Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Final Critique

Thursday, June 9, 3:30.
Oops--Miles is going to watch his one and only darling son graduate from 5th grade . . . at 1:30, so we'll use the 3:30 final time instead. Charge!

Show your final 3D film-give us a rough-cut (playblast is okay) put together in QuickTime, FinalCut, Premiere, IMovie, MacPaint, EtchASketch, or Wooly Willy. Audio is optional. Your final and all of your previous work should be up on YouTube and embedded in your site. Miles will then be able to have a cocktail and peruse your work at his leisure. . . And that is important.
 Animation student editing his final project in Wooly Willy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Arms. . . Fingers. . . Faces. . . Your life just got more complicated

Here are some full biped rigs to play with! Click the images to download!

Who will win? Pick a fave. Pit them against each other. Have them team up on poor Lt. Dan. Go crazy.

Also, if you're into exploring the unknown, head over to Creative Crash and check out their rig offerings!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lt. Dan Walk Cycle

Here's some stuff I threw together on planning a basic two-step walk. Click on the pictures for larger images

We'll take a look at these on Tuesday, April 26

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lt. Dan Rig

Behold, your next rig. This time we've got legs and feet. . . and an optional tail. This time, we're doing walk and run cycles. Oh yes. Click here to download the rig.
Lt. Dan and the bouncing ball rig were designed and built by Matt Ornstein! Props to him, I say!

Here's a 5 minute Miles video introducing the Lt. Dan rig:

Here's the link to the youtube page, if the embed video is lame.

Let's spend today (Tuesday, April 12) putting Lt. Dan through some basic jumps. We'll start in on walks and runs on Thursday, April 14.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Animation Project 01: Bouncing Ball 1

Project 1 
Create two short animation loops using a polygon sphere.
Create a couple of short animations (5-6 seconds) using the Ball Rig.
Loop 1 will be a ball bouncing.
  • New concepts: Timing and spacing
  • New tech: Graph Editor

Loop 2 a ball bouncing with squash and stretch.
  • New concepts: Hold keys and keying attributes separately

Ball Story by Swanky SOU Alum Steve Hammond

Your next bit of business is to create some 5-6 second animations using the ball rig. Click here to download the rig.
This animations must demonstrate
1. Squash and stretch.
2. Hold keys.
3. Anticipation.
4. Clear staging of action and narrative.
5. Realistic weight.
6. Smooth, natural motion arcs.

Be sure to check out Steve Hammond's Ball Story (above). It's a nice example of all of these things in action using the very same ball rig. Before you start animating, you must do a storyboard breakdown of the animation which includes all of the key poses and rough timings.

Here are the demo videos demonstrating storyboarding, holds, and animating a simple jump with the ball rig.

Below is the finished jump (after more timing adjustments than I covered in the videos).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Maya Timeline Reference

How to kick those keys around in the Timeline!
Turn Auto Keying on and off. Click the little key icon to the right of the timeline. Red is on, black is off.

Move a Single Key. Shift + Left Click on a key. Let go. Click and drag on the inner set of arrows to move it to its new location. When you're done, click somewhere else in the timeline to cancel out of the move/scale mode.

Move a Range of Keys. Shift + Left-click-drag a range of frames. They will turn red! Move the inner arrows to move that entire range of keys in the timeline.

Scale a Range of Keys. Shift + Left-click-drag a range of frames, as above. Yes, they will turn red! Move the outer arrows to the left to make the animation faster and move them to the right to make the animation slower. This is a very nifty way to quickly modify the timing of your animation. If you don't see the outer arrows, use the Range Slider to increase your playback range until you do! After you've adjusted your timing, if you're working on a cycle, use the handy Range Slider to adjust your playback range to fit your new timing.

Copy a Key. Right Click on a key and choose Copy from the fly-out menu.

Paste a Key. After copying a key, right click the frame into which you'd like to paste your copied keyframe. Choose Paste > Paste from the fly-out menu. Beware not to just click paste and let go. There are two pastes you have to choose. It's Maya, remember.

Change Playback Range. Enter new numbers in the inner set of boxes 'neath the timeline.

Change overall animation length. Enter new numbers in the outer set of boxes 'neath the timeline.

Delete a Key. Right-click on a key and choose Delete from the fly-out menu.

