I've got a job! :D

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So, I guess I should have posted this earlier, but I've been hired by Thomas Kole (dilopho DD) to work on Cyclon, a FPS game in the BGE. I'm down as an animator, but because there isn't much animation to do, I'm also doing some scripting and shading.

There isn't any eyecandy yet, but me and the other animator are working on some neat stuff, and we'll probably get to show some of it soon.

Here is the thing that wasted my time during spring break. Looks cool, doesn't it? It's screen space AO, that great thing that Crysis introduced to a while back. I had a lot of fun coding this into blender, and I hope you enjoy the results.

Video Above
Thread on BlenderArtists
.Blend File
Technical Paper

So I've been working on this piece for maybe twelve/sixteen hours, I dunno. I've tried some new workflow things, mainly really thinking about the pieces timing before I actually started 2-D block. Still got ten days left, still need to do some more linear polish and lipsync, oh boy. I'm distressed about lipsync, I must say...

Rigging Test

I've been looking at the awesome facial rigging stuff coming out of Durian, and wanting to understand a better way. What I mean by that is, Durian is going to use the box+slider method. A thread was created by Nathan(cessen) on BlenderArtists to discuss the matter. A very interesting technique was mentioned on that thread.

The technique basically consists of this: the controls (three for the mouth, three for the eyebrows) directly deform a meshdeform cage. The cage deforms the face. On top of that, corrective shape keys, for wrinkles and volume preservation, are driving by the stretch of bones strung between verts on the cage. So you get deformer based controls with the life of shape keys. Pretty cool, huh? :D

Call for rigging help!

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I'm decent at rigging, but for some reason I suck at drivers. These rigs are the problem at hand. Would someone please update the facial rigs found in this ZIP folder so that they have no refresh issues? Announce your presence at the blenderartists thread. You WILL get your name in the credits. In fact, I will write it down.

Details: the rigs are currently powered by driving the brightness values of several textures. The style of rigging is supposed to hide/reveal basic 2-D graphics in a "malayo/pocoyo" sort-of way. Currently the graphics flicker in the render, even in keyframe-free regions. Your mission is to create a solution which does not change the control scheme if possible, and does not change the main character rig in any way.

Thank you immensely for your time, and please help.

Good luck, you'll need it.

Durian Sprinting Leaves Self Exhilerated!

So! I had a lot of fun with the Durian modelling sprint, which happened last Saturday. I was at a hotel over the weekend, so I didn't do much modelling until Sunday. At which point I completed the model.

However, during the hotel trip I managed to join the IRC channel, and watch Colin Levy eat a falafel on my dads laptop. The IRC business was a lot of fun, great to see that there are people out there in the community, alive and kicking RIGHT NOW. It was also fun to watch the servers melt into slag when Colin pointed the camera at the chat window! :b

I modelled the broken window, in a low-poly style. I'm not entirely pleased with the materials, but it works, and you can see it here. Thanks, and have a great day!

Short Film update: Story Boards

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Here's the storyboards for the film. I've been working on these for about a week. I created the music, most of the sound is whipped off of the intertubes.

blat So yeah, I just showed you guys the whole movie, but there are much better things on the way!

Update on the short film!

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Hooie! It's been a while since I ever did something responsible, so now's the time. I'm working on a new short film, on and off, called Creative Short. (Title subject to near guaranteed change.) The work I'm currently doing is in assets, and they're nearly done. Here's some rigging.

This is the "Smart Guy" rig. Just simple controls, based heavily on the Peach rigs. Everything except for the face and the fingers is done with a meshdeform modifier. I've already created "Addict" through modifying this one. Next, some story rework and the storyboards! See ya soon!

New Reel means New Animation...

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I have been given a challenge to create a new animation demo reel. So I'm pulling out all the stops and I'm creating my best work to date. To start, a small piece in it's preliminary stages, a weight lift.

Okay, so this is the piece. It's still pretty basic, but I'm quite happy with it.

There is some new stuff in the works, so stay tuned!

Python-based planetary gears

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So, that's some pretty intense rolling right there. The concept is pretty simple, just use a custom constraint made in python to correctly map the rotations to the planet gears. Here's how it works.

Skills you will need:
-Basic knowledge of blender interface
-some coding experience
-fundamental trigonometry knowledge
-ability to find stuff

Start by modeling the gears themselves. Try to use nice, easy numbers of teeth. Mine used 16 for the planets, 32 for the sun, and 64 for the outer gear.(Remember that teeth count increases linearly with radius.)

Next, open up a text window and find the constraint script template. You will need at least 2.46 for this to work.

Now, implement the following changes:

Change NUM_TARGETS to 2 instead of 1.

    # Get the rotation for inner and outer gears.
    sunrot = targetmatrices[0].toEuler()
    outrot = targetmatrices[1].toEuler()

    # Get the position of the gear itself.
    localrot = obrot.z
    offsetx = (0 - obloc.x)
    offsety = (0 - obloc.y)
    globalrot = 0
    offset = math.sqrt((offsetx * offsetx) + (offsety * offsety))
    # Apply sun movement to temp values.
    globalrot += sunrot.z
    localrot += (1 - (sunrot.z * 3))
    # Apply outer movement to temp values.
    globalrot += outrot.z
    localrot += (outrot.z * 3)
    # Apply temp values to owner.
    obloc.y = (offset * math.sin((globalrot/180) * math.pi))
    obloc.x = (offset * math.cos((globalrot/180) * math.pi))
    obrot.z = localrot

After the "Do stuff here" comment. This will work for the first gear only, you will need to change the trig function maths for each individual gear. My actual file has four different pyconstraints.
Add two circles and a plane. Delete the faces on the circles and plane. Make the circles children of the plane, and lock their location, scale, and x and y rotation. Give the outer and sun gears transform constraints to rotate them the right number of times to line them up with the planets. You'll need to experiment with this one.
Finally, add a script constraint to each gear and select the correct script for the gear. Set all "spaces" to local, enter the circle which is controlling the sun as the first target, and the circle for the outer gear as the second target.

That's all! If you didn't get anything, feel free to comment or lay down a post at the blenderartists thread.