Wednesday, April 30, 2014

SIGGRAPH 2014 - Vancouver : SV Results are out!


I'm not sure how many people applied to be a Student Volunteer at SIGGRAPH 2014, but just incase anyone didn't know, the results were emailed out yesterday so check your email!
And check your junk folder too.... that's a popular place for such important emails to go.
Good Luck!

FAO CGAA Year 2: Final Submission Thursday 1st May



 
The Final Crit 
(Adaptation Part B):
 
Location: Lecture Theatre 1
Time: Thursday 1st May @ 10am

Maya Tutorials:

Location: Via your blog
Deadline: Friday 9th May @ 9am

Submission Post:

1) Adaptation Part A: Please repost your Video Info-graphic for final assessment.

2) Adaptation Part B: Please post your pipeline work including your final piece, making of document, and demo reel shot.

3) Maya Tutorials: Please create a single hyperlinked post to all of your completed maya tutorials. A check list is available on the tutorial website.

Good luck everyone.
 

Monday, April 28, 2014

FAO CGAA Year 1: Contextual Studies Essay Hand-in - Tuesday 6th May



As I'm sure most of you are aware by now, the original published submission date for your Contextual Studies assignment failed to take the May Bank Holiday into account... apologies!   

Tuesday 6th May is your deadline, with your assignments submitted to the Campus Registry Office between 11am - 12 noon.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

FAO CGAA Year 1: CG Artist Toolkit Summative Submission Instructions As Per Project Briefs - A Reminder!


 


Friday May 2nd is the summative deadline for Toolkit: Drawing and Toolkit: Animation & Character. The summative deadline for Toolkit: Autodesk Maya is Friday 9th May.

In preparation for submission you should look again at your various project briefs to ensure you're meeting the requirements as stipulated. For your convenience, I've summarised here the content and requirements as outlined on your three CG Artist's Toolkit project briefs: Drawing, Animation, and Autodesk.

Remember, not only are you submitting the work required of you, you are also being challenged to curate, present and publish it professionally and dynamically. You're expected to take pride in your work and pay close attention to detail. 

1: Toolkit: Drawing


A final Scribd portfolio of archived drawings from your sketchbooks. Portfolio should be presented professionally and all drawings dated and compiled in chronological order.

A final Scribd portfolio of all archived drawings produced during your drawing sessions. Portfolio should be presented professionally and all drawings dated and compiled in chronological order.

You are asked to maintain a comprehensive blog archiving and annotating your creative development during the duration of the project. You should use the blog to reflect critically upon your growing knowledge and experience of drawing, the wider cultural and thematic context of the project, and engage collaboratively with your creative partners, peers and tutors.

Organise your work by adding 'Toolkit Drawing' to all relevant blog posts. This will ensure assessors are able to group and segregate your Drawing submissions for purposes of assessment.


2: Toolkit: Animation

A final Scribd portfolio of archived drawings from your sketchbooks. Portfolio should be presented professionally and all drawings dated and compiled in chronological order.

A final Scribd portfolio of all archived drawings produced during your Animation classes. Portfolio should be presented professionally and all drawings dated and compiled in chronological order.

All 2D animation exercises.

Your completed Animation Showreel.

You are asked to maintain a comprehensive blog archiving and annotating your creative development during the duration of the project. You should use the blog to reflect critically upon your growing knowledge and experience of drawing, the wider cultural and thematic context of the project, and engage collaboratively with your creative partners, peers and tutors.

Organise your work by adding 'Toolkit Animation' to all relevant blog posts. This will ensure assessors are able to group and segregate your Animation submissions for purposes of assessment.


3: Toolkit: Autodesk Maya & Supporting Software


Tutorial Submission Check List 

Intro to Autodesk Maya

Geometry Types

Character Part 1: Modelling

Texturing Part 1: Common Shaders

Character Part 2: Textures

Texturing Part 2: UV Maps

Lighting & Rendering Part 1: Light & Shadow (Tutorial at 1hr 20mins)

Character Part 3: Lighting & Rendering

Animation Part 1: Using Rigs (Tutorial at 14 mins - Car Only)

