Sunday, September 28, 2008

Animation and Rendering

After converting and then looking at the CMU animations, I was really fired up to began doing my own animation. I had decided to do another music video to one of the Rough Cut's songs Ron and I had written. I decided to go with one that had a Halloween theme about a witch since it was almost October. After a couple of days of trying some of these new tools and my new understanding of animation, I am now wondering if it will be done by this year's or next year's Halloween.

What I am getting at is the time it takes to create and render an animation. As you can remember from previous blogs, I was complaining about how long it took render a high quality scene in Poser due to the amount of calculation it takes to correctly interpret light, shadows, angles on the 3D models, etc. Well, when you animate and then capture it with an appropriate amount of rendering to make it look more realistic, you have just upped the ante. Now the painful rendering speed has to be endured for each frame of the video. At up to 30 frames per second for a quality animation, you get the picture. SSSSLLLLLOOOOOWWWWWW.

So, before going and putting together my story board, creating the sets, gathering the props, costuming the characters, etc for the whole video, I decided to go ahead and do a test rendering of a simple 3 second scene. It is a zoom in of a sexy girl in a cemetery. I created a cemetery scene and then created two key frames. This took me about 30 minutes or so. Then I had the first key frame with camera far away from the girl and then the last key frame was a close up of the girl with the camera getting the upper half of her body. The first key frame was frame 1 and the second key frame was 120. I also had moved both of the characters arms and her head in the second key frame. So it appeared that she change positions slightly during the zoom. This took another 10 minutes.

The way animation work is it basically calculates all the positions both of the character and of the camera for each frame and then renders the frame. So, it calculated 120 positions for the character and the position of the camera at each of the frames and began rendering. It is still rendering, so, that is why I am writing a blog. It takes about 5 minutes to render each frame. So, 120 X 5 = 600 minutes. A three second animation takes about 10 hours on my "super computer". Now, you can understand my earlier blog where I was lusting for more hardware for my new hobby and why I would post my picture of the Pixar Render Farm.

But, luckily I have a lot of time on my hands and Poser Pro allows you to set up batch queues so that you can plan your rendering ahead of time and have it render all these scenes at night or while I am at work. So, it really isn't all that bad. I will just have to do a little planning in order to create my animations. I will probably set up all the animations during the weekends and nights and then do the actual animating on a batch schedule. This is all starting to sound a lot more like my real job! That is my major concern on my SAP project this fall. Worrying about the batch window, schedules and system performance.

I have waited until it finished to publish the blog. I have posted this on You Tube as well as here in the blog.


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Iftekhar Ahmed said...

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