Friday, March 25, 2011

Website & Reel '11 Coming Soon...

Been working viciously on getting up some new stuff made for my portfolio, some Cinema 4D action, & a simple website, finally, to present my work. Along with some new work to put into my '11 reel I decided to create a new intro/out. I was playing around with some ideas & finally came up with a decent design kind of having to do with a computer interface but very simplified.

A couple of renders over the process of creating the intro.

Intro/Outro Reel '11 Shatter 1

Intro/Outro Reel '11 Shatter 2

Intro/Outro Reel '11 Toon

Intro/Outro Reel '11 Type

The other day I found driving about I spotted this house with an awesome grass field on the side of it. I instantly got this awesome vibe from it just looking at it, just thinking that it would be probably awesome to film something there. Pretty sure that house had been there for quite some time.

Awesome House with a Grass Field

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Global Illumination Renders.

The past couple of days I've been playing around with rendering & got to rendering with Global Illumination & Ambient Occlusion. I was pretty familiar with both rendering techniques before learning C4D with Maya but find it much easier to set up & play around with in Cinema 4D. The renders can get a bit lengthy with Global Illumination, got to around 15 minutes once I started to bring up the sampling & the diffuse depth. I kind of grabbed the concept from Nick Campbell's tutorial with GI with the Light Bars(Poles?).
I needed to bring up the sample rate so the render doesn't look as dirty but for the most part I'm getting the hang of it with the different options with the GI interface on C4D. As well as the shadows are a bit too dark so I have to figure it out.

Also a technique I've learned about was shadow casting. Basically creating a light in C4D, instead of having a object illuminate the scene, & it having casting shadows upon objects but not casting light. This technique helps because the shadows that illuminated objects cast don't have that strong of a shadow but lights in C4D do but sometimes over light the scene but make out for some good deep shadows.

Hopefully I can get some test animations done by tomorrow if I have time. If not then early next week. Need to get some C4D stuff on my reel.

Global Illumination Test Render 01

Global Illumination Test Render 02

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DMA/LA & Cinema 4D Render.

Today I finally got to going to the monthly meet up at DMA/LA, this month was a bit of a change with the type of Digital Art that was discussed. They had a Luxology Modo modeler come in to show some of his workflow with modeling & textureing. The modeler himself, Jonathan Feldman, first used Autodesk Maya back in 1999, I believe he said, to do all his CIG business but then later found out about Luxology Modo in it's very first edition. He said after a week of trying out Modo he switched his whole work flow to it which surprised me a bit because I always thought Maya did a good job competing with other 3D packages with their modeling & texturing workflows. But I guess I'm not one to really have a say due to me not being a serious professional 3D modeler/texture artist.

What was more of a treat was the next speaker, which was Frank Guthrie. Frank is a storyboard artist that works at Nickelodeon working on Dora the Explorer & with his prior project The Anger Beavers. His work is absolutely amazing & he is quite a funny guy cracking a lot of jokes while presenting his workflows with Adobe Photoshop. With him being in the industry for such a long time he actually got to telling us that he was the one to introduce Photoshop & Wacom tablets to Nickelodeon workflow for animated shows. He really got into the importance of knowing big time savers, for example the "Actions" panel in Photoshop, HotKeys with any programs, Wacom Tablets, & Brushes in Photoshop. We got to see quite a bit of his work & even saw him sketch while his Q & A. I looked around for his work but didn't find anything other then what was on the flier for DMA/LA.

Definitely a good time going & inspiring to see Frank's work, seeing his sketches brought me back to the very basics of why I love animation/cartoons so much.

I also learned why sticky notes are sized the way they are, for 4:3.
& now since they have HD they are now 16:9.

When I was leaving the place where DMA/LA is I saw this parking lot that was being torn down.


I finally got to rendering some stuff in Cinema 4D while my adventure still continues with learning the program. Having lots & lots of fun with it & my Digital Tutors account is definitely paying off now, ha. This probably looks cheesy as hell but I think I'm getting somewhere with it. When I was in the editing process in Photoshop I was playing around with the colors & decided to make a hue adjustment animation GIF.
Getting more cheesy? I think yes, ha. It's so much easier setting up rendering in Cinema 4D compared to Autodesk Maya, bleh.

1st Render in Cinema 4D!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

More Cinema 4d!

So I finally got to rendering with Cinema 4d. One thing forsure is that it was way easier setting up the scene to render then Autodesk Maya. For a very long time, and even still, I have trouble rending stuff with Maya. I guess watching Greyscale Gorilla's tutorials in the past help a lot to getting around how the texturing objects. I played with a couple of effects as well with bending shapes.

I also got a little into thinking particles with reading some in-dept tutorials. It seems like Xpresso is the substitute for scripting for Cinema 4d. That make me feel better due to the fact that I don't know any about scripting, well next to nothing, ha.
Maya is heavily based on scripting to get some jobs done, so making this transition to another 3D application seems to be getting better.

Here are a couple of screen captures.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cinema 4d!

