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JBarrett

*A:M User*
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Everything posted by JBarrett

  1. Robert: no idea what that movie reference is. There are plenty of popular movies I haven't seen, though.
  2. Sorry that I missed the session. I got wrapped up in some other activities. I did the assignments, though. Eclipse doesn't open a separate console window, so here's a screenshot of the console panel: ...and the variables assignment: Robert: I'm pretty sure the ASCII-art image reference is from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'm not sure where the quote comes from, though. Is that from the same film? I tried watching that years ago when I was studying animation. I couldn't stay awake, though I don't know if that's because of the film or something else. Whatever the case I don't recall much about it.
  3. Sounds like a great plan! So now the challenge becomes: when do we meet? I gave my preferences above.
  4. May 1 sounds good to me. Re: a weekly meetup, Sundays are a no-go. Evenings and Saturdays are my best options. However, I sometimes work during those times, so I might not always be available.
  5. Indeed. I initially thought about Eclipse from a prior attempt to study C++ where that was one of the recommended IDEs, so it's pure serendipity that John is using it for his course. Getting the GCC compiler installed was a little more cumbersome than I thought. For some reason there's not a simple executable installer for it. Of the two Mac links provided on the GCC binaries page, I suggest going with the Homebrew option. Follow the link, copy and paste the provided command into a Terminal window, and let it do its thing to install the Homebrew system. Once that's done, stay in the terminal and execute this to install the latest version of GCC: brew install gcc Once that's done, download and install Eclipse. If you don't have a Java development kit in place (required by the Eclipse installer), then it'll prompt you to go get that. Once that's done, open the Eclipse installer and choose the C/C++ option. It'll likely try to put the .app file somewhere other than your Applications folder, so feel free to change that. Once Eclipse is installed, just open it and go. It should hook up with GCC on its own, as John indicates in his demo. I didn't have to do anything. Side note: I've always found it just a tad annoying that installing development software is often more cumbersome than installing just about anything else. You often need to install other helper apps (Homebrew, JDK, etc) before you can get to installing the primary application, and sometimes those helper apps are command line tools. It's almost like they assume that you're already a developer, so they dive straight into the deep end. I've been scripting/programming on the side for many years, and while I've seen enough of this stuff to get me through trickier installs without too many headaches, it still feels like they're almost intentionally trying to make it difficult to break into programming at a certain level. Anyway,I decided to dive in and start watching stuff in the course, and I'm up to Section 1, Lecture 4. There are some small differences in the latest version of Eclipse—John's demo was recorded in 2014 from what I can see—but overall it's flowing almost exactly as he demonstrates. I've gotta get back to some other stuff, so I probably won't go past S1L4 for now, but I wanted to throw this out there to help my fellow Mac users (if there are any in this group).
  6. I'm gonna tag along if that's okay. I don't use A:M any longer, but have thought about learning C++ for a while now, so this seems like a good way to go about it. On the IDE front, I'm going to take Eclipse for a spin. I'm on a Mac and could use Xcode, but from what I read it's a bit of a space hog, and space on my hard drive is low as it is. The Xcode download is over 5GB before extraction, whereas Eclipse is only 50MB, so my gut says I'll have an easier time running the latter on my system. I'm also not looking to create any iOS specific apps yet, so I don't really need the extra bulk of Xcode anyway. However, if an experienced Mac developer can point out some element I'm missing that makes Xcode worth the effort, I'm open to reconsidering it.
  7. This year is already full of surprises, the first one being pointed out by Robert: my account is still active! And on top of that, I somehow remembered the password! Thanks to Robert for being willing to start this thread on my behalf. I hope that Animate a Face will still prove useful to the community!
