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digital art

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

11 Second Club, July 2013

Here is my 11 Second Club entry for July 2013:

I'm surprised how much I learned just by doing this; I mean, I expected to learn a lot, but it challenged me in a lot of ways I'm not used to.  The voice clip was very weird and oddly specific, so I tried to push it to a subject that wasn't obvious.  I went with a gamer stuck in an RTS style game and her roommate sitting on the couch, because all gamers have been there before.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wentelteffje Animations for Team Escherreal

During the production of Grapple, team Escherreal needed a bit of help, so I volunteered to help them out with animation so they didn't have to cut this guy from the game.  I animated the creature with an insect-like tripedal gait.  I thought it made the most sense with the 6 legs, even though it has human feet.

This is Wentelteffe, or "French Toast", a rolling bug-like creature based off of M. C. Escher's, by the same name.  The character was modeled and textured by Miguel Espinoza, and rigged by Caitlyn Trout (with some tweaks by me).

Animated Facial Textures in Maya and Unity

Download the pdf document here:
Direct link

Check it out online here:
Animated Facial Textures in Maya and Unity - Full Document

You can check my further notes on the subject here:
More on Animated Facial Textures

Essentially, my goal was to create a texture-driven facial animation system that worked in both Maya and Unity.  Making one in Maya is very simple, but I found very little on getting it to work in Unity, and nothing about getting it to export from Maya.

To give a bit of a background, for FIEA, one of our assignments was to document or write a tutorial about something we learned or wanted to learn.  I took this opportunity to pick up Unity, and solve a possible problem for a game I will be working on soon, and a problem I'd been curious about since when I was working on Intrepid.

I came up with a solution using joint animation that can be baked out of Maya and used in Unity.  The Maya portion gave me some practice with Maya Expressions, which is great considering I want to rig up the rest of the character soon.  And the Unity portion gave me a chance to learn Unity, and also learn some C#.  C# wasn't too difficult to pick up, having studied C and Java in the past; the code to get it all working can pretty much be copy-pasted from the document.

Download the pdf from the link above.  It should be very accessible - it breaks it down really small to start; getting it in engine, and how the math of the expressions and the image offset method will work.  And in sections 4 and 5, it gets to the meat of the whole operation.

If anyone has any questions on how it works, or why I did something; or any comments on how I can improve this method, I'd love to hear it.  Send me an email, or drop me a message here.

Animated Facial Textures in Maya and Unity - Full Document

Click 'Read More' below to see the full document.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Painting Using Mudbox's Export-to-PSD Feature

It's a start!  I have been digging this paint-directly-on-the-model workflow for textures.  It just makes so much more sense in my head.

I want to texture using Mudbox's export-screen-to-Photoshop feature.  It works a lot like Pixexix and ZappLink from ZBrush, but I found it to be much easier to use than the latter, and less buggy than the former.

When exporting to Mudbox, I had a lot of issues to fix.  Not surprisingly, it caught me for a lot of T-intersections and non-manifold geometry, both pretty much standard to a low poly model.  For the non-manifold geometry, I seperated those edges who were shared by a plane (such as in the hat), but kept them in the combined meshes.  I am going to swing back and clean up the UVs, before I jump back into Mudbox.

It really doesn't like dealing with multiple meshes at the same time (or perhaps multiple uv spaces at the same time), but that is a problem easily solved by working on individual pieces at a time, with some clever merging and unmerging in between.  I also ran into issues with overlapping UVs, so the simple fix was to get rid of the overlapping during the painting process.