Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Animator Lair...

So having finished building the lighthouse i decided to add some landscaping, an ocean, and created some floating pylons. So heres the shot so far...

The shader on this is just the default lambert, which to my suprise has produced an arctic feel to the piece. Below is another version with and without the fog applied -

Render time with fog is 13min, without it is 2! The next step for this project is to produce the cinematograhy, this is a particular weakness of mine and something I'm hoping to improve on before my MA. I'm currently working through a book by Jennifer Van Sijll called Cinematic Storytelling. So my next step is to work my way through the book and set up the shots ready to render when i'm back at university studying my MA. I am also currently working through the book, How To Cheat In Maya 2012, and another reason for my hiatus on this mini project. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


So i have started working through How To Cheat In Maya 2012. In the first lesson, going over the basics, we are given a scene to manipulate within the principle of anticipation. The first scene in the clip is the file as we recieve it. This shows brilliant timing and spacing, as well as present us with a clear example of anticipation. In the curve editor we are asked to manipulate the tangent at frame 50 within the curve editor, to investigate what changes. 

In the second scene, we see that by decreasing the tangent space at frame 50 (in the squad and stretch blend shape) so it just exceeds that of frame 38, we create a curve that eases in and out fairly even. Now, because the timing and spacing of the movement has been manipulated, it changes the gesture of the anticipation, and therefore has changed the characters thought process (the thought process happens just before the anticipation of the jump). The jump now communicates a more confident jump. This is a result of the extended time the object spends in its squashed position, unleashing more energy toward next storytelling keypose (the action), and communicating that the object thought that it would need more intensity in the motion to get over the wall. A positive offset of this is as the object enters the reaction stage, i feel the timing of the first cooldown pump is better balanced to the timing and pacing of the whole piece.

Now, for the third scene, i pulled the tangent along the Y-axis (as opposed to the X-axis previously), the result was an inverted curve (incomparison to the previous), which would again give a fairly even curve with regard too the easing in and out of the curve, but this time rather than allow extended time being squashed, gave entended time in a stretched position. This result produced a 'second look' by the object during the anticipation gesture. This communicated that the object was nervous, skeptical and unsure - unconfident - about making the jump.

Considering this was the first lesson of the book, i am quite impressed with how manipulating one tangent in the curve editor could have such an effect on the characters thought process. It's a great example of how timing and spacing can influnce the gesture and thus narrative.