I was able to quickly assembly a skeleton using the Joints tool in Maya and animate the Koi. I did this several months ago and it took me much longer. Again, iterations/repetition really helps you become more proficient and become faster each time. He animates wonderfully in Maya, with a cute little wiggle in his tail.
I watched a few Youtube tutorials on how to Bake the animation and export as FBX, then import into Unreal. As you can see in my Contents folder, the model imported with an animation, skeleton, mesh, etc. When I double-click on the animation, it animates beautifully in the editor dialog box. Unfortunately the Koi does NOT animate when I play the scene. Need help troubleshooting this.
I tried to animate directly Unreal using the Sequencer tool, which seems to animate fine when you play it inside the editor, but again, there is no animation in the actual game. Need to research more on animation.
Audition has a nice feature where you can add Markers to your timeline so you know when certain transitions or sound effects should occur.
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!
Still needs a few tweaks on audio, but making progress.
After some discussion about how to match scene 2 (where the medicine flows into the vein) to scene 3 (now we’re underwater) I decided to ditch scene 2 and use the underwater vein scene as the transition.
The end of this scene would flow into the beginning of Scene 3, the transition to underwater.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 on the should don’t look too bad.
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.
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.
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!