Friday, January 28, 2011

Week 3: Running with Squirrels

Click here to view a Run Cycle by Michael Sabalvaro
You may be relieved to note that animating a RUN cycle is much easier than animating a WALK cycle.
That's because one of the key difficulties is removed -- ground contact.  Just like a bouncing ball, however, the running character must show the effects of gravity through your control of spacing and timing.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Duplicating Balls in 3dsMax

If you'd like to have more than one ball in your Max scene, it's relatively easy. 

First, I recommend you FREEZE the GEO on the ball first so you don't get double transformations if you start moving the ctrls while the geo is selected.  Make sure you have NO transformation, squash, or translations on your ball before you copy it, or the new ball will inherit all that information..

Week 3: Luxo Jr - the short that launched Pixar

Click here to watch "Luxo Jr" from 1986
The Luxo lamp is for 3D what the famous flour sack has been for generations of 2D animators -- a tool for perfecting & demonstrating a mastery of the 12 Principles of Animation. As you watch this famous short, bear in mind the primitive tools the artists were working with at the time.  This is a remarkable first film for what was then a fledgling industry, which has grown into the multi-faceted world of CG movies, shorts, and games we know today.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Balls... continued: Adjusting timing in 3dsMax

Click to view avi of ball before timing adjustment
I've had a few questions about the bouncing ball so here are some details that may help you.

The timing of the ball is dependent on two things: the number of frames per bounce, and the spacing of the ball's position on each frame.

The weight of the ball is conveyed by how fast and how high it bounces, as well as how quickly it seems to rebound off the floor.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Previewing Animation in 3dsMax

Well, well, well...
Click to view larger
Switching from Max 2010 to 2011, I had trouble finding "Preview" in the usual spot.
Turns out, they've moved it! Again!
It used to be in Render, then Animate, now in TOOLS... hmm..

Previewing Animation in Maya

Click to view image larger
In Maya, animation previews are called "PLAYBLASTS"
Go to:
Window > Playblast >


Sunday, January 23, 2011

File Referencing for Maya

I've had a few people ask me questions about file referencing so here are some resources to help you.
Let me also point out that it is not 100% necessary at this stage. You can just open your rig and start animating. But if you do want to try referencing, one simple way is to save the rig in the same file as your animation so that it's always where you need it. If you take the file to a new location, you need to relink the references next time you open the scene.  It's an extra layer of complexity but one you'd be wise to get comfortable with as it is very standard on big productions.