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Hash, Inc. Forums > Technical Direction and Development (Learning Animation:Master) > The Art of Animation:Master (TaoA:M) < New Users Start Here! > Calling all Pedagogs
robcat2075
I've been watching the complete works of the Flintstones.


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NancyGormezano
He's a winner!
Rodney
Very Nice. smile.gif

Not necessarily a suggestion but an observation: Perhaps the eyes could simply be glasses. Not only would that differentiate him from that familiar caveman it would also ensure the toon render would have the stark difference in meshes for A:M's toon rendered to contrast.

Two odd thoughts this also brings to mind:
- This will be a nice tip of the hat to Martin and Hanna Barbera who both had a pivotal moment of history together. Barbera decided to go one way which sent Martin in another.

- This guy could start a story with an eyeglassless brute and be gifted the glasses by someone in who has arrived in a rocket.

In other words... really cool idea and model who has already inspired me to want to tell toon stories.

Some more randomized brainstorming:
- Maybe he could have a lot of 2D (on purpose) props? (An extension of this exercise might introduce filmmakers to the power of A:M's Layers and such so they could further take advantage of the look and productivity they can exploit using principles of 'limited animation')
- Perhaps he's a primitive earthing who suddenly show up on camera who doesn't know walking into a movie set on a planet circling some other star.
- He's got a girlfriend named Betsy that is superseyhot! (I always wondered what she saw in that guy)
- D. Absolutely... None of the Above

Outstanding work Robert!
robcat2075
QUOTE(Rodney @ Sep 26 2011, 06:21 PM) *
Not necessarily a suggestion but an observation: Perhaps the eyes could simply be glasses.


Yeah, I've been studying the way they handle eyes in these limited animation things. I hadn't noticed it before but Fred and Betty have eyes with whites and pupils while Wilma almost always has just solid black dots and Barney usually has empty circles with no white. I wonder how they arrived at that?

The mouth will be the tricky part. They are almost always seen in profile even when the character's head is nearly face-to-the-camera.
robcat2075
I did the beard shadow with a decal for this...

Click to view attachment
thumperness
QUOTE(Rodney @ Sep 26 2011, 07:21 PM) *
- He's got a girlfriend named Betsy that is superseyhot! (I always wondered what she saw in that guy)


It had to be his infectious laugh... biggrin.gif
Rodney
QUOTE
The mouth will be the tricky part. They are almost always seen in profile even when the character's head is nearly face-to-the-camera.


Hmmm...

Just thinking out loud here.
I'm wondering how we can turn that constraint into an opportunity.

One approach would be to render the sequence twice (which would add in a lesson on compositing).
- Render out the scene with the body
- Render out the mouth
- Composite and resync the mouth movements as required.

My thought being... why try to reproduce the 2D look when you can actually produce it in the software.

I seem to recall Xtas having a pretty cool tutorial on (pose slider driven) animated 2D eyes.
For the lesson you are pursuing perhaps this would be a bit too complex of an idea?
Wildsided
Like Rodney was saying Robcat, you could animate everything except the mouth and have a separate model for the mouth. Then you could make a pose slider with mouth positions set on it. Haven't seen Flintstones in a while but I bet there are a set 4 or 5 set mouth positions that they use (probably closed, part open, full open and o shape.) Then sync the most appropriate position to the syllable. I know most anime shows do mouths in this way because it looks okay and saves time/money.

Anyway once the syncing is done you could just position the mouth in front of the face, it doesn't even need to be 'perfect' so long as it looks good from the perspective of the camera. After all 2D animations rarely have elaborate camera movements, Just cut from shot to shot.

Anyway just thinking out loud, feel free to disregard all that.
robcat2075
Here's an example... check out Barney's mouth on the last image laugh.gif

Gerry
that would be a really tough thing to recreate in 3D. Challenging, but tough!
robcat2075
Gives a new meaning to "talking out of the side of his mouth."
Rodney
Reminds me of the guys using A:M who pitched an early CG Mickey Mouse to Disney who were skeptical about how Mickey's ears could be made to work right in 3D because of their unique perspective. As I recall, their solution was to constrain his ears to always point forward to the camera so they always appeared as the classic round circles.

(Postscript: Despite impressing a lot of folks I understand they still didn't get the job)
robcat2075
experimenting with a little post-processing...

Click to view attachment
Rodney
I like it. Very nice! smile.gif


Added:
Can you share the imagery (preferrably as PNG or EXR?)
My thought is to put together a project file for use with A:M Composite.
One of the benefits of using A:M's Composite is that we can even produce tapered lines. Although not a requirement for H.B. Burny.

I'm definitely interested in where you are going with this.

(Remind me to put in a request for a 'Render to Forum' button)
Wildsided
K so I was thinking about Robcat's Caveman and his mouth issue so i whipped something up to demonstrate how I thought it might work. Sorry for the model quality (It's late lol). This is purely to demonstrate the mouth. Aside from sliding it to the right to coincide with its position below the nose. The mouth doesn't change it's orientation at all. The up and down motion is controlled by a pose slider.

Click to view attachment

and now my new friends i'm off to bed.
robcat2075
QUOTE(Wildsided @ Sep 27 2011, 10:47 PM) *
K so I was thinking about Robcat's Caveman and his mouth issue so i whipped something up to demonstrate how I thought it might work...


that works well!
ernesttx
Rodney,

You mentioned using A:M's Compositing to create tapered lines? How would that be done? Is there a tut somewhere?

