Friday, January 28, 2011

First scene with a voice track

I didn't feel well tonight. So rather than go out and have fun on a friday night, like every other 20-something in the city, I came home to recover. But instead of wrapping myself under a blanket, I completed the rough animation for another shot in the thesis' short film. Why did I do this? Maybe because I really enjoy doing this stuff. Maybe the looming deadline for the short film has me scared silly.

Probably both.

Either way, shot 06 is green on the animation! Woo! Like all the other shots, nothing is going to be polished or finalized until the whole kit'n'kaboodle gets completed. But for now, this is good enough to move on. And hey, it's the first lip synch in the script! I like the voice on him, I feel it matches the Thrall quite well :D

Also, one of the animators on my team has delivered their first shot! That'll appear next, once I get all my stuff imported and compiled for it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If we don't delete our history, we are doomed to repeat it

George Santayana once said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A very quotable (and often slightly butchered) phrase. And it comes to mind when I think of how many times I have made a history-related mistake in my 3D works.

After making some adjustments to the Thrall's face, it looked even better than before! So I dumped all of his info back into the source engine and was greeted with the monstrosity you see above you. Why? Because I forgot to 'delete my history'.

See, his face was attached to his skeleton way back when I first made his character rig.  This face-attaching process is referred to as 'skinning', which I know is kind of backwards compared to how we normally use that word in ANY other context. -_- Anyway, since the skinning happened before I did my recent tweaks, the Source engine ignored everything that came afterwards. He looks okay in my 3D software where I did all the fixes, but while Source is ignoring them it looks like he got hit by a particularly large ugly tree.

The solution? Delete the character's history! (or for the Sourceist who might be reading this, delete all non-deformer history). For the layman, that just means that we make all the edits concrete and wipe the slate clean. But we still keep his face attached to the bones so that animation magic can happen.

TLDR Version: Don't rush while changing your main character, or his face will implode.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Robotic Overlords Yelling at Chefs

Here's an animation test for the robotic arms that descend on a poor chef towards the end of the short film. I had to put this guy together because one of my animators is about to start the scene this robot thingy shows up in.

In the final version, four of these will descend at once. Each even has their own little personality, which makes me chuckle. But for now, here's robot arm #1, doing his strangely non-robotic double-take. This was built over the course of a night, and rigged/animated in a morning. Things like this is really where the script I made starts saving lots and lots of time. Hooray!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not Dead. Just busy.

The thesis blog has been woefully devoid of updates recently. But it's not for lack of attention to the thesis project! It's just that thesis work itself takes precedence over writing ABOUT thesis work.

Over the past month and a half, I have done a lot of work making more of the props that I missed earlier (back when I grossly underestimated the time it would take to do em). I also re-designed the kitchen to be a little livelier. Also did several rig fixes for my animators, and started my own shots for animation as well.

I'll share all of the above soon, but here's a small taste: shot 04! This is where the announcer's voice comes out of nowhere and startles our poor main character. I am responsible for everything there, so I'll take credit for anything that looks good. For anything that looks bad, I blame Zoidberg.