Monday, July 23, 2007

Mech Blows Away Stuff

A couple stills of my Mech destroying the antennae array. It's getting close to render time for this bad boy so you can see a full animation of the lil' project.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Added Some Snow to th Mech Scene

Will post about the process later, but wanted to throw an image up to compare to the scene below with no falling snow.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

3D Buzz Challenge

During today's 3DBuzz DVD instruction, we were producing the shading network for our snowy ground. At the end of the video, Zak [one of the two instructors] challenged the viewer to extend our network to account for the ability to have the specular color [sun's highlight on the snow] fade as it moves away from the camera. Here's a shot incorporating the solution I concocted [which I will edetail below]:


1. Put both the Color [Blender] and Bump on the same X channel in the Set Range [Normalizer] column which frees up the Z channel for use with specular color.

2. Just plug OutValZ from the Normalizer into the SpecularColor of the "GroundSnow_M".

3. In the attribute editor for the Normalizer [set range], make sure the Min= 0.18 [in my case anyway...whatever low value you need here] and that the Max = 0. This is because the MIN is nearest the camera and the MAX is furthest away.

Screenshot of solution: [click on pic for a larger version]

Mech Walks In Snow Blooper

Below is a Playblast blooper of my Mech walking in the snow. This occurs because it's just the initial setup of making the ground a soft body and setting up a collision with the shoes we built for the Mech.

It's easy to fix by simply:

1. Setting the conserve of the "Soft_Body_GroundParticle" node = 0
2. Setting the resilience of each shoe piece = 0
3. And to get rid of the "stickies" [areas where the ground is pulled upwards], one needs to Key the Trace Depth in an "on/off" fashion based on where the feet are about to collide with the ground and a frame or two when the shoes begins to lift upwards.

Currently, I'm not liking the results of the footprints left even after I make the adjustments, and will either tweak this out a bit more and/or just use blend shapes as done with the first two steps.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Alien Abduction: Final [?] Film

Here's is my final [ well....would love to come back to this little project after I have some more Maya skills under my belt and expand and approve upon this little project, but for now am on to project 3 in the 3D Buzz training materials] short for project two- Alien Abduction.

There are a couple of areas I'm not satisfied with:

- need to go back an animate a tenticle that just sits there at the end of shot 1 [where our little alien prepares to shoot down to earth].

- also in shot one, there appears to be a shadow from an object that flies overhead- need to go back an investigate that.

As always, any feedback on this project is appreciated.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mech Turns Heads: Crowd Recoils

Here is pass two at the Mech walking to the antenna she intends to annihilate with her cannon. I've got some more tweaking to do, but first we're going to get schooled in some Dynamics and then come back to tweaking the animation. Let me know what you think so far!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Mech Walks Some More and A Camera Tries to Follow Her

So my mech is growing up fast and she's learning to walk with a tad bit of sophistication. This is still a rough walk [need to animate things like cannon swivel, "head" bobbing, etc.] along with some camera animation. The camera is animated through a rig that was built with a series of three locators, constraining one camera to all three locators and then animating their weights over time. Let me know what ya think so far!

The MEL UI Window for Mech Ani

So here's a pic of the UI I created through my first foray into MEL. The buttons at top were supposed to contain pics of the Mech for their corresponding parts, but alas Maya on my Mac refused to find them through MEL. So it's functional, just not as snazzy as I'd hoped.

Very Rough Mech Walk Cycle

This is the first pass [so VERY rough] at a a walk cycle for the Mech in my latest project. Thought it'd be fun to post this and then post the aftermath once tweaking and all other motions are incorporated into the piece. This is my first walk cycle inside of Maya.