3D modeling & Animation

3D modeling and animation projects

Rendering and post-production

Having gotten most of the mechanics of animation and modeling worked out, this week I began mixing the audiotrack using Adobe Audition. I found some great websites for sound loops and FX.

http://freemusicarchive.org/

http://soundbible.com/

http://www.looperman.com/

Mixing the sound
Mixing the sound

Audition has a nice feature where you can add Markers to your timeline so you know when certain transitions or sound effects should occur.

Premiere video editing
Premiere video editing

I placed the previously rendered “glowing figure” scene into Premiere, and added sound effects. I also added the soundtrack from Audition.

I was able to get Maya’s Mental Ray render engine working after installing a service pack upgrade. This caused me to tweak the lighting a bit. I began to batch render a test sample. My laptop was able to batch render 120 frames in an hour 1/2. By my calculations, rendering the entire 1440 frames should take only 32 hours!

Underwater
Underwater
Under lily pad
Under lily pad
Before lighting tweak
Final scene

Still needs a few tweaks on audio, but making progress.

Scene 3 – animating discs in water scene

For scene 3, I wanted to show the transition between focusing on the veins, and moving into the underwater scene. I copy/pasted the vein and discs from scene 2, and placed them in my underwater scene with the fish and lily pads.

Attaching disc to motion path
Attaching disc to motion path

Next, I needed to animate the discs sliding through the vein. I attached the discs to a motion path. I tried attaching multiple discs to one path, but they all bunched up into one shape, or I received errors from Maya, so I duplicated the path and made a few tweaks to each one so it varied slightly.

Maya error
Maya error

In the end, I wound up using multiple motion paths and the Hypergraph Editor to tweak how each one animated, so I could get some variation in speed over distance.

Hypergraph
Hypergraph

Upgrading the fish

I spent a few hours fine-tuning the textures on the fish and adding eyeballs.

Fish with texture
Fish with texture

Afterwards I worked on putting bones inside the fish and binding the skin to the bones so it could move.

Fish bones 1
Fish bones 1
Fish bones - rotation
Fish bones – rotation

Batch Render

Although I still have a ways to go, I wanted to be sure I understood the batch render process, and I was curious to see how my textures were actually looking with the animation. Maya doesn’t process the actual movie file. You have to batch render a sequence of stills, then open these up in Adobe After Effects to be rendered as a movie. I followed a good tutorial here.

Aftereffects
Imported into After Effects

Here is the actual movie:

Reworking the hospital scene

My instructor pointed out that although I had done a lot of experimentation and learning, my hospital scene had gotten pretty far away from my original storyboard idea, and I needed to simplify. With that in mind, I worked on getting the figure from a standing pose to a lotus (cross-legged) pose. This was difficult at first, because I could not figure out how to get his knees to bend and lower properly.

Standing
Standing
Weird knee bend
Weird knee bend
HK Mode Body Part
HK Mode Body Part

To select the knee area of the body, I had to right-click on that joint and choose “HK Mode Body Part” from the menu. That allowed me to select an individual body part and move it. I was able to get the knees, elbows and hands into position.

Because the Bones of the skeleton cause some strange deformations of the skin, you have to know how to “Paint Weights” for the skin to direct how much influence the bones have over the skin. This seems more art than science at this point; I am still struggling.

Paint weights shoulder

Paint weights on the should don’t look too bad.

Paint weights 1

The leg and hips area need a lot more work. The bones in the hips are causing a strange deformation of the skin around the belly.

Issues around belly
Issues around belly

The next thing I wanted to do was change the background into something serene and beautiful yet not distracting. I found a tutorial on Youtube describing how to apply a movie as a texture, and I selected a motion graphic of clouds. I used Adobe Media Encoder to convert it to an AVI file. I followed the directions in the tutorial, but in my Playblast animation, the background does not animate, so I will need some help with this.

figure-movie

Below is the playblast with the IV coming down from the bag. Also, I will remove the floor in the final scene. I simply forgot!