Sunday, 6 December 2009

Self Motivated Brief

We've pretty much been given a brief that's basically do what ever you want within your subject area of choice as long as you can justify why we have decided to do what we have.

For my self motivated brief I decided that I would treat it as a means prepare myself more with the skills I will need come June. This is will be the time I graduate and begin looking for a job and as no one is going to just hand me a job at the end of my course I wanted to give myself the best chance and be prepared as I can be.

I've looked into some jobs, just googling them, to find out what is the prefect candidate and the skills required:
Here are a couple of examples:


artist part-time

...will require an excellent knowledge of 3d modeling softwaresuch as 3d studio & maya. you will be expected to also for a true market leader. apply immediately to avoid disappointment. 3d artist / animator - london- 3d studio, maya, flex, flash ...

Similar searches maya 3d london : 3d artist jobs london, 3d modeling jobs london, london 3d design studio, animation studio london, 3d jobs in uk


artist full-time

3d artist/animator/motion designer location: london salary: £££££ company: mcgregor boyall job type: permanent ...candidate will have substantial experience with: maya after effects photoshop illustrator flash the ideal candidate would have dealt with 3d ...

Company: Preferred Choice
Salary: £100 - £150 per day

sketches as well as a computer. Any 3D illustration experience, working with Cinema 4D or Maya would... of design and also the technical aspects involved with this. You must also have an online portfolio of your
Contract: Contract

Company: Plug-in Media

will provide the majority of the in-house 3D design and animation. Applicants must be good communicators, work... Salary: 22-28k depending on experience Plug-In Media is looking for 3D artist to join the team... creative Maya generalist, who is extremely motivated and has good Photoshop skills. We are predominantly... product output. The perfect candidate would be skilled in all aspects of the Maya workflow; if you can

I looked at my final project subjectively and found there to be skills that are required for it I don't have. I've done lots of theory and very little practice so I've obtained as many tutorials as possible! I have prioritized the ones that I'll require the skills from for my final major project as 1 element to this open brief.

As I already mentioned before I'll be treating this as a mean to go on and would like to try get involved in as many projects and portfolio building projects as possible. One of these projects was for a Poppy Appeal competition.

The brief was finding a way to promote the poppy campaign, aiming at the market of a 15 to 25 year olds.
After giving some thought to this and just thinking a little way back as to what would catch my attention and decided on a novel aspect and that I'd remain with using a poppy (it's hardly a poppy appeal if it's not a poppy on sale.)

I decided on using the idea of a wind wheel like the ones often found at the sea side or fairs.

I wanted to take the existing design of poppy making use of it's low cost of mass production.
So I kept the stem of the poppy and re-designed the petals so that the flower would spin in the wind or when blown on. The petals could be designed to say anything or be in any design
from camouflage poppies, simple poppies in red or ones like the one show carrying the motif
'We Will Remember Them.'

To support this I'd create a campaign to promote and advertise my design of poppy. This would be a simple 10 second advert using some compensate and 3D images. There would be a World War 1 soldier walking up a mound/small grass hill with some WW2 fighter planes passing over all done in very dark silhouette with a sunset sky. The poppies would be spinning in the wind as the planes few by. The closest I've got so far is of an animatic.

The planes would be created in 3D. I was thinking of WW1 Planes but a WW2 Soldier
images of the plane I built:

Before I'd actually made a prototype poppy I thought I could just build one of them in Maya and animate one if one couldn't be built in time!

But I did manage to make one and a working one at that!
The video I shot of it working prior to submission doesn't seem to want to be converted to a format that can be uploaded online!
The best I can do is a screen capture of it working:

I've dropped the idea of the poppy campaign to pursue a project that has been brought before me.

Another student, on a Graphic Design course at my college has approached my Tutor to ask if I could take characters that he has designed and build them into 3D. This could be good for my portfolio and help me to gain some experience in rigging for my Final Major Project.

It's been just over a week and there has been no reply to the original email address I was given to contact the student wanting the 3D Characters built. I'm going to go into college over the next few days and see if I can't track him down.

With no sign of been able to track him down I've left a message with his Tutor and my contact number with Lynsey our mutual Secretary.

While I'm waiting I've spent my time downloading tutorials and doing bits of work on my Final Major.
I've placed a post on a character creating forum asking if there was anyone that had created a character in 2D that I could build in 3D.
Link below but please note you have to be logged in to view post!:

I've not heard anything back either about doing the work for the student in question or the post I put up looking for a character to build.

I received a phone call from the student apologizing for the lack of communication on his part as stating he would like to get this project underway!...
Unfortunately no return contact information was left and so far this has taken up the best part of 3 weeks! 3 weeks that could have been spent doing other things! All I had spent time doing this last 3 weeks was downloading and looking at tutorials on line, not wanting to undertake and large tutorials due to awaiting the 3D Character Project.

I've given the character project a wide birth and I'm concentrating on Plan A which was to prioritize the tutorials I had found and completing them and applying them to mini projects of my own.

I've spent a good few weeks looking through tutorials mainly towards the character setup rigging side of things, since these are not where my strengths lay I should at least attempt to understand them. Maybe because I haven't had much to do with the rigging side of things is why my strength seems to be focused on the modeling side of things??

The tutorials i'm looking at are:

Digital Tutors Character Setup
Character Rigging
Introduction to Rigging
Maya Muscle
Shave and Hair Cut

The links are to Digital web pages on what the tutorials entail.

I've started to look at the introduction to rigging since it advises to get a basic understanding of how a rig works! After completing all the sessions in this tutorial I feel I have picked up enough to be able to progress further.
Learning about creating clusters that act as controls with in a cv curve that can be parented to bones for all sorts of useful things!