  8. Dang...nice can! And I don't say that to just any guy... Seriously, very well done. Great job on all fronts.
  9. Lookin' good, JT! Always an inspiration. One of these days I gotta take a crack at modeling...
  10. Any specific places in particular? The shampoo bottle works pretty well overall, partly 'cause he's so limited. Very nice work on lip sync for that character, although I'm not sure the "teeth" (when that extra shape pops into place for some nearly-closed-mouth shapes) works that well. Because it flashes on and off, it doesn't really feel like teeth coming together. The way he's constructed, I'd almost say it would be better to drop that element entirely. I think it might work just fine for the style to ignore his teeth completely. That's how the VeggieTales characters operate, pretty much. The teeth only appear when they need to do a toothy-grin, not during regular speech. Most of the cleanup is needed for the soap and sponge. I don't have time to dig in super deeply into specific segments, but I'll try to point out some global issues quickly... There are many places where acting choices could be better. One that jumps to mind is the "I can't believe my eyes" line from the soap bar. He's referring to seeing the shampoo bottle, but it feels a bit awkward 'cause he's not even looking toward the shampoo during that line. Some moves feel unmotivated. During that same line from the soap, some of his body motions put him in awkward poses. It almost feels like he's moving just to move at some points. Pick your poses carefully, making sure that they're motivated by what's going on. You can insert bits of "business" where appropriate, but even business should fit within the larger structure of appropriate, clear poses. Lip sync for both the soap and sponge is pretty good, but feels slow at times. Could be a bit snappier. And as with the shampoo, the flashing teeth don't really work that well. Because these two are more realistic in their facial design, they definitely call for more more realistic handling of their teeth. But the more I think about it, I think you could also get away with nixxing the teeth entirely. It could go either way. But the flashing doesn't really fit. Too jarring, distracting. Body movements could use a hair more snap in some places. Stronger holds. That's what jumps out at me right now, looking back through the first little bit and going from memory on the rest. One spot that works really well is the "hand" gag w/ the soap. Even though it's really obvious that the gag is coming up once the shampoo's line has been sung, the way you stage it makes it work well. You did a nice job conveying a sense that the soap character believed he actually had hands at first. Cool stuff! Just take a bit more time to spit and polish it. Not too much spit, though, or the soap will just turn into a pile of goo.
  11. Wow.....now THAT would've been a nearly instant win, methinks. Animation could used more polish, but the creativity and storytelling still make it a lot of fun to watch. Now, where's my hat.....oh yeah. It's already off. Kudos!
  12. I've tried getting to the "theatre" page several times, but keep running into "bandwidth exceeded" messages. I'll keep trying...
  13. Whoa...tough to read such a dark character against such a dark background. Start by cranking up your lights, and consider a lighter background as well.
  14. I'm glad you like the tute, Michel. Re: your clip, the lip sync feels way too soft and subtle overall. There's a lot of variety in the sound of the voice, but very little in your character's mouth shape creation. It shouldn't be super-duper snappy, but it definitely does need to be punched up a notch. It's a pretty good start, though!
  15. While he doesn't have something that resembles a human jaw/chin, he still has to have something inside his body that controls the way his mouth opens and closes. Even though he's a highly stylized alien creature, you've chosen to give him a fairly human design in many respects, so it pays to follow human motion patterns when designing his animation controls. The mouth should work like the hinge on a door. One part of the hinge stays locked in place to the door frame and doesn't move. In the mouth, this is similar to the way the upper teeth are attached to the skull. They don't slide up and down as we speak. The lower teeth are attached to the jaw bone, and as the jaw opens, they go along for the ride. The lips are essentially on a separate "layer" of movement, but they are affected by the movement of the jaw bone to some degree. When the mouth opens, the lower lip will generally go along with the jaw bone, but it can also move independently. The upper lip also has independent movement. However, in your rig, it appears that the upper lip is automatically going up every time the character opens his mouth, which isn't always the way our lips move when we speak. So in addition to locking the upper teeth in place, you could get even better results by creating a separate control for moving the upper lip up and down. To carry this further, instead of having the "pivot" of the pseudo-jaw movement happening from the corners of the mouth, shift it so that it happens from around the top of the upper lip. That way when the "jaw" opens, the mouth corners will actually move down, causing the mouth to stretch open in a similar fashion to the way our mouths stretch. That's all just a long way of saying that looking at the way the mouth operates in reality will help you create a better feeling in your character's mouth operation. It pays to observe.
  16. Not bad for a first attempt! Here are some things to address for future stuff... One core issue you may want to address w/ the rig is the way his mouth opens. It feels too much like a puppet, with the "jaw" opening up and down nearly equally. Even though he's an alien-ish creature, it will read better if his jaw performs in a more human fashion, which is to have the jaw bone (lower hinge) handle all the raw open/close movements, with the lower teeth and lip moving along for the ride. The upper teeth won't move, as they're attached to the skull. Admittedly changing the rig to this system will take a bit of additional time, but the end result will have a better feeling to it. Most of the closed-lip shapes don't close quite enough. The level of closure at the end of "job" is the best one. The rest don't really read as fully pressing the lips together 'cause the teeth are ever-so-slightly visible. The jaw doesn't close quite far enough for sounds like the "j" in "job". The teeth should be practically touching, while currently they are still a good distance apart. Try making that sound yourself with your jaw open similarly, and you'll find you don't get nearly the same sound. Work a little more on getting more overlap between the wide/narrow and open/close movements in the mouth. This will create some nice arcs in the corners of the mouth, whereas now a lot of the transitions feel fairly linear. Again, it looks pretty slick for a first try at lip sync...better than some other firsts I've seen. Keep it up!
