Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WEEK 11: Texturing & Shading 1: Terrain and texture libraries

Planning textures for the city.
Mood boards

Creating tile-able textures in Photoshop to add to wall and ground planes

Tile-able Normal maps
Displacement maps

Texture Libraries:
Downloading textures, collecting your own
Preparing photos as texture files – batch processing, resampling

Assignment 5: Texture Library
Assigned: November 16th
Due: November 27th by ftp
% of Final Grade: 10%
File sizes should be under 2 mbs, around 2048 px max.

Build a sample texture library
Aim for a variety of surfaces, colours, and textures.
Minimum number of images: 12
Include at least 4 examples each of walls, ground, and details.
Try to find images you can use in your project -- ie you need old, grungy textures.
You may reuse images you shot for your 'entropy' project.
Shoot in flat light, dry weather, perpendicular to your subject.
Correct the white balance if you can.
Make sure they're in focus.
Shoot a large enough surface area if it's potentially tileable, and get close enough to the subject if it's a detail.
Avoid perspective and warping by zooming in from a few steps back.
Edit in PS -- crop out extraneous details, use levels, contrast, and hue & saturation to bump up details and get rid of fake-looking colour casts.
Remind yourself of keys to good textures on this site:

WEEK 11: Character Acting 1 -- Acting for Cinematics 1: Monologues, close-up

We're very fortunate to have Ed Sahely with us for a few more weeks to teach us some real acting skills. Moving from close-ups to long shots and finally to multi-character shots, we'll learn some of the secrets of creating believable, compelling performances.

As I've mentioned before, animators should always be acting out their scenes, creating video reference to study for their own shots. On high-end productions it is common to have to act out ideas in front of directors and fellow crew members. How many animators are truly comfortable doing that? Well .. one person who is obviously gifted in this area is Blue Sky animator Jeff Gabor. He's put up a great video demonstrating his creative use of a voice track, and the resulting detailed animation performances.

You're going to create 3 of these videos over the next 5 weeks.
First up -- Close-up monologues.

Here's the link to the tracks for this week:

If you'd like to print the dialogue click here for links to scripts or excepts.

Spend some time listening to the tracks.  Choose one to use for class this week.
Download and bring in the track on an mp3 player and don't forget your headphones.
If you like, bring in small, simple props (ex -- a glass, a bottle, a fake gun, a magazine).
You might also want to use a mirror for practice.
Remember that animators need to be comfortable acting out both male and female roles, of any age.

Assignment 5:  Monologues Close-up
Assigned: November 16th
Due: December 4th <-- NEW!!
% of Final Grade: 10%
Please keep file sizes under 2MB

Choose one of the close-up monologues and deliver a compelling performance to the voice track. Record it on video using a camera or webcam.  Make sure the audio and video sync well, it's in focus, well-lit and well composed.

WEEK 11: Animation Direction 1 - Game Cycles -- Treadmill Walks, runs

We'll continue our treadmill walks until you're well on your way.
Also covered -
-ways of cycling in Maya including view -> infinity and timeline copy/paste.
-offsetting joints to create nice, fluid secondary action or wave action.
-adding variations to our cycles.

Next up: Runs! In some ways, these are easier than walks because there's less ground contact.

We'll also touch on some key points for transitioning between walks and runs.