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theodosia: (SGA)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • Time to stop playing with a Flash accordion menu and go do Sunday shopping already!

I found a CC licensed version of  the classic  functionality that I'm free to adopt and adapt for my own purposes, making a video-displaying widget that opens 'drawers' showing videos.  Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers on the internet, making me not have to reinvent the wheel to get this to work.

In practice, the amount of work needed is somewhere between "taking a perfectly nice car tire and slapping on a new hubcap" and "cutting down the car tire until it fits an electric scooter." 

  • From an Accepting Father of a Non-Conforming Ten Year Old Boy << Open Letters to KRXQ Sacramento ow.ly/cKkS

Background: some radio hosts at KRXQ went off into a pretty horrible and ignorant rant about transgender kids and how they should have it beaten out of them, et cetera.  And they are rightly getting the response they so richly deserve.  This post is a long and thoughtful, well-written entry that will educate many on the problems these kids and their families face, and why this is a great teachable moment.

  • Chumley, despite having had a full and healthy breakfast, is now licking the Spare Cat's empty bowl. He really does have an eating disorder

Sometimes I need a reminder that I am a dutiful CatMom, and having Chumley licking the extremely empty bowl kind of shows that it's not entirely my fault that he's overweight, i.e. he's relentlessly pushing for PleaseSirCanIHaveSomeMore.

  • I lied, played with accordion menu ActionScript some more. Even though I need lunch, et cetera!
  • Spare Cat got out of the donut again, but she uncarefully left it next to the location where she'd stashed the soft collar! Ha!

It turns out that she sort of shoved it underneath the blanket in the closet in the box where she likes to hide.  I mean, she really did manage to ruck up the folded blanket and deposit it underneath, or maybe she accidentally moved the blanket in the process of struggling out of the donut.  But the soft collar is once again found!  HA!

  • Off to see UP. No, that doesn't sound right, exactly....
  • After having seen UP, I keep telling Spare Cat she's wearing the Cone of Shame, but she's not much mollified.

OK, OK, "the Floppy Cone of Shame" since she's back to the soft collar, but as a friend of mine says, really for cats it's the Funnel of Frustration.

As for Up, I had a really fun time of it, especially because I loved the dogs so much.  We didn't catch it in 3D, which from the reviews doesn't sound all that much a loss, particularly because now I've done enough 3D animation to really catch what an amazing job Pixar does with the technology of 3D rendering.

theodosia: (art!)

That 3D Toilet, originally uploaded by moxie58.

Because even 3D bipeds have to go sometime?

Actually it was because one of my classmates was exclaiming over how difficult a toilet was, so I had to Go There, right?

It still needs some finishing touches, like a lid and a handle, but I'm pretty satisfied with the progress -- it's got that organic feeling that real ceramic toilets have, looking like it was molded and fired.

Now I'm going to have to make the rest of the bathroom set....

theodosia: (art!)

windsor_chairs, originally uploaded by moxie58.

The chairs with their pictorial inspiration behind them. It probably would have indeed been easier to get a real lathe and make them in the real world, but not totally unsatisfying this way, too. I realize now that the arms on the inspiration picture are much more level, for elbow-resting, so I should probably go back and correct it, but for now I'll revel in their finished-ment.

In my 3D audit, we're doing a small section (1 week) on lighting, which is more time than we got in my original class, and this time more of it seems to be sticking, or at least understood. It still took me a good hour+ to get a satisfactory render to show off the 3d-ness of the models, though, and I'm sure I could still do better.

theodosia: (art!)

Feather Test, originally uploaded by moxie58.

Using the Hair&Fur modifier in 3DS Max, which was a bitch and a half, but finally gave me something that is reminiscent of the elegant old pens I've always coveted.

theodosia: (art!)

My Big Knobs, originally uploaded by moxie58.

I have big knobs and I will not lie....

Well, seriously, I had to make drawer pulls for the chest of drawers I was working on, and it was a fun excuse to play with glass and metal materials, and it seemed so sad to just let them hang there like little tiny knobs when I could set up a nice arrangement....

theodosia: (art!)
I've revamped the animation gallery on my website:

http://home.comcast.net/~fauxpaws/animation_gallery.html

This one isn't an XML-driven gallery, instead I've hardcoded the links so they will appear in the FLV-player window. Since they're short animations (most are 3 seconds), that seems to work best.

Please please tell me if you see any problems?
theodosia: (art!)

3d Bookshelves Tests, originally uploaded by moxie58.

Not bad for a test, eh? Yes, it's the same picture of "books" repeated three times, but I can set it up with alternative shelves when it comes time for the full-dress setup -- the books are actually a textured picture imposed on a chamfer box.

theodosia: (art!)

cabinet_update, originally uploaded by moxie58.

Programming is being awfully awful tonight -- not only can't I get things to work (which isn't unusual) but the instructor can't get them to run either, which should probably cheer me up more than it is, since It's Not My Fault.

I got a call from my ex-coworker Sally because she heard from a recruiter who's looking for a Lotus Notes Developer with a lot of Web design experience. Hmmmm....

