Request for advice on rendering and animating AutoCAD 14 solid model mechanical assemblies and devices

Hello everyone,
I have a small mechanical mechanism modeled as 3D solids in AutoCAD 14. I need a way to use the models to make a presentation to both
illustrate the operation principles, and show how the parts fit together and operate.
I would like to do this in the form of a document with 3D drawings and rendered images, and supporting text. I would also like to animate the solid models, to show how everything fits together and assembles. I would also like to show the assembled device in operation (it's just basically a few rotating parts and some springs).
Ideally the animation itself could be distributed in a format that could be played by Windows media player, quick-time, real-player or some other free viewer.
I am using windows 98, (I know I need to upgrade) and I am looking for the least expensive way to render and animate the solid models. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions anyone can offer.
For the written document, I thought of just pasting some rendered images and 3D drawings into a Microsoft word document, and then adding supporting written text. I could also possibly make a power-point presentation. AutoCAD 14 does not seem to render very well by todays standards, so I will probably have to find something else to render the solid models.
As for the animations, I am not sure. I have seen some fantastic looking stuff made in 3D studio max, but that's very expensive like AutoCAD, and I would probably need an older version to run on windows 98. They make some freeware rendering animation programs like Povray www.povray.org, but all of the programs like this that I have seen, don't really lend themselves to working with CAD files or 3D solid models.
Hopefully there is some cost effective way for me to create the animation.
Thanks for your help. John
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Try Accurender. It's extremely easy to use, quite inexpensive and runs from within AutoCAD. You can download a demo version from their site.
However, Accurender doesn't do object animation. I've gotten around that by manipulating the objects and re-rendering for each frame, but it's a laborious, time consuming process. However, you could easily set up a "flyaround" animation in Accurender to look at your model.
Download VideoMach to stitch together all your frames into an AVI file, add music, etc. It's shareware with nag screens that can be safely ignored.
Marc

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Hi John2005, I gave a little example how to simulate 3d-moves using AutoLISP at www.black-cad.de. Notice that my method only works for open cinematic chains (translation- and rotation-joints). In case of interest contact me regards Jochen

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Hi Marc & Jochen,
Thanks for your replies.
Jochen, I looked at your website and the lisp animation routine looks interesting.
However, once the animation is made within AutoCAD, how can I distribute the animation so people who do not have AutoCAD can view the animation ?
Thanks John
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My "real-time motion- simulation on screen" uses AutoLISP, i.e. you must have an AutoCAD (or an Intellicad or so) Sorry - Jochen

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John2005 wrote:

Why don't you just capture your screen as a video using AviScreen or CapturePad and distribute the animation as an AVI or other common form.
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