sky_hye: (010)
Things are settled down again, since Max's return. One of his sailing friends wrote up an interview, found here.

I've been working, of course. That's as it should be. Getting the new computer is delayed until some accessories for it come out next month. I also need to know more about the new version of final cut pro, coming out soon, before I can determine how much computing power I can actually use. No need to buy the most expensive machine, if the software can't use the power.

I've been rewriting the script in the head and portrait segment of the dvd. To better compose the wording, I created the visuals for it over the past week. I'm liking the results. Here are a few images from the process...

I can't seem to embed images from flickr at this time, so I am using links for now:
It was fun building this simple wrap with elastic top and draping it to the model. The wrap was built in Silo and the draping was achieved in Poser 7's Cloth Room.

I built construction line models in Silo and placed them in Poser, attaching them to the model. Shown here is the external contour center line of the face. The model is a morph I created in Silo from the Poser character, Sydney.

In this image: Using the Sketch render feature in Poser 7, I attempted to give an egg volume any amount of transparency to reveal the center line inside, but doing so created a bizarre artifact within -- that imagery inside the egg on the right is the figures and objects in the scene whose visibilities were turned off! Their orientation did not reflect their positions in the scene, either. No tinkering resolved the bug, but the resulting renders were fascinating! The left egg has 0% transparency.

sky_hye: (010)
In my last post I complained all about having to wait for new equipment and software to get this dang job finished on schedule.

Today, I worked on things that didn't require tons of render power. One task involved developing an item in Motion, which is one of the components in Final Cut Studio. It suddenly dawned on me that I could replace some 3D scenes with flat overlay animations in Motion. I just finished testing the concept and must say it looks very cool. Using a few base parts, I can largely demo my method without animating figures in Poser. Well, okay, some 3D animations are necessary, but not nearly as many as I was thinking before. Using Motion is way faster than Poser and it makes much smaller files, too. This means I might actually get my project rough placed in the timeline earlier than first anticipated. Barring unforeseen issues, early 2011 looks possible again.


sky_hye: (011)
I am working with an aging computer. It was a top of the line machine when I bought it for my dvd project. Work was always painful on this machine because of Poser 7. When I originally bought my computer, frame render speed was what it was -- too slow for comfort -- but there was nothing faster on the personal computer market. Poser's bugs drove me nuts, but I couldn't get tech support to fix them, even while acknowledging they existed. The Poser bugs were blatant, not esoteric, but no, they wouldn't get around to fixing those! When Poser 8 came out, I bought it and found it very, very slow on my aging machine. Version 7 is faster. All of the software products I use have much needed updates now, but these will not function properly [or at all] on my aging machine. Even Second Life is reaching a point where I can barely use its most primitive viewer. Its version 2 viewers and all third party viewers are not supported by my clunker's architecture.

I have been waiting for the imminent release of the [several generations later] refresh for my computer much too long. It's been due for months. I can't stand Poser 7 anymore. I can't stand how slow my machine is when I render frames. I can't stand the way it heats up when I attempt render intensive activities of any sort. A few weeks ago, I decided to wait on animation and work only on other parts of my project, but that's not a lot -- mostly just rewriting, and that's nearly done now. Like so many professional users, I am anxiously checking rumor sites for news of an anticipated release date. The latest rumor sets its arrival anywhere from late June or July to October! Yikes! October? This is very out-of-character for this machine's refresh schedule. It's already overdue.

My original anticipated video completion date of early 2011 is beginning to look iffy. The original estimation was based on a belief that I would be using a new, much faster machine with improved software by now. Now it seems I may not finish until mid 2011, maybe later.

sky_hye: (012)
When this project is over, and if it finally bears fruit, I'm throwing a Guilty Party.
I've been saying this ever since I was ...pause... in my 20's... and that's a long time!

The thing that keeps me from throwing that party is, I haven't fulfilled the second half of the requirement. I haven't achieved a point in life where my preferred work is self-sustaining. I remain more determined to reach career success than seek the enjoyment of friends. I love to visit with friends. I believe they enjoy my company, too. But I learned that I can't socialize and reach career success at the same time.

This video project is huge. Before that, running a school was huge. All-consuming activities like these leave little time for friendships. Painting full time is how I crave to spend my time again, but this has not yet proven to be self-sustaining work. Had it been, I could have found balance in life long ago. I hate to think how happy decades of my life would have been, had I found success early and never suffered this guilt over neglected friends.

As I see it, the only cure for this guilt is to power through my current project and get it on the market. Looking at it, I believe the dvd will be so good, it will surely sell well. If it does as well as I think it will, and if it opens out a block of time for painting, I will at last be able to reconnect with neglected friends.

