Monday, 1 October 2007

Day270 Ep51 Groupwork and Theo Jansen

Episode 51 Groupwork
We (Team Stimpy) met and worked together on 3D&2D where we sorted out a good deal of logistics. We now have the master files and referencing in place along with better teamwork in this construction process. I will generate some screenshots of where the modelling, rigging and animation of the other guys is at to include here.

Project Scoping
Names assigned are for primary responsibility with contributions from all.
  • Design: Project Concept (all)
  • Design: Character Designs (GH)
  • Design: Character Dossiers (YE)
  • Design: Script and base timing (GH)
  • Mgt: Setup file organisation and sharing (YE)
  • Mgt: Setup standards - units, filenames (YE)
  • Mgt: Setup full schedule and responsibilities (GH)
  • Mgt: Maintain Master Project (JL)
  • Model: Bimbo : build model/mesh, uv, texture, material and blend targets (GH)
  • Model: 3D: build model/mesh, uv, texture, material and blend targets (YE)
  • Model: 2D: build model/mesh, uv, texture, material (JL)
  • Model: Pic: build model/mesh, uv, texture, material (GH)
  • Model: Bimbo: rig, skin and blend target binding (JL)
  • Model: 3D: rig, skin and blend target binding (JL)
  • Model: 2D: rig, skin and binding to animated face texture (JL)
  • Scene: build background and full set for reflections (JL)
  • Scene: build lighting setup (JL)
  • Scene: setup cameras for each shot (YE)
  • Animation: 3D tests (YE)
  • Animation: Bimbo tests (GH)
  • Animation: build 2d animatic (GH)
  • Animation: build basic 3d animatic (JL)
  • Animation: build smooth character and interactive animation (JL)
  • Animation: time facial animations, blinks etc (JL)
  • Animation: refinements, better flow and detailing (JL)
  • Animation: create 2Ds face in Flash. (GH)
  • Sound: get score and sound effects (GH)
  • Sound: record and prep voices (YE)
  • Rendering: build and render out static images - for intro and credits (all)
  • Rendering: Render out beauty passes of full 15 seconds (GH)
  • Compositing: bind it all together in post (JL)
  • Compositing: build credit reel (YE)
  • Mgt: build final submission with references to Mac-vs-PC and other context. (GH)
  • Misc: Write up logbooks (all)
By way of timelines we are geared up to have a full 3D animatic with the rigs and models imported for the firs class back (8 days). This should give us enough time to work on the animation refinement, render quality and compositing.

My short range tasks are:
  • Check in with James on Bimbo outline structure for rigging
  • Test spline IK hair animation logic for Bimbo.
  • Build walk test animation with test rig for Bimbo (see her shapely motion in action)
  • Build blend target mouths for Bimbo
  • Build final Photo image
  • Add photo_image to photo_fall animation
  • (Maybe build 2D as well)
Spline IK Hair
Though there are plenty of ways to build IK_splines (like this one from Animation artist or this one from peachpit) I built a simpler test with a cylinder and a simple spline setup. Once I understood that it was only the curve that could be edited/animated it all started to fall into place. It is very tricky to select the spline handles - I will need to find a better way than using layers to help with that as well. (Create joints, select them and bind smooth to geometry, create IKspline which generates the curve, use Rebuild Curve to add or remove spline handles)

Bimbo Walk Test Animation
So with my test rig for Bimbo and the ik_spline hair I created a quick 60 frame animation to show how she sways and if her structure works in 3D after her walktest 2D animatic.


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Theo Jansen and his Strandbeests
I was enlightened as to the existence of artist Theo Jansen via his TED Talk coming up on my iPod. AMAZING.
His Strandbeests are mechanical creatures that inhabit a beach in Holland where they move and draw power from the wind. The movement is quite special to watch - the creations have a natural grace to them that is jaw-dropping.
TED Talk
Youtube Documentary Clip (embeded below) and a longer but lower quality version

Though the beests are constructed, they have got me thinking about animation in the virtual 3D space as well. Building movement that flows and systems that are internally consistent - simple yet performing great feats of complexity. I hope he keeps it up.
Indeed here is a CG Simulation of the strandbeest walk mechanics.

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Greg Staples in ImagineFX
My latest copy of ImagineFX Mag has a nice feature article on Greg Staples. The vibrant passion that he brings to his subject matter is refreshing in the fantasy genre where static pose work is very common. His imagery for Magic the Gathering is inspiring - I would love to bring that level of intensity and emotion into my CG work. His site has plenty of great examples to draw inspiration from.

[Greg Staples Djinn image for Wizards of the Coast from his site]

Ryan3D took this artwork as concept and built a full ZBrushed model of the Djinn. Great to see
and I hope Greg would appreciate it.

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