Friday, November 29, 2013

A Passion Reawakened

Just went and saw Disney's Frozen tonight with the family.  Even through wrestling an 8 month old and standing in the aisle, I was blown away.  Disney animation is truly hitting what I would like to call a "renaissance" of modern animation, and I am so excited about it.

When I was at Pixar, I had the chance to meet with many of the Disney team after Tangled had come out, and they put on quite an amazing demo of their work.  It was incredible to see their workflow, their passion, and their desire to not just make another CG film, but to really push the limits, questioning everything, and truly becoming the artistic powerhouse that they had been so many years ago.  It was inspiring.  It was enthralling.  It made me want to sculpt, to draw, to paint, to animate, and to (strangely enough) rig.

Watching the characters come to life is so inspiring.  I know how much effort it takes to pull that off, but I am also amazed at how they really have tried to make it about the character - the effects, the world, the objects, while amazing in their own right, still take the back seat to the characters.  That is what draws me to characters so much - the raw emotion and feeling that can come straight through them.

Makes me miss being in the game :)  Time to go draw, and get back to what truly got me into this business.  Thank you, Disney, for reminding me that I do have a passion that has been with me since I was barely old enough to hold a pencil.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Modo Corrective Morphs

So I thought I would do a quick tutorial showing how to create a corrective morph in Modo 701.  I couldn't really find any out there that described the simple steps that I wanted, so I thought I would create one on my own.  Corrective morphs are something that CG has made WAY TOO HARD AND CONFUSING.  For example, in one program, you have to duplicate your entire mesh and then sculpt that mesh in the static base pose to the shape it needs for your end result in the final pose...huh?  Man, that's an unintuitive and backwards workflow if I have ever seen one.  Totally bloated file in the end with hundreds of extra meshes.  Now, there are some plugins that do a decent job, but the UI doesn't help make it easier, just gives you a different way to get frustrated.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, but Hash's Animation:Master had it right.  Some may say it's a garage hacker's toy, and that it's just a hobbyist's tool/  Yet it KILLS the competition when it comes to workflow for this (I hope the Modo guys pick it up before anyone else does!).  So simple:

  • Right-Click on a joint
  • New>SmartSkin
  • Select the axis of rotation
  • Sculpt
That's it.  AND, you can create up to 360 sculpt keys for each corrective shape.  That means that I can sculpt at 45, 90, 135, 25, 18, 56, ANYTHING and the sculpt will animate.  This may sound like a bunch of nonsense that couldn't possibly be true for Maya, Max, or other software users,  but it's the truth.  Here's a demo I did a while back:

Anyways,  here's the Modo demonstration.  The tools are great, but the workflow has got to be adjusted.  There's just no way that you can do this for 3 axes per joint on all the joints of the body.  If the Luxology guys can get this down, I know of a lot of people who would switch in a heartbeat (hint hint).

If you have any questions, let me know!