Thursday, 21 September 2017

3rd Year: Arnold Renderer, Image Sampling, Quality and Rendering

So Maya 2017/2018 has scrapped its render known as Mental Ray, and has a new renderer known as Arnold. Arnold is better than Mental Ray, in a sense that it make realism in renders much easier. However, doing anything stylized can prove to be not as easy.

Quality is basically like sampling on ambient occlusion, but its called 'Camera (AA)', so now this will effect how grainy your image will be when you render, however this may need to be altered depending on your scene.

Low Sampling (Camera AA: 0)
Medium Sampling (Camera AA: 5)
High Sampling (Camera AA: 10)
Jet Pack Jones: Head Render: 4K, (4096p x4096p )
Render quality is what you would expect, still very similar to how it worked before,however, rendering at this high quality took over an hour to do, so if I ever wanted to render at this quality in the future I would need to leave serious time for rendering.

There is more of this coming as I've been working out all the new toys in Maya, so I'm going to post as much as I can so when I start work on my project, I will have all these tools at my disposal.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

3rd Year: Minor Project: Ideas

Shotokan Karate Influenced Animation

Ever since I was about six, I've done a martial art known as Shotokan Karate. Generally with most martial arts its easy to forget that Karate isn't just fighting and fitness, but it is also an art, henceforth the name Martial 'Art'. Shotokan is also not widely known as its is a style of karate rather than just Karate.

My main goal would be to produce an animation showing the beauty of the art, create awareness for the style of Karate, but also the benefits and applications of doing karate, so to encouraging people to stay fit, healthy mentally and physically.

Having done this for so long I know a lot of the ins and outs with the sport, smaller things that people may not initial even relate to karate, such as how you go about your day, smaller moves within combinations and even some not well known Shotokan information.

There are a lot of things that could be turned into animation, but the creative process for creating this animation would be based on whether I decide to do something based on sparring (Fighting) or Kata's (A sequence of moves).

Artistic References:


Mungo is a character I have had in my head for a while who I think would translate into animation very well, he is a massive beast with no legs, but a set of huge arms. Unlike the rest of his kind, he cannot walk anywhere because he has no legs, this makes him feel different.

This would be the general theme for the whole animation, no matter who/what you are, your special, I know the theme is a little cliche, but the process for creating an animation based off of this theme would be relatively not too difficult. Doing this animation would give me a chance to world built, and this being an idea that I've had for a while, I already mostly know what I want in my world.

The only thing I would need to work out is what I want to do with the story, I have a theme, a character, now I just need to come up with a story.

I would really want to focus on making my workflow and 3D work as professional as possible, so having a schedule, timestamps and realistic goals for certain points in the project, rather that try bank everything at once.

I would create the character first for my minor, as well as do some work into building the world Mungo inhabits, so I have proof of concept, ready to take into my major project.

Artistic References:

Visual Reference
Naru: Ori
Mungo Quick Colour
Mungo Sketch

Dermot the Dirty Dog

When I was a kid, my dad used to tell me stories, but one story in particular always seemed to stand out, Dermot the Dirty Dog. Dermot is a dog, who loves being dirty, loves to eat sausages and loves to go on adventures. This is also another thing I've had in my head for a while, but I never saw an opportunity to bring this character to life.

Once again like Mungo, I already have a very good idea of what the world and the character is going to be consistent of, but I still need to work out a story. I may just use one of the really old stories that my dad told me, but I'm not so sure whether to use old reference, or think of something original.

Once again, using the previous two years of experience, I would create the character first, so modelling, refining, skinning, rigging and texturing, to create my character, then if the idea was good enough I would take this idea into the major part of my project.

My end goal for this idea would be to produce a single character, as well as come with up a story, including an animatic, so this idea can be taken into my major project.

Artistic References

Little Dermot Doodle

Monday, 10 July 2017

2nd Year: Resit Submission Post

Pipeline 1

Head Modelling

Body Modelling




Facial Rigging Part 1

Facial Rigging Part 2

Facial Rigging Part 3



Pipeline 2: Lighting & Rendering

Mental Ray Part 1: Samples & Quality Control

Summer Work: The Daily Update!

Summer Work: The Daily Update!

High Res Modelling Torso

High Res Model Full

Buttons and Belt

Normals Applied

Face Mila Material Progression

So apart from the rendering process, this part was very interesting. I've always been curious on how to create and apply normal maps, and I can definitely say that this is very helpful and will use it in the future.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Summer Work: The Daily Update!

