Monday, December 02, 2013
If you have an RSS feed, please update it. I hope to get back into posting about my extra curricular sculpting and rigging, as well as the work I have been doing at Walt Disney Animation Studios for the past three years.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
So you just spent some time on your brow weights, getting your spans to flow in a nice appealing smooth shape. Congratulations! Now let's mouse over the below image to see how it holds up in the opposite position.
Gross. It doesn't hold up at all. What was smooth in the down pose, is now jagged in the up pose.
In order for the emotions of the character to read clearly the brows should flow as a cohesive unit, giving us a soft arc when the brows are up and a bold straight when the brows are down. Take a look at these drawings of Aladdin to see examples of bold and clean brow shapes.
This all boils down to how clean our default mesh is. The more even and clean our edge flow is in the default state, the better chance it has of holding up in all poses. We are talking very small positional changes that have the potential to create very large and very noticeable improvements in our rigs. Once our mesh is cleaned up, we will even see that smoothing weights is a bit more predictable and useful.
Below is a version of the mesh cleaned up in it's initial state, an how that now plays well with our two poses.
Now obviously we can't have every edge smoothed out and evenly spaced; our models would become mushy and bland. In a later post I will go into how we need to be mindful of vertex speed when adjusting influences and how skinning workflows should involve setting key-frames.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Two weeks ago I finished reading "Born To Run" by Christopher McDougall. The Author who suffered injuries every time he tried to run more than a few miles set out to learn if humans were, as his doctors said, fragile and not built for running, or if we are actually the best long distance runners and our expensive sneakers and our tendency to be obese has just made us bad at it. I'm sure you can tell from the title, what he discovers. In one of the chapters, the author mentions how he is trying to change his diet to train for a 100 mile ultra-marathon. He has concerns about tiring of seeds and vegetables and falling back into his usual routine of hamburgers, when the Dr./Athlete he is talking to says, "Have you ever had salad for breakfast?"
"You get leafy greens in your body first thing in the morning and you'll lose a lot of weight," she urged me. Because a monster salad is loaded with nutrient-rich carbs and low in fat, I could Stuff myself and not feel hungry--or queasy--when it came time to work out. Plus, greens are packed with water, so they're great for rehydrate after a night's sleep. And what better way to down your five vegetables a day than forking them all down at once.?"So I tried it and have been doing it for two weeks now; the longest I have been able to do any sort of dietary change. The problem for has always been: I never crave vegetables throughout the day, and given the choice I will fill up on pasta and meat and leave the side salad sitting. When I wake up, I am always thirsty and my stomach is hungry but at the same time not ready to handle food. Eating salad for me takes care of that hunger, and like the McDougall said you won't feel queasy, even if you workout right after eating.
So that certainly isn't the normal kind of blog post for me, but I wanted to share that in case you have the same trouble forcing down your veggies in the hopes that maybe it could work for you too. Besides if you eat all your veggies first thing in the morning, the sooner you can have your dessert.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I tried sculpting it from scratch in Sculptris, but I just don't think that workflow works for me. It was taking me forever and I wasn't getting the control I wanted, so instead I blocked in this low poly version in Blender and I will try importing that into Sculptris to add some detail.
This is based off of Brittney's print "Rainboots" (image found here).
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
When I started on these two love birds I found myself going down the same path as Kane. The sculpt was losing the appeal that was in the concept art. Now it is tough sculpting a three-dimensional character with a sketch from only one camera angle. I prod Brittney for a quick sketch from a different angle now and then, but most of the time I am guessing. I found that trying to eye it, for me, leads me down a path of too much detail too soon and results in a mushy design that no longer looks like the character I set out to make.
Ryan Tottle who is getting trained up in the modeling department and he showed me the importance of finding the big shapes with the clay first. He told me how to stop smoothing things out and adding little layers of clay bit by bit. He taught me to just go for it (the shapes) and have some fun bringing those shapes from the drawing into 3d.
