Monday, 20 December 2010

PF 2011


and have a nice christmas all readers of this blog! :)


Friday, 17 December 2010

Blender/Houdini python API

I have just looked into Blender scripting API, which is all done in python, being curious... This is how Maya python API should look like, or similar. Just looking in the way how it`s all object oriented, easy getting information about the scene as we first get the scene object and then use scene object methods, and so on.. below is one simple example:

from Blender import Curve, Object, Scene
cu = Curve.New() # create new curve data
scn = Scene.GetCurrent() # get current scene
ob = scn.objects.new(cu) # make a new curve from the curve data

http://www.blender.org/documentation/249PythonDoc/

Then I thought I would look at Houdini as well, because it also uses python. And here is one example from it. Making a geometry object (not actual mesh) to create a poly cube and subdivide it:

>>> # Build a simple sop network.
>>> hou.hipFile.clear()
>>> geo = hou.node('/obj').createNode('geo')
>>> box = geo.createNode('box')
>>> subd = geo.createNode('subdivide')
>>> subd.parm('iterations').set(3)
>>> subd.setFirstInput(box)



Something for Autodesk to think about :) Especially because python is taking over and considerable time is spent by studios to build their script libraries for Maya. A proper implementation would help and make lot of code writing not needed. OpenSource codes like PyMel or MRV can help, but it`s only wrappers which add another layer (not supported by Autodesk) on top of main architecture made from MEL-to-python commands and SWIG binded C++ API. Also using this python Maya API in scripts doesn`t support undo.
After "first look" comparing, Blender and Houdini scripting API seems a lot better.

Monday, 6 December 2010

What was Horton movie really about





So I realized today that the main message of the Horton movie, at least for me, was the freedom of speech and the right to think freely. The movie was about 2 of the basic human rights.
We see the first warnings from Kangaroo to discourage Horton to talk and think about the little people living in the Speck. Then hiring the "secret police" vulture going after him. Another interesting point - Kangaroo doesn`t want to get her hands dirty, but outsider vulture can do it. The conflict ends up in a witch-hunt with a public trial with crowd of easily manipulated Monkies who only care about the basic life - have kids and enough food.
Ironically, exactly the same problem is in the "Speck" world. The city council stands against any suggestions that there is a Voice warning them of apocalypse of their little world. This seems a little like 1950`s Communists - "The jungle" and McCarthyism in United States - "Whoville City" :)
In the end both worlds connect by the loud noise from the Speck and the dark spells of mind blankets are broken.
This was one of the most original story (yet adapted from Dr.Seuss' book) made by Blue Sky Studios. I`m glad someone was able to transform these ideas into the new 3d animation media that kids watch today.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Development Story of Doom 3 (in 3 parts)



who reads this blog for longer knows that I`m a fan of
id software. I found this 3 part documentary on youtube (2007?) about their development of Doom III. Now there is rather critique given on this sequel, as talking about the change in new game R@GE but it`s true that this sci-fi horror atmosphere was amazing. And based on old-school shooting action with great looking levels and creatures.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

python hermite function

as Maya doesn`t have python command version of its hermite MEL command, I found this example of the very basic curve interpolation description. What is cool, you can pass both floats or MVectors from OpenMaya module. Both work.


import maya.OpenMaya

p0 = maya.OpenMaya.MVector( 0,0,0 )
p1 = maya.OpenMaya.MVector( 10,0,0 )
r0 = maya.OpenMaya.MVector( 0,4,0 )
r1 = maya.OpenMaya.MVector( 0,-4,0 )

def hermite(p0, p1, r0, r1, t):

t2 = t * t
t3 = t2 * t
_3t2 = 3.0 * t2
_2t3 = 2.0 * t3

return (p0*(_2t3-_3t2+1) + p1*(-_2t3+_3t2) + r0*(t3-2.0*t2+t) + r1*(t3-t2))

res = hermite(p0, p1, r0, r1, t)



taken from Autodesk API examples:

http://download.autodesk.com/us/maya/2010help/api/torus_field_8py-example.html

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

DAM new album



Go to this website to find samples from new album of czech/american electro project
Die Alten Maschinen:

(art by 21. century Michelangelo Adolf Lachman)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Despicable Me



Saw this a while ago and I really enjoyed it. So I think it should get its post here. Contains parts of the story, in case you haven`t seen it!

