14 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2015 12:40 PM by Andrew Taylor

    Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views

    David Maxham

      Is there a way to make an animation directly from my existing views.  I know that I can drag a view, one at a time, into the timeline, but how could I "drag" them all at once, say with a preset time of 2 seconds between each view?  I've got training in a few weeks and can ask then, but I see that hitting the play button in Composer Player gives the end user a simple animation of all views.  I'd like to have that available to the end user as an avi file, and instead of having to copy each view at a time into the timeline, I was hoping there would be an easier way.

      Thanks,  Dave

        • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
          Derek Parks

          David,

           

          You are going to have drag and drop each of your views into the respected time you wish. Perhaps someone with some API experience could code something for you otherwise that is the only way.

           

          Also since you are asking this I am going to assume you have several views and are trying to save time by automating this process. That being said you can only export 2gb at a time using the avi in Composer. Depending on information stored in views this could be as  little as 10 seconds at a time. Normal workflow for people creating animations in Composer is going to be exporting your animation as hi resolution images and then stitching them together in a media editing software.

           

          Another tip unless the classes have changed since I took them a few years ago they will not touch to much on animation. That being said if animating is going to be a big part of your daily work I would get as many questions ready as possible. More information than you asked for but figured it all ties together.

           

          Cheers,

          Derek

            • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
              David Maxham

              Derek,

               

              Thanks - awesome help - the tips are much appreciated!  Although the animation stuff is so cool and I look forward to learning it better, we're looking to "digitize" our work instructions.  Well, they're already digitized in dwg's as assembly drawings, but we want to exploit the key features of this Composer stuff to improve our assembly instructions.  So, maybe we're better with "slide" type elements, where the user moves back and forth with a simple click of the "play next" button. 

                • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                  Derek Parks

                  Glad it helped. We animate all of our manuals and assembly procedures. I don't use views at all just keys and you can get some pretty good animations out of Composer. Really just depends on your end game what is best. Most of my video files are done in full HD and are huge so they get hosted on our server and put on USB for presentation and such since you can't email them.

                   

                  There are obviously several online file sharing options you could use as well or host on website. Good luck on your learning process and class.

                   

                  Derek

                    • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                      Earl Hasz

                      Derek, Have you looked into using the Multi tab on the High Res workshop to render out all of the frames of your video into sequenced images?  Once this is done, you can use a video publishing tool such as Adobe Premier or the like to complete the video and render it to a format that is more compact like MP4.  This should reduce the size of the videos you are creating while also allowing for adding audio and other video segments to the finished product.

                       

                      -Earl

                        • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                          Derek Parks

                          Earl,

                           

                          That is my current workflow  already.

                          • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                            Keiran Earl

                            I have been looking for a while for a good tutorial on doing a nice simple animation like this. I'm not a SW user myself (strictly 2D and video), our design department handles that and they don't speak English, don't understand anything at all about how video works and are about 2 hours drive away. I'm actually borrowing the design guy's laptop for a couple of days to try to get something built that doesn't look like a herky-jerky mess and it's just one counter-intuitive thing after another. I've looked at 12 tutorials on YT and they all show the same thing, "how to create movement keyframes for an animation".

                             

                            I've got a couple dozen objects that each need around 20 seconds of animation clips for a marketing presentation next week. I don't want to have to get in there and build a series of "hard to duplicate" camera movements 20 times just to get a couple minutes worth of video footage.

                             

                            Don't get me wrong, I'm used to Adobe's steep learning curve too, but the amount of effort required to get something from Solidworks that can be done with a single mouse-click in EDrawings is pretty astonishing.

                             

                            I don't want to do anything fancy like animating object movement and I don't really have the time to build custom flyby keyframe animation paths.

                             

                            It's bizarre that they have put this much effort into creating the animation video capture function into Solidworks, but ghastly awful version in EDrawings. How often is the marketing department the same set of people as the design department?

                             

                            Where can I get a quick and dirty tutorial for this method?

                              • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                                Derek Parks

                                Keiran,

                                 

                                Since you are referencing EDrawings and Solidworks in your post I want to make sure that you realize this is a Solidworks Composer thread and not a Solidworks thread. Composer is a completely separate software from Solidworks so the above steps for creating animations that were explained in this thread will not work in Solidworks.

