Jump to content


Photo

Harun's TaoA:M Journal


  • Please log in to reply
104 replies to this topic

#1 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 13 July 2017 - 05:30 AM

Exercise 1 - You're the Director.

 

This is a good intro to A:M as it gets you to familiarise with the interface and ease of dragging-and-dropping objects around.
It also gets you aquainted with the concept of Libraries and Poses that allows you to organise your digital assets and store a model's own animated sequences.
Plus a quick mention of camera techniques and POVs, which are an important aspect of storytelling.
 

Test #1 - my first try

Ex01 - You're the Director1.png

 

Test #2 - just mucking around with fog and changing some surface attributes...

Ex01 - You're the Director2.png

 

 

Attached are also the project files (v19)

Attached Files



#2 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 13 July 2017 - 03:55 PM

You're off to a great start Harun.  

I love that you are extending the exercise to explore.

Keep that up!  


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#3 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:36 AM

You're off to a great start Harun.  

I love that you are extending the exercise to explore.

Keep that up!  

 

Thanks, Rodney, appreciate it!



#4 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:51 AM

Exercise 2 - Chorus Line

 

This introduces reusable actions, such that the same action can be applied to different models, even if they have varying sizes (as long as they have the same bone structure or rig).

Below is the embedded animation (in one video)....

 

Test #1 - basic only

Test #2 - trying out more reusable actions....(could be better if it had music and sound effects)

 

Attached Files



#5 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 15 July 2017 - 03:00 PM

Awesomely awesome!

<insert applause from the audience here> :)


I got a slight "Wreck it Ralph" vibe there in that pan through the audience.
In the same general sense of when Ralph goes to his meeting with fellow bad guys.
I'll guess that is the sense in which... I think importantly... there is detail in a scene that compels a viewer to want to watch a scene in order to pick up new information that was previously missed. This is especially important in todays's world of clicks and viewer counts but also just from the standpoint of long term entertainment. As such... what can I say except, "nicely done!"

Sound is always going to be a useful addition.
I'm zeroing in on a 'soundtrack' workflow myself that uses the opensource program 'OpenToonz'.
If you don't mind I may use your Exercise 2 video as a test for that workflow...
"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#6 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 15 July 2017 - 06:56 PM

Thanks very much for the compliments, Rodney :D

Please do add some sound bits and music to the Test #2 clip, which I've attached below.

Attached Files



#7 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:25 AM

Thanks. I'll give it a go. :)
"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#8 robcat2075

robcat2075

    occasional smarty-pants

  • Hash Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23905 posts
  • Robert Holmén
  • *Moderator*
  • Dallas, Texas
  • other
  • Windows
  • Programmer:NO

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:50 PM

Looks like you're barreling through with flying colors!


Robert Holmén
------

Got an A:M question? Come to Live Answer Time.   Saturdays, Noon CDT (1700 GMT)

Watch the 2017 "Summer Memories" Image Contest Awards

 

My tutorials All my most beloved tutorials in one convenient location. Except for the ones I've forgotten about.
 
this is only a ... my gallery of A:M tests

87,848 pushed!: the #1 heavy push on Youtube

Big thanks to... Roger (again!), Shelton (it's huge!), NancyGormezano, Roger, cribbidaj, thefreshestever, Tom, Dalemation, Simon Edmondson, thejobe, Rob_T (2 more x), agep (again!), itsjustme, jason1025(+1), dblhelix (+1),markw, Roger (3x!), mouseman (x 2!), Xtaz, agep, Gerry, thefreshestever, dblhelix (twice!), jason1025, Luuk Steitner, PDM, Rob_T and Dhar!


#9 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 20 July 2017 - 01:28 AM

I don't think I can quite call this a success but I learned a lot... and discovered many things that didn't work as well as I'd hoped in A:M and other applications. In the end I *mostly* used A:M to add the sounds in. Audio consists of random music and audio effects found online.

The primary thing I ran afoul of in A:M was that I changed the volume of the music in the background and then later couldn't seem to get it back to a higher level even though I set everything to 100%.
I found that .WAV files worked much better than MP3 because an MP3 file seemed to disappear from the timeline whereas WAV files would stay.

At any rate, I'll post this so that I don't leave you hanging wondering if I'll ever work on the thing. ;)

P.S. For those in need of some decent 'movie' music on the cheap and even free check out this site: http://www.gregoirelourme.com
The short music intro that can barely be heard in my test is created by him.
He recently contributed to a project called 'Pepper and Carrot' which is where I first encountered his work.

Attached Files


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#10 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:08 PM

Looks like you're barreling through with flying colors!

