Management Information: Limit and Extent
Gaining New Ability
Export of IT Services
Data Communication in Nepal
The role of IT: Efficiency or Burden?
Sharing Multimedia Endeavor
been working with 3D animation for the last four years and I am excited
to share my experiences with you. It will also give you some idea oil
how 3D animation are designed. I will tell you about the software and
hardware requirement, techniques involved in animation and my personal
experiences in animating logos, advertisements, which you may have seen
in Nepal Television.
Before talking of animation, let me
tell you how I got into animation. During my fourteen years of
involvement in computers,I have always wanted to explore new things.
Music, painting, poetry or any form or art has always interested me
since my childhood. This inspired me to write graphics programs such as
to make cars fly and 3D dies roll with sound effects in a 6502
machine in my early computing days. The interest to computer animation
started then and I always wanted to introduce new things to Nepali
computer technology. The 3D animation is result of this interest.
I am sort of an addict of small
screens. I like the small screens (whether TV screens or the computer
screens) so much tat I am
glued to one of them when I am at home. Fancy graphics in
advertisements, flying logos and special effects in the foreign
channels( I am fond of the Star Tv logo design ) have always
inspired to go into the field of 3D animation.
In 1992, I thought of starting a 3D Animation Studio in Nepal to provide
animation services, which was completely an unexplored field. From
different sources, I gathered the name of video cards and software
required for the setup. When I first got the video card for video
capture/output and the required 3D software (which were very expensive
then), 1 was so excited that I forgot my dinner that evening. But it was
not as easy as I thought. 1 was totally lost in the manuals.
Hardware conflict during installing
the video card was a major problem I faced as it had to be plugged to
any free slot in the computer and had to be joined to the VGA card
extension (the ‘pass-through’ port) with a ribbon cable. Setting the
wrong memory segment, base I/O address, read and write wait states would
conflict with the VGA card and would not work properly. It worked after
following the manual carefully, but took more than 5 to G hours to make
the graphics generated by computer and the live video from a video
source to overlay correctly over each other. It needed knowledge of
video-terms (which I had a little like ‘Gen-lock’,’Sync’,’composite
video’, ‘svedio’,’over/underscan’, etc. I had to learn these
terms and try them with the installation software which came with the
video card. At last, after hours of sighs and many cups of coffee, I
tamed the monster! If you are thinking of making animation as your
career, pick up a technical book on video and learn the technical terms.
You will feel comfortable working with video after that.
Installation of 3D animation software
(3D Studio) was quite easy, which included setting up the appropriate
drivers for tile video cards. But then, learning them by hit and trial
and by the help of some books was a time-consuming job which needed a
lot of patience. As there was nobody to turn to when I had
problems, it nearly took two days to get my first model ready, animating
was still a dream.
3D Studio is an easy hierarchical
menu structure, but the terms related with 3D graphics, geometry,
animation, shading method, structure mapping and rendering really go mad
for the next few days. I slept only for three hours for the following
weeks. This is where many people lose patience and give up. I did not
give up and I got the first original animation on my tape on the ninth
day (not the samples which came with the software). Within a month, I
produced the first commercial 3Danimation advertisement in Nepal–
“Iceberg Birko Bonanza”, which was about 10 seconds and took me a
fortnight on my 386(!) computer with 8MB of Ram and math coprocessor(a
luxury at that time). The first logo animation for Nepal television
“Sangeet Sangam”, which was aired recently with the same name and
different look, is of about 8 seconds. It took 12 hours for hte 386 to
render and took me about two days to design. From that day onwards. I
have not looked back.
With 3D software, it’s not the
question of learning the commands, it is trying to accomplish something
new every time with the same given facilities. It is a process(like
programming) which you put together, conceive new ideas and make them
happen. It needs creativity and the eyes to look at an object to make it
Today, we have better 3D and graphics
software, better yet cheaper hardware alternatives available. Do not
think that 3D animation can be mastered with a mastery of one 3D
software. There are a set of software you have to master. As explained
above, mastering the software makes you technically sufficient and you
need creativity to be a computer animator.
Next time, I will provide a detailed
description of a real-time job. I completed recently. It will cover
which software were used, stei-by step process of the animation
techniques involved, how many cups of coffee I finished, how many times
I banged my computer and how many times I shouted at my wife when she
asked to be ready for dinner. Till then explore the world of animation.