Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BodyMech Rigs - October news

  • Texture Maps
  • Updates
  • Showcase!


First, Halloween is just around the corner, so I've made a couple simple texture maps to get you in the candy-begging spirit.  They work great on all the Body Mechanics rigs.  Just put them into the "sourceimages" folder of your maya project and load them into the color channel of the body shader.

Download them HERE.





I've added auto-squash functionality to the spine of Marv and Stella.  Sooo much fun to play with.  It's on by default, but can be turned off on the UpperBody control.  I've also squashed the right shoulder rotation bug (where the rotate x is opposite of what it should be).  You can download the update at Gumroad.


And lastly, I wanted to showcase some of the awesome animation that everyone has been up to.  I'm sure I missed some great work out there, but here is a sample of what people are doing.  Keep it up!

Guerrilla animation team exercise - Landing and Settle from Sem Assink on Vimeo.

06 - Landing - Richard "the killer" Oud from Guerrilla Animators on Vimeo.

Aia Test Final from Kevin (Hoa) Nguyen on Vimeo.

Herc rig anim test from John Seldon on Vimeo.

Adam Bradford - Fall 2014 Game Animation Demo Reel from Adam Bradford on Vimeo.

Body Mech Rig Test from James King on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

New Rigs!

Update 10/4/ 2014:  The BodyMech Rigs are back up, and with new features!  Here's a walk-through and pose demo video.

I've just launched a series of Maya rigs, designed to be perfect for honing in on those body mechanics and body acting skills.  These rigs are quick and fun to pose, just check out the video below.

BodyMech Rigs - Intro from joe daniels on Vimeo.

In order to fund future developments along these lines, I'm selling them through Gumroad.  Think of it this way:  buying a set of these rigs is like getting me dinner to say thanks for all the awesome stuff you're going to animate with them.  :)

  Thanks to everyone who is supporting this project.  You're all awesome!

Click on the thumbnail below to find out more.

I must have them all!

Pick up the AnimSchool Picker here.

P.S.  If you're an instructor looking to grab these up for your classes, or a workshop, you can do so by selecting the Volume License option in Gumroad's payment section and choose the number of licenses that is right for your case.
Check out the Single-user License Agreement and the Volume License Agreement for more info.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sculpt Fixes for Animators - video tut

Animation Sculpt Fixes with SHAPES from joe daniels on Vimeo.

Animators, how many times have you found yourself working on a rig where you just wanted to get in there and add an extra blendshape, or fix some nasty wrinkles or deformation, or perhaps push the pose further than the rig allows?  If you work in Maya and know what a blendshape is, this video is for you!

This tutorial focuses on using the SHAPES toolset to make tweaks to a rig on a shot by shot basis.  There are a few tools that let you do this, but I'm using SHAPES.  Check it out:  http://www.braverabbit.de/shapes/

My Body Mechanics rigs will be available soon at:  http://artofjoe.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html
Malcolm character courtesy of AnimSchool.com

Thanks for watching!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Monday, July 07, 2014

Body Mechanics Rigs

I'm almost done with a new set of rigs I'll be using for some of my animation classes at Ex'pression College.  These are intended for honing in on body mechanics and body acting, so there are not really any facial controls.

They're easy to quickly tweak, so the animators can spend time on crafting engaging performances, instead of messing with customizing the rigs.  Looking forward to seeing what the students come up with!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Graph Editor art

I've just wrapped on a very fun animation project.  One I hope to be able to share soon.  Inspired by something I've been seeing a lot of, here is some Graph Editor art.  If you're in your first couple years of animating, these are for you!

 Some days the machine wins, and you feel like you're drowning in your own splines.

Other days you feel like a spline master, breaking tangent handles with your mere mind.

Confucius say, the more time you spend wrestling with your graph editor, the sooner you'll find yourself on the plane of enlightenment.

Here's a larger version of the above image.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Kevin Keele sculpt

I took about 2.5 hours yesterday to sculpt this really fun design by Kevin Keele.  A ton of fun to work with all the shapes in his design.  Such a talented artist.  It's not really finished, and I would approach the hair differently next time, but it was fun to take it this far.  A little of the process is shown in the pics below.

Making Of:

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sculpting Tip: Order of Operations

Happy Tuesday, everybody!
Here's a quick tip I threw together for some students who have a speed sculpting facebook group.  So much of what I've learned about making compelling art comes down to Shape/Line, Underlying Form, and Rhythm.  I'm always trying to learn as much as I can, so hopefully you'll get something out of this.  Keep making art!

Extra resources:
Rad Sechrist -- http://radhowto.blogspot.com/2010/07/inmate-construction.html
Michael Defeo -- http://www.zbrushworkshops.com/tags/michael-defeo
Philippe Faraut -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1tH03sOhkU

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Water Spirit - speed sculpt

Here's a 45 minute speed sculpt, under the topic "Water Spirit".  I've been following a speed sculpting thread for a little bit and was excited to give this topic a whirl.  I'd love to come back to this and touch it up, but for a quickie, I'm happy with it.  Hope you enjoy!

"Water Spirit" - 45 min speed sculpt from joe daniels on Vimeo.

Here was my inspiration reference:

And for the water, I mostly used Bad King's splash insert mesh brush set:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Push it! with Thumbnails

Anim Tip of the Day!

To the budding animator, don't forget to thumbnail.  Video reference is a great tool, and it's useful for learning detailed mechanics like subtle weight shifts and residual energy.  But especially if you're working in a caricatured style of animation, or you just want your poses to read clearly, honing your gesture drawing skills is key.

Maya's grease pencil tool is a great way to examining your poses to push your blocking.  Just pick a frame and forget about the movement for a minute and look at how appealing the pose is.  Think about the forces that are at work at that slice of time we call a pose.  Then clarify the lines, making sure that all the lines of the pose flow appropriately into all of the others.  The body is a cohesive unit, not a series of independently moving parts.

Below is a few poses from an early blocking of a cartoony animation test a student brought to me for critique today.  Awesome guy.  Great to work with.

Here's what I noticed about his poses:
1)  The picnic basket doesn't have much weight, and we're not really using the prop to full effect.
2)  The character is going to hop around doing fun ballet poses, bouncing from point to point.  Let's begin to sell that idea from the first frames.
3)  Let's start off with something snappy to inform the audience of the intended style and laws of the world.  Once that is established, we're ready to believe the exaggerated motions that will follow.

Here I'm using syncsketch to sketch over his poses in my browser.  I love this site.  You should check it out.

The reason I place so much value in Thumbnailing is that it gives you a chance to pull from your mental pose library ideas that you might not be able to act out in video reference.  Some characters have very different designs than the typical human, or there may be differences in weight that cause the principles to apply differently than to my body.  So when you invest in your thumbnailing skills, you can work faster with less limitation in your planning process.  Oh, and I recommend animating with a tablet, so it's effortless to switch to sketching over your poses as you work.

To leave you with more, here is a link to some slides from one of my lectures on Thumbnailing for Animation.  I'm drawing for a lot of sources here, mainly Victor Navone, Carlos Baena, Eric Goldberg, and more.  And here is a post from the Animation Tips & Tricks blog.

Happy Animating!