Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Never a dull moment...

So, bet you can