Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still Teething.. a little lip too

Vampire puppy. I need to zoom out more often. Maybe teeth and gums will help, maybe I'll have to futz with the teeth and make them more kid-friendly.

Oh and lips. How do you model Lips that will be deformed a lot? sigh...

Expert advice from Trisha is to put the teeth on a different object so the deforming of the lips doesn't screw them up.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another link

Another 'how to get a game company job' link...

Animatic Re-Post

Here is the Animatic

(You will need flash player)

Art 450 again

0. A working title:
  • Hungry Puppy
1. Project goals:
  • Create a 3d animated short.
  • Learn the technical processes included in such, and have something to show for it.
  • Make it fun to watch.

2. A project description:
  • A 3d modeled Welsh Pembroke Corgi of about teenage years making various attempts to get at a cake on top of a fridge. And it's funny.

3. Specific products of study or deliverables that you will be creating for your project.
  • The finished, polished movie clip. The corgi model which can be re-used for other projects. The 'story board' which is really a "low production quality" 2d flash video, but shows I thought it out before doing it.

4. Visual and/or written research for your project. Stuff done by other people.
  • Lots of picture of adorable dogs. Lots of tutorials, several books I actually paid for. Disney's "Bolt" as an example of a 3d animated dog whose teeth don't scare little children.
5. Treatment visuals for your project. This is stuff done by you. This can consist of links, a bibliography, images, etc.
  • All those photos (see tag 'puppy refs'), the story board anamatic.
6. A written description of specific technical and research issues you will need to address during the course of your project.
  • Modeling organic things accurately-ish is hard, and requires trying several things before finding the right way to do it.
  • I've never skinned something like this (or anything other than a box).
  • Rigging? What's that?
  • Animating a complex model?
  • Lighting it
  • Capturing it (woo render farm nights...)
  • Polishing the final capture is really beyond my current experience. I'm sure I can figure it out with help from resources, I've just never even used any of that software.
  • Finally, my creative adviser (My girlfriend, who, when I mused last year "I should do an animated short..." immediately shouted out "Make it about a puppy!! Trying to get food!! from the top of a Fridge!!"), anyway she still thinks I should try to get fur on the dog... which would be better but more work.
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."
  • Well.
  • Working on the model 3 times a week,
  • Work on the animatic for 2 hours a week or more as sanity allows.
  • Finish the teeth and tongue Wednesday 10-14 (2 weeks from today).
  • Finish the eyes/forehead the week after that (10-21)
  • Final touch-ups by the following saturday (10-24)
  • Rig it for 2 weeks (Nov 7)
  • Skin it for 2 weeks (Nov 21)
  • Test drive it, start animating.
Honestly... I would like to keep to this schedule but I don't feel confident that I can. I need to schedule regular work time more than goals; if I work it then it will get there.
My schedule as a 1 year CS Masters student is a little rigorous. And not completely to my liking. But this is my year, and i will do with it as I want to.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More Teeth

Now up to 8 somewhat-questionable teeth. I'm not sure how accurate I should be going here... I like the idea of Simpler, Blockier teeth more than realistic scary wolf teeth.
Somehow I'm seeing lips being even harder with the poly smooth...

Just to see if I could

First I was wanting to sketch out some teeth ideas, in photoshop. I've been doing paper drawing off and on over the summer, and have made progress with my technical drawing and shading skills. It looks like they've transferred well into photoshop. The light stuff isn't bad, though it's harder to get the even field. Also it's harder to get the solid dark shading. I should play more with size of brush and such. Sigh, to own these and play with them at home... buy anyway. Here's my little sketch.It would benefit from a border, at least in the editing view. And the eyes are weird. But it's SO nice to be able to have a big digital paper and zoom in and teak the little things. like the fore-paw bottom shading.

Ok time to do some Maya modeling.

Finding my direction

[Alternate title: fumbling around for a compass.]

I take a moment to ponder. What do I want to do? Is coding really my forte? The security sequence sounds interesting, but is it for me? SOU's master's program has assistantship money but no mentoring in the field I've become so attached to: 3d art, game creation- stuff. My corgi is cute, I hope the video will be good too, and I hope I finish it. This summer wasn't nearly as productive as I hoped it would be when it started. Time off is good, playing games is good too, but only after work has been done. But back to the subject.

Is this masters degree pursuit of a year or two going to be what I want to do, help me get to where I'd like to go? Making video games is a strange, vague, nice-sounding fantasy to me; I don't know what it's really like. Imagining is all I can do and that worries me. But it sounds better than the other stuff I've thought about pursuing. Is 'it sounds better' sufficent to choose a life-changing path?

