Monday, 31 March 2014

Visual Effects Deformers: Blend Shapes with Inbetweens

Visual Effects Deformers: Non Linear Deformers

In this tutorial, I've learnt to animate different types of deformers which are Bend, Flare, Sine, Squash, Twist and Wave. This has helped me with my current project in terms of creating the fern frond.

Introduction to Texturing: Fur Hat

In this tutorial, I've learnt how to add fur to the object and upon completing the previously tutorial of maya's fur and attributes, I've understood the concept of fur texturing.
Lambert Shader Added To The Objects
Fur Was Added To Each Component Of The Hat
Raytrace Shadow Added To The Light
Final Rendered Image of Santa Hat

Introduction to Texturing: Maya Fur Presets & Attributes

For this tutorial, we were introduced to the presets fur and its attributes. Each attribute was explained and I've learnt how it will affect in the overall image.

Bear Fur Without Any Adjustments
Bear Fur With Adjustments (Self Shader and Light)
100 % Bison Fur
50% Bear & 50% Bison Fur
100% Porcupine Fur
100% Sheep Fur
25% of Bear, Bison, Porcupine and Sheep Fur Each
Default Fur Before Checkered Node Was Connected To The Base Colour
After The Checkered Was Baked Into The Fur
After A Few Adjustments To The Attributes (Scraggle and Clumping)
Adding Ramp Node and Connecting It To The Baldness Attribute (Ramp Was Set on Linear) 
Ramp Node Was Set to None

After going through the tutorial, we were tasked to create an image after learning with the attributes and this is mine. I've created 2 as I was fiddling with the attributes to understand the differences further.

I have used 25% of Gorilla, Lion Mane, Wet Labrador and Dreadlocks fur. None of the settings were at its preset. I've connected the base colour, tip colour and the specular with the checkered node and all three checkered nodes had different colours to it. I've also connected a ramp shader to the baldness attribute and changing it to be box ramp.

Introduction to Texturing: Sampler Info Node (Transparency)

In this tutorial, I've learnt how to texture a bottle of whisky by adjusting the transparency, refractions and all other necessary attributes to the blinn shader.
Transparency Added To The Bottle And The Glass
Sampler Info Node Added
Before Label Was Added
Label Colour Map Brought in From Photoshop AFTER UV-ed

After Label Was Added
Final Render

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: After Spore Dispersal

For this scene, I have decided to try a crane shot instead of zooming in and out. I prefer the outcome as it gives an edge to the sequence instead of being just flat.

Fantastic Voyage: Gametophyte

This is one of the scene in my animation that I feel is a little bit off from the rest because it had textured background. I have decided to do one with a painterly background and I prefer this one because in terms of overall style, this is more likely it.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Introducing The Sex Cells

For this scene in my animatics, I have the camera fixed at one position but I thought of having the camera move just to make the shot more interesting.
Original Idea

Tracking Camera

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Young Sporophyte Growing

@Simon @Jordan Fantastic Voyage: Archegonium (Rendering Problem)

I have modelled, added stroke and animated the archegonium to unfold.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 1 and 2 are rendered using Maya Software and the outline (toon shader is used) appears but when I tried rendering using Mental Ray, it doesn't appear. I have tried looking into tutorials and I could only bake it to my object, which I needed to do the deformation. A solution was to convert the paint effects to polygons but by doing that, it has increased my polygon counts in my scene tremendously and also it will freeze the outline from one perspective. 

Fantastic Voyage -Phrase Fold Out Test

This was a successful test of the words to fold out for my animation. Next would be adding the crease textures (Bump Mapping it) and UV texture it properly to achieve the best quality.

Still Life Drawing Lesson 14

For this week's drawing class, I have decided to let loose and just draw an interpretation of what I see.

As I kept turning my paper and added more elements to my drawings, three faces seem to have formed with the lines and shapes that I've added to it. It also seems that these three characters have different personalities. The Left one seems to be drunk, the center is mean and the right one is cheeky! :D

This was just another quick drawing using a pen and it looks like someone is sitting at the edge, thinking :D

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Final Fern Model & Texture

I have modelled the fern fronds and UV Mapped it so I could place my textures in.
Model of Leaf and UV mapped it
Underside of the Fern Frond
Fronds Texture Test 

From different angles, the fern ffronds looked fine as seen from the Texture Test but when it comes to the bottom view which I am after, it looked too lined up. I have decided to move around the line up so that it looks more like concept art.
Fern fronds that are too Lined Up
Final Fern Fronds

Fantastic Voyage: Fern Fronds

These are my fern fronds that I did. I used the Toon Paint Shader along with the outlines and I am happy with the results as this is what I am going for. I am going to experiment and fiddle with the settings further to see what else I can achieve out of it.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Book (Rigged & Skinned)

Here, I have Rigged and Skinned my book so I can animate it. For this scene, I have left to add the elements(the trees and ferns) on it.

