Saturday, October 29, 2011

WEEK 9: Character Acting 1 -- Quadrupedal Anatomy and locomotion

We are lucky to have a guest lecturer who is very experienced in animating 4-legged animals :

CATHERINE FERADAY MILLER began her career at Dreamworks as a classical animator, working on the features The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado. Switching to 3D animation in 1999, Cathy has worked for various feature and game companies in San Francisco and Toronto, and has taught 3D animation at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and at Max The Mutt Animation School in Toronto. A Toronto resident since 2009, Cathy is now working with her husband Tim as Art Director and co-founder for their own independent game studio, Rocket 5 Studios.

Click  here for Cathy's 2D demo reel

We'll talk about quadrupedal anatomy and locomotion, analyze video reference and draw significant key positions of quadruped walk.

All of this study leads into our field trip next week at the Royal Winter Fair.
If we're really nice, Cathy might join us :o)

Click here for an excellent site comparing human and animal anatomy.
Click here for a collection of reference images of animals skeletons.
Click here for animal walking reference from Muybridge.

Your next two assignments are connected .

Assignment 3: Quadruped Walk Study
Assigned: November 2nd
Due: November 13th
% of Final Grade: 10%
Please keep file sizes under 2MB

Draw significant key positions of quadruped walk using video analysis.  Use any animal you like but bear in mind that we'll be drawing livestock and farm animals next week so it will be very beneficial to have studied them in advance.

Assignment 4: Quadruped Live Sketches
Assigned: November 9th
Due: November 13th
% of Final Grade: 10%
Please keep file sizes under 2MB
tdonovan__ quad_live_000.jpg

Sketch at least 3 different quadrupeds from life. Sketches can include full body or just details, as well as motion studies. Please do not draw from photos or video. These sketches should be done live at our field trip or you can draw on your own at another location such as Riverdale Farm or the High Park Zoo (both are free!).

WEEK 9: Animation Direction 1 - Intro to Maya & Animation Review - Bouncing Balls

Animating a Bouncing Ball is nearly always the first animation assignment given to both 2D and 3D animation students.  This deceptively simple exercise can teach you a lot about the nuts and bolts of animation tools, but more importantly how to give believable weight and appealing timing to your animation.
Strobe photos are fantastic for showing the beautifully symmetrical parabolic arcs followed by everything that leaves the Earth... except a rocket.

Basket Ball
Golf Ball
Tennis Ball

Great reference vids:
Experiment with weight and through timing & spacing -- create 3 bouncing balls with contrasting sizes and weights. Keep practicing until you're very comfortable in Maya and with the timing tools we used in class.

Check out the Digital Tutors 'Intro to Maya' and also their Visual Guide to the Graph Editor

Friday, October 28, 2011

WEEK 9: Texturing & Shading 1: WIP, Hydrant, continued

Next we'll introduce two more types of maps:

Normal and Specular.

Normal Maps create the illusion of extra detail while Specular Maps define the shininess of different materials. There are a few ways to generate normal maps. Some common tools for creating them from our diffuse textures are CrazyBump and nDo.  We'll go through how to install and use both of these tools in class. You will need them to complete your homework. If you can't install them at home you will need to complete your assignment at school.

nDo's download site is currently down. Click here to download the zip file.

Click the CrazyBump & nDo logos to visit their sites.

Please always bring a stylus - they are required for painting your texture maps.

TEXT2010 Assignment 4
4th Assignment, Part 2: 10% <-- NEW!!

Assigned: Tuesday, Nov 1st
Due: Sunday, Nov 6th <-- NEW!!
Hydrant, UV'd and textured: 3DSMax file, diffuse map, normal map, specular map
SAVE your work uncompressed (2048 x 2048 PSDs recommended)
SEND me only Targas (.tga), one for each of your maps.
Maximum resolution: 512 x 512 bit, no alpha
File naming convention example:

Save your Max file with the maps applied and the paths stripped, and all textures in the file so they apply when I open it.

Please be very careful with your naming conventions.  All assignments are to be handed in via FTP.