I’m back from my holidays! Less bronzed, but fully recovered. And instead of leaving you tons of lines about all the stuff happening at the moment : here are the snippets from our MoCap records, as promised! =)
See you next time! =)
First of all : sorry for being extremely lazy the last weeks. But I had to handle a lot of trouble since my hard disk drive is broken, as well as I had to prepare my colloquium, birthday and all the stuff that has remained undone.
Luckily everything went fine, so that I’m an officially graduated BA now, one year older and ready for my vacation next week! Yeay! And at the beginning of september I’ll be an owner of a brand new PC too, so that I could work AND play appropriately.
Maybe I announced this “news” last time, BUT according to “twice holds always better” – we decided to free Lisa from her solitude and send her new friends to the playground. Next to the Jack there will be a Monkey, a Rocking Horse and her beloved Teddy. But what their special abilities are won’t be revealed.
The Rigs are done as well as some animations being part of the vertical slice we’re currently working on.
Next to all these great news, I’m quite happy to tell you, that we’ve got some support for our 3D Environment, Scripting and Game Design. So WELCOME ON BOARD to our new members Marcus and Robin!
Marcus will be responsible for building up all the awesome assets Caty designed in her 2D Environment Concepts. And I’m pretty sure, that every level becomes delicious eye candy.
To push our vertical slice to a higher level and to challenge the player within the following levels Robin will refine and extend the code and will spike the gameplay with some extras.
Besides I did some records for the cutscene and had the awesome opportunity to visit a Motion Capture Studio for capturing some cutscene and ingame movements. We spent 2 weeks for cleaning the room, installing and setting up the cameras, as well as preparing the scene and lists for the takes and finally doing the records.
I’m so excited about the cleaning and refining process, but it has to wait until my holidays are over! As well as you’ll get some interesting “Behind the Scenes” pictures right after I’m back home… which might be one week from today.
photos will be available soon…
Before heading to my “most important thing to do” for today (…which means packing all my stuff for the trip to the seaside – although I’ve nothing suitable in my wardrobe ) I’d like to leave you an article that made me laugh myself to tears. 40 moments only found in the life of an animator nailed it, really! Especially point 1, 37, 38 and 39 happen to me all day!!! It calms me down that I’m definitely NOT the only one having such “awkward” moments in life.
How about you? What was your most akward moment within the last weeks?
Have a nice week and stay healthy!
Hope you all had a creative and pleasant week so far. The summer heat here in Berlin made my work extremly challenging till Wednesday last week. But I had some tricks to prevent my room from becoming a home sauna, so that I could clear a bit of my backlog. But the summer minor illness arrived at my frontdoor just in time (Monday), so that I had to ease up.
Things I’ve done so far:
- continue my work on Two Worlds.
- continue the animations for the Nightmare project, as well as beginning the rig for one of the first toys.
Unfortunately I can’t show you my new Demo Reel now, although I told you so in my last post. By doing a bit of research for the Nightmare project I stumbled over a few very interesting topics concerning Character Rigging and realized that I have to rework and add some functionalities to the rig I did for Two Worlds. Till then you have to wait a bit to see final results, I’m sorry! =) BUT I’ll definitely keep you informed about everything I’m doing.
To rework Meeras Rig was a quite good decision, although it meant a lot of work. Til now I improved her hips, the spine and got a more flexible result compared to those of my bachelor thesis. (The rotation values of the hip control within the two images are exactly the same!)
Stiff Hip (old version left) vs. Loose Hip (new version right)
The next task deals with a much more flexible spine using an IK Spline Handle and an adjustment of the Foot Controls which currently offer different attributes (no actual transition and rotation available) to roll and twist several parts of the Foot Rig – which is quite unhandy for animators.
Although the 3D Model isn’t ready yet – textures and detailes are missing so far – I wanted to show you the animations I did. Several .GIF images showing different perspectives and parts of the rig. If there’s something that should be enhanced please send me an Email or leave a comment! =) (The images are just 300 px in width, cause the character will be much smaller on display at the end!)
Thrown by the Jack
I think having a little roll action at the peak of the bombtrajectory gives the animation a very very very nice extra, but I won’t animate that until the rest is implemented correctly.
Next to the animations I started rigging the Jack in the Box – our first toy. Therefor I needed more information about the “Squash and Stretch” topic. I found a really good tutorial made by the Maya developer (see more here) and tried out to transfer the technique to the Rig. Up to now it worked pretty well, but I’m only halfway done. Tomorrow I could surely check this point on my list.
And that would be it for now. I hope you’ll come back soon!
Have a nice weekend and stay healthy! =)
I really thank my mother for handing me down her stamina to me. While watching some online portfolios and demo reels of animators and technical directors I was fully swept off my feets. I realized that there is a lot of work waiting for me if I ever wanted to be as good as they already are. BUT… I wouldn’t be myself if I got discouraged by this perception. My mother always told me that if you really want something you have to work for it.
So I took a deep breath, got a look at my to-do list and started planning several tasks for the next couple of weeks (including a bit of research for new techniques I wanted to know more about.)
My first day ended in a lot of research for the Meera project. As I told you I wanted to rework the Character Rig, as well as the animations I did for the cutscene. The topic I was looking for was about Wrinkle Maps. During the research for my bachelorthesis last year I already stumbled over this subject, but I had no time for concentrating on that in detail, so I ignored that field completely.
After 30 min. of research I finally found some tutorials and figured out one special thing about that topic: 2 ways to go, but only one is explained for dummies like me. I saw a lot of videos and Show Reels announcing that they’re using dynamic normal maps for creating wrinkles on a low poly surface (and the results were stunning!). But no one ever explained how to do that. Then I found a video of Zeth Willie (I love his videos since the first day of research for my bachelor thesis) and realized what the main problem is about: compared to bump maps which contain only 2 parameters (height and depth), it’s really tricky to bundle and animate normal maps within Maya. Blending the RGB channels of different normal maps result in awkward simulated wrinkles that have nothing in common with wrinkles at all. And the only reason is about the 3 parameters that are simulating the reflection of light on the surface.
To handle that issue isn’t easy. There are a lot of TAs and programmers out there using scripts and shaders (as well as shader networks) to get a pleasant result. Everything I found so far was too complicated for my current comprehension. Although I don’t understand that much of MEL and Python so far. That’s why I tried using bump maps to get a more realistic creasing on Meeras skin and that’s what I ended up with:
The wrinkles are quite sharp at the moment. I think that it would be much more effective if I change the volume of some Blend Shapes and create the bump maps inside of ZBrush instead of Photoshop. It definitely needs some time to get a nice and clean transition from the depth to the normal skin height by only drawing greyscales.
Here is a list of websites and books I really recomment to everyone who’s interested in Character Rigging and some general information about map types.
Zeth Willie’s Tutorials about everything! (look at his vimeo profile)
What I really love about his tutorials are the detailed information he’s sharing. If you ever wanted to know more than just the solution process A or B, his tutorials will please and enlighten you. He explains a lot about the background knowledge every 3D Artist should have, as well as the physical and mathematical structures and proceedings that are behind codes and tools we use in Maya. At the end of every video you’ll know how to do it and on top you’ll be able to explain the functionality behind it.
Jason Osipa – Stop Staring (to see more…)
Well… it’s a bible for everyone who’s interested in 3D and … in my opinion…should be in everyones bookshelf as well. It helped me a lot during my bachelor thesis. Especially the chapters about facial animation. Detailed explenations, learner-friendly style of writing and self-explanatory visual aid.
Polycount Wiki (look at normal maps)
If you have any question concerning basic 3d knowledge please look it up here. These guys are doing their best to give you fundamental knowhow by explaining details and tricks, as well as giving you enough visual aid.
