Sunday, May 29, 2016

Next-Gen Animation Dev Sneak Peak - Teaser Pic

Woohoo! Tonight I finally got stage 1 working at last!  More details about the entire grand plan here will follow in due course, but let's just say that what you're seeing here is just like the tiniest/most basic little stepping stone of the full set of things I've been dreaming about and working towards on and off for a few years now... I'm planning on recording a little demo video of the current state of all this stuff later today/tomorrow, which should help make it a bit clearer what's possibilities this brings. In the meantime, feast your eyes on this little teaser screenshot I grabbed of the tools in action:

Rig: "Basic Animation Rigs" by Beorn Leonard/CG Cookie  (CC-BY-3.0)

Even in the primitive state that things are in now, it's clear that these tools are going to be every bit as amazing as I imagined way back in 2010 as I stood in the bookstore reading Richard Williams' famous "Animators Survival Kit" book and getting quite inspired to push the state of animation tools into a new era :)  

Now, back to work!  Hehe :D

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Turbulent Autumn Storms - Violin Improv Session

Letting off some steam on a rainy autumnal-Saturday afternoon with some crazy violin bashing mixed in with some calmer/mystical elements. As usual, everything was fully improvised on the spot with no prior practice/planning, unedited... just whatever crazy noise I felt like making with my violin at the time.

The recording quality is a bit crappy - I should look into getting a standalone mic instead of using my laptop's one with the lid closed! Ah.. hindsight!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

An In-Depth Look at How B-Bones Work - Including Details of the New Bendy Bones

Here's a breakdown of how the B-Bones in Blender work (including the new Bendy Bones stuff - see the other post in this series, which focusses more on the features themselves). I'm writing these notes up mainly so that I have something to refer to again in the future, if/when I need to do further work on this stuff. It took me a little while to figure out how some of this magic all fits together. However, now that I've figured this out, it turns out that it's quite easy to see all the extension points that this system has for adding interesting + useful features quite easily in fact. Therefore, before I forget about all this again, here we go!

BTW, all the diagrams within were done using Grease Pencil :)

Bendy Bones Dev Update

It's been a busy few months since I first announced that I was working on bringing Pepeland's Improved Bendy Bones to Blender. After being tied up with many other projects for the past few months, I just spent the weekend having a fun hackathon to get this functionality polished up and ready for general use in Blender proper. Along the way, I've also added a few cool new features, which really take B-Bones to the next level! Here's a sneak peak of some of these in action!

In each of these screenshots, you're seeing just a single B-Bone - no hidden stuff, no tricks. Just a single B-Bone...

UPDATE: It's now in master! (After a little fight with git to let me merge the branch successfully...) Woohoo!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Don't you hate it when this happens...

While writing that previous post, I looked on in horror as "jumping spider" casually sauntered won from the top of my screen, and started walking down the the middle of the screen... At that point, I pulled up Paint, and started drawing the following note on the screen, with the intention of capturing a snapshot of it using my phone...

Lo and behold, this is the photo I captured. Making things worse/more ironic, was that as I was drawing the arrow that pointed at the blasted invader, it turned around (it had been facing the other way, big legs to the left instead), to face/stare at the arrowhead.... Way to go spider, way to go...

(And now, as I'm typing this, it's wandering in and out of the right hand side of the screen.... no, wait, now it's sitting over the "Schedule", no "Labels" button on the side panel, as if trying to have a say on what I classify this post as.... Gah!  It's so annoying, as I don't really want to just squish it dead on my screen, as I'd don't really want to scratch the surface and/or leave some unsightly stains... but, argh!  stop walking towards the text area now, alright?!  Dammit... nooo..... not on to the image.... nooooo.... and now you're looking down at the little handwritten message I'd just put up.... please don't proceed to try and get up to any fancy antics with your likeness.... noo... shooooo! Scram!  Get off my screen dammit!)

CHI2016 - Sketching Papers, and General Discussion of Interesting Research Directions

The annual CHI (Human-Computer Interaction) conference is on this week in San Jose. As one of the "big + important" conferences in Computer Science research, it's always interesting/important to keep an eye on what's happening there to see if there any interesting things come out of it. So, I duly started checking out the accepted papers, before stumbling across the "sketching" section.

My first thought was, "woah... they have a section on interfaces for sketching tools?!", followed quickly by, "I wonder if there's anything of interest there...?" It turns out that there are two papers here, both of which fall quite squarely into the frame of the type and style of research that I love doing most (i.e. the "fun stuff" I'm doing with Grease Pencil + Pose Sculpting/Sketching, vs the empirical work I currently do for my PhD).

So, what were these papers?
1)  "Skuid: Sketching Dynamic Illustrations Using the Principles of 2D Animation"
2)  "Storeoboard: Sketching Stereoscopic Storyboards"

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Texture Painted Cube Test - Palettes

Just a short turntable anim of a texture painted cube for fun this evening....

The story behind this:
I was trying to find a way to test the "Palettes" system in Blender (which I'd just only recently heard of). Apparently it's only for the texture/image paint stuff (?), so I went ahead and started texture painting a cube!

Lo and behold, a few random dabs of colour using my tablet later, it turns out to look pretty darned interesting! Hence the turnaround, and a quick BI render of it.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

GPencil Anim Test - "Curls"

While testing Antonio's patch for fixing the way that fills for concave shapes get drawn, I got inspired to create a little animation of some of these shapes in motion!

While testing the patch, I kept running into some issues with certain U-shaped filled strokes, where there would randomly be some extra triangles getting created. After drawing heaps of those recently, to figure out whether there were any trends/reasons for this to fail, I realised that they would look pretty awesome in motion.... So, I had a bit of fun + relaxation doing some straight-ahead animation with Grease Pencil :)