Sunday, January 30, 2011

Creating Image Planes From Video Reference

Thanks to both my classes for shooting some fantastic video reference in class!!

Click here to see one of you as a lamp.
It's relatively easy to bring this footage into your animation files. You can easily follow the frame-by-frame reference, ie, rotoscope, but you'll quickly see that with just a little exaggeration you can make your animation even better, heavier, and snappier than the live action footage.

While I've worked on many projects that used live action reference, this was my first experiment animating directly over live action footage in my viewport. I spent about 5 minutes on this test & I simply could not believe how easy and quick it was to get the keys down & tweak it to bring out the emphasis I wanted.

So from now on, I'll be expecting even GREATER animation from all of you, hehe..

Check out the video to see how I turned one of you into a lamp...

Here are the instructions on how to view an image sequence in your viewport:

Create image sequence from your video:
-Find and trim the reference video you want and save it.
-Create a jpg image sequence for it at 24 fps, aiming for the lowest tolerable quality setting (I got 11 kb/fr)

In 3dsMax
-create an image plane with the right aspect ratio (72 x 128 works)
-in your Materials Editor, assign your image sequence as a Bitmap to the Diffuse colour making sure "Sequence" is selected.
-make sure to select "show standard map in viewport" in your material editor.

In Maya:

-create a new camera from the main menu:  Create --> Camera
-in the viewport, look through your new camera: Panels --> Perspective --> Camera 1 (or whatever you named your camera)
-in the viewport, create an image plane: View --> Image Plane --> Import Image, click on the first frame of your image sequence.
-In Image Plane Attributes --> Select "Use Image Sequence"
-To adjust the size of the image in the camera view, go to Display Options --> Overscan and try "2.0" or another size that make the image fit better in your viewport.

Any questions? Just ask the me.
Also try the Autodesk help pages. They're actually pretty helpful. :o)

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