Sunday, April 29, 2012

AM Springboard: Week 5

Week 5 for Maya Springboard was a bit more intense than last week since had 2 assignments due before each Q&A session with our mentor.

First assignment consisted of building a basic character model from polygons and nurbs with all objects in a hierarchy. Wait... what's a hierarchy? It's basically assigning a parent/child order to the character's joints so they move as they would in real life. For example, if I move the knee, the knee will move along with the lower leg and foot or if I move the upper torso, the arms and head will follow. By doing this correctly, you can easily pose your character in a scene. In other words, we had to create a very basic but fully functional rig.

The second assignment was super fun! It consisted of building a set for staging our previously created character to tell a story. We also had to create different cameras to frame different shots within the set.

Again, tons of information to absorb this week: modeling, hierarchy, pivot points, staging, camera angles, composition and how to use more tools in Maya. I'll be posting some my notes and tips from week 5 sessions later on this week. :)

Here are my final renders for Week 5 Springboard assignment:

- Jose

Animation Mentor Springboard Week 5

Animation Mentor Springboard Week 5

Animation Mentor Springboard Week 5

Animation Mentor Springboard Week 5

Animation Mentor Springboard Week 5

Monday, April 23, 2012

Session 1: MAYA BASICS Tips & Tricks

Geometry Selection:

Toggle between Items:  ctrl + shift
Add Selection or Deselect: shift

Increase Size of Manipulator: - / + keys

*The bigger the size of the manipulator, the more sensitive it is to value changes. Adds greater control for precise value inputs.

Input Channel HotKeys:

Change value: middle mouse drag
Slows down value: ctrl / middle mouse drag
Speeds up value change: shift middle mouse drag

Manipulator Tip:

Non uniform Scale

ctrl-click on scale axis: scales in the other 2 axes.

Non uniform Scale and Move

ctrl-click on translate axis: only translate in the other 2 axes
*notice how the yellow box in the center of translate manipulator changes shape

ctrl-click center: go back to translate along view plane

Snapping Tools:

*Grid: x
*Curves: c
*Vertices: v

*middle mouse click for free move
*works with pivot points

Insert Key or Home Key (Mac): activate / deactivate pivot point

Change viewport background color: alt+b

Hope it helps! :)
- Jose

AM Springboard: Week 4

This week was awesome! We finally had our first Q&A! It was more like a meet and greet with my mentor and classmates. I had to introduce myself and give my mentor a quick recap of my Maya experience, past education and why I wanted to study animation. We also talked about our favorite movies, cartoons and animation studios. Our second Q&A with my mentor was an hour long demo to get the class ready for the first Springboard assignment. Jason, my mentor, went over Maya's user interface, basic navigation hot keys, creating basic geometry and customizing our user preferences. He was super informative and gave us some really cool tips and tricks for us to use in our assignment - I'll be posting later on this week some of my notes from the class.

My first assignment consisted of placing nurbs objects on a shelf and match it as close as possible to the reference image. It was pretty straight forward, but I'm sure for those who had never used Maya before it could be challenging. Specially, when trying to learn the navigation tools, hot keys, different camera views, etc. for the first time. It's a lot of info to take in one hour! My best advice is take as much notes as possible.

It was a great week overall! And before I forget, just as a side note - Q&A's and leaving feedback to other students on their work can be quite addicting! :)

Here's the final render of my 1st Springboard assignment...

- Jose

Animation Mentor Springboard Week 4

Sunday, April 15, 2012

AM Springboard Week 4 is Here!

Enough of orientation already! Tomorrow we start week 4 of Maya Springboard which means I get to go to my 1st Q&A with my mentor, Jason Fittipaldi. He currently works at Luma Pictures, the visual effects house responsible for blockbusters as Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and all four films in the Underworld series. How freaking cool it that!?! Let me wipe the drool of my face! lol I'll be also getting my new assignment for the week tomorrow which means my schedule in the next few days is going to get a bit crazy until I get back on to the groove of splitting my time between a full time job, my family and Animation Mentor. Let's get busy!

Best of luck to all Springboard students! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Morning Doodles!

As some of you may know,  I've been sketching for at least an hour every morning (sometimes in the afternoon) during my train commute to work. My original intent was to learn how to simplify the figure to plan my animations and thumbnails faster. But as you can see on my latest sketches, I started mixing it up a bit by adding some details. I can't help it, I love figure drawing way too much! :) I've also been reading a lot Glenn Vilppu's Drawing Manual and Michael D. Matessi's Force Dynamic Drawing. Both are excellent books for animators and illustrators.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Springboard Week 2

Here's a pose I did with Maya this morning. Just for fun and no reference, I started moving joints here and there keeping in mind the line of action, weight and silhouette. Can't help to get inspired by all the students from Class 01 doing all these great poses! We don't start assignments for Springboard until the 4th week, so for now it's mostly watching videos of how to use Maya, using the AM Tools and other orientation stuff.

Also, I've been learning so much from my AM friends. YES! - Friends! You spend so much time around all these talented people from all over the world, that I can't help but to start calling them friends already! I can't stress enough how important is to be active in the AM community by leaving feedback to other students about their work. Not only you train your eye, but you also learn how to give constructive criticism and how to accept it as well. The creative energy and the eagerness to learn from the AM community is AMAZING! - Honestly, more so than what I felt going to art school 10 years ago. And to think I'm only on my 2nd week of Springboard!

Have a great Easter weekend!

Giant Easter egg! NOOOOO!