Thanks in advance. smile.gif
robcat2075
QUOTE(Rodney @ Sep 27 2011, 05:29 PM) *
Can you share the imagery (preferrably as PNG or EXR?)
My thought is to put together a project file for use with A:M Composite.
One of the benefits of using A:M's Composite is that we can even produce tapered lines. Although not a requirement for H.B. Burny.


Here's the PRJ with model. I'd be curious to see a tapered lines treatment too, if you can figure out a way!

Click to view attachment
robcat2075
And here are the line and color renders

Click to view attachment

Click to view attachment
Rodney
Thanks Robert.
I've started refreshing my memory on the ins and outs of Composite and Post Effects.
I should have some quality time to dig deeply this weekend.

I need to do better at recording these sessions and/or writing down settings. Then I might remember what works best without starting from scratch every time.

Attached is my first look at your images with some random effects and settings assigned.


For those looking in on the discussion... remember... if you have such a need, settings can be animated over time. Usually we just want to apply the same effect to the whole shot/sequence but this is important to consider if you want to manipulate the scene with subtle shifts in lighting, reduce/increase thickness of lines etc.

My memory says the Denoise Post Effect is especially useful at controlling variation, simulating brush strokes or 'replacing' an image's toon lines. However! The Denoise effect is computation heavy and depending on your settings can take a considerable amount of time.

When initially experimenting with these effects it usually pays dividends to begin with extremely simple setups. Then after those initial successes you'll be better equipped to tackle the utterly complicated. When using Denoise on longer sequences my suggestion would be to set everything up and then Right Click on the Composite container. Select 'Save as Animation' and have that save out to a .Mov or image sequence... go for a long healthy walk (you need a break from the computer anyway)... and inspect the results at a later time. I have not tried Denoise with Netrender but if that works as well as I suspect it should it will save the equivalent of many lifetimes in rendering and applying post effects.
robcat2075
That's interesting what you got going there. It's got some nuance to it.

If you could figure out how to make the lines that end in the middle of white space to taper that would be a real find.

Rodney
QUOTE
If you could figure out how to make the lines that end in the middle of white space to taper that would be a real find.


I haven't had a chance to hook up my external drive and look for earlier experimentation but as with almost all things in A:M there are multiple ways to approach getting something done. Most of my experiments in this area is with post effects and not A:M Composite. I prefer layering images in Models and Actions to achieve faster results in (more or less) real time. A:M Composite is extremely powerful however and I've never regretted leaning more into that area. It takes some patience and a willingness to experiment. Without a specific target to chase after we can find ourselves wasting time. As long as I learn something useful it is well worth the time.

Do you recall Marcel Bricman's Post Effect Sumi (I believe that was what it was called)?
That proved very well that it could be done.

There is also a Post Effect/Plugin called Roads that while quite effective at creating roads can also create some very interesting effects with lines.

More... too much more... R&D required.

For the sake of sanity, I figure I should add something like this to make reading through all these words (blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, etc.) somewhat worth the effort...

For those who have never used Composite it provides a quick glimpse into basic setup:

http://wiki.hash.com/index.php/Colin_Post_Effects

If interested in exploring further try Holmes Bryant's tutorial on Post Effects.
Rodney
I haven't forgotten about this Robert although I discovered just how long it's been since I played with Toon Rendering.
The following may be relevant to any work being done in post processes of images in A:M Composite and for generating Toon Lines in general.

Most of the Post Effects require some element in the image to manipulate and therefore the toon lines and flat shaded images are not greatly effected by Post Effect manipulation. My next step is to perform same/similar tests on images that were fully rendered with depth cues. This should produce greater variation in lines via the Post effects.


There are some things of course that can be done to get the most out of toon rendering straight out of the renderer. Separating geometry yields fuller lines while continuous geometry tends to blur it. Manipulating the Bias of splines can also augment the toon effect.

Here is a write-up on Toon Bias that covers the basic concept. Note here that Bias does not refer to the actual model's geometry! It is speaking of the Toon Line Bias setting. While this Bias setting is important it's just as important to understand how the geometry itself drives the effect:
Rodney
Here is a reference I had forgotten about... and it may no longer apply to A:M... but it did back in '98:

QUOTE
Line Thickness Scaling
Most 2D animation cels exhibit the trait that lines get slightly thinner the further back in the scene the object is, and more lines are visible the closer an object is. Animation:Master mimics this effect by scaling the toon line thickness depending on the camera’s focal distance. All lines in front of the camera’s focal distance are not scaled, while those behind the focal distance are scaled by the object’s distance divided by the camera’s focal distance. Lines that become very thin due to this scaling are eliminated. If you want no scaling to occur, simply move the camera’s focal distance behind all objects.


I have never considered the Camera's Focal distance in toon rendering...

Hmmm.

Edit: First two attempts nothing worth reporting... third time with Toon Line Bias set to 3 produces some variation in line. Not particularly useful but interesting. I understand why it's there... to keep the toon lines the same even if models are at different distances... but when attempting to make a variable toon line we may be fighting against this automatic focal length scaling effect?
mtpeak2
Here's a link to toon line scaling according to distance from the camera, 2 posts down is a newer version which uses the cameras focal length as well.
Rodney
Very nice Mark.
I missed your earlier post and thank you for pointing me to it. smile.gif
Gerry
That's some interesting info. I wish I'd known it a lot earlier in my music video development! I think I'll play around with that.
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