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Displaying character with real photo background:

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We've (John "Hubukai" Hubickey and I) are still working on sets for our characters. The thought entered my mind that these characters should be good for any set we make for them, so I've been playing around with the old roto feature a little in A:M. I found that I don't really need to do it that way, since A:M puts out really nice alpha channels in the TGAs that can be used to copy your character from a blank scene and paste onto a photo directly, via Photoshop. The Idea was to use the rotoscope feature in A:M (right-click on the "shortcut to camera" in the PWS under the Choreography) to light and adjust the camera angle to fit the photo. Then take into photoshop and copy/ paste it in... and also do some lite editing to make the blend more seamless. Anyway, it's better than a blank background.

Below: the original plate photo grabbed from the web, and the final result after A:M and Photoshop.



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Hello Rich,


We're both doing photorealism -- and it seems we are both into sci-fi big time as well. It seems you're doing a lot more live settings and action mixing with CG then I am. Your characters (at least what I've seen) are darn good. I can't help but be interested in what you're doing and, though I'm busy as hell with my own project (just like you I'm sure), I'll try to keep an eye on your progress. I didn't notice a site or wip URL -- I'll have to look again (mine is in my signature).


My first character models were okay, the ones I'm working on now are better, hopefully a lot better. I call my current character development methodology the Ultra2 series, the previous was the Ultra1 series... the next, LOL, Ultra3. The Ultra3s will be a radical departure. But, right now the Squetch rig is kicking my butt LOL. I did mechanical modeling between 1992 and 2001 -- very little animation. I've been doing organic photo-realistic modeling/texturing/rigging/staging/acting/animation since 2001.


I'm writing a sci-fi book and working on the animated book trailer. I've published technical articles in the 80s but my true love is sci-fi and now that I'm retired and have the time this is my primary goal (and I'm only 56).


Anyway, here is a subject that is perhaps of common interest. Since my character models are more a 'virtual actors' concept they will play many parts and, just like live actors, their 'wardrobe' as well as other things will change often. To this end, I separated the heads from the bodies and I've gone even further. In the Ultra2 line I separated the wardrobe (body), hair styles and colors, eye color and face maps. I have a collection of hairdos which can be combined with any color from my hair color collection. My character models, which are only the heads, have a standardized mesh construction and therefore have a standard flattening template... and therefore facial maps are exchangeable (plus standardized mesh construction offer a lot of other advantages). With the Ultra2s I have this pretty much down to a 'snap on' parts affair at almost every level. On the drawing board are morph-able outfits to reduce the work and up the flexibility further but this is Ultra3 stuff. Have you pursued these directions at all... that is dealing with the problem of outfits and other elements being hard wired or connected to your characters (i.e. faces) and the limitations this imposes.


Anyway, not many people are doing the type of thing I'm doing (photorealism and sci-fi). I'm not really sure what your doing but its obviously photorealism to some degree and sci-fi I think. I thought I'd say hi and shoot you a summary of my endeavors, find out more about yours. I know we are both busy with our own projects.


If you have time, tell me what your doing, send URLs, etc. and tell me if you are tackling the hardwired outfit problem at all or, do your characters always wear the same outfits.




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the rotoscope feature would probably be better for what you're trying to do, as things like hair and character edges will be antialiased with the background image instead of the camera color.


Also, if you want to make the image more natural looking, you should deffinately look into IBL with AO :)

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