I watched a few of the videos on character rigging but it's pretty much the basics of the character set up tutorial that has been released later. It is on an older version of maya than I currently run and I'd probably spend more time trying to find where they have moved the buttons to in the newer version of maya than on that tutorial itself. As time is pressing on I've opted to jump into the character setup tutorial, here goes!

I'm only half way through the tutorial it's taken me just over a week and I've had to rebuild the thing about 3 times!!!! You have to watch the tutorial very very carefully and sometimes things just don't seem to click into place 1st, 2nd or even sometimes 3rd time!!
I really need to know this though for my 3rd year final major!

On the up side of it all though it doesn't take half as long to rebuild when you have a better idea of what it is your actually doing!
It's like building a Chinese puzzle when you don't even know what it is your looking at!

It's taken just over 2 weeks to do but Im fairly happy with the rigg!
I know there are quite a few mistakes here and there but I don't have much time to go back and rebuild them so I'll have to go through the tutorial again at some point to try and get a perfect setup!

I've spoken to one of my tutors Matt (our Maya Specialist) and he seems to think there is a better rigg set up that he uses for his character set up's that's much more stable...I'll have to find out which one that one is and give it a try!

Something I'm going to have to learn is how I'm going to rigg up a working piston. The T-800 Endo Skeleton from the Termination is covered in them so this is a must! Here's a good tutorial of how to build such a piston! It's a little fuzzy but watch it a few times and you should get the hang of it!

So with this on board I did a small tester of my own. Using the partially built T-800 i've just done a small animation of the neck pistons and the arm pistons.

After talking to Mike our Course leader he said he doesn't mind me doing all these tutorials as long as I put the tutorials into practice and apply them to a project of my own. This means I'm not just submitting something that I copied from someone else which is something I'll have to bear in mind as the Terminator project is for final major and I don't want to use him in this brief!

Another tutorial I want to learn is Maya Muscle as I intend to build an Arnie skin to cover my T-800. I'd love it if the Arnie Geometry could flex it's muscles!
This tutorial is somewhat frustrating the basic concept of building and rigging muscles to work is pretty straight forward however my Maya is not! I keep following the tutorial step by step and lots of different things are going wrong ... maya is behaving in a way it shouldn't! I have got around this by installing 2 older versions of maya and installing a windows operating system on my Mac and intalling a version of maya to run on there too!

I've learned alot about skin sliding, jiggling skin, relaxing muscle, flexing and muscle shape changing but i'm running desperately low in time and I need to find a way of taking what I have learned and applying it!

Finding a character to rig up!

I was thinking of something I can copy a cartoon character maybe then the characteristics have already been established?

I have always been a fan of Lilo and Stitch and he is such a great little mischievous character!
He kind of reminds me of my friends dog!
Here's what I have so far!

Sadly I've decided that I'm not going to continue with this model! I think it would take a long time to paint the weights for stitch to work properly with this rig and I need something more original and something quick to model!

For the piston I've modeled A JCB Arm (Digger to some of you out there):

... well that will take care of the piston but I need to find things for the other tutorials.

For the character rigg I'm going to model a wooden artists pose-able manikin and animate that!

I've come across an issue with the manikin and this rig...
The joints revolve around a large ball joint on the model whereas the rigg wants to bend and flex the joints. I did try and fix this with painting skin weights but I just can't get it to look right. The picture below shows the furthest I have got with the manikin as Maya crashed and took away the hard work in trying to get the manikin to bond with the rig! and I didn't save it! LESON LEARNT!

I've tried to get around this by removing the offending limbs and trying for a ghost rider inspired look!

I'm just not happy that you'll get to see the full range of animation so i'm abandoning this idea aswell.

While doing my tutorials i'd stick on some DVD's/Blurays special features and played the making of and behind the sceenes paticually at Appleseed Ex-Machina:

Although I can't find copies of the footage on the blue-ray it shows some of the ways the realistic movement was performed. Much of it was actors in motion-capture suits actually acting out the scenes in real time then using a facial recognition software to animate the realistic facial expressions which might other wise missed by animators.

Other things I watched were the making of the Terminator Salvation on how the brought back a young Arnie for the 4th installment:

They managed to recreate the head in CG. The chest area was taken from the Stan Winston studios from when the 1st Terminator was made, it required a caste to be used and they used a body double that strongly resembled Arnie's physique and then simply merged all the elements together.

I have less than a week to go so I better had come up with something quick!

I think more has to be done with just a JCB arm and maybe interlink this with my character!

I'm going to do a JCB driver and build the rest of a JCB then animate them together as one project! Finding blueprints for a JCB is proving quite difficult! I'm going to have to go on just creating one from reference material! It doesn't need to be highly detailed anyway!

There are some images below for possible models!

This one comes with it's Blue Prints too!

But these are too small for me to use in Maya really and I'm not sure about the tracks as i've never animated anything like that before and wouldn't have a clue where to start especially with it been towards the end of the project!

I've found a winner!
Someone one had already modeled in 3D but I like the look of it! Also I've found a helpful tutorial with the tracks!

This is only a days worth of modeling but it's getting there!

and after some textures added and the default light setup in the render setting were dicovered!

It looks quite impressive, but unfortunately it takes about 2mins to render out and there's about 1500 frames ( 48 hours at best ) to render so I'll have to pass for now!
And settle for:

Not the greatest setting in the world but this project was never about the animation or the rendering side of things and I'm just using this to demonstrate what I've learned from the tutorials I have done. All that's left to do now is render out the small animation I've put together!

And the small animation final video:

DDM 3 Blog

For anyone that has looked at my previous blog, this is a continuation of:

Personal and Sketch Development David Warren

As my 1st and 2nd years work don't account for any marks in the 3rd year I'm starting a fresh blog with all the work for my 3rd and final year at the Leeds College of Art where I am studying Design for Digital Media.