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Animation Lab & TurboCAD
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* November 09, 2017, 06:30:03 PM
Dont get me wrong here I love TurboCAD & Animation Lab V5 and all the plugins that Ive paid for, have tried other applications on trial versions but I always come back because for me its just ease of use and the forum rocks with valuable people that take their time to explain all manner of stuff. Thanks to those experts. In my opinion IMSI needs to address this topic via the softdev developers to give us the users an updated version from V5 Anilab. Why? well others have mentioned that the anilab interface needs attention, but are we missing out with the current version of anilab when compared to other companies products?

So I did a google search on "turbocad animation" and all references were to turbocad alone, so that on face value it appears that we can only use anilab within turbocad. Is that correct? To the newbies coming to turbocad Animation Lab V5 is cool ( I was once a newbie and in some cases still are! ) to use and you can employ some really valuable animation with your designs so please dont be put off by post here!

To IMSI and Softdev ( like Jeff said blah blah blah "business model" when referring to animation lab ) I too dont understand the business model or case for paying a one fee alone and getting anilab to use in multiple turbocad aplications ( tcw 2015/2016/2017 etc). I would prefer to and be happy to pay for improvements in design, ease of use, more features and innovative content in animation lab over time, so from point of view I would purchase updates to animation lab if the updates became available. Also that animation lab appears to lack some new features based on other companies product offers, therefore IMSI can something be done here to help us provide better presentation content? I do hope that this topic is received in manner of its intent!

My purchases todate: TurboCAD 2015 Deluxe, TurboCAD 2015 Platinum, TurboCAD 2016 Platinum, TurboCAD 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, GraphiCalc, Lightworks, TurboPDF ( rocks), BeamTool, TCMaps, U3D PDF, MagicTracer

Thanks

Daz


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Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


November 09, 2017, 10:18:55 PM
#1
Dear User,

Many thanks for posting a valuable feedback. Can you please draft a list of your wish list related to Animation lab? It would be great to know in detail that what kind of enhancements you need in Animation lab.

I am looking forward to your feedback!

My email ID:
[email protected]
Skype ID:
[email protected]

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Thanks & Regards,
Zunair Attif
Team Lead QA
IMSI Design
Email: [email protected]
Skype: [email protected]


* November 10, 2017, 01:29:48 AM
#2
Hi Zunair

I tried autocad v17 and maya together, while i loved maya I wasnt so happy with autocad v17. I wont go into the cad application but maya was cool to use. I used maya for the evaluation period by saving my turbocad work as a dwg file and then using the animation within maya. Probably best if you see for yourself whats not in Anilab when compared to Maya, its simply chalk and cheese.

See https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2017/ENU/Maya/files/GUID-EAF7F00F-0380-4E8E-94F9-D484CAD5505A-htm.html for more information. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.

FWIW: there are others that have used Anilab for years on this forum and hopefully they may respond where my knowledge and experience is limited.

Zunair thank you for your fast response.

Daz

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Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* November 10, 2017, 05:43:19 AM
#3
Many thanks for posting a valuable feedback. Can you please draft a list of your wish list related to Animation lab? It would be great to know in detail that what kind of enhancements you need in Animation lab.

See also This_thread for improvements

I'd also add to that - repair the bugs (as seen on my system) in TC 2017/AL combination with regards screen updating, for example this_thread.

Plus improved scaling and adding Size command,  for example one can scale an object using commands or keyframes, but the scaling is flawed, (it shifts objects out of position) making it useless,  repairing scale and also adding a size command where one can add specific x, y and z sizes like the inspection bar (or via a custom script variable) would save some messing about, i.e. one has a box 10 x 10 x 10 units, and it animates to 20 x 20 x 10 units, with a size command over 20 frames one would just have size x=0.5, y=0.5 z=0 so that in each frame the box is increase by 0.5 units (for example mm)for decreasing one could just type in -0.5, which is the save way the rotate command works.

Don't know how useful it would be, but added support for animating smesh objects (node tracking) may be handy on occasion.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 06:03:56 AM by Andy H »

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* November 11, 2017, 02:46:45 PM
#4
Hi Zunair

In my opinion I dont want Animation Lab to become bloatware where new features are added for adding sake and on the surface appear valuable until you get under the hood so to speak and then find that they dont deliver. Nobody wants or needs this stuff.

What I would like to see is that IMSI through their connections to the developers improve the basics in the Scenario Script Editor like:
Use the tab button to move from column to column instead of being welded to the mouse

General:
1. Less crashing and more feedback on the error
2. More complex examples that cover the basics
3. Complete the missing examples eg: cars.tcw to match the cars.gif, fantazi.tcw to match the fantazi.gif, planets.tcw to match the planets.gif.

For me alone I just need to see how it all hangs together 1st to get the big picture but when something is missing that makes it tough to work with. Improved programming techniques to catch those exceptions and report back to the user the error code so we can work out what when wrong and give us the ability to fix it.

Also
1. The ability to put a proper delay or pause into the source code SDK so that it can be used in animation with examples.
2. IMSI and or the developers take an active role in further developing more complex animation examples that we can all learn from.
3. Showcase new animation techniques from the current version that serves as a leader for better presentation in our model designs.
4. Document the above in an informative way that is reader friendly.

Like I said previously I love the tools that IMSI have given us and its fun to create stuff that serves a purpose and stimulate ideas, please just give us better tools!. And the benefit for IMSI is that they sell more updates possibly on an annual basis, the developers are encouraged to continue development and we the users get what we want & need.


I mentioned before but may as well do it again, As the title says AL needs updating.

AL5 is getting pretty old now and it needs better direct support for RedSDK - I could make a list :) , also support for the new v2016 'Active drawing' area, which is currently not supported - at least on my computer, in that one can change to a new material from the global (database) area, but not in the active drawing area or it throws up an error, (at least I don't know of any way to do it).

There are other things like Direct saving as MP4 and constraints without crashing would be nice (constraints work but can be temperamental), I could probably think of other things if I knew it would be updated someday.

All that said, I do understand its down to cost and usage, as other animation programs have fallen by the wayside because the amount of users couldn't justify the cost of continued development.

Andy


Agree with Andy!!!

And will be good add support for saving in .PNG as the next file format with Transparency.
GIF format (8 bits per pixel ) with the Transparency is fine for the web animation in lower quality.
But for animation in higher resolution 720p, 1080p, 4k, 8k ... would be good to have better format with supports palette-based images (with palettes of 24-bit RGB or 32-bit RGBA colors).

In TC 2017 RedSDK working with AL,  there are still what I consider bugs because they worked fine in v2016.

Anyone found a reliable workaround for Morphing and Keyframe node editing, where the morph or node edits don't update until after the full command has finished,  I found a 'sort of' workaround providing the spline paths are on the world workplane by adding the PlaceOnWorkplane , but it doesn't always work for me using a user defined workplane, though I can get round some problems by offset sweeping so the profile is still is on the WW,   I tried the workarounds for materials / luminance problem provided by Vlad, but they didn't work for me with this problem.. 

In case the above isn't clear (highly likely), see attached file, simply open, draft render, in AL options - frames, turn off show frames, (doesn't actually matter but saves creating a useless movie), play movie,   the ones without the PlaceOnWorkplane commands don't update for me as the movie records.  but everything works fine in 2016.

Andy

Forgot to mention, the reason I need a workaround is that I want to use a 3D spline, so place on workplane is very hit and miss, a better workaround is needed.

Thanks

Daz

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Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


November 12, 2017, 03:00:03 AM
#5

Hi Zunair

    Might I suggest changing the default positioning of the Scenario Status window?
    In my experience, the Scenario Status Window always opens in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, with the progress information hidden.
    As shown in the attached screen grabs.
    Surely, it can only be a small matter to program this, to a default position in the centre of the desktop?

    Little things mean a lot!

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).


* November 13, 2017, 02:29:09 AM
#6
Hi Zunair

Yesterday anilab crashed my work so badly that I lost a least 2 hours work. Sure thats not so much and I got back upto speed quickly again. But the point remains anilab is good when its good and extremely bad when its bad!

Further that Ive had some good success with anilab today and others are saying good things so its not all bad.

Looking forward to some feedback on how we can make it better!

Logged
Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* November 14, 2017, 06:33:36 PM
#7
Like Tims post above, I have found that the scenario status window sometimes displays and other times not!
Why?

Logged
Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


November 24, 2017, 08:09:25 AM
#8
    The Animation Lab Palette does not, visually, match the Default UI Theme.  :-\

Regards Tim

N.B.

Animation Lab needs to move with the times.
There are many underlying problems, which are all too obvious to anyone seriously using this plug-in.
The developers shouldn't need a blow-by-blow account of needed improvements.
I would be happy to purchase a useful upgrade . . .
« Last Edit: November 24, 2017, 09:26:39 AM by Tim Stewart »

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).


