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Everything posted by williamgaylord

  1. Just to be really mean and make many of you jealous...This is my outdoor studio! I've carved out some time to work on the Marshmallows today. The weather is absolutely fabulous!
  2. Great first project! Great way to get your claws wet...I mean...feet wet. Actually sounds like you've had wet feet already, abeit, with other 3D tools. How do you like modelling with splines? Bill Gaylord
  3. Like da monkey! One suggestion on the wind animation...maybe his ears could flap in the wind a bit... Bill Gaylord
  4. Another thing to notice is that the branches tend to spread out somewhat horizontally toward the ends until you get to the leafy branches that tend to stand up and out. The leaves sort of follow a curved surface as though they were cascading up and over the ends of the branches. There are of course leaves farther back, but most of the leaves are concentrated toward the ends. The leaves also face mostly up and out, rather than facing in random directions.
  5. Ever since AM hair, probably yes. It's a wonderful way to add leaves to a tree! A lot less labor intensive than making your own! For my trees I actually build the leaf clusters. In this case I am animating trees growing from sprouts to full grown trees. I tried hair for the leaves, but discovered that the hair does not grow very smoothly...the decals jump in size in large increments so the result is very "poppy". (I'll have to try the latest version to see if it still does this.) I build leaf clusters using a very simple leaf design with only four patches. This allows me to
  6. What kind of render time are you getting when you include the leaves? Here is a picture of a fully grown version of my tree:
  7. Nice work, William. Guess I'll have to get back to work on my trees. In my case the goal is to make it grow from a sprout to a full grown tree. Quite a different challenge. I will be interested in how you do the foliage and how well it renders and how computationally intensive it might be. BTW, how do you set up a thumbnail picture with a link to the full size (as a curtousy to those with narrowband links or simultaneous rendering going on)? Tree growth animation thread... Bill Gaylord
  8. Thanks, John. It's not too late, by the way. I'll be experimenting some more even if I have already started working on an episode, so any suggestions are welcome. I'll be doing quite a variety of "things" to the Marshmallows as the theme of the series is "Marshmallow Safety Films", where all sorts of (hopefully) very funny accidents happen to the marshmallows. Any ideas on special rigging and special effects that could apply to such "accidents" are quite welcome. Since these little guys are such vulnerable creations, there is a lot of room for creativity here. Thanks! Bill Gaylord
  9. Thanks, Mike! I can hardly wait to get this guy moving around, but I do want a good rig as I'm likely to do a lot with this guy and his clones. Since he is such a "softy", squash and stretch might be especially handy, even if it is not used in the usual sense of implying mass. In his case it would be more in response to direct pressure. Look forward to learning more about the possibilities of AM rigging. Bill Gaylord
  10. I've got much to learn about rigging. I've learned a lot about constraints and relationships by developing a tree-growth animation rig (another topic later perhaps). Here is a simple character that poses (pun intended) a bit of a challange (to me anyway). He's a spineless little fellow--a Marshmallow! Basically a head with arms and legs... I've worked out rigging the face controls and I've experimented a bit with just one of his arms to learn about fan bones, Smartskin, CP weighting, etc., especially to make the shoulder behave. There are some specific challenges that come
  11. Or maybe a Marshmallow munching on a bag of little humans? Bill
  12. Haven't decided yet. Probably one of the simpler sight gag ones. (The list so far is on the first post of this topic.) Actually the first Marshmallow film will be a spoof of something Justin Barrett did. Can't say more--it would spoil the surprise. Bill Gaylord
  13. Here is a closeup movie of the shoulder in action: *Warning: Imbedded Movie--will automatically play in a window.* Closeup of Shoulder Bill Gaylord
  14. I'm just experimenting to learn more about various options. A single fan bone would likely work with this shoulder, with a bit of Smartskin to clean it up. The array of bones around the ring that pivots is SonofPat's idea--very similar to Victor Navone's mouth rig in some respects. They are basically fan bones, but one for each control point (children of the shoulder bone with orient like constraints to the upper arm bone). You adjust the enforcement for each one. You can find the explanation on this technique on the ARM site...under the "constraints" tutorial section. Work
  15. Yes. Another annoying habit of mine is to directly imbed relatively large pictures, instead of a small replica with a link to the larger one.... Guess I should provide clearly labeled options. Thanks for the suggestion. Bill Gaylord
  16. Here is a little movie of how the shoulder rig works. It's a bit small to see the shoulder but you can still get an idea of how well it performs. *Warning: Imbedded Movie--will automatically play in a window.*Shoulder Rig Test Movie Bill Gaylord
  17. Haven't had much spare time in the past two weeks, but have squeezed in time to experiment with various ways to rig the Marshmallow's arms. Here is what I did for the shoulder. The idea is to make the main shoulder ring pivot like it is fixed to an axel. The next ring is the actual pivot point and acts mostly as a hinge joint. The result is similar to a universal joint that connects two rotating shafts at an angle. This is a simplified shoulder design for simple characters where the shoulder does not really need to be joined to the body. The following picture shows how it works:
  18. The happy expression on his face reminds me of Louie Armstrong. All he needs is a trumpet! He's looking great! Bill Gaylord
  19. I'm not sure how to avoid the crashing, but I find that some times adding or changing something in one of the poses makes the crash go away. What I can help you with is how to properly delete poses. The confusing thing is that you have to delete a pose in two places to completely remove it. First delete the pose listed in the Project Work Space under Relationships and then click on the model and delete the same pose under User Properties in the Properties window. Bill Gaylord
  20. I think I finally have all the fine mouth controls sorted out. Here are sample pictures: Now he can even whistle!
  21. Most of the facial rigging is "bone free"...mostly muscle mode or simple translations controlled by percentage poses, except for the eye rig, so not much would be visible as in a normal skeletal rig. I will share as much as I can, though. Bill Gaylord
  22. Actually this was in an action window, so lighting is not ideal. This was just a test of how well the "puckering" of the lips works. Normally they won't "pooch" out like that. I am very pleased with the lack of creases or ridges in this mesh design. Soon I will have all the mouth controls configured and will move on to the rest of the rigging. I wanted the mouth to be one of the high performance pieces of the model so I could get a lot of mileage out of the mouth and eye expressions. Thanks for the input! Bill Gaylord
  23. Wahoo! The small mouth and new mesh design work great! Here's how the extreme of the pucker looks in the smile/purse extremes: Smooth! I think this is a keeper. Bill Gaylord
  24. Here is the smallmouth variety of Marshmallow... The mouth slit is just visible, but should give you a sense of relative size. I think this looks more appropriate and should be much easier to rig. Also added another spline ring around the mouth that should help quite a bit. Well, round two of rigging a mouth! Bill Gaylord
  25. The wide mouth design is creating challenges. For most mouth movement it has worked out OK, but an extreme combination of pursing and puckering the lips looks a bit ugly in my opinion. Let me know what you think. I'm seriously considering redoing the mouth mesh. Here are some pictures to illustrate. The first is the neutral mouth. The second and third show the purse/pucker. Note the ridges that form in the extremes. Here is an early thumbnail sketch of the marshmallows. This design has very small mouths. Any opinions on whether I should make it small as in the original
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