Sunday, December 18, 2011

Address Is Approximate

Stop motion animation is the oldest form of 3D animation, where manipulating real 3D objects and taking many photographs to create a moving picture. This video does a good job of incorporating 2D (computer screen) with 3D objects. It's the equivalent of using After Effects to incorporate 2D objects with a scene created in Maya. According to the description, "All screen imagery was animated - there are no screen replacements."

The story is also set up very well, and gives you the same feeling in 2 1/2-minutes as if you had just watched a 90-minute Pixar movie.

Some behind the scenes photos are available on The Theory's Facebook Page. It's interesting to see how they set up the shots and "rigged" the scenes, using some fog and long exposures to create the unique look.

Up- Remix

I found this guy on Youtube who remixes various films, like Dexter, Harry Potter and here I've attached his remix of Up and of Disney, the little videos remix both sound and video, and while the sound kinda sounds the same between all the videos, I thought the sampling of videos is a great example of creative editing and I thought they'd be a fun break from finals.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Card

Christmas cards have become very creative and stay up to date on technology. This ecard I got from my Grandma is very cute. It is interactive and allows you to click on things which then are animated. Snowballs become a Snowman. People start to skate with the a click of a mouse and snow starts to fall.  I assume the trees in the back are an image but that everything else is animated in a 3d software. The skaters movements were probably key framed. This is an interesting use of 3d. I mainly think of animation or videos but not ecards.

Christmas Movies Give the Greatest Ideas

With Christmas only thirteen days away, i reflected back on my favorite Christmas Movie, Home Alone. Watching it reminded me of being a kid again. I remember wanting to be like Kevin McCallister defending my house from the Christmas robbers. While it may be over dramatic for a movie, it is an insanely epic and family-fun film.

There are various funny parts like when he orders a pizza and pulls a prank on the pizza guy by watching a movie about gang wars and firing a gun. I still get a kick out of it and have often thought about pulling that prank throughout my years; however, my parents would yell at me at even trying. "Keep the change you filthy animal."

Many of the stunts or tricks Kevin McCallister tried, I often tried to attempt. For instance, he sleigh rode in his house. As fake as the scene was, I got a lot of good and bad ideas from it. My stairs were positioned right in front of my front door and often would get yelled at by my parents but even better was when I watched Christmas Vacation and wanted to attempt this:

I would buy saucers to try and grease them up like Clark W. Griswald. Unfortunately it never happened. You know why . . . it's a movie!

My parents kept trying to tell me that but I didn't want to believe it because I was a little kid enjoying fun-filled Christmas movies. Who could deny me of wanting to do these activities. They looked fun and entertaining but not possible.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Passenger

I found this "cute" video the other day. I call it "cute" because it's fairly entertaining and while it's very dark, I wouldn't call it scary, it's more humorous than that, plus I really like the style they used for it. Even better, I found it on this site, which has a TON of animated short films, all seemingly of really high quality, I'm excited to go through and watch more of them.

Also, during the credits, it briefly shows some of the preproduction sketches and what-not in an advert for the dvd, and that 15 seconds alone is really insane, just to see all the work in Maya/on a sketchpad after having just watched the film.

Brain Control

When my brain gets a great idea a lot of physical things get in the way when trying to move that idea from within my head to within my computer. First obstacle is my hands. I can't even draw a straight line, how am I supposed to move things around precisely. Then there's my mouse, but I forget that a lot so I end up using a track pad which is even worse. But when I do have my mouse i rarely have a mouse pad so its accuracy depends on the surface that I am on. Basically the chance that an idea isn't greatly effected by these physical obstacles is very small. I just wish my brain could be directly connected to my computer. But I saw something online that makes it look like this might be possible soon. The Emotiv Epoc Neuro Headset is now on sale for 299 right here. I was skeptical until I saw an IGN review.

And a guy playing angry birds with it.