* November 24, 2017, 10:29:14 AM
#9
Like Tims post above, I have found that the scenario status window sometimes displays and other times not!
Why?
Darryl,
are you working in GDI mode or Redsdk?

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"What do I know, I'm still learning"..
Windows 7 64 bit HP > on a stock HP laptop with 4gb-2.4 GHz.Turbocad 2016-2017, TurboCad Platinum 21(Best working version,IMHO) Using Lightworks for reliability/stability and testing redsdk, Anilab lab 5, Renditioner Pro V3. ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4500/5100


* November 24, 2017, 01:56:33 PM
#10
Dean Im working mostly with Lightworks.

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Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* November 24, 2017, 02:10:31 PM
#11
Dean Im working mostly with Lightworks.
Thanks mate,
so, "mostly" and "lightworks"? Does that mean that you are working in GDI mode :)
well, anyways , if you are working in redsdk try switching to GDI.

Logged
"What do I know, I'm still learning"..
Windows 7 64 bit HP > on a stock HP laptop with 4gb-2.4 GHz.Turbocad 2016-2017, TurboCad Platinum 21(Best working version,IMHO) Using Lightworks for reliability/stability and testing redsdk, Anilab lab 5, Renditioner Pro V3. ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4500/5100


* November 24, 2017, 02:12:49 PM
#12
Thanks mate for the tips.

Logged
Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* November 28, 2017, 01:52:35 PM
#13
Dean apologies for overlooking this post, almost always using the redSDK engine and rendering to quality Lightworks - Ray Trace. 

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Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* December 04, 2017, 12:53:07 AM
#14
I gotta be honest here, when I first started using AnimationLab for me it was another learning curve just like TurboCAD. Ive spent some time working on animations and other stuff and it is much easier now. For want of better words, I probably should have studied a bit more 1st. Happy boy cos Im getting there  ;D

Logged
Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


December 07, 2017, 07:11:16 AM
#15
Dear All,

Thanks for your valuable comments. And Tim, i also got your FreshDesk Query from IMSI CSS Team. :)
I already have started a thread with development department to lets start something new with Animation Lab current version. So, hoping for the best that users will be provided an updated version of Animation Lab ASAP with all the resolved internal and users reported problems.

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Thanks & Regards,
Zunair Attif
Team Lead QA
IMSI Design
Email: [email protected]
Skype: [email protected]


December 07, 2017, 07:41:49 AM
#16
Guys, we are planning to incorporate the wish list of users in updated version of Animation Lab.
Top Items will be:
1.   Research on Autodesk Maya -  Comparison that what we don’t have in Animation Lab & What Autodesk Maya have in addition.
2.   Direct and better support of RedSDK
3.   Active Drawing Area which is currently not supported completely.
4.   Support for saving in .PNG as the next file format with Transparency.
5.   GIF format (8 bits per pixel ) with the Transparency is fine for the web animation in lower quality but for animation in higher resolution 720p, 1080p, 4k, 8k ... would be good to have better format with supports palette-based images (with palettes of 24-bit RGB or 32-bit RGBA colors).
6.   when working in the Animation lab editor can we get some simple modifications like using tab key to move between the columns and rows rather being tied completely to the mouse.
7.   Changing the default positioning of the Scenario Status window, the Scenario Status Window always opens in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, with the progress information hidden.
8.   Animation Lab Palette – Bugs Fixing
9.   TurboCAD hangs up and blinks when switching Animation Lab Palette ON in Customize dialog just after its installation.
10.   Give us an easy way to animate 2D texture, e.g. 2D trees and 2D people, perpendicular to an animated camera.
11.   Possibility to animate the new futures like bend, flange.
12.   Possibility to animate opening doors and windows, in percent……………………

There will be many mores,  but I am already on top of these enhancements and will work with developers to plan a running version of Animation lab 

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Thanks & Regards,
Zunair Attif
Team Lead QA
IMSI Design
Email: [email protected]
Skype: [email protected]


* December 07, 2017, 08:24:07 AM
#17
Thank you for update Zunair,   sound like there is some challenging work to program some of those suggestions, look forward to reading more about the progress (if you need someone to test any AnimationLab fixes or new things for AL - I'll volunteer :) ).   

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December 07, 2017, 08:57:18 AM
#18
Thank you Zunair,

    it sounds like a step in the right direction.  8)
    A lot of work, I know, but TurboCAD/AL needs it!

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).


