Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Untitled Color Pencil Drawing

I saw an army ad in a mag of mine that looked very interesting, so I decided to use it as reference for a drawing (back in 2002). Here's the result:

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Found Some Old Art: Will Smith in MIB

I want to share something I did back in 2002. I was having fun with color pencils and finding the piece in my file cabinet brought back memories. The format is 8.5x11in. Col-Erase for the concept sketch and Prisma Color Pencils for the final.

Here's the concept:

And here's the result after a few hours and a few color pencils:

Creating A Slider Control GUI Without Using Mel

This week's tip is geared toward riggers & animators alike that prefer all their frequently used controls in their prime work area: the viewport. I enjoy working fullscreen [Ctrl+Space] and I feel that time spent on panels like the channelBox should be minimized and used for animating! So if you find yourself constantly using the virtual slider (that is, selecting the attribute name and then sliding with MMB in the viewport,) then read follow the following tutorial and see if it affects your workflow in a positive way.
  1. First create an empty group called sliderControl.
  2. Then create a NURBS square and stretch out the box—My scales are ScaleX: 8, ScaleY: 0, and ScaleZ: 0.25. Everything else is left default.
  3. Now place a circle with a radius of 0.5 on the origin.
  4. Rotate both objects about their X axis 90 degrees and freeze their transformations.
  5. Now in the outliner, MMB the circle and the NURBS squares' group and tuck it under sliderControl.
  6. Now select the circle and open up the attribute editor.
  7. Select the circle's transform node and open up the Limit Information rollout.
  8. Check Trans Limit X for Min and Max and set them to -4 and 4 respectively.
  9. Set the limits Y and Z limits to 0 and Lock and Hide the rest of the rotate and scale attributes.
  10. Finally, Lock and Hide the Boxes' attributes too.
Now, what you are left with is a slider control that can be turned into an Asset (Maya 2009+) and reused in all your files. You can link the slider knob to any attribute like a foot roll or fist control that requires a range. You can even attach it using an expression if you need to scale the range. However, if you are new to Mel, I recommend adjusting the Limit Information on the circle instead of scaling the values using code. You can link the circle's tx attribute to another attribute using the Connection Editor.

I hope you liked this tip and most importantly, I hope you find it useful.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Digital Painting: A Mixed Media Study

This is my latest digital creation. I don't have a name for it yet but I created it so I can hone my skills on figure proportions and the gesture drawing. I focused on feeling, not detail.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Improving Workflow Using Hidden Marking Menus in Maya

I enjoy a smooth workflow and I rather memorize hotkeys to clicking 5 times to get somewhere. Maya has so many menus that it even has a "Find Menu..." feature! This beast of a program, has many hidden marking menus and I would like to share several with you.

When posing Stu's parts, there is no doubt you've used the Move Tool manipulator--if you were to visit the options panel for this tool, you will be able to see that you can switch the orientation of the tool from local/object to world space. At times, it might be easier to use one space over the other--but visiting the Tool Options is clumsy (for me), especially if all I need to do is get to a radio/toggle button.

Assuming your caps lock key is off*, you can press and hold q, w, e, or r to get marking menus for the selection, move, rotate, and scale tools, respectively. You can make gesture adjustments on the fly without leaving your workspace and even work in maximized viewport mode--that is, selecting your viewport and Ctrl+Spacing it.

For example, if you were to press w (to select the move manipulator), and then hold w and LMB drag the mouse to the left, you'll set the manipulator to world space. If you gesture to the north west, you'll set it to object space. This will come in handy when posing Stu's limbs.

* Make sure you keep the caps lock key off while using keyboard shortcuts in Maya because this program is case sensitive. Note that pressing W versus w will actually sets a key on your object's translation vector. The same goes for E and R.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Meanwhile, At a Microsoft Meeting...

I decided to draw one of the speakers at the Microsoft offices in New York. I wasn't really interested in all his PM talk so I decided to put the right side of my brain to good use.

In the midst of all that, I found a big fat programmer picking his nose and then tasting it. Disgusting, I know, but this pushed me through the session.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Featured Sketch from Odosketch

I grabbed this one from the front page. I thought it was awesome and quick... if you pull back, it's realistic too.

An Awesome Sketching Site

Simple yet creative... I love this new find: Odosketch

You're able to sketch, save and edit sketches right on the site. You're also able to browse through other sketches and even see the timelapse of how it was drawn!

My First Mixed-Media (& Embarrassing) Animation 2001

I made this back in 2001. I drew Xiao Mei on paper and then tried to paint & ink her in Photoshop 5.5. I look back because of how horrible it looks but I'm still proud it... in a way. I produced some of the backgrounds in Photoshop, 3ds max, and some were parts of my backyard at the time. I also put together the music and edited all the frames in After Effects. I truncated some of the most horrible parts so I apologize for the musical hiccups in advance.

Proof that Lip-syncing is Secondary to Body Language

What do you think? I say it's pretty convincing being that we tend to read his lips as a secondary action.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Avatar @ ZBrushCentral

Holy crap... there is nothing more to say but to just link you the work this guy did on Avatar: ZBrushCentral

Enjoy and be blown away!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Animation Mentor 2010

I officially began classes at today. I'm so pumped about the experience that awaits me and I want to document as much as possible--

I will try to use this blog as a place where I would post my digital paintings, animation tests, sketches and other notes.

Happy 2010!