We have one other still during the narrative portion of Episode51, the shot with 3D and Bimbo heading off together. There is scope for a few more in the credits of course which could be fun.
So setting up the shot wasnt too hard, but the lighting warrants some attention and there seems to be issues with the lighting/texturing of the characters. Bits of them are turning out black and arent grabbing the light properly - perhaps a normals issue...
Will helped on this weirdness in class - not that we know what fixed it. It was one of those classic IT things where we muck around changing things then change it all back and it works. We had similar things with the main scenes which whenever strange things started to happen - a reload seemed to clean things up alot.
We recorded the voice Audio tonight which James is using for shots 4-6. Shot 4 is looking pretty good now with James starting to get some feeling into the robotic looking 3D that we have built. As soon as he hits frame 309 I might be able to dive into Shots 7 & 8. I had fun animating the photo, Bimbo's walk test and the character pull homework - so this should be fun toooo.
Team Fortress 2
I didnt ever play the first game, but seeing a little preview for Team Fortress 2 in my new PCPowerPlay mag (issue 145) by Kimberley Ellis inspired me to take a closer look. Valve have created the funniest FPS I have ever seen with glorious animation atop a lovely stylised look and feel. The animations on the site are an absolute MUST SEE. They showcase what can be done with a good engine, good rigs and a flair for animating with style.
I may be in the midst of animating in Maya, but the animation on show here running in realtime is quite inspiring. The characters have real life, personality and subtlety all brought to the fore by great animating - great job Valve.
The screenshots dont do this game justice, but they show the flavour and model quality very well. Here are 3 just lure you to their site to see the vids:
[screenshots from Team Fortress 2 from Valve's website]
This embedded clip has Valve talking about the creation of this potential masterpiece and its design and rendering.
Even though this awesome game (not to mention HL2:EP2) is out already, I am not going anywhere near it until after Session 2 is all done and dusted! (Hmmm I wonder if it even has bots - I like bots)
Brad Noble's Rig
I stumbled across Brad Noble's free rig on the Heavy Pixelation blog. Though my 3D course is in Maya at present there seems to be sooooo much overlap between the packages - and hte logic is essentially the same. The rig sports a nice reverse foot with rotations and angular controls and a whole lot more. I am not sure how this compares with say MotionBuilder, but it is a free rig and seems to do a great job of providing control and freedom with the sliders.
Brad's site also has some animation samples and showreels for us to admire. I like The Object Holding Test Teapot Guy - it is not only lovely to watch, but also reminds me of doing the pull-animation as the model is simple like Will's. The Showreel has plenty of fun pieces in it as well...
[image capture of part of Brad's website showing some of the animation samples of the rig in action]