* December 07, 2017, 02:49:31 PM
#19
Thanks Zunair for your support here as Im sure many users would like to see improvements in AL. Ive got many ideas on improvements and here are some:

1. A collapse/expand heirachal tree of actors.
2. Sort ( No 1 ) above on name or groupname.
3. Enlarge the size of the keyframes squares ( where the user selects a single cell ) theyre just a tad too small
( Background to the next point. Add an option to reload the source and rebuild actors to match of objects in tcw and AL This would be very helpful in the event the of a UE. That way the user can get back to speed fast and rebuild theyre animations from code alone. )
4. The ability to save the source code with the option reload the actors. 
5. Option to detachfromgroup actors after a animation complete
( The point here is that if you forget to detachfromgroup actors or dont add the detachfromgroup in the scenario editor, this alone can produce errors in the tcw objects position on screen and if its missed by the end user can cause errors )
6. Stop compiling of AL immediately if theres a script error and maybe highlite the error object in either editor.
7. Option to automatically undo the AL scenario ( buffer ) and return the drawing to its previous state in tcw
8. Suggest to the user the best options for animation within the current setup.
( ie: best options/parameters based on their installed plug ins or an updated tips section with example code for explanation. Things to consider or watch out for that introduce bugs or problems based on the programmers knowledge)
9. Robust examples for the Montage Center covering many features that are mentioned in the help file but are not shown as examples for the end user to learn from. ie Frame Processing Panel, Merge Mode   
10. Option to save the source code in a different file folder than the animations images folder
11. Optional error numbers reported/stored in an error log for reference, along with helpfile reference for cross checking
 
New Features based on Tools in TCW for Architecture, CAD/CAM, Civil, Mechanical
1. Bending of objects in architecture/mechanical
2. Morphing
3. Additional geometry functions ie: twisting but not rotating an object from a mechanical perspective

Wish for, two or three robust examples that cover multiple functions for both architecture, civil, CAD/CAM & mechanical. This would be a great resource that all users could use as a reference.


Logged
Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* December 07, 2017, 03:21:09 PM
#20
With point 11. Saving in an alternate directory saves a known state of error free code that is correct and that can be relied upon as a backup. When the user saves a tcw file with AL code or objects does the AL code get written to the ?.sc file as well?

Logged
Thanks Daz ( Darryl )
Using TCW 2015, 2016 & 2017 Platinum, Animation Lab V5, Graficalc, Lightworks mostly
Windows 10 Home ed. i7 @ 3300Ghz, 16GB, Nvidia 960GTX 4GB ram, 2TB HD, 500GB SSD & 128GB SSD

Good better best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best


* December 08, 2017, 07:36:58 AM
#21
CloseNode command,    we can add and delete nodes for 2D shapes,  but can't close the shape to produce a proper closed profile,   this does not really matter on polylines, but when adding nodes to a spline, on a proper closed profile the start/finish  create a spline curve,   however at present even putting the last node on the start creates a sharp point not a curve.

Just a thought. 

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December 08, 2017, 08:10:32 AM
#22
Andy,

    I'm not sure if this is what you alluded to, but, if you use the Spline, By Fit Points tool, to create a 2-D closed profile, two different results are possible, depending on how you finish the profile.
    See attached file.

    The green profile was created by snapping to the first point to finish, which doesn't close the profile, but appears to.

    The red profile was created by selecting Alt+C to close the spline, which does close the profile.

Regards Tim

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You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).


* December 08, 2017, 08:29:53 AM
#23
Hi Tim,   thanks, but not what I meant (I probably didn't explain well).

We can add a single spline segment say 1mm long,  we can then use the AddNode command to create any shape desired by specifying the work coordinate points for every add node command, the last command would end up back at the start point, its with this last one,  which with a close command would produce a curve with the start point, but at present produces a sharp edge,    we can obviously get round it, by using more nodes to make sure the start and last nodes are tangent,  but another advantage of a close command would be to allow a brush colour to then be applied to the shape, which at present it can't unless one gives the shape a thickness..

 

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December 08, 2017, 08:36:12 AM
#24
Andy,

    gotcha! Good idea.

Regards Tim

Logged
You can design without engineering, but you cannot engineer without design.
Using Win 10 with Designer 2017 and TurboCAD Pro. Plat. 2016/2017 + Lightworks (64-bit versions).


December 08, 2017, 12:15:14 PM
#25
Thanks everyone for helping us to make the progress better and better. :)

Logged
Thanks & Regards,
Zunair Attif
Team Lead QA
IMSI Design
Email: [email protected]
Skype: [email protected]