Set a Key for All Keyable Attributes.  Hit "S".

Key a Particular Attribute. Shift + W (move), Shift + E (rotate), Shift + R (scale).

Setting Up Maya Animation Preferences

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Final Project

Final Critique is Thursday, March 10 at 3:30 in ye olde Digital Studio MA 110.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project 3: Texture

Project 3: Continue creating your city shot by UV mapping and adding materials to your models.

In addition to the videos I've posted below,
Here is a really good short web tutorial intro to UV mapping in Maya.
Here is a zipped .pdf I put together on UV mapping a box in Maya.

UV Mapping 101. This set of videos takes you through the fundamentals of UV mapping.

UV Mapping 102. This set of videos takes you through the steps of creating a custom building texture in Photoshop, setting up image planes as templates for your model, and editing an object's UVs to match the texture map in Maya.

Find three images with textures that appeal to you. Describe the textures and how they work. How do they contribute to the overall mood and feel of the image. If it's a 3D image, where do you think the textures came from?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Project 2: Sub-object modeling & UV mapping

Take one of your scenes and work on it using modeling, uv mapping, and lighting. Objects closest to the camera will probably need the most modeling. Try to take a modular approach to modeling where you can. A single pillar can be duplicated several times to create an arcade, or girders can be duplicated to create a bridge or building. UV mapping can be a good cheap way to create visual interest with shoddy models. Lighting can create visual interest and an illusion of depth. Lighting can help focus attention on built up areas of the shot and de-emphasize the undercooked zones. Post jpgs of your work in progress. Final render due Tuesday, January 18.

Sub-Object Modeling Videos

Pick 3 landscape/cityscape images and analyze how they create the illusion of scale and depth. Touch on the following
1. General composition
2. Foreground, mid-ground, background relationships.
3. Scale contrast
4. Use of value contrast (differences between light and dark)
5. Color (intensity, palette, warm/cool colors)
6. Placement of details
7. Do the images make use of a repoussoir (framing) device?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Project 1: Blockville

Rock out with your blocks out!

1. Find 10 images that use scale contrast and composition to help create a sense of size and distance.  Post them to your blog with the title, "Project 1: Reference Material." Make sure you credit the artist for his/her work and provide a title, date, and a link back to the site that provided the work.

Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927). 

How's about some Piranesi? From the Carceri (Prisons) c. 1745-50. 
These have been a big influence on just about everybody designing big, fantastical scenes with gigantic architectural scale.

2. Choose 3 of the images and recreate them using only blocks and basic geometric primitives. Make sure you create a separate camera to maintain your shot composition. Render them out as 1000 pixel wide jpgs. Post them to your blog by Tuesday, January 11.

You are required to keep a blog for this course and post all of your lab projects there. If you're new to bloggin', I recommend blogger.com as it's free and easy to use. If you find a service that works better for you, however, by all means, go for it. Yes, you may use a blog you have started before this class, just make sure you label your posts clearly so I don't get cranky. Once you have your blog set up, post your name and your blog's URL as a comment to this post. You must do this today, January 4. Check the comments section of this post for an example of how to do this.

Take a photo of your self and post it in the "about me" section of your blog by Tuesday, January 11.

Each week, you'll have a reading or two and will write a reflective essay related to your project. You'll post your writing assignment to your blog along with your studio work. Your written reflection is 25% of your project grade and must be posted before class on Tuesday, January 11.
Here are your readings for the first week:
Reflective Essay Writing Tips For College Students
Interview with Joe Sanabria, Lead Artist, Fallout: New Vegas

Additional resources you may wish to consult:

Reflect on the process of doing your research and creating your scene. In two or three clear, precise paragraphs, try to answer at least three of the following questions: Did the interview give you any ideas on how to approach your project? Did you start with a plan and stick to it, or were there some unexpected discoveries along the way? Which do you think is your best final image? How did you decide a scene was 'finished'? Did you return to your work to edit it?  Did you have some ideas of images you wanted to work with or did you just dive into the internet and start looking? Did you learn anything from this project that will become a part of your regular creative process? What kind of emotional responses were you trying to evoke in your imagery?

I'll be using the following rubric to assess the project. 5 categories, maximum of 5 points per category. Click the image for a larger view or click here for the .docx file.

Here is a 10 minute video to get you started with Blockville!

How To Render: