Thursday, August 27, 2015
The basic component that allows this program to operate is the 'pixol' technology. Similar to a pixel, pixol uses information on depth in addition to the X and Y position information. Pixol-created images can lose their property (Z position or depth) if converted in to JPEG or PNG file formats.
ZBrush is famous for allowing users to go into detail with creating and sculpting their models. An example of this is that ZBrush allows medium to high frequency details to be applied on the models; something that was previously done using bump maps.
I open with this statement, not to demean myself, but to express my excitement in the journey ahead. I'm already impressed (and admittedly a bit overwhelmed) with some of the intricate and interesting posts of my peers. I hope to learn a lot from you in the coming weeks.
So what do I know about animation? The first time I recall watching an animated piece from a analytical perspective was in high school. We'd been discussing the basic elements of production--specifically related to short film--in a media class I was taking, when one afternoon my teacher began class with this:
As I pondered what I might write about in this first post, I came across a list (found here) of the top animated shorts that "define Disney's success." As a friendly reminder of that day back in Mr. Zayatz's class, I was pleased to see Paperman ranked at #1. Having been in the back of my mind already, I figured that was enough a sign to write about it. Not only did Paperman win an Oscar in 2012, but it was also the first Disney animated short to win an Academy Award in 43 years.
What is it about this piece that people can't resist? It's storyline is simple, yes. And yet the animation, combined with incredible sound composition, takes the viewer on a romantic journey--dialogue not even needed! I think animation in general has a way of stretching the parameters of film. And that's why I'm so excited to explore all this class has to offer.
NPR stands for non-photorealistic rendering which allows the enabling of a large variety of expressive styles catered for digital art, and in recent times it has gotten a lot more popular than one would have imagined. As Antony Ward puts it why would one chose anything but NPR especially with the ease in which 3D photorealism has become available?
With new age technology Films are being realized through creating photorealistic images, although 3D was introduced awhile ago the ability to generate its "perfect double" was still an obstacle. Now even actors can be created completely virtually and are able to replace live actors in the film medium. However, with the inability to produce virtual voice that sounds organic and natural enough to fits its virtual image, human actors are used to fill that disparity, but with the continuous advancements in technology soon human actors will be completely replaced by their virtual counterparts.
Although NPR is a great discovery within animation, it won't ever take over cartoons, a medium of unrealistic art that has an innocent appeal and connect with children. However, with that said companies like Pixar have used NPR to makes their animations a lot more appealing without taking away the whole cartoon formula. Pixar uses NPR in a way of enhancing rather than replacing their cartoons.
Although entertainment seems to be the popular industry for NPR, its actually most popularly used in technological manuals, as its much easier to build something using realistic images to guide one through.
I have always loved watching the creativity of kinetic typography projects. Kenetic typography is the idea of taking words and animating them.
FROM PAPER TO SCREEN from Thibault de Fournas on Vimeo.
For the most part these projects are timed to music:
or sometimes music videos:
Some projects have some really interesting messages and tell really beautiful stories:
ChildLine: First Step from Buck on Vimeo.
But I think that this style of media is the most powerful because it forces your audience to read and watch you message in a one of a kind way. Similar to the way Prezi adds interest to a presentation, Kinetic Typography makes any poem, lyric, or written work come to life in it's own way.
What computers do to "fake" circles is actually quite ingenious, if you ask me. They create thousands and thousands of points in a circular arrangement and draw lines between each point, thus creating the illusion of a round circle. In the 3D animation world this is called subdividing. YouTube user, Numberphile visited Pixar in November of last year and sat down with Tony DeRose, who leads the research group there.
Ok, let's take a step back real quick and provide some background information. The basis of 3D animation is computer science, heck, even the founder of Pixar, Ed Catmull, was a computer scientist. Everything you see over the course of the day, cars, trees, the computer you're reading this on, is comprised of basic three-dimensional shapes, spheres, cubes, cones, cylinders, etc. As you've probably seen, some characters are a lot more sophisticated than these basic shapes.
It is this process that allows the creation of smooth characters like Woody, Buzz, and Porygon 2.
Scenes of people/characters getting dressed in animated films are usually missing because it is hard to manipulate cloth to make the action look realistic. However, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a solution to this problem by creating a tool that allows animators to make the action of getting dressed look realistic. The tool lets the animated characters manipulate the simulated cloth to get dressed in a number of different ways as well as includes a variety of garments and fabrics the characters can dress in.