Well, well! Next to my daily work for Two Worlds and Nightmare , I planned to rework my Demo Reel. Til now I collected some general ideas and will hopefully show you the results within the next weeks.
And that would be it for now. I hope you’ll come back soon!
Have a nice weekend! =)
We were really productive within the last week, so that I can tell you something about the progress we made AND additionally show you some results.
First of all: our main character Lisa is doing her first steps! After polishing the concepts, we picked her final dresscode, make-up and hairstyle. The first base mesh is also done, as well as the character rig in its basic functionalities. We are testing different eye rigs at the moment to see if theirs a more efficient way to get a low poly model, but good looking eye movements as well. And we also implemented some new game design stuff and functionalities to the game itself. In addition Martha started planing the first (tutorial) level so that we will surely get a prototyp that’s ready to be fully tested within the next weeks. So stay tuned!!
The next thing I would like to share with you is a “new” private project I started in November 2013, in co-operation with 2 friends of mine. I already posted some pictures and lines about that on my portfolio, so if you’d like to know more about the stuff we’ve done so far have a look at Two Worlds.
But why am I reviving a project that ended April this year? The first point is to clean up the Rig! There are some parts that don’t function properly and definitely need a rework. The next thing on my list are the animations I already did for the cutscene. In addition to that I would like to render the whole sequence in HQ – without using the Playblast function of Maya to get a quick (but dirty!!!!) rendered movie ’cause otherwise my computer will get down on its knees.
All in all it’s a lot of work that stacks on my desktop, but I’m quiet sure that the result will be worth it. =)
And that would be it for now. I hope you’ll come back soon!
now it’s time to start what I ever wanted to do, but never did: my own learning journal.
Before I’m writing some lines about my motivation and the projects I’m currently working on, I should talk just a bit about myself.
My friends call me Jule, I’m 23 years old and a recently graduated Game Design Student (specialized in 3D Animation and Rigging) at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW). I love playing games and watching films (I’m honest – I fell in love with Ghibli), as well as cycling through my home town, hanging out with friends and doing stuff every young woman likes to do – cooking, baking and having girls’ night out. And especially they would tell you that I’m kind of freaky, ’cause I like to laugh and doing crazy things. But I would say that’s the spirit of a creative mind.
Within my studies I doubted that an online journal would be as effective as I hoped for. Additionally I didn’t believed that I could update regularly enough to keep all of this going.
But now – after finishing my studies – I’m confident and motivated enough to share my work and skills with you! I know that I’m just at the beginnings of my abilities and skill level, but never the less I’m sure that I could learn a lot more from you, your comments and advices, than by sitting at home and doing it all by myself.
So if you have anything to say – please do so! I really apprechiate every helpfull and honest critique.
These two projects listed below are the first ones I did after my studies (in a group) and I’m very excited about them. If you like to know more about each one, visit the links below or search for them in the projects menu at the top of the page.
PUZZLE GAME | UNITY | iOS | READ MORE >
The Nightmare project is one of the first projects I started after my Bachelor degree. It’s a puzzle game in which the player has to help a little child to get out of its nightmare. By using the provided toys the player is able to guide the child over dangerous gorges and help to pass spooky shadows and tricky traps.
Tasks | 3D Animation, Character Rigging
Team | Caty D. Blättermann, Julia Peters, Martha Schoppa, Richard Wepner, Julia Franke
1 MINUTE CUTSCENE | FANTASY GAME| GRADUATION PROJECT | READ MORE >
Two Worlds is about a fictitious game that takes place on one planet and two different decades. ’cause of a prophecy made more than thousand years ago, the two protagonists have to rescue their home, without knowing that their worlds are already melding.
Tasks | 3D Animation, Character Rigging, Storyboarding, Environment Design
Team | Julia Peters, Oliver Ziegler, Julia Franke
And that would be it. I hope you’ll come back soon!