Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fuzzy wuzz was a puppy....

Lookin ahead a bit. A classmate asked "are you using fur?" I hadn't thought about the skin much yet, having forged ahead to modeling.
So the search for maya tutorials on fur begins. It looks like it'll add a level of complication... but other than being "french" once I can figure it out It should bring good results.

Tutorial using seperate UV editor.

Quick run down without much explanation of Maya fur.

It looks like I'll be creating the model, then making skin objects which will be slightly smaller and will provide the area for the fur to grow on. I'd rather just do it all on one, but oh well.

This is from just slapping on some fur, tweaking the color a bit. Color-wise I'm kinda liking it for the warm brown of a lighter colored welsh corgi.

Monday, April 27, 2009

First Whack at the puppy model !!

Um... 3 hours. Organic is hard.

What I've been up to

I told myself that I wouldn't put personal stuff here because I tend to rant and drivel and it's just not a happy thing for those in reader-land to experience.
But, I'm stressed, so here I will let off some steam and try to get everything in perspective.
Here are the things on my stove burners:
  • This Project. It's at a murky stage of "Spend the next 2 weeks hammering out a model, and learning anything needed to do so." I have sketches of the front and side view, and tried last night to set them up as image planes, with most success except for a critical bit. But hey, everyone laughs when they see the sketch out.
  • Programming 3. I'm doing quite well in the class, currently ahead on homework, but I need to learn all I can or the Masters in CS will hurt a lot.
  • La Boheme. An opera, produced by Rogue Valley Opera. I'm the Technical Director. Meaning I need to hire a run crew to move the scenery around, both from city to city (Central point to Grants pass to Medford to Central point again) and during the show. The budget is small but I think I can do it with 6 people. I had 4 signed up, but one just dropped out. So I need to find 3 more people by about Thursday. And get a lot of stuff moved from SOU to Grants Pass. And many other things. Silver Lining: it's paying theatre work.
  • I was supposed to fix a friend of my Mother's printer weeks ago. They live somewhere between Grants Pass and Medford. I was bad a didn't call back their messages a while ago, and now they wont respond to mine, unless I got the wrong phone number.... If I ever do get around to this they'll pay me.
  • I turned 25 two weeks ago. "Welcome to the quarter-century club!" quips my (older) sister. [Insert lots of 'I'm getting older' worries and such here.] So I ran a mile on the track and timed myself: 7 minutes and 44 seconds. I'm kinda proud of that... Though I should exercise more often.
  • Takeing the GRE, so I can get into the Masters in CS program. Need to sign up, need to study. The better I do, the better chance of overcoming the competition for Assistantship money.
  • I finished the online application for the MCS just now, and forked out $50. On the up shot, I have my under grad diploma. Need to get a fire proof storage thingy for that and other important papers (Birth certificate).
  • Find 3 faculty to write letters of Recommendation for said MCS.
  • Write my own 'letter of intent' for MCS. According to an inside source (Dan Harvey, who will be reading this letter) the point is to get me thinking about what I want to do, not to prove that I have clear intent. Which is good, because I have no idea. I like coding at it's core (more so when it compiles than when it does not), and I like the 2d game I started last term (Tank Game on the blog) and I like making things in Maya (ask me again after working on this puppy for a week...). I'm shoving that one off the stove for now, hopefully it will congeal more in the pit of my subconscious.
  • Kids. They're everywhere. They seem cuter than in years past. Things I read or see wax poetic about how family and raising the next generation is the only true lasting reward in life, and I don't gloss over those parts anymore. Do I have a biological clock? Last summer I hung out with one of my co-workers and her friends. They are Mormon, and invited me to several of their church functions. I never was looking to convert, just hang out and explore the religion a little. One of the things I realized was just how important family is to them, and not just in the lots of kids sense. To put it simply, some of this family first philosophy stuck too. It's creepy because I'm not ready, monetary or self development-wise. This kids-family just bounces around in the back of my mind rather than occupying the front, but it's there.
I can't really say as I feel better, but that could be the small breakfast talking. I guess I feel good that I can have all these plates spinning up in the air and only one has dropped, kinda.

OK, time to remember math for the GRE...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Still boarding the puppy

That's an old sentance out of context.
This one has 2 endings based off the trampoline, let me know which seems funnier to you.

Need to crack down. In theory I start modeling next week. That will need to include time to flesh out what the dog looks like. 2 weeks after I try to start to rig....

Simply drawing and re-drawing still works as a brain storming idea, if i keep up the speed and don't worry about quality. Though practice has helped that a lot.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wait, what am I doing again?

Say whoa and take a step back.

I’ve been leaning very strongly away from complicated ideas and extra props. I’ve been refining the timing on the middle of a sequence when I don’t know how to end the sequence, or the short!!!

Ok. What Am I Doing??

A funny short of a dog getting or tying to get a cake from the top of a frige.

The hops, doesn’t really work, just establishes the area more, and now I have a relatively good opening to do that for me.

The run and jump. Though my best timing, a surprise gem from the start, I need to work on it. It is a great sketch but not yet a great bit.

My original brainstorm had a lot of quick tactics, not this 3 slow ones.
(influence: how much work goes into these. But that shouldn’t stop me from finding what is funny, what is worth it.)

Hm. Chocolate is bad for dogs. Is there anything else I could substitute? Should I change it so the dog doesn’t get the cake ? Should I add more characters? Should I tip over the fridge at the end?

OK, having watched other amateur animated things for the past… I don’t know how long, you tube is stealing my life.

Funny: character getting crushed at the end.

Idea: puppy grabs freezer door, it pops open, hundreds of things fall out, and puppy climb sees mountain to top made.

I do want the puppy to win, so the last shot is the puppy with a huge belly and cake crumbs. Just how to get from the opening to there…

The end must be a surprise however.

Well let me post the modified opening at least. Also There's an idea for the ending that I did before writing all this. Comments welcome...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

StoryBoard v0.3

Trisha already pointed out that the opening needs an introduction of the character first, then the cake. And suggested to act out the jumps and such timing, with my hand if nothing else. I see camera rental in the future; flash got me somewhere but not all the way

More Ref Pics

The first is a real picture, the rest are screen captures of the below mentioned You Tube video, of Goro Corgi.

How does the dog run across the road...?

It's been years since I've been around a dog more than, oh, 20 min a week. I don't know how dogs run, I've never paid attention. Well, THANK GOD FOR YOU TUBE and dog owners who post surprisingly long videos of their beloved pets just running around and jumping and doing stuff!!

OK, I should look at more but that one is 8 minutes of this corgi. Running, jumping, swimming. Some of it even in slow motion ( time stamp 32 to 46 seconds), which overcomes the crappy you tube compression. Kinda.


No, not a year of historical note, that's how many frames my lil project has. 57 seconds. 24 frames a second. and it'll grow with intro and finishing stuff..
Hm, this is kinda big after all...

[ assuming 5 minutes to render each frame, that's 4.31 DAYS to render]
It'll probably be less, I tell myself...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Input from the Vetran

Trisha was nice enough to look at my sketched board for the puppy. Her advice and comments included such gems as:
-More props means many more hours modeling.
-You can keep it relatively realistic or you can go way beyond reality to cartoon land. Half way doesn't really work.
-Need logical believable reasons for things to happen (like puppy falling off trampoline
-Keep it Short!! Keep it Simple!!
-Good story makes a model seem so much more and a video work.
- Good model doesn't make good story.

I am currently leaning toward developing what I've got and keeping it simple that way. The ideas scrawled on the chalk board involve more props to build and going further from reality.

So, work on Opening sequence.
Split up flash file and have real timing instead of just doing 1 frame per second.
Look at ways the trampoline can end it.
Figure out how to end it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some ref pics

[Edit, added more pictures]

Some of the many corgi pictures i found today. They really do have a weird body shape...
I have a 'negative space' image of just the outline, but Blogger decided to stop uploading so I can't show it.
Anyway, Need to keep working on the tactics, figure out which ones I want to use by like next week so I can board em nicely and try the timing.

puppy ideas

New tactic/shot:
Don't show piling of things, just show puppy on top of pile (which wobbles) streaching and almost getting the cake before falling.

For the long jump, have slow motion shot in the air, with puppy perspective as the cake floats closer, then at the last moment puppy cam tilts down, then edit out to seeing puppy impacting on the fridge front. (credit: Bridget)

Generally I've got 2 ok and 1 good ideas; need more ideas. if I have 2 weeks to model, 3 weeks to rig (including learning to rig), then I just have 5 weeks in the term to story board... and I've used 2 of them up.
Also need to skin and light...

so here's some more brainstorming

Ok, what else can the dog do?
How else would a person do it?
Grappling hook
Flap ears

How to make Trampoline funnier: zoom in for the almost, fly above, hit celinng. or
Series of shots just of cake, puppy nearly there, puppy too far away. One bounce or severeal?

Climbing suction foot thingys

Puppy pole vault

Ninja wire harness

Magic (spells chants, bag of stuff)

Use just mouth or paws too?

Combine boxes with trampoline

Plant instant ivy, let grow, climb, slip, tangled, stuck, sigh.

