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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:50 am 
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Hi,

As a member previously suggested, it would be a good thing to put screen captures of old Alias and Wavefront graphics applications during the pre-Irix 6.5 era, since there are none on the internet. (ALias/2, /3, PowerAnimator, MotionBuilder, The Advanced Visualizer, Kinemation, Dynamation...).

They have a special place in CGI history.

Erwan


Last edited by erwan01 on Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:23 am 
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I can help with poweranimator and composer at least, but dont hold your breath! I would also love to see dynamation shots.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:28 am 
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ajerimez has a nice collection of application screenshots, including PowerAnimator and Composer:

http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/gallery2/v/guest/album107/

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:31 am 
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I would love to see PowerAnimator screens. It's always been the software I wanted to have but never had the chance to get my hands on it (and won't pay 500$ on ebay for a copy).
I worked a bit with StudioTools (similar interface) and my everyday package is Maya.
But anyway I would like to see the link between them, that is PowerAnimator!!

So if you have time to upload screens on that post or PM them to me...feel free

As for composer my indigo2 has it installed.
Thanks


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:35 am 
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erwan01 wrote:
I would love to see PowerAnimator screens.


There's a screenshot on that link I posted.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:02 am 
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PowerAnimator is great! There are things that are quicker and easier to get done than Maya, still love using Maya, but just love using PA. It was one of the first packages that I really worked with in detail on a day to day basis, Maya just became bloatware for Hollywood, 2009 while does have some impressive features, PA can be used to do just about 80% of what Maya does currently and runs on IRIX ;)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:52 pm 
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indigofan wrote:
PowerAnimator is great!...


Great, an experienced PA user! A few questions:

1) How would you compare PA's OpenGL viewport performance with Maya's?

2) How does PA's renderer stack up? Does it output RIB files?

3) As far as ease-of-use goes, how is PA compared to Maya? How about particles and cloth?

4) If you had to do an entire animated short film using a MaxImpact Indigo2, would you choose PA or Maya?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:21 am 
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Great, an experienced PA user! A few questions:
Quote:
1) How would you compare PA's OpenGL viewport performance with Maya's?


Maya's of course has been more optimized over time, but being stuck at 6.5, PA holds up fairly well. This of course will all depend on Machine, CPU speed, RAM, Drive speed, model size / complexity


Quote:
2) How does PA's renderer stack up? Does it output RIB files?

Alias PowerAnimator (also for SGI), versions 5 & 6, output rib,
NURBS including trim curves. [ed. note: Alias's RIB output is
notoriously mediocre.] - from here, always used the raytracer with great results..
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.graphics.rendering.renderman/browse_thread/thread/2861df9f666eac1d

Quote:
3) As far as ease-of-use goes, how is PA compared to Maya? How about particles and cloth?

You have a lot less particle support in PA than that which exists within Maya, since Maya came later and was built on PA, over time Alias included several old add ons as part of the base package, then split it up into the flavors that exist today, Base and Unlimited which adds a bunch more functionality. You can do some very interesting particle effects in PA with lights as emiters as well as with textures (shaders). There is no Fur, Hair, Cloth support directly within PA, I believe that there were plug-ins that were sold back in the day none of which exist any longer, there are only a few plug-ins that you will find on the net for PA.
Quote:
4) If you had to do an entire animated short film using a MaxImpact Indigo2, would you choose PA or Maya?

PA hands down, more responsive on the Indigo2, less RAM requirements. That's not to say that you could not use Maya, when it came out, the box that was shipping at the time of release 1 was the Indigo 2 series. I ran both on my HIGH Impact Indigo2 with the 4MB texture memory and it ran fine, I just always liked the cleaner less cluttered interface of PA.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Great answers, thank you! It sounds like you have a lot of experience with PA. Did you work professionally in CG?

I have both PA 8.5 and Maya 3 installed on an R10k MaxIMPACT Indigo2, and PA definitely runs faster and lighter.

