Apr30
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: AnimationBooks

THIS EXAMPLE SHOWS A traditional walk cycle animation where each frame is drawn completely by hand. What makes this particular animation advanced is that it requires not only drawing skills, but a sense of rhythm and timing. Ben makes it look easy, but with some dedication and practice, you can achieve great results.

One of the most well-known and highly-praised resources for character animation is The Animator’s Survival Kit (Richard Williams). Williams explains everything you could ever want to know about all kinds of walk cycles, and it’s a reference no animator should be without. (more…)

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Apr28
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: 3D Animation

HENRI MATISSE: DRAWING WITH PAPER

This is a level one tutorial from the book The Digital Renaissance: Classic Painting Techniques in Photoshop and Painter by Carlyn Beccia.

“An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language.” – HENRI MATISSE

In 1940, in his late 70s, Matisse was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had to undergo major surgery. He begged his doctors for three more years to live to complete his art. After the surgery, Matisse was extremely frail and confined to his bed, but cancer would not stop him from creating art. During this time, he painted gouache on sheets of paper and then used large scissors to cut out his shapes. His cut paper was compiled into a book entitled Jazz. In this book he was able to take his passion for color and reduce it to a more simplified expression.

Icarus - Matisse, 1947 Plate VIII from the illustrated book, Jazz. Matisse’s deceptively simple form communicates the descent of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun.

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Apr23
2014

By: admin                Categories: AnimationInspiration

The neck has been a difficult area for many of the students in the evening Gesture Class. When asked for help, I usually just sketch for them my simple, “shorthand ” version of the neck in question; hoping that will suggest at least one more step out of the quagmire. I remind them that the back of the neck is a continuation of the backbone, and is usually shorter than the front of the neck. The front of the neck starts under the chin and extends down into the chest area, culminating at the point where the clavicle bones attach to the sternum. I also caution that parallel lines make the neck stiff and “pipe like. ” Here are some examples from the class — I often add a simple “diagram” sketch (in circle) to suggest the general construction. As usual the student’s drawings are on the left.


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Apr21
2014

By: Dave                Categories: AnimationBooksGeneralInspiration

A couple of months ago, we published Quick Sketching with Ron Husband, a book covering gesture drawing. This book is near and dear to me. It was one of the first few titles I commissioned when I started at Focal Press, and I had a pretty big hand in its development: the design, the content, some publicity. I worked with Ron Husband and his wonderful family to help create this book. To say I’m proud to have my name attached to it would be an understatement; it was truly a family affair. The book has sat on my desk for a while, and I realized today that I’ve completely forgotten about the best part about the book: the sketchbook in the back.

I’m no artist, but I scribble and pretend that I can draw sometimes. So I opened up Quick Sketching, found the sketch paper in the back, and started to doodle. Here are the embarrassing results:

For this picture I used a number two, mechanical pencil and a pathetic lack of knowledge for human anatomy.


This poor person has no bones.


The giraffe is upset-looking because it now exists.


This looks like my former Romantic Literature professor. But he never wore Bermuda walking shorts in class.


Decided to go back to the basics taught in Chapter 1. My triangles are pretty good, right?


This bunny was copied off of the cover for How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CC.  My keen eye and deft hand captured it just perfectly, I feel.


I guess the moral of this story is to stick to my day job.  For those who have a copy of Quick Sketching, I’d love to see your back-of-the-book sketches.  Tweet pics @FocalDave and #quicksketching.  I’ll select one random person to win a free Focal Press book.

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Apr21
2014

By: admin                Categories: 3D AnimationGames

Previously, we discussed how to create a terrain object– short, that is, in comparison to the time it’d take us to develop our own terrain system from scratch. The landscape created so far, as well as the workflow used to create it, together offer an insight into the awesome potential of Unity as a game engine as well as, more generally, a time-saving tool.

The problem with our terrain at this stage is not its shape, form or texturing but rather its sparseness, its lack of set-dressing or props. The terrain is desolate: it has none of the hallmarks of a real-life terrain – no trees or grass or vegetation, no flourishing verdant life of any kind. It’s time for us now to fix that issue by adding trees and grass; and we’ll also add a first-person controller to the project so we can explore the terrain as a game character would be able to do. Consider the following steps.

1. Let’s add some trees to the level. The terrain package imported earlier in this chapter already contains a palm tree mesh that we can add to the terrain. This can be found in the Project panel under the folder Standard Assets > Trees Ambient-Occlusion > Palm. one way to add the palm tree would simply be dragging and dropping the tree mesh from the Project panel into the viewport and positioning it onto the terrain surface, just as we would with any other ‘regular’ mesh file. However, this approach would soon become problematic for at least two reasons. First, terrains typically feature many trees, and duplicating a tree mesh for each tree on the terrain would quickly become tedious work. Second, the terrain elevates and has contours, and we want each tree on the terrain to be positioned so that it matches the flow and elevation of the terrain: again, we could manually position each tree using the Transformation tools, but this too would be tedious work. The Terrain tools therefore offer a solution to this problem: they allow us to use the brush workflow again to paint the meshes onto the surface of the terrain. This means we can paint multiple meshes in one brush stroke and have all of those meshes conform to the elevation. To access these tools, select the Terrain mesh in the viewport, and press the Place Trees button from the object Inspector – it appears on the right-hand side of the Paint Texture button; see Figure 4.7 for more details.

