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Computer animation

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Original author: 
David Pescovitz

"Screengrab" by Willie Witte. "None of the visuals are computer generated. All the trickery took place literally in front of the camera."    

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Tony DeRose wanders between rows at New York's Museum of Mathematics. In a brightly-colored button-up T-shirt that may be Pixar standard issue, he doesn't look like the stereotype of a scientist. He greets throngs of squirrely, nerdy children and their handlers — parents and grandparents, math and science teachers — as well as their grown-up math nerd counterparts, who came alone or with their friends. One twentysomething has a credit for crowd animation on Cars 2; he's brought his mom. She wants to meet the pioneer whose work lets her son do what he does.

"It's wonderful to see such a diverse crowd," he says. "How many of you have seen a Pixar film?" he asks after taking the podium. The entire room's hands go up. "How many of you...

Continue reading…

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In Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers, the director has two long takes that feature all the members of the team. The first is in the research lab on the Helicarrier where Loki’s plan to disband the team goes into play. The second takes place during the Battle of New York where the team completely get in sync with their combat. Speaking with Whedon during the release of the film, he explained the choice as follows;

I did know I had a couple [long takes] that I felt were integral, one because it was a way of showing how disjointed they all were and one to show how united they all were.

That second one, with people flying around the city, jumping on enemies and more, wasn’t actually shot as a long take. Obviously. It was the result of countless man hours at Industrial Light and Magic as effects were placed in the shots and each was stitched together. A brand new video has come online that explains the creation of this shot, shows some animatics and more. Check it out below.

Thanks to Comic Book Movie for the heads up.

Here’s the description from the ILM YouTube channel.

While “The Avengers” posed many visual effects challenges, one of the larger challenges was pulling together the “tie-in” shot during the third act of the film. Rather than frames, this single shot is measured in minutes on screen and is one of the longest effects shots in the film. It incorporates both practical special effects and extensive digital visual effects by ILM. The New York City environment that serves as the setting for this shot (and virtually the entire alien invasion) is computer generated by the visual effects team at ILM.

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Here’s a Cal Arts student film from this past year’s producers show that really impressed me with its storytelling. Obviously I wasn’t the only one impressed. David Wolter just started work this week in Dreamworks story department.

Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation |
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Learn the ins and outs of character animation in Unity in this technical session.

About

Hear how to best support motion capture data, whether to animate root motion, and the nitty gritty details of how animation is applied to objects by Unity. Attendees will walk away with a clear understanding of how to set up or improve their character animation pipeline for their own projects

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8-bit Color Cycling with HTML5. Euh what? A few years ago, video cards could only render 256 colors at a time. So it was very hard to do nice animations. That’s why they invented color cycling. Certain pixel areas cylce through a palette of colors to suggest animation. A very simple idea with a really nice aesthetical outcome.
Joseph Huckaby adapted this principle to HTML5 (forget about Internet Explorer) and brought some artwork by Mark Ferrari to life. Check out these examples. And if you’re up for it, here‘s some more information.

found via @mrdoob

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What turned out to be just something to finally scratch a strict typing itch i'd had with tweening has no become and full blown side project. Not only did Moses get me started, but Graeme Asher and John Lindquist fueled the fire as well. Graeme's been working on Tween3DCamera and John's been helping me add some other properties like scale/scaleX/scaleY/scaleZ to the property types as well as a small refactor.

If you've tried Go3D lately, you'll notice that I had put static property methods (yeah kinda weird name, but that's what they do ) in Go3D.as, but have now moved them to Value.as in the properties directory. It seemed to make alot more sense with what their function was, and Go3D.as has been deleted for now since it serves no purpose.

check out the project here:
http://code.google.com/p/goplayground/wiki/JohnGrden

svn:
http://goplayground.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/JohnGrden/GO3D

One thing I added just today was the ability to pass a tweenTarget for a 3D object. If you look at the code samples below, you can now just pass a target and it's position and rotation will be used to tween to. You can also use constants to just tween to position or just rotation. You can also pass custom properties for it to use with the target. The swf demo I've posted in the playground basically tells the Cylinder object to use the properties of the orange sphere.

PLAIN TEXT
Actionscript:

  1. protected function tweenAll(e:Event=null):void
  2. {
  3.     resettargetObject();
  4.     tween = new Tween3D(targetObject, [Value.tweenTarget(middleObject)], duration, Easing.easeOutElastic);
  5.     tween.start();
  6. }
  7.  
  8. protected function tweenXYZ(e:Event=null):void
  9. {
  10.     resettargetObject();
  11.     tween = new Tween3D(targetObject, [Value.tweenTarget(middleObject, Value.XYZ)], duration, Easing.easeOutElastic);
  12.     tween.start();
  13. }
  14.        
  15. protected function tweenCustom(e:Event=null):void
  16. {
  17.     resettargetObject();
  18.     tween = new Tween3D(targetObject, [Value.tweenTarget(middleObject, [Value.X, Value.Y])], duration, Easing.easeOutElastic);
  19.     tween.start();
  20. }
  21.  
  22. protected function tweenRandom(e:Event=null):void
  23. {
  24.     tween = new Tween3D(targetObject, [Value.x(getRandom()), Value.y(getRandom()*.5), Value.z(getRandom())], duration, Easing.easeOutElastic);
  25.     tween.start();
  26. }

Value.tweenTarget() returns an array of Go3DProperty objects that Tween3D expects to get to do the tween. It's basically a convenient, yet strictly typed way of doing things. I'd say we're having as much fun as untyped objects at this point - Even more probably ;)

Note:
I'll be teaching on Go3D at the Toronto class in 2 weeks, and if you haven't signed up yet, I seriously suggest getting out there asap - seats are filling up

Now, the reason I say we need base 3D classes for all 3D engines to use is because in a situation where I want to open this up for Sandy3D or Away3D or any other 3D engine that uses x/y/z/rotationX/Y/Z/scaleX/Y/Z, I'd have to write specific classes tailored to their api and object types.

We need to have one set of common 3D classes that define the atom level of a 3D object with the main 10 properties:

x, y, z, rotationX/Y/Z, scale, scaleX/Y/Z

So, I'm going to be starting such an effort and see how that pans out ;) It makes too much sense especially when you consider any project that has to work with a 3D engine, but isn't integrated with the code base. ASCollada being one, and Go3D being another.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on this matter.

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