Saturday, April 30, 2011

Maya Tasks: Blendshapes, Problem!


When I plug in the created shapes into the base head and create a blendshapes deformer, that all goes well. But when I try and adjust the sliders, as well has pulling the facial expression, the base head actually moves to the position of the expression it's imitating.

How do I lock the head in position?

CGAA One-A-Day: Helmut Breineder

More micro-biological/fractal abstractions to boggle and inspire, this time from Helmut Breineder.

Friday, April 29, 2011

FAO CGAA Year 1: Unit 6 Commission - Texturing Ideas: Marbled Paper

One of the big aesthetic challenges of Unit 6 is identifying exciting ways to convey the often abstract, highly organic interiors of the human body. Just take a look at these examples of marbled paper - and see how evocative they are of micro-biological imagery. For many more high-quality examples, go here. Some of these may be just the thing as the basis for a matte painting or texture.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

CGAA One-A-Day: Tom Beddard/Surface Detail

A companion piece to Ollie's recent post re. fractals and another one-a-day with the up-close, erring-on-abstraction innerspaces of Unit 6 in mind: Surface Detail - a mesmeric animation from Tom Beddard - a laser physicist turned web developer with an interest in generative graphics programming. You'll want to check out the rest of Beddard's Vimeo showcase too, as there are a number of virus/bacteria-esque animations on there for your viewing pleasure...

The Supplement: N C Wyeth

"Newell Convers Wyeth was born on October 22, 1882, in Needham, Massachusetts. Growing up on a farm, he developed a deep love of nature. His mother, the daughter of Swiss immigrants, encouraged his early artistic inclinations in the face of opposition from his father, a descendant of the first Wyeth to arrive in the New World in the mid-17th century. His father encouraged a more practical use of his talents, and young Convers attended Mechanic Arts High School in Boston through May 1899, concentrating on drafting. With his mother's support he transferred to Massachusetts Normal Art School and there instructor Richard Andrew urged him toward illustration.

In 1911, the publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons engaged Wyeth to illustrate Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, his first commission in Scribner's popular series of classic stories. The 17 paintings that make up the set are masterpieces of American illustration. Their size and scale, unusual in illustrations of the period, give the paintings a heroic quality that is apparent even in the greatly reduced reproductions. Within the set of illustrations, Wyeth brilliantly mixed subject matter. Action and character study are united in each painting to further the narrative beyond the text. In every canvas, Wyeth's superb sense of color and his ability to mix painterly passages with authentic detail prove him a master of the art. Complex compositions and his skillful use of intense light contrasted with deep shadow contribute to a palpable dramatic tension inherent in the paintings and not dependent on the text. These pictures made the Wyeth-illustrated edition of Treasure Island a favorite of generations of readers.

The success of Treasure Island insured Wyeth a long career with Scribner's, illustrating in succeeding years many classic stories. Among the most famous titles are Kidnapped (1913), The Black Arrow (1916), The Boy's King Arthur (1917), The Mysterious Island (1918), The Last of the Mohicans (1919), The Deerslayer (1925), and The Yearling (1939). He also created illustrations for other publishers, for books such as Robin Hood (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1917); Robinson Crusoe (New York: Cosmopolitan, 1920); Rip Van Winkle (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1921); Men of Concord (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1936); and Trending Into Maine (Boston: Little, Brown, 1938).

Despite his fame as an illustrator, Wyeth yearned to be known as a painter. The distinction between painting and illustration was an important one, with illustration carrying a pejorative connotation that Wyeth felt keenly all his life. Even though the commissioned work earned him income to support his family, he tried to escape the confines of textual limitations with personal paintings that included landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. From lyrical landscapes in an Impressionist style to powerful portraits of fishermen that recall the work of the American Regionalist artists, Wyeth experimented throughout his career with a wide variety of subjects and styles. However, he never did attain the personal satisfaction or public recognition that he sought."


The Pixar Blog

Here is a great blog run by pixar, the blog is a great insight into the animation giant and how it works as a studio. Interveiws and up-and-coming features are all on here. I should also mention it is a dot blogspot address, always nice, enjoy.

Character Design Tutorials With Mark Molnar

Character Design Tutorials from Mark Molnar.

Megamind: Concept Art, Storyboards & Visual Development

Lots of lovely production stuff from Tom McGrath's Megamind (2010) over at the Living Lines blog: go here for concept art, character design 1 & 2, props and storyboards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Luke Jerram - Virus Glass Sculptures

Using high-resolution electron microscopic images, Luke Jerram has created accurate glass scultptures of viruses and bacteria including HIV, E. Coli, SARS and H1N1 (Swine Flu). It is truly a sight to see these menacing and harmful subjects in 3D and they even have a documentary showing a making of the HIV glass sculpture.

There is a documentary on the creation of the HIV virus sculpture found here -

To take a look at more of his impressive work take a look at his website found here -

Has anyone looked at Fractals?

I was just wondering if anyone had heard of/looked at fractals. They're mathematically generated shapes, I read up on them once a while ago and just thought they could be of some use specifically for us first years looking for inspiration.

Wikipedia page:

Here's an example of a 3D fractal:

There are some pretty psychedelic examples out there, some are confusing but a fair few are pretty inspirational :)

CGAA One-A-Day: Shapeshifter

Some high-octane, hyper-slick and sexed-up CG from Charlex. Yep - it's one long car commercial, but Shapeshifter will leave you a little open-mouthed.