Monday, 31 August 2015

Maya Tutorials: Interactive Bind Part 1

I made an attempt on the interactive bind tutorial today. Though I'm feeling a little distracted right now so I stopped once I reached the start of the painting weights phase. I will look into the next phase soon.

I admit I may have spent more time than I needed to on creating the animation above as playblast creation was being rather uncooperative tonight.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Maya Tutorials: Back To Skinning

    My internet connection has been rather unpredictable today so while I still have other skinning tutorials to do, I thought it prudent to upload the two skinning toutorials I so far have completed in case I lose my window and the connection cuts out again.

    In terms of available techniques so far I think I prefer painting by weights technique. Though editing the weights by numerical value does appeal to me. This is because I like how I can be precise in the values and it allows me to more efficently edit more than two values at a time more promptly than painting by weights seem to do.

    Then again, I also get a better visual feel from painting on the weights. I can check and change areas more easily so I can see why painting weights might be more favourable for high-poly models.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Maya Tutorials: Fur Presets

    I was unable to find the progress gif or screenshots I had made for this tutorial, which invovled the contruction of fur. What I do have however, are the fur samples I created.

    I rememebred reading that animating fur is hard, very hard. Despite the progress made by some 20-or-more years of refinement in computer animation I have come to udnerstand why - mapping fur is fine, getting it to wave about? It looks like it would take a lot of meticulous and time-consuming planning. What did surprise me however was how quickly the fur was rendered. I had imagined that the procedure would take some time but perhaps the preocedural nature of how the fur is created was what allowed the strands to be drawn so quickly.

   I was pleasantly surpised ot discover that for the most part, designing fur is about percentages. Some of the later strands in the above GIF were made by combining different types of animal hair and I fee ltempted to suggest that there's one that, if a bit of tweaking was involved (I think it was a combination of yak, sheep and bear hair) such as colour, the fur could resemble a tree canopy.

   I suppose in animation, grass is as simple as a green fur shader with a lot of shorter strands and a few long strands. 50% Bear fur and 50% sheep's wool standing more on end and tinted green perhaps? Granted there are plenty of types and shapes of grass from the short half-inch tall strands of a golf course fairway to the sun-baked metre-long stalks of the African savannah.

Maya Tutorials: Transparency, Rim Lights and Render Layers

    These tutorials have sat unfinished for a while. While owrking though them I noticed a few techniques that I wonder could have been useful during the deveopment of my animation such as the Environment Sphere shader (looks useful for environmental reflections).

    When it come to the Render Layers tutorial I believe that I had some experience with render layers but because of time contraints I never got to perform the full beauty parlour treatment on my Infiltrate Exploit Spread composition. While the video did not og in depth about an After Effects technique set, I believe my understanding of After Effects means I can perofrm a technique transfer without too much worry.

Here is the deveopment of the two sets as I made them, taking test render shots as I went along.

This is the composition developed to show the mock rim lights

This is the composition enhanced with tweaked render layers