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Animation/Demonstrative Software

Animation/Demonstrative Software

Animation/Demonstrative Software

My practice is largely in construction/structural forensics. I have a need to show a "cause and effect" demonstration of improper installation of waterproofing on a wall assembly.

I've looked at several commercial packages for technical illustration, but would like some ideas on software that I could use to show, for instance, how a droplet of water migrates through poorly installed stucco and waterproofing to affect the structure.

Any suggestions?

RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

3DS Max is pretty much the gold standard if you want photo realistic animation. It has a steep learning curve though and it takes time before you can start producing professional looking animation. The technical production involved also takes time. You won't believe how much time you'd spent producing even just a 30-second run of animation.

Also, one of the hardest things to animate is water texture and behavior (if you want to make it look as the real thing), whatever animation package you decide to use.

If you're not after realistic looking animation, sketch up is your best bet.


RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

I use AutoCAD to build the frames and PhotoShop to animate them (there is no direct link, so I generate a .pdf file and then open the .pdf in PhotoShop and create one file per frame, if the animation is the only thing in a folder and files are named sequentially then animating is trivial).  It works well, but it doesn't look like I hired an artist.


RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

You can actually use flash to do those animations.  With knowledge of the programing, you can morph things such as the water, to "flow it" through the wall, generate wet areas, etc.

RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

Thanks, Guys.  I appreciate the comments.  I've downloaded a demo copy of SketchUp.  I'll see how it goes. I have two months to produce something.

David...do your files get a bit large using an image per frame?

RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

Not really.  I draw them one frame per layout (that can result in a huge AutoCAD file), then use the Adobe Acrobat Distiller to generate a single .pdf for the whole animation.  Within Acrobat they have a "reduce file size" option that cuts the files to about 1/4 of their original size.

When I pull the .pdf file into PhotoShop I set the resolution at 72 bpi and let PhotoShop break it up into one file per frame.  Saving the files in .psd results in reasonably sized files.  Put them all in the same folder then when you open the animation inside PhotoShop and specify the first file it does the rest.  The final animation in .avi is small.  One animation that I did had 32 files each around 320 kB and the .avi was 344 kB.


RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

David...I like your approach, since I'm already familiar with ACAD.  That cuts my learning curve down.  

I've tried the SketchUp demo...it doesn't really have the tools you'd like to see for a $500 program.

Looks like I'll try your method, David.  Thanks, again.


RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

Before PhotoShop CS5, it was really difficult to get the frames to align exactly.  See thread555-254051: Micro Positioning a Drawing in a Viewport where I was asking how to micro-align layouts in AutoCAD for an animation in PhotoShop CS4.  The end result is included at the end of the thread.  If you run it you'll see that it is a touch jerky (but that doesn't show too bad in a PowerPoint on the wall).  Since I got CS5 the ones that I've built have been rock steady.  See the attached file to see what CS5 does.


RE: Animation/Demonstrative Software

That should be sufficient for my purposes.  Thanks for the hints.


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