Caught this yesterday and forgot to post it. Jeff Gabor posted two quicktimes. First, a 4-screen breakdown of several character animations for the latest Ice Age movie: Reference, Blocking (rough animation), Splining (model refinements), and Lighting. The other is an evolution reel, from rough poses all the way through final polish.
They’re large quicktimes, so be warned, but it’s worth the wait to get a small glimpse at how complex 3D scenes are built. All too often, it seems animators and designers want to jump right in and work on the final product, skipping steps. This is a reminder that as with nearly everything, it’s best to start from a general, big picture perspective, then refine as you go along.
[via Motionographer & someone on Twitter, but couldn’t find it anymore]
The ICT Graphics Lab at USC has developed a 3D projection system. This is not your run-of-the-mill, 3D glasses required projection. Rather, it uses a rotating mirror and specially designed circuitry with an off-the-shelf projector. The result is a projection which you can actually move around and view in 3D. You really have to watch the video on their page to get the full effect, or rather, partial effect. To get the full effect, I’d imagine you’d need to see it in person.
Take a look at this 3D morphable model face demo by Volker Blantz. The automated matching of Tom Hanks’ face is amazing, but I was even more impressed with the Audrey Hepburn and Mona Lisa sequences.
Apparently, it can sample multiple facial models and extract bone structures, facial expressions, gender, and more. It does seem to approach the uncanny valley, and at other times caricature, but overall, this is very impressive. I guess that’s one step closer to S1m0ne.