Animation: Asset Production

Hello to everyone reading my blog! For the past couple of weeks I have been working on a polearm/spear asset that is suitable for use in a game engine, as stated by my assessment brief. The brief stated that the asset had to be a hard surface model, not organic.

Model 4In total my polearm is measured around 400cm high with a  total of 204 polygons. The average character/weapon model in games has a poly count between 10k and 30k. While my polearm might not have as much detail as a weapon from a game like World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy, I still like the way it turned out, and my weapon will run in online games, since it only has one texture that it has to render.

Hollyleaf-WeapWhat gave me the idea for this polearm was my character’s weapon in World of Warcraft. I really liked the exotic look of the polearm, namely; the shape of the spearhead and the detail along the staff and on the blade. I also looked up images of other spears on Google, to try to inspire my design.

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From these images I sketched my design for my polearm. DrawingScanned

Model 5As I was modelling my polearm in 3ds Max I decided that I really wanted to give it a glow or a dust cloud effect like the Death Knight weapons in World of Warcraft after Runeforging. It was a cool idea, but I don’t have the time to work out how to add it, so, unfortunately, I do not have the glow around the blade of the weapon. If you do know how to, or you can direct me to a tutorial that can show me how to add it, then please comment below, I would really like to know how to add the glow to my polearm.

Polearm-UV-Difuse M2Due to lack of time, I also didn’t get to make a high-poly model of my asset, but my texture makes up for what I couldn’t do with normal maps and etc, although my texture could still be better, where the runes are on the blade and the way the green design is spread.

Modelling the polearm didn’t bring many problems, although some edges and faces didn’t shape the way I wanted them to, potentially due to the fact that my computer mouse sometimes fails to move or moves unexpectedly. Several times the modelling would annoy me too much and I would have to force myself away from the computer, causing me to lose time.

These issues aside, I am still pleased with the way my polearm turned out. It looks amazing and I hope you think so too. If you have any suggestions please comment and, again, if you can direct me towards tutorials for particle/cloud/glow effects in either 3ds Max, Adobe After Affects or Adobe Premiere Pro, I would gladly welcome advice.

polearm-final-render.jpg

 

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Animation: Pirates Gold Advertisement

Hello to my readers. Yeah the title of this post is stupid, sorry about that. Also I’m sorry that I’m not posting as often. Maybe I’ll post some of my drawings that I have to fill my visual art journal for my drawing module if I have time.

So as the title of this post suggests, I am posting about an animation. The second assessment for my 3D animation module. The task was to produce a finished animated advertisement for a Pirates Gold game. Most of the assets were already finished for the assessment. The chest for the scene had to be modelled from scratch, textured and then complied with the rest of the scene. Then lights had to be added to the scene, as well as the animation, which then got rendered into a sequence of images. These images then got thrown into Adobe Premiere Pro, added title screens and music, and exported into MPEG4 format in HD quality.

Modelling the Chest

Chest Base 1Chest Base 2

Modelling the chest was easy, but there were some problems with my mouse, where it stopped moving while I was moving vertices, edges and faces.

Chest Lid 1Chest Lid 2Chest Lid 3Model Fin

UV Mapping

Unwrapping the model was hard, and the unwrap didn’t seem to work until I followed tutorials that showed me where I needed to the model to get the planes to flatten onto the UV map.

UV Mapping 2UV Mapping 3UV Mapping 4

Texturing

Texturing

The texturing of the chest was fun. I noticed in Adobe Photoshop where some of the UVs were almost too close, forcing me to be more careful while using my brush and eraser tools when drawing textures. When I placed the stars on the chest lid, I inspired by the DLC episode in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, where pink stars are a part of two character’s designs.

Chest_Diffuse

Animating the Scene

After the texture gets added to the Chest, it and the rest of the assets were added to a new scene and then animated. Unfortunately I forgot to screenshot this while I was doing it, so when I loaded it on a different device my textures were missing. I kept the animation simple, since it is my first 3D animation.

Animation

Rendering

The rendering of this project took three days approximately, with the project being rendered using two computers. The render farm got the project rendered in half the time it would have taken on a single computer. I forgot to take a screenshot of this part of the project.

Compiling the Video

In the compiling of all the video aspects, I had trouble with Adobe Premiere Pro, in which when I imported the image sequence the images were out of order. My lecturer managed to help me fix that problem. The music used in the video is from The Secret of Monkey Island, by LucasArts.

Compiling 1Compiling 2Compiling 3

All in all, the creation of this video was fun. It makes me eager to learn more. In a side note; I wish to post the video into this post, or maybe a different post, but I don’t know how. Is it like adding images? If you know the answer to this question could you please comment on this post?

