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410 spline

Posted on March 25, 2007 
Filed Under Animation Mentor | Leave a Comment

Here is my latest assignment. Still a lot of work to do but I think it is getting somewhere. The obvious errors (floating CD, buried eyes, orange guy frozen at the end) are not the main problem, I will attend to them at polish time.

4101.jpg

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Studio Soi: Computer Love

Posted on March 20, 2007 
Filed Under Animation | 1 Comment

studiosoi.jpg

Ok this is old news but I hadn’t been checking Studio AKA’s website for quite a while and catching up with their latest work today I found “Computer Love”, a series of online adds from Studio Soi to promote instant messaging software ComBOTS.

Check them here (new link from Studio AKA website)

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Editing 101

Posted on March 20, 2007 
Filed Under Tablet PC | Leave a Comment

I don’t have much time right now but I am gonna talk about video editing very soon using as an example one of those 30 seconds Mac/PC Apple campaign and specifically the one called “Better results”. Why that one? well because the girl is hot and it makes my blog more attractive ;-)

Close your eyes, think about any of those ads and ask yourself: “how many shot do they use for such and advert?” Just like many things, a good editing is a simple and seamless one. This is what this post is about. How can you make a 30s commercial that has a good pace without being too snappy or too flat?
editing101.jpg

How yeah the last slide is not part of the ad but I thought it would be a good idea to put it there just to balance things up a bit ;-)

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Brussels get a make over

Posted on March 19, 2007 
Filed Under Animation Mentor, Portfolio | Leave a Comment

I started customizing one of the AM rigs today.

Brussels got a make over from head to toes using my newly acquired photoshop painting skills. Haircut and hears based on Jure Prek’s designs, modeled in 3dsmax and imported as an .obj file.

I am hoping to find the time to work on Bishop as quickly as possible.

brussels.jpg

You will notice some stretching around the waist area. This is due to the original UVmaps coming with Brussels. I will have to redo the UVs sometimes.

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410 blocking+

Posted on March 19, 2007 
Filed Under Animation Mentor | 1 Comment

Here is where I am with 2 characters shot. I still have a some keys to put here and there especially where Bishop goes monologuing then create my eases and time out the whole thing but I am hoping to start splining tomorrow and be on time to deliver a polished version by the end of the week or as a late assignment next week.

The shot is meant to be delivered on sunday this week.

410.jpg

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Potapych: The Bear Who Loved Vodka

Posted on March 18, 2007 
Filed Under Animation | 2 Comments

This is an animation based on a story that ran in the Russian newspapers few years ago.

Potapych the story of a domesticated drunken bear

Nice story, some nice little animation details and a great rendering.

Refreshing and entertaining

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Les soeurs jumelles

Posted on March 16, 2007 
Filed Under Drawings, Portfolio, Tablet PC | 1 Comment

soeurs_jumelles.jpg

I couldn’t find sleep this morning and after a very early wake up 4am started drawing on my tabletPC. By the way, Sketchbook rocks. First because the sketching feeling is amaaazzzziiingg even with a 7 years old wacom UltraPad pen and second because the CPU use on my HP 4200 is a stable 20% which is great for the battery life when you are having a coffee at Starbucks.

Because of the wide array of customizable brushes Photoshop CS2 is excellent but the CPU use goes up to 100% which triggers the CPU fan too frequently for my liking.

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How about a pickle?

Posted on March 15, 2007 
Filed Under Animation Mentor, Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

am_winter.jpg
Animation mentor winter 2007 showreel is finally out! Congratulation to all my fellow students who made it. some truely inspiring work here.

The highlights would be in no particular order Jure Prek, Brandon Beckstead, Dan “the Dan” Barker, Mike Stern, Eric Lutha, Deter Brown, Peter Devlin and my ex classmates Ales Mav, Maciek Gliwa, Kickboxer Larisa Kotnik ;-)

Some of them have already found employment in big studios and that’s well deserved!

amshot.jpg

AM Rachel Ito did an amazing work on lighting some of the best shots.

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Rooster

Posted on March 8, 2007 
Filed Under Drawings, Portfolio | 2 Comments

this week’s AM drawing topic is the chineese horoscope. I chose the rooster.

First experiment with various sort of brushes, some more successful than others.

olive_am_rooster.jpg

Photoshop. Wacom tablet.