I thought this was a really neat animation tool researchers came up with, and something that could really change the world of animation. It could be developed even more and be used in an array of animated movies, television shows, commercials, etc. in the future. Animators could finally show this action in movies, which is a big step forward in the animation world. The tool's main goal goes beyond animation though. The creators ultimately want the technology to help them create "assistive technologies that would enable robots of the future to help disabled or elderly adults with self care, such as getting dressed."
To read more about the technology click here.
Titled Dog of Wisdom, (the only thing that could actually describe this work), a pair of floating mutts is featured and they pretty much just go to town in conversation. In over a few days, a post on Tumblr got over half a million views. The only problem was that the creator was not sited in the post most know it from. I actually had to go and do research to find the original video, which you'll find matches and even triples that amount.
Anyway, as amateur artist, one thing that constantly gets me is a lack of citation and credit towards artists. All of this hard work (see; above) could've gone to waste because someone was selfish and wanted to claim a masterpiece as their own. Don't do that. Cite ya artists. They are struggling.
PS: Happy belated National Dog Day, am I right? Dogs af.
Playing with the eyes and ears can also lead to better story telling. In the short "Out of Sight", a blind girl must find her seeing eye dog solely through touch and sound. Due to her young age many of the objects like cars, planes, or people, are reimagined into fish-cars, or whale-planes.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
For example, a sphere object:
|Image created from my ray tracing graphics renderer featuring planes.|
All of these elements together give us an object or blueprint that we can create instances of. Once we have this outline we can have one sphere that is at position (0,0) with a radius of 5 and is red in color, as well as a green sphere at (8,10) with a radius of 2, etc.
|Images from my ray tracing graphics renderer before an after |
adding a light point in addition to ambient lighting.
|Ray traced spheres with added camera effects like focal point and blur.|
|One Dragon object stores all of the dimensions and parameters for the dragon shape|
and minor modifications to the values representing the physics of the light
make the dragon look like it is made of different materials.
|This was ray traced and it makes me laugh.|
Everything flows in a way that is truly striking. Every beat, chord and solo is represented with bright colorful and strangely beautiful characters. Even though the song might not having anything to do with what we're seeing, it's spirit and message is all there..
Take this one made to compliment Mika's song Lollipop:
I know this class deals more with 3D, but I couldn't help but share my affection for animated music videos.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
25 Simple Tricks for Better Motion Graphics from Derek Lieu on Vimeo.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
While the video is 4 years old, it's stylistic approach to graphical design, cohesive transitions, and intense particle construction make the technical aspect of this commercial relevant to similar productions today. Even though the commercial stresses the car's versatility and freedom to adhere to any circumstance, it presents the argument that it be able to out-preform and outlast the competition. Motion graphics and animation don't just focus on technical design; there is always a story to be told. Audi's Shapeshifter commercial was able to successfully entice viewers in a little over two minutes.
It is computer animated and directed by Steve Martino at 20th Century Fox-owned Blue Sky Studios.
"It's a little retro in a way, but in today's world of animation it feels completely fresh," Martino said. "We're not trying for photorealism or movement where you believe the characters are human. It's a different palette. This is the most complicated creation, to put something up on the screen that looks so simple. I wanted to find that pen line, the wiggle in Charlie Brown's smile."
Craig Schulz, the fourth of Charles Schulz's five children, said, "We always felt like the risk of doing a film and having it be done poorly was not worth the potential gain," Craig said. "But all the studios were knocking on our door."
"It's about preserving a legacy that has tremendous history and not screwing it up," Martino said. "We see that kids meet characters today in feature films in the movie theater, so that's the opportunity. The responsibility is to deliver the experience so that these characters don't change, so that they become a new presentation of what's been wonderful about them for 50 years."
The full length French & English trailers for the Le Petit Prince film were finally released the other day. Considering this is one of my favorite books as well as the book that made me fall in love with the French language, I'm extremely excited.
One of the most interesting and exciting parts of the film is the mixed mediums used to create it. There is a wraparound story of a little girl who is introduced to Le Petit Prince, and this "real world" is created with CG Animation. However, what makes this film truly special, is all the scenes inside the book are stop motion, combining cut paper techniques and wooden dolls.
Not to mention, the French voice actor for Le Petit Prince is exactly the one I imagined.
For those who don't know the story/don't speak French/want to know what's going on, here's the English version as well.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Here is a short clip of how some of the actors for Spongebob preparing to get into their roles. Pretty cool!