Form and Space

creating CG 3D since 2001

  • Connect @
  • Linked in
  • Vimeo
  • Twitter

Work Experience Op. from Design Technology

Students,   This is a letter to me, Matthew L. Stoehr, and other faculty and deans on campus from Design Technology.  A great opportunity to finish certificates in 3D.  This is essentially a Maker Space on campus!  Where engineers, 3D modelers, animators, programmers, scientists, and more come together to make really cool and weird stuff.  I’ve already worked with Randy on several projects, and many of our students are involved.  Here’s a great way to get connected!   Sent:  11/11/2016 Hi Folks, I would like you to know about a new work experience opportunity that is now available to your…

Finding Delta

Special Thanks to Jordan Kohler. Thank you for helping me to solve the expressions and ultimately solving the trigonometry. I look forward to your future work. This post discusses issues with a set driven key, finding the change in value of where an object was and where it is (called delta, so we’re finding delta), up vectors, expressions, and other issues. Also, this post shows the differences between a direct and indirect expression in Maya, and how to “trick” the expression. The good news is the tank tread video demo has taken off a little bit, and I’m getting a…

Rigging Fundamentals

A student of mine, making a light saber animation, asks how can he gain more control over an object that is constrained to a parent that is key-framed, and would like to edit it further. He cannot figure out how to override the constraint. I didn’t want to talk about constraint blending, as there are complications with that and are difficult to explain. Instead, I wrote a diagram on the white board describing what all rigs should be, at a fundamental level. The theory is simple, all manual animation, meaning the transforms are keyable by the animator, are the last…

Scripting

Yesterday I was asked by one of my students, Andrew, where I learned scripting and what sources I’d recommend for learning scripting. To the first question, I learned on my own, with no formal training. I bought books, I read websites on the topic, and I read the SDKs of the software, over and over again. I gradually became more familiar with the syntax, the logic, and my own patience. In 2002, I started with Actionscript, AS, for Flash, which is based on a type of J-script, and from there I graduated to Softimage XSI. XSI had large libriaries of…

Mental Ray

Here’s is my reading for this evening on Mental Ray. It’s a serious tome of knowledge.  I’ve been using mental ray since my first days with XSI 3.0.  I knew this book would help me transition to Maya, and further master my skills in mental ray for photo-realism.  Out of curiosity, and to save me time on my footnotes, I searched on amazon.com to see if there is a second edition.  There isn’t.  I did discover that people are selling this book for near 300$! I knew this book was a good source of information, but I understand now how…

Contemporary Sculpture 101

After organizing my lecture notes for class, I came across this short document I wrote on the fundamentals of sculpture, I called it Defining Strong Sculpture.  It was written after I had a lengthy conversation with one of my students on what it takes to create appealing sculpted forms, and how this applies to digital 3D modeling of characters, landscapes, and other objects.  I’d like to share these notes with you.  I outlined four fundamentals to consider when sculpting either physically or digitally; material selection or choice, interlocation, tension of space, and the texture or the language of the surface….

Real-time 3D in Flash

Courtesy of the David Laser Scanner project there’s a way to do real-time 3d in Flash.  It’s called Mesh2Flash.  This tool was originally designed to showcase polygon meshes generated using the David Laser Scanner software, but I think this is great way to show off models made in any software.  All you need is the .obj or .dae format, and the Mesh2Flash.swf takes care of the rest.  You can find more information about Mesh2Flash here. My biggest problem with this is that the .obj file must sit on the server with the Mesh2Flash.swf.  I’ve very little means to protect these…

Adaptive Rigging

After a conversation with my student, Jake, I was reminded of some old research and experiments I did between April and July 2007 with adaptive rigging.  I spent my summer off from teaching trying to recreate Bernard Haux’s excellent rigging work.  I don’t think my work was nearly as clean as Mr. Haux’s, but I was tapping into some good ideas for character freedom.  The traditional animators of Disney were free to draw and not be limited by the technology’s or the technical director’s limitations.  They could make marks on paper, over and over again.  Their two primary tools are…

Sketching Waves and Dynamics

In August 2008, I was experimenting with building sine waves into my rigs, and I used this weird cactus object for the testing grounds.  Click the image to see the results and the control panel.  I was able to offset each wave to a unique object along the branch.  In case you’re wondering what the weird surface is, it’s a cube instanced onto the surface using a hair object.  It’s all very simple and fun to play with. Later, around April 2009, I created dynamic tree branches that had secondary animation.  As the root was oscillated with a sine wave…