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  1. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    I'm pulling my hair out on this one. I want to get the puzzle pieces lined up and evenly distributed. Anybody familiar with this kind of thing? The edge pieces are easy, but the center ones, no go.

    My purpose is to drop a photo onto the group so I end up with a jigsaw animation.

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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I've done this a couple of times before. IIRC:

    1. Using Photoshop/etc, Start with a blank (white) canvas
    2. Use Draw tool to create the jigsaw border line (in black)
    3. Duplicate/mirror/rotate, etc or draw more to create the remainder of your border lines
    4. Using wand tool, select white area of each bordered segment
    5. Make a mask/alpha out of it, repeat with all the other segments
    6. Break out each layer as it's own HiCon mask pic (numbered for good reference)
    7. In Vegas, Layer duplicates of each pic, each duplicate having a different mask so is transparent except in "selected region"
    8. Do Inverse Kinematic keyframing so you END UP with a complete pic, but begin however and whereever you want

    There are quicker ways (plugins), but this is free and can be done with most NLEs & compositors...

    Scott
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    How did you plan on animating it? And what type of animation / what program ? You might save some time doing it in the other program

    You can find already joined puzzle templates on Google images. You can convert to vector and extrude them. Or even if it's not a 3d animation you still have spline paths that you can use for masks
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  4. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't get it. The picture is already in pieces.

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  5. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray View Post
    How did you plan on animating it? And what type of animation / what program ? You might save some time doing it in the other program

    You can find already joined puzzle templates on Google images. You can convert to vector and extrude them. Or even if it's not a 3d animation you still have spline paths that you can use for masks
    Templates? Hmmm...let me look...

    I want to export each piece as a png. But actually, I would REALLY like to find a way to do this AGAIN with a different picture, and reusing the structure.

    I'm using Vegas, CorelDraw, simple 3D software, whatever.

    Got any advice?

    P.S. Scott...what's "HiCon"?
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    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    You can find already joined puzzle templates on Google images. You can convert to vector and extrude them. Or even if it's not a 3d animation you still have spline paths that you can use for masks
    Templates? Hmmm...let me look...

    I want to export each piece as a png. But actually, I would REALLY like to find a way to do this AGAIN with a different picture, and reusing the structure.

    I'm using Vegas, CorelDraw, simple 3D software, whatever.

    Got any advice?

    That's what I mean - you should always "think ahead" so you can reuse parts of the project in other projects at some future date. It will save you time later, and you mix & match to make better projects

    If you export as a png that will limit your flexibility. You won't be able to swap images as easily for example

    You can find dozens or hundreds of rasterized jpg images on google. Find one that you like, convert it to vector with your vector software, illustrator , corel draw, or whatever. Vectors make it infintely scalable. Also with vectors you have splines that you can use those as mask paths (you don't have to draw anything, make selections, or do anything - usually everything is done for you). But occassionaly the "auto" conversion software might get an angle slightly wrong so you might have to tidy it up a bit in your vector software

    You should give some thought as to how you plan on doing the animation - because that might affect how you prepare all these assets. Planning is everything

    Some programs and plugins will import all types vectors, some require specific types of vectors (e.g. eps, or certain versions of ai might be required, or svg)
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  7. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Yeah, I already "vectorized" the pieces (See first image).

    And now I have a piece of a picture in each piece (See 2nd image).

    At this point, if I want to go 3D extruded, I need the first empty set as SVG's, then I plan to render each piece with graphics as an individual PNG to use as a texture for the SVG's.

    But it's labor intensive.
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    I usually do textures last. What if you want to change the image? What if you want an elephant instead? You would have to waste time re-rendering all these PNG images. Build as much flexibility as you can in your project design (without going overboard)

    I don't know if yours does, but many 3d programs will import vector graphics and give you options like do you want the paths joined, or separate individual pieces etc... You're basically done in 2 seconds, and you just swap out the texture to whatever picture you want

    Some "gotchas" about extruding: if you extrude out it will overlap with the next piece (right where the lines adjacent to the pieces are) - so you either need an inner and outer spline - so there is a gap - or you have to constrain the extrude inwards at the borders

    If you were animating in non 3d programs like NLE's you would usually have to import mask paths from the vector program (and of course, there would be nothing to extrude in 2d) - but you're still way ahead of manually drawing masks and aligning pieces
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  9. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    I want to do it in 3D, but I only have Aurora3D, I think it was $39. It doesn't import vector formats.

