Inventor General Discussion

Inventor General Discussion

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Contributor
noteon
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-19-2004
Message 1 of 28 (141 Views)

Inventor Studio head-scratching

141 Views, 27 Replies
03-31-2006 08:46 AM
Hello, all.

I'm a graphic artist and filmmaker, not an industrial designer. I do work for a manufacturer of lighting fixtures, and they want me to create animations that show the guys on the shop floor how to put their fixtures together.

I've been exploring Inventor Studio, and it seems extremely lame to me, at least for this kind of project. Before I tell my client this is the wrong software for the project, I'm hoping somebody might be able to tell me I'm wrong about the following things. Thanks in advance.

1. When animating constraints, there's no way to make parts move around each other instead of through each other.

2. When editing animation in the Animation Timeline, all you're affecting is the end position (the right-hand keyframe). The left-hand keyframe in any action is brain-dead; it contains no information except "This is an animation start time," and the only way to control the start position is to insert another animation before the one you're working with.

3. Animation edits often do not appear visually until the current timeline position is nudged and then returned to the current position.

4. There's no WYSIWYG option when animating a camera zoom.

5. Since "Animate Constraints" allows parts to move through each other, "Animate Components" won't work unless all constraints except those relevant to the current step of assembly are suppressed, and there's no way to animate constraint suppression, there's really no good way to show the several dozen stages of assembly I need in this project.
*Troy Grose
Message 2 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

03-31-2006 09:44 AM in reply to: noteon
You need to provide a movie to show the guys on the shop floor how to
put together light fixtures.....???

No offense but I am LMAO...thats hilarious.

noteon wrote:
> Hello, all.
>
> I'm a graphic artist and filmmaker, not an industrial designer. I do work for a manufacturer of lighting fixtures, and they want me to create animations that show the guys on the shop floor how to put their fixtures together.
>
> I've been exploring Inventor Studio, and it seems extremely lame to me, at least for this kind of project. Before I tell my client this is the wrong software for the project, I'm hoping somebody might be able to tell me I'm wrong about the following things. Thanks in advance.
>
> 1. When animating constraints, there's no way to make parts move around each other instead of through each other.
>
> 2. When editing animation in the Animation Timeline, all you're affecting is the end position (the right-hand keyframe). The left-hand keyframe in any action is brain-dead; it contains no information except "This is an animation start time," and the only way to control the start position is to insert another animation before the one you're working with.
>
> 3. Animation edits often do not appear visually until the current timeline position is nudged and then returned to the current position.
>
> 4. There's no WYSIWYG option when animating a camera zoom.
>
> 5. Since "Animate Constraints" allows parts to move through each other, "Animate Components" won't work unless all constraints except those relevant to the current step of assembly are suppressed, and there's no way to animate constraint suppression, there's really no good way to show the several dozen stages of assembly I need in this project.
*Andrew Faix \(Autodesk\)
Message 3 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

03-31-2006 09:53 AM in reply to: noteon
I'm not trying to dissuade you from studio, but you might have better (or
quicker) success creating an animation via a presentation file. Start with
Help, and there are various tutorials and examples available with a little
poking around.

--
Andrew Faix
Product Designer - Inventor Drawing Manager
Autodesk


wrote in message news:5128434@discussion.autodesk.com...
Hello, all.

I'm a graphic artist and filmmaker, not an industrial designer. I do work
for a manufacturer of lighting fixtures, and they want me to create
animations that show the guys on the shop floor how to put their fixtures
together.

I've been exploring Inventor Studio, and it seems extremely lame to me, at
least for this kind of project. Before I tell my client this is the wrong
software for the project, I'm hoping somebody might be able to tell me I'm
wrong about the following things. Thanks in advance.

1. When animating constraints, there's no way to make parts move around each
other instead of through each other.

2. When editing animation in the Animation Timeline, all you're affecting is
the end position (the right-hand keyframe). The left-hand keyframe in any
action is brain-dead; it contains no information except "This is an
animation start time," and the only way to control the start position is to
insert another animation before the one you're working with.

3. Animation edits often do not appear visually until the current timeline
position is nudged and then returned to the current position.

