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Old 01-06-2007, 02:42 PM   #1
happymat27
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Default New Project

OK then,

with my final year looming its ugly head, I need to make a start on my animation project. When I say make a start on it I mean get all of the pre-production stuff out of the way, mainly story and character design.

I have the basis of a story in my head and, without saying too much, it revolves around a main character and a balloon so while I consider where the tale goes I've made a start on a balloon.

This is my first attempt so it's far from perfect but I thought I'd share it anyway.

This thread will be around for a while, I'll not be sharing the story with you for some time (at least unil my tutors hear it) but I will post what I can in the mean time.

Enjoy what you see, if you have any comments (good or bad), I'll be glad to hear and will definately consider them.

CLICK THIS to see the balloon move.

Cheers,

Mat.
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:59 PM   #2
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can't watch the movie just yet as i'm at work, but the still shot of the balloon is looking pretty nice so far. that's a knot at the bottom right?

looking forward to seeing what comes next...
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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Hey Mat

Looks good mate! How did you go about animating the baloon? I would have either gone using a hair system attached to the curve for the string and a rigid body witha - gravity system constrained to the string.

Its got a real nice feel to it, something seems a little off but thats possibly the straight on camera angle not letting you see if its making subtle backwards and forwards movements.

Your making some headway into your project so far mate, hope that it get's approved by the lecturers.

Drop me an e-mail if you want to chat about your final year project, as I went through mine last year, athought it mighe be different what with different unis/courses etc.
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Old 02-06-2007, 01:18 AM   #4
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Cheers guys,

arran, yeah it's the bit you blow the balloon up with.

Steve, I did use hair for the string... well the string is a poly mesh with a joint chain running through it and I used the hair to make the joint chain dynamic. In actual fact there are 2 joint chains in the string, one running upwards and one running down from the grip point. The balloon is parent constrained to the top most joint in the upwards chain, I had to tinker with many of the dynamic settings for each chain to get them to act as they do, which for a first attempt I'm pretty proud of but as I said there is much left to do!! I already have a couple more ideas on how to make the balloon work that I'd like to try before I properly decide on which to use.

I made a tutorial for my Hair and Fur site about dynamic joint chains.... Click This To See It ... if you're interested.

Unfortunately my desktop has acquired a nasty bug and, after spending the last 36 hours trying to fix it, I'm having to resort to completley wiping the hard disk and re-installing my OS and software which along with making emergency back ups of my work will probably take the best part of the weekend, yawn!

I will probably be in touch with you at some point while I'm making this project Steve, cheers.

Take it easy,

Mat.
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Old 02-06-2007, 04:38 AM   #5
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I hate computers with a vengeance. Unless they work of course.

Would you like crits (the good, the bad and the uggly) throughout the project and on the work you post here or will you recieve that from class mates and tutors? I'm sure there will be lots of encouragement too from the enthustiastic community here
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:06 AM   #6
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I have never in my life had to reinstall Windows. If there's a problem, you fix it, not reinstall Windows.
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:16 AM   #7
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Think youve been lucky DJ sometimes the OS gets corrupeted no matter how careful you are
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Old 02-06-2007, 08:07 AM   #8
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Alpha: Crit all the way through is good, cheers. I will of course be getting plenty of it from my tutors and other students but the more I get the better I can make it!!

DJ: I know what you mean, I would normally fix things too, but really this was doing my nut in. There was something somewhere that kept on dialling my internet and I kept on getting messages from norton about some virus beginning with V, can't remember it's name though. I tried everything I could think of and a few other things but the upshot of it is that none of it worked and I decided to start over. My kids use the computer to play on sometimes and I wasn't willing to risk any dodgy pop up adverts appearing when they were on it.

I'll have everything sorted in the next day or so, a clean machine that will be nice and fast again!!

Later,

Mat.
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:39 PM   #9
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Is there any way you'd go about making the balloon a little transparent (or transluscent? I dunno...)? Because It would be a little more realistic to me if it had that balloon see-through touch to it. I like the anim and the tut is great too! KUTGW!!

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Old 02-06-2007, 08:25 PM   #10
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Cheers sparticus,

the balloon does have a degree of transparency to it, a facing ratio controlled ramp plugged into the transparency node, and a slight fresnel effect but the lighting is very poor so it is difficult to appreciate, I will post images illustrating this better when I have my desktop computer back in action. The shader is my first attempt at a balloon shader so I will be playing with it as I progress.

Cheers,

Mat.
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:45 PM   #11
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Default My 2 cents

Hey Mat.. You is a clever bugger! :p

Are you planning to disguise the leading point on the string (like with a hand for example)? Because atm the join of the top and bottom sections seems a little sharp (if that makes sence?)

Also the balloon seems to float up a little fast maybe. However, if this was your intension then its all good!

Dave.
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Old 03-06-2007, 05:07 AM   #12
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Good luck with your final animation project Mat, I'm in the scripting stage of mine as well
What process are you going for? I'm looking at finishing the scripting and moving onto storyboarding first and then getting basic timing in by sketching key frames out in Plastic Animation Paper (an animation tool, the basic one is free http://www.plasticanimationpaper.dk/). Then it'll be the long slog to get it all together for January

I've just been going through your tutorials and they are all quite good in showing different ways to do things. The dynamic joint chain is nice (is that one your voice?), the only thing I got stumped with was that its real easy to accidentally attach the IK spline handle to the original curve and not the hair. I think if you get the chance then it'd be nice to mention that as it might stump some people.

The balloon is looking good but the return from the swing looks a little strange, maybe a little tight or something as if the balloon would have a shorter string or something. Unless you've already done it I'd suggest getting a balloon and film yourself making similar movements. If you could film it from 3 angles and move it forward, back and side to side then it'd be good reference vid for the future

Si
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:01 AM   #13
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Okey-Dokey,

My computer is up and running again so I can get on with my work, phew!

Dave: You have it in one, a hand will be disguising the lead point. I have a few ideas on improving the balloon, this is like a first draft if you like, plenty more to come!!

Si: I have an idea to get the pre-production and technical stuff done before September when I go back to school, modelling rigging (at least the main characters and scenes), sort out dynamics, lighting, rendering style and storyboard etc. If I can get it all sorted then I have a good few months to get the animation the way I imagine it should be.

The voice on the joint chain tutorial is my good self. I know what you mean about the IK Spline, I've taken to hiding the master curve (select and ctrl+h) before I make the IK Spline, it makes things much easier!!

I'll take a look at the PAP software, I generally use Sketchbook Pro for drawing stuff. It's not an animation package but it uses layers and works amazingly well with a tablet.

Anyway, best get on with it eh!! Cheers for your thoughts so far, I should have an update in the next day or two. In the mean time, I've attached a close up of the balloon to show that it has got transparency, still plenty of work to do on the shader too!

By the way, good luck with your final year thing too Si.

Take it easy,

Mat.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:54 PM   #14
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good luck with your project too mat, looking forward to seeing progress

Si
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:41 PM   #15
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Hello again,

I've made a bit of progress with the balloon.....

CLICK THIS to see a little video update (2Meg-ish).

Take it easy,

Mat.
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