    Can you recommend something? Something cheap?

    Another option is to cut down the number of pieces, hehehe. Heck, that might even look cooler! What's the minimum? Probably 9.
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    Well, what formats does it import?

    Blender is free, lots of support . Other full featured 3d programs are expensive

    You can't export PNG images for a 3D program (there is no geometry, and nothing to extrude), you need splines to extrude in order to generate 3D geometry. The PNG images could be animated in an NLE or something (2D, and you have to be careful about your animation and camera because "end on" they look paper thin)

    What kind of animation were you planning roughly ? Hand animating pieces ???
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  11. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    A puzzle exploding to reveal something else.

    Aurora imports a bunch of 3D formats, including Blender. Shoot, it's going to take weeks or months to get the hang of Blender.
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    It says SVG
    http://www.aurora3dsoftware.com/support/faqs.html
    And you can use the “Text Shape” and “SVG Library” to import text and svg shape.
    You'll have to play with it and see if it 1) imports correctly 2) allows enough control for you to extrude properly 3) allows enough control to fix textures

    I would start with a smaller puzzle piece for these little tests
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Sorry, budwzr, didn't know you were going to use 3d apps. Was thinking you were mainly a Vegas man.

    Yeah, what pdr says about using vector graphics, extruded and then texture mapped is a good way to go.
    The good thing about going 3d anim is that the rez is easily adjustable without extra scaling effort, just use a UltraHD pic as texturemap and rerender to diff sizes.

    Btw, hicon is High Contrast, used for masks in compositing.

    Scott
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  14. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    I AM mainly a Vegas man. When I make 3D stuff, I make it "standalone" or "pre-choreographed", so I can use it in Vegas.

    I don't have a problem extruding, lighting, and animating the puzzle piece SVG's. The problem is skinning them efficiently. Right now I have to make a bunch of PNG's for the picture elements (textures).

    The SVG's don't have vertices, they're just simple extrusions, and I can group them into different shapes, but not texture that grouped shape as a single object.

    I can use a PNG w/alpha as a texture, but it's labor intensive.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice and ideas. I'll just do a few by hand and see what it ends up looking like. If it's not great, then maybe FK-it and do something different.

    Last edited by budwzr; 17th May 2012 at 21:42.
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    Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
    I don't have a problem extruding, lighting, and animating the puzzle piece SVG's. The problem is skinning them efficiently. Right now I have to make a bunch of PNG's for the picture elements (textures).
    Once it's 3D object with geometry, you usually have to use UVW mapping, or at least tell the program where to map a front projection (which faces of a plane) . Some programs are able to project a flat 2d image , and you "fix" the texture to the frontal plane - so you just swap it with whatever image you want

    The other "fast" way to do this Scott mentioned earlier is with plugins. e.g. you can use a shatter plugin (I think HitFilm has one), and work in reverse. Most shatter plugins will allow a "shatter map", to specify where you want the breaks. Some have "puzzle" presets. It's not nearly as good as doing it in real 3d, but the pieces are still extruded

    e.g This isn't hit film , but you might get some basic ideas that might translate
    http://ae.tutsplus.com/tutorials/motion-graphics/puzzle-animation-with-the-shatter-plug-in/
    Last edited by poisondeathray; 17th May 2012 at 22:44.
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  16. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    No, HitFilm doesn't have shatter, or real 3D (it's 2.5D like Vegas). But it DOES have a super robust PartGen and motion tracking. I might use the PartGen to spray puzzle pieces and let some "stick" together into the final graphic, instead of an explosion.

    Nah, the shatter effect sucks now. Every tom dick and harry is doing it. And I loathe presets and drag and drop. I want to do the animation in a way that stands out.

    As sung by Frank:"I did it muuuuyyyyyyyyyyyy waaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy".
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  17. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    This is my result so far. The image shows on both sides though. I don't know how to fix that.

    As a side note, I uploaded this to YT in VP8 format and there was no processing time.

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  18. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Not bad! For something on the "back side" you'd have to have a combo pic (pic + backing) as your UV texture so that when it projects/wraps, the pic projects on the front and the backing projects the back (and ? on the extruded sides?). That's where UVW requires a little more effort...

    I agree about avoiding the canned plugin look.

    re: YT, was that WebM? How long was it before it showed up as available? Of course, your file was kind of small/short, so maybe they just speeded up their processing.

