Friday, 18 November 2011

A Lighter Workload

It's been a little while, sort of missed my schedule on updating the blog. Still, I have updates to provide! Finished the animating project, here's the final render.


As usual with my work, I can't say I'm completely happy with it. It's quite jerky and robotronic at the start, with some moves I think are quite fast. On the whole I think it sort of gets the point across, but I could have pushed it further.

With regards to what I've been working on at the moment, we've just started the next section on Advanced Techniques. This time around its lighting and compositing, not exactly my forte as I haven't done it before, but it should be interesting and fun anyway.

First stop was to light a scene with three balls, using only standard lights. Which sounds simple but then we needed one chrome/metallic/reflective ball, one glass/refractive ball and one self-illuminating glowing ball. Also a red and a blue wall on either side which we'd need to simulate the reflected light from, as with standard lights we had no Global Illumination or Final Gather to play with. I think my attempt turned out fairly well, but I'm pretty sure I overdid some of the lighting a little. Need to work on my subtlety...

Other than that we have to do a studio light setup for our hand model, then the tricky part is two composite shots. Both live action camera shots, with an object realistically lit, placed and textured so it blends in as seamlessly as possible. Still keeping up with drawing a fair bit, but I'm not going to throw loads of images up any more as it wastes a lot of space really. So yeah, between this, that and a couple of other bits and bobs, I've been kept pretty busy recently.

Hopefully I'll update vaguely on time next time...

(also please excuse the terrible pun in the post title)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Animating At Last!

This week we've finally started animating our scene, so we've got about 3 weeks to get it done. First week of that  I spent blocking out to try and pin the scene down, although seeing as it's now Thursday I'm a little further than I would have been if I'd updated my blog on time. But to blazes with that, I'll just put stuff up whenever, once a week at least though. 

I'll stop beating about the bush now anyhow, here's my block.


There are some bits which are admittedly ropey, but those are largely in areas where I don't want to spend too long fixing keys that I'm going to rip out anyway to smooth my curves. My main concern is that he's maybe too energetic, but I'll see how it looks as I get further into my smoothing and maybe take some of the large poses out, or scale them down a bit. The teapot is sort of a placeholder at the minute, I'm hoping to put a guy in it if I get chance. If not, then I guess at least CG people won't be confused as to why there's a giant teapot

Another thing any game art/animation types might be interested in: the latest episode of Extra Credits: 
Nice and daunting. It's a good show as well if you're interested in the industry, they make some good points.

Also: some drawings again! 


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Holy Belated Blog Post Batman!

So I was supposed to update this yesterday but I didn't really have much to show. Here's a bit more stuff on my current project. I've not got pre-prod stuff scanned in but at least I have the rough turnaround images I can show you.

The gist of the project is that we get given a sound clip (around 10-11 seconds, like the 11 second club), and then we have to animate a short performance piece to it. We get 4 weeks to do it, including pre-production, so hopefully I can put something nice together.

As we're using the LowMax rig (by Peter Starostin I believe), we've also been tasked with a sort of character design excercise. Basically we can make whatever character we want, with the obvious limitation of making it fit with the rig without destroying it. I'll pop up my blocks with the sound clip next week when I've got it done, but for now I'll just show you my turnarounds and rig etc. Also, don't expect the sound clip to have much to do with my rig and set, seeing as I've just put (read: crowbarred) it into a new setting.

Here's the rough turnaround for my guy.
And now here he is in a pose. An awful pose that isn't even in my animation mind you, but a pose nonetheless. Additionally - catapult!

So there's the physical work, sorry I've denied you the amusement of looking at my diabolically bad thumbs and LAVs, but I'll put them up next week in animatic form alongside my block, so you can see how they line up.

On the drawing side of things, I took an "executive decision" to stop trying for 100 drawings a fortnight. It was too static a schedule to work with, as the amount of work for practicals fluctuates from week to week a little, and I don't want my drawings to either end up being rushed and shoddy or affecting my practical work.

Here's a few human figures I did this week. If you're wondering where I got the reference images from, there's a great little site called Artsy Poses that's recently started up. They've got a good number of photos on there, so if you're interested I'd highly recommend it.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Into Minor Project

Didn't update last week, as I was busy and I never really found the time. I'll leave posting the advanced techniques stuff here, as I don't really have any render's I'm pleased with. Rendering as PNG did some odd stuff to the transparency I think unfortunately.

So instead I'll post up the results of last week's brief, which was to create two sets of storyboards, one for an advert that has already been made (sort of an exercise in devolving the ad back to storyboard form), and a page from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Script.

The ad I chose was an advert for Kelloggs Frosties, which meant lots of drawing Tony the Tiger, but gave me the advantage of having nice clean shots to work back from.

In the interest of space, I'll just put an example board in the post here, and then a link to the Picasa album at the bottom. Here's one from the Frosties ad.

The Turtles script was from an episode called The Mobster From Dimension X, which is about a guy called the Globfather, who comes and does terrible, terrible things. As you can expect Turtles become involved and the aforementioned terrible things are resolved through the use of Ninjitsu, the eating of pizza, and in this case, remote controlled cars and industrial strength vacuums.

