Flying animation 3D

Animation for ‘Lets find them together’ a short film by Ritchie li

She more here: http://dha-world.com/

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BUOY – water colour 3d boat and other background elements

A lot of this week I have been focused on watercolour backgrounds including the 3d Boat I created in Maya. I finished the toon lines and did the UV mapping using the multi tile technique. The boat is split into 3 tiles output at 4k resolution. I have scanned the watercolour textures at a high resolution of 1200 dpi as well. I may be being a little over cautious but it’s better to start large as with adjustments there will be plenty of pulling and stretching in photoshop, which will degrade the image.

I trace out the texture using a printed out UV snapshot.

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Using printed out UV snapshots and the light box in order to create traditionally painted textures

You can see that there wasn’t much stretching needed from the final scanned in watercolour texture, however you won’t see the failed first attempt! I discovered that it works better if the watercolour is kept simple without any details. Starting with details leads to things not lining up, which takes a lot of adjusting. Photoshop is a great tool for adding details if they are needed later on.

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Boat fin, cabin and side windows

The decking is probably the most detail I painted for the boat and that took a lot of work in photoshop to get it to line up correctly.

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Boat deck and mast
Boat_tile_00 master
Boat crane and hull
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Whale close up

I have also been adding the additional background animations, such as the whale. I started with a design of a whale that was morphing into a tanker(ship). I decided to not go with this and to stick with a more single concept of houses on the back of sea creatures.

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Did many roughs before attempting the final design. It is based on a Right whale

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You can see an example of how the animation for the 2d watercolour elements look after they have been scanned and animated in after effects. I rely heavily on the pin tool!

My first character animation has been animated in flash and this will later go with the boat as the background.

Rough lines

BUOY – Background boat tests

The boat model is going to play an important role in the background animations. I have a list of things that I want to achieve with it. I roughed these ideas out in my journal.
characters2The aim is to make the boat look like it is 2D animated. So it needs to have the following

  • 2D flat texturing
  • An outline (texture in the line to look like it was done by hand)
  • Flat shadows (blurred and rounded)
  • A plane for the 2D animated characters to follow the motion of the boat
  • Plane for the sea so it can be animated in 2D
beauty shot
beauty shot

I was able to mask out the sea by creating a plane that intersected with the boat. It is a colour that can be easily selected and masked out in After Effects. I think that the water will be animated in flash. For this test I just used a water colour texture. I have all the passes on separate layers now in After Effects. The passes are

  1. colour pass (includes any textures and no shadows)
  2. outline pass (just the outline and solid white with no shadow for everything else)
  3. shadow pass (this is to add the shadow back in so I can blur it)
  4. depth of field pass (for fog effect)

From doing this test I decided that I would blur the shadow and the toon line needed more work. I also didn’t like the zoom, which I did in Maya. It creates a jarring effect when the sea doesn’t zoom. I think that I will do the zooming in After Effects.

Animating 2D characters on a moving 3D background

There is 2 ways to have the 2D animated characters on the moving 3D boat. The first would be to have an ID render pass of the boat and the plane as separate colours, then in After Effects put the 2D characters on the coloured plane by using it as a mask and track the motion of the boat.

The second way is to just bring the 2D animated characters and put them on the plane as a animated material and render out that as a pass. Here is an example of that. In the following video I just rendered the video straight from Maya playblast so it has some problems with the outline, this could be corrected later in After Effects with the separated passes

Reflecting on what I did, I realised I had done the boat movement a little too over the top. It should be smaller movements in the water, mostly up and down because the characters can sometimes look as if they are paper thin and I think this happens when they get rotated. All of these issues are being brought forth with testing. For my next test I will see how bringing them into After Effects looks using the ID pass idea mentioned in the first paragraph.

Outline

The best way to work on the toon outline in Maya is to add a colour to the various outline attributes (i.e. profile line, border Line and crease Line). Then it makes it easier to see how they intersect and what needs to be changed.

10378136_10205112804172621_967907514387912686_n 10987489_10205112804132620_8825855019461308645_n 19500_10205112804252623_1940980561051340382_nI wanted to create an outline that looks as if its been created by an artists hand so I rendered out the colours and outline as separate images and brought them into photoshop as separate layers. I then added 2 filters to change the flow of the outline: Median and Ripple.

11001638_10205114529095743_2272289554096370343_o 10974661_10205114528855737_1671829750319441339_o 1911182_10205114528975740_305479858623858806_oI like the medium I had in Photoshop but found that in After Effects I wasn’t getting the same result with the same effect. I think this was because it was smaller resolution. The ripple effect works much differently in After Effects so I might not use this. I think for my next test I will apply a texture to the outline and merge it to the line to get a roughness and maybe even animate the texture by moving it.

Animating 3D fog

The scene is very foggy at the beginning of the animation and I wanted to reveal the boat in the fog in the establishing shot. I created a render depth pass and animated it. I then took it into After Effects and inverted the layer and set the mode to ‘screen’ and put it above a master render of the boat.

the depth of field render
the depth of field render
Invert the depth of field and apply screen mode to layer
Invert the depth of field and apply screen mode to layer

This is the end result.

This test was very successful and I will use it for my final animation. The only extra thing it needs is some fog shapes to move around in it. I could animate these shapes in flash and then apply a water colour texture in After Effects.

Reflection

On reflection the things that worked well were:

  • the texturing
  • the shadow being applied as a separate pass and then blurred
  • the fog being animated with depth of field pass
  • the outline and the sea plane being masked.

Things I’m unsure of still are the 2D characters on the plane on the boat, should they be brought into After Effects or rendered as a pass from Maya?

Rigging and Boat model

I have finished rigging and texturing my character and I am preparing a background for him. It will be a boat out at sea. I have gotten as far as modelling the boat and now will begin creating the texture.

the boat work in progress but finished modelling
the boat work in progress but finished modelling
With the mast which I later removed to create more space on the boat
With the mast which I later removed to create more space on the boat
the hook, still a work in progress
the hook, still a work in progress
close up of boat
close up of boat
I did some bassis rigging for my character with some simple controllers.
I did some bassis rigging for my character with some simple controllers.

The boat in profile and texture for the surface.

boat top

boat front

boat sides</a

Boat_top_texture

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UV Mapping

Today I decided to apply a wooly texture to my character’s jumper. I first UV mapped the character using planner mapping, then created a seam up the front, which will be hidden by the over hanging beard.

I used the checker board shader to check how the texture looked on the model
I used the checker board shader to check how the texture looked on the model
The UV snapshot for the jumper
The UV snapshot for the jumper
I created a texture using the UV snapshot
I created a texture using the UV snapshot
this is how the textured model is looking
this is how the textured model is looking

3D to 2D hand drawn

My research is exploring ways of doing 2D hand drawn animation using the computer as a tool to help the animation. I like the misstakes and artist hand, which is produced in 2d hand drawn animation. The computer doesn’t make misstakes it does exactly what you ask of it. Using my rotoscope technique I can do a complicated turn around and zoom in, which can be a difficult and time consuming to animate in 2D.

Very low tech just using the screen as a light box. For each new hand drawn frame I placed the last drawing underneth as reference going forward.
Very low tech just using the screen as a light box. For each new hand drawn frame I placed the last drawing underneth as reference going forward.
I bring the traced images to the line tester and start taking photos of each drawing.
I bring the traced images to the line tester and start taking photos of each drawing.

3D weight painting

We did weight painting in our maya class. Weight painting is part of rigging the character. When the character has all its joints and the joints and geometry have been binded together there needs to be touch ups made to tell maya what will be affected when you rotate joint. Some of the mesh will change and be affected more and you can control this by painting on the values for the verticies that are affected.

weight painting the toe
weight painting the toe