For awhile now I've been really meaning to get to digging into Cinema 4D & really learning it. I'm pretty familiar with the fundamentals of 3D applications from my experience in Autodesk Maya. The button layout is the main thing that is bugging me so I spent some time fixing up the controls to be similar to Maya, worked out pretty well.

I really like playing with the dynamics system in Maya & the Cinema 4D dynamics setup was pretty easy to get into since it uses the same terminology. Played around till I got to rendering, it seemed to be off & not responding to what I was setting up the material to render as. Called it a day with learning what I could. Hopefully I could figure it out soon.

I made it out during the weekend to shoot some photos of my friend Rachel, attempted to do some head shots but found out quickly it is much harder, ha. The sun seemed to get tucked underneath(or ontop?). Had to work with what I had...

My friend Laura came too, she helped with fixing Rachel's hair. We had some fun after taking the headshots. Hopefully editing the photos will go smoothly since it a bit more serious this time rather then some fun color correcting.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Solution for Automated Tasks.

Automator & Compressor have been two programs on the Mac I've been wondering about for a good while now on to use them properly. Well Automator I did really have clue what it did, Compressor I knew exactly what it did but was just familiar to the interface.

I took the time to figure out what Automator did exactly & it's something that I've probably needed for a good while. Basically a script builder that is made for people that don't know how to write scripts for computers. I've always always been interested in learning scripting for computers but was just overwhelmed by all the confusing characters 'n what not. This program is perfect for me.

I highly suggest people that spend a lot of time filing & organizing there computer to learn this simple program. Take some time to look on YouTube to figure out the basics & in about twenty minutes you'll be making formulating scripts that are fairly simple but very help for with sure automated tasks.

Anybody that is familiar with Final Cut Pro is sure to heard of Compressor, over all a batch exporter for codec for videos. This program is useful when you just had captured a batch of clips & wanted to export the codec to say Apple Prores, H.264, & so on...

Finally got to learning the interface & using it properly. Its definitely a big help in exporting videos. I use to do all exporting work just with Quicktime Pro, it helped with learning the rounds about compressing video with changing the settings manually but not Compressor is a bigger help.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another Daily Challenge Ahead! & Sunshine Cleaning

Since I've been done with the "A Photo a Day for 50 days Challenge" I decided to do another challenge that is similar. The challenge is for 15 day (possibly 30) & consist of me designing something & animating it for 1 second. I was planning to do this for a while ever since I was inspired by Steffen K's "30 Motion Tests in 30 Seconds". It's a good time to do it for myself since I've been trying to work on portfolio. I'm not sure if I could take the challenge on during weekends but I will see hot it goes the first couple of days. I'm first taking the time to get some inspiration for it following a strict design style so it all weaves in nicely when I'm finished & ready to edit it all together. I plan to use mostly After Effects & Maya all of it. With Maya I'm sure I'll be creating a lot of Dynamic Simulations.

Hopefully I can start in the next couple of days. I'll deff have to concentrate on this one more since it's a lot more time consuming.

You can Peep Steffen K's work:

On another note I got caught up with watching 'Sunshine Cleaning' on Netflix tonight. I've been meaning to watch this movie for sometime & couldn't settle for just watching half of it, so I had to finish it even though I had planned to work on some stuff.

The movie was pretty good. I may want to buy the DVD depending on if it has commentary.
This was my most favorite frame of the movie, wish I had it higher resolution. Maybe I should post a single frame of a movie that I like every time I finish one. Sounds like a good idea?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Birthday boy, Half Life 2 Series Complete, & Last Photo!

So for the last time, for my "Take a Photo a Day for Fifty Days Challenge" I didn't really put a lot of energy into my last photo for this project since it was a lazy day as it was. My friend Laura came over till the strike of midnight to my birthday & she had given me these gift. My computer has a Darth Vader to chill with now & now I can sip some toxic liquids while I work hard on my computer, THANKS LAURA!

I learned a whole lot in this project from the basic use of the camera to set the correct exposer to editing photos in post with the CR2 settings to just plain old photoshop fixes. Definitely will be doing another photo project like this again but probably with an edge to it.

Expect a more intensive daily project to come about that doesn't deal with cameras, well kind of!

Well on another note I finished the series Half Life 2, which includes Episode 1 & 2. If I were to call myself an actual gamer at all this game would definitely be on the check list a long side many great games. So even though it was a small vacation from hacking away on my computer After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, Maya, etc. I think of it as a education vacation learning what makes a great game with a real good storyline, which Half-Life 2 definitely has. G-Man is probably the biggest twist of all in this storyline by far. I gotta thank my friend David that I met at Santa Monica College for getting me into Valve's awesomely awesome games. I guess my next little vacation that I will let happen will be for Portal 2. Dog was by far the best character in the game by the way, even though he didn't say a single word. That I think is the key, "Silence is Golden". I dunno if that even made sense, anyways.

As well my birthday just ended a couple of hours ago, I'm now officially 21...
There's not much to say about being 21 & not being a big drinker. I guess I could gamble now? Haha, I'm sure I won't be doing much of that at all too.

Day 50/50