Thanks!

Blog Task – Highlights of 3D Graphics

Computer graphics is the process of generating, storing and manipulating geometric objects, and subsequently rendering or generating a scene into an image.

oscilloscopeComputer graphics has its foundations buried deep in the 1950’s when Ben Laposky manipulated the analogue beam of an oscilloscope to create an image  and record it onto highspeed film.  Ivan Sutherland formulated ideas for the basic shapes and processes now used in computer graphics and he is considered the founder of computer graphics.

As computer technology has developed, the computer hardware became more and more capable of performing the basic processes at greater and greater rates, eventually enabling people to create 3D graphics.

For years, 3D graphics has been confined within the computer and only able to be viewed via 2D screens. This limitation has restricted the virtual 3D world to something that looks tangible but can never be touched until the invention of the 3D printer.

153D printing is an extension of 3D graphics which allows a 3D model to be printed out into something that can be touched, held and moved around.  This can help film makers and animators to see set layouts and character designs, and in some circumstances create stop motion animation that can simulate the likeness of CGI.

_88282173_13Recent advances in 3D printing have enabled doctors to print living body parts opening new opportunities for the medical practice.  This is, to date, one of the best uses of 3D graphics, and will continue to develop and improve as techniques are refined, and could one day save lives.

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Blog Task – Finishing Touches of 3D Animation

mmd_effect_light_sun_ray_by_skaa3w-d4g2ddxLighting in animation is like lighting in film, except your light source is simulated and produced by the computer over physical light sources. To understand how to make your lighting work in your animation you first have to understand how light reacts to everything in the real world. Lighting can create atmosphere and add realism to an animation where it would otherwise be flat and dull. Animators will often use many different light sources to create the lighting and shadows of an animation.

MODO-801-Ace-Demo-Workflows-for-Modeling-Animation-and-Rendering-3Rendering builds output files from animations, taking all the compnents, variables and action sequences and turning it into the final compilation. The render can be sequenced images saved singularly or video file. The rendered project can then be displayed using whatever 2D output devices you have.

Rendering is also done to make rough test animations to ensure that character models, environments and other assets and their effects all work in the way they are expected to.

57280226480387003_kBWjphgH_cAnd lastly; Compositing is the compiling of multiple renderings to create the final scenes in an animation with all their effects in place. It takes all the character models, assets and environments and puts them together in a way that makes it look as if they are all a part of the same scene. This also includes overlaying text and titles.

Reference

Blog Task – More About 3D Animation

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UV Mapping in a nutshell is creating the net shape of a 3D object to place a texture or skin on the mesh to give the object a more realistic appearance. The UV Map takes all the planes on your 3D object and lays them out on a flat 2D plane, creating the unwrap which will allow for seamless texturing if made correctly.

textures-uv-fsmTextures and Shaders give a 3D model their form and colour and shadows and highlights. Utilising the UV Map, texturing adds detailed graphics to a net shape that folds around the 3D object. A Shader applies a set off instructions that tell the computer how to display the 3D model, dictating how the model reacts to light, affecting the opacity, glossiness and more.

rig01_03_smRigging a 3D model creates a digital skeleton that allow animators to mould the model into the different poses for an animation. The rig is bound to the 3D mesh, and is made up of many “bones” and joints, like a real skeleton. The character rig is usually compiled by the character technical director.

 

MikuHatsune-481x327Animation uses frames with successive pictures or puppet positions to create the illusion of movement. Animation has a series of keyframes, which mark the important poses in the animation loop, and transitional frames, that fill the gaps between keyframes, making the animation run smoothly. There are three main types of animation, traditional, stop-motion and computer generated (CGI), which can either be 2D or 3D animation.

 

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Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the images, they came from sites in my reference list.

Blog Task – Pre-Production & 3D Modeling

Pre-Production is the term used to describe the steps taken to prepare everything for a film’s production. This includes scouting for shoot locations, wardrobe preparations (including props), identifying special effects, drawing a production schedule, constructing sets, and finalising and looking over the script.

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It gives a look into where the directors want the project to go, giving them clear goals and letting them plan to fit their budget and timeframe.

3D Modeling is just making a figure in a three-dimentional form, but the term is used only when refering to computer generated models. 3D Modeling is the process that turns a primitive object, for example – a box, into a more complex object, such as a castle fortress. It relies on wireframes and polygon faces to create and hold the object’s shape.

3d-model.jpg

Programs, such as 3DsMax by AutoDesk, are built for 3D modeling and rendering, with simple, easy-to-learn interfaces, letting animators create their models, rigs and animation loops with ease.

Reference List

Disclaimer: All images are from Google Images, I don’t own any of them. All rights go to their respective owners.