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Everything posted by williamgaylord

  1. Here is an update. I'm now assembling in earnest. Building the trees along the street. This is about 40 minutes work, though I expect I'll be able to assemble each tree in about an hour a piece by the time I get to the other end of the street. In hindsight I would have put more leaves on each branch, but it was hard to judge early on in the development. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to render 9 trees and 9 brownstone appartments. I put a lot of detail into the appartment model. This is not an excercise in work flow efficiency. It is certainly "breaking new ground" (pun very much intended ). Although it looks complicated, the tree model is actually rather surprisingly simple in terms of its basic elements. Its just that there are so many of them. It should be fairly straightforward to automate. (Hint, hint, Marcel...or anyone else who might be interested.) Wish me luck! And any suggestions are very welcome. Sincerely, Bill Gaylord
  2. Love how effectively you animated the eyes. It's amazing how much drama can be concentrated in those tiny orbs! Great example for inspiration. When I get back to character animation, I'm going to try out the proxy idea. Too bad my current project doesn't lend itself to proxies (animating trees growing magically along a city street). Great work! Look forward to seeing more. Bill Gaylord
  3. These are not award winning items to showcase, but they are interesting examples of how Animation Master allows you to do some none traditional "character" animation: Bill's Experiments These originated with "The Mother of All Blobbies", my first experiment animating a character whose "limbs" were more like the pseudopods of an ameoba than arms and legs. This was done by manipulating CPs with the various tools of AM. I then created a "pseudopod" test model basically made of a tube with each spline ring along its length assigned a bone. The bones were then constrained to each other in a hierarchy so that I could stretch or squash the "tenticle" simply by manipulating a bone at the very end. "Pseudopod" was the result. The next experiment was "Roundhouse Slap", an application of the model inspired by Paul Hogan's detective character from his variety show. I then changed the model slightly so I could scale each spline ring separately, while using a single control bone to stretch and bend the "pseudopod". I gave it teeth and created "Pseudopod 2". I was then inspired to create a similar model to animate a tree growing magically from a sprout to a full grown tree. In this modeling technique I constrain the bones of the tube to a guiding spline which determines the shape of the branch. I can construct a complete tree with such branches. I am now creating an short film for a non-profit organization based on the tree model that "grew" from these experiments. "Toobs" is a simple experiment showing how tubes can be guided by splines. I call them my "flying cheese doodles". Although Animation Master is designed for more traditional character animation, it is also amazingly adaptible for much less traditional "characters". Hope these inspire some of you to try even more interesting character innovations. Many thanks to the folks who helped me in these explorations. AM ROCKS!!! Bill Gaylord
  4. Just posted the multipass render. It takes longer, but man I love the results! Added bark texture to the tree and adjusted the lighting. The tree is only partially constructed--just enough for a test. The final tree will be much fuller. Bill Gaylord
  5. New animation test posted with both tree and rowhouse ( Bill's Experiments). Tree has bark texture added (Symbiont material). Have a multipass render cooking. Will post that later. Bill Gaylord
  6. Love the curves and contours! Great sense of proportion and style! Looks like it would be very interesting to animate as well. The first picture reminds me of an armature for a stop-motion animation puppet. Great work! Bill Gaylord
  7. Continued progress...Here is a test view of a row of the rowhouses. Need to add a few more details, like the fences at street level. Haven't decided whether or not I'll vary the color of each house or keep them identical (except for variation in the curtains perhaps). Any suggestions on how to make them look more natural in terms of texture and lighting will be much appreciated. Bear in mind that the shot will be a very wide one, so I prefer not to get too carried away on texturing. I mainly want the lighting to look natural. Should be able to complete the house model tomorrow, so I can get back to the trees themselves. Thanks! Bill Gaylord
  8. Here's an update on the rowhouse. Just need to add a fence and gate at ground level and pictures to simulate blinds/curtains behind the windows and then I can replicate a whole street's worth of rowhouses. Any suggestions for texturing, etc., will be much appreciated. Thanks! Bill Gaylord