But, at least I got more work on the animation done today. Which may not look a lot different than yesterday, but look! Doors that open! Glass shelves! Arched panes! I may have a second career ahead of me as a furniture designer....



Edited to add: I just realized I grabbed the wrong render -- which is only halfway done in this picture. I'll fix it when I get home....
theodosia: (art!)

fireplace_progress, originally uploaded by moxie58.

More set dressing. Considering that most of the action will take place on top of the mantle, I've spent a whole lot of time on the fireplace. SIGH

theodosia: (art!)
[Error: unknown template video]
Seven seconds -- the cool thing is that the surface of the egg is itself animated. It's a living Easter egg!
theodosia: (art!)
[Error: unknown template video]
A 4 second SFX clip -- all created in 3dsmax except for the sunset background
theodosia: (art!)
We're still on the unit for physics and effects, and today we got to... EXPLOSIONS!

This brings together two great fascinations for me, computers and pyromania, so it was a quick four hours indeed. And I was charmed that one of the settings for the explosion parameters was "Fury"!!1!

theodosia: (art!)
For those who didn't want to load a 3.3meg GIF file to see my fountain animation from yesterday, here's the same image embedded in a higher quality (and strangely enough, lower size) Youtube clip:



From the other clips that Youtube associates with it, it appears that fountain animations are relatively common... well, I never did claim what I was doing was unique, anyway. :-)
theodosia: (art!)
We're on the next to last unit of the 3D animation course, so now we're into all those cool special effects that you can do with computers -- making things glow, giving off sparks, searchlights and like that. Stuff you want to play with immediately, but because you'd better learn the hard stuff first, you don't get to do.

Today we played around with adding effects together, so the fountain behind the cut has lighting, drops bouncing off the surface, and a moving camera, too. It's a lot to put into 3 seconds, and the resulting GIF that I put together is about 3.3Mb, but at least I know it will play on about any browser....

This definitely gets a cut for size )
In other news, I've finally managed to get a Java program correctly querying a MySQL database on my iBook, which only took about two weeks to get working. I comforted myself today by describing it as learning to drive a car (Java) by first taking out the engine and having to recreate the carburetor from scratch. With incomplete instructions and no pictures....

3D Update

Apr. 6th, 2008 05:07 pm
theodosia: (art!)
Here's a taste of what we worked on this week in 3D:

Biped with a Sponge

Mostly, it was freeform Biped animation. The 'Biped' is a pre-programmed skeleton/model that comes with the 3DS Max program, with the bones articulated in a pretty fair imitation of the way bones relate in the real human body, i.e. they hinge where bones connect to each other, in ways that mimic the limits of human anatomy. You can't swing a biped's head around 360, for instance, because real necks don't twist that far, and in addition, if you grab a biped foot and raise it up, the ankle, knee and hip will compensate for the movement, because there's a Center of Motion that will stay in place unless you specifically move that.

It's terrifically complicated, but really slick and I've really enjoyed working with it -- this is exactly the kind of animation that I wanted to try!

I wish the Flash Video that I output was better quality -- we're going to cover how to transfer stuff to viewable media very soon. Suffice it to say that the AVI and SWF files were both clearer, but also humongous in comparison, as in too big to upload to YouTube or whatever. Perhaps I'll learn enough to make better versions available. (I can't ask anyone to download 182 megs of a 6 second clip!)

Our next unit is on Physics and Effects because that's an entire subsection of the program that we haven't even begun to explore yet. After that, we're into our final section, where we work on individual 60 second animations, which will be due on May 7th.
theodosia: (art!)
In case you wondered what I've been up to this week, there's this 3 second animation:

Dog Jumping

and this, the girly pirate that I modeled the other week, animated with a random Motion Capture file:

Girly Pirate
theodosia: (art!)

wakingup screen, originally uploaded by moxie58.

Now that we're dealing with Biped animation, I'm learning a great deal about how humans move -- while the computer handles the tweening, you still have to dictate where every body part ends up at key moments in the sequence.

Bodies are very complicated.

theodosia: (art!)

More finished TV, originally uploaded by moxie58.

Here's the latest version of the model I'm making for my portfolio page -- added a whole lot to it, no? I think I can state that there's a definite illusion of 3D here.

I could animate it, make the screen pivot, and put pictures on the view screen too. But that's next module....

theodosia: (art!)

mypredicta, originally uploaded by moxie58.

I think, compared to the flat picture, it could past muster if not for the flat blue of the screen. But I can work on that, provided I ever get the time....

theodosia: (art!)

vest on, originally uploaded by moxie58.

I think I'm improving every week. Today I spent some time creating a vest which makes the model's pirate costume look a bit better, and incidently makes the breasts look loads better. I decided that no self-respecting pirate lady is going to run around with her boobs flopping around, so it's a much more supportive vest/armor for her, which I then when and put a gold foil finish on. Still a work in progress (I need a leather texture, and will have to ask the instructor how to do that...)

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