Labrinth - Earthquake ft. Tinie Tempah

One of my friends showed me this incredibly well done music video that has the artist interacting in a 3D environment the entire time. It's difficult to tell if the wide shots that take place in a warehouse video was shot on a green screen or on a practical set. With most of the close up shots where he's on a different "set" it appears as though he is on an entirely virtual set.

There are very few shots in this videos that are static. Nearly every shot incorporates some form of movement to it. While most of the sets themselves were created in a 3D program, most of the particle elements were likely created using an After Effects-like program with the same tracking data used for create the 3D environment. By using After Effects, you are able to view things quicker and in a more real time environment.

Overall, this video is incredibly well animated. The sets are incredibly realistic and they interaction between the artist and his environment feels very natural.

End of Semester Freak Out

So my hard drive just crashed with my entire field and 3D project on it so Arturo I hope you have a heart and understand my less than superb blog right now... i'll make up for it and post a better one asap!!!! I'm currently facing 18+ hours of backing up and hope i lose nothing... yes i'm having a HEART ATTACK.

Anyways the things I want to address tomorrow in class are as follows... maybe one of you guys can help me!

1) Arturo showed me this graph that showed all the keyframes in a timeline... now I can't find it! Where is it, any hints for understanding it better so you can edit your keyframes faster?

2) Parenting, my animation is pretty much finished minus some minor stuff I want to clean up in the keyframes so how the heck do I parent it so it actually picks up my piece????

...hopefully tomorrow I'll finish it in class! GAH

Ice Carving

Nice work Francine, I really like it! You have inspired me to elaborate on my intro which is pretty basic at the moment. I've found that I am far more interested in and excited about text animation than character animation.

A bit off topic but I was downtown at the ice carving competition this weekend and thought they were incredible. Two guys who I watched for a while were carving Kermit the Frog playing a banjo which they said was the hardest design they've ever done in competition. I got to take a look at their drawings which consisted of a pretty basic, overall sketch of the sculpture as well as scaled sketches of each individual piece. This technique seems like it could come in handy when doing 3D computer animation. Breaking a character or object down into simple shapes and sketching those beforehand would likely make the animation process go much quicker than looking at it in a "big picture" type way. For those of you who missed out on the action, here's an ice carving video!

Real-time rendering

From recent experiences with Maya I've learned that rendering out both individual frames and especially entire sequences with multiple models and light sources takes some time and processing power. Because of this, I've gained a a new respect for the kind of optimization it takes for graphics in today's games to be pumped out in real-time. The linked video is an example of one of today's most graphically intensive PC games running on high-end gaming hardware. It looks incredible compared to our relatively simple chess scenes, yet it renders out much faster. The amount of optimization that goes into making graphics like this run smoothly must require a lot of engineering behind the scenes.

Progress, finally!

Hey guys guess what!?! I finally managed to animate, render, and create a movie! These are the "opening credits" for my animation. Parts of it are still jumpy and it is by no means perfect but it definitely made me smile to watch it, especially when I added the goofy music (yay for apple loops!). Just some advice in terms of key framing. It's definitely way harder to go back and key frames once you've done several after them. So, I suggest playing your animation in Maya every few key frames to make sure it is going the way you want it. In order to see it play through the camera view you have to have only that screen open, then you can just press play on the little timeline near where you see where each key frame is. It will play slower than normal here but at least you can get a feel for how the camera will move between key frames. Can't wait to see what everyone else has done!

