works on radio then it'll work in Muvizu.

That's all the advice you get for free

2011/1/5 14:57:41
better way to move characters Hello

Thanks for the feedback on the movement system. The system could be better so I'm thinking about how we can improve it. Now, I'm not going to predetermine the solution by promising way-points, paths or anything like that but there's definitely an in-house appetite for improvement. There was a news article promising a second look at the system.

Through watching others I've found that the enjoyment or frustration associated with Muvizu's movement system is closely related to PC performance. My work PC is a fast machine. As a result the movement of characters is smooth, responsive and predictable. However, my home PC is a dog and makes the movement of characters difficult. Inducing a sprint, for example, is more difficult on a slow PC. So that's one thing we need to address.

Another is dexterity. We've received feedback that young people (under 12 years old, say) have difficulty with the hand/eye control associated with the movement decal. Submerged as we are in the worlds of 3D, Machinima and game engines it's easy to forget Joe Public and their approach to making cartoons.

As usual it will be a balancing act: how to give easy-to-control characters that fit into our established Muvizu-flavoured digital pupeteering approach. Please keep the ideas coming - we really do take stock of them all.

2010/12/9 11:56:48
Movie in background If you have access to 3rd party editing software then this sounds like something you can do in that, provided your editing program supports greenscreen or chromakey blending:

1. In Muvizu animate your characters against a pure green sky and ground

2. Make Movie as a TGA sequence

3. Composite the Muvizu sequence with your other movie in a 3rd party editing App.

2010/12/6 16:11:47
2010/11/24 10:54:23
Current Codec Trend and Workflow...? Hello inlimbo

There are some lengthy discussions about codecs elsewhere in the forum. Codec choice comes down to personal preference, quality and the video's eventual destination. MP4 files (like DIVX, XVID and H264) deliver excellent quality and small file sizes but are unsuitable for pushing through an editing pipeline. If you wanted to take a Muvizu video through something like Vegas or Premiere then I'd be looking at LosslessJPEG, DV or, better still, Muvizu's new TGA + WAV output. So, referring to your questions I'd say:

1. Look at the other posts and polls elsewhere on this forum

2. Yes, I believe so. Quicktime will not appear in Muvizu's list though

3. Depends on where your video is going to be published. In all cases export the largest, best quality video you can. For web services like youTube or Vimeo I'd go for a flavour of MP4 file.


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