  9. Wow! Great job of modeling and lighting. Would like to learn more about how you set up the lighting and multipass. Some day I'd like to make a similar model of a trilobite and animate it--sort of like roach like, but with a lot more legs. (I collect fossils.) My wife shudders at the thought of trilobites skittering across her bare feet. Can hardly wait to see the roaches animated! Will you roaches talk, as in "Joe's Appartment"? Bill Gaylord
  10. Here's today's contribution to the project. It's a model of an old brownstone rowhouse. I'll use this to create a very wide shot of a whole row of these as a backdrop for the trees that will grow along the street. The shot will be an extreme telephoto--very wide, like an extreme letterbox format--with the trees growing up along the street. Later I plan to animate a boy and girl planting the trees, with the trees growing up as they progress down the street. Still have a few details to add, like doors and texturing. I love Animation Master! Such a joy to use! Anybody know off-hand how to set the transparency of an individual patch independently from its surroundings? I need to make the patches behind the windows transparent. Thanks! Bill Gaylord
  11. What a wonderful animation! Thanks to both Jim and Stephen for such an inspiring work! I guess the other dwarves don't let Schlitzy anywhere near the dynomite! Bill Gaylord
  12. Great to see the final product after having seen a few samples at one of our Atlanta AM user group meetings. Very impressive and interesting site! Bill Gaylord
  13. "She'd have to be the brains though. I'm afraid Edna isn't the brightest bulb in the box." I don't know...I could imagine Edna delivering some real zingers! And all with that radiant smile, too. Bill Gaylord
  14. What a great character design! She positively radiates a cheerful charm. Look forward to seeing her story develop. Keep up the great work! Bill Gaylord
  15. Great job of animation! Very smooth and natural. Why not cricket sounds? Or is this leading up to it...next scene he steps up to the microphone and lets loose a wicked cricket riff... Perhaps a smile, wink, and "thumbs" up after cranking the gain up...or a grin and an a rubbing of the "hands" in anticipation... Great work!
  16. Frank, Thanks for the references! These look very interesting. I plan to put this tree in an urban context, either a slum or a very stark, cold, sterile one (the latter might be easier to construct). This tree or its offspring will be the "star" of the show with other plants like grass (made with AM's wonderful hair). The "theme" is how trees and other plants can transform urban settings. Thanks! Bill Gaylord
  17. Zachary, I do plan to put a tutorial together on how to do this. I basically define the ultimate shape of the tree with spline paths. One defines the trunk. Others are "path" constrained to the trunk. Still others are contstrained to these branches and so on. Each branch is basically a tube with a bone assigned to each spline ring. The bones are constrained to a spline path. To make the branch "grow" I adjust the ease for length and scale the bones for thickness. Leaf clusters are done as self-contained groups, each with its own bone for scaling and constraint to a path. To make the work manageable and a lot easier to animate, I used these basic components to make three basic "characters": a trunk, a long branch, and a short branches. I then replicate the branch models a few times and change the shape of the spline paths and the angle of the leaf groups to create a "cast" of different characters I can assemble into a complete tree. I create a full growing action for each character so that I only need one or two slide posers to animate each branch. Each branch must also be made transparent at the very beginning of the growth action so it remains hidden until its time to "sprout". As efficient as this approach is, it is still a lot of work though. Trees have very simple anatomical structure, but a whole lot of it! Bill Gaylord
  18. I agree with you about the timing. As complicated as the model is, its reasonably easy to tweak it later. Each major branch is a separate "character" in the assembly and can be adjusted independently. Later I might be able to add some secondary motion to each branch, like leaf flutter and bending for wind like effects. For now I'm focused on how to animate the growth, which is quite a challenge all by itself. Thanks for the suggestions! Bill Gaylord
  19. Here is the latest installment of my tree growth animation project. I haven't been able to put much time into it in the last couple of months, being too busy with my "real" job. Once I get the whole thing built, textured, and animated, I want to put it in the context of a vacant lot in the middle of a city-scape. Any recommendations or how-tos for that sort of thing would be greatly appreciated. Below is a simple still image render. Check out the latest animation at my "laboratory" .
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