IRTC entry

General discussion about JPatch

Postby dcuny » Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:27 pm

Well, the IRTC results are in, and we don't seem to have fared very well. Not even a "Special Mention". :(

It thought is was especially disappointing to see:
John VanSickle wrote:Low technical and artistic challenge.
considering that all the tools were written from scratch. :x

Most comments are very negative about the sound - my fault, of course. :(

While I agree that there are problems with the sound, several of the judges decided to penalize the animation because it used spoken dialog:
Baffling without sound.
and
The words may have been great but the guidelines are to judge without sound.


This is where I really take issue, since this is not what the rules say:
...also remember that judges are instructed to focus on the rendered animation...
The key word here is "focus" - the animation is being judged, but to take points off because something is an excellent animation but doesn't use subtitles is just plain wrong.

I've sent a question to the IRTC folk about this, and hopefully there will be some clarification. Otherwise, it'll be pointless to submit anything with spoken dialog - especially my suggestion for the next contest! :x
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

rules

Postby zmemw16 » Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:15 am

:o
sorry to say it, but i think you'll find the key words are focus and rendered

mind you they prob didn't a speaker, so stereo would have been lost
on them :D

what was the winner, a brick falling off a wall with an emoticon ?

where would we find the thing just for comparison?

stephen
zmemw16
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:35 pm
Location: united kingdom

Postby sascha » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:20 am

Yes, that's a bit disappointing.
Just a single positive comment (thanks Lou Brouce!). edit: Ok, re-reading it, I think that "very interesting but bad to understand
the stones are looking good but the surroundings are very simple - but that gives a focus" is among "positive feedback" too :)

Most comments are very negative about the sound - my fault, of course.

It's of course not your fault! - I'm no sound specialist and never used Audacity before, so maybe adding the gulls and surf sounds was too much already. I agree that the words were a bit difficult to understand, but on the other hand it was a nice try in making them sound like huge rocks :)

While I agree that there are problems with the sound, several of the judges decided to penalize the animation because it used spoken dialog

I fully agree with you! That's absolutely ridiculous! The times of silent movies ended nearly 80 years ago - and then the penalize it doubly: because it has sound at all and because they don't like the sound :x

"Baffling without sound"

What a joker!

I'd say that the IRTC has some severe problems, especially the animation competition:

* There were 10 entries, but only 6 voters! While it's nice that everyone who submitted an entry is allowed to vote, it is celar that with only so few entrants they need a number of independent panel judges (I'd say at least 10) who commit to judge all entries.

* The rules are scattered across the IRTC homepage, not easy to find and not very clear. I doubt that all judges read the rules.

* The admin team somehow manages it to delay the annoncement of new topics, posting of viewing pages and announcement of results for more that two weeks, and it gets worse with every new round - that's quite discouraging. I understand that everybody has a real life and that such things can happen - but if 3 admins fail to update the page within a reasonable time every single round there's something wrong: Either they've lost their interest or they're too busy with real life - in any case they should call for help, I'm sure that there are enough enthusiastic people around who are willing and able to help out.

The major problem I see is that from our position (we've just "lost") it's difficult to critisice the system...

I've sent a question to the IRTC folk about this, and hopefully there will be some clarification. Otherwise, it'll be pointless to submit anything with spoken dialog - especially my suggestion for the next contest!

You should post the questions you've sent to the admin team to the irtc-anims newsgroup on the pov-newsserver (nntp://news.povray.org) as well, maybe it can kindle some public discussion...

It thought is was especially disappointing to see:
John VanSickle wrote:
Low technical and artistic challenge.
considering that all the tools were written from scratch.

Again I agree. That's bare ignorance. Do the POV-fans really think that using script based animations with CSG or blob-objects will get them any further? I really like the rusty animations, but I think that's about what can be done with (pure) POV-Ray - and it's not competitive to anything that's made with good animation software.

Anyway, we'll have to clearify the "sound" rules with the IRTC admins. Thanks to JLipSync we can do lipsyncing, and I'm not going to stop using it just because of some antiquated rules or judges who simply don't understand these rules. We should also look out for other competitions.

Ok, enough moaning - back to work on JPatch :)

Btw, I've seen that your comments are not displayed. Did you submit them?
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby sascha » Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:02 am

Talking about alternative competitions, there's not much out there (if we flinch from entering the A:M contest :wink: )... Maybe this one is interesting.
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:48 am

I don't think adding gulls and surf was an issue. I didn't realize how bad the sound was until I played it a week or so after is was submitted. Without good speakers and stereo seperation, it was entirely unintelligible.

I've posted an response to the POV-Ray board about this.

The lateness of the postings is also bothersome, since it takes several weeks for a new topic to appear. Given how short the timeframe is, it can really cause problems unless you happen to get lucky and find out secondhand what the topic is... :roll:

My comments look like they're paraphrased (badly) as being "From file". :?

Well, on with the show. I'm giving some additional thought to the latest topic, to see if I can't come up with something that's a bit more "animated", in response to the lackluster score of "moai".
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:36 am

My comments look like they're paraphrased (badly) as being "From file".

These are actually my comments :) Don't know why they are "from file..." though. What happend to yours then... censorship? :shock:

The lateness of the postings is also bothersome, since it takes several weeks for a new topic to appear.

You're right - however the new topic is usually online on the ftp server on the day the new competition starts (but only few know...) It seems that the IRTC admins have a number of scripts that run some automated tasks, but haven't finished them (the topic is posted to the FTP server's welcome text, but not to the HTTP page...)