Actually, the king of fast & light pro 3D apps was probably Softimage|3D, but it lacks certain key features like particles, cloth, and sub-d surfaces, so I'd be hesitant to attempt any sort of project with it.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:01 am 
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I worked for at US Robotics where I had bought a bunch of SGI gear for many purposes, I did a lot of animation of the Pro/E CAD files of the products for TV commercials, promotional videos, etc... I also had two origin 2000 servers streaming video corporate wide as I was one of the largest MediaBase customers at the time (were talking circa 1995-96) taking satellite feeds and streaming them on the corporate network, VODs for trainings, my animations and videos were also streamed.. I used PA on a daily basis churning out tons on animations and used Composer for building videos and compositing animations and live footage. Unfortunately my piece got cut out of the promotional video for the Octane which I beta tested for SGI which features Steve Jobs, they went with the cute gal that was doing CAD work on Pro/E instead.. I then ended up doing freelance design and work for SGI in the heyday and did a bunch of work on MediaBase and produced some videos for SGI. I even got paid in free gear (a fully loaded O2 which I still have) plus cash ;) I did quite a few visits to the campus back then and they used to fly me out to California before I moved out here..

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:45 am 
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Sorry to bump an old thread...

I have an original O2 Alias system, am trying to clean it up, etc. It has permanent lics for PA 8.5, Maya 1.5,
Maya 2.0, Composer 4.5, etc. The system is running 6.5.26m.

All going ok (Maya working fine), except PA 8.5 doesn't start up. It gets as far as the small dialog box that says,
"Loading Application..." and then just exits. Anyone know why this might be? No messages appear on console,
nothing in the SYSLOG or elsewhere that I can find.

I have several systems like this, so it would be nice to get them all cleaned up, etc. The original disks (untouched)
use 6.5.4m. Could PA 8.5 be incompatible in some way with 6.5.26?

Ian.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:56 am 
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Have you tried running par or strace on PA?


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:27 pm 
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mapesdhs wrote:
Could PA 8.5 be incompatible in some way with 6.5.26?

Ian.


i had v9 running on 6.5.30. the renderer crashed but it was fine otherwise.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:42 pm 
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erwan01 wrote:
I would love to see PowerAnimator screens. It's always been the software I wanted to have but never had the chance to get my hands on it (and won't pay 500$ on ebay for a copy).
I worked a bit with StudioTools (similar interface) and my everyday package is Maya.
But anyway I would like to see the link between them, that is PowerAnimator!!


it's not the link between.
studiotools, poweranimator, animator, designer and whatever else they've sold is all the same app.
just with more or less features. just like maya complete and maya unlimited e.g..

PA had a feature set more useable for sfx and/or games. there was even a special games version and several output plugins.
additionally there were 3 options for sale:
- advanced animation
- power modeling
- power render

some were for sale for other license models like designer, too.

btw i would love to see a screenshot of a version before 7.

when i finally have recovered completely which is soon i hope of course i can fire up an old machine a make some pics of explore 4.2 and prisms.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:05 pm 
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canavan writes:
> Have you tried running par or strace on PA?

Heh, no. Guess I better look into how to use them. Thanks!


foetz writes:
> i had v9 running on 6.5.30. the renderer crashed but it was fine otherwise.

Yes, other systems I have with 9.0 and 9.5 all work ok with 6.5.26.

I don't think it's the OS version though. I checked the original disk with a low-spec R5K (so the CPU wouldn't
be a problem) and it still wouldn't start. Wierd. The orig disk uses 6.5.4m.


> studiotools, poweranimator, animator, designer and whatever else they've sold is all the same app.
> just with more or less features. just like maya complete and maya unlimited e.g..

Alias 11 looks much like that on startup, asking which app one wishes to use.


> btw i would love to see a screenshot of a version before 7.

Of PA? I think I have some way older than 7, or at least the O2 I'm dealing with appears to have a license
for V1 and V4, aswell as 8.0 and 8.5. All the systems seem to have a fair mix of older license entries. Mostly
though, the older sw versions are not installed, except for their having both Maya 1.5 and 2.0, in some cases
3.0. Just one of them has Maya 6.0, and then there's an O2 with a full Avid setup, an Octane with Jaleo (bags
of data on this one, stuff for all sorts of big-name movies), an O2 Studio Bundle config, and a few others with
Alias/VizPaint2D/Composer but not Maya.

I even have an Indy with Maya 1.0. :D Can't find the sw source yet though; some of the docs/examples were
never put on so it would be nice to flesh it out properly. Anyone have a Maya 1.0 CD I could borrow?

Ian.


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