 

Thanks a bunch!



#11 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 20 July 2017 - 03:19 PM

I don't think I can quite call this a success but I learned a lot... and discovered many things that didn't work as well as I'd hoped in A:M and other applications. In the end I *mostly* used A:M to add the sounds in. Audio consists of random music and audio effects found online.

The primary thing I ran afoul of in A:M was that I changed the volume of the music in the background and then later couldn't seem to get it back to a higher level even though I set everything to 100%.
I found that .WAV files worked much better than MP3 because an MP3 file seemed to disappear from the timeline whereas WAV files would stay.

At any rate, I'll post this so that I don't leave you hanging wondering if I'll ever work on the thing. ;)

P.S. For those in need of some decent 'movie' music on the cheap and even free check out this site: http://www.gregoirelourme.com
The short music intro that can barely be heard in my test is created by him.
He recently contributed to a project called 'Pepper and Carrot' which is where I first encountered his work.

 

That was pretty good! This kind of collaboration is great as it shows your interpretation of the clip (sound wise). It would be interesting to see another person's work on this.... Rodney, many thanks for your effort!



#12 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 21 July 2017 - 11:52 PM

Exercise 3 - Move It

 

After doing this exercise, I realised how even the slightest positioning of a model can have a big impact on the perceived emotion or feeling the character is trying to portray.
Even the size of the opening of his eyes, how clenched or relaxed the fingers are, the neck whether arched forward or backward, let alone the manner in which his ears are drooping or stretched, can make rabbit appear to emote quite differently.
 
The flexibility of the rig and the availability of preset poses help greatly in this respect, and I often used A:M's manipulator toolbar (or keyboard shortcuts) as well as the various chor views to make it easier to pose the model.
 
Below are my attempts to pose rabbit...
Ex03 - Move It1.png
 
I also rendered the scene in toon mode, which I think A:M did nicely....
Ex03 - Move It2.png

Attached Files



#13 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:39 PM

 This kind of collaboration is great as it shows your interpretation of the clip (sound wise). It would be interesting to see another person's work on this.... 

 

Agreed.  I hope others will jump in and collaborate with each other on all sorts of projects.  Artists/animators tend to toward isolation but it's not only fun but rewarding to work together to plus up the creativity quotient even further.  There were several interpretations that I was staring at as I put my 'version' together but I must say that the final effort was largely dependent upon the audio I had available.  That more than anything dictated the outcome in this instance.  For instance, my initial idea didn't include anyone in the crowd 'booing' until I ran across that particular audio file... and once put into the sequence... that became the through-line of the sequence.

 

RE:  

post-145-0-59678800-1500709677.png

 

post-145-0-72175900-1500709692.png

 

NIcely done.  The poses really drive his personality!


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#14 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 29 July 2017 - 12:44 AM

 

 

 

NIcely done.  The poses really drive his personality!

 

 

Tqvm!



#15 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 29 July 2017 - 12:59 AM

Exercise 4 - It's a Pitch

 

A:M has excellent tools to help you in doing your animation.
The skeletal mode makes it easy to pose the model via its rig, and the different chor and camera views shows the pose from various angles, which is important to get the pose right.
The timeline shows where you've put keyframes, and you can easily switch to the curves editor for fine-tuning.
I really like that I can playback the animation live in shaded mode and switch views in realtime to check from different pov.
 
For this piece, what I did was just posed (keyframed) the model, with every pose at equal spacing (every 15 frames i think).
As each pose was being done, I would playback to see if they looked ok, adjusting each pose if needed, but ignoring the timing.
Once I was satisfied, then I group selected the keyframes, and moved them, to tighten up the timing.

 

 

Attached Files



#16 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:44 AM

I love your play by play walkthrough of your process.
Not only are you making this look easy... you are making it look fun! :)

Your presentation made me think of something.
There are some features that appeared after the manual was published that may come in handy for you as you animate and one such feature is the "Set Camera to Bird View" selection that will allow for quickly placing (and animating!) the camera. The basic process is to select your primary object (the Knight in this instance) and the turn the view around to where you feel you have a good shot. Then Right Click on the Camera and select "Set Camera to Bird View" and the camera will set to that view. We can then move forward in the timeline to our next desired view and perform the process again to create a moving/animated camera.

There are two caveats that I can think of:
1. If the option to "Set Camera to Bird View" is grayed out that means we need to select an object in the scene and move/rotate around it a little to activate the option.
2. The Focal Length is not saved when the camera gets set so that setting may need to be adjusted manually.
Note that there is another option right above this one to "Set Birdview from Camera". That isn't the one we are after here but... it can help us get to where the camera currently is set so that we can adjust its view.

