SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

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SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Collin Alexander » Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:39 pm

I'm exporting animations from SU free version. I notice certain artifacts like areas of shading that appear and disappear frame by frame. The shadows do the same sorts of thing. I've already used up my hours on the demo of the pro version. Is it possible that the pro version may give better results on animation export?

Thanks.
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Collin Alexander 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Ross Macintosh » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:24 am

No Collin you'd likely get the same result.

It sounds like what's happening is that at various times in your animation your viewpoint is from within a shadow. SketchUp's shadow generating gets screwed up when the viewpoint (think of it as a camera location) is inside a shadow. The result is usually that the shadow looks fragmented almost like an angular camouflage pattern instead of a solid tone.

Unfortunately the only way around this is to turn shadows off or be careful in setting up scenes so the 'camera' stays outside of shadows.

[In version 4 of SketchUp this problem was fixed. The fix relied on an algorithm written by a Professor somewhere. Unfortunately a Japanese company patented a substantially similar algorithm and a lawsuit erupted between the professor and the company. The company won a judgement that prevented the professor's algorithm from being usable by others like the SketchUp developers. In version 5 the coding was removed and the old limitation regarding shadows came back and remains with us today. As far as I know the Japanese company has never licenced their version and don't even use it themselves in their products. Sad.]

Regards, Ross
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Ross Macintosh 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Collin Alexander » Fri Dec 21, 2007 4:37 am

Sounds like a good description of the problem I'm having, but I also see it with shadows off.

Hmmmmmmmm.
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Collin Alexander 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Gaieus » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:13 am

Collin Alexander wrote:Sounds like a good description of the problem I'm having, but I also see it with shadows off...

Still, believe Collin, it is not because you have the free version. Practically (and briefly) speaking the two softwares are now exactly the same - with the added exporters being the only difference in v.Pro.

I also have the shadows flickering - good that I need not use the animation export that much... :roll:
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Gaieus 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Ross Macintosh » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:30 am

In general I tend to think of the animation export feature as a visualization tool rather than a presentation one. By that I mean even with a bit of choppiness it still can provide me a useful virtual visualization even if the result isn't as 'presentable' as I'd sometimes like. That said, it is still possible to do lots to improve the quality of one's animation exports. Different codecs have a big effect on quality as do frame rates. Careful planning of where & how many scenes are set is important too.

Regards, Ross
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Ross Macintosh 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Collin Alexander » Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:02 pm

I've found JPEG to be by far the best animation setting. The edges become quite smooth, everything looks fine.

Except, we get random black triangles on faces, for no reason.

So Ross, in your opinion, this is something that Google software developers are well aware of, yet deliberately conceal? Is that what I'm understanding?
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Collin Alexander 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Ross Macintosh » Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:08 pm

Collin Alexander wrote:So Ross, in your opinion, this is something that Google software developers are well aware of, yet deliberately conceal? Is that what I'm understanding?


I have no doubt the developers are well aware of the limitations of the shadow feature. I don't think they deliberately conceal anything. They include a feature, limitations and all, if they think it will be useful to most users. Some users of course may find a particular limitation too limiting for their particular needs. That I'm sure is expected but hopefully most users still find features worthwhile, limitations and all.
As a long time beta tester I know the developers are tirelessly dedicated to fixing any and all bugs whenever possible. Unfortunately fixing one thing can screw up something else (like performance) so fixing known limitations typically can involve trade-offs. With regards to shadows the developers know exactly how to fix the problem without any performance hit - but as noted above they are unable to use the solution because Creative (the maker of mp3 players) won't licence the patented code that is the known fix.

Regards, Ross
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Ross Macintosh 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Collin Alexander » Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:37 pm

I think we're talking about different things. This isn't a limitation of the shadow feature. I'm saying that when you export animations, you get random triangles of solid color put on faces for no reason. Some frames will do this, and many will not. It occurs whether shadows are on or off.

Does anyone else have the problem, or is it just me?
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Collin Alexander 
 

Re: SU Free vs. Pro, Exporting Animations

Postby Gaieus » Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:04 pm

Collin, could you point us at a video output with this default?
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Gaieus 
 

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