ANM230 – Wk13

The final week of the trimester is coming to an end and so is our project. Technically, the project has already been showcased yesterday but we will be adding some missing scenes to complete it. The showcase went well yesterday, even though it was less eventful than the last trimesters. We had an industry guest from Pixel Hunters watch our animation and provide feedback. It is good to have exposure and opinion of high ranking individuals in the field.

It has been a hectic and stressful trimester, especially the last few weeks with the pressuring deadlines and rendering time constraints. Even though we had to resort to cutting down on quality for our renders in order to meet the deadlines, I am happy that we managed to put together the final animation and showcase it yesterday. I believe that I gained useful skills during the course of this project such and even improved my animation skills. I know that I will be able to apply these skills in my future projects and hope that I keep making improvements.

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ANM230 – Wk12

This week we are trying to render everything as fast as possible as we are running out of time before the showcase. The team is busy fixing any issues with the renders problems faced with the software and trying to distribute the renders in order to speed up the process. I have been finalizing the scene setups so they are ready to be rendered and adjusting lighting in some scenes. I have also been working on one more missing animation so that it can be included in our video. We had to distribute the animations which were not yet complete among the team members which allowed us to finish them. I am hoping that everything will render in time and we will be able to compile our animation

ANM230 – Wk11

During my experience in working on this project I have learned many useful skills including spline modeling which I have talked about in a previous blog and Zbrush hard surface modeling. While working on the animations these weeks I believe I have improved my level of skill and also acquired knowledge of animating using the CAT rig.

One of the aspects I aim to improve more in the future is lighting and rendering as it is still challenging for me. I was having some issues with lighting the tower as well as the render settings as the scene lights were not affecting the model itself. I also used self-illumination for the tower shaders. Below is the render of the tower with lighting. Tower.jpg

ANM230 – Wk10

This week I have been working on my assigned animations which have been rigged by my team leader. I am enjoying working with CAT rigs and actually find it simpler than using controllers as I feel it allows me more freedom with positioning the model.

During the animation of the jumping scene, I ran into an issue with one of the bones and Curves. The issue was that the bone kept snapping in weird ways which would show in the viewport render as well as the viewport itself. I sent an email to Mujeeb regarding this. I was eventually able to resolve the issue by reloading the CAT animation layer onto a previous version of the model.Screenshot (75).png

ANM230 – Wk09

In this blog I will be talking about face Morphers and how I created them for our character. This wasn’t my first experience with morphers as I have also done them in the previous trimester but I still had to refresh my knowledge. With the help of a YouTube tutorial (“Creating Morpher Targets for Facial Animation in 3DS Max”, 2017) I was able to achieve poor main expressions for a character: Anger, surprise, blink and teeth grit.
The process of creating the morphers is not very complicated. The main model is duplicated a few times and the geometry is adjusted to fit the desired expression on each model. This can be simply done using the shift tool or by manually moving the vertices. Once it is done, a morpher modifier is applied to the main model and the created expressions are targeted in the appropriate slots. Then once the values are changed for each morph target, the expressions magically change on the character.

Below are the morphers I created for our character:

screenshot-63.png

References

Creating Morpher Targets for Facial Animation in 3DS Max. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 21 August 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9dJCT6AuCM

ANM230 – Wk08

In this blog I will be researching part of my self directed learning which is modeling hard surface in Zbrush. Along with the team, I decided to use Zbrush to refine the base model of our character’s armor. Below is the base mesh of the armor created in 3DS Max;

Screenshot (54).png

 

My task was to model in the details of the armor such as around the breastplate and abdominal area.

I researched hard surface modeling in Zbrush to achieve the sharp detail which I desired. The procedure to create sharp edged details is not very complicated with the steps consisting of using the Mask Curve or lasso to create a clean mask, then in the Tool palette in Deformation rolldown there is an option to resize the selection which extrudes the masked part(“Tutorial: ZBrush -Hard surface modelling techniques.”, 2017).

Below is the refined high subdivision model:

Screenshot (55).png

In order to take it back to 3DS Max, however it has to be at its lowest subdivision which unfortunately means that the sharp detail is lost. The solution to this is to bake a normal map which will bring out the missing detail.

Following an online video tutorial (“Zbrush 4 R6 zremesher – Awesome way of doing retopology”, 2017), I learned the correct way to use ZRemesher which not only creates a new clean topology for the model but it is also possible to ‘tell’ the software which areas should be denser.

After remeshing the model, the high poly detail is projected onto the low poly model which I learned to do from another video tutorial  (“zBrush: High poly sculpt to Low poly mesh and normal map workflow”, 2017). After this, the normal map is baked from the Normal map rollout.

 

References

 Tutorial: ZBrush -Hard surface modelling techniques.. (2017). Michael Arbuthnot. Retrieved 22 July 2017, from https://michaelarbuthnot.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/tutorial-zbrush-hard-surface-modelling-techniques/

Zbrush 4 R6 zremesher – Awesome way of doing retopology. (2017). YouTube. Retrieved 22 July 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7BYTbUIM5I

zBrush: High poly sculpt to Low poly mesh and normal map workflow. (2017). Vimeo. Retrieved 22 July 2017, from https://vimeo.com/111813917

ANM230 – Wk07

CAT Rig

This week our lecturer taught us the rigging method in 3DS Max known as the CAT rig and it was an amazing revelation. The simplicity of the CAT rig as compared to the manual method of rigging which I was familiar with before is such a relief. I am still happy that I have initially learned the harder way of rigging since it is the more technical way which may be useful in the future.

CAT rig, which stands for Character Animation Toolkit, is a skeletal animation system built into 3DS Max. It allows you to create flexible and practical character rigs in a fast and simple method without the use of code  (“Getting Started: Rigging with CATRigs, 2017).

The workflow is pretty simple and follows the following pattern. A CAT parent is created  and placed at the center below the character. Then in the modifier of the parent helper, you create a Pelvis helper and from there it keeps going to leg, spine etc. Through this process, one gradually builds the skeletal structure using helpers and once that is complete, you simply add a skin modifier to the model itself and make suitable adjustments to the skinning. CAT also has pre-made animation cycles such as the walk cycles which really simplifies and accelerates the animation process.

Here is a screenshot of the CAT bone structure I created in class on the provided model:

Screenshot (35).png

 

References

Getting Started: Rigging with CATRigs | 3ds Max | Autodesk Knowledge Network. (2017). Knowledge.autodesk.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017, from https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/3ds-max/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2017/ENU/3DSMax/files/GUID-BB87B15F-7A2C-4C6F-AADF-3A5F2962549E-htm.html

Tutorial – Setting up a CAT Rig for CRYENGINE in 3ds Max – CRYENGINE V Manual – Documentation. (2017). Docs.cryengine.com. Retrieved 10 July 2017, from http://docs.cryengine.com/display/CEMANUAL/Tutorial+-+Setting+up+a+CAT+Rig+for+CRYENGINE+in+3ds+Max