Saturday, 30 May 2009


We missed the meeting earlier on in the week so we made up by having a group meeting on Friday. Moe told us whats happening with the film and we all showed each other were we all are. I've been overloaded with work... the rig I made for Luisa has small issues- skin weights on the right and left arm are crossing over with the torso. Maya keeps losing the weights part of the file when it feels like it so It's been taking so much time as I have had to weight the ENTIRE body from scratch when it forgets... when it forgets it also forgets the older versions of the file at random too. It took me a day (including the night and early hours of the morning) just to get the rig sorted- after spending a few days rigging it over and over. Why can't Maya be more like MS Paint and not crash or mess up my files. urgh, anyways, back to work I go.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Walk Cycle

more walk stuff. The kid needs to look like he's walking on sand and not concrete... on sand, the walk must be heavier on the feet and he mush look like he isn't gaining too much distance compared to the amount of effort he is putting into his strides. So far, the walk is looking good.


Background people, walking

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Moe’s Film

More models the merrier, James Milham made a broken car another film so I gave him my buildings so he can rework them to a garage with a similar look to the rest of the buildings. I’ve finished dynamics on the bag so it’s all good on Moe’s film so far.

Model/Texture bullet


Modelled and textured a bullet for scenes in Moe’s film. Had another group meeting today talking about progress and what we need in the film. I’ve been given some kid rigs to animate children running etc. Also, adding smoke and decals to a moving truck.The bullet on the right is low poly so can be multiplied lots of times without stressing out the CPU.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Moe’s film

dog 6 Here’s a dog I made for Moe’s film. With the current revisions, it’s likely that the model won’t make it to the final film. Anyways, here’s a screenshot of the dog model.


Currently working on making different fire for Moe's film. All my attempts haven’t generated anything worth posting…. yet. ;)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

1000 Cranes- explosion

Ok, Anja is my housemate, and we frequently talk to each other about the films we’re working on. I said I’ld help her out with some complex parts of the film. One part i’m animating is an explosion which is complex but shouldn’t be something hard for me- I’ve done plenty before for Moe’s film and with this film having a 2D look, everything should be easier.

But I swear that Maya is playing some kind of psychological warfare on me. I’ve spent hours removing vertices and checking as I go along that it’s helping the scene work dynamics out quicker and all seems well. Now that it’s all done, Maya decides to crash when I open the file. I’ve been saving along the way but Maya just crashes at random stages at these points to. If I try to make dynamics without simplifying the scene it takes ages to move to the next frame- If i decided to wait until frame 8 (7 minutes) Maya decides to crash. It only decides to crash when I’ve done work on the scene and not a moment before.

It’s true! I’ve even filmed it. In the video you see me innocently making the scene. I apply an ‘ncloth’ to an object and everything is fine. I then decide to apply it to another object and Maya crashes. Why can’t Maya be more like other software like Photoshop or even notepad and not crash???

You can’t see it in the video but after clicking ‘ok’, Maya closes itself.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

whoa- a stressful week

Ok, I went round to Luisa’s a few days ago to show her how to animate my rig. When I turned on the laptop I got the dreaded blue screen of death for the first time! Scary. When I got back home my hard drive was making a weird click noise and so it turned out that my laptop Hard Drive was broken.

So I’m always prepared for the worst, I ordered a new Hard Drive for the laptop and connected up the backup external Hard Disk to my friends computer to check that my work was all backed up… It’s lucky I backed up my computer a few days ago. Anyways, turned out that my backup Hard Drive that had the only copy of my Maya work/photos/videos- etc everything was broken.

In a panic I ripped the Hard Drive out of the external caddy and plugged it into a friends computer, ran a diagnostic check which fixed the file system and managed to recover my entire computer.

I always keep a backup just in case but it’s never happened where both the backup and laptop hard drives fizz out on the same week! Anyways, everything is fixed now and I’m catching up with Maya work, but I've been without a computer for the best part of this week and I’ve been using Anya's old slow laptop to get work done.

We also had a group meeting on last Monday to refresh everyone on their roles and Moe set us all deadlines. I’m working through the night to get it all done in time!


Here’s my first decent WORKING test of a china bowl… this is impossibly hard to do.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dynamics- Shatter

Here’s a tutorial I found on google/youtube on making an object shatter. We’ll be having scenes where bullets damage objects and cars running over pots etc, It would be great to get these things exploding well.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


rocks rocks2

Rocks can be easy to make but harder to do well. Made some awesome rocks to add to Moes film- up to him if he wants to include them or not. Some people could be sitting on the large ones like the one above maybe?

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Update on cranes

Spoke to Anja and she told me that she used illustrator and curves to make the scene instead of a Photoshop layer of the letter. I don’t want to risk losing any of her lighting setup so I’ll be removing these lines in the next few hours so I can start adding dynamics. The file is down to 1,200MB RAM from 1,300MB. On its way…


1000 Cranes- Anjas Film

I’ve been working on explosions for Anja’s film ‘A thousand cranes for peace’ but works going so slow because of the scene complexity and I don’t know why this scene is so complicated- it’s a simple 2D animation with flat surfaces only.

I know what’s causing Maya to take up so much RAM to keep the scene in memory but I don't know why it’s been done like this.. each flat polygon in this scene is filled with LOADS of polygons- they don’t add detail. It looks like someone ran a shatter plug-in for every object to prepare them for an explosion and then left it like that.

I hope there’s another version of the file that doesn’t have all of these polygons as this file is slowing any dynamics I add to the film and making it a horrible file to work with- Maya is taking up all my RAM!


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ok, rig about done

Ok, almost 2 hours later the rig is about done. I used the rig in the man i rigged and modified it to work with the new model. There are still a few issues but all good so far. Below is the body and face rig being demonstrated.



Luisa sent me a bird model to tweak as it wasn’t working as it should. I changed the direction of the skeleton and painted a complete new set of weights for the model. Seems to work well now.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Details for Moe’s film

misc bag

We’re having another meeting tomorrow as a group to discuss some new changes to the film. In the meantime, here’s some screenshots of decals I've been adding to the film- bin bags that dynamically move with the wind using nCloth and low polygons.

Man Rig for Luisa

Here’s a video demonstrating what the (body only) of the finished rig does. It shows how easy it is to pose and some of the functions which make animating easy such as the ‘assume pose’ sets I’ve done and some other useful methods. Oh I’ve include a song for funsies

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Smoke for Moe

Moe’s film will be needing smoke effects for fire. I been playing around with effects and particles and managed to get this:image

It looks great and is tinted red by the default fire paint effect (which will be replaced by my own later on) but this simply takes too long to render so I’ll have to look up on another method of smoke. The shot above took 20 mins for the frame- and it hadn’t even finished! The smoke would be composited onto the film but I think I’ll have to find another approach- its too slow!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

This guy is kewl

This guy does special effects for films. He seems pretty good- his blog has loads of visual stuff and is really interesting.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Fire Test

fire test

Here’s a screenshot of the fire, this is only a test but Moe said he wants realistic looking fire. This fire looks a bit fake so could work with the style of the film. I’ll keep working on making fire that looks different and Moe can choose which one he likes. It will be used on the scene where the attack starts and the final scene.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Rig the face


Ok, I was doing well rigging the face. I moved a bone linked to the head and the head something like this. I used 'ctrl+z/undo’ and it went back to this… the undo button doesn’t work at all on this model… urgh :(.