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 Strata Design 3D CX: Lua Scripting
 Creating "sprites"
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Posted - 03/17/2011 :  21:06:09  Show Profile
This is a question about "sprites" -- a term/entity that is new to me.

I posted this in the Strata forum "Strata Design 3D CX." User Britt Griswold wrote that -- without a knowledge of writing Lua Script -- I would pretty much be up the creek without a paddle. He suggested, though, that I post it here in the "Strata Design 3D CX: Lua Scripting" forum.

Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with Lua Scripting, except for the ScriptFX that comes with 3D CX. So, I don't know if there's a way I can create sprites.

In the Winter (2010-2011) edition of the newsletter for the professional organization I belong to -- the Association of Medical Illustrators -- there was an excellent interview with renowned biological animator Drew Berry. Drew is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow.

In the interview, Drew wrote -- REGARDING ANIMATION TECHNIQUES:
"One technique that was big in the 80's and 90's, which I don't see people exploiting as much as they should are sprite images. Sprites are pre-rendered small movies of an object, such as a protein molecule, that can be used as instances to populate your final shot. This way you can have thousands of what look like 3D proteins exhibiting Brownian motion. Sprite rendering can take less than one second per frame for final shot renders and can be played back in real-time in your 3D software viewport. For an example of what sprites can do, check out the cell cytoplasm shots in my Apoptosis animation."
NOTE: Drew works mostly in Maya.
To view more Drew Berry animations, search YouTube "drew berry animator".

Is the technique Drew Berry describes for making and using sprites . . . something that -- as far as you can see -- would be do-able with Strata Design 3D CX? (I own version 6.2 at the time this was originally posted; Upate: 11/24/15: I own v7.5).

I found this information about sprites on Wikipedia:
CAVEAT ABOUT THE LINK BELOW: I've tried and tried to create a hyperlink of this Wikipedia URL, but this forum page creates a partial hyperlink of the URL. It won't work by clicking on it. You have to select the entire text string including "(computer graphics)" and paste it in your browser!
Scroll down the web page to the section, "Move to 3D." It is relevant to current computer 3D technology.

Any knowledge or input about this will be most appreciated.

David Purnell
NEW YORK WEST Medical Illustration Studio

Mac Pro, OS 10.6.6 [Update 11/24/15, OS 10.7.5 Lion]
2 x 3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon (4 cores total)
ATI Radeon X1900XT graphics card [Update 11/24/15, ATI Radeon HD 5770]
2 x 24" LCD Monitors (Dell & LG)

Edited by - DavidRossPurnell on 11/24/2015 23:32:56

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Posted - 03/18/2011 :  00:18:28  Show Profile  Visit strata_geek's Homepage
Yes, you should be able to create sprites using ScriptFX shaders.

As I understand it one unique aspect of a sprite in 3D space is that it needs to orient itself to face the camera at all times. The ScriptFX mechanism allows for this, but I haven't seen such a script written yet. Such a ScriptFX could be attached to an object within a shape that gets reused many times in the model. Each instance of that object would automatically and independently orient itself. It could also be written to size itself in the view if that's desirable.

I hope this helps.

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Posted - 09/22/2014 :  07:41:01  Show Profile
I posted this in the Strata forum "Strata Design 3D CX." User Britt Griswold wrote that -- without a knowledge of writing Lua Script -- I would pretty much be up the cree

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