I took this attitude back to the male dancer and scrapped the face I had already created and started over, working simple. Another modeling trainee, Ke "Jackie" Jang introduced me to an interesting method of projecting the concept art onto the surface while you sculpt. This allows for two things: It allows you to get accurate shapes from the profile just as you would with an image plane behind your sculpt, but it also allows you to see the model textured with the drawn shadows so you can see how that relates to the actual shadows of your three dimensional sculpt. He had some great success with it at work so I thought I would give it a try at home.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I only learned a few years ago that James was not his birth name, though he was likely to punch you in the nose if you tried to call him by that other name. He was Papa to me. In my world, he was the inspiration for Grumpy Old Men, Big Fish and Mickey Rooney's character Gus in Night at the Museum, though, it is unlikely that any of those script-writers knew my Papa. He was as rough and tough as the Cowboy movies he watched so often, but his weakness for pinching the chubby cheeks of his great grandchildren leads me to believe that it was all a facade. He suffered a stroke and was pronounced dead in the hospital...and then went on to live another 20 years (talk about tough). He had a pace-maker put in, he had tuberculosis, diabetes, lost half of one foot and all of the other foot, due to diabetes, but he still refused to sit around and be idle. He would still use the push-mower from his motorized wheel chair, invent contraptions to help him lower and clean out his purple martin birdhouse. I remember visiting him in his rehab after they took half his leg off. He was working the exercise machines before the therapist even got there and refused to stop after his sessions were over. When the therapist had him practice moving from a wheel chair to a mock-bathtub, he did it in one try and told the guy "piece of cake, what else ya got". He was walking on his new prosthetic leg the next time I saw him.
He died this morning, December 16, 2010, 5:10am EST. at the age of 87. I am heading home to be with my family, and we will probably exchange stories of him that will make us laugh until we cry. I will miss him so, so much. I hope he's resting peacefully in whatever his heaven might be: probably the old hunting camp, or the perfect fishing hole.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Character reel demonstrating modeling, articulation, rigging and tool writing abilities.
I am currently living in Glendale, California and looking for work as a Character TD in feature film, tv or video games. I spent four years working at Crystal Dynamics on "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light" and "Tomb Raider: Underworld".
View my resumé at www.evadanimation.com
Monday, October 04, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
So much character, so much performance, in just a little foam banana peel.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Last post I talked about progress on the face rig and the skinning. That progress showed me several areas in the mesh that needed improvement so I back tracked and made some topology changes in the face and torso. While I was at it, I decided to do some adjusting of some of my joint pivots as well as adding in some helper joints that will be used for preserving volume. Though this does set me back in my progress, I think that this rig will benefit from the changes; and that's the whole point, right?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Finished hooking up the face controls and the initial weighitng pass. After posing this guy, some problems became apparent in both the weighting and the mesh. I know my poor lighting job doesn't make it clear, but the upper eyelids are a bit lumpy in the area that leads up to the brows. The shape of the nose gets muddied up when I lift the nostril. I'm pretty happy with the mouth. The corners of the lips need some work but i'm liking the center of the lips are working out.
I'm trying to avoid correcting things with Blendshapes as much as possible for two reasons: I want this setup to be able to work in a game pipeline, where we are all joint driven, and this character has been an exercise in learning to model for deformation. I want the Rig and the Topology to carry the deformation and only use Blendshapes to augment, instead of correct.
Feedback is always welcome in the comments or you can email it to me as well. This is certainly a good learning experience for me.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
- keeping the clay cold to make it easier to get corners. The fridge works, or if you are pressed for time, I recommend using dust buster for keyboards
- the exact-o knife has become my favorite sculpting tool
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
* Don't go for the complete silhouette in the armature. Get the pose down and some slight foil thickness so that the clay has something to grab, but definitely leave plenty of room for the clay.
* Make sure to keep the wire away from the surface. It is easy to compress the foil down when you need more room to work with but if wire is hitting the surface then there is a problem getting around that without adding a lot of clay. As you can see above, I tried to remedy by cutting pieces of the wire that stuck out. It mostly worked with the exception of the piece I cut out of the torso that was holding the leg on. Whoops.
* Mind the anatomy that you will have to build. Elbows and Knees have to be higher on the limbs than I would expect. I think my eye forms the implied contour of the design when I am just looking at the wire and that throws off the proportions. What I mean is, I bent the wire of the elbow to be about where I would expect the elbow bone to be protruding. Once I added the clay it made the upper arm about 1/4 inch longer than I wanted it to be. I did a similar thing with where the legs connect with the pelvis. I didn't leave any room to sculpt up the muscle of the glutes and how the pants hangs around them.
I will try to fix as much of these as possible as I go, but boy it will be nice to start fresh on the next one.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
growing, but he forgot that mustaches were requried for the trip. If you
zoom in really clost you can see the faintest dirt-stache)
Traveled back to PA for the yearly trip home. The Suroviec clan just keeps getting bigger so my time was spent (as usual) visiting relatives. My brother Adam planned a camping trip for us at Red Oaks campgrounds. We used to go there all the time when we were kids. My Papa had a hunting cabin near the campgrounds, but unfortunately they sold it several years ago and no one in my family was able to buy it at that time. We got to visit the cabin though. The folks who own it now were very friendly and gave us a tour of the inside.
The family is growing so big. I have all of these beautiful nieces and nephews, and another niece on the way, all made possible by the beautiful in-laws.
I can't wait until next year. Hopefully we can go camping again.