Hope all of that makes sense.
And... not that you want a moving camera here... I'm just adding the thought for what it's worth.


Keep it up! You are making great progress.
"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#17 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 13 August 2017 - 04:13 AM

There are some features that appeared after the manual was published that may come in handy for you as you animate and one such feature is the "Set Camera to Bird View" selection that will allow for quickly placing (and animating!) the camera. The basic process is to select your primary object (the Knight in this instance) and the turn the view around to where you feel you have a good shot. Then Right Click on the Camera and select "Set Camera to Bird View" and the camera will set to that view. We can then move forward in the timeline to our next desired view and perform the process again to create a moving/animated camera.

 

Thanks for this tip Rodney! I used it in the next exercise :)



#18 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 13 August 2017 - 04:15 AM

Exercise 5 - Take a Walk

 

The tools that helped me here were markers (to mark rabbit's height during his walk), the paste mirrored (what a convenience), stride length and path - in fact, i wonder how can you do a walk cycle without the latter two? I end up with rabbit doing a skating effect unless I sort out the stride bit... I also like it that you can just drag-and-drop the rabbit model directly onto a path and A:M automatically creates a path constraint.
 
Nevertheless, walk cycles are actually quite intricate, so here I pretty much followed the tutorial exactly, except I made rabbit blink via the choreography, which is great as you can layer over the saved action with some additional animation. The sound effects were intentionally loud, for fun. :)
 
 

Attached Files



#19 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:59 AM

Bravo!  Nicely done. 

 

Love the sound effects too.

As they might say in the funny pictures... "poifict!"   :)

I had to turn my volume on my headset back up because when I read your text I thought, "Oh Oh, this is gonna be loud" and had turned it down.

Hehe.  So you got me there.


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#20 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 20 August 2017 - 03:47 AM

Bravo!  Nicely done. 

 

Love the sound effects too.

As they might say in the funny pictures... "poifict!"   :)

I had to turn my volume on my headset back up because when I read your text I thought, "Oh Oh, this is gonna be loud" and had turned it down.

Hehe.  So you got me there.

 

Thanks Rodney! It's great to have some feedback!



#21 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 20 August 2017 - 03:51 AM

Exercise 6 - The Door's Stuck

 

I think I rushed trying to do this exercise, and consequently, spent a lot of time correcting mistakes, after I had adjusted timing. It would have been much better had I blocked out all the poses and camera angles, etc. and made sure everything was sorted out, then adjust animation timing. And the way I adjusted timing was to select all the keyframes and group shrink the timeline, if you know what I mean, which worked, except now the keyframes are not on even spacing, so it made it difficult to select and realign the keyframes.
 
In any case, what became fun later, was to find the various sound effects to match the bits of animation. Hopefully, these will mask out any flaws in my animation.... ;)

 

 

Attached Files



#22 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 22 August 2017 - 08:04 AM

THAT is approaching awesome. 

 

Very nicely done.

Well, conceived and executed too with lots of nice touches.

Useful (and entertaining) sound.  Check.

Timing.  Spot on.

Ability to generate a laugh.  Most definitely yes.

Lighting, Shading and Look Development (surfacing).  Oh, yeah.

 

So, from my point of view, this performance is a success.   :)

 

Is there anything... anything at all that I might suggest to improve upon your effort?

Hmmm.... in looking over and over again and again I would say that it would be nice if Shaggy's facial expression might hit a few more extremes to relate what is transpiring inside that thick head... a head so thick that he can't seem to fathom the situation he's placed himself in.... and a punchline where that realization finally sinks in.   In the latter's case you almost achieve this AND we must keep in mind that Shaggy's facial rig isn't exactly built with exaggerated facial expression in mind.  In many ways his setup is quite the opposite... but.. having said all of this that would be my suggestion; some additional attention to this crazy character's facial expressions would take this performance to the next level.  A little camera movement that gets the audience to focus on the face at the opportune moments might also be advantageous.

 

BUT... facial expression isn't the point of this exercise so rest easy my friend.

You've earned it for the moment.

 

Hehe... THEN... get back to work and tackle the next exercise.  

 

Great job Harun.   :)


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#23 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 30 August 2017 - 07:00 PM

THAT is approaching awesome. 

 

Hmmm.... in looking over and over again and again I would say that it would be nice if Shaggy's facial expression might hit a few more extremes to relate what is transpiring inside that thick head... 

 

Rodney, you are being too kind with all your compliments....but many thanks for them!
 
