Friday, April 1, 2011

WEEK 12: Character Design Critique, Planning the Final Project

We'll have a look at everyone's final designs and make some suggestions. 

It's time for your final assignment!

Your mission is to create a little world of Flash-animated characters in a live-action environment.  You have a lot of creative freedom with this assignment. You can work by yourself or as a small group. 
It can be linework or colour, it can be serious, cartoony, depressing, or rude. This is a chance to let your creativity shine. Your character needs to be able to move around and ideally walk around.

We'll do some brainstorming in class so you can get started. For inspiration we'll be looking at a brilliantly whacko piece of Flash animation from the video "Animals
 by Minilogue.  Anything goes in Flash -- have some fun with it.

Final Assignment:
Due April 22nd:
In small groups or individually, create and animate a walking character on top of a locked live action background plate.

Due April 8th
Create a pitch for your idea.  Your pitch should include a description of your scenario, as well as drawings to show how your work will all fit with your live action plate.

If you don't have an original idea, you can use one of these:
  • Busking for bugs
  • Everybody in the salad
  • 5" UFO
  • Leaps tall buildings in a single bound
  • Other uses for the toilet
  • Badly disguised
  • Things on my foot
  • Urban Emissions

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WEEK 11: Rigging Low Poly Models, Part 1

This is the first of 4 classes on low-poly rigging.You have a guest instructor:

Phil Bonner, CG supervisor, TD, animator, modeller, rigger, etc. -- and an amazing teacher. 

  • If you're stuck, remember -- there are resources all around you -- your classmates, Google,  Digital Tutors, email  Phil your questions, etc.  
  • If you're advanced, just ask and a challenge will be granted to you.  Also consider helping bring others up to speed so we can get into some more advanced concepts quicker.

Rigging of a different feather
We'll compare the differences in the 3 main levels of rigs: bare bones, decent, and triple-A (and beyond!).
The focus for all levels of production rigs should be SPEED -- rigs must be fast. One key is reducing details like unecessary automation (or at least allowing it to be switched off.)

We'll start with a basic Luxo lamp rig -- review for some and a simple intro for others.

By the end of this class you should be familiar with joint placement, setting up IK, and adding CTRL objects properly so all controls are at "0", ready for animation. We'll learn some tricks for aligning CTRL objects, learn how to avoid some common mistakes, and work on getting faster at simple set-ups like this.

Ideally, you should be comfortable rigging this simple Luxo in under 5 minutes.
To get there, you should practice a dozen or so to be sure you've got it down.

  • be able to rig the Luxo in under 15 minutes with IK and CTRLs
  • try to figure out how to add a pole vector to orient the butt.  
  • come up with a list of new behaviours you could add to this rig
Next week we'll tidy up the naming conventions and skin the rig to the geo before moving on.