So… with the usual throw you in at the deep end attitude that this course has, we were introduced to the basics of modelling within 3ds Max. It was a good lecture, very interesting as I have not really done any modelling (excluding the fruit bowl) within Max. So after a mornings lecture/demonstration of all the important modelling tools we were informed we had 24 hours to model an insect of our choice. Unsurprisingly the artists all coped reasonably well with this deadline, but us animators struggled to get going. None the less I battled on through and just about made the deadline… and then realised I had half an hours worth of rendering to do before I could hand it in. Whoops!! That will teach me to not think of these things earlier!
Anyway, I was rather pleased with my model, pretty good for a first attempt I felt. I provide you all with a turnaround to form your own opinions! The turnaround is currently extremely quick as I reduced the frame count somewhat to try and get it to render as fast as possible. When I get a chance in the next few weeks I will re-render it at a slower speed so that you can actually get a proper look before it spins away!!
This was the final animation project of the year. It was another 6 week project and involved a huge pile of work for the animators. Once again we paired up with an artist buddy and set to work brain storming for character ideas. It took us a while, but Jess (my artist/modeller) and I finally cobbled together an interesting personality to get to work on. We called her Anna. She has an interesting split personality: one side clueless, naive and innocent, the other highly scientifically intelligent. This intelligence was represented by a hand puppet that went everywhere with her. We called him Darwin.
So with our ideas planned and our heads brimming with possibility we set to work actually researching and designing her as well as coming up with a good 10 second voice clip that would be used in the final animation. While Jess did the hard work of designing her looks, I focused on how she would behave and move. Once our two weeks of planning were up we dived head long into the practical production. I produced a rig to animate while Jess began to create the model of Anna.
During week three as soon as the rig was up and running I began animating. The first thing I needed to create was a walk cycle… or in Anna’s case, a skip cycle. By week four Jess handed me her finished model and I set to work skinning it to the rig. It was about this point that illness struck and a miserable cold forced me away from my computer for a time. As it backed off I expected to be able to leap back in and catch up over Easter only to discover that I had developed chronic headaches that would prevent me spending any time in front of a computer for several months.
It was a pain (in multiple ways 😛 ) but I was able to successfully apply for mitigating circumstances and with the help of some boring pills my headaches backed off enough for me to resit over the summer. However working over summer, out of uni and without helpful MA students and tutors to turn to for advice I quickly became bogged down in the technicalities of skinning. What would have taken me a week or two at uni in fact took me almost a month and a half. This left me with almost no time for my final animation the result of which was that of course, my final product was rushed and messy. The movements were wooden and unnatural and the timing was off all over the place. The lip sync was a bit lazy although at least mostly in time with the voice clip. However, the deadline was against me and I only needed 40% to pass the module and my first year counts for nothing in my overall degree. As such, I accepted defeat and handed in what I had managed to produce.
So I say now, I am not happy with this final result in any way and Im not certain it deserved the 2:2 that it got. However, I know that there are some of you out there that want to see it none the less. So for that reason, here it is:
So this was the other half of our animating animals module. This was definitely the weaker of my two animations, mainly thanks to my inability to realise that the reading week was one of the six working weeks. So I ended up losing a weeks worth of time Id expected to have when I realised I was wrong. This led to me having to rush to get the landing and take off completed and as such they are unnatural and wooden. A shame really as the flight cycle itself is pretty strong. Oh well. That will teach me to not carefully check a calendar!
Again the models were created by Fen, my artist buddy. We had great fun over the six weeks though and despite the rushed beginning and end, all in all we did pretty well.
This project moved on nicely from the human walk cycle. We had six weeks in total to create both a four legged walkcycle (start -> walk -> stop) and then a flight cycle (take off -> flight -> landing). It was an intense project but extremely satisfying. I was much happier with the result of my four legged than with my flight cycle.
This was the first project in which we paired up with the artists (modellers) on our course. The animators created rigs and animated them while the artists created models that would be moved by the animated rigs so that the final result was a realistic CG creature walking and flying. This was in fact the first year that Glamorgan allowed first years to be artists instead of animators and it meant they had shuffled up the course slightly. This was the first time they had tried pairing us up and all of us hit various snags on the way. One of the biggest problems was combining our work at the end of the six weeks. Many of us just couldn’t get the animations loaded up on to the models. Thankfully myself and my partner (Fen) were more successful than most although we did still hit a few problems. One of the most noticeable is the strange “click” of joints the lion developed when we put it all together.
None the less this was a great project and we were both extremely pleased with the results.