Creating a presentation using Blender

Animation tools, character animation, non linear animation

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styrmis
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:31 am

Creating a presentation using Blender

Post by styrmis »

Preface: I posted this thread originally to the blenderartists.org forum. If this type of thread is not appropriate for this forum, I apologise, please remove!

I need to make some presentations in the near future. The first one is for a good cause and I'd like to make a good impression. For that reason, I won't be using something like OpenOffice Impress.

In looking for a tool to make an informative presentation with a soundtrack, I found that Blender may be the ideal tool for a Linux user to make an original presentation, even though it does not provide any specific help to do so.

I apologise in advance for this rather off topic animation question. I am reading tutorials now to learn the particulars, but I would be grateful if you could help revise the strategy I'll take when making the video.

What I would like to do is use text objects and planes with images as textures to set up a 'slide' in front of the camera. Then, either move the camera to the next scene/slide, or move the text objects etc. elsewhere / delete them.

So, the timeline for this should be incredibly simple for my first one. Later I would like to explore Blender more to make a more impressive video (tutorials are sufficient).

My question is, what is the overall process for setting up such a simple set of transitions? I've experimented with taking simple objects, specifying a keyframe with IKEY, moving/rotating and specifying a further LocRot keyframe maybe 100 frames later.

This results in animation that is sufficient, however things will start to get complicated later when I'm on slide 10 and decide that some object earlier on should be on camera for longer.

Is there a more modular way of approaching this? I disovered the NLA window today, however as I read more I'm not sure if this is something I should be using. Edit: Non-Linear Animation. This doesn't seem like something I should be using.

Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Unfortunately I have quite a tight deadline for this first (very simple) presentation as I'm not in my home country, but I'm confident that with your help I'll get it out the door in time.

P.S. If this is a success I will write some tutorials on this process. Powerpoint presentations take so much effort to look unique, that making simple informational videos using Blender could be very popular in the future.

P.P.S. I have some background in coding, maybe this kind of project would suit the Game Engine well? If possible I would like to make a video, but using the Game Engine I might be able to contribute some useful code should anyone want to achieve the same thing in the future.
Last edited by styrmis on Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

joeri
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Post by joeri »

It's not so clear to me what the presentation format is you want to use.
I'm assuming it's the game engine you want to use.

If it's just to get some slides in front of the camera then I suggest you move the camera over the slides. Get some property to remember what slide you want to show. Use keys to update the property and get the camera to move to the according place.

styrmis
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Post by styrmis »

joeri wrote:It's not so clear to me what the presentation format is you want to use.
I'm assuming it's the game engine you want to use.
I definately don't want to use the game engine at this point. I'd like the end result to be an MPEG file.
joeri wrote: If it's just to get some slides in front of the camera then I suggest you move the camera over the slides. Get some property to remember what slide you want to show. Use keys to update the property and get the camera to move to the according place.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'get some property'; hopefully it will become clear as I try more tutorials.

I like the idea of moving the camera and/or using layers to make the process more modular. However, is there a good strategy for keeping the logic for each slide separate from each other?

I am a still unsure of my overall strategy for this, as I am still at the level of moving simple objects (text, the initial camera). Does anyone know of a good tutorial which covers building up simple linear animation like this? The tutorials I have read have covered one scene perhaps, but have not covered how to manage things when they get complex (like when you want to go back after making 10 slides to change the timing somewhere).

Better yet, does anyone have a blender file they could show me which has a semi-complex linear timeline of events?

joeri
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Post by joeri »

Aha. (The property remark was made for the game engine).

You want to render an animation.

How many slides are we talking about?
If they stay below the 20 I suggest using layers.
Use a "page" per layer and move your camera accross the field.

If you have more slides then you might want to resort into scenes.

Are you going to render 1 big animation or are you going to use a dvd authoring programm to construct the presentation?

If you are going to render 1 big movie then you might want to consider using the sequence editor. You can import a still image into the sequence editor and make that stay on screen for as long as you want. That way you only need to animate transitions. Save your transitions in separate folders and the editing will be very easy.

styrmis
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:31 am

Post by styrmis »

joeri wrote: If you are going to render 1 big movie then you might want to consider using the sequence editor. You can import a still image into the sequence editor and make that stay on screen for as long as you want. That way you only need to animate transitions. Save your transitions in separate folders and the editing will be very easy.
I'm going for one big movie. There will only be a few slides (no more than 10) as the audience's first language is Japanese and not English.

I will Google for information on the sequence editor. I've not seen any way to save (named?) transitions, though this does sound like the kind of modularity I'm after.

I'll try and research those now; thanks for the tips.

styrmis
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Post by styrmis »

Great tip, the sequence editor looks like a great way to divide up the work.

I'm currently enjoying this tutorial: http://www.blender.org/modules/document ... 10533.html

thunderthunder
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Post by thunderthunder »

thankx really needed the help too...

SirDude
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Post by SirDude »

Just an additional comment on this. Ton uses blender for most of if not
all of the talks he gives. He doesn't render to a movie, but
I think he uses layers (and the numbuttons to switch to the next slide)
If your going to use it in a more interactive mode I would do that.
(and or use frames for each slide if you have more than 20)
Then just use the arrow keys to switch to the next frame.

LetterRip
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Post by LetterRip »

and if you need more than 20 slides you can change scenes for more layers...

LetterRip

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