I've posted an response to the POV-Ray board about this.
Good, let's see what responses you get.

Well, on with the show. I'm giving some additional thought to the latest topic, to see if I can't come up with something that's a bit more "animated", in response to the lackluster score of "moai".

This reminds me that I do have a subtitle feature in IMP-Edit... So I wouldn't change the script just because of that.

We could do Lip-syncing without sound using subtitles and that Karaoke ball that jumps from syllable to syllable :wink:
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby sascha » Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:24 pm

David, you're comments show up in the ftp directory as "additional-comments", but they are not on the website :(
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:28 pm

I was wondering if perhaps they were your comments. It seems odd that you didn't get any attribution on them.

I got a prompt reply from Bill Marrs. It's a very diplomatic reponse :?
I'm sorry some of the comments you got were seemingly misguided. We don't have much control over what people say in comments and that has sometimes been an issue. It's hard for us to address such things.

The IRTC Anims Rules say this regarding audio:

5.d "MPEG audio streams are allowed in the animation file, but not everyone will be able to hear them; also remember that judges are instructed to focus on the rendered animation. For the time being, audio streams will probably be just a waste of space."

I think that's pretty clear and is what we intend. I'm not sure how we would clarify that.

Since the rule does say "not everyone will be able to hear them", it seems a fair criticism to remark that and animation doesn't work without sound turned on. The second comment I suspect was just poorly worded. They said, "the guidelines are to judge without sound", but probably meant, "the guidelines are to disregard the sound in an animation".

What we often see are sub-titles in IRTC animations, if dialog is required to convey meaning. This can be done in addition to sound.
We'll see how it plays out on the POV-Ray board. :D
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:33 am

All in all I'm quite happy. The animation was made with early versions of an animation tool and a renderer - and if you subtract the time it took to write and tweak JPatch and Inyo, it took just two days to create it - so what could be done if one spends three month for creating an animation...

But of course the soundtrack/dialog issues need to be clarified to avoid future frustrations...
I've posted a comment to the irtc newsgroup.
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby animohn » Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:50 pm

I wouldn't concern yourself too much on the results or criticism from the IRTC contest. Competitions are always subjective and criticism not always constructive. The important thing is you gain practical experience with jpatch that goes into the development of the product and pushes the product. I think continuing to use the IRTC for this purpose regardless the voting results is very valuable. Perhaps you guys should also set as a goal getting a full blown top quality animated short produced for the SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival http://www.siggraph.org/s2005/main.php?f=cfp&p=caf to spotlight Jpatch.
animohn
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:19 pm

Postby pndragon » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:30 pm

Perhaps you guys should also set as a goal getting a full blown top quality animated short produced for the SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival

This sounds like a great suggestion...perhaps too much credit is being given to the comments of people who have not put in nearly as much work to put out the same product.

If the contest had included building the tools, Sascha and David would have won.
pndragon
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:27 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby dcuny » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:23 pm

I don't think that JPatch is quite up to being able to stand at Siggraph with world-class applications. Besides, the deadline is March 11!

Blender only recently got representation at Siggraph, and it's got a huge user base.

Maybe next year. :)
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby pndragon » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:31 pm

The suggestion was for 2006 not 2005...

I am brushing up on my Java skills... is there anything I can do?
pndragon
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:27 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby sascha » Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:13 pm

SIGGRAPH 2006

We'll see 8)

I am brushing up on my Java skills... is there anything I can do?


Right now the code is a bit messy, poorly documented and contains a lot of obsolete classes or methods (remainings from experiments that I did not want to delete completely because they might be of use at a later time). Most of the code is experimental, and will change a lot before becoming reasonably stable. That's also the reason why there is no plugin interface yet. I started all the mess, so I think I'll have to finish the cleanup alone :(

Anyway, after the "bleeding edge" release is out I plan to re-activate the CVS at sourceforge. Currently I could need some help with GUI interface design. For the animator I switched to Buoy and all the dialogs in JPatch could need some re-design. All the preferences are scattered across multiple menu-items, it would be nice to have a single preferences dialog (e.g. with multiple tabs for each group of options).

There are also a lot of things I haven't started yet, so if someone likes to do that, just go ahead:
* A new material concept. It should be state of the art (multiple channels, extensible, programmable,...), should feature a GUI editor and the possibility to script (e.g. using bean-shell), and it should be possible to convert the materials to RenderMan shaders or (perhaps in a limited way) POV-Ray textures.
* A DTD for the XML file formats used.
* A couple of other things... (e.g. there are some features that are not accessible simply because they have no GUI...)

We can use the Wiki to agree on design and implementation issues. Let me know what you think...
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:42 pm

How's progress on bones look? The IRTC deadline's now only about a month away, and the script is pretty hefty! If you think there's need, I can start trying to come up with a more parsed-down idea...

One that someone suggested on the board was a "Rusty" imposter. This might actually fit fairly well, since JPatch currently does rotations and translations. There'd be need to cheat in some places - for example, instead of doors swinging open, you could slide them open instead.

I'm thinking of something along the lines of a robot claiming to be the latest "Rusty" submission for the IRTC contest. The reviewer calls it a fake, explaining that Rusty is "rounder" or "yellow", at which points the imposter can morph to match the attribute. (You might want to hold off on the "reflective" parameter until last, since it slows down rendering!)

The imposter would finally be "found out" when the reviewer points out that the real Rusty animations are always silent... ;)
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

PreviousNext

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron