Thursday, 16 August 2007

Day224 CG Vids, Chess Tutes and Mayaing

CG Vids
I downloaded all the animation finalists from the Architectural 3D Awards (http://www.cgarchitect.com/3dawards/) from yesterday. The are a real eye opener in that they are a nice mixture of narrative, personality, expressive thinking, exemplary modelling and skillfull control of all the cinematic aspects like sound, framing, motion, lighting etc. Often animation in the Architectural Visualisation area falls flat as simple fly-throughs or somehow ends up so 'arty' that the content is downplayed. These vids did a great job of occupying the middle ground here.
I am contacting them to see if we can get a DVD of the content in nice high-res versions for showing off to people here in FBE.

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Chess Piece Tutorials and Reference

Tutes
I am taking a different tack today, I was thinking of diving into some Maya tutorials for creating chess pieces. But now I think I will grab tutes on chess pieces that arent done for Maya as then I will have to re-apply the logic to the toolset I am trying to learn - cunning plan.
So here are some online tutes that have something to offer that I have found:
Youtube Pawn : vid of modelling a pawn in 3Dmax.
3D Nuts : 3Dmax poly modelling pawn - also has a tute to make it glass.
King : Cagedflame 3Dmax king tute.
XSI Knight : Tute for XSI modelling a knight.
Sketchup 3D Challenge : discussion on doing the chesswork in sketchup.

Reference Images
I dived into Google (as we all do) and grabbed some reference image locations that should prove helpful for various chess piece designs. Here are 4 links of note:
http://www.geocities.com/dermot_rochford/Antique_English_Chess_Sets.htm
http://www.chessngames.com/Chessmen.html
http://www.chesscentral.com/sets-pieces-chess/heritage-chess-set.htm
http://www.ukgamesshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=chluset

Cool Chess
Check out Thinking Machine 4's online chess game (http://turbulence.org/spotlight/thinking/chess.html) that shows us visually the analysis of the computer players thinking - very coooool.

[image from their site of the game in action]

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My Maya Chess Modelling
Well armed with a few hints from tutes and the reference image from Dermot I re-created my pawn and ended up with the images below. The modelling (simple nurb surface revolve from a curve) worked out fine and the timber and felt textures seem to look ok as well.
I then set about making a bishop, but am not sure exactly how to go about creating the slot in the top yet.

[images of my Maya modelling progress with a simple pawn]

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