It's time to leave the rogue valley, maybe to leave Oregon. Rather, it kinda feels like it maybe time. Time to find a city and place with learning available in person as well as from books and the web.
I found relative success in Theatre by the help and door-opening of the faculty here, by proving to them that I got it. Then proving (kinda) to those they introduced me to.

I guess I could take that success and go with it, and keep games as a hobby.

Mom and Dad say 'find a job that makes you happy and has health insurance.'

I'm inclined to be quiet, stationary, an introvert. Sometime I feel the need to break out of that shell, then I go back in for a stretch. It takes a lot of hermiting to build up the break-out energy.

A data point that is solid is the joy of a progressing, well done model. I haven't done many but they've been fun.

Project idea: find an excuse to make something in Zbrush. Just play with it. Maybe make a squirrel for the 2d game Idea, or just make a thingy.

And I ought to exercise more. And Draw too. And scan and post the drawings.

Ok, moving on. This is the part where I make a to-do list for the near and long term, of which I'll follow a little then get distracted playing Braid or something.
-Finish book work like I should have at the start of the summer.
-Finish the puppy, and try Rigging then lighting.
-Maybe ask someone if they'd let me play with their models to do lighting...
-Find myself and my center.

-This term, Schedule out and stick to a work schedule. Drop one of the classes if need be. Try them first though.
-Talk to Pete about System Analysis and if it really is worth the time/money to me.

And here are some websites to look at more:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Look at dog Teeth

In an effort to make the teeth/mouth section of this model go faster than the toes, I'm actually studying the subject a little first.
Real do teeth are scary, pointy things that remind us that dogs are decended from carniviorus wolves who figured out a good way to stop the deer/caribou/moose from running away: tear out the hamstring.
Looking at a few images from Bolt shows a specific choice: blunt the incisiors and other teeth so we don't scare the kids. Much like the Monsters Inc. characters tended to have large 'pointy' teeth, but in a rounded way. Also bolt's other teeth appear far more uniform and less pointy. The overall effect is more of a cross between human and dog, which helps Bolt look reasonable when talking human words.
So what am I gonna do? other than the feet I've tried to stay very close to realism so far. I still wonder if that is a good choice or not. Maybe I should have pushed more and scaled back later. I'm too used to doing lighting in the theatre, where we usually are going for a "realism that lifts slightly into theatricality" effect. Lessons learned: think more about and sketch more of your character. (Character design becomes more and more an interest to me...)

ANYway... It would be easier to model blocky teeth that have few gaps between them (like Bolts) rather than the strangely spaced out reality. Also it's just weird doing teeth with Polygon Smoothing involved, but I'm still hoping that'll save me in the end.

I guess I should keep sketching before trying... teeth are hard to draw too. Fine distinctions of shading have never been my strong point. The technique being the hard part. I guess start with a bigger image (I still do tiny thumbnails far more often, so I can work on the spacing of stuff and easily start over when I screw up. I should scan some of this stuff...)

Blah. It's a partly cloudy warm saturday. I should enjoy the out of doors a bit too.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My First Tooth

I didn't bother to poly smooth because it's very early. Theatre took up all my time recently, so yeah excuse.
It's about as tall as I'd like, but is actually too thin. Being thicker will make it less menacing I think/hope.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Teef refs

Taken from the internet, for reference only not for making money.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ok, Goals, right...

Well, I accomplished my goal of having a bottom-line functional set of toes today. So what follows?
  • Tomorrow (at work) find reference pictures of dog's mouths. (DONE!)
  • In the afternoon, study Jen's croc rig for how she did the mouth, then setup my model (open up the mouth, ect)
  • Thursday morning Put in 2 hours on the mouth, unless i have to drive to grants pass..
  • Thursday work on the mouth, rough in the teeth and tongue or at least where they will be.
  • Friday will probably be spent working on theatre.
  • Saturday spend a full 4 hours working the mouth, hopefully my vast experience gained from all this other work will let this go faster. (assuming theatre doesn't take up time.
  • Sunday off. ( can you say COD 4? or Crysis MP... or disc golf in the woods... mmmh...)
  • Finish mouth next week, about Wednesday.

Toes are now in Beta

The toe saga continues. Yes I copied and pasted for the back feet, but they are bigger and elongated. I might tweak a little bit more, the heights of the two big middle toes should be the same I think, but it's difficult with polygon smoothing to achieve. But anyway, this is generally what they shal be.

Stepping back and looking again, they look large and cartooney. Kinda like the bolt feet I've been referencing. The cartooney is fine, but they may be too big. I'll check them versis the archive photos of corgis, I remember a certain petite-ness...
Oh yes, and I added nostrils. The nose may need more work, but that's touch up. Oh and I grew the ears, need to see how huge and goofy they can stand to be.
(The seam in the middle is an artifact and won't be there when I really 'bake' the final product)

Here be the reference photos for you to compare this with...)