    Scott
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    There is a bit bump in the animation where 3D objects overlap and pass through each other , but it's a good start for your first time! Popping the 3D cherry!



    It might take you a bit to learn the basics of uv mapping, but it's almost mandatory when you do 3d animation.

    If you just want to concentrate on do the fun part like making the animation I can make the model + uv texture part for you (It takes a minute for a simple model like this if you have the right 3D programs , but more complex models might take days, weeks to texture properly)

    Play with this attached model first - It's a DAE with uv mapped textures and see if your program accepts it properly, if not I can try exporting in something else . I left the other sides untextured in this example (grey), but you can specify a texture for them. Some programs are VERY finicky, like they need a might specific version of that format, like DAE 1.4 vs. 1.5 etc... , sometimes they get the axis wrong, sometimes they get textures mapped incorrectly , sometimes you have to fix normals, etc.. etc..

    3D Model formats include: 3DS, OBJ, DAE, DXF, MS3D, BLEND, etc,.
    If it works ok (textures stick when you animate the pieces, and are imported correctly in your program), then send me the image you want for the front side (The tiger picture or whatever)
    Last edited by poisondeathray; 28th May 2012 at 11:26.
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  20. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Hey, cool, but I'm on holiday now in my RV, heading to Utah for some fresh air. I'm interested in learning more, so keep yer brains on. hold the fort on this thread.
    Last edited by budwzr; 18th May 2012 at 22:06.
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  21. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    OK, I'm still on sabbatical, but I tried that zip and no joy. It seems to import OK, but it's just a cube, and when I Deselect it, it disappears. Any suggestions? PDR, can you download the Aurora 3D Animation Maker trial and see was sup?

    Much as grassios ameches
    Last edited by budwzr; 24th May 2012 at 00:20.
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    No go.

    I had a look, and it seems very limited with problems importing various 3d formats it claimed to support. Either none of the splines or child objects were imported properly, or textures had problems. It doesn't seem to have ways of remapping UV textures or "fixing" things either. eg. I mentioned some workarounds in other 3D programs , e.g. in blender or c4d sometimes textures don't transfer, but they have ability to remap them

    The whole point of importing spline paths (auto traced in your vector program) is to save you lots of time. If you have to do things manually 1 by 1, it's going to be a PITA.
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    Daz Studio might be a viable free option. Interface is much more simple and intuitive than blender, it will only take a few minutes to learn. (But in the long run you're probably better off learning blender or a full 3D package)

    The free version is probably all you need for simple animations (the pro version was actually free a while back) . It's still limited compared to other full featured 3D packages, but you still have lights, cameras, animation, can import some types 3D models (it imports the DAE I prepared correctly, with access to each child object/ spline path, and textures ok) , and can export png or tiff with alpha (so you can composite in other programs)

    preview of interface

    Click image for larger version

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    alpha channel render

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    2 puzzle pieces were joined in the earlier model (error from the auto trace), but I fixed it in this version . I used a random tiger picture. If you want a different picture or the sides textured differently let me know

    Happy animating
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  24. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Whew, man, that's humbling. Nice work dude !!!! Way beyond my skill level. I'm just a monk on a journey.

    P.S. My tiger looks better than yours, neener-neener.
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    Thanks man , but it's only a simple animation you'll be doing better stuff in no time.

    The fun part is doing creative stuff with it. The NOT fun part (for me at least) is making models, painting models, UV's. So I thought I'd spare you some agony and give you something ready to use

    Did you get a chance to check out Daz Studio?
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  26. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    I'm downloading it now. Jeezus, it's almost a gig.
    Last edited by budwzr; 28th May 2012 at 23:44.
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    I don' t think it's that big? maybe 500MB ? The reason it's huge is it comes with a bunch of free content (models)

    Daz's business model is to sell models from artists, but the software is free . You can find lots of free models on sites like Google Warehouse and ShareCG, but they tend to be lower poly, lower quality. although some of them are really nice. There are high quality/high polygon models , but you usually have to buy them
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  28. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    Yah, I checked it out, but I think I'm going to keep poking around with Blender. Maybe I'll get lucky one day and understand it.

    Daz Studio seems to be geared toward modeling characters, like for anime's. Not my bag.
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  29. Member budwzr's Avatar
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    I saw this today on YT, and realized I'm quite behind, technology-wize.

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    That would be a cool Halloween costume
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