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DaDa | 14 years ago | 17 comments | 11 likes | 8,205 views

Ulli, hubsy, Tester and 8 others like this!

Having some fun trying out BTs features and settings, I came up with a 35-second BT-show with over 60 layers and 50 media objects. Crazy, I know, but why not (even though BluffTitler was never intended for this kind of compositing)?

I should WARN you, though: the media file that you need to download is almost 2.4MB. In addition, to have BT load and compute the show with all the media files may take a few minutes: so, be patient. Finally, once loaded, CPU-usage may be quite high (dependent on your systems specs.

Some additional notes:
- To keep the download size as small as possible, I downsized all graphics files. Some scenes, therefore, may look a bit blurry/fuzzy. Sorry about that.

- I included a soundtrack that I made for this show. It is not part of the BT-show (as an audio layer), because there was an out-of-sync problem (on my system so you may want to try it out on your system by adding an audio layer). You can use it with your regular video editor together with a movie file that you can export from BT. It kind of brings the show to life.

- With BT you can link certain layers and have different objects follow the same path (with the All Layers box checked), but then it will link ALL layers of that type. You may prefer to have only a limited number of objects/layers animated along the same path (such as the envelope sequence in the show). To do this, you can animate a first object, clone this layer, and change the texture. You can do this as many times as you need to add objects (textures). In the case of the envelope, I did this 5 times. Make sure that you build up your composite from the back up: the last layer/object/texture you add will be in front. Next, you can adjust the various settings of each layer (rotation, size, transparency) to achieve the effect you want.

- The possibility to use 3D-objects (the .x model files) is a great option in BT. I had quite some difficulty to place them correctly in 3D though, which became obvious when I changed the camera settings (zoom, pan, etc.).
Another issue is that models may not look realistic against a background picture you chose because they cast no (realistic) shadows. You can compensate for this by taking the following steps: export from BT a picture of the scene in which your model is visible; import it into your photo editor; create a new, transparent layer and paint thick, black, fuzzy lines around the 3D-object where you want shadows to appear; discard the layer with the BT-scene and save as a transparent .png file; import into BT (with setting to 3D in Background) and adjust the transparency settings to get a somewhat realistic shadow (for reference, see the ModelShadow.png files). You may have to adjust/fine-tune the settings for position, size, etc., especially when the camera and/or objects move.

- Also related to the .x files: you can change a specific part of the surface of some models by using your own picture files. In this show the TV and wine bottle models can be customized. In the case of the TV, you can change the screen by simply applying a new texture. In the case of the wine bottle (which was included in Michiels first show when he opened the gallery in February), you can change the labels, but you need to follow a different procedure. Open the wine bottle pictures in your photo editor and make the changes you want*. Next, you can: a) overwrite the old files and reload the model in your show or b) save under new names, but then you have to open the RedWineBottle .x file (e.g., in Notepad), change the corresponding file names in the text and save the .x file under a new name.
[*For some reason, you need to flip the images to have them render correctly on the wine bottle model (see the WineBottleLabel pictures)].

- Finally, I like to use .eps files, because you can create your own shapes (see the User Guide on the BluffTitler webpage) and apply some of the same effects that you can apply to text layers. The painting on the wall of the BixLovesU show is made with an .eps file. After placing the object where I wanted it, I set the layer properties (left on the user interface, under the box where you edit text) to Outline Round Bevel and applied the texture (ReflectionMap_RedCopper.jpg). Next, I cloned the layer and set the layer properties to Flat and changed the texture to FootballPitch.jpg. This picture now follows exactly the wavy shape of the .eps file. I imagine that you can do much more interesting things with this feature.

I hope you enjoy the show!


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Wow, what can I say... I'm speechless... truly amazed. I never thought this was possible. This is something totally different than the usual "fly-in hold fly-out" title animation, more like a REAL animation.

So glad I allowed you to upload more than the maximum of 250K. Thanks for uploading!

michiel, 14 years ago


Here's a page where you can download the GF Halda Normal font.

www.searchfreefonts.com...

michiel, 14 years ago


Fantastic !!
Thank You

hubsy, 14 years ago

Very nicely done, an amazing piece of work.

Dean

DeanO, 14 years ago

It is very, very excellent!

Ulli, 14 years ago


I finally had time to take a closer look at your animation and I was happily surprised to find out that, despite the 63 layers, it was not that hard to understand. The fact that you have named most layers yourself certainly helped as well as the fact that only 2 layers use more than 10 keyframes. Very well thought out!

I noticed that you used 14 layers for the TV animation (layer 49 to 62), but you could have used only 2 by using a model layer and picture layer with a filmpstrip. Or even put the TV in the background picture. Or rather not, because I like the 3D models being mixed with the background photo.

I was also very happy to see that BluffTitler has absolutely no problems handling this amount of layers and media files. It's a perfect stress test. The F2 menu looks a bit funny and I can think of some user interface changes that could help, but then you're right in saying that the program has never been designed to create animations like this. Some people have suggested a "pro" version and I think your animation is excellent inspiration for such a version!

michiel, 14 years ago


With the large number of layers, the sum total seems rather complex at first sight, but actually the show is just a compilation of a number of mostly separate and simple animations. Only in the case of the camera movement, did I run into problems when I discovered that the various objects (especially the models) where not properly lined up on the Z-axis.

Michiel, yes I considered using a picture layer for the TV screen, but the challenge was to use the texture option of this TV model. In addition, the screen surface in the model is concave and, so, a flat overlay picture layer would look not quite right. The biggest problem, however, would be to keep the screen picture aligned with the TV during the camera movement (was already quite difficult with the shadow picture).

