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In this blog I will be talking about the technologies used in Disney’s recent animation Moana. The new Disney fantasy movie relied heavily on water and hair, in regards to both, Moana and Maui’s long silky hair and the ocean’s relevance throughout the entire movie. The directors of the movie, being very passionate about their animation, decided to upgrade the tech for water and hair significantly, they wanted to give the hair realistic physics and make a convincing ocean character. This was actually  their first CG movie since “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid” so they insisted to give the movie a 2D aesthetic.

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During production, they ran into a small conflict ;”The idea was that the toddler would meet the ocean and they would become friends, but didnt know how we were going to do it” (Clements told Indieware) so for their idea to work, Disney’s tech team made their own water solver (Named APIC) combining naturalistic effects with performance and allowing data sets to be allocated more efficiently. They named the tool-set Splash. This solver was created because there were so many things to do individually regarding animating the water and they needed a layout that defines the behavior of water within a given sequence.

Making the ocean a character in the movie caused Moana to be twice as challenging, since the ocean had to act like real water and needed to have a personality which the real ocean lacks. “Water’s a pervasive part of the movie, Moana and Maui are on a boat . . . in the middle of stormy seas. We have shoreline water, deep water, swimming, big storm-cresting waves, lots of water interactions. The water is an important part of the movie.” (Driskill)

References

Desowitz, B. (2017). Meet the ‘Moana’ Producer Who Helped Disney Animate Female Empowerment. IndieWire. Retrieved 15 April 2017, from http://www.indiewire.com/2016/11/moana-producer-disney-animation-female-empowerment-1201742720/

Desowitz, B. (2017). ‘Moana’: How Disney Innovated Water and Hair for a Greater Hand-Drawn Aesthetic. IndieWire. Retrieved 15 April 2017, from http://www.indiewire.com/2016/11/moana-disney-hand-drawn-aesthetic-1201749025/

}}, {. (2017). Wave of Animation: Disney’s Moana Ups the CGI Ante. Redshift. Retrieved 15 April 2017, from https://redshift.autodesk.com/moana-animation/

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As the weeks pass, we are becoming more and more excited by our project, and have high hopes for it. This week we were working on our allocated tasks and mine included the modeling of the hot sauce bottle itself. For the design, we explored various bottle designs and labels and came up with a list of ideas for the name of our product. This included ‘Cheeky Dragon’, ‘Dragon Tail’ and ‘Tongue of Fire’.

We are also thinking of a tagline for our product but are still in the process of coming up with something solid. For the shape of the bottle, after researching different designs, we decided to stick to the traditional bottle style. Below is a Keyshot render of the final bottle model. Keyshot is a real time renderer which allows you to see the final result of your models in the viewport (“KeyShot – 3D Rendering and Animation Software”, 2017).

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It is a high poly model and since it is the central asset of our animation, I tried my best to make it appealing and aesthetic. Our professor showed us a very useful technique of creating the look of thick glass which adds to the realism of the model.

 

 

References

KeyShot – 3D Rendering and Animation Software. (2017). Keyshot.com. Retrieved 15 April 2017, from https://www.keyshot.com/

 

 

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This week I’m going to talk a bit about motion capture. Mo(tion) cap(ture) is a method that controls human movements without the need to animate the entire animation by hand. An actor is used to record the movements needed for the animation (e.g. throwing a ball, dancing). This method not only makes the animation look a lot more realistic but also saves the animators a lot of work, making it time and cost friendly. Mocap is often used in games and film industry for ultra realistic human movements.

Mocap saves time and provides simplicity for the animation process, especially on realistic and complex character animations. Mocap uses body suites with rig points attached to them, a mocap camera is needed for the process and every time an actor moves one of the rig points on his body, the animation will as well.

Recent facial mocap technology has allowed us not only to move the body, but copy facial animations of the actors and using actors who have similar features to the characters makes it more natural and helps with marketing the product. Facial motion capture works differently, since instead of wearing a suite, a camera tracks the rig points on the actors face(usually represented by small dots made by a marker). there are other technologies that dont require marker points, but they are very limited and aren’t as realistic, mostly used for indie projects and unity users.

references

the fascination for motion capture – xsens 3d motion tracking. (2017). xsens 3d motion tracking. retrieved 15 april 2017, from https://www.xsens.com/fascination-motion-capture/

motion capture | 3d game design, animation and vfx company in dubai. (2017). pixelhunters.com. retrieved 15 april 2017, from http://www.pixelhunters.com/motion-capture

motion capture – xsens 3d motion tracking. (2017). xsens 3d motion tracking. retrieved 15 april 2017, from https://www.xsens.com/tags/motion-capture/

what you need to know about 3d motion capture. (2017). engadget. retrieved 15 april 2017, from https://www.engadget.com/2014/07/14/motion-capture-explainer/

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One factor that can greatly enhance a video game experience is great art direction and stunning visuals. Among games that feature impressive visuals is Second Son, developed by Sucker Punch. Although I personally haven’t played the game, I did observe its graphics and environment which really amazed me and so I will be writing about it in my blog.

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As the gameplay is largely focused around super powers, it features a wide range of special effects and particle systems. Matt Vainio, a senior visual effects artist working on the game, says that the aim was to give personality to the powers themselves so the player would be in full control of them(Art directing effects for infamous, 2014). Some of the more technical factors that influenced the level of the visuals include the 1920×1080 framebuffer, unusually strong utilization of anti-aliasing and minor ghosting artifacts ("How Infamous: Second Son Manages To Look So Good", 2017). Particle system is used for things from smoke to neon streaks to other kinds of special effects. The atmospherics of the game create a unique and believable version of Seattle, with realistic reflections, lights and architecture that let you marvel at the environment (Why next-gen graphics matter for Infamous: Second Son"2017)

 

References

Art directing effects for inFAMOUS: Second Son (2014). fxguide.com. Retrieved20 March 2017, from https://www.fxguide.com/featured/art-directing- effects-for-infamous- second-son/

How Infamous: Second Son Manages To Look So Good.(2017). Kotaku.com. Retrieved 9 April 2017, fromhttp://kotaku.com/how-infamous- second-son- manages-to-look-so- good-1553220653

Why next-gen graphics matter for Infamous: Second Son.(2017). Polygon. Retrieved 9 April 2017, fromhttp://www.polygon.com/2013/11/11/5092222/why-next-gen-graphics- matter-for- infamous-second- son