Parenting/Constraints for Pawn & Hand

So we have one week! Ahh. I am finally getting around to the actual picking-up and moving the pawn, sooooo this could be pretty helpful for those that are also in the same boat. This guy is pretty clear, goes pretty slow and explains what he is doing, and it is pretty much exactly what we need to complete the move. He even does a little jig with his guy. I kind of wish we all had our little people we made at the beginning of the semester. But you win some you lose some, and here is the tutorial. Goodluck this last week of classes!

hey so i know weve talked about this in a few different classes so i figured id post something. as far as performance the broadcaster gives some details (mpg top speed etc). Cornell has a 3d printer and some cool info i didnt know about 3d printers, they use the same material for each print as a medium. the material changes for printing metals but a lot of the moving parts are plastic and the blueprints/schematics were all done on programs like maya! yeah. my question for this: do they key frame movements? or do they use the driven and set keys similar to our hand rigs? it makes sense because they have to make certain and precise movements.

we should print our chessboard

"Bath Time"

Ok, so I'm running out of ideas. I've posted about 3D games, 3D rides, 3D tutorials, 3D movies, 3D awards, 3D magazines, 3D tvs, 3D drawings, basically 3D everything. I'm running out of ideas. So this what you're getting from me this week. This a cute little 3D short film I found online. I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Image Metrics... this is dope

Image Metrics - Driven Facial Animation by kamandanu

Image Metrics is a 3D facial animation company that makes programs such as Faceware and Portable You. These programs use a markerless motion capture to film an actor's performance and generate a 3D animation. The process analyzes high definition video and maps it onto a 3D model, including very detailed movements of features like teeth, tongue, lips, and eyes.

I find this technology pretty amazing, and I can't wait till stuff like this becomes more commercial and consumer friendly. Could this potentially make character creation and animation in programs like Maya obsolete?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why 3D TV won't catch on

Last week I blogged about 2D trailers for 3D movies and how so many films are coming out in 3D now. I found a blog that agrees with me and lists their reasons logically. I am fascinated by this technology and want to know if this will fade out soon or stay with us for a while. I talked about the health concerns for 3D TV in the last blog and the author of this blog says, "Research also suggests that watching 3D tv is actually bad for your eyes as it forces them to act in an entirely unnatural way which causes the eye strain, headaches and fatigue, this has been labeled convergence-accommodation conflict." This proves my point strongly. Also, the glasses can be very uncomfortable, especially for someone who wears prescription glasses. One thing I was unaware of was the price of the glasses. The author says Panasonic Active Shutter Glasses costs £100. If two pairs of glasses comes with a TV that is good but what about children!?

The TV and glasses are expensive and there is very little 3D content. The better the response from viewers, the more 3D content will be made, which will lower the price of production and TVs, so it won't take much to change people's negative views on costs and accessibility. 

Waltz with Bashir

Does anyone remember this movie? It came out in 2008 and won a bunch of awards in 2009. It started out at Cannes Film Festival, and then went on to get nominated for an Academy Award, and also got the Golden Globe for Best foreign language film. I thought this movie was really cool because it fell under the very uncommon category of animated documentary. It tells the story of writer/director Ari Folman searching his lost memories of the 1982 Lebanon War. Waltz with Bashir is one of the only two animated Israeli films to be relased in theaters since the 60s.

Fun Fact: Despite the huge success of the film, it is officially banned in Lebanon. According to the director it was created with a combination of Flash animation, Classic animation, and 3D animation.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Samsung vs Apple + Stanley Kubrick?

This post doesn't deal as much with 3D as it does current technology giants and their constant legal struggles. With the grey areas that intellectual property laws create and the huge amounts of money companies like Apple and Samsung have to spend, some interesting cases have come to be. Companies like Google and Apple have to employ armies of lawyers to protect the patents that they push out. With the explosion of the internet and the amount of software produced every year, old property right rules are at times proving to be obsolete. There is even a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to the Software Patent Debate. These huge companies use their lawyers to try and catch each other in loop holes and squeeze millions of dollars out of settlements and lost profits.

An article I read shows just how out of hand these battles can get. Samsung recently filed a case claiming that the Apple Iphone and Ipad copy prior art in the form of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Samsung is basically claiming that the Apple products look too similar to the monolithic black structure in the film. It was filed as a counter suit to a prior attack by Apple on the Samsung Galaxy tablet design. You can read the article here.