At the beginning of this semester, we were told that we would have a cooperative project. But the actual start of the project is the fifth week.
This week I received an invitation from a friend who asked me if I want to participate in their project. They seem to have started planning the project earlier than we did. They already had preliminary plans when I joined. It’s an action scene. A masked girl and a mechanical man fight in an alley.
Here is the initial concept map.
There are 8 people in our group, and I am the only VFX student. I feel a lot of pressure.
The cyborg man is destroying the robot in the alley. He lifted the robot’s head and smashed it against the wall. Then throw it into the trash can. There are some robot limbs scattered around the trash can. Then the man took out a cigar and lit it, took a deep breath and raised his head to spit out smoke. He saw a masked girl with a short knife standing on the roof. The girl squatted down from the roof and rushed towards the man. The man dodged hurriedly, and the cigar was cut into two pieces. The girl turned to the ground, her back to the man. The man stabilized his flustered figure and spit the remaining half of his cigar aside. The girl slowly got up, revealing the sign behind her back. The man looked disdainful and said, “Bounty hunter.”
When the group was established, we started looking for reference pictures based on stories and concept maps. According to their own feelings, everyone finds the pictures that they think best fit the story. Here are some reference pictures we found from the website.
After everyone shared their thoughts, we started to assign work.
Sean and Frank are responsible for the character design of the male. Yann and Yufei design the heroine. My job is scene design and special effects work with Jay and Yann. Layne and Sean work on the storyboard. Murry is responsible for the rigging of the character’s bones.
This week we learned about 3D projection. Last week we did a three-dimensional tracking of the basement shot. The trajectory of the camera is obtained. So I did some processing on the original video. In the picture below, I have marked the areas that need to be cleaned up.
Here is the result.
After checking the homework for the first time, I found a small error in the previous video. At the end of the video, there is a point that has not been cleaned up. So after class, I checked my project files again. Found that the problem occurred in the location of the card.
When I rotate the card to a normal angle, the previous error will not appear.
Making an explosion in Houdini is quite simple. There are two nodes that are important. Pointsfromvolume helps us split the object into points. Explodedview helps us how the final result.
Here is the result of testing on a cube.
Testing on the cabin.
Now we have a simple wooden house. The first step is to use Rdbmaterialfracture nodes to increase the details of the cracks on the cabin.
In general, Pointsfromvolume, Explodedview and Rdbmaterialfracture nodes are the focus of this lesson. But we need more exercises to familiarize ourselves with parameter adjustmen and application of these nodes.
Last week we roughly completed the creation of the model. The main task this week is 3D Compositing.
Firstly, we got video footage of an abandoned fatory. We need to track this video in Nuke. Then we got a 3D camera trajectory .
From the image, we can saw that the point cloud helped us roughly map out the space of the two rooms. I added a few planes and some cones to this space to help me verify the accuracy of the camera’s trajectory. It also helps me place the model in Maya.
When we import the camera trajectory into Maya, we can place the model we created earlier. Then turn to the camera’s perspective to get the following picture. Be careful not to move the position of the model when placing the model. It will be easier to change the position of the camera.
It is best to use the reference editor when importing the model during the compositing process, which can help us save time and not easily crash the software. When you want to make changes to the model, you only need to change it in another file and then update the reference again. It should be noted that after we reference the model, we cannot make changes to the model in the reference folder.
This week is mainly looking for reference pictures of steam engines and establishing a basic model structure.
At first, I went to the sketchfab website to find my reference model. I prefer this model. Because it looks nice and vintage. For a junior modeler this model is relatively simple to built. There is no complicated structure and movement.
So I start to build my model with the picture above as a reference.
This step of building a model is still a bit difficult for me. I encountered many problems in the process. For example, how to use modeling tools. In the beginning, I was not very familiar with the modeling tools in Maya, and I needed to learning and work at the same time. I found that modeling is a step that requires thinking. Before starting to create a model, we need to think about what steps can make us achieve our goals faster. Whether a cube or a cylinder is more suitable for this model. This can help us save many unnecessary troubles. This week’s work has given me the ability to solve problems independently. Whenever you encounter a problem, go directly to Google or find it on major forums. Many of the above have encountered the same problem as me. Most of them can be solved.
For this session, we focus on the 3D Environment. The content is to convert a picture into a 3D scene in Nuke.
In this project we will use the following nodes.
In the process of work, I found that it is easy to create a 3D environment for a normal flat view, but it is difficult to create a 3D environment if the original material lens angle is offset or the room is irregular. Such as these images.
For this session, we have learned basic rigging techniques in Maya.
Rigging is an essential step in character development and animation. It helps us move the character or objects. To be honest, it is quite complicated for me. For this week, we aim to create a steam engine. Rigging can help us making animation on the objects.
The first step is to create the models.
Then move on to the rigging. Creat locator first as the reference. moving the locator to one side of the handle which is connected with the cog wheel and copy it to the other side. For this step, you have to make sure the locator has been put to the specific point.
The next step is creating a skeleton and adding ikHandle to the skeleton. Changing the IK Handle attributes as sticky. Combine the locator with the skeleton.
Here is the outcome
Overall, rigging is a big challenge for me. To reach the result I have tried the process several times. From the exercise, I have realized that understand the principle is much important rather than just following the steps from the recording.