The page I was allocated was essentially during a scene in which Donatello and The Evil Warlord Dregg™ are fighting to wrest control over a satellite with a big 'ol laser on it. I'm fuzzy on the purpose of the laser at this point but rest assured The Evil Warlord Dregg™ probably wants it for doing evil warlord-y stuff, and you can all feel happy when he gets his comeuppance. (If you want to see said comeuppance you're gonna have to find the blog of whoever did page 44, because in mine he just gets slightly annoyed by a remote controlled car).

So anyway, here's a board from the turtles script.

This week, pre-prod for the main section of minor project, which involves doing a short animation of a sound clip we've been allocated. Should be fun!

StoryBoarding - Minor Project

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Week 1 - Advanced Techniques - Modelling a hand

So this week we started modelling for advanced tech. We started out with a 24-hour bug modelling task, which turned out to be a pretty good way of getting into modelling. I did a black widow, but swiftly found out how much of  a pain 8 legs are to attach fluidly. Still, I learned a lot on this short task, and hopefully it shows on the hand.

Here's the spider.

After that we began modelling the hand, I don't have much in progress stuff to show to be honest, and I'll probably post my pre-production up next week when I've finished my 100 hands drawings too; I'm currently just about on schedule on 40 or so. Here's my first (well technically second after my little practice run) attempt at the hand.

This first one was arguably better sculpted (for now, I still have a day left to model a bit more before we start rigging), but I wasn't happy with the edge flow, it had given me some tri's, and there were a lot of poly's in places where they weren't adding much to the overall mesh. After a big overhaul and some serious chopping up, here's my second attempt.

And vertex painted so you can see the loops:

It's still not as defined as the other, but it has roughly the same detail on the loop count, and the fingers and thumb are actually higher poly (ten-sided), thanks to an extra loop running right the way round the edge of the hand. This one is all quads, no tri's or n-gons; I took a time lapse of sorting out the edge flow and my somewhat trial and error attempts at moving the poles around to correct the flow, which I'll probably post sometime next week. This hand needs a little more sculpting to get it right (the palm creases are using the crease setting on the edges for example, which looks a little inorganic to me).

As for my narrative and critical studies, they're both in the conceptualising stage at the minute, although we have to write a script for narrative forms, so I may post up the development of that if I get chance.

Like I mentioned previously, my drawings are currently halfway through the 100, so I'll post those as next weeks update, which will be a big one as it's the hand in for advanced tech part 1, as well the end of my 100 hands.

    See ya next week.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Week 0 Modelling - Stagecoach

Being an animator I've not done a great deal of modelling, so I decided (seeing as the first week of Advanced Techniques next week is modelling) to get a little practice. I put this together over the past couple of day's in Max 2012.

It's fairly rough around the edges, and most of the components don't really fit together, but it was good practice at modelling so that's not too important. I won't develop it any more now as I'll reserve my time for my actual Uni work.

Week 0 - Proportion Drawing - Part 1

My first week's drawing at uni. It was induction week this week, so we had no set work. I was intending to do 100 over the first two weeks, and continue that through out the year, to keep up the practice. However after a little thought I've decided to put off drawing the second batch of 50 till week 3 (it's technically week 0 at the moment). The reason being that we begin the Advanced Techniques module as of week 1, which involves modelling, texturing, rigging and skinning a hand, over a course of two weeks, so I think I'd be better served by drawing hands over that for that fortnight, then returning to the bodies in week 3. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

It's a Blogstravaganza!

As I've not updated recently, I'm piling a fair bit on today. I decided to leave the dinosaur animation for now, and possibly go back to it later, as I really want to get chance to do some character animation before the end of summer. After scouring The Daily.wav for a nice clip, which wasn't too complex, I came across a nice piece from on of the X-men films (no idea which).

I won't spam my own page by separating the posts, so I'll just stick both the testers I have in this post. I'm currently just getting out of blocking, and tweaking and smoothing into the first bit. As you can see, the timing is still rough, and the speed of his motions is a little inconsistent. Hopefully I'll get that ironed out in the coming days and smooth out the rest of it. The facial animation is ok at the minute, but I'd like to fine tune it. The controls on the eyebrows and eyelids were broken on the file I downloaded (I should have checked before I animated), so I've had to strip out the controls and do them manually. Towards the end I'll probably either add morphs or animate a bend modifier on the eyebrows, as they're a little rigid.

Draw 100 Faces

Long time no post, but I've been a bit caught up with other stuff lately, so unfortunately I've been working slow. Anyway, I finally finished some drawing I've been working on, namely 100 drawing of faces (hence the title). Took me way longer than I expected, but I learned a lot, particularly about drawing masses rather than shapes. No shading, but frankly I'd have been there till the end of summer if I was shading them all.

The draw 100 idea is from Matt Kohr's excellent site over at Ctrl+Paint. I'm not much of a painter myself, but he gives out some helpful tips and advice, in a great simplified way.

I did them on paper, as my Photoshop sketching is somewhat... sketchy? Anyway its not that good is the point. On to some character animation next I hope.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Xtreme Dinosaurs

First content post, and its just a test. Still blocking, only really done the key poses so far, and a few need tweaking. Ill get the extremes I need and the breakdown poses in, then start smoothing it out.

The rig is Cryptic Studios' free practice rig 'CrypticAR', and is available here.
It's really nicely set up, and let's you get straight into it, which is perfect for practice.

Will post more when I've done some.

Blogging It Up

So, I've finally given in and gotten down with the kids and there bloggering. I'll post work and work related stuff here, unless I forget to update it (which is pretty likely).