4. There's no WYSIWYG option when animating a camera zoom.

5. Since "Animate Constraints" allows parts to move through each other,
"Animate Components" won't work unless all constraints except those relevant
to the current step of assembly are suppressed, and there's no way to
animate constraint suppression, there's really no good way to show the
several dozen stages of assembly I need in this project.
*Expert Elite*
mcgyvr
Posts: 6,832
Registered: ‎12-01-2004
Message 4 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

03-31-2006 10:03 AM in reply to: noteon
yeah Ive used presentation files to do exactly what you want.
but your right its far from being an advanced animation tool.

IMO one quick hands on training (walk through) for the assemblers and they would know how to do it, versus you taking hours to construct the animation file exactly how you would want it.
Did you find this reply helpful ? If so please use the Accept as Solution or Kudos button below.

Down with IDW/DWG files..... Long live 3D PMI... Hurry it up already..
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Contributor
noteon
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-19-2004
Message 5 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

03-31-2006 10:09 AM in reply to: noteon
Thanks. I'll look into doing it with a presentation file instead.

As for using training movies at all, it actually makes sense in context. But if I have to spend weeks swearing at brain-dead software for every single fixture variation, the drawbacks will outweigh the benefits.
*Bill Bogan
Message 6 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

03-31-2006 03:22 PM in reply to: noteon
In response to your comments below, a little background and hopefully a
little help.

Inventor Studio was not made with the filmographer/animator in mind, but
with the mechanical designer. We condensed the controls into simpler
controls and made use of Inventor constraints to animate the products. To
assist in working with Studio you may want to try a couple of things.

I'd like to know more about what you're trying to accomplish so I might
suggest some alternatives. Do you have a storyboard of sorts you could
share? Meanwhile.... some thoughts...

1. Consider the use of a wrapper assembly. Let's say you have a light
fixture and you want to show how its made. Place that assembly inside a new
assembly so that you will be able to animate that assembly in whole or part.
With that fixture in an assembly, and not constrained, you can move it
wherever you like.

2. You can control the start position of any component in one of two
ways....
1. Position it while in the assembly and then enter Studio. It
adopts the assembly condition as the animation model state for the start of
the animation. You can also suppress constraints before going into Studio
with the same effect.
2. Enter Studio, the first "animation step" would be to suppress
the constraint. You do this by depressing the suppress button in the Animate
constraint dialog box. Its an instantaneous action that lasts until you turn
it on again.

3. I need to mess with this to see what's happening.

4. You can link the camera animation to the view (link checkbox on dialog)
or use the camera animation method demonstrated in the tutorial at
www.b2-design.biz/tuts.html

5. Using the Animate constraint command, click the suppress button instead
of the constraint value button on the dialog. (Middle of three)

Finally, my guess is you're using R10 and Inventor studio is in its first
release and thus immature in its tools and workflow. R11, no help I realize,
is considerably better for working with.

Hope I've helped some....
--
Bill Bogan Product Designer - Inventor Autodesk, Inc.



wrote in message news:5128434@discussion.autodesk.com...
Hello, all.

I'm a graphic artist and filmmaker, not an industrial designer. I do work
for a manufacturer of lighting fixtures, and they want me to create
animations that show the guys on the shop floor how to put their fixtures
together.

I've been exploring Inventor Studio, and it seems extremely lame to me, at
least for this kind of project. Before I tell my client this is the wrong
software for the project, I'm hoping somebody might be able to tell me I'm
wrong about the following things. Thanks in advance.

1. When animating constraints, there's no way to make parts move around each
other instead of through each other.

2. When editing animation in the Animation Timeline, all you're affecting is
the end position (the right-hand keyframe). The left-hand keyframe in any
action is brain-dead; it contains no information except "This is an
animation start time," and the only way to control the start position is to
insert another animation before the one you're working with.

3. Animation edits often do not appear visually until the current timeline
position is nudged and then returned to the current position.

4. There's no WYSIWYG option when animating a camera zoom.

5. Since "Animate Constraints" allows parts to move through each other,
"Animate Components" won't work unless all constraints except those relevant
to the current step of assembly are suppressed, and there's no way to
animate constraint suppression, there's really no good way to show the
several dozen stages of assembly I need in this project.
Contributor
noteon
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-19-2004
Message 7 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

04-03-2006 08:02 AM in reply to: noteon
Bill, my assumption at this point is that Studio is unsuitable for my needs, and that an IPN file will work better, but I appreciate your reply. I'll see if I can scan and supply some of the photographic storyboards created by the shop foreman, but they're on big pieces of cardboard right now.

Some thoughts in response to yours:

The lack of documentation is a big handicap to me (especially the lack of printed--or even printable--documentation). Online help files don't serve the same purpose. However, I figured out, eventually, that Studio is for showing things moving along their constraints, and the word "animation" doesn't really apply in its usual sense. So I think in large part, I've been trying to get a dog to bark like a cat.

I haven't tried using a wrapper assembly, but the removal of constraints won't quite accomplish what I need.

Some background that might help clarify my needs: I'm the graphic design department here, and in addition to Quark/Illustrator/Photoshop, I have a film/video/audio background, so my client figures I can do this for them, and they can get my film/video skills at Quark/Illustrator prices (which is fine by me). However, I'm not the one making the models, and I'm not an Inventor guy in the first place. (And I was a victim of the Inventor-to-Viz plugin that didn't work, so I've admittedly got a chip on my shoulder regarding Autodesk in the first place.)

I assume I need constraints so that I have the basic information of "Where does this part go?" at hand. However, that puts me into dilemma territory: Without the constraints, I can move the parts but don't know where to put them, and with them, I know where to put them but can't move them there. Suppressing them as needed is a possible--if awkward--solution, but then I bump into the fact that I can't alter their paths,so they often move through each other in physically impossible and visually confusing ways.

Controlling the start position of a component in Assembly makes sense for the needs of a mechanical designer (i.e., showing the gears turning and the parts moving), but is awkward for what I'm trying to do. I want to tell the program that at THIS keyframe, the part is HERE, and that THAT keyframe, it's THERE. Again, the lack of documentation made it a very frustrating experience, trying to figure out exactly what the hell was being edited when I right-clicked a track in the Action Editor and chose EDIT. My assumptions got in the way: I assumed the existence of a keyframe on a track meant that keyframe contained something. But it doesn't. That being the case, I'd suggest not showing a white box on the left of the blue bar, as it's visually misleading. Just show the blue bar starting, and then show it ending in a box on the right.

I'd also appreciate a chart or something that shows me what Studio does, as opposed to the IPN and MAX options.

Which brings me back to something I've brought up twice already:

DOCUMENTATION!

The online help files are not helpful unless you already know the program--at least, that's my experience. I NEED A MANUAL! I'll print PDFs if I have to, but... NO manual AT ALL? What is this, Customer Depreciation Day?

If my experience with other companies holds true here, you already know a manual is a necessity, but your management decided to leave it out in order to save money. So I'm not yelling at you guys who do the actual work, and who pop up in the forums and help people--but yes, I'm definitely yelling at management, so please feel free to forward this up the chain. Software--ANY software, even software less complex than this--needs manuals, and the decision to omit them is evidence of a profound lack of customer care. Manuals are not mere niceties.

I hope you take this as I intended it, which is not a slap in your face at all; I really appreciate your taking the time to respond, and look forward to continuing the discussion--hopefully in a way that lets me get this project done as efficiently as possible.
Distinguished Contributor
tomc
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎11-17-2003
Message 8 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

04-03-2006 08:24 AM in reply to: noteon
What about simply doing a training DVD using video footage? That's what I do, works very well. It is also a lot easier for people to understand when they're seeing the actual parts and not a CAD model of a part.

Just a suggestion, I realize you may not have the choice.
Contributor
noteon
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎05-19-2004
Message 9 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

04-03-2006 08:35 AM in reply to: noteon
Yeah, I know; that seems the obvious way to go.

For one thing, I can't videotape them making a particular fixture unless they're tooled up for it, which only happens when an order for that fixture comes in.

That's the main reason. But I also think illustration is much clearer than photography for some documentary purposes. (Unless it's Ikea illustration, in which case I'd rather they just gave me a page with "HAHAHAHAHA!" written on it and let me guess how to put the thing together.)
Distinguished Contributor
tomc
Posts: 142
Registered: ‎11-17-2003
Message 10 of 28 (141 Views)

Re: Inventor Studio head-scratching

04-03-2006 08:45 AM in reply to: noteon
LMAO!
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