You know what, I didn't think at all about doing facial expressions...in fact, here's my story...after almost completing all of the animation, i was wondering why shaggy's eyes were all white (couldn't see his iris/pupil), it then struck me that shaggy had eye targets (i think that's what they're called) that allow you to position where his eyes are looking at....well, somehow his iris was all over the place, so i had to rescue the animation and work out where his eye targets ought to be throughout the shots....i was relieved as long as i got his eyes to point frontwards!
 
As far as facial expression goes, I too thought he had very limited poses, but upon relooking at shaggy's face poses, and as can be below, in combination with using his lip sync poses, shaggy can express quite a range of emotions...
 
Lesson learnt - always spend a little time with your model before you start animating to see what range of expressions and animations it can do....

 



#24 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 01 September 2017 - 03:59 AM

Your image didn't upload for some reason.

 

 

That whole thought relating to facial expressions is something I need to work on myself.

Of course there are always going to be those things that we spot that we think, "Gah!  I need to fix that." or "Why didn't I fix that?" but the faces of our characters... those are something we know the audience will be looking.

 

I was recently messing around with a short animation and was fairly pleased with the results... a subtle camera movement... characters progressing forward with a hint of weight... background... environment.

But when all was said and done and I'd had a chance to reflect a bit more I noticed the faces of the two characters in the scene hadn't changed at all during the entire sequence.

And it suddenly became very obvious to me that I'd been spending my time on things that didn't count nearly as much as those faces.

So... back to the drawing board and an attempt to put a little emotion on the faces as well as obvious change to the facial shapes (mouth for instance... starting from a surprised look... ending with a smile.

And that may be all it takes in many instances... a subtle change... a blink... anything that supports the storytelling idea.


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#25 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 02 September 2017 - 02:38 AM

Your image didn't upload for some reason.

 

I hope it appears below....

Ex06 - The Door's Stuck - Facial Expressions.jpg



#26 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 02 September 2017 - 07:22 AM

Yes, that did!  :)


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#27 robcat2075

robcat2075

    occasional smarty-pants

  • Hash Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23905 posts
  • Robert Holmén
  • *Moderator*
  • Dallas, Texas
  • other
  • Windows
  • Programmer:NO

Posted 02 September 2017 - 08:18 AM

Looks like things are turning out well. 

 

Nice walk and  "Door Stuck" exercise!


Robert Holmén
------

Got an A:M question? Come to Live Answer Time.   Saturdays, Noon CDT (1700 GMT)

Watch the 2017 "Summer Memories" Image Contest Awards

 

My tutorials All my most beloved tutorials in one convenient location. Except for the ones I've forgotten about.
 
this is only a ... my gallery of A:M tests

87,848 pushed!: the #1 heavy push on Youtube

Big thanks to... Roger (again!), Shelton (it's huge!), NancyGormezano, Roger, cribbidaj, thefreshestever, Tom, Dalemation, Simon Edmondson, thejobe, Rob_T (2 more x), agep (again!), itsjustme, jason1025(+1), dblhelix (+1),markw, Roger (3x!), mouseman (x 2!), Xtaz, agep, Gerry, thefreshestever, dblhelix (twice!), jason1025, Luuk Steitner, PDM, Rob_T and Dhar!


#28 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 04 September 2017 - 03:44 AM

Looks like things are turning out well. 

 

Nice walk and  "Door Stuck" exercise!

 

Thanks very much, Robert!



#29 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 04 September 2017 - 04:05 AM

Exercise 7 - Can You Say That?

 

The dopesheet's ability to convert text to lip poses is pretty good. Beyond that, adding facial expression, body language and hand gestures to match the action was quite an effort....I had to act out the motions to visualise what keekat is expressing...this time, animating is done backwards than i'm used to, that is, we start off with lip sync, then a bit of facial expression, then body motion....and since timing is fixed by the sound clip, you have to animate in sync up front....indeed a challenge, however the sound's waveform on the timeline is really helpful to determine where your keyframes should be, and the way the timeline itself organises and displays keyframes is intuitive and efficient....i guess there are several ways to approach animation, and A:M's tools does help you a lot in this regard. :)
 
 

Attached Files



#30 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 06 September 2017 - 08:06 PM

Apologies for being slow to respond.  Distractions!

 

As always I like the detail you add to these exercises.

That says a lot about you an your willingness to put everything you can into the challenge ahead.

The big plus this time around of course is the mood you've set which sets the stage for the performance.

Personally, I find that (staging) to fall well into the realm of Anticipation and because of that we start building up our expectations even as we enter the scene.

That's the long way of saying... nice touch!