  17. Looks fun! Can't wait to see this guy in motion!
  18. Thanks for the kind words, Mark. As for making more...well, that all hinges on (1) coming up with an idea, and (2) working with Anzovin Studio to put it all together. Right now (1) is the biggest challenge. Jot me a note if there's something you'd like to see. I'm open to suggestions!
  19. I'll echo TurboKitty's comment. The technical part of the lip sync looks pretty good, but it could use some more snap and exaggeration to really match the tone of the vocal better. Also exaggerate the other facial expressions, too. I like the interface you've set up for the facial rig. I've been using Osipa's rig on the project we're doing at work, and while I initially had some gripes about its operation, I gotta admit that it's really grown on me over time, and I'm losing my interest in sliders for facial work. I heard about Bill Young's test at implementing an Osipa-style rig in A:M, but never checked it out. Seeing your implementation here, though, has really piqued my interest. I think I'm going to take a whack at adding it to the Eggington model I used for the Animate a Face tutorial. Oohhh...and this has suddenly given me an interesting idea for a new hand-control rig....hmmm.....
  20. Look very closely at the rendered pic. Those lower segments aren't perfecly smooth. That's actual physical detail on the model, which adds to the realism. Those parts of the legs need some flexibility, and with that design, the slight bend that some of the legs have is believeable. Very nice work, filipmun!
  21. Please be more patient. Four hours is not nearly enough time for folks in any forum to respond to a request (same goes for mailing lists). Coming back twice within that period and asking why people haven't responded is just flat-out unrealistic, bordering on rude. After posting and asking for feedback, give it at least a week before following up if nobody responds. Forums are purely voluntary things, and people must be allowed to respond on their own time, not yours. Regarding the clip, it looks like it's working at a basic level, but only a very basic level. There's a lot more potential for emotion and energy, even without having a traditional face to use for expression. For example, the brows hardly move, and the movements they do make don't always feel motivated by what the speaker is saying. Some of their moves are too quick, too. People don't generally cycle through a variety of brow shapes in quick succession. Brows are best used as broad accents to help sell major emotional moments. The jaw movement works pretty well, but there are some moves that don't quite read very clearly from a contextual/emotional standpoint. For example, the lateral jaw movement before "what do you mean" doesn't feel motivated. Another jaw hitch is the fact that the upper teeth (and attached eyes) are also rotating with most of the character's jaw moves. Real people don't work that way. The jaw is on a hinge, while the upper teeth are attached to the skull. When we talk, all the movement is in the jaw...we don't tilt our head back when we open our jaw to speak. The only critters that do that are puppets, and that's due to the way we operate them with our hands. Because of the fairly realistic design of the teeth and eyes in your model, it doesn't feel appropriate to apply a puppet-style of operation to him. There could also be more work done with the overall movement of the model. If he's got some power that allows him to levitate over the floor, then he must have power to do other movements. Right now he's locked in place facing the camera, with only minor lateral rotations here and there which don't really help much. As such, he feels pretty lifeless. Some of the eye darts work all right, but with the eye rotation locked to the "head," it presents some problems. Generally we look at very specific targets, even if only for small stretches of time. It's rare when our eyes will stay locked to the movement of our head, especially during speech. In these scenarios, it's best to have the eyes locked to an external target, which you can then animate to represent the character's shifting gaze. Even though you can still pull off a lot of stuff with this guy in his skinless state, one thing that's going to hamper the emotional potential to some degree is a lack of eyelids. The relationship between our lids and eyes contributes to a lot of emotion when we speak. Without lids, the character feels perpetually alarmed/surprised, even with brow movement to help sell certain emotions. Something to keep in mind...
  22. Fun logo treatment! I'm also having audio problems w/ this clip, though. All other audio on my system is working fine.
  23. It's true that the mouth is lazy in some respects, but that doesn't mean that we should be lazy with our lip sync, nor does it make lip sync super easy. Learning exactly how the mouth moves in its specific form of laziness takes time and practice. "Just being lazy" isn't as easy as it sounds. Re: your clip, you did all right for a first-timer. The body poses are okay, but could still use some added strength and clarification in places. One big issue is the very floaty movement between those poses, particularly at the beginning before she speaks. There are also some isolation issues in a few places, esp. at the end when she points but only moves her head and hand. Her major facial expressions are pretty static. Granted, she's keeping a pretty even tone across the whole clip from a vocal sense, but the eyes and brows could still use some extra punch. Lip sync is pretty darn good for a first shot, but there are still some things that could make it more accurate. Laziness aside, you can't skip the shapes for compressive sounds like M, B P, etc., and the lips don't come together for the "b" in "about" or the "m" in "my." The jaw is moving a bit too much in some places, like the double hit during "all the" near the beginning, but you did a nice job of keeping it toned down during "something or other." All in all, for a first attempt, it's not bad! Keep at it!
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