Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WEEK 15: Final Week! Good Luck!

For my returning students - have a great summer!

For my graduating students - best of luck!

Keep filling your sketchbooks - drawing skills never go out of style. :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WEEK 14: Game Dev 2 DESN2017 Assignment 5 Due Next week! No classes next Friday!

This is our last official class as next week is a school holiday. Please feel free to attend any of my classes on Thursdays from 8-6.

I hope you're all at the final polish stage on your final project.
Here's another great chase sequence from DreamWorks Animation's, 'The Croods'.
This is just a snippet of a complex 5 minute sequence featuring Eep in various types of 4-legged runs, regular runs, and slides.

WEEK 14: Asset Dev DESN1086: Assignment 5: Low poly model due next week!

This is your last week for your final assignment! I'm here to help.

Here are a couple of great articles about optimizing your models:

WEEK 14: Game Dev 4 DESN3012 Milestone 5 Due Next Week!

Good luck with your projects! Make the most of your last week in college and get some constructive critiques from your advisers. Please let me know if you need any help.

Here's a great post by animator Kenny Music about using helpful tools in Maya to speed up his workflow:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WEEK 13: Game Dev 2 DESN2017 Assignment 5 Due in Two Weeks

As you think of ways to have your character transition back into the run cycle, consider how you can make your scene interesting. The possibilities are endless. Case in point this nearly 1 minute long sequence from Disney's 1937 classic "Snow White". Her terrified run through the forest is one of the most well-known animated sequences of all time.

WEEK 13: Asset Dev DESN1086: Assignment 4 due

ASSIGNMENT 4 due today in class.

Last project of the year!


3D PROP 20%

DUE DATE: in class on BlackBoard WEEK 15 April 17th
*ZERO marks for late submissions

In 3D Studio Max, build a prop model that accompanies your character design from Assignment 1. For example, if the character was a retro spaceman then the 3D prop model could be his ray gun or helmet.

Polycount range: 2500 – 5000
When working be sure to keep in mind protocol and methodologies learned in Term 1 modeling class.

A) 3D prop model (.max or .fbx)
B) Reference material (sketches, photos etc. - jpg files)
C) Screenshots (front, side, back and ¾ view - .jpg files)



1086_A5_YOUR-NAME_prop.max or fbx
Ex - 1086_A5_BEIBER-JUSTIN_prop.max (last name first, please!)

3D Studio Max
jpgs 1280w x 800h (pixels)

It's been a while since you guys did any modeling. If you need a refresher, here are some Digital Tutors tutorials to get you back up to speed:
CG101: Modeling
Beginner's Guide to Modeling in 3ds Max
10 Ways to Improve Your Modeling in 3ds Max
Modeling Game Props in 3ds Max
Hard Surface Modeling Workflows in 3ds Max

WEEK 13: Game Dev 4 DESN3012 Milestone 5 Due in 2 Weeks

Here's another interesting feature workflow from a Shrek the 3rd animator Justin Barrett. He explains the details of his workflow with video examples from a scene he did on Puss In Boots.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WEEK 12: Game Dev 2 DESN2017 Assignment 4 due

The final stretch! This is the last assignment for your course, hopefully one that will bring your character smoothly back into his run cycle you started off with this term.  Think about how you can help this deceptively complex action look believable. It's not just a matter of letting the computer do the inbetweens for you - at this level we would like you to plan some interesting, subtle animation that will show your mastery of the tools and the animation principles. Ok, maybe "mastery" is scary. How about "facility" :D

What IS this 'recovery' of which I speak? Well, that's up to you, really - what happens after the slide, after the stagger, before the run cycle starts again?  There's only one way to do this properly - act it out! 
Don't forget to stretch!

Assignment 5: Recover
DUE DATE: WEEK 15 April 18 (in-class) – 20 Marks
*ZERO marks for late submissions
Using your bi-ped rig animate the character recovering from his stagger and transitioning back into your run cycle. The feel should be consistent with the personality and emotion of the previous animation. Secondary animations a broad range of movements and timing are encouraged to add life to the character.

A) Thumbnails of key poses – minimum 6 key poses
B) Video file of 3D recovery animation
EX -
DESN2017_A5_BIEBERJUSTIN_thumbnails.jpg (last name first, please!)


Please compress all images and videos to keep them small using the following guidelines:

Quicktimes, 560 pixels by 316 pixels, H.264 codec, max 10MB. You can use a variety of tools such as Handbrake, Adobe Media Encoder, Quicktime Pro and more to format your videos. I use the 11-second club guidelines for all submissions:

JPGs between 500-1200 pixels along longest edge, 72-300 dpi/ppi, max 5MB. You can use a variety of tools such as Photoshop, Gimp, and online programs to compress files.

WEEK 12: Asset Dev DESN1086: Assignment 4 due Next Week

Assignment 4 - action -  due next week!
Today is a work period - bring your questions & I'll have a look at your work in progress.
Make sure you put lots of time into the planning stages - thumbnailing animation is a really important skill. There's a lot of documentation on how to create nice thumbs online and on this blog. Remember to make the drawings readable in sillhouette. Think CLEAR not clean.  The thumbs below are low-detail but very very clear.

WEEK 12: Game Dev 4 DESN3012 Milestone 4 Due

Final stretch! 
Just 3 weeks left.
Please sign in and let me know if there's anything I can help you with (animation, uv'ing, texturing, painting)

Please upload your assignments to Blackboard. 

Your last assignment is due on the final week of class. 

Milestone 5: ex 5-10 second piece of animation. Value: 20%
* Late submissions will receive ZERO marks.

It is recommended that you show work in progress each week. Aim to have everything animated by Week 14 so you can spend the following week on revisions and polish. Playbasts are fine. No rendering required.

3012_ m5_lastnamefirstinitial_001.mov
ex: 3012_m5_donovant.mov

Quicktimes, 560 pixels by 316 pixels, H.264 codec, max 10MB. You can use a variety of tools such as Handbrake, Adobe Media Encoder, Quicktime Pro and more to format your videos. I use the 11-second club guidelines for all submissions:

As you approach the end of your program, here's a good question to start asking yourself?
'What is your workflow?'. The idea of WORKFLOW in animation is a very personal one.

Generally most animators will do at least most of the following:
  • read the script/watch the leica/look at the storyboard
  • draw some thumbnails for key actions
  • act out the scene on video
  • block the broad strokes of their shot using stepped keys or very pose-to-pose timing
  • approval or peer review
  • start breaking it down 
  • approval or peer review
  • add polish, layering, offsetting
  • final approval
  • revisions or retakes  
Some variations:
- key all controllers on each pose, adding all the detail needed to sell the posing
- key only the basic controllers on each pose and layer the complexity in subsequent passes
- work straight ahead keying only the main controls and adding finer detail in subsequent passes

.. and there are more where that came from.

With 3D, it's important to stay SIMPLE because of the complexity of fixing animation on several controllers moving on different frames. That said, you need to show the director what you're planning, and that means adding even expressions and finger controls from a very early stage.

What you don't want to do is randomly start working without any plan.  Think! Plan, then start animating. "Measure twice, cut once"

See this example of VFX workflow from John Carter from Animator Patrick Giusiano