 

When the poorest part of the performance is the audio quality... that's saying something too!  ;)

We need to scrub that audio for noise and get that updated as the noise detracts from your presentation and it deserves better.

Sorry about that!

 

Now... I need to rewatch your video with an eye for lipsync. 

And that in itself is a clue as to how successful you were in this exercise.

While watching I didn't even think about lipsync!  :)


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#31 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 10 September 2017 - 05:37 AM

While watching I didn't even think about lipsync!   :)

 

 

Hehe, it's all smoke and mirrors (aka mood and lighting...) that was distracting from the main purpose of this exercise.....and that's the secret! ;)
And thanks very much again for your generous compliments and feedback!


#32 robcat2075

robcat2075

    occasional smarty-pants

  • Hash Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23905 posts
  • Robert Holmén
  • *Moderator*
  • Dallas, Texas
  • other
  • Windows
  • Programmer:NO

Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:21 AM

I like the mood lighting!


Robert Holmén
------

Got an A:M question? Come to Live Answer Time.   Saturdays, Noon CDT (1700 GMT)

Watch the 2017 "Summer Memories" Image Contest Awards

 

My tutorials All my most beloved tutorials in one convenient location. Except for the ones I've forgotten about.
 
this is only a ... my gallery of A:M tests

87,848 pushed!: the #1 heavy push on Youtube

Big thanks to... Roger (again!), Shelton (it's huge!), NancyGormezano, Roger, cribbidaj, thefreshestever, Tom, Dalemation, Simon Edmondson, thejobe, Rob_T (2 more x), agep (again!), itsjustme, jason1025(+1), dblhelix (+1),markw, Roger (3x!), mouseman (x 2!), Xtaz, agep, Gerry, thefreshestever, dblhelix (twice!), jason1025, Luuk Steitner, PDM, Rob_T and Dhar!


#33 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 11 September 2017 - 12:04 PM

I've always wanted to extend the pause between the question and the answer in the 'Can you keep a secret' exercise.

The primary reason being to establish a beat for the character to perform.

 

The idea being:

Q:  Can you keep a secret?

<pause while character looks around to see if anyone might overhear or to allow some revelation to flash across Keekat's face>

A:  Didn't think so.

 

It's like a good joke.

It needs to build up... up... upwards... in anticipation of a final payoff.

Then right before the reveal... perhaps a slight move in the opposing direction... to further build suspense and anticipation or perhaps even make the audience think they don't have it figured out even if they are heading in the right way.

Then the resolution.

 

The hard part of using this isolated audio is that there isn't a lot of time to animate a performance.

Some time could be added before the question.

Some time could be added after the answer.

But adding a beat or two between those two keys is essential to the telling of the story's pacing.

 

Have you heard this joke?  

 

What's the difference between a good joke and a bad joke timing?

 

So, yeah.  While cleaning out the excess noise I'd like to re-time that thing or perhaps even better... split it into two audio files.

A quick workaround to this for use in A:M would be to save the current audio as two different files then trim the audio once it's inside A:M.

Of course a program like Audacity makes editing of audio trivial too. 

 

Audio is like animation itself in how beats can be inbetweened to evoke specific thoughts and emotions.

Keekat has a bunch of secrets and (I think) he's suggesting one of those may be 'timing'.  


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#34 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:41 AM

I like the mood lighting!

 

Thanks for the good feedback!



#35 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:43 AM

I've always wanted to extend the pause between the question and the answer in the 'Can you keep a secret' exercise.

The primary reason being to establish a beat for the character to perform.

 

<..snip..>

 

Thanks for your ideas! Might give it a try next time.... 



#36 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:46 AM

Exercise 8 - Customised Car
 
Sorry for disappearing for so long, but i have had a major spike in work load and other matters, and couldn't focus on doing 3D stuff...
Hopefully I can continue from now on, and below is the first of the modeling tutorials - the customised car being the one in blue.
 
Ex08 - Customised Car v01.png

Attached Files


  • robcat2075 likes this

#37 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 26 November 2017 - 06:51 AM

I had just been wondering what you've been up to. :)


  • harunw likes this
"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#38 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 17 December 2017 - 07:56 AM

Exercise 9 - Flower Power

 

This is a marvelous modeling tutorial as it teaches you so many simple techniques like lathing, using rotate or translate manipulators on splines, using the bias to shape the spline, intros to wizards like duplicator, setting up of bones and smart skinning. Actually one the things that I liked about A:M when I first used it (yonks ago) was the way you modeled with control points and splines. To me, it was natural like sketching with a pencil rather than starting with a primitive like a cube and then somehow shaping it using various tools to churn out your desired model. (ok, there are caveats like 5-point patches, internal patches and creases...)
 
