animation, rendering, tooling advice - aerospace application

animation, rendering, tooling advice - aerospace application

Postby saxcons » Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:01 pm

I'd be much obliged if any of you might be willing to advise me about Sketchup and animations for a contract I have a shot at.

The request is to create animations of their vehicles (LTA/UAV and fixed wing) on various missions which they will use in sales situations. I have a great deal of experience with Sketchup and would like to build on that. The customer has been satisfied with my animations before, mostly not rendered, so in that sort of cartoony Sketchupy look.

The advice from you that I am hoping for centers on this - what's the right set of software tooling for this project. I've missed out on several years of developments.

Let me be as specific as possible:

- The application is for various UAV/drone/fixed-wing craft in low altitude and near space missions. They'd be launching, landing, maneuvering, deploying various sensor technologies, etc. Movements would be gross (meaning, from point A to point B for an entire vehicle) and fine (like landing gear collapsing, or cameras panning, EW defensive chaff deploying, and things like that), all potentially simultaneous. I've modeled these and similar before. Not a problem there.

- Dynamic components - adds a new something (not sure if it's enough for my needs). Can this truly do the whole animation thing, or maybe just a little? I've not read or tried it out enough yet to see.

- I had formerly experimented with animator from fredo6 and Keyframe animation from regular polygon (a bit more luck with the latter). Looks like both of those are more mature now, and either might handle multiple simultaneous complex/overlapping animations on various levels (which I am afraid dynamic components per se might not).

- I could use a really good set of materials libraries without having to go make my own, though I've done plenty of that and may do so now.

- For rendering I've used TwilightRender. I am guessing that fully rendered output will only need to be done for some stills. Again, the application is primarily for sales presentations so it'll be embedded in powerpoints and the like.

- There _might_ be some CAD drawings I could use to get started, but I have not yet been told the format.


- What am I missing?

- Maybe Sketchup just can't do this, and I should consider other tools altogether. I'm not entirely averse to this, though obviously I'm here among Sketchup people and I myself have thousands of hours in it too which I'd hate to throw out.

- Maybe dynamic components can do it so I wouldn't need any other animation plugin? Or maybe I should consider higher end stuff than animator or keyframe animation?

- There's not a lot of call for terrain, but there IS some call, so something like Skatter looks appealing - any thoughts there?

- What other plug-ins might you recommend?

- I'm used to checking Sketchucation for the latest stuff: should I consider subscribing for some of their resources as well?

- Sketchucation is a great resource: are there others that I might benefit from checking?

- Anything else you advise?

I realize this is a tall order, and most of you won't have much to add, but anything is better than nothing, so don't be shy. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since last I worked with this stuff, so I don't want to miss anything obvious.


Re: animation, rendering, tooling advice - aerospace applica

Postby saxcons » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:34 pm

Crickets. OK. I'll try simplifying. How about this:

If you were starting something like this yourself, what tools would you use (and thus, what would you recommend I consider)? Animation in particular. Or maybe you'd recommend a different modeling tool.

- I've got models already of moderate complexity already: rockets/drones/balloons
- I've got terrain too, though could use more maybe
- I want to animate the models across terrain and the sky
- Some of their parts will move too. Propellers, maybe cameras - stuff like that
- animations would be on the order of a few seconds to a minute or two

Are Sketchup and, say, Keyframe animation or fredo6's animator up to this?
If not, what?


Re: animation, rendering, tooling advice - aerospace applica

Postby faust07 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:13 pm

With MSPhysics everything is possible..


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