Sunday, March 31, 2013

FMG Animation Travails

End Result Animation

Over the past few days I've been working on an FMG animation.  My plan initially was that I would be posting this on my Deviant Art Page .  But as the animation started to take more and more time, I figured it would be better to just post it at Strong and Stacked because it had been a while since I'd posted content there and it would be good to get something posted there.

I'm going to be posting the animation a little bit later today at Strong and Stacked, and you can see some excerpts of it as animated gifs here.

Basically I wanted to make an FMG animation where, unlike in some previous animations I've done, I'd have hyper muscled growth occurring *without* an accompanying "fattening" of the girl's head. If you look at a lot of the FMG animations I've done in the past, when there is gigantic muscle growth you will also see some fattening and growth of the woman's head.

This time out my plan was to avoid that side effect by using two Victoria 4 models together.  One would provide the body, and the other the head.  That ended up working pretty well.  But its about the only thing that turned out to work out easy and well with this animation...

Slow slow slow progress on rendering...


For this animation I decided to use my most powerful rendering computer.  It's an Alienware R4.  Its got a 6 core cpu and is running Windows 7 64 bit and has 16 gig of memory.

I thought, ok, this time I won't use the quadcore and instead will throw the big guns at this and hopefully the animation will render pretty quickly.

The screen shot at right shows the view I had for much of the past couple days as this thing rendered.  A slow progress bar creeping along as the machine grinded out one frame every four minutes.  That is slow slow slow.

The problem is that rendering performance is a fickle and finicky thing, because there are so many variables that can affect it.  One trick I learned early on when doing raytracing renders like this is that you can set the ambient occlusion to off for a model's hair - that speeds things up because otherwise raytracing takes a really long time for hair.  I did that for this animation and it was still pretty slow.
Nearing Full Size

Other factors have to do with the number and types of geometries and textures in the scene.
I tried playing with those and still wasn't able to get the time down much for this scene.  I'm sure there is something in my scene that is @#$%ing things up, but I wasn't able to find what was causing things to be so slow.

So I decided to just let it rip and spit and grind away for two days at creating frames.  The end result was ok but I'm not totally thrilled with it.

The bang for the buck wasn't great at all for this animation, given that it took so damned long to render and the end result isn't dramatically different from some other FMG animations I have done in the past.


Initial Draft Still Frame With No Background
You can see here an initial draft frame of the woman with muscles and super boobs, no background scenery yet.  When I tried a quick draft test render of an animation like this, things went fairly quickly.

But things quickly got awfully slow as soon as I tried putting her in a scene.  The first scene I tried was one that was in a mountainous area - an environment I bought recently that is called WorldBase Extreme 2.

With her in that scene, things really just crawled.

So after that, I tried another strategy. I used a prop I bought recently from called The Backdrop.  It is similar to backdrop props I've used in the past, and blogged about, but its a newer version.  So I gave that a try, and used a beach background for her.

First Background I tried
To my surprise, that rendered pretty slowly.  And you can see in the images of her here at the beach that there were other kinks I had to iron out.  For starters, when I first set it up, I neglected to have her feet be on the ground.  So she's levitating.  That's the kind of problem that if you don't catch early, you can waste hours on your machine rendering an animation and then realize oh @#$, her feet aren't on the ground.


I thought the beach scene looked pretty cool for a background - love seeing a big boobed muscle babe at the beach.  But it was rendering slowly.  I figured, well I will find the cause of the slowness eventually, so let me just proceed with the rest of the things that have to be done for the animation and then I'll fix the slowness problem .

Second Background - Oops, she's Levitating
So I brainstormed on what I could do to make the scene a little more interesting than just an ordinary beach.  I have a prop that looks kind of like a Stargate that I thought would be cool to try using.

So I went ahead and put that into the beach scene. I even painstakingly tried to have the stargate pulsate with a green glowing color on and off and had it rotate.  The rotation part turned out ok, so it looks like the stargate is spinning.  The glowing color - its so faint you can barely see it.

This happens sometimes with these animations.  You try and experiment with various things and sometimes they come out looking great, but sometimes they don't work out.

Beach Background - Feet On Ground
As I continued to work on the animation, no matter what I seemed to try, the render time was slow.  I ended up getting rid of the beach background and went with a simpler background.  A bit faster but still fairly slow.

That's when I finally decided, ok screw it, I just have to get this thing done. And I hit the render button and let my machine grind away for a couple of days.


The end result is an animation of a woman experiencing muscle growth but it doesn't look a whole lot different from ones I've done in the past.

There isn't a lot of uniqueness or spark to it, and that does disappoint me.  In spite of that, I still may be able to salvage some value out of it.
Beach plus "Stargate"

First of all I'm going to post it to Strong and Stacked.  Might as well do that since I spent so much time creating it.

More promisingly, I'm going to use frames from the animation as a launching point for an FMG comic.  And I'm hoping to barnstorm and get that comic created in a single day (that's what I'll be spending the rest of the day doing...)


First off, I have to figure out why the rendering was so damned slow.  Maybe it was the stargate prop.  I'm not sure.  But I just don't have the luxury of having an animation take four minutes per frame. its too long.

Beach plus "Stargate" = Long Render Time
Secondly, I need to expand the repertoire of animation motions I have. I've used these sort of belly dancing motions to death.

I am making some progress on that front. I looked into a few cheap mocap solutions, like IPISoft and IClone 5 and some others, where you use one or two Kinect Xbox 360 cameras connected to your computer to achieve mocap.

But I think rather than trying to create mocap animations myself I am going to try to find some more that are already done out there that I can grab and use.

What I need are some basic motions, and then I can overlay those with BE and or FMG and or Giantess Growth.

One promising repository of these motions is the CMU BVH Mocap Library which is a set of motions that are free to use

So some time burned, a mediocre animation created, gotta move on at this point and try to salvage a comic out of it and do better in the future

No comments:

Post a Comment