Sunday, October 24, 2010

Summer ends and project Piggy bank

Well, I worked all summer. No, it wasnt for a studio or anything like it. So I couldnt get more good stuff to put in my portfolio. So there is a lot of catching up for me to do now.

My 2d and 3d animation (malfunction and Stoneage) were shown at a couple of festivals, one of which the Moscow festival of Contemporary Animation . Unfortunately their website is in flash, so in order to see my entry, you need to go to English>Participant2010> and I am under number 44

EDIT: Just received a honorary letter from the general Producer of the festival.

And while being at it, here is a screenshot of the finalists page of CG coach awards, where you will find me listed. I am putting it on a screenshot, just in case they take the website down.

Second year of university started and I've been busy doing all sorts of class assignments. Somehow inbetween the whole chaos, there is still time for me to have fun with new software.

Let me first start with whats my homework for this semester. A 30 second (tops!) 3d animated film featuring a girl lifting a heavy object. I already had two storyboards which I was eager to do, but then a certain someone decided that students should have less choice. So the tutor gave me a list of types of characters and things they can possibly do.
This was the one that:
a) everyone else was not doing
b) tolerable (one of them "auditioning for x factor" urgh and they expect me to do it without any voice/sound)

So I picked the girl scenario and quickly scribbled this storyboard literally a couple of hours before the deadline:
I still feel that the ending is weak. Maybe I can change it somehow.

And here is the concept art that I made:

Made with my favorite open source painting app- Mypaint

And then I modeled the girl with zbrush, fixed her topology on the hands and added detail in Maya. The retopology tool in zbrush 3 would create holes in the area of the hands. So the easiest approach there is to just do the tricky parts in Maya or blender.

Next on is UV mapping and texturing. Since the character is with a cartoony design, I decided to avoid putting much realistic details. With 3d its very easy and tempting to make the model pointlessly detailed, but less can be more in this case. UV mapping and texturing was done in Blender 2.54 and took a couple of hours.


I decided to give the new Blender a try, because it has some tools that are better than Maya's at the moment. Uv unwrapping and sculpting mode are especially nice in blender. My hope to see a better sculpting mode in Maya is almost nonexistent since Autodesk also owns Mudbox and likes it when people keep buying it.:P So yeah, its also 0$. Of course it has some annoyances and quirks, but the more I use it the easier it gets. Texturing mode in blender lacks symetry, or at least I couldnt find it. Also pressure sensitivity for my tablet model didnt work, so I made the simplest most basic texture possible.


Her shape still needs some tuning. I will use belnder's sculpting mode to fix the hips/legs and head. I noticed that when I import it and soften the edge normals in Maya, her proportions look kind of different to the eye. That might need some adjusting too.

My goals with this animation are:
-learn Blender 2.5 and integrate it in the pipeline (70% done- I need to learn more)
-use maya dynamics - Maya hair or Maya cloth, but keep it very cheap on CPU/render time. Do that after the animation is complete.
Deadline is till the end of semester one. This new knowledge will help me create the next project- a storyboard that I've been working on for a while now.

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