                                 

                                If you do only have Solidworks I am afraid the only way to complete this is going to be with a motion study which is all key frame operated as you explained in your post. While I do have some experience doing motion studies and could try to help you I would recommend starting a new discussion in the Solidworks portion of the forum.

                                 

                                If you do in fact have Composer I can explain how to do this for you, not a problem.

                                 

                                Cheers,

                                Derek

                                  • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                                    Keiran Earl

                                    Wow. Thanks Derek. I didn't actually expect much of a response.

                                     

                                    As to the motion study, it's fairly basic keyframing, although it doesn't seem to be super-obvious how to accomplish zooming. I'll have to google that later... time I don't really have for this project. I basically had an hour to put together 20 or so 1.5 minute clips for use in a short series of background videos. Being the perfectionist that I am, I just found it really really difficult to accept the quality of EDrawings, so spent quite a lot more time googling... O well. I'd love to find some more time to learn this program a bit better, but since I don't own the program, I don't have much opportunity.

                                     

                                    As to Composer, I am borrowing the designer's personal laptop at the office (until Thursday), so I don't actually know offhand (it's 12:30 at night here in Asia), but it might be on there. I set up a laptop this past summer for his son who is in Uni studying design and had some manner of educational version and he had Composer in his suite - with one or two of the other packages opted out, so if he's studying the same thing as his dad uses, there's a distinct possibility that Composer is on the laptop.

                                     

                                    If you have a tip as to how to use composer to do a quick and dirty multi axis show like the default "autoplay" in EDrawings, that would be phenomenal!

                                     

                                    I got 8 keyframes in on a single drawing before I ran out of time. And Wednesday is tomorrow.

                                     

                                    I very much appreciate your taking the time to help out with this Derek!

                                     

                                    -Keiran

                                      • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                                        Derek Parks

                                        Keiran,

                                         

                                        In Composer the quickest way to just have your assembly spin around an axis is done by:

                                         

                                        Views Only Option: Simply set your views in 90 degree increments on whatever axis you desire. So for instance you can set views for Front, Right, Back, Left. This would give you a total of 4 views you would then drop in your timeline at the appropriate time. So say you want 2 or 3 seconds between views you would drop your front view in at 0, Right view in at 2 or 3 seconds and so on. This will give you a constant spin along your Y axis for example.

                                         

                                        This is going to give you the easiest option. You could also set manual keys which while isn't difficult with no Composer experience and your time schedule I would give this route as your best bet. Hope this makes it to you in time since its probably about 5 am for you now.

                                         

                                        Cheers,

                                        Derek

                                          • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                                            Keiran Earl

                                            Is this compatible with "export to AVI" which apparently does a render for each frame?

                                             

                                            The biggest problem I've had so far with EDrawings is that without this feature, the program drops frames like crazy and provides awful render quality at every frame while in motion. I also had an odd problem once or twice where it was doing a bit of a "geddan", which appears to have been VLC screen recorder's fault... SWorks so far has been a lot better for render quality and has the full render option - looks way more slick.

                                             

                                            Unfortunately there seems to be no Composer on this laptop. He does have it on his PC though and said I could send the laptop to him to install it. He just put a basic install on his laptop for some reason.

                                             

                                            The time for this project is unfortunately long gone and I might be able to find an hour in the next 2 days... maybe... so it looks like I'm back to EDrawings/Camtasia and my output quality will be poor, but there's another trade show in 4 months or so where a better looking presentation would be good and maybe I can use these techniques for that show.

                                             

                                            Again, your input is appreciated.

                                              • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                                                Derek Parks

                                                Keiran,

                                                 

                                                In Composer you can export video as a AVI if desired. I would however recommend rendering individual frames and then stitching together in an after market video editing software. AVI IMO is a weak format and always gives poor quality but if its the extension required then you have to use what is needed. Read through this thread once you have composer and it will explain the workflow. When you get Composer start another thread as I suggested earlier with any questions. This thread has been marked answered since May so most people will ignore it.

                                                 

                                                You can make this video happen in Solidworks also though if you so choose but I would start a thread for help with that in the appropriate area as well.

                                                 

                                                Cheers,

                                                Derek

                                  • Re: Making an Animation Directly from Existing Views
                                    Andrew Taylor

                                    David -

                                     

                                    I suspect you do, in fact, want the slide-type instructions (as opposed to animations). If you want interactivity, then you need the slides. The animations just play from start to finish without any user input. We're using Composer for animated assembly instructions and this is what we've found.