Mar 31, 2009

Woody Rig Ideas

So this is pretty much the idea I came up with for placement of joints on our mesh and dots on Steve's face.  I based these off of both other motion capture systems and watching Toy Story.  The upper most dots will be used to define the top of the head, I dont expect much movement up there, the purple lines out of the ears will define orientation of the head and the lower most will control jaw movement.  The dot on the nose defines where the nose is.  Dots above the eyes control the brows and below define the eye area.  The dots in the cheek will control puffyness/creases in the cheeks.

The one thing about MoCapping Woody's facial movement is that in Toy Story his facial movement above the mouth and below the brow ridge is very limited.  In fact all of the characters in the movie carry the same limitations.  The human characters I would assume they would have liked to have more facial deformation but I am unsure about the Toy Characters.  Woody is probably made of plastic in the head so one could assume that they did not intend to have much facial deformation.  Or it simply could be that they just did not have the technology and know how to perform so much facial deformation yet.

Another important thing I noticed was that Woody's brow ridge never really got much bigger or smaller.  Again the was little deformation there.  However the eyebrows themselves were what really defined his expressions.  Overall I dont know if these observations make what we are doing easier or harder.  Guess we will find out when we try it.

Mar 26, 2009

Joints parent constrained to locators, no weighting other than automatic. First test!

Mar 24, 2009

Face Mocap!

Mar 11, 2009

Poses Video

So obviously there are some problems with the sound syncing up with the poses.   I imported the image sequence but I must have exported it out at the wrong fps(I did 29.97 but I think I should have done 24 now).  I imported the sound at the end, which was stupid of me but I was pretty confident the video was 29.97 fps.

Getting the image sequence to work in Maya took alot of troubleshooting.  Perhaps I was just not familiar with the process but the only way it will work is by having the name setup as so: name.fame#.extension .  The problem with this was I could not export the frames out with quicktime with a period in the name.  I found a file renamer eventually but it took me a while to figure out this was the problem.  

As far as the speed of doing the actual poses, it was faster than not having a reference video.  I feel like we aren't going to see a significant increase in the speed of the animation.  It took about 1 and a half to 2 hours to put all the poses in.  These poses aren't even as accurate as they could be and would definetely need more finessing if this was a final product.

Anyways here is the result:

Mar 2, 2009

Maya Tool

I started working on an early set of features and UI for the tool, and I thought it might be a good idea to show off the progress I've made before Thursday.

As you can see here, what I have now is very basic, but should hopefully give you guys enough of an idea of things I know I can do in MEL.

The first two features are meant as basic practice for me, and will simply create a sphere with a texture and fill its transparency attribute with white, and then do the same with any other object. A shortcut to automatic mapping is also provided so that you can create your UVs there before having textures auto generated.

The fourth button is meant to save you the trouble of drawing a 3D paint texture in the color attribute and also outlining its silhouette with transparency. It shades the pixels unpainted in Color as opaque in Transparency.

The fifth button registers the 3D paint tool as a hotkey in Maya (cmd+Enter), so you can switch into it really quickly.

These are all features that will be used once per object per scene, either before or after all the painting is done. I want to add more for the during period, so if there's anything that you'd like to be automated, please tell me. Hotkeys and shortcuts are particularly simple to make in MEL and useful to animators, and they can be created by scripts like this one.

More Motion Capture

I followed what Iron Man (and pirates of the Caribbean) did and found a new motion capture company that doesn't use any tracker points on a person. It doesn't look like something we could use but something that might peek the interests of some.

here is the popular mechanics article on "Image Metrics":