Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Robot Attack! Part One

It's a battle between a robot and a superhero! This is an attempt at showing a good understanding of timing and weight. I plan on adding an ending segment eventually. It's planned out and the animation will probably be done sometime soon, but the real issue is a lack of rendering power now that I'm out of school and limited to my own hardware, which in no way resembles a render farm. It'll happen sometime soon!

Morpheus Rig by Josh Burton. LowRobo Rig by Ila Soleimani.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Here's an animation created using motion capture data as reference. The mocap data was essentially used to bypass the blocking stage typical of key-framed animation. That said, several things were completely re-animated, including the left arm and the entire spine, neck, and head. Everything else was significantly adjusted, taking the principles of animation into account. The mocap system at ETSU doesn't capture fingers or facial animation, so that's all me. Added the cloth sim for a bit of an extra effect.

Thanks to Josh Burton for the Morpheus Rig, and thanks to Tim Lewis for the shotgun model and texture. Audio clip is from "Army of Darkness" (1992).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quadruped Walk + Run Cycle

Here's a realistic set of quadruped cycles, animated using a lion as reference for the walk and a cheetah for the run, in an attempt to create some believable motion with an unbelievable creature. I tried to sort of re-invent the wheel with this one... I think it's a little too easy to just grab cycle charts off the web that tell you how to time out all your movements. So with this, I decided to use reference footage and figure out my own timing and weight.

Thanks to Chad Vernon for creating the awesome Nico rig.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mocap Dance

This is some edited motion capture data from East Tennessee State's Organic Motion system. It uses a large area as a sort of stage, and doesn't require any special suit or ping pong ball apparatus to capture data. This has the benefit of making it relatively easy for any student to be able to use it whenever they want, but as a consequence the data can be a bit dodgy, so more tweaking is required to create a finished product.

For those not familiar with what it's like to work with this sort of thing, the process generally involves cleaning up any problem areas, such as spikes on the graph editor (which usually result in a body part jumping wildly for a few frames), and keeping limbs from passing through each other.

The mocap system at ETSU does not capture any finger or facial motions, so all of that is animated by me. I also reanimated or tweaked other areas to suit my own taste.

Thanks to Josh Burton for the awesome Morpheus Rig!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Gingernut Gets It

This one's a short acting animation, hoping to convey some tension and, uh, maybe distress? Depends on if you're worried about the ginger.

Audio clip from "Hot Fuzz" (2007).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Misc: Camera Projection

Here I have a couple of images from a lighting and rendering experiment using camera projection to insert 3D objects into a photograph.

My goal with this was to try and make something unbelievable look believable. We know that giant robots don't exist yet, but through creative use of camera projection (the original photograph of the scene is projected onto 3D geometry that I designed to mimic the layout of the ground and buildings), HDR lighting, raytrace shadows, depth of field, and ambient occlusion, you get a pretty interesting result. Can you tell that the windmills on top of the building are fake too?

This served a double purpose; I created the sword model for a project that some friends were working on, and I also used it as another camera projection project for one of my college classes. Cloth simulation as an added bonus.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


These are some really old projects that I like to see every now and then just to remember the good old days.

This was the fourth and final entry into the FIRST Autodesk Visualization Competition that I was able to participate in. The contest is a yearly event at the FIRST Robotics Competition, hosted by Autodesk. I was lucky enough to participate all four years of high school, and this was without a doubt our magnum opus. As the animation team leader, I was responsible for coordinating the group effort to get this video done in 4 weeks, as well as being a major part of every aspect of production. This video represents a huge amount of effort on the part of a bunch of self-taught high-schoolers, and it all paid off when we placed in the Top 5 in the world, out of several hundred entries, as judged by industry professionals from Autodesk. Not only was this one of the most exciting accomplishments of my youth, it was what got me started into this crazy field in the first place.

I'm adding this just for fun. It's my first attempt at character animation after moving past the fundamental exercises (bouncing ball, pendulum, etc.). I know, the camera cuts probably make the animation a bit hard to follow, and many of the basic principles were probably broken, but I think it's always a good idea to look to the past to see how far you've truly come.

Till next time!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


This is a chroma key project from my Motion Tools II class at ETSU. The goal was to create a virtual science fiction-esque room with After Effects, and my personal goal was to make the "room" work from multiple angles, as can best be seen in the over-the-shoulder shot. Thanks goes to Jacob Elkins for making some weird motions in front of the green screen!