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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yashimo Set

Here is the Set environment for the SIGGRAPH Student Exhibition Animation Spot. Basically it is just a single show table with an easel. The easel is rigged to perfectly open and close on specific axis and angles from the top of the object. The Robot character known as Yashimo will be able to set up the easel and put his work or the Events banner onto it in one of the 5 second spots.

Yashimo will be created in the next couple of days and animated once I get back from Wyoming. The snowmobiling trip should be a nice break from the digital realm.

My Flower Girl

I couldn't sleep last night so I started messing with CS4's new navigation capabilities and Adjustment layers. I have been making Leann a Valentines Poster since we have been together. This is #3 Titled : My Flower Girl

This is a very similar style as my previous V-Day poster I gave her. I still want to incorporate a stem with similar style. I love working in primarily simple compositions with alot of contrast. So far, I have only used one image for this peice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SIGGRAPH Student Exhibition Animation

So, if life didn't offer me any other awesome projects to work on I would have been Happy. But of course, I receive yet another opportunity to stress out about. My SIGGRAPH Organization that I advise in threw an Animation Pitch competition last week during our X-Mas party. Several members pitched awesome ideas with concept art, storyboards, and Animatics... I had forgotten the one and only drawing I had for my pitch at home and had all but decided not to even attempt the pitch.

Of course I was pressured by a few of the officers since I had told them about my ideal a day or so before. So I did the pitch in front of all the student members with absolutely no visuals. Maybe I should be in sales or contract marketing because I won one of the three spots to develop the animation. Good news: it should be pretty awesome, Bad News: It has to be completed in 3 weeks.

Way to go Zeb... Ass. How did I manage to do it? Who knows. But I WILL win the competition.

So Below is the main character. The animation is acting as a video that we can play on our website and around campus to get more students and employers in the various industries to attend. It is between 5 and 10 seconds. I proposed to do (3) 3-5 second animations of a small Martian character (because of its simplicity to model and texture and light) getting ready for an interview.

- One scene he will be arranging his materials for the Student Exhibition and then the logo and event information will fly up and hit the camera.

- Another scene he will be practicing giving a handshake by himself and appear nervous and agitated, one of his resumes will fly off the table and slap the camera with the logo and event information.

The last scene he will be waiting patiently next to his portfolios and works and then beckon the viewer to his area to network. With the Exhibition logo and information slapping the screen at the end.

These (3) spots should be relatively simple, the character and his objects are all easy to model, texture, and light. The camera will be static through all of the shots and the environment will be all white.

The animation will take the longest and the use of sound effects should add a lot to the feeling and comedy of the character's situation as he prepares for the event.

Here is the Student Exhibition logo and Event information Developed by Jason Smith a CGT undergrad.

SIGGRAPH Student Exhibition
April 17th, 2009 5:00p.m.-11:00p.m.
IUPUI Campus Center
Indianapolis, Indiana

If you, your business, or any colleagues would like to attend this free event please contact me by email to register. zwood@iupui.edu Students and Industry professionals can register via the website.


The website may be on and off as we complete some updates...

Thanks for reading and check back soon for progresses on all my projects.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Muscle Update

Below are my paper notes on more Maya Muscle Tools:

There are many Paint Weight Attributes but there are a few main attributes that control overall movement of the skin geometry reaction to muscle and capsule:

Sticky: Amount 0-1 that controls how much each vertex sticks to the corresponding muscle.
Sliding: Amount 0-1 that controls how much each vertex slides to the corresponding muscles and capsules.

Amount 0-1 that controls how geometric skin is affected by gravity and speed of underlying capsules movement. Feedback only achieved after animation of capsules.
Cycle: Amount 0-1 that acts as a multiplier controlling how fast jiggling starts.
Relax: Amount 0-1 that controls how fast jiggling stops.
Wrinkle:Amount 0-1 that can be painted to encourage vertices to come closer together forming wrinkles.
Self Collisions: 0-1 Amount that helps Maya know where to watch out for geometry hitting itself.

Bone Conversion Issues:

Already mentioned, this toolset can use existing bone tools from Maya to convert existing bone objects into Capsules for muscle use. The process then continues regularly to add muscle objects to the newly converted capsule objects.

A downfall though is that pre-existing bone objects must have correct axis-orientation with one another. This is because when one creates bone chains it is possible to rotate a bone object out of alignment with its parent. Bone axis of rotation is independent of World Space axis.

In Maya, all bone axis at default point the X-axis towards the next child in the bone chain. If this isn’t true when bones are converted into capsules, it will cause random capsule creation and irregular results.

Fortunately this is easily remedied for the artist that is trying to convert Maya Bones into Maya Capsules by re-orienting the Maya bones so that they all follow the same axis of rotation before they are converted to Muscles. To do this Use the Re-Orient Tool in Maya’s Animation Tool.

Other tools of convenience are a Mirror Muscle/Capsule/ and Paint weights tool, which comes in handy for creatures and characters that are symmetrical. The artist can complete one side of the character and simply tell the computer the axis of reflection to mirror data over and apply it completely to the characters opposing half. This will speed up time and creation of rigs exponentially and will prove instrumental in future projects.

Another extremely powerful tool is the ability to attach muscles end affectors to other muscle objects. This allows for muscle stacking. Which in the face is crucial because there are layers of muscle that interact with each other between skin and skull.

All of these tools make for a very high set up time, but more importantly a toolset that is versatile enough to create an anatomically correct muscle driven rig for a human face.

Below is a simple arm rig to test some of the principles.