Animation Part 2: Using Motion Paths

Animation Part 3: Using MEL

Character Part 5: Beyond this Class - Repeat: Optional

Beyond this Class: Batch Rendering - Repeat: Optional


Lighting & Rendering 1: Intro to Lighting

Part 1: Exterior Lighting - Mid Day

Part 2: Exterior Lighting - Sunset

Part 3: Exterior Lighting - Romantic

Part 4: Exterior Lighting - Night

Part 5: Interior Lighting - Sunset

Modelling 1: Digital Sets

Part 1: Modelling

Part 2: Uv Layout

Part 3: Lighting

Part 4: Colour Maps

Part 5: Bump & Specular Maps

Part 5: Dirt Maps & Final Render


Pre-Viz 1: Intro to Pre-Visualisation

Camera Control Part 1: Creating a Camera Rig

Camera Control Part 2: Pan Shot

Camera Control Part 2: Roll Shot

Camera Control Part 2: Pitch Shot

Camera Control Part 3: Crane Shot

Camera Control Part 3: Dolly Shot

Camera Control Part 3: Distance Shot

Camera Control Part 4: Focal Length

Camera Control Part 4: Coverage

Camera Control Part 4: Camera Shake


Animation 1: Intro to Character Animation

The Bouncing Ball Part 1: On The Spot

The Bouncing Ball Part 2: With Travel & Rotation

Settle & Rest: Pendulum

Secondary Action & Overlap: Hanging Chain

Squash & Stretch: Jumping

Anticipation & Follow-Through: Can Snatch

Walk Cycles Part 1: Mechanics

Rigging 1: Intro to Rigging & Constraints

Biped Rigging Part 1: Feet & Legs

Biped Rigging Part 2: Spine

Biped Rigging Part 3: Arms

Biped Rigging Part 4: Head, Neck, & Final Grouping

Rigging Techniques 1: Leg Piston

Rigging Techniques 2: Eyes

Rigging Techniques 3: Object Exchange

Rigging Techniques 4: Tails


Texturing 1: Intro to Texturing
Sampler Info Node: Double Sided Shader

Sampler Info Node: X Ray Shader

Sampler Info Node: Faked Rim Lights

Sampler Info Node: Transparency

Surface Texturing Part 1: Maya Fur Presets & Attributes

Surface Texturing Part 2: Fur Hat


Visual Effects 1: Deformers

Visual Effects 1: Non-Linear Deformers

Visual Effects 1: Blend Shapes with Inbetweens

Visual Effects 1: Creating Mirrored Blend Shapes

Visual Effects 1: Wire Deformers

Visual Effects 1: Sculpt Deformers
Visual Effects 2: Render Layers & Compositing

Visual Effects 2: Stereo Camera Rigs

Visual Effects 2: Render Layers Part 1 - Software Rendering

Visual Effects 2: Render Layres Part 2 - Depth of Field 

Visual Effects 2: Render Layers Part 3 - Mental Ray & Matte Passes


Skinning 1: Intro to Skinning

Smooth Bind Part 1: Edit Weights

Smooth Bind Part 2: Paint Weights
Smooth Bind Part 3: Influence Objects
Interactive Bind & Paint Weights

You are asked to produce a comprehensive blog archiving and annotating your growing knowledge of Autodesk Maya & Supporting Software for the duration of the project. You should use the blog to demonstrate the completion of class tutorials, reflect critically upon your own development in use of software packages, and engage collaboratively with your creative partners, peers and tutors.

Important: organise your work by adding the following labels to relevant blog posts. This will ensure assessors are able to group and segregate your Autodesk Maya & Supporting Software submissions for purposes of assessment.

Toolkit Maya
Toolkit AfterEffects
Toolkit Photoshop
Toolkit Premiere
Toolkit Audition
Toolkit illustrator

Post With The Most 27/04/2014


We're just a few weeks away from final hand-ins - the creative conclusion to the academic year.  April's PWTM is the 'nearly-there-but-not-quite' edition. It's image-rich and embed-heavy; it hints and highlights, it teases and trails.  Our students are moving quickly towards completion, with all the stresses, strains and tight-rope moments so implied.  It's an exciting time, an up-against-it time, and a special time, as months of hard work and investment in personal visions begin to pay off. Things only accelerate from here onwards - this truly is the beginning of the end of the beginning, as first years contemplate their futures as second years, second years look forward to the increased autonomy (and responsibilities) of their third years, and our third years look forward to their futures as bright, brand new graduates.

For our third years, the two week Easter 'break' was nothing of the kind, our computer suites term-time busy, and our keyboards littered with the usual confetti of 'Don't Touch! Rendering!' notices.  Enjoy this latest selection of renders, playblasts, models, and pre-viz from our third year projects, encompassing everything from complex mixed-media collaborations to speculative explications of Freudian theory...







Joey Ku - The Carnival Of The Animals

Final Pre-Viz



Eastern Elk walk-cycle




Sea Mink run cycle




Alice Druzga - Whodunit High

Jessie model




Mildred model





Lydia Caplan - Eglinton Road


'Beauty Table' Render test




Ernesta Baniulyte - Faust's Chamber

Texturing (wip)

Lighting test

Lighting test 

Texturing (wip)


Urvashi Lele - The Owl & The Pussycat

Frank turnaround



Ella turnaround



"It was a rather starry night..."




Anita Gill - Yatar-a-Nu

Animatic V3




Paul Lavey - The Uncanny Gallery

Visualisation of installation

Location prepared for filming for motion-tracked sequence

'Breathing Belly' test



Tom Farrington - Experiment IX

Fat Cat test render

Fat Cat playblast



Nat Urwin - Mother's Days

Original footage




Composited footage




Digitally painted wall texture

Wall model (Maya)

Physical elements combined with CGI wall

Test composite


Next up, it's our Year 2's, whose current Adaptation unit is winding up in a matter of days. The term 'adaptation' applies broadly here, encompassing everything from historical events to Japanese festivals, and from beloved children's literature to doodles drawn from the collective unconscious! (Told you it was broad!). We've got digital sets and digital sets for game, we've got character design and character design for game - and we've even got a talking tortoise on a treadmill!


