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Move along path animation


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Hey guys,

before I pull my hair out (ok some of it already is, but has nothing to do with vectorworks... I don't think!) I just created a flythrough animation for a room I built. I did it in wireframe, and saved about 20 points.. the camera looks good and its smooth.

My question is, how do I now tell it to do that in final quality RW (i'm on spolight 2010)?

please don't tell me I have to re-do a step by step in FQRW.. it would take weeks to get done. Granded my saved views are in wireframe, but isnt there some kind of global option to say ok now do it in this?


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Dan, I'm pretty sure that the views must be in the rendering mode you wish to exhibit in the animation. Try editing the saved views to change each of their modes to FQ, then make sure that the first frame of the animation is rendered before starting the animation. Might be a good idea to run the animation right before you leave for the night, or on a second computer if available as each frame will need to render in order to export, and depending on the number of frames, and degree of detail it might take a long time to complete... PS, it's good practice to run a trial in wireframe to make sure you have what you want so I'm not sure you have really wasted any time here. Also, in case you didn't know, you can cancel out of the animation at anytime during the process and you will end up with an abbreviated movie (as many frames long as you've allowed it to complete). This is also a good way to check that you are getting what you want...

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Thanks for the reply! Is there an easy way to pull up a list of the saved views that I did?

I see in the view menu to save view, then there's next view and prev. view, but the only way i've seen to see a list is through the model menue under create animation? is that where i'd pull of the view then change it from wireframe to FQ.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Some unsolicited advice:

I highly recommend using Custom Renderworks settings and experimenting with the settings to get the fastest render that still gives you acceptable results. I've rendered 2 minute animations at 30 fps that took 16 - 20 hours to render. If I used FWRW mode, the time may have more than doubled. An hour of experimentation could save you many hours to render the sequence.

Also, after running a test animation in wireframe (as Peter suggests), I would also run one in your final render mode at 1 fps. This will give you good check render frames to see if the model and textures are as expected along the way. It will also give you a very good idea as to how long the full animation will take to render. Take the time it takes to render the 1 fps animation and multiply it by the fps you plan for the final animation.

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I'd also try OpenGl. It's MILES quicker than any Renderworks mode and also gives half decent results. This actually didn't take much longer to render than it does to watch the end result.

Need to be a bit careful with Renderworks backgrounds (some don't seem to work) and some of the textures not mapping quite the same way (eg trellises suddenly lose their holes) but I have actually sent partial OpenGl movies to clients and it's great to get 30 fps in not much more than the time it takes to make a brew. I tend to measure my life against the time it takes to make a cup of tea whilst hanging around for renders, minute is too short, hour is too long and you have the added benefit of something to drink at the end of it. In fact I think I hear the kettle boiling.

Frame for frame it's pretty yucky compared to even Fast Renderworks (in 2011) but so much faster you'd have to be mad not to consider it


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I recently made a path animation, just a test with a sphere suspended above a 3d poly on ground plane and a few extrudes, no textures or layer transparency. OpenGL with Use Shadows option rendered fine in saved views, but produced a blank animation. Change OGL prefs to Shadows on Ground Plane Only, and the animation command produced a fine movie, except the shadows did not show on the objects.

Any tips to make OpenGL shadows in animations?



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Fooled around with it some more. Animation from Open GL render is blank when Open GL options are:

Enable Anti Aliasing

Enable Shadows

Disable On Ground Only

Toggle any or all of those 3 options and the movie is proper.

Other Open GL setting do not affect, so set them as desired.

This obtains on my system in VW 2011 and 2010. Possibly earlier versions, too.

Submitted as a bug.

My test file attached if anyone wants to fool with it.

Set view to Saved View Cam1

Render in OGL

Toggle OGL options in Menu>View>Render>OpenGL Options

Make movies from the animation already prepared in:

Model>Create Animation>Along Path>Save Movie

No need to set up the movie through the Options window.

It's 5 seconds at 8 FPS. very fast and result is small mov file.


Edited by Benson Shaw
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