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Compositing and render passes

Posted on March 4, 2007 
Filed Under Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

I was talking to my friend Mental Ray beta tester Jamie Cardoso lately, and realised that he was rendering his visualisations in single passes.

People who are not involved in rendering might not see the point but you need to think that if it takes you 5 hours to do a render and you realise that the Global illumination is too strong or the colours are too bright then you will have to do few more 5 hours renders until you get it right.

Ok you can always render a small area of your visualisation but if it is not you but the client who is not happy about the render and he needs to see the 8 pictures you have been asked to do every time you submit stuff for approval, then you are in real trouble.

Max and Combustion offer a great way to work in passes but you need to learn combustion and that can be really daunting task. Combustion to me is a bit like the Zbrush of compositing. Great when you know it, horrible when you open it for the first time. Well that’s when you compare it to After Effect, Shake is just as confusing.

combustion.jpg

So what does this leaves you with? Cebas PSD Manager is only $172 and allows you to export your passes straight into Photoshop. Each pass goes into the correct transfer mode.

Unlike Combustion, working on videos would be a real pain. Now there is an other way and that one doesn’t requires any plugins. Mental Ray!

By default mental ray allows you to render passes but the problem is, how do you transfer them into photoshop? I didn’t actually read the mental ray manual since I am not too keen on that rendering engine so I looked for answers elsewhere and found them in the Max to Combustion workflow. Here is how you do it:

The Background layer uses the Normal transfer mode

The Diffuse layer is directly above the Background layer, it is composited using the Normal transfer mode.

The Specular layer is composited using the Add transfer mode. The Self-Illumination, Refraction, and Reflection render element layers are also composited using the Add transfer mode.

The Shadow layer is composited above the Specular layer to dim color in the shadowed areas. By default, the Shadow layer uses Normal transfer mode because its alpha channel controls how much the black and white shadows dim the Specular and Diffuse layers beneath it in the stacking order.

For the composite to match the 3ds Max scene, the Shadow layer must be below the Reflection, Refraction, and Self-Illumination layers. Otherwise, these three layers would also be dimmed.

If the composite has an Atmosphere layer, the layer appears above the Self-Illumination layer. The Atmosphere layer must be composited over all the other layers that are turned on. The Atmosphere layer uses the Normal transfer mode.

By default, the Alpha layer is turned off because it is not required, but it is very useful for compositing additional layers. The Z Depth and Blend render elements are also not required for a composite, so the layers are turned off in the composite when these elements are rendered in 3ds Max.”

Autodesk owns the copyrights of the extract above, I hope they won’t give me any problem. Come on guys I am making your softwares more popular!

The entire content is in the Combustion manual, in the last chapter called:

Combustion and 3dsmax>using render elements>Transfer modes and stacking order.

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Victor Navone on Splinophilia

Posted on March 2, 2007 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

londonunderground.jpg

Pixar Senior Animator Victor Navone talks about Splinophilia this week on his blog.

More often animators find themselves working against the Graph editor instead of working with it. Victor talks about how he handles it and believe me, the guy knows what he is talking about. We had a 4 hours lecture with him few weeks back and I was amazed to see how easily he navigates through the “spaghetti box” and pretty much animates in the graph editor.

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Brad Bird’s animator interview

Posted on March 2, 2007 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

Brad Bird is a great director and story teller but I am a bit sick of his director’s interviews now.

Rejoy! Splinedoctors uploaded a great Podcast where Brad talks about his character animation career.

You probably didn’t know that but he was already working at Disney few years before CalArt. In fact he got his first desk at Disney aged 14. Yes, he is mister Incredible!

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2 characters shot blocking+ and Bishop facial

Posted on March 2, 2007 
Filed Under Animation Mentor | Leave a Comment

I went ahead and did the blocking + of the last shot this week. The props were modeled last week.

403.jpg

Just to pretend I have a deep knowledge in cinema, I took reference in Eisenstein’s “Ivan the terrible” and Kubrik’s “The shining” for my Bishop facial poses this week.

ivan.jpg

fear.jpg

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2 characters shot blocking

Posted on March 2, 2007 
Filed Under Animation Mentor | Leave a Comment

Here is my 407 assignment. (will post later)

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