I have a growing list of names that only evoke excruciating feelings of guilt when I think of them. They don't deserve to be associated with pain. I care for these people and should only feel happiness when I think of them. How do I reconnect when the pain of guilt stands in the way? My solution has always been to reach that obscure state of career stability, and then throw a big Guilty Party with great food in a beautiful outdoor setting. I will come clean, confess my guilt, and accept recriminations as they come -- you know, just get it all out there and completely over with. Maybe after that, I will be free of this enormous burden of guilt.
What will it feel like, I wonder?


sky_hye: (Default)
After feeling pretty darned pleased about my progress last week, I'm disappointed with the results I'm getting this week.

I've been working on an important section about the artist's body. Measuring requires position awareness. One of the toughest things to convey to students is that there is an imaginary projection plane from which measurements are taken. The section I'm working on now is where I convince the viewer that movement by the point of view, the projection plane, or the subject leads to trouble. Depending on what moves, and in which direction, a) scaling discrepancies, b) surface visibility alterations, or c) a combination of the two develop. It's all tedious material, and while memorization is not required, the listener must not zone out. To be effective, the explanation must be short but complete. Deciding what to show and what to say is harrowing. You see, I feel under pressure to make progress right now, and since this particular section is key to the premise, the pressure is heightened. This has got to be nice. The right music will definitely help, and there will be text overlays, which will certainly re-enforce any important points. I can't work on music or text overlays until the script is finalized. :-P

This clip is a demonstration of just how unformed the section is right now. The timing is too fast. The voice over is not properly placed -- mainly because it's still in flux. When I figure out the best arrangement, the solution will seem obvious. No one will guess that this part was troublesome. The window structure in this clip is the projection plane, materialized for demonstration purposes. Normally, the projection plane is imaginary. Placement of the imaginary projection plane varies according to the measuring technique.

sky_hye: (Default)
I needed to solve a problem with my demonstration animations. How was I going to point out elements in 3D scenes?

At last, I hit on something I like. I create snapshots and, as necessary, move and resize them to point at and discuss. Here is a snippet from the sequence where I put the method into play. As before, this is all rough placement and subject to change. The voice over is placeholder quality, only. The timing and shaping of the parts will be adjusted and refined later. The script may change, too. But this is a big improvement and gives me a lot of hope about the feel of this project.

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It's been a rough week, dvd-wise. In spite of having a clear direction, it was slow going. The main trouble was knowing what could be done, but not knowing how to do it. I whacked at various filters in Final Cut Pro for a day but failed to make a feathered, masked image move properly over another image. The next day, I used Photoshop to create the scene in a 65 frame animation, but it ended up ugly in the timeline. That brought me to dinner time. Rather than fight into the night, I gave it a rest. Nearly every time I hit a wall like this, then get a decent night's sleep, things fall into place the following day. Sure enough, yesterday morning all the tools seemed crystal clear to me, and my motion sequence came together in a matter of minutes!

That's not what I'll show this time, though.

With one animation problem solved, I was able to turn my attention to something easy by comparison. The poses were fun to create and I'm generally happy with the renders. Plus, they look fabulous in the timeline on the color video monitor!

The illustrated story unfolds behind the cut... )

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This is a shot from a long scene about parallax in my dvd. This scene is used as part of a discussion about the entrance pupil and photography. Later, a camera appears in the scene, demonstrating good and bad pivot points for tiled shooting. It's really tedious, like much of measuring is. I believe one reason no one has written a good book about measuring for artists is it's just plain tedious -- tedious to read about, tedious to do, and tedious to construct a legible discussion on the topic. Luckily, a little joy can be extracted from the creation of the dvd. My hope is that nice looking scenes that clarify information as succinctly as possible will make enjoyable the task of finishing this (for me) and watching it, for the viewers. I kind of had a good time putting these poses together today. By the way, I built the chair you see here. It's the first thing I made in Silo. :)

sky_hye: (Default)

I'm sure I will be posting quite a bit about my dvd here, so I think it's time to introduce my animation characters.

Each 3D character was altered from its default state. Each went through Silo to make it just so, then exported back to Poser as a morph of the original character. Each also received new or modified textures to go along with its new persona. It took quite a bit of time to work out all the problems that developed. It would take a very long time to describe every aspect of the entire process. But I want to discuss it with you, so this will provide enough info to spark specific questions. Behind the cut, you can see the original models, just as they look when first loaded into the scene, side by side with the final characters.
See all the characters behind the cut... )


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June 2013



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