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Apr16
2014

By: admin                Categories: 3D AnimationGames

WHEN YOU NEED TO POPULATE a scene with buildings, you can do it with a long, arduous process, or you can do it the quick and easy way. Which would you prefer?

The Preserve UVs feature of the Editable Poly object makes it possible to visually shape the building right to the map without leaving the Front viewport.

1. Get a photograph of a building with a nearly straighton perspective. In Photoshop, correct the perspective distortion and clean it up. In this image, I’ve removed the flag, signage, and balcony from the facade. Note the background color, which is similar to the building color.

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Apr14
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: 3D Animation

Skinning in Maya has changed many times over the years, but never more so than version 2011 and higher. Version 2011 introduced the concept of interactive skinning. With this concept the idea of skinning was changed so that any vertex could have many skinning inputs, all of which could do mathematical wonders together to move the geometry. The trick is to get everything “normalized,” or back into a 0–1 range. If you are using anything prior to 2010, there is a different way to skin. I won’t focus on those versions in this book—sorry.

First, let’s talk about the three different types of weight assigning.

1. Rigid bind: this allows a vertex to only have one joint influence it. It is an old method of skinning, still good for mechanical objects, and calculates extremely fast.

2. Smooth bind: this allows a vertex to have multiple joints influence it. You can paint smooth weights to fi ne tune the vertex/joint assignments. This “painting weights” is usually referred to when someone says they are “skinning.

3. Interactive skin bind: this is the newest method. It is, as it suggests, interactive. The workflow for this is to do an interactive skin bind first (as we have done in previous chapters). This method also allows you to paint weights for finer tuning after completing first rough adjustments with the interactive tool.
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Apr09
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: 3D AnimationBooks

This tutorial is brought to you by Getting Started in Zbrush.

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The Stroke menu setting changes how the brush is applied to the surface. This is the left tray icon second from the top, just underneath the brush icon. The default setting for the standard brush is the Dots setting, which repeats the brush’s alpha along a given brush stroke line. Click on the Strokes pop-up menu to see the other available options.

For a much smoother stroke, use the Freehand setting. When ZBrush draws a stroke upon the surface it is repeating the brush alpha along the line of the stroke. The freehand stroke provides a much more tightly spaced interval of your brush alpha, creating a more continuous line. Pick a brush alpha and change the stroke to Freehand to try it out. At the bottom of the Stroke pop-up menu there are a number of sliders and buttons for modifying the behavior of each stroke. The Mouse Avg slider adjusts the smoothness of the brush stroke by averaging out the mouse’s position slightly before applying each stroke with higher values, providing a smoother movement.

The other stroke options include DragRect, Spray, ColorSpray , and DragDot . DragRect lets you control the size and orientation of each individual brush alpha you place on the model. Simply select it and click and drag the shape out on your object. As you move the mouse around while you drag out the shape you will notice how you can control its orientation.

DragDot is a quicker way of placing the same brush alpha individually. DragDot let you interactively place one copy of your brush alpha at a time. It is very similar to DragRect but sacrifices some control for speed of placement.

FIG 5.7 Brush Stroke pop-up menu

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Apr07
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: AnimationInspiration

This tutorial is brought to you by How to Cheat in Flash CC. AVAILABLE NOW!

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DESIGN IS ONE THING, TECHNIQUE IS another. Everyone has their own way of working in Flash, and there are many ways to go about designing in Flash. For this character I chose a technique that a friend and talented illustrator showed me. It involves using the Pencil tool with Object Drawing mode and the Union feature to combine multiple Object Drawings into a single object. I love her technique so much I’ve started to incorporate it more into my daily workflow. Thanks to Katie Osowiecki-Zolnik for this cool Flash drawing technique. Check out her work at http://katieo.kuiki.net.

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Apr02
2014

By: Elyse                Categories: BooksGames

My dad likes to forward me tech articles where the writer will interview someone at a small gaming company and ask them how much work is required to support the latest changes to the iOS or a new device. The answer is usually from one of the cooler heads at the company that has already made their peace with whatever workload has crowbarred its way into their weekend plans. Whereas, I’m always reminded who my developer friends are when a flurry of Tweets or Facebook postings over-exaggerate a few extra hours of work on a past app. Someone always dusts off the picture of a baby crying in front of a computer and adds a new caption about the latest release (I love that).

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