Bird Flight

November 30, 2010

Brendan Body has a fantastic tutorial post on his blog about bird flight and other observations, here’s an excerpt;

Swimming is the closest thing we experience to flying, and it is tempting to animate bird flight like an airborne swim-cycle. Because of the vast difference in density between air and water, this can often lead us astray in a number of ways.

As you can see the animator has positioned the wings in the first image up and forward, then they move backward and down, pushing the air down behind, propelling the bird forward. It makes sense, right?

In fact, the exact opposite is true. As the bird’s wings move downwards, they are pushed forward and then rotate back as they return to the up position. The reason for this is simple once you understand lift, and if you’d like an explanation click below. As a general rule the slower the bird is flying, the further forward it’ll push it’s wings to generate extra lift, the faster a bird is flying the less it’ll push it wings forward.

Another important way to show effort during flight is not through activity in the wings, it’s in the hips. The amount of vertical hip movement increases with the effort the bird is exerting. As you can see in the video above*, the eagle has a lot of vertical hip movement when it first takes off, but as it’s speed increases, and the flight requires less effort, the hip translation decreases.

His blog, is a goldmine.

For the first time ever, they’re including an Animation category for Dominance War! I can’t describe how incredibly cool this is, every year they receive -tons- of kick ass entries like these ;

But it was always concept art and models, this year however we finally have the chance to Animate. I cannot wait for the main competition to begin!

Below are the rules for the preliminaries:

You have 4 weeks to finish a short 6 second fight sequence between two characters with the following specs:

Create a fight sequence where one character is the attacker and one character is the receiver of the attacks. The receiver should start standing, but finish dead on the floor.

Mandatory: Use and rig two of the above 3d base meshes for your character animation. They must be different models.

Keep in mind, when animating your characters, they should reflect two of the 4 character classes found above: War General, Technomage, Shadow, or Corrupted.

No textures or coloring allowed. Entire Mesh should be a single color. Optional: You may show the wireframe on your rendered animation (the wireframe can be a uv map texture applied to your model).

No sound fx or music allowed. Animation should be silent.

You may NOT alter the base mesh, but you may add up to 500 extra triangles per character for gear, clothing, appendages, and weapons. No pets or extra sentient beings (including pet robots). Example: 500 extra tris for character #1 PLUS 500 extra tris for character #2. Optional: At your discretion, you may modify (add more lines/topology) the joints of each model if it helps its movement in your animation. This joint modification does not count towards your 500 extra triangles/character.

All lighting solutions and rendering solutions from any software package is allowed.

For this warm up challenge, you may not use special effects, particles, or triangles and textures for special effects, magic effects, etc.

6 seconds maximum for entire fight sequence. No extra time for lengthy credits.

Important: Your animation presentation must include your team’s logo emblem and your two chosen character class names (War General, Shadow etc) in your animation. It can be on the floor, it can be within an overlay that frames your shot, it’s up to you. Optional: You may add your name, website, and/or contact details alongside your team’s logo and character class names if you choose. For logos, visit – Here

Animations should be uploaded onto Youtube or similar site and you must paste the url to your animation in the submissions page for animation.


November 21, 2010

CGTalk has a great production focus on Megamind. I haven’t watched it yet, I keep meaning to but now it seems it might close before I’ve had a chance to watch.. Bluray release it is!

Look before you leap

November 18, 2010

This is from a local newspaper, reproduced online, an excerpt:

Since 2003, some 40 animation and visual effects companies have opened here. Among them: Lucasfilm’s Singapore arm, which is on an expansion spree as it gears up to work on its new animation movie slated for global release in 2013.

Now that the fairy dust has settled – thanks in part to the economic crisis last year – it may be possible to analyze who is entitled to dream big in animation.

In the last year, at least three home-grown firms with animation aspirations have had their hopes dashed due to cash-flow problems.

Two have folded, while while one – which spoke to the Sunday Times on condition of anonymity – is on the brink of bankruptcy.

No longer around are Big Communications and Mega Media – both 10-year-old media companies.

It sounds cynical but it’s true. Many countries are still reeling from the aftermath of the economic downturn and we’re no exception, especially since we have virtually no domestic market to speak of.

I’m back

November 4, 2010

Work on Dream Defenders kept me really busy, growing pains from starting a new series and all, but things are finally settling down.

I have so many unfinished projects on this blog I don’t even know where to start, but first things first. I will finish the dance clip ive planned out so many months ago.

After that, I have several things on my radar; a shot-by-shot analysis of Ratatouille, followed by Porco Rosso, and then compile a 2010 reel and upload it here. Busy busy busy.

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