Cutting Edge Film Programme: The Usual Suspects (1995)

Figure 1: Movie Poster  [Still Image]
The Usual Suspects (1995) is an American crime- thriller film directed by Bryan Singer. The story unfolds and is pieced together with the use of narrations and flashbacks. It is a film that revolves around five criminals who are brought together into the New York police station because of a crime that happened on board a ship at San Pedro Bay. They are Dean Keaton, a corrupted, former member from the task force, the professional tag team of thieves- Michael McManus and Fred Fenster, Todd Hockney, a hijacker and lastly Roger “Verbal” Kint, a con artist.

Unhappy that they have been accused for a crime that neither of them committed, they came to an agreement to seek revenge against the New York’s Police Department. Their first crime is to hijack a New York Taxi Service. It is a service run by corrupted officers who escorts smugglers to their destinations around the city. It was a success. Following that successful crime, Keaton wanted to come clean and be disassociated with all criminal activities as he dreams of starting anew only finds himself deeper into the crime world. This is when he and the rest met with Kobayashi, a man who works for the mysterious, influential boss from the underworld known as Keyser Söze. None of them had a clue that a crime they had previously committed had an association with Keyser Söze. They had crossed his path at the wrong time and now, they have been commissioned by him to redeem themselves.

Figure 2: Hijack Scene [Still Image]
The interesting storyline is a contributing factor to the success of the film but the great sound and cinematography helps piece everything together. An example of great use of sound and imagery together would be when the camera pans across following the airplane. The sound used in this shot, which was fast and has an increasing tempo evokes a feeling of danger and trouble. The back shot of the plane seems to look like a shark and as sharks are usually associated with danger, this is an example of how it has successfully portrays danger with the usage of great sound and visuals. It also follows through on to the next scene because it was the arrival of a smuggler who was escorted by the corrupted officers from the New York Police Department. This was possible because of the film’s talented editor, John Ottman. Ian Nathan credits and highlights the work of John accurately when he states Plaudits aplenty must also go to editor/composer John Ottman for his skillful manipulation of image and sound.” (Nathan, 2006)
Figure 3: Back View Of Plane Landing [Still Image]
Figure 4: Back View Of A Shark [Still Image]
In addition to the perfect synchronization of the sound and the visuals, Singer used various camera angles to emphasise a point in a scene. The use of close ups to see the bottom of the coffee mug and various elements from the bulletin board in Sergeant Jeffrey office was important to help understand and piece the information from Verbal’s testimony. Mitchell reiterates this point when he says He uses skilful camera movement and editing to make us see what’s going on in Kujan’s mind and thus to identify with him as he realizes how he's been fooled.” (Mitchell, 2000)
Figure 5: Close Up Of The Coffee Mug [ Still Image]
Figure 6: Close Up Shots Of Kajun [Still Image]
In conclusion, the exceptional performance by the cast completes the package of it being a great, successful film. Berardinelli is accurate when he states The Usual Suspects is an accomplished synthesis of noir elements and, as such, is an entertaining entry to the genre.”(Berardinelli, 1995). The famous quote from the film, which was “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”(Verbal, 1995) concluded the third act beautifully because like the devil, the story that Verbal told Kujan has successfully convinced him and the audience for half the film that he was truly innocent and that Keaton was the puppeteer; pulling the strings and taking advantage of the other criminals.

List of Illustrations:

Figure 1 The Usual Suspects (1995) [Poster] at (Accessed on 25 March 2014)

Figure 2 Hijack Scene (1995) [Still Image] at (Accessed on 25 March 2014)

Figure 3 Back View Of Plane Landing (1995) [Still Image] at (Accessed on 25 March 2014)

Figure 4 Back View Of A Shark [Still Image] at (Accessed on 25 March 2014)

Figure 5 Close Up Of The Coffee Mug (1995) [Still Image] at (Accessed on 25 March 2014)

Figure 6 Close Up Shots Of Kajun (1995) [Still Image] at (Accessed on 25 March 2014)

List of Bibliography:

Berardinelli, James (1995) The Usual Suspects (1995) At (Accessed on 25 March 14)

Mitchell, David (2000) Sound Lies - Achieving Closure In The Usual Suspects At: (Accessed on 25 March 14)

Nathan, Ian (2006) The Usual Suspects (1995) At: (Accessed on 25 March 14)

IMDB Quotes(1995) The Usual Suspects (1995) At: (Accessed on 25 March 2014)

Monday, 24 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Animating The Book

Now that I have book modelled as I wish, I am looking at how to animate this book. I've watched tutorials and it's suggested that I do rigging and skinning which I would be on to next.

Book Development
Book Development 2
Book Development 3
Final Book