Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Blog problems

In the blog post called "Progress Update: Modelling the Dog" there has been problems. It was fine in the "New Post" section but when it is published onto the blog gaps appear. I could not solve this, sorry hope you can understand it.

Final Opinion

From this assignment, I am pleased with the modelling and the rigging of my dog, but I would like to try and improve the animation in my spare time.
I really enjoyed going through the experience of modelling and rigging a character especially as it is the first time that I have ever properly completed a task using these methods. I also enjoyed designing my dog and thinking about what film I would like to use and insert the dog into.
Overall, this has been one of my favourite assignments as I feel that I have learnt a lot about creating characters which I would like to keep doing in my spare-time. I also think that it was very challenging as a lot of it was new to me and because it was at the same time as a very difficult group assignment.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Compositing Problems

Today I set out to put my animation together by doing the compositing and updating my blog. When I tried this process I experienced a problem with the rendered scenes from Maya they would not seem to fill in the gaps planned e.g. so the sequences of the dog moving did not last as long as they were made to in Maya. After many hours of trying to sort this out and looking things up on the internet I accidently imported one of the sequences again. When I was about to delete the clip I noticed that it was longer than the earlier version! PHEW! what a relief!

Shining the 2nd

I found this when I was searching for The Shining on YouTube and I couldn't stop myself from putting it on here. Interestingly in this the plot and the building are very close to the actual film.

Learnt a Lot

In this assignment I have learned many new things in Maya. For example My dog (Damon) is the first model that I have created myself in Maya. In the past I have always animated with a model that I have been given. I also learned a lot when rigging my character. At the start of the assignment I didn't know anything about rigging but I used various tutorials that I found on YouTube, websites or in books to build my knowledge.
Other firsts on this assignment are:

Maya Live
More sophisticated texturing

Toy Story

I watched some of Toy Story to observe the movements of the dog "scud". I was very impressed with the way that the animators had created expressive facial gestures. Also the co-ordination of the legs when Scud was chasing the toys gave a great feeling of speed. The close up shots of the face were very impactful. I will try to include some of these ellements in my work.


Here are is my schedule. Sorry if it is difficult to see. If it is I recommend looking at them in three separate parts and zooming in on the page.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Texture Choosing

I started asking myself before I rendered the scene "do I really want the dog to be a glowing ghost?". I thought about it and took screen shots (below) of my favourite choices. I decided that I wouldn't make him a glowing ghost because in most serious adult films (including The Shining) ghosts appear as normal human beings.

Here is the texture that I am going to use (above)

In this texture I added some transparency as well as a glow (below)

Here is my original idea of what to use as the texture, the dog with a glow but no transparency.

This picture below was probably my second favourite partly see-through and with not too much glow. One reason I didn't choose this however is because I decided I wanted the viewer to make the choice of whether it is a ghost or not (this is a little too ghost like).

Texture Looks Strange After Rendering

I had an unusual problem when I was trying to render. I had finished the animation and added the lighting so I started to render it all and here is what it came out like.

This was confusing to me as it was rendering just the eyes and collar. Also I test rendered the scene first and this is how it came out.

With no problems!


Today I did most of the lighting and I am quite pleased with it. I originally wanted to use "spot lights", but today, while I was adding them to the scene, I found that "point lights" worked better for certain room lights.

Monday 15th

Now I have rendered the scene I am not so pleased with the lighting though. I feel that it looked much better when I test rendered the scene in Maya. This highlights the importance of testing and also of lighting itself!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Is the Head Moving as Much as it Should Be...?

After wondering about the leg movement, times and positioning, I started to wonder if the dogs head should be moving to the side when each paw is moved forward or just twice when all four legs are moved. I checked to see if I was correct with moving to the side twice and I was. I think I need to become more confident about my opinions (however, it is always worth checking out the facts).

Wondered if My Dog was Walking Correctly

Today I concerned whether my dog model was walking correctly when it was being animated. It was walking in the order shown in the diagram below.

To ensure I was correct, I checked actual dogs and animated dogs walking in videos and films.
I also wanted to check Up as that is a 3D film and it is the one that has the most similar dogs (obviously not similar quality their dreams)

Finished Dog Walk .... But Broke an IK/FK Handle!

