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Messages - Mills

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Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #14: Sports equipment
« on: March 13, 2010, 10:37:10 pm »
I agree, Kubajzz, that's a brilliantly striking image. Nice work!

Anim8or Challenges / Re: [ COMPLETE ]Challenge #13: D-D-D-DRAGON!
« on: February 26, 2010, 12:25:00 am »
Yes, well done everyone! Looking forward to the next one ...

Anim8or Challenges / Re: [ VOTE NOW!!! ]Challenge #13: D-D-D-DRAGON!
« on: February 23, 2010, 01:00:02 pm »
That's undeniably fantastic work, Raxx; I look forward to seeing the end result, even more so if it's animated!

rellik420: My model is actually a composite. The head and body are 'built' as they appear (objects). The legs I decided to rig & pose in the scene, as it was the only sure way to get the toes on the ground. So I built one each of a left and right leg (and forgot to re-texture the toenails on the left leg before rendering! Darn local textures) and posed two of each in the scene.

Sorry if this takes up loads of space, but to answer questions, but I made the body in a very short space of time (<30 mins) in the following way:

Model a single Scale by point-editing a primitive cube (3,1,3) - Scale is 'tilted' forwards sufficiently to over/underlap with duplicates

Create a 12-sided n-gon as a guide

Duplicate and position 4 more Scales down one side of the n-gon (no care taken to be exact!) then mirror each in the x-plane

Create another Scale duplicate, then make it long by dragging the side points apart, then cut the elogated faces vertically several times, then apply a 90-deg bend modifier, with the object fitting exactly within the modifier length. Position this into the remaining gap in the Scale 'ring'. The n-gon guide can then be deleted

Group ALL the meshes, including the long (belly) Scale, copy and paste this, rotate 15-deg around the Z-axis to show inbetween the original Scale ring, then reposition along the Z-axis at an arbitrary seperation. Ungroup the new ring and DELETE the extra belly Scale as it was only included to keep the centre of the ring close to the world-centre when rotating the group. Mirror the odd number Scale in the new ring (in red)

Group EVERYTHING together, and copy, paste, paste, paste, paste, paste! until the 'tube' is a suitable length - I also added the back spines at this point, but they do not follow the scale duplication pattern, which helps avoid 'obvious' repeating in the pattern

Ungroup EVERYTHING then join it all together into a single, giant solid. Use a series of taper modifiers to almost close one end of the 'pipe' - I find several modifiers with a factor of 0.3 covering progressively more of the tube produce a much more natural result than one taper at 0.8. I also applied a subtle curvature (~0.1) and a very small twist (10-deg) to the entire body, again to increase subtle variation in the end result (not in picture)

And then it's just bend, bend, bend, bend. Modifiers get tricky as soon as an object starts 'almost' touching itself, but if you start from one end and keep a constant eye on what you're aiming for, it's usually possible.

So, apologies if I've bored everyone off to another website, but I hope that's of interest to some at least! I did consider rigging the whole body, but I'd need at least 100 bones for a decent result, and I just can't face setting the joint limits that many times. So I guess the 'wrinkle' is just an artifact of all the bending. There are a few other oddities on the body caused by the low poly Scales, but I don't think they do too much harm. Contrary to what's been said, I spent all my modelling time on the head, and had it looking exactly how I wanted, so body and feet were both a bit rushed.

General Anim8or Forum / Re: Internal server error
« on: February 20, 2010, 11:35:22 pm »
Hi johnar. I have encountered this error a few times in the past week, but it's been fairly temporary - ie, a few hours later it's been fine. I realise that doesn't directly help at all, hence I'm not emailing, but just to let you know you're not the only one experiencing the problem!

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #13: D-D-D-DRAGON!
« on: February 20, 2010, 11:19:52 pm »
Thanks $imon. I did do a bit of playing with a DOF lense blur before posting the pics, but to be honest it wasn't adding enough to the result to make it worthwhile, so I dropped the effect. Fair point on the eyes, I just kinda liked how they looked plain white.

Anim8or Challenges / Re: Challenge #13: D-D-D-DRAGON!
« on: February 20, 2010, 07:23:15 pm »
Really nice work everyone, great to see such an active challenge! Here's my entry (colour pic is my final).

It probably looks a bit like I stole johnar's idea, but I've working on this since before his first post, promise! I used various Google images for reference in modelling, but the pose &c is original. Rendered with 0.95 scanline. And before Raxx notes the background's too simple ( ;) ), I was originally intending this to be a small statue, rather than a 'real' dragon (there's an oxymoron).

Would have been nice to remodel the legs and redo some of the texturing, but when you're out of time, you're out of time!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Character Anim8ion
« on: February 06, 2010, 02:28:45 am »
That's a great start, johnar! I look forward to watching your progress over the year, though I think to be fair you're already a long way ahead of quite a few of us in this area!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Lego 'self-building' animation
« on: January 31, 2010, 01:21:38 am »
Thanks guys! Ensoniq5 - Time for a renaissance, perhaps?! captaindrewi - Lego comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all the bricks ultimately conform to the same very simple grid. Having 'snap to grid' turned on in the gui throughout modelling (and assembling the models in the scene) made the processes as quick and easy as working with the real thing.

Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / Re: A File Request
« on: January 27, 2010, 03:37:58 pm »
B++, as noted on the 'Resources' page, under the heading 'Other Useful Resources', the MS utility Conv3ds can freely convert .3ds files (which Anim8or can currently export to) to .x format - the app is included in the MSSDK (mssdk/bin/DXUtils/XFiles). If you don't have the SDK, you can get it from Microsoft. Alternatively, you can just dl the app here: The app is buried in the .zip file, located in the 'boat_sample' directory.

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Lego 'self-building' animation
« on: January 27, 2010, 07:37:11 am »
Thanks, hiho. The second vehicle uses exactly the same pieces, there are no cheats in terms of sly additions / removals. There are a few dodgy overlaps, though, as I didn't quite have the patience to ensure none of them collided whilst reforming! Fortunately the questionable youtube movie quality helps hide that   ;D

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Re: Lego 'self-building' animation
« on: January 26, 2010, 10:17:21 pm »
Thanks, Indian8or. Yep, all modelled myself. It was a rare and pleasant opportunity to have the 'snap to grid' turned on throughout the modelling process!

Finished Works and Works in Progress / Lego 'self-building' animation
« on: January 26, 2010, 11:12:21 am »
In the quiet weeks after christmas, I decided to have a go at a short lego animation in the style previously used in TV adverts and currently on their website. It was also a way to remember how to build a variation of the standard model. I was reasonably pleased with the result, so here it is![/youtube]]http://www.

Rendered with v.95 scanline renderer, four lights and some VERY soft shadows. Total render time in the region of four days, can't be sure as I did it in pieces. C&C welcome!
Thanks for looking

Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / Re: Is this a known problem with ART?
« on: January 16, 2010, 07:39:11 pm »
But it still produces a 'flat' look to the image, hiho, as the ambient component doesn't react to the positioning of lights within a scene. So every face, whether facing a light or not, will show just the ambient colour, producing the grey areas seen in these images.

Congratulations to Tof for winning, but to both of you for outstanding entries: it really wasn't easy choosing who to vote for!

Anim8or v0.98 Discussion Forum / Re: Is this a known problem with ART?
« on: January 16, 2010, 01:47:22 am »
Sounds absolutely right to me, Kyle. I must confess I hadn't used ART to that degree as I still tend to stick with v.95. Always happy to be corrected! I do remain fairly sure this is the cause of flatness in your images, but I guess it's more a 'known limitation' than a 'bug' as such?

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