Saturday, 1 March 2008

Post Production

Rendering with Alpha Channels, so in layers, enables me to have more power over them when doing post-production in After Effects. I keyed colour effects, did some transitions and some animation on Credits.

Sound editing was done in Adobe Premiere.

Texts in Maya

All the texts, including the ones for my credits, are done in Maya, textured , rendered out in Alpha Channels and could be animated or composited later on in After Effects.

The Picture:

The Credits:


I tried to play with Toon Shaders a bit. Several outlining effects can be reached, but they increase the polyigon rate. Some of them are sensitive to camera moves, so they move around objects when camera moves. These kind of rendering is interesting, but isn't really what I would need here, so I decided not to use it in my final outcome, just did the normal Tiff batch render.

This kind of rendering is called NON PHOTO REALISTIC RENDERING or NPR. I found this blog of Jon Farrel very interesting:

He wrote: "Recently I have been curious about nonphotorealistic rendering. So over the past little while I have been doing tests and checking out the options in achieving nice looking renderings. I was already familiar with ways of creating nonphotorealistic renderings with Renderman, from reading the book "Advanced Renderman Creating CGI for Motion Pictures". I was curious though about what other options existed to create these types of renders. Below are some of my findings.

Interestingly enough, Maya actually has several very good examples of nonphotoreaslistic render styles. My two favorites are below, rendered out in their default settings unless noted.

The other program I found that has very promising results is an opensource line renderer called Freestyle. It allows programmable python shading for the lines you create from you 3d object. Very cool stuff. If you want to check it out there is a link to the left in my links section. The bottom two renders below were done with a style module called JapaneseBigBrush which can be found on the freestyle site.

Overall I am very impressed at the results of my little study. I hope to harness some of these cool shaders and effects for use in a short animation."

Default Maya "Pencil drawing" setup.

A watercolor setup with defualt Maya parameters. Note the very cool bleeding effects present in the render. I composited the render over a paper texture to add to the effect. Other than that there is no post-render work.

this is a frame from an animated sequence I tested. I modified the defualt Maya visor setup to produce these images. The lines you see are a painteffects brush applied to the model which has a transparent shader attached. The Paper texture I grabbed off the internet and used as a camera plane so as to get rid of the need for any post compositing.

Two teapots rendered with Freestyle using the Japanese Big Brush style module.
I am very impressed with the beautiful renders this program puts out. This image is actually two separate renders of the same teapot. I composited the images and took down the opacity of the smaller teapot.

Simple Rigging and a Little of Animation

Camera Moves

1st shot:
Camera slowly tracks along characters (their introduction) until it notices a little girl with grandpa

2nd shot:

Close up - so we can see some little animation, then camera

3rd shot:

Camera moves on, to the last character in the room.

4th shot:

Camera tracks in from behind, until it stops on a wall with picture.

Little Poly's Animation

I tried setting different sorts of mechanisms into characters, but the easiest way to aminate limbs is with splitting them apart where we want joints (like on puppets) then INSERT THE PIVOT POINTS so these can rotate around them and PARENT parts properly.
Before splitting limbs , we need to do linear smooth and then duplicate limb few times, to get parts we need. ends need to be remodeled and pivot points adjusted so that we don't lose nice shape of them.

I discovered hat if i want to turn the character 180 degrees from the left to the right, then I just need to RESCALE IT on y axis. I might set the driven key not to lose the original size.
This turned out to be quite sharp move and on certain point our eye catches the gap between two freames (straight en-face) , although there is none:

To avoid this problem I cut out all the frames that were in between the extremes (kept just scale 1 and -1) in postproduction.

Joint animation would be very complicated and would would demand proper weight painting, so I didn't decide for it.

The Lighting and The Room

The Lighting

I am very interested in texturing and lighting.To achieve this misterious darkish gallery space with old sort of William Morris-Victorian lily patterned wall papers and decor, I enlighten it with darkish red lights and did light linking.

The viewers are lightened and lighltlinked separately. Characters are enlightened form the front with sharp bright light, which helps distinct their features better.

...and in shadow when showd from the back.

The Room

Room consists of 2D flat elements, everyone is textured separately and then layered in the 3D space.

Modeling and texturing finished!

I have to admit that I thought these models would take less time to be made but I spent hours modeling (made 1 6 characters!), not even mentioning texuring. Because I wanted to preserve all the pencil drawn outline edges, I had to remove nearly every singe vertice and adjust its position.

I became quite familiar with using graphic tablet to create some textures in Photoshop. I found a brush that makes things look like done with water colours. Now I am looking forward for my new toy- Wacom Intuos 3 A5 tablet.

All models gathered in one space:

Wednesday, 30 January 2008


The models the way I would like them to be textured:

I did some reserach about texturing, found some inetersting examples:

I need to train my Photoshop skills and UV mapping options.

This is my preferable goal.

considering different ways of modeling I have different options of texturing:

1.Before modling- if I use create polygon tool, then I need to do UV snapshot of each shape and take it to photoshop.

2.After modeling- I can first create prefaerable shape with texture on in Photoshop and then simply attach it to the plane in 3D space and then just cut it out with split polygon tool.

UV snapshots:

Texturing in Photoshop:

How to create your own brushes in Photoshop:



I decided to use some different and more creative ways of modeling this time.

To keep looks of models flat, cut-out like, I have 3 modeling options:

1. To use create polygon tool and just draw the preferable shape.

2. To create polygon planes with preferable texture on it and then just cut out the edges with split polygon tool.

3. to create a plane and then extrude edges. One option of extruding an edge to get flat curvy ribbons and strips is to use curves for modeling ( plug in is useful). Curves can be used for modeling only if we delete type history afterwords.
Modeling so far (the textures are just so, for easier viewing), I thought its going to be easier but it takes ages! Specially details and hair, which I decided to model with curves and then extrude polygon edges over them. Its hard to control tweak and twist.

I have to model 12 persons and then also the decorated walls of the national gallery ...and the heavy frame with inscription National Gallery. For wal papers I studied a bit of Arts and Crafts movement, specially those beautifully complicated William Morris's designs.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Character Design

To create preferable diversity of CHARACTERS I did some reading and researched the impressions and feedback of some of the visitors. On my visits I also secretly observing their reactions to the images, their behaviour and different personalities.

My "VISITORS OF GALLERY" need to be simplefyed characters , carrying some essential features of real ones. They shouldn't be based on any kind of stereotypes (racial, gender or religious,... diversity), but just on a personality base.
Some ideas for characters I had before. They might have been understood wrongly (racial, age and gender differences).

And my latest version of characters that Im going to model in 3D, but they will look flat: