Month: May 2009

quidam3 25% discount offer

The Q3 demo version has just been released, check it out.
Also have a try of Animeeple for character animation!
It is new, it is very intuitive and it lets you:» Apply animations onto characters» Layer and sequence the animations» Edit animations using procedural modifiers» Render images and movies» Animate your Second Life™ avatar» Export content as FBX, Collada, BVH and XMLExporting from QUIDAM to Animeeple requires the COLLADA export plugin (included in QUIDAM Studio, this plugin can be purchased separately by QUIDAM users).

If you are interested in markless motion capture, drop by my other blog, PREVIZPOST I think it’s pretty exciting technology.

FrameForge Previz Studio 3

The wait is nearly over! While the new version will be released to the public shortly, you can be among the first to preview the powerful features soon to be available in FrameForge Previz Studio 3, the software that’s redefining storyboarding and previsualization.
At upcoming events in Seattle and Paris, Ken Schafer, Lead Program Architect at Innoventive Software, will present an exclusive look at the latest edition of this ground-breaking program. He’ll demonstrate how every filmmaker can benefit from translating a script to an optically accurate previsualization, complete with a three-dimensional scale location stocked with actors, props, wardrobe, set dressing, basic lighting and backgrounds. Check out this page for a rundown of new features.

History of 3d Animated Films

Thanks to ArianeB for this History of 3d Animated Films.

Have a read through, I’d like to hear which ones are your favorites and why?

t.

Dan Tindell

Dan Tindell is my “Focus On” artist on my PrevizPost blog!
You just have to check out his reel!

Scene Systems – Brad in a suit!

ABA TECHSHOW 2009 Interviews: Brad Kolacinski of Scene Systems, Inc. from LexConference on Vimeo.

Quidam3 first look

Well I got my copy of Quidam3 along with the 3ds max plugin and some packs. I went for the studio version thinking that the low poly feature would serve my needs better in the long run.
Quidam is a very quirky app. I think I will enjoy it more when it gets to version 5. I suspect they’ll have animation controls by then. In any case it is built to build characters and you certainly get that. Unlike Poser, Quidam gets you quick results that are easily modified. The use of gestural modelling techniques and “on model” painting means you don’t need to venture outside of Quidam very often. You can select a base character, add some imported props and then adjust the shape of the mesh a bit like clay. (similiar to mudbox, z-brush and modo).
The base model allows for materials to be adjusted or you can paint direct onto the mesh (like bodypaint, silo & modo paint). A really nifty feature is the ability to paint an imported image onto the surface interactively. They have some tutorials on the n-sided site.
The best news for antics users is the ability to get the characters from Quidam into Antics whilst keeping the skinning and texture maps. I’ve worked on getting a mesh skinned and then weighted in Max before and it takes an awful lot of time. You have to line each bone up to the middle of each limb and then apply skin weights for the skin to be driven by each bone in the skeleton. Invaribly you then need to go through and tweak the weights until the mesh behaves like it should. There are two ways to skin a cat, sorry bone a mesh, hmm …. there’s the skin modifier and the physique modifier. Youtube both to get familiar.
When you bring in a Quidam creation you’ll see it’s the skin modifier that’s invoked.
What I worked out was that if you rename the bones on the newly imported Quidam skeleton so they match the naming convention of a Max Biped. Then it’s possible to copy the skin weights across. (drop me a line if you want to learn how to do this). Then you can export the character out of max into Antics (yipppeee!).
So now with Quidam I can make previz with any characters necessary, and with any facial expression I want.

Character Update. – Quidam 3 – skeleton to biped.

Well I’ve been busy with tests and R&D for characters for Antics and I thought I’d write an update. A little while back I touched on the idea of using bones to drive facial expressions. The concept is cover in this Bones for facial expression Tut.

My experiements with Max went o.k but there was a major hiccup. Whenever the character moves the skeleton would return to a default bone setup. This means if you create a look for your face, then you would lose the look once the character moved. I have considered creating a face model which is driven by a biped skeleton, which would then attach to a host body. But this would need further investigation. The idea comes from stopframe animation, where a range of expressions are created out of clay. Then the faces are swapped out as needed. My adaptation is to have a face, with a little skeleton inside it. Antics will drive a mesh as long as it thinks it’s a full character. Of course it may be possible to have a bones setup in a “prop” but I’ve haven’t gone down that road yet.

My other news is regarding Quidam 3. I contacted them to gain permission to build an Antics library of characters which I’d market to users. Unfortunately they are only interested in the selling of characters in the .Qui format. Any other format is not allowed. I thought the indie Prime product would cover this, it does not. Still, I’ll be getting Quidam 3 for my own use, and I’ve been wading through the issue of converting the Quidam skeleton to a biped so that Max can export it! Currently the skeleton looks a little like the skeleton structure you get when you bring poser models in (pCharacter or .DAE via Daz)
My main quest is to keep the body weights which Quidam creates. Sometimes I think it might just be easier to stay and animate in Max! I’ve done some tests with the Q3 characters as a prop and the models look really good, as did the textures. I did find I had to add the texture from within Antics though, but it all lined up ok.
My two sons have completed thier assignments for school using Antics. Micheal got an ‘A’ grade and Alex has entered his forensic clip into a comp for the museum in Sydney.
Once I crack the Quidam – Antics pipeline I’ll post the solution for you guys. (happy to hear from other pioneers). Quidam looks like being a very valuable tool for us. The customisation of characters may now become a reality!.