Animation: Scientific instrument

Hi all. I have spent some time on this animation of a proposed scientific instrument, and I’d like to get some feedback on it. The function of the device isn’t important.

The animation consists of two 640x480 windows placed side by side. On the right is a zoomed out view, on the left is a zoomed in view with slightly different content. I’d suggest watching it twice, first only looking at the right zoomed out view, then looking at the left view for the detail. It’s 1280x480, so make sure HD is on:

Edit: removed till a new version is done.

I’d like to hear what you think the weakest parts are so I can work on them first (format, animation, lighting etc). I know the lighting is flat, but approximate ambient occlusion gave terrible results and raytraced ambient occlusion takes too long.

So any critiques or ideas?

it’s very cool animation! the only weak part i think is that it’s too slow…

Well, that’s quite a nice video, but I think you could improve a few things.

First, when start having a split view, the fact that there’s no separator between both made me feel like “Eh wait, where is the whole thing gone? There’s stuff floating alone on both sides of the screen, what’s that?” I Think you could somehow introduce the split view from the view you had before.

Then when the beams cross around 30", it just looks like they’re stacking on top of each other, that looks a bit weird.

And finally, although I know that those kind of animations are not made for the art, don’t you have something slightly better than those dull grey materials? I know that trying to get materials that look neutral enough but not too dull is hard, so if you can’t find anything leave it as it is.

Thanks for the feedback KAHR-Alpha. Regarding your suggestions:

  1. I can see what you mean regarding the split view, I’ll try and think of a way to make the difference between the left and right panels clear.

  2. The stacking of the beams is the lesser of two evils: if I lower the alpha on each beam there is mixing, but then for the 90% of the time when the beams don’t cross they look dull (which is already a problem with the rest of the materials as you point out!).

  3. To get some more contrast in the materials I am trying to bake an ambient occlusion pass for some shadows, and then brighten the materials. Unfortunately the beveled curves don’t play nicely with approximate ambient occlusion, so I have to do a time consuming ray-traced ambient occlusion pass. Still the shadows add a lot of depth which is currently missing.

As you guessed the main focus is the content and not the art, but we should always aim for excellence in both. :wink:

I agree, It’s quite a nice video, but why don’t u split the screen vertically because the instrument it’s much longer, that way u could put a more neutral view botton like a route map and on the top u could explain the instruments sections.

And the other thing I’d tried to make continuos shot because around the 26 sec I was watching the left screen and it got to black and I say wtf it’s over?

about the model I guess it’s rigth but maybe I’d put texture to the detector it’s look like a grid but it’s too plain.

well, sorry for my english (first post)

Thanks for the feedback chinese84. Splitting things vertically is a good idea, and makes a lot of sense considering the dimensions of the device. Regarding the transitions, there are too many so removing the one you mentioned is also a good suggestion. Your English was perfectly clear by the way.

Thanks again all for the suggestions, after I hear some feedback from its debut presentation at the conference I’ll make another version and update the thread.