Anyway, below is a pic of the flower, all rigged and skinned.
 
Ex09 - Flower Power.png

 

Attached Files



#39 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 17 December 2017 - 05:36 PM

Nicely done!

 

To me, it was natural like sketching with a pencil rather than starting with a primitive like a cube and then somehow shaping it using various tools to churn out your desired model. 

 

 

You make me want to buy Animation:Master all over again. 

There is a lot of great software out there but A:M is still the best thing going.  :)


  • harunw likes this
"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#40 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:16 AM

Exercise 10 - FW-190 Fighter

 

We delve a bit more into modeling techniques, this time using extruding, lock/hide ctrl points, decaling, and lathing around the pivot. This last bit always confuses me and I may need a few more tries before i can wrap it around my head... For the image below, I figured out how to spin the propellers using euler rotation, and then rendered with multipass and motion blur.
 
Ex10 - FW190-Fighter.jpg

Attached Files



#41 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 22 December 2017 - 10:29 AM

That motion blur turned out great.

I've often tried to fake that kind of thing (using a transparent disk) but there's nothing quite like seeing the 'real' thing.


  • harunw likes this
"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#42 robcat2075

robcat2075

    occasional smarty-pants

  • Hash Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23905 posts
  • Robert Holmén
  • *Moderator*
  • Dallas, Texas
  • other
  • Windows
  • Programmer:NO

Posted 22 December 2017 - 02:06 PM

Good lookin' plane!

 

 

 

I've often tried to fake that kind of thing (using a transparent disk) but there's nothing quite like seeing the 'real' thing.

 

I recall having a model kit, once upon a time, that gave you a choice of a solid prop or a plastic disc that sort of looked like a spinning propeller. :D


  • harunw likes this

Robert Holmén
------

Got an A:M question? Come to Live Answer Time.   Saturdays, Noon CDT (1700 GMT)

Watch the 2017 "Summer Memories" Image Contest Awards

 

My tutorials All my most beloved tutorials in one convenient location. Except for the ones I've forgotten about.
 
this is only a ... my gallery of A:M tests

87,848 pushed!: the #1 heavy push on Youtube

Big thanks to... Roger (again!), Shelton (it's huge!), NancyGormezano, Roger, cribbidaj, thefreshestever, Tom, Dalemation, Simon Edmondson, thejobe, Rob_T (2 more x), agep (again!), itsjustme, jason1025(+1), dblhelix (+1),markw, Roger (3x!), mouseman (x 2!), Xtaz, agep, Gerry, thefreshestever, dblhelix (twice!), jason1025, Luuk Steitner, PDM, Rob_T and Dhar!


#43 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 30 December 2017 - 06:25 AM

Exercise 11 - Giraffe

 

I prefer modeling organic characters rather than mechanical objects, and I think A:M's splines work well on such creatures. In this exercise, we are introduced to the magical 5-point patch, hooks, and the need to ensure spline continuity for proper animatable characters. I'm not sure why, but somehow in my head the giraffe reminded me of the camel, thus you see them here in desert surroundings....
 
Also, wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

 

Ex11 - Giraffe.jpg

Attached Files



#44 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:11 AM

Exercise 11.5 - Make A Face

 

This one is quite tough for me...not even sure how to complete the head either...but it's a good thing that A:M allows you to trace the model via a rotoscope...and being able to view the model from the front and side at the same time was helpful...i'll certainly need a lot more practice....phew!
 
Ex11.5 - Make A Face.JPG

 

 

Attached Files



#45 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:01 AM

Harun,

I just downloaded and looked at your project file and you might have struggled but you made it work.

 

Of all the tutorials in the manual this one is likely the exercise that should be updated/replaced.

It was added because people had a genuine interest in modeling realistic characters and there wasn't a lot of official word on the subject at that time.

I don't know if you've seen the links to the rest of the Cooper tutorials but there are tutorials for the entire body.

 

It's been awhile since I looked at the exercise but I recall there were several pitfalls that should be avoided.

The primary concern might be that the model as demonstrated is overly complicated and at times overly dense for spline/patch optimization.

This isn't to say that adding splines for additional detail shouldn't be done but in general it's best to leave extra splines and patches out.

In polygonal modeling those extra faces might be necessary but with splines and patches extra geometry can equate to less smooth surfaces.

Not your fault! 

 

There are several approaches to modeling faces and it might be good to inventory those so folks can examine for themselves and determine what works best.

 

The only thing I really see in your end product that might be problematic is 6 patches on either side of the nose (in between the eyes) that have their normal flipped backward.

