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2005-12-01 18:31:26.166866+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Yes, proving once again that it isn't the tool that makes the animation, I've been playing around with the software I'm working on (see the DigitalFish web page). And I'm even about to get critiques on it from a real live animator, I just sent off the cue sheets today and I expect I'll be doing some tuning tomorrow...

So I present to you a couple of QuickTime[Wiki] clips. Apologies, I haven't tested for this codec on anything but my Mac. We have the the obligatory hopping lamp, the assignment was animate a bouncing ball so of course I had to give that ball a reason, and a basic walk cycle with a violent ending.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Animation Software Engineering Work, productivity and environment Macintosh ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-03 00:47:30.677438+00 by: OnceShy

Extremely impressive!

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-04 00:49:32.794211+00 by: ghasty

Very nice

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-04 15:32:33.222983+00 by: meuon

What ya'll can't tell from the animations, is if you watch Dan tweak the 'model', it renders the animation in 'real time'. Remember tweaking something and then going to lunch to give it some time to re-calculate the frames? Even on a BIG FAST box? Dan does things on his Laptop, in pretty darn close to real time, at least, from what I saw looking over his shoulder. It's a 'Wow' thing.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-05 15:17:38.708515+00 by: Dan Lyke

As anyone familiar with modern gaming technology can tell you, what's impressive isn't so much that that stuff happens in real-time, it's that unlike Alias or 3ds Max that model is being derived from a full-on general purpose expression graph, like the custom animation systems that high end studios build for themselves, and it's still happening in real-time.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-05 16:02:43.506652+00 by: meuon

Yeah, what Dan said.. I'm doing "accounting systems" and have no friggin idea whar a 'full-on general purpose expression graph' is, and no, don't feel compelled to explain it 'cause my head already hurts today. Mumbling: creating a purchase order creates a future liability, which may or may not be an asset when received, but does transfer from liabilities to expenses, and in certain cases COGS..

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-05 21:02:01.019287+00 by: Diane Reese

So does this imply steering an animation-interested teenager away from 3ds Max, for instance? We have a copy from a summer course he took, but is there something you'd recommend instead?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-05 23:21:57.384193+00 by: Dan Lyke

There's nothing at the consumer level that'll do what our software does, and our software also requires fairly heavy pipeline to fit into a system. While we hope to solve this eventually, for right now Max is probably a great solution for him.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-12-06 18:56:40.869843+00 by: Dan Lyke

So, at a high level, hints from the "real live animator" include, on the lamp hop:

  1. That glance over to the camera isn't reading, or is reading ambiguously. He says that he doesn't think that model can have a "let's go" motion using the head wave, and after thinking about this more I think I can see that.
  2. There's too much delay between the landing and the head shake. As someone who's done a lot of landing, I respectfully disagree, there's often a lot of delay between impact and "ouch", often tens of seconds, but I understand the need for less delay in story telling. Will be working on that.

On the walk cycle:

  1. give a little more anticipation before he gets bowled over. Make the realization that something's coming less immediate.

And on the ball dribble, there's just way too much that needs improvement, that even I know needs improvement, to worry to much about critiquing the small stuff.