Nose Rig Added
Eyelids Added 
Brow Controls Added 
Final Scene Clean-Up
The Part was probably the most difficult as it uses an immense amount of blendshapes, and even though I had already named everything I still struggled to finish this sucker up. I do understand Blend Shapes a lot better, but I still need work. Apart from one bug in this rig, the whole thing seems to have come out okay.

Summer Work: The Daily Update!

Facial Rigging Start
Head Joints
Head Controls 
Mouth Ribbon 
Mouth Joints 
Mouth Controls
Facial Rigging (Like Rigging) isn't too hard to work out. I found binding the head and working the method for working to be very enjoyable and I really felt like I've learnt something from this. The only hard part was the mouth ribbon spine.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Summer Work: The Daily Update!

Tongue, Gums and Teeth, Added 
Facial Blend Shapes

Blend Shapes Intergration

Eye Following Control

The Cheeks have been given the "Thinning Treatment" I did implement the blend shapes and set the drivers so when the jaw rotated, the model would change. The part was also not so difficult but still took a reasonable amount of time. I do struggle with blend shapes, but that probably due to me being a bit out of practice.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Summer Work: The Daily Update!

Base Shapes 
Leg IKs
Foot Controls
Hip Movement
Spine Controls
Arm/Hand Controls
Hand Controls
Master Control and Colour Coding
Visibility Control
Reattached Head
So this was a pretty nice process, rigging. Overall there are a lot of things to be taken into consideration when doing this, how the model is made, how the model is skinned, etcetera. If you've done the work well before then this part is not very tough, but if done incorrectly this can butcher your whole model. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

Maya Tutorial: Linear Workflow

So the idea of linear workflow is to under a few fundamentals. First up is the difference between 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit images. 8-bit images uses an algorithm that is consistent of 2^8, creating 256 colors in RGB, so in total there would be a total of 16,777216 combinations for color. 16 but would be over 281 trillion combinations and 32 bit would be over 79 octillion combinations, so that's a lot of color. What more interesting is that 8-bit and 16-bit images will round out to a whole unit, so for example 3.4 would round off to 3 and 4.9 would round up to 5. So the image can be optimized.

Now this tutorial is a little out of date as it being shown in Maya 2013, so there is only so much I can do. I understand the technology and methods Maya uses to an extent in order to render a scene and create an image. Having certain render settings either "Washing-Out" or "Bleaching-Out" an image due to it trying to recreate the original is understandable, and whilst this technique may not be as present in the current version of Maya its nice to understand how to ratios of lights and dark's clash to make the image.

Things like exposure, contrast and Gamma can give a scene realism in places you wouldn't expect, because of things that are lost in traditional renders rather than optimized renders. This can also be applied with things like Portal Lights, Ambient Occlusion layers, HDR Lighting and Final Gather Render options, its easy to see how a simulation of realism could be simulated, rather a brand new version of realism is "Created".

I know these images don't do this tutorial justice, but I do have a better understanding of how this technology works, and how it can be applied to certain situations if the need for it arises.

Also (Side Note) another thing to consider is the values a computers screen can export for you can effect a render of even a product. This got me thinking about how a lot of screens in media wouldn't be the same, not just in the sense of settings (E.g. Contrast, exposure, Saturation), so would the product than needed to be rendered need to be tested on multiple screens in order to get as true a render as many screens can portray?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Summer Work: The Daily Update!

Ribbon Spine Created 
Rig Fully Created

Knee Skinning Refinement

Head Connections Reworked 
Fingers Skinning Refinement

Arm/Shoulder/Elbow Joints Refined

Neck Skinning Smoothed

Ribbon Spine at Work

Initial Leg Skinning Refinement

Legs Fully Skinned and Smoothed

Pose Space Deformers, Arms

Pose Space Deformers, Wrist
Pose Space Deformers, Pelvis

Pose Space Deformers, Boots

Model Fully Skinned

Skinning in a weird way is a lot like modeling, You have to constantly refine, refine, refine, until you either get something that works or something your happy with. Like UVing however, this process can be a little hard to figure out but gets easier the longer you do it.

It is important to save a lot of your work though, as well as name and organize everything, having the joints named in the skinning menus is super handy rather than having to constantly look at your model, your rig, the menu, and rinse and repeat. Doing this just creates so much less work for yourself, and helps you even further down the development line.