Otherwise, things look pretty good.

 

The thing that occurs to me at this point is to review methods that might be used to average out spline bias and placement to achieve maximum smoothness.  Much of that has been updated since the exercise was written.

 

Hopefully Robert will see this and drop a few notes on how this exercise can be improved but... that's not about you.

 

File this exercise away and know that things get better and splines will flow more smoothly.

A suggestion would be to do a quick mini exercise where you try to repeat what you learned from this exercise to model a (simple/simpler) face BUT... don't use a rotoscope.

The rotoscope is there for detail and accuracy... that'll slow you down... for this exercise you are just trying to get your brain and hand to get a feel for laying down splines quickly and efficiently.

 

Keep up  the great work!

 

 

Added:  The age old question of whether Quantity or Quality is more important is largely irrelevant.  We need both.

But it's important to consider that Quality is largely a matter of time and attention/focus.

If too much time is spent on Quality there is no time left for Quantity... and this will hurt a lot in animation where quantity is important.

As I like to tell aspiring writers... you may spend all your time working on the great american novel and when you finally sell it and achieve success the first question asked will be.... "What else you got?"


  • harunw likes this
"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#46 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 13 January 2018 - 05:34 AM

Thanks Rodney for your detailed comments! I took up on your suggestion, and below is another try on the face, this time done freehand without any rotoscope guide. I started with the eye and mouth, then splined rings around them and joined them up, and worked my way to the back and neck, then finally did the copy/flip/attach. I think I'm getting the hang of splining around a model, and without the excessive density of the previous Cooper attempt, although i think my model now looks more like an alien from outer space, hehe....

 

The attached project file contains both the alien half face (before the copy/flip/attach) and the full face.
 

1 - Previous Cooper face

Ex11.5b - Make A Face v01a.JPG

 

2 - Freehand face

Ex11.5b - Make A Face v01.JPG

 

 

Attached Files



#47 robcat2075

robcat2075

    occasional smarty-pants

  • Hash Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23905 posts
  • Robert Holmén
  • *Moderator*
  • Dallas, Texas
  • other
  • Windows
  • Programmer:NO

Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:42 AM

That looks like much improved splining! I agree that the Cooper tutorial encourages too many splines.

 

 

 

One thing I like to do is start with two eyeballs in my modeling space (see post #24 in my WIP thread) so that I can lay the spline for the eye opening directly on that and have it correctly shaped to sit on the eye.

 

I would recommend that some of the splines coming up from the nose be ended sooner when they stop contributing to the shape.

 

I'd also suggest that CPs forming the eye and mouth openings be regularly spaced (blue dots) and that the number on the top match the number on the bottom. Both of those make future rigging easier.

 

 

HarunHead.png

 

 

 




 


Robert Holmén
------

Got an A:M question? Come to Live Answer Time.   Saturdays, Noon CDT (1700 GMT)

Watch the 2017 "Summer Memories" Image Contest Awards

 

My tutorials All my most beloved tutorials in one convenient location. Except for the ones I've forgotten about.
 
this is only a ... my gallery of A:M tests

87,848 pushed!: the #1 heavy push on Youtube

Big thanks to... Roger (again!), Shelton (it's huge!), NancyGormezano, Roger, cribbidaj, thefreshestever, Tom, Dalemation, Simon Edmondson, thejobe, Rob_T (2 more x), agep (again!), itsjustme, jason1025(+1), dblhelix (+1),markw, Roger (3x!), mouseman (x 2!), Xtaz, agep, Gerry, thefreshestever, dblhelix (twice!), jason1025, Luuk Steitner, PDM, Rob_T and Dhar!


#48 Rodney

Rodney

    A:M Bot 14309

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6929 posts
  • Rodney Baker
  • *Admin*
  • Illinois (not Japan)
  • subscriber
  • Windows

Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:44 AM

That's the ticket.

 

The interesting thing about your freehand splining is the primary difference between that and the Cooper face is the location of Control Points to define the specific character (of the face).

In other words, that same basic face mesh (splined freehand) can be manipulated to form any number of interesting faces.

And added benefit being that it isn't as spline and CP heavy so the changes (and eventually the animation) becomes easier.

Not to mention the fact that rigging of characters with optimized meshes is also easier and the resulting movement of CPs, splines and surfaces smoother.

