LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

InvigoMany Vol. 1 -- Sports Objects & More for Broadcast Designers

COW Library : Broadcast Design : Mark Harvey : InvigoMany Vol. 1 -- Sports Objects & More for Broadcast Designers
InvigoMany - Vol. 1: Sports
A CreativeCOW.net Product Review



Mark Harvey reviews InvigoMany, Vol. 1:Sports

Mark Harvey
RDS Television, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

©2006 by Mark Harvey and CreativeCow.net. All rights are reserved.

Article Focus:
Mark Harvey, longtime leader in Creative Cow and a noted broadcast designer/editor, gives readers a look at Invigomany, Vol. 1: Sports from Serge Hamad --
the newest release of the Creative Cow master tools.


Click here for more informationI was asked to review the newest release of the Creative Cow master tools, Invigomany from Serge Hamad. Serge is a long-time serving leader of the Creative Cow in the After Effects and Invigorator forums.

Being a complete rookie with the Invigorator, I saw this as a good opportunity to learn some new tricks from one of the top Invigorator artists out there. I also work as senior editor at an all sports french network here in Montreal, so having pre-built 3D models ready for my After Effects work was an exciting proposition.

Nowadays, it seems like editors are asked to do more and more compositing. This often includes motion graphic work, and at times 3D work. I call this the grey zone, and it is where I spend the majority of my days. With that in mind, tools like the Invigorator from Zaxwerks become more than just a luxury, they become a necessity.

But enough already you say, tell us about the Invigomany. Well, the Invigomany arrived on a CD rom in a Creative Cow packaged DVD rom case. The Invigomany is neither a plug-in, nor software, but rather pre-built After Effects projects packaged with all of the necessary materials needed to build a bakers dozen models. Also included on the CD, a read me file, which I didn't read but should have, and a video tutorial.

The video tutorial is excellent. It lasts about twenty minutes and is hosted by Serge himself. Serge personally takes us through the structure of the CD rom, something that is vital to using the Invigomany. Serge also explains how to learn from the Invigomany projects, as well as taking us through building our own 3D baseball bat from scratch (you will need illustrator to follow along with this lesson). This is really interesting stuff, especially for newer users like myself. I can honestly say that I picked up some great pointers for future Invigorator use.

The projects that are included on the CD are all categorized in their own folders. Inside of these folders are sub-folders for Invigorator Pro, Invigorator Classic as well as for the Pro Animator. I tested the Invigomany using the Invigorator Pro filter within After Effects 7.

Serge has thoughtfully included two projects files for the majority of the models. The regular project and a project called ready. The regular projects are provided as a learning tool. All precomps and layers used in building the models are included. In most cases, the layers have layer markers with notes to inform you of a layers influence on the project. If you feel that you know enough already and just want to animate the models, then the ready projects are for you. Set up and streamlined, ready to animate.

I am originally from England. With the upcoming World Cup, I decided to start my testing with the Soccer Ball project. The first time you open each project, After effects will ask you to locate the texture jpg for that project. This texture is found inside the stills sub-folder inside the main folder of that particular model. After loading the texture, it is recommended that you save the project. This will prevent you from having to repeat this procedure.

When I opened the Soccer Ball project, I was shocked at how great the ball looked. There was a little bit of light reflecting on the ball; the kind of light that you would expect to see reflecting from a leather soccer ball. There is also a little swoosh on the Ball, but a quick replace footage and presto, my company logo was on the ball. This could be very useful for our station promos.

To animate the ball, well it took me a few minutes to figure out; hey I'm new at the Invigorator. I got it though. I had the ball spinning, and moving around the screen. I animated the ball using the invigorator camera, and by animating the ball itself. Most of the time I found it easier to animate the ball, although the Invigorator camera tools are awesome. I found that manipulations were pretty quick, considering that I was messing with a 3D ball. To speed up previews, I set my layer to draft and turned the anti-aliasing off in the Invigorator filter.

Next, I decided to try the Basketball. This really blew my mind. The texture on the ball, as well as the seams is, exactly as they should be. If properly animated, most viewers would be hard-pressed to tell that they weren't looking at a real ball.

I tried all of the project files and was happy with all of them. I did have a small issue with the pool balls. One of the balls was showing polygons, so I shot an e-mail to Serge at the support e-mail he gives in the tutorial and the issue was quickly resolved. More experienced Invigorator users would have figured this one in a hurry, but again, for a newbie like myself, this was difficult to figure out.

All of the models have beautiful textures. The football has the laces and the Wilson logo on it, along with a very real leather texture mapped to the ball. The volleyball is simply perfect. Wait until you see the pool cues. You feel like you can reach out and touch them.

In my job, I have been asked on a number of occasions to map our company logo to a turning golf ball. We have an eyewire movie of said golf ball, but after trying to bend the logo with sphere filters and mapping using displacement maps, I had pretty much given up. At one point I was able to make something somewhat usable by using a Boris Continuum Complete cloth. With our logo composited on it and mapped to a sphere, then after adjusting the logo to reduce the distortion created by the sphere, it looked ok. Not a perfect solution and time consuming to say the least. I had also scoured the web looking for a golf ball texture. If I would have had the Invigomany, I could have done the same operation, making the logo and the ball look realistic in around 2 minutes (the time to load the project find the logo and explain to the director what we were doing). Boy, do I wish I would have had the Invigomany!