Comic transformation of puppy or keep realistic? (same as paws question.)

Like cannon idea…

Here's is the extended sketch out of ideas, with a leetle work on the first three and 2 new sections. Storyboarding went really slow at first; tried too hard to use the image research I've been doing to make realistic puppy. would be much better and faster without.
I'm tempted to take these storyboards a step closer to real animation with the frames and timings, don't know if the time spent is worth it...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sketching Out

I hesitate to call this story boarding, but I guess that's what it is. The fun part about doing flash, other than the onion skinning and auto straighten-line bits, is you can make little movies!

Project proposaL:

0. A working title for your project
Hungry Puppy
1. Project goals (personal? professional? exploratory?)
Continue learning about maya in its near-infinite facets. Modeling the puppy, rigging the puppy, animating the puppy, getting a reasonable skin for the puppy.
Out putting a video. Storyboarding a video. Lighting. Sound?? Big if.
2. A project description.
(PreProduction planning for) A short (1min) video of an 3d animated puppy getting a cake from the top of a fridge in humorous ways.
3. Specific products of study or deliverables that you will be creating for your project.
A 1 minute movie clip (dare I say ‘demo reel?’), and a rigged puppy for future possible use.
4. Visual and/or written research for your project. Stuff done by other people.
Reference photos of kitchens, dogs, cakes, trampolines and other props used. Find a good soundtrack?
5. Treatment visuals for your project. This is stuff done by you. This can consist of links, a bibliography, images, etc.
Paper or electronic storyboard sketches of puppy ‘cake getting tactics,’ reference photos and sketches of puppy design, kitchen design, props design. Lighting reference photos. Maybe animation timing and movement reference clips
6. A written description of specific technical and research issues you will need to address during the course of your project.
Modeling for this kind of output (less low-poly than game). Rigging this model. Animating this model (sitting in on Miles class is key here…). Skinning this model. Lighting. Post processing, whatever that is…. ☺
7. A timeline of your project. When you will be doing all of this good stuff. You must include specific DEADLINES (for example: "January 27th", not "some time in January."
This I’m really not sure on. I’m feeling conservative and saying Pre production this term, and moving into modeling and setting up the scene next term, with finishing the term after that. So.
• Storyboard out the ideas I’ve got and come up with more by next Thursday April 16th.
• Next find puppy references and get a solid character sketch, for use in modeling, done by Thursday April 23rd.
• Meanwhile Ref pics of kitchen and props needed for tactics. Kitchen and prop sketches by the following Monday April 27th.
• (Continue sketching tactic ideas all this time of course).
• Maybe make hand wavy video for timing references. I have no idea how long that would take so I’ll say may 21st, the last critique day.
• This far out I’m not sure. Begin modeling the puppy.

The proverbial oops...

Yeah, of course I've done lots on my project since last week. We only present tomorrow. (no, I haven't put anything down on paper or done much thinking)
Well thinking "I should work on that" doesn't cont. Working at home with distractions doesn't help, or rather doesn't work, period. Even if the damm home and end keys work there and not here.
Ok, I did do some brain storming talk about the project with my muse girlfriend Bridget.
Puppy type: droopy ears, beagle (though I like basset hounds too). or pointy up-right ears like a Irish corgi.

puppy tactic: trampoline. potentials of puppy hanging from cake by jaws going "now what?" or flying up past cake too high going 'crap.'

I really need to storyboard sketch this stuff.

but first drafting out the statements.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hungry Puppy

For my art 450 project, I am going to steal the idea my girlfriend suggested, a hungry puppy trying to get a cake off the top of a referidgerator.
Here is my brainstorming for the story or the shots:

Puppy jumping up to try to get at cake.
Opening. Pan up fridge to cake.
Rotate around cake to see puppy down below.
Cut to camera behind puppy, seeing back of puppy’s head and cake on top of fridge.
Cutie to puppies face drooling.
Cut to cake.
Cut to puppy trying things below, with an edit each time.
• Standing jump
• Run and jump
• Stack and build something, tips over and falls
Cut to puppy laying, panting, and giving up.
Cut to puppy staring at the problem, seeing counter or alternate way (camera zooms to show audience what puppy is thinking).
?? cut to puppy having dawn of idea?? (need set up blackout ending…)

Black out,
Fade up on puppy laying after eating all cake.
the end.

The really fun part is I would like to do this in Maya. I'm thinking it's about a minute of video, give or take.
So this term may be taken up with pre production stuff, like learning then building a rigged dog of suitable cuteness, skinning him... making the room... yeah. I'll try to list it all out later.