 

A few thoughts concerning your freehand splining:

 

- I don't think I would terminate the spline at the bottom into hooks as that spline can more readily be used to form the outline of the jaw.  When looking from the side view this becomes more evident because there are no CPs present in order to pull that front part of the jaw outward.   If that spline was under the chin... the hooks would make more sense.  I good rule of thumb might be to consider the real bones that might be under the skin of the character.  Those points of interest will very likely need splines and CPs present to ensure a hard structure is formed.  Think of this in terms of hills and valleys where the extreme highs and lows need points but the terrain inbetween may or may not depending on how smooth they need to be or how much that area will need to move in animation.   

 

Splining is a bit like animation itself with keyframes (control points) and inbetweens (usually control points).

A good rule of thumb is to 'inbetween' these CPs by dividing them equally... EXCEPT... where emphasis is needed.

So, in the world of A:M, modeling has a direct equivalent in animation, when we are learning to spline we are also learning to animate and vice versa.

It is interesting to note that splines and patches were chosen for use by Martin Hash exactly because they were optimal for animation.

The program is called 'Animation:Master' after all.  :)

 

Here's a quick edit of your free-flow mesh that mostly just changes the hooks at the bottom I was referring to.

I moved some CPs around and did a new Copy/Flip/Attach so that Mirror Mode would work (so moving CPs on one side will automatically move the mirrored CP on the other side).

Symmetry can be a powerful tool in modeling and rigging... not so much in animation.

Another consideration when splining (that relates to the hard/soft, lines/curves, hills/valleys aspect I spoke of) is considering the specific sections of a mesh that are pieced together and/or articulate differently in 'the real world'.  I've made a quick attempt to identify those in the modified mesh.  This can help not only later in animation but also in determining where additional splines might need to be placed in order to facilitate later movement.

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Sections.jpg

Attached Files


"Animation is 90 percent hard work.  The other half is entirely mental!"
See my effort to think about the art of animation at: My Blog
Want to learn A:M? Start TaoA:M

#49 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 14 January 2018 - 07:31 AM

One thing I like to do is start with two eyeballs in my modeling space (see post #24 in my WIP thread) so that I can lay the spline for the eye opening directly on that and have it correctly shaped to sit on the eye.

 

I would recommend that some of the splines coming up from the nose be ended sooner when they stop contributing to the shape.

 

I'd also suggest that CPs forming the eye and mouth openings be regularly spaced (blue dots) and that the number on the top match the number on the bottom. Both of those make future rigging easier.

 

[Rodney] - I don't think I would terminate the spline at the bottom into hooks as that spline can more readily be used to form the outline of the jaw.  When looking from the side view this becomes more evident because there are no CPs present in order to pull that front part of the jaw outward.   If that spline was under the chin... the hooks would make more sense.  I good rule of thumb might be to consider the real bones that might be under the skin of the character.  Those points of interest will very likely need splines and CPs present to ensure a hard structure is formed.  Think of this in terms of hills and valleys where the extreme highs and lows need points but the terrain inbetween may or may not depending on how smooth they need to be or how much that area will need to move in animation.   

 

 

Wow Robert and Rodney, thanks very much for so many tips and guidance! Yes, I need to relook at your modeling tutorial, Robert, I remembered how much I liked how you approached it...

 

To be honest, I wasn't thinking of rigging or even animation when trying to model the face, more of just figuring out how to join the dots to create the model...

​But it now dawns to me how important it is when splining to be aware of its impending motion and deformation...

 

Splining is a bit like animation itself with keyframes (control points) and inbetweens (usually control points).

A good rule of thumb is to 'inbetween' these CPs by dividing them equally... EXCEPT... where emphasis is needed.

So, in the world of A:M, modeling has a direct equivalent in animation, when we are learning to spline we are also learning to animate and vice versa.

It is interesting to note that splines and patches were chosen for use by Martin Hash exactly because they were optimal for animation.

The program is called 'Animation:Master' after all.  :)

 

The above statements almost gave me goosebumps!

What a marvelous correlation and how insightful Martin was to have come up with his Hash patches!

 

And many thanks Rodney for taking the trouble to edit and fine-tune the face.

This exercise and both your help has brought many "oh my", "omg" and "good gosh" from me but I have much more to learn and practice!



#50 harunw

harunw

    Apprentice

  • *A:M User*
  • PipPip
  • 59 posts
  • Harun
  • Malaysia
  • Windows

Posted 04 February 2018 - 12:29 AM

Exercise 12 - Lip Poses

 
I hurried through this, doing only the "A I" pose....magnet mode really helped to shape the mouth....tried out the dopesheet, you can see a short video clip of it below, with Eddie saying (no sound though) the words - "Hello everyone, this is lip sync using Animation Master."
 
Ex12 - Lip Poses.JPG
 

Attached Files






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users