First I didn`t expect much as the trailer seemed quite simple - an evil guy with lot of gadgets and couple of gags. But the little girls were the best element of the story. I would say playing similar note as Pixar`s Monsters Inc. It was really fun and touching to see how the villain changes his life priorities after the three girls enter his life.
Also each character was performed really well, with lots of detail in the behaviour. The scenes were just believable. Even the overacted gags were still balanced and making sense. The little yellow guys were brilliant, even though I was thinking it was just stupid from the trailer. In the movie they were awesome. Especially shopping mall sequence when they go buy the unicorn toy. Generally this was great comedy with lots of ideas taken from real life. Even though this was not made in major studio they have reached high quality of comedial and emotional performance of such as Dreamworks or Pixar.

The production story is no less interesting. Chris Meledandri who was executive producer on many Blue Sky movies (Ice Age,..., Horton Hears Who) started up his own production company and needed to find a studio capable of making A quality commercial cg feature. To cut it short he settled with Parise-based studio Mac Guff. They previously made a feature that already looked pretty good - Dragon Hunters. They also had a working character animation pipeline including Asset Management system, according to another producer Janet Healy [1]. The studio is already working on another feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (see the producer connection here with Dr.Seuss' Horton Hears Who done in Blue Sky).

So also taking the fact, this wasn`t one the top established studios, again, job well done!

Friday, 12 November 2010

friday fun video

just forwarding video someone sent me... :) he says it`s classic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWHJk5g9DOE&feature=channel

installing SVN for Eclipse on Windows

I have just installed SVN at home under Windows 7 and thought I would share the steps I did.

In case you see "SVN" first time. This is shortcut for a file version control system. Its full name is Subversion. It seems to be prefered today over CVS system, which was used earlier.

I already used Eclipse for coding python modules, but I wanted to:
a) keep version history just in case b) get to know more about using SVN

Eclipse has CVS system built in, but as I use SVN at work, I wanted to learn the same at home.

First thing was to create SVN repository. As I wanted an easy way, I`ve downloaded Tortoise SVN which is Windows shell extension. So it does the same as typing in shell, but using Windows Explorer UI (right click menu on folder has Tortoise sub-menu):


After installation you just need to make a directory which will be your Repository. I created a folder C:/SVNRepos. Then use Tortoise menu option Create repository here. That`s it. You shouldn`t change or delete files in this folder. The repository system is using it.

Next step is adding files to repository. These can be anywhere and they can even be later deleted. Usually it`s a folder containing some subfolders and script files. If you want the top folder to appear in repository, you have to actually go one folder up and add this. In case there are more folders under top folder, just copy it as I did, so there is nothing else.



So I right-clicked for Tortoise menu on a folder "svn" containing my main tool folder and choosed Import...


(click on image to see full size)

Then all folders and files were recursively added to my new SVN repository. Now about Eclipse...

Eclipse doesn`t have SVN built-in, so you need to download it as a plugin, which is easy. Go to Help>Install New Software. Then add this path to Work With texfield:

http://subclipse.tigris.org/update_1.6.x

Make sure that this points to latest Subclipse version. Better go to main Subclibse website and check what is latest to get all the new features. It can actually happen if you install old version, that it will not be able to recognise the SVN repository system, which can be newer version. This is why latest is important.

Then just click all plugin parts and follow easy installation steps. At one point you will be prompted to agree with Subclipse terms of use and also that you want to use a sofware without Windows signature. This is only formality.

Now just go to File>New>Project>SVN>Check Out Project From SVN, choose Create New Repository and type your svn repository path, for example
file:///C:/SVNRepos/

In the last options you can choose Eclipse to check out the files into its default folder. I prefer my own location, which is not under Eclipse folder, as I can better integrate it to my tool folders.

(click on image to see full size)

If this all worked you can now enjoy Eclipse with SVN controlling your development files :)

Monday, 8 November 2010

8 november - X-ray Day on google

this cool image is how Google celebrates the day when Wilhelm Röntgen`s discovered X-ray, on November 8, 1895. In Czech Republic we actualy use the word "rentgen" after its discoverer for this type of medical scan. Same for Germany and Russia. Other countires use the actual name of this radiation "x-ray".

Monday, 1 November 2010

90`s

this is my first graphics program I used to work in: Autodesk Animator. We did a dungeon game programmed in Pascal, and I was making icons (like dead rat or gemstone) and user interfaces for it. That was in 1994, the resolution of this was 320x240 with 8-bit color depth. I know the most cool thing to me was Smooth function to average with neighbouring pixel colors.




cool book!

in case you were interested in some nice book about rigging...
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Rigging-George-Biddlecombe/dp/0486263436/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_1

;)

Sunday, 31 October 2010

animation courses Anomalia go for year 2011!


I`m pleased that ANOMALIA animation courses taking place in Czech Republic has got new funding from EU Media for teaching in next year 2011:
www.anomalia.eu

This course is taking place during summer in a beautiful town Litomysl during summer with highly experienced moderators teaching different areas of 3D animation. For example two animation teachers are working in Pixar, Maya scripting teacher is a Technical Director from Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age).
I believe the language used during classes is english.


bindPreMatrix in skinCluster

this is little more advanced stuff for riggers. If you want to know more about this basic deformer, how it computes the deformation, watch this tutorial:

http://sunekempf.com/blog/wp-content/movies/bindPreMatrix/bindPreMatrix.html

I actually found it when I needed to make Reset SkinCluster Influence tool and I tried to set WorldMatrix to preBindMatrix. Which was wrong, it needs worldInverseMatrix and Sune`s tutorial helped me here.
And as the tool is so simple, I decided to post it here:

def resetInfluenceMatrices( skinCluster ):

'''
set bindPreMatrix the same as current worldInverseMatrix
for each influence of given skinCluster
'''

infs = mc.listConnections( skinCluster + '.matrix' )

for i, inf in enumerate( infs ):

m = mc.getAttr( inf + '.worldInverseMatrix' )
mc.setAttr( skinCluster + '.bindPreMatrix[' + str(i) + ']', m[0], m[1], m[2], m[3], m[4], m[5], m[6], m[7], m[8], m[9], m[10], m[11], m[12], m[13], m[14], m[15], typ= 'matrix' )

Monday, 25 October 2010

Houdini autorig


Looking at these Houdini pages makes me think why Maya still doesn`t come with some all-round scripted rig for biped and quadruped. There are many online, but something could be there as part of installation for general and new users.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

riggers...



a though:
riggers are basically very family based guys - it`s all about parents, children, relatives and their connections!

Friday, 8 October 2010

"real" racer game

this is really cool, no simulated dynamics or modelled environment, but existing game level that you can touch :)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

rigging TD job

MPC Vancouver is looking for riggers for upcoming projects. This is not for immediate start, so there is no official job post yet. If interested in working in Vancouver, please contact Lead Rigger Angela Magrath: http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/angela-magrath/1/959/78a

For more jobs on this blog, click on "jobs" label.


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Rage game-play


here`s very cool R@GE demo with Tim Willits playing it and asnwering questions. First time seen quite long continuous play of this game. It will be good old id action, run and shoot :)

couple of more things like customized weapons or upgrading cars, but still very simple.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

new Volvo


...and more about collisions. This video shows collision detection system of new Volvo. I can only say: it`s perfect! Watch it yourself:

free mesh collision deformer

There is new Maya plugin for riggers on creativecrash. Free collision deformer (basically with source code, as it`s python script) is definitely something worth checking:


Thanks for sharing this Jan!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

background change


enough summer country side road! switching to Phobos, Mars moon.
and who the hell is this guy...?

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Sunday, 12 September 2010

ID software office tour

A quick look inside the legendary game studio id software. Made recently during their production of R@GE, their next first person shooter. Tim Willits definitely enjoys to be showing the visitors around :)

Sunday, 5 September 2010

MPC on HIRING TOUR

MPC is looking for bunch of various 3d artist positions and will be touring around some Europe cities - this is also good opportunity to get in film vfx if you are from commercials or games:


MPC is getting ready to hit the road for a European tour... We need to hire a host of creative, technical and overall exciting individuals to join our world-leading VFX company.

With dates in Paris, Munich and Turin; MPC’s Recruitment Roadshow will give you an overview of day to day working at MPC as well as the opportunity to see how your career can develop with us.

We really hope to see you there and to find out if you fit the bill to fill one of several positions in the following disciplines:

Compositors
Lighting Artists
DMP and Environment Artists
Character Finishing TDs
FX TDs
Rigging Artists
Texturing Artists
Matchmove TDs

Thursday, 2 September 2010

maya python tips

I thought I would share 2 Maya python tips here for more elegant code:

(this code assumes you have namespace of maya.cmds as mc)

# filter objects with some attribute from a selection
# as this doesn`t work...
rigs = mc.ls( '*.rigNode', sl=1, o=1 )

# ...list comprehension can be used
rigs = [ o for o in mc.ls(sl=1) if mc.objExists( o + '.rigNode' ) ]


# example on handling returned NoneType
# test if joint has no child joints, if not is a good test for NoneType return value
if not mc.listRelatives( someJoint, c=1, typ= 'joint' ): print 'joint has no child joints'

# and opposite if statement is good test that return value was not NoneType
childJoints = mc.listRelatives( someJoint, c=1, typ= 'joint' )
if childJoints: print 'child joints:', childJoints

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..):

http://ilm.com/

"2001
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 creativecrash.com.
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:

http://animationbuffet.blogspot.com/

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

http://www.aaa-studio.eu/

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 mc.ls( 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.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

GParted - cool partition tool on boot

I had to use boot partition tool on computer boot. I found the best is actually the Ubuntu desktop Live CD. I was able to run this and edit my partitions as needed without having any OS installed.
In Ubuntu, it`s under Administration and it`s called GParted. It`s also very easy to use.
Plus, all free!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

installing Maya under Ubuntu

so I`m just installing Maya under my new Ubuntu 10.04 x86_64. I went for 64bit because Autodesk Maya downloads for linux are only as 64bit. This way I could get the latest HotFix2 version.
Now, as complete linux newbie for installing things and such I had no idea how to install Maya. I was trying to run some setup.exe etc.. Then I found this great tutorial, thanks to blurymind for this (lower on the page).
And here`s another one, but first one I find better.
Probably the most basic thing for installing stuff - Ubuntu is using debian packages, but you get Maya as rpm (RedHat). This has to be converted to debian first.

I could see more user-friendly way, sort of wizard that would do all this for you and maybe comment on what it is doing. This is were Windows still do better job in getting more home desktop users, as most people will not be so patient and/or technically skilled. And I do it just to get more linux skilled and don`t like how Windows are heavy and hardware drivers always break.

here is Autodesk support page for installing Maya. Not helpful if you are on Ubuntu.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

very cool clay-like characters

check these models that gelmi did, they are awesome! actually it was done for same Vodafone commercial I was showing in this blog (yes done in stop-motion and real clay, not sure if any 3d models were used). If not than it`s real shame!
Luxology Forum > Clay Characters

Thursday, 1 July 2010

jobs for 3d/2d animators for mobile games

I am forwarding this email from my friend from Slovakia/UK:

Sorry for the mass e-mail folks, I just have a job offer for 2D/3D animators interested in working on online and mobile games with a famous studio OneClickDog from Slovakia. For slovak version of the ad click here http://forum.animacia.sk/viewtopic.php?p=26361#26361 in case you're an english speaker write directly on job@oneclickdog.com for more details

Ospravedlnujem sa za masovy e-mail, mam ponuku prace pre 2D/3D animatorov, ktori by chceli pracovat na online a mobilnych hrach so slavnym studiom OneClickDog v SR. Detaily tu http://forum.animacia.sk/viewtopic.php?p=26361#26361

make Linux shell executable script in 3 steps!

open new file

syntetik@syntetik-desktop:~/Documents$ gedit my_cmd

1: edit

#!/usr/bin/python

def main():

print 'hello from my_cmd!'

main()

2: add executable permission

chmod +x my_cmd

get file path by typing pwd

syntetik@syntetik-desktop:~/Documents$ pwd
/home/syntetik/Documents

3: add this path to environment variable

export PATH=$PATH:/home/syntetik/Documents/

now you can run the script as a command

syntetik@syntetik-desktop:~/Documents$ my_cmd
hello from my_cmd!




Tuesday, 29 June 2010

hello from Ubuntu!

Just installed this favourite Linux distro and started looking around...
Installation was done from the "live cd" of Ubuntu (got it with LinuxUser mag). This was a demo of how Ubuntu would work and it installed very quickly. Also no drivers were needed in hand. It just worked and I could connect to my wifi, check the emails or find my printer. It recognized all my hardware during installation. Great, no hassle with drivers!

Then I could run installation of the real Ubuntu from a pre-made shortcut on the desktop. Again, very easy and about 2 steps to start installation. Disk partitioning tool included and all in very nice interface as it was running from the Ubuntu system already.

The startup takes less time then Windows and the whole UI feels more simple and easier to find things. Menus are organized really well, easy to find settings or run some application. I also like the amount of all free software (via Ubuntu Software Center menu) not mentioning the whole OS.

For those who like to script, there are linux shells and many ways to customize your system. For TDs planning to work in film, Linux is used a lot in vfx pipelines so it can be useful to get more familiar with it.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Ministry Thunderstruck


I though it`s all over and now once again after the "christmas song" Ministry makes Thunderstruck! I`ve seen it so many times that band announces their retirement then do something again etc... etc... so not suprised, rather pleased because they kick ass :)

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Autodesk - Autodesk Maya Services & Support - Autodesk Maya 2011 Hotfix 2

Autodesk - Autodesk Maya Services & Support - Autodesk Maya 2011 Hotfix 2

looking for rigger


New vfx studio in Prague is looking for an experienced Maya rigger for their film project. Ideal applicant would be on site, but they accept externist as well. Send link to your online reel and work experience resume to: larex at centrum dot cz

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

making of czech Vodafone commercial

classic stop motion directed by Michal Zabka (a.k.a. "Michael Frog" :-p )

Sunday, 13 June 2010

what to do with computer waste

...I was wondering today when doing some clean-up. And found this website where a company collects electronic waste for free covering all UK. There might be similar ones in other countries, although I think this is just in the beginnings. Lot of old PCs and components end up at the dustbin which then goes to the land-fill adding more waste to the landscape.







So I signed for collection and hopefully they will come for it and I will not have to throw it in the dust bin...

pymel is the way...

how many lines would this be in MEL or standard Maya python... :)

import pymel.core as pm
cube = pm.PyNode( 'pCube1' )

for i, v in enumerate( cube.vtx ): print i, v, v.getPosition()

This short script will print positions of all polyCube`s vertices.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Furry Ball GPU renderer

More on GPU renderers. This is czech product developed partially in AAA Animation studio in Prague, Czech Republic. Looks really cool and I believe this is only the first one out of many render engines to come... real-time rendering of such quality is amazing!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Monday, 31 May 2010

Anomalia - open seats for Technical Director lessons

according to a word from Anomalia management, there are still open seats in Technical Director lessons. If you want more information about how to enroll, follow this link.
Technical Director course is tought by Sunit Parekh-Gaihede from Hydralab. Animation class mentors are also tought by 2 Pixar animators.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

how Pymel started...

here it seems is first forum thread from 2007 where Chad from Luma introduces pymel. There`s even a word about Autodesk picking it up under Maya as a standard part of the release, which recently happened.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Introducing Pixar Canada

Nice video, with some funny comps of Pixar character in live-action shots of canadian environment. With some new faces and insights into the new offices.


I think it`s a good decision with current economic situation and it will give the growing canadian industry another place with lots of new exciting jobs. It`s also not like those productions where big studios send simple work for prop modeling, comp-cleaning and matchmoving. They will have a chance to make the whole new Pixar movies. Although first starting with sequels for Toy Story and Cars, I think still it can be lot of fun and great opportunity.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

czech singer Petr Muk died

at age 45, probably after medicine drug overdose. Here are few songs he made with the early 90`s band OCEAN:


I think that was his best act. The band was actually preparing for a comeback this year.
And here are few pictures from recent years after 2000:

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Ed Catmull and Pixar team management

this interview with Ed Catmull is very interesting. It`s about a difficult problem: leadership and team management in a succesfull creative company. In the end it comes even more obvious how much it`s about people, well assembled team, and that sometimes those leaders don`t immediatelly see who or what was behind the success their movie.

Great Anatomy book

this book I recently bought looks like it was made for body-builders or their trainers, but actually it`s great for artists too. I haven`t seen a book more packed with muscle anatomy illustrations like this one. Also, the quality is excellent. The illustrations are clean and feel 3d. The muscles and bones are often uncovered layer by layer showing exactly where is their origin and insertion or how their heads divide. And as we see all possible training poses, it`s great reference for riggers when checking the range of motion for a character and how the muscles or skin behave.
The third edition has 192 pages, and unlike others it also has female anatomy reference. At the very end is full muscle body in seen from side, front and back and skeleton front and back.
Highly recommended!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

nVidia GPU raytrace render

my friend just installed new gfx card GeForce GTX 480. Apart from usual realtime 3d acceleration, this one can use third party raytrace render engines like Octane to use his scenes from XSI (or Maya) and get it done much faster then using his Intel CPU:

Thursday, 6 May 2010

interview

grafika.cz asked me few questions about rigging work on Clash of Titans, czech language only (sorry ;)

part 2 is about more general rigging work:
http://www.grafika.cz/art/vse/krompolc-2.html

Friday, 16 April 2010

Alice in wonderland

saw it today. Very good, really nice design, funny... great looking cg creatures (courtesy of Imageworks) This is Tim Burton`s best looking movie. I believe this is exactly how he wanted it to look like.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

man falling down from statue in Prague

http://zpravy.idnes.cz/opily-cizinec-se-vazne-zranil-pri-padu-z-kone-svateho-vaclava-pt1-/krimi.asp?c=A100414_111139_krimi_hv

this is showing a drunk foreign guy trying to get down from 7m high statue which resulted in serious injuries.
An advice - don`t drink & climb on St.Vaclav horse statue.

Monday, 12 April 2010

pymel 2011

As a pymel user I`m very happy that Autodesk has added pymel as a part of new 2011 release. This will save considerable amount of development of class libraries in case a production is switching to python. Including Maya API was very clever step. Basically classes and functions from OpenMaya were integrated into pymel classes. Pymel in a way resembles the API class structure and combines it with maya.cmds, maya.mel and other added functionality.

Here are couple of links about new Script Editor, showing auto-completion, syntax highlighting and even object name completion (so you type "jacket" and get the choice of all "jacket*" objects in your scene - not so useful as this is hardcoded names, but still could get handy for quick scripting).

Friday, 9 April 2010

visually great video in pixel-game-style

this is very cool!! great idea (invasion of classic old games Tetris, Pacman etc.) and technically really well done:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qASf5DEN_c4

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Bats and more!

Accidentaly I stumbled into this czech website that contains very nice shots of flying bats. Hey, you never know when you will rig one... or some fantasy sexy hellish creature and you will need the wings for reference:
http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/indian-flying-fox:pteropus-giganteus-photo-3787.html

and there`s more - birds, insects, even mushrooms, landscapes and flowers... - a website about Earth`s beings and their habitats. The lowest resolution is free of use (has watermark) and higher size is paid.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Zemeckis to establish new studios in Czech Republic


After the announcement of planned closing of ImagemoversDigital, there are big news about radical change of Robert Zemeckis new plans for his future bussiness. It was found by czech State Scientific Institute DNA Division that Zemeckis is family relative to famous czech animator Hermina Tyrlova.
More surprisingly, after he found out, he started aquiring properties in the industrial zone near Prague. Today he made it clear he wants to connect upon traditions of Tyrlova stop motion animation style in a grand scale and establish a new TyrloZemeckMovers studios that should produce 3D sequels to her film Ferda Mravenec, Micek Flicek and others. The size of studio should be around 1200 employees and 2 full feature length movies per year are planned. The rights are being aquired from Ondrej Sekora`s (Ferda Mravenec children book author) family today as well.