Last night I finished all of the dog walking scenes ... but then an IK handle got broken! I lost quite a lot as when I opened the last saved file, not all of the dog model was there! How annoying! this was late at night so I decided to pack up for the night as I felt very frustrated. I thought that I would get up very early in the morning to redo this and start getting on with my work! I got up at 7 (very early for me, I'm a late night person) and got the walk back and got quite a lot of my work finished.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp is obviously a classic and I used to watch it a lot when I was a child. I really like the way that different walks are often used by the dogs to suit the characters e.g. Tramp layed-back and cool, Lady has her head held high and looks sophisticated when she walks and Trusty walks in a messy way with his legs not always staying in a tidy walking position. I would like to capture the spirit of my character in the director of this film did.

Scooby Doo Trailer (acted)

I wanted to look at the Scooby Doo film as it is an intersting mixture of reality and animation. I also felt that I could learn a lot from the character creation and moving style of Scooby Doo. I also like the way that they have kept close to the original style of the 2D scooby even though it will be with human actors.

101 Dalmatians

There were better 101 Dalmatians videos on YouTube but sadly they had the embedding disabled. However the key point to make about this film clip is once again the character development is so strong even with a huge number of dogs of the same breed. There was another clip that I watched from this film that really interested me but I could not embed it (as mentioned above). This was the famous part where Roger was watching dogs being walked by their owners and he was noticing that their character was the same as the person walking them. I find this interesting because of the way that the dogs are given a character.

Dogs in Up

I am using this video of the evil dogs in Up, as I want Damon (Maya dog Model) to act a similar way.
It was an interesting twist to have the leader of the dogs speaking in such a high pitched voice yet still maintaining control of the group. Alpha's walk is also very powerful and consistent with his character.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Sunday, 28 February 2010

NURBS to Polygons Issue

At one point when I changed the NURBS in the dog model to Polygons I noticed that the dog had lost some of its definition. This required some careful cleaning to get the character back to its original standards.

My Mirroring Experience

I was very pleased with my modelling work today and I finished making malf of the dog. My next task was to mirror it and join the control vertex points to make the complete character. Unfortunately I then experienced a few challenges - with the way Damon looked when I was linking him. His face collapsed a bit in the middle not a great look! Eventually I got around this look and then the model looked good.

Progress Update: Modeling the Dog

Here is my basic rigging

In the modeling of my Dog (that I have named Damon as he is evil) a lot has happened and I will keep all of the updates under this post.

Dog Images Used

For my modeling I have used 2 images one that is a side view of how I want my dog to look and one from the tutorial. I am obviously using my side view character design more as this is more important to the final model.

Legs and body

The modelling and rigging for my dog (Damon) is now finished. I am pleased with the result. To do the rigging I followed several different tutorials which I found on the Internet

Moving ears blend shape position. I will use this when my dog is walking and barking.

Sitting blend shape position

Barking blend shape position

Sad blend shape position

Here are the "Blend Shape" positions for the dog model that I have created. There is one problem though with the sitting down position. It will not work because the rigging does not move with the blend shape tool. Because of this it will not work properly when I try to animate the dog.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Dog Designs

I wanted to develop a range of different dogs and characters and then make my final selection using the best elements from each.

Here are some of my favourites:

I am pleased with this drawing and would probably like to include a part of this and the drawing above in my final character

New Idea

After brain storming many different ideas I thought of a new story idea and decided that what I would like to use as the dog as the new character. I thought that a dog would be good if I tried to make it look evil and help Jack Nicholson attack Wendy (Jack's wife) as I feel that it would be fun creating an evil mans best friend. I also have an idea to make it look like a ghost. I thought that this would work well in the clip as Jack Nicholson is holding an axe and finding it difficult to walk (as you can see below).

Will Not Be Using Penguins Anymore

I will not be using penguins in this assignment anymore as I have now seen that the clip from "The Shining" which is in the snow is too dark to do the tracking in. I am also not happy to use penguins inside the hotel in the film because there is no snow and I do not really want to add it inside the building. Hence why my dog was a much better choice.

Penguin Character Design

Here are my designs for the penguins.

I like the penguin in the middle on the page below. I think it would work well in the animation

I like the design below. For the animating I would use the same model for both but with a few small changes to make one look less intelligent. This character idea does have a problem though, it may not look as good when it walks because of the body shape.

I would not use teeth though for the less intelligent one (below right) as penguins do not have them.
I would probably leave its tongue hanging out of its mouth instead.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Maya Live

Here are some the scenes that I have used Maya Live on.

Modeling Tutorial in the Background

I decided to use a tutorial to occasionally refer to while I was modeling my character.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010