No, I didnt have any problems using so many layers (except for the time it took to load the show and to undo/redo edits). There might be some additional issues. For instance, at a certain point, the Clone Layer command stopped working.

I second the suggestion for a pro-version, because it would allow the user to 'harness' more easily the incredible amount of BluffTitler's current options and features (the use of .x-models, .fx-effects, .eps-text files, .xml-content files, plasma and particle effects, etc., etc.). So, keep us posted on any new pro-developments!

DaDa, 14 years ago

The maximum number of layers is 64. Hmmm... I feel like Bill Gates who once said that 640K is more than enough for any PC :)

michiel, 14 years ago


I think the timing problem can be fixed by unmarking the SETTINGS / EXTRA SMOOTH menu item. This option makes the animation perform extra smooth at the cost of less accurate timing.

michiel, 14 years ago


Thanks for all the positive feedback and addtional information, guys!

DaDa, 14 years ago

Very impressive animation, effectively proving what BluffTitler is capable of. I support the suggestion of a pro version of BT. A lot of artists I know would like to get into 3D, but software such as 3ds Max is way too expensive and complicated for a lot of people.

www.sevensheaven.nl

Sevensheaven, 14 years ago

Michiel,

You know I've been waiting for a Pro version for over a year now! ;o)

DeanO, 14 years ago

THIS IS REALLY AMAZING PIECE OF ANIMATION WELL DONE

james nahar, 14 years ago

Ist mit viel Aufwand gemacht.Leider fehlt die deutsche Beschreibung wie bei allen Beispielen.Konnte fast alles bernehmen nur beim Briefbogen habe ich meine Schwierigkeiten.Addrese und Absender liesen sich schreiben doch bei der Wanderung zum Briefkasten bleibt die alte Anschrift.

Rauscher, 14 years ago

(Deutscher Text folgt dem englischen Text)



Thanks for the compliment, Rauscher.

The reason why you have a problem with the envelope keeping the old addresses when it moves towards and into the mailbox is the following:

The moment the typewriter has finished typing the addresses and the stamps have been put on the envelope, all these layers (22 25 and 43 + 44) are set to transparent and the picture of the empty envelope (layer 22) is replaced by a picture of the envelope (layer 28) with all these texts and stamps.

In order to make the transition smooth, the picture of the envelope with all the texts and stamps (layer 28) is slowly made visible by reducing the transparency from 100% to 0% between frames 26.820 and 28.014. All the other layers (22 25 and 43 + 44) are set to transparent on frame 28.015, so that when the envelope (now only layer 28) starts to swirl the other graphics are invisible.

If I understand you correctly, you have already changed the texts for the envelopes. You can make a picture of the new envelope following these steps:
1. In BluffTitler, move the cursor to frame 28.014;
2. Select Layer 28;
3. Uncheck the Visible box at the right of the interface;
4. Export a picture of this scene (File/Export as Picture/BMP);
5. In your photo editor crop the picture to the dimensions of the envelope (using a slight feather and setting the background to transparent) and save as a .png file;
6. In BluffTitler, select Layer 28 and change the old picture with the new one (Media/Change Texture)

That should be it. Good luck!



Dank fr das Kompliment, Rauscher.

Der Grund, warum Sie ein Problem mit dem Umschlag haben, der die alten Adressen hlt, wenn er in Richtung und in zum Briefkasten bewegt, ist das folgende:

Der Moment, den die `Schreibmaschine' beendet hat, die Adressen zu schreiben und die Stempel sind auf den Umschlag gesetzt worden, alle diese Ebenen (22 - 25 und 43 + 44) werden auf transparentes eingestellt und die Abbildung des leeren Umschlags (Ebene 22) wird durch eine Abbildung des Umschlags mit allen Texten und Stempeln (Ebene 28) ersetzt.

Um den bergang sanft zu bilden, wird die Abbildung des Umschlags mit allen Texten und die Stempel (Ebene 28) langsam sichtbar gebildet indem man das Transparent von 100% bis 0% zwischen Keys 26.820 und 28.014 verringert. Alle anderen Ebenen (22 - 25 und 43 + 44) werden auf transparentes eingestellt auf Key 28.015, damit -- wenn der Umschlag (jetzt nur Ebene 28),beginnt sich zu wirbeln -- die anderen Graphiken (Ebenen) unsichtbar sind.

Wenn ich Sie richtig verstehe, haben Sie bereits die Texte fr die Umschlge gendert. Sie knnen eine Abbildung vom neuen Umschlag nach diesen Schritten bilden:

1. In BluffTitler verschieben Sie den Cursor auf Key 28.014;
2. Whlen Sie Ebene 28 vor;
3. Leeren Sie der "Sichtbar" Checkbox an der rechten Seite der Schnittstelle;
4. Exportieren Sie eine Abbildung dieser Szene (Datei/Export als Bild/BMP);
5. In Ihrem Fotoeditor ernten Sie die Abbildung zu den Maen des Umschlags (eine geringfgige Feder verwendend und den Hintergrund auf transparentes einstellend) und speichern Sie als .PNG Datei;
6. In BluffTitler whlen Sie Ebene 28 vor und ersetzen Sie die alte Abbildung mit dem Neuen (Media/Textur nderen) .

Viel Glck!

DaDa, 14 years ago

Danke fr die Anleitung die mir sehr geholfen hat.

Grsse von Wolfgang Rauscher aus Dresden

Rauscher, 14 years ago

Great work! Where do you get the "Comic Strip MN" font?

mufasaxx, 12 years ago

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