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Animation - how too?


Animation - how too?

This seems a good a place as any to open a discussion on Animation.

I have core Creo and learned a bit about animation control.

I have since learned a lot of the limitations to creating animations.

I'd like to see some of your creations. Also know who has a solid handle on this function.

I did a little fabrication sequence of a small aluminum sqill'd stem for a bike mirror.

These are things I learned rather quickly in making this video:

  • Animation is not available in Part mode. Only Assembly mode.
  • Perspective views are very difficult to manage and cause strange behavior in view interpolations.
  • Transparency interpolations ignores surface appearance assignments.
    • Assembly surface appearance do not display transparency
    • Part surface appearance is removed.
  • You cannot apply Style to patterned parts and expect them work.
  • Animating part fabrication is not the primary purpose of this application.
  • I haven't found a way to activate a section in the sequence.

Share your battle scars and your victories

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It is easier** to drive animations from outside of Pro/E-Creo. I've used VBA from Excel to generate trail/training files. It can use Part mode, or any other mode that allows screen image capture, to generate frames. The downfall is that it is open loop, so if Pro/E-Creo whatever can't regen, the trail file dies and the process stops. Using ProE this way allows features to be incrementally created - like an edge with a radius can move from .00001 to .25 to animate the change.

Today I'd go with AutoIT as it can be set to respond interactively to software failures, and can screen cap anything even if the app doesn't support it, and can drive other applications in concert.

Possibly the best combination is to drive part/assembly creation within Pro/E Creo; export to another format; render elsewhere, such as POV Ray or Blender, where it is much easier and very reliable to handle perspective, material appearances, and accurate light effects (caustics, radiosity, HDR) and there is significant experience and tools dedicated to rendering and animation.

**Other methods are more work for simple animations, but the Pro/E ceiling is very low and cumbersome to get any more than rudimentary results. Blender, for example, can motion track your model to captured video, matching perspective. POV Ray does a terrific job for texture animation and caustics. Both of them handle cameras in an easy, understandable manner.

youtube dot com/watch?v=104ou2vG3SM "Blender 3d Scene Camera Tracking / Matching" by" Play -Fair-Play"

www dot youtube dot com/watch?v=D2c7GFVbdSw "03. Camera Tracking Blender 2.5 - Dragón Marino [Making Of]" by ChincheArt

Overall, I am trying to keep this within the Creo realm but of course, I fully appreciate what other applications can do in this arena.

Since part of my responsibilities is to create comprehensive design reviews, making short animations on the fly is important. Just knowing the limitations within the Creo Animation application helps make this process more expedient.

One plus in keeping it in Creo is to have a reliable frame by frame capture. I don't have professional screen capture software and CamStudio is not even close to what internally generated captures will do. So far, I am happy with the internal Creo Capture.

POV Ray and Blender create animations one frame at a time, so there is no lack of reliability to them. They also can capture frames of arbitrary resolution. Driving animation capture using AutoIT or other scripting tool also is frame-by-frame, so also no dropped frames.

In the simplest mode, use AutoIT to do screen capture to pick off what's happening in the Creo window as well as any other windows that are open. I came across a video you did that required significant effort to include a graph in the animation.

Here's the ref pages:

www autoitscript com/autoit3/docs/libfunctions/_ScreenCapture_SaveImage.htm

www autoitscript com/autoit3/docs/libfunctions/_ScreenCapture_Capture.htm

I have done some serious screencap work in the past. It was a nightmare to get through all the code to get things to work right. And that was with Windows XP, where I felt I had greater control over CPU cycles. Windows 7 has a mind of its own when it comes to CPU priorities. The project I was working on was nearly 9 months long and was a production. That is completely out of my realm as a mechanical engineer on Creo.

Again, the nice thing about Creo's capture is that you can capture one frame at a time as well. Certainly not a high end tool, but still enough to get a 1 hour presentation together in a few days. That is the idea... that I can reliably define and capture design concepts in a reasonable amount of time.

I tried the free Blender and hated it! Not one thing was usable to me. The idea of me working with Creo on my off time is to be better at using it when I am on the clock. I am certainly not interested into code level work. It just doesn't make sense to me. I need to create and save my presentations in a clean logical fashion. No better way to do that than use the integrated tools.

I know there are some really nice high end tools that can blow away anything I have in Creo when it comes to ray traced renderings and animations. I have neither the budget nor the need for this. If it was really easy, and cost effective, more would talk about it. But even with the limitations, people use PhotoLux with some awesome results. I can't even begin to justify the cost nor maintenance for even that basic tool.

I've been playing around with the animation with some of the great tutorials recently posted here. However, when I go to save as MPEG, it seems to save all but the last second or so making the file un-open-able. I get the error message "The required speed for playback is out of range. Please modify your animation interval settings."

Not sure how this is adjusted nor if it means adjusting up or down? Any tips on the best way to export animation files would be appreciated.

Thanks all!

I have not run into that problem yet. I wonder if syncing the frames per second would help. Have you tried capturing a mechanism analysis as a MPEG? I wonder if this would have the same issue on your computer.

Feeling a bit out of sorts here..

Not sure what "syncing the frames" means or how to do it. Likewise with "capturing a mecha analysis".

Thanks in advance for any help.

I was thinking in the line of making sure the number of frames per second set in the animation time domain setting is the same as the frames per second in the capture dialog. 25 or 30 frames per second is considered a normal frame rate to see continuous action.

Also, if you capture as an AVI, it should be a frame-at-a-time capture. You can upload AVI to you tube and download the MP4 afterward.

The same capture dialog works for mechanism analysis. I was just wondering if you had trouble with capturing the analysis as well.

If is likely that there is some level of incompatibility with your Windows codecs. I get lost when it comes to these things. I can only suggest that to date, my MPEG captures from Creo have not been an issue.

What version are you on and do you have current maintenance? It might be good to have a support tech have a look at your output MPEG file.

I'm using Creo2.0 M050 with current maintenance. I haven't tried using the save analysis capture but I will give it a try along with fiddling around with frames per second today and I'll let you know the results. Thank goodness I have all the clear and conscise details I need in the expertly written Help Center. (tee hee).

I'll put together a coule of test models for you today to see if they run on your computer.

If those fail, I recommend tech support. I'm on M040... still.

The saved mpg will open OK with VLC media player but will not open in WinMediaPlayer or QuickTime. Still playing with the settings.

Thanks for your help.

This sounds like a codec issue.

Attached is the mechanism session from the video below. It should run exactly the same on your computer. Notice that my captured MPEG video opens with media player by default. The MPEG video created by this session is also included in the zip file. (YouTube will give a bit better resolution if you change the settings).

No problem opening the files in any of my viewers. It seems my file (attached) can only be opened with VLC viewer.

I believe you.

There must be an external link to the video codecs, or something has overwritten the PTC default codecs. This is worth creating a support case for. It would be nice to know how this functions under the Creo hood in case someone else runs into this problem.

BTW: I don't open RAR files so I don't have a way to extract them.

Oh, and maybe VLC needs to hear about this too

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