Thursday, 30 May 2013

CGAA Summer Speed Paint Challenge: Flaming June

In case you're wondering, the fuselage is basically all fuel tank, with the pilot squeezed in at the very front.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Epic (2013)

Firstly - despite what the trailers suggest, this film has nothing in common with Ferngully (unless you count "large numbers of trees"); it is in fact another in a long line of CGI animations based on books by the American author/illustrator (and now film-maker) William Joyce - films such as Meet the Robinsons, Robots, and Rise of the Guardians.  Although the plot is definitely one of the "7 storylines" it's told well, and with some decent twists - this is helped by some good supporting characters.

The big strength of the film, however, is its visuals.  From the opening shots of empty forest to big battle scenes, the film world is beautifully designed and realised; like Brave, I suspect that this is down to plenty of on-location research by the animators and concept artists (in the case of Epic, the location in question being Connecticut, rather than Scotland).  The character designs show a wide variety of influences - the leafmen have obvious similarities of the High Elves from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but other characters are based on plants, insects and even fungi.

Some aspects of this film are probably only possible because of the animated nature of the film - like Arietty, it makes use of scale effects that would be difficult to replicate using live action and VFX (I won't say any more, to avoid spoilers), and although other scenes (particularly interactions between different scaled characters) could be done using VFX (much like Honey, I shrunk the kids), it is hard to believe that the effect would be quite as successful when the 2 sides of the interaction have to be created seperately.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Major Project+: Scale 5

More colour adjustment, and smoke created using Maya Fluids.

Although the Fluids take a while to set up, and especially to cache, the results are excellent, particularly the amount of control you get over everything from behavior to appearance.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Major Project+: Scale 4

Tried adding smoke in Maya using nDynamics, but I'm not too sure about the result - I think I'll try maya fluids to see how that looks in comparison.

Also adjusted the colour balance of the background, after a suggestion from Phil.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Major Project+: Scale 2

Added more of the train, along with some rails.
The only "modelling" thing left to do is add the ballast; then all that's left is the background/foreground.

Major Project+ : Motion Rig

It was a bit of a faff, but I've got the motion on the locomotive working properly

Monday, 13 May 2013

Major Project+ : Scale

Since the whole idea behind my Major project was that the model was meant for a 2D animation, it seems a bit of a shame that there are no composite 2D/3D images of it.  As a result, and because I actually want to see some composites too, I'm going to try and produce at least 1 fake animation cel - this will of course mean painting up a background (which is going to be an interesting challenge), but to test the basic principle I thought I'd try adding a crewmember in first.

Yes, they really are to scale

On a related note, I'm going to try and use one of the colour-calibrated monitors that photography apparently has to get the rendered colours to match up with what I have in my head.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Major Project: Interior Modelling 3

The mysterious "Dark Side of the Room" is revealed!

It turns out you can get quite a good silk effect with a brightness ramp shader

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Major Project: Final Turnarounds

Artillery Carriage


Troop Carriage

Command Carriage

Engineering Carriage

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Major Project: Tundra Rats Emblem

A small but significant part of the project has been designing a unit emblem; unfortunately I couldn't really design one until I'd worked out a name for the band of misfits.  Now that that's out of the way, I've come up with an emblem based on that of the "desert rats"

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Major Project: Submission Sample Page

As part of my submission, I'm making a combined presentation/art book.  It will be presented electronically, but formatted like a paper book.

To test the page layout, I've created a sample page
A3 Page (actually two A4 with a fold in the middle)

Major Project: Interior Modelling 2

Now with added Boom! (and, on a more prosaic note, a chair)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Major Project: Interior Modelling 1

I'm using Mudbox and the 3D paint tool for texturing to give a "handpainted" look

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Major Project: Engine Composite 1



And finally, the big advantage of CG animation - fully modelled valve gear
I can't even begin to imagine animating that lot by hand...