Emily Clarkson - Shel Silverstein's Attic








Samantha Niemczyk - The Shadow



The Shadow animatic



George Nwosisi - 'Tortoise'

Test render

'Fastest Man' animation (wip)



Shan Mason - The Battle Of Arnhem: Operation Market Garden



Lighting tests




Anass Moudakir - The Street Of Crocodiles





Akinbiyi Babarinde - I Am Legend

Robert Neville texture maps

Robert Neville model

Robert Neville posed turnaround



Jake Bryant - Logan Ninefingers from The Blade Itself

Logan Ninefingers silhouette variations 1

Logan Ninefingers silhouette variations 2

Logan Ninefingers finished concept painting

Logan Ninefingers model (wip)

Logan Ninefingers model (wip)


Megan Howett - Arriety from The Borrowers

Arriety costume variations

Arriety texturing development 1

Arriety texturing development 2

Arriety variations

Peta-Gaye Brown - The Momijigari Spirits

Final concept


It's hard to believe that in a short time our fresh crop of first years will be 'first years' no more - but rather nascent second years, battle-scarred, but Maya-literate, with their first experience of taking an idea from thumbnail to fruition already behind them.   The final challenge of their year one experience is to transcribe a biological scenario into imaginative and engaging CGI for client, Dr Peter Klappa - lecturer in bioscience at the University of Kent.  Next month's PWTM will showcase a selection of Dr Klappa's favourites - but until then, check out these sneak peaks:

Candice Hiu Fu Leung - Life-cycle of Moss

Original concept art

Final render


Original concept art

Final render



Tom Boothby - Life-cycle Of A Fern

Pre-viz (minus SFX)




Heidi Grover - Life-cycle of Slime Mold

Test renders

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Sam Cannon - Life-cycle of Slime Mold

Test render


Test Render

In the last edition of the PWTM, we caught up with CGAA alum, Tom Beg, who is currently working on a music video for the Collectress track Owl - from their new album, Mondegreen.  Tom is combining his keen eye for black and white photography with his animator's skillset, and is using infrared photography to lend strangeness and crisp, heightened realism to rural landscapes.  Tom is trialling ways of compositing CGI components into his photographs as he moves closer to nailing his visual concept for Owl.





Still image with CGI components

Static match animation test



As followers of the dedicated ACT project blog will already know, our quest to translate the abstract curves derived from a conductor's movement during a performance of Verdi's Requiem continues.  Jordan Buckner is thinking big, using the conductor's curves as jumping-off points for spectacular structures and imposing installations:



Excitingly, we're beginning to identify the ways and means by which we might fabricate the resulting forms as physical objects.  CGAA alum and current GTA, Ethan Shilling is working doggedly behind the scenes to convert 'what ifs?' into demonstrable, buildable realities:

Conductor's motion/Dies Irae

Dies Irae component parts

Dies Irae animated 'build' and turnaround




We're currently working with fabricators and laser-cutters, who are advising us on the real-world logistics of turning these CGI simulations into tangible sculptural pieces - and as we learn more, you'll learn more, so keep one eye on the ACT blog for more updates as the project continues to develop.

The January PWTM featured a selection of celebrity portraits created by our students in response to - and in the style of - the animations of Bob Godfrey, which have since been collated and curated into a pop-up exhibition at the Rochester campus.

CAA students' Godfrey + celebrity speedpaint portraits

As UCA Archivist, Rebekah Taylor writes: "This exhibition encapsulates students’ experiences and artistic responses to work with The Bob Godfrey Collection. It is formed of a selection of celebrity portraits, realised in the style of Godfrey’s animation. Each portrait includes a QR code, linking directly to the artist’s blog.

The Bob Godfrey Collection comprises of works and ephemera from one of Britain’s animation greats. Godfrey (1921 – 2013) was the first British Oscar-winning animator for his 1975 short animated film Great. Animation Archive Day took place on 6th December 2013 and was focused around one of Godfrey’s best known works Henry’s Cat. 

Through collaboration between the Archivist, Learning & Teaching Librarian and Course Leader, CG Arts & Animation students were able to look through the original materials from the programme and explore the cel drawn animation method. The resulting exhibition recognises the importance of allowing students to steer and interact creatively with archive use in a library context."

The Computer Animation Art's community has another reason for feeling pleased with itself this month, as the second of our 'Tombola of Dreams' Prize Draws raising funds for New Designers 2014 achieved its target of £1,500 in ticket sales. That's a total of £2,500 raised this academic year - pats on the back all round. Thanks to all of you who bought a ticket - and that includes our alumni; your continuing support of the course and its community means a great deal to us.

"And the winner is...?"

New Designers 2014 is still two months away, but preparations are already well underway to ensure our graduates get the very most out of this busy, highly competitive event.  It's much too soon to show our hand, but rest assured we're pulling out the stops again this year and will again transform our little corner of the Business Design Centre, Islington, into something suitably swish.  That I spent my Easter in the University's theatre design workshops with sixty-plus picture frames and a pot of white paint should be something of a clue...

Preparations for New Designers 2014 begins.

The Final Word...

"Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time." Voltaire