Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Digital Puppetry Possibilities

Last quarter I did a research paper on making 3D animation more intuitive. One of the ideas I represented was related to 3D input devices replacing mouse with more efficient device(s). While researching I had found a project which was about creating a 3D mouse from traditional mouse mechanism. Here is the link to it. Neil Fraser: Hardware 3D mouse. I found this inspiring. It led me thinking into digital puppet moving which will move the character in the 3D software. Though that idea is exciting it has its own challenges. And I think there has been a lot of work done on this (esp I think ILM has used similar system on movie like Jurassic park). And motion capture can be considered a kind of digital puppetry. However what I am thinking is to make 3D animating process easier while still keeping it hand made and not automated. So the idea is to have a physical puppet which is linked to main rigging controls of the character so that the posing process becomes faster and importantly intuitive.

I was reading Keith Lango's blog where I found this article aobut Machin-X blog. I visited that blog and I was amazed at the work that was shown there. It's again inspiring to do something about physical input system to make 3D animation more intuitive. However the biggest challenge would be to make it affordable to every desktop animator.

Here is Machine-X blog.

Monday, May 12, 2008

An error in the Perfectionist's work?

I love ratatouille so much that I keep watching its 9 minute trailer over and over. I love scrubbing through every single frame to see the animation and learn from it. And I have watched this many many times, but today suddenly I found an error! When the hand accidentally grabs Ramy, fingers intersect the geometry of the mouse and it is quite noticeable. I am not sure if they corrected this in the final release or not since this is a 9 minute trailer which was released long time before film was released. But it was a little shocking for me to see this in the work of who I believe to be the perfectionist.

The Animals Save the Planet

Ardaman has done it again. Clearly it's one of the studios whose all animations I love. Click the image to go the website to enjoy the magic of Ardaman.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Invaluable Notes: Randy Pausch's Lecture

Notes from Randy Pausch's Lecture, Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams (link)

"wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you. When you are pissed off at somebody and you are angry at them, you just haven't given them enough time. Give them a little more time and they will almost always impress you."

How many times we respond instantly within ourselves to other people's behavior. We become angry inside instantly hearing things we don't like, we feel connected instantly if we hear something good from them. People say first impression lasts long, and that's the problem. If a person is mature and patient he/she would not create any impression from any instantaneous reactions. But if the person is not mature and patient he/she may conclude something totally opposite of the other person. Instantaneous reactions are bad, especially when you are not conscious about them.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


One of my best friends called today and It was a great joy to talk to him after a long time. We always talk about life and goals and how can we get there. I wish I could write so many things from the conversation (I will as I organize them in words :)

After posting Invaluable Notes I just remembered what my friend had said to me. It is irony that I listened to the same thing in our talk and also in the video I was watching.

My friend said, he loves Mario games. Because it is just like how life is and what we should be doing. Keep jumping and keep moving. I totally agree with him. It's a very simple thing, life throws challenges, we face problems and all we have to do is deal with them, fight back and keep moving. From what Andrew Stanton said as I have quoted in previous post,

The key is momentum.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Invaluable Notes

This comes from the panel discussion "Pixar - A Human Story of Computer Animation" (link).

This was mentioned when somebody asked a question to Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton about story development process.

Following is a part of an example Brad Bird was giving to explain the story process. I am putting that simply in two lines, the essence.

Artist: "I just don't know what to do!"
Director: "Well just do something, so we can change it."

"The key thing is the momentum. In my mind creative project is a shark and do not let it die. Just go forward and use that time to make as many mistakes as you can. If you wait till you have the answers, you will probably first not have the answer and you have wasted all the time to find the real answer."
- Andrew

Second Walk Cycle

He is happy, so am I :) I loved animating this. And I love this character too. Thanks to Ramtin Ahmadi! Link to the rig

You might be wondering where is the first walk cycle. Well it's ont that I dont want to post it because it's bad. It's just that I missed the time to post it. (silly reason I know)