Conclusion and COW Rating:

This really is a sweet package. Go online, I beg you. Check out what 3D models go for. They are not cheap. This package contains all of the project files to create 13 models, and the cost is only 89 USD. A single 3D golf ball can easily set you back 50$. Also, not all models can be as easily imported and manipulated in After Effects. The only model that was missing for me was a hockey puck. I can create this myself in Boris Red, but I would have liked to see it added to the package. Maybe it will be a download or a single purchase for registered users.

I believe that this is the first in a series of models that Serge has planned. I think that this will do quite well. The sports models are a niche market, but if you are doing Sports TV, or commercials for sports related products, this could really make your life easier. Some more experienced users may be able to create some of the models themselves, but if they take you an hour each, then it is definitely not profitable for you to do it. I would strongly recommend this product.

I give the Invigomany a 4.5 Cow rating.



Click here for more information or to purchase.

          

-- Mark Harvey

###


You can interact with Mark Harvey online in the Cow's Boris FX forum


©2006 by Mark Harvey and CreativeCow.net. All rights are reserved.



Click here to visit Creative COW's user forums and many other articles if you got here by a direct link to this page





Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Panasonic at NAB Show 2017

Panasonic at NAB Show 2017

Panasonic’s booth at NAB is going to packed with the range of goodness that showgoers have come to expect, including the Cinema VariCam Experience, a look at the control room of the future, cloud-based news production, transparent and AR displays,


Creative COW
DJI Introduces Ronin 2, A More Powerful, Versatile and Intelligent Stabilizer For Film And Video Professionals

DJI Introduces Ronin 2, A More Powerful, Versatile and Intelligent Stabilizer For Film And Video Professionals

DJI, the world’s leader in creative camera technology, today introduced Ronin 2, the three-axis camera stabilizer redesigned to give filmmakers the freedom to capture any scene they can imagine. Based on DJI’s transformative gimbal technology, Ro


Creative COW
HP Announces DreamColor Cinema 4K 31" and 24" Displays, Secure Mobile Workstations

HP Announces DreamColor Cinema 4K 31" and 24" Displays, Secure Mobile Workstations

Today at NAB, HP Inc. announced true Cinema 4K displays, arming color professionals with new features, like color-critical accuracy and automatic calibration, to produce the films and animations of tomorrow: the new HP DreamColor Z31x Studio and HP D


Creative COW
NAB Show
The Introvert's Guide to the NAB Show, by Kylee Peña

The Introvert's Guide to the NAB Show, by Kylee Peña

If you're like most people in video production, you're a bit of an introvert, and that makes trade shows a complicated matter. Shyness is real, and social anxiety is its own thing to be managed carefully, but are you selling yourself short before you give yourself a chance to warm up? Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Peña offers practical steps to help you have the best NAB Show you possibly can.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Kylee Peña
Audio Professionals
Prince: Musician

Prince: Musician

One year after the sudden passing of Prince Rogers Nelson at age 57, we wanted to revisit a wonderful story too easily lost in all the tragic stories that have emerged since then: this was a man who was all about the music, 24 hours a day. Remarkable previously unseen footage of a playful Prince at an Osaka soundcheck in 1990 by Senior Vice President of Post for Chainsaw / SIM Group Steve Purcell, who worked with Prince for 6 years, sheds entirely new light on an artist you only thought you knew.

Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Award-Winning BMI Composer Laura Karpman Talks About Bridging the Gap for Women in Music

Award-Winning BMI Composer Laura Karpman Talks About Bridging the Gap for Women in Music

When little girls think of what they’d like to be when they grow up, they can add “renowned composer” to the list, thanks in part to the work, both musical and influential, of BMI composer Laura Karpman. Musically, the four-time Emmy and GRAMMY


Creative COW
NAB Show
NAB Show Guide to Thriving (instead of just surviving)

NAB Show Guide to Thriving (instead of just surviving)

Creative COW Contributing Editor Kylee Peña is here to take you beyond comfy shoes and protein bars, as she reveals the secrets of not just getting through a brutal week, but actually thriving in what might just be a pivotal experience for your career, and maybe even some friendships.

Editorial, Feature
Kylee Peña
Netflix to move production back to California

Netflix to move production back to California

While many productions chase tax credits and use them to help underwrite production costs, Netflix has decided that in some cases the savings do not outweigh the costs and so it will be moving as much of its production as possible, back to California.


Creative COW
PLOTAGRAPH PRO: A Powerful Tool For Animating Still Images

PLOTAGRAPH PRO: A Powerful Tool For Animating Still Images

The COW was just introduced to one of the coolest new creative tools we've seen in a long time, PLOTAGRAPH PRO, which powerfully animates still images. Imagine animating your still images to become full high resolution video, all the way up to 4K. In this video tutorial, Blake Rudis is your guide.

Review, Tutorial
Blake Rudis
Blackmagic Design's Cameras and Resolve Press Conference

Blackmagic Design's Cameras and Resolve Press Conference

How's THIS for another way that Blackmagic is changing the game? World class headline news, direct to you, no waiting in line at NAB. Following last month's press conference on BMD's broadcast products, CEO Grant Petty walks us through new control su


Creative COW
MORE
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]