I just came across a really good 3d model review by Dave Gallagher and I found it verry interesting as Dave is giving some really good tips on how to best adapt a 2d concept art into a working 3d model.
It is only 15 minutes but I have never seen anything like that online before. Don’t expect anything technical except at the very end where he talks about adding more edges to the chin to create more volume and the problem it will cause. The video is mainly about translating a 2d concept into 3d and spotting areas that usually get overlooked.
They just interviewed Reel FX Rigging Department supervisor Josh Carey and the article is pretty informative regarding their pipeline and the kind of R&D they do. I had never imagined anyone would create a “data mining” tool to evaluate controls usage and I think it is a great idea for a TD to see which ones are the most used.
There are also so useful tips for aspiring TD so check it out!
Hurry up, Animschool just posted an special interview with Disney veteran Tom Bancroft. The interview will only be available to the public for few more days so make sure you don’t miss that exceptional interview.
I have only seen the beginning so far but Tom animated one of my favourite characters on Mulan, the crazy talking dragon Mushu. People too often forget that there is no one Disney animation style, it all depends on the story and the character of the character. Mushu is a great example of the exaggerated Disney animation style.
That’s it! Hurry up, Animschool’s Malcolm character is finally available freely for XSI. A Maya version will be following shortly. I can’t wait to test the speed and facial flexibility of that rig!
Now who is going to teach me how to use XSI? ;-)
Animschool just announced a live webcast next week with Blue Sky animation superstar and amazing actor: Jeff Gabor. The live webcast is already fully booked but Dave Gallagher announced that a replay will be available at a later date
AnimSchool made some great announcements in the past few weeks and released some cool videos you might have missed in the craziness of Siggraph or just during your lazy summer.
To me and until now, AnimSchool was just some sort of “Blue Sky school” as most of the mentors are from Blue Sky and this would enable a quick comparison to an other school mentored by working professional animators for an other top studio, IAnimate, the “Dreamworks school”, but there is a bit more to it.
First, not all AnimSchool mentors are from Blue sky. AnimSchool made some changes to its blog which you will now find at the following url: http://www.animschoolblog.com/. (I think it would have been easier or more consistent to find it under blog.animschool.com or www.animschool.com/blog but it is always better than the previous url.
The new blog features some news related to the school, Animator’s interviews and mentors video critics. The latest one is from Pixar animator Mark Harris and I would highly suggest you to watch it as he is commenting on a typical 11seconds club entry that is well animated and rendered but lacking an underlying strong story. Watch it, it is really refreshing.
So AnimSchool has mentors from top studios which is a minimum requirement nowadays, and also teaches rigging and modeling. When finishing Animation Mentor, I felt graduates should be given the choice to pursue their learning and get some teaching in those two area and probably lighting too but this wasn’t an option. Instead, students are offered VFX related classes which is fine if one want to work in that industry, but some of us have no intention to join it and would rather make their own shortfilm. AnimSchool gives you that option.
What other announcement have they made? Well they also released a video clip extracted from one of the lectures the students are receiving and it looks really sweet! The animation examples are also provided to the students so they can study them in their 3d software. How cool is that?
David Gallagher, the AnimSchool founder also made a live presentation on the school so we got to fully understand what is the drive behind the school.
The way things are going, a lot of previously keyframe animated project are now going the Motion Capture route. Motion Capture is great for that but what about for more stylised performances or unrealistic characters? What about a modern Goofy short film. How would you motion capture this?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVsh9lymJsc
Obviously you can’t. AnimSchool seems to be teaching the exact art of making appealing cartoons and the examples shown are great demonstrations of that.
The rigs they are providing are also playing at a crazy framerate (close to 30fps). David didn’t explain what kind of CPU his machine used though, but he really emphasized the fact that framerate was one of his most important concern, and rightly so, this makes experimenting even more enjoyable.
The last crazy announcement he made was …. the release of Malcolm, one of their characters, to the public, for free!!! The rig will be free to use for any kind of project, even for professional work! There are obvious disclaimers but the “11seconds club” competition is a perfect example of recommended usage and I will certainly give it a go!
AnimSchool new trailer
Still wondering if you should be attending Ianimate or Animation Mentor? Wait, you are forgetting Animschool! ;-)
I really want to like that school and the rigs seem like a lot of fun but I am finding the concept difficult to understand at the moment, is it an animation, modeling, rigging or a generalist school? As a graduate from Animation Mentor I might be interested to join some of the animation classes but the website is making it pretty difficult to understand whether this is possible. Also having two separate domain names 3dappeal and AnimSchool is not helping.
One thing for sure is that the guys are uber talented though and those following videos they recorded are very interesting.
This is a follow up to my previous post and once again, I don’t have access to the Disney Feature animation tools so those findings and screen captures are only from various popular behind the scenes videos, some of them are posted below. This said…. I never ever managed to see any pickers from BlueSky studios!
Disney animation fans and especially animators, are very familiar with dAnimPicker, the Disney animation picker, a good looking and very functional picker with some really cool features (zoom and pan), similar to the AnimSchool picker and the good old abxPicker.
The dAnimPicker has some great additional features like the pickwalk, to easily navigate from control to control, and anchors, to quickly jump to predefined position like the face picker, or body picker.
You can see the interaction between the animator and the picker, 9:03 into the following video:
And here is a quadruped picker screencaptured from the following video Link
Having never seen that sort of picker in past researches, I was really surprised when I came across two similar looking pickers: Locus and Character Toolkit Designer.
After bumping on Locus through Pinterest with a totally unrelated research, I was finally able to track a video demo of the apparently commercially available picker from Korean based Locus Animation studios. (there are more demos on the Vimeo channel).
The similarity with dAnimPicker is pretty striking but wait until you see Character Toolkit designer!
The resemblance is stricking right?
I am not sure if ILM TD Davoud Ashrafi, the creator of the tool, is the actual creator of the Disney picker or if he just got inspired by it as he keeps mentioning, but the demo on his Vimeo channel is fascinating. The creation part of the tool very exciting compared to other tools and I especially love the mirroring feature, this would have saved me a lot of time.
Let’s finish up this post with more related Disney behind the scenes videos and don’t skip the Wreck it Ralph videos where you can also see the body controls visible in the Maya viewport. Pickers are good when the screen is too cluttered but on-screen controls are preferable.
In 3:02 of the following video, you will see the eyelashes controls. Crazy right! I already mentioned that the animators shape the eye lids at Disney in a previous article.
In the following videos, we can see how the animators (here Disney guests) interact with the body parts directly in the viewport.
Previous articles related to Tangled:
I just got told that the first two ReelFX’s “Looney tunes” shorts are now available online.
If you missed those look no further and watch them in their full 1080p glory on their own Youtube channel.
The TDs did an incredible job to allow the animator to push CG animation to an extent that was never permitted before. Crazy smear frames, multi limbs, out of the ordinary facial and body poses.
I am still waiting to see the entire Daffy’s Rhapsody but the wait shouldn’t take too long.
I also want to point out that ReelFX’s Supervising TD Josh Carey and the other guys from Rigging Dojo have an incredible source of information on their website so you must subscribe to both their newsletter, and blog’s RSS Feed, even if like me you are not a professional TD but only want to understand how things work and learn few things along the way.
Lately they have had some really good interviews with Sony’s Character and Animation TD Martin Orlowski for his work on “Pirates ! Band of Misfits” (I am wondering more and more how much was stop motion now….) and Sony’s TD Tim Coleman for his work on “Spiderman” and “Hotel Transylvania”. The latter was only available on the Newsletter so this is why you need to subscribe to both.
That’s it for today. I will write a longer article about the importance of communication between TDs and Animators an other day.
Thanks Amy for the heads up.
[Update novembre 2020: At the time of the article I only had a vague idea about topology and was mostly interested in the final result. I am currently attending Animschool’s advanced facial rigging course and will therefore update all the meshes very soon and rig them all]
Since animation work is pretty scarce at the moment I have decided to put all my modeling work together just so I can apply to 3d modeling positions.
Those are props for a long overdue short film, personal work, professional work and character design studies. The work was done in Maya 2009 for the most recent pieces, 3ds Max 5 for the rest.
The Pixar related models are obviously fan art as I have never worked on Ratatouille or Brave. I only did those to get a better understanding of Pixar’s character designs, wireframe edge flow and rigging (articulations).
During a recent visit to French sculptor Bourdelle’s museum in Paris, I was reminded it is how the best artists learnt their art, by copying the masters. Michaelangelo was a great source of inspiration for Bourdelle, Daniel Lopez Munoz is mine.
Download the PDF version if you prefer Olivier_Ladeuix_modeling_2011.pdf or click the pictures below to zoom in.
You will probably find a timelapse video for most pieces in the “Related Posts” section at the end of the post and I would suggest their viewing to anyone wanting to learn about CG modeling and clean edge flow or just to see wireframes.