Monday, 30 August 2010

ILM new website

I just found that ILM has a new website (finally!). All Flesh, and has some interesting info to browse through. I like the "Timeline", where ILM shows its achievements in time order, year by year. For example about development of Ambient Occlusion (I didn`t know this was originally ILM R&D..):

ILM developed Ambient Occlusion in an effort to produce a greater level of realism for the CG imagery in Pearl Harbor than had ever been produced before. By providing accurate shadowing and directional lighting information Ambient Occlusion allows renderers to create realistic and efficient lighting effects. Since it's development, the technique has become widely used in the field of computer graphics. In 2010, ILM was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with a Sci-Tech Award for the role that Ambient Occlusion has played in advancing the art of computer graphic in the nine years since its development."

Saturday, 21 August 2010

great blog about rigs

just found this great blog that checks loads of free rigs from the web, mostly
If you`re learning rigging and want some reference on HOW a rig should look like for anything like vehicle, animal, cartoony or realistic human, then check out this one:

Sunday, 15 August 2010

AAA Animation Prague looking for 3d artists

AAA Animation offers jobs on their new feature movie Goat Story With Cheese:

-character animator
-texture/matte paint artist
-lighter, renderer

AAA has developped their own proprietary renderer Furry Ball, using powerfull nVidia GPU.

great python IDE

I`ve been using this for some time at work, but I wanted to post it here, since today I`ve just installed it at home too. I think this is the best IDE for python:

Eclipse with PyDev module. Code autocompletion and realtime error checking, I use the most. Both pieces of software are free.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Digital Domain dragon rig from Percy Jackson

-- Unfortunately this video was removed --
-- here is link to FX Guide article --

And this is another presentation from Siggraph 2010. Digital Domain explains how they rigged Hydra, a big multi-head dragon for a sequence in Percy Jackson. They go quite into details about making controls, swapping the heads, facial rigging, neck deformation and finish with explaining how they mapped high detail displacement flexing muscles on the sliding skin. Very interesting especially if your job is building character setups.

Mill NY presentation of a rollercoaster commercial

I was watching different presentations of studios` work from Siggraph`10 and I`d say the best was Mill NY showing how they did Barclay`s rollercoaster commercial.

A guy called Westley Sarokin presents wide range of techniques like photogrammetry, cg animation, digital takeover, compositing and live action shooting with spider-cam. Quite high profile production similar to complex film shots. Worth watching.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

FLA interview

with a bit delay, I decided to add here this FLA interview in Germany posted on facebook:

Monday, 9 August 2010

edgeFlowMirror plugin

Check out this cool plugin for Maya! probably the best solution for making a model symmetrical (needs to have symmetrical topology) and mirroring skinCluster weights. All you need is select any middle edge :)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

python list comprehension

this is quite nice use for python list comprehension in Maya:

cams = [ mc.listRelatives( c, parent=1 )[0] for c in type='camera' ) ]

MPC looking for Senior Rigger

link to website

Start Date : Immediate

Primary Responsibilities:
• Uses an array of commercial and proprietary tools to create character rigs.
• Design control mechanism's that are simple and intuitive.
• Work in conjunction with the modelling department and animation department to create photorealistic characters.
• Integration of characters and rigs into the production pipeline.
• Create User Interfaces and tools that assist animators.
• Works in partnership with R&D programmers, Animators, Lighting TD's to ensure shots are delivered to the very highest standard.
• Provide support to character rigs throughout production.
• Write scripts that automate character production.

Experience and Skills:
• Thorough understanding of techniques and technologies relating to character rigging and animation
• Understanding of puppet and control philosophy.
• Excellent understanding of anatomy, volumes and masses, dynamics and character motion
• Experience building muscle systems
• 3+ years proven experience in feature film/broadcast visual effects production.
• Good understanding of the entire visual effects process, from shooting to modelling to texturing, animation and rendering.
• Good computer skills, particularly with UNIX/Linux command line interface.
• MEL programming essential.
• Maya API C++ programming also a plus.

This is an exciting opportunity to work in the dynamic world of visual effects. If you are interested please apply online.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Exotools bi-directional constraint

There is new tool for bi-directional constraining which looks quite interesting. Each node has constraint "blue channel" input and apparently Maya doesn`t make pairBlend node when you make a keyframe on its transform. The keyframed motion of the object is probably enabled by the bi-directional node as well which handles the keyframe inputs.
So the first look seems like a good implementation in Maya animation system.
There is currently a beta testing open to those interested. For more info go to the Exotools webpage:

Supported Maya versions are 2009, 2010 and 2011. Plus OS: Windows, Linux and Mac

Toy Story 3

Excellent! Just saw it today and the end of the movie totally got me. Heart-breaking! The story was quite a surprise, eventhough there was some glimpses, e.g. "The Great Escape" subtitle. And very funny! I loved all Ken character`s scenes.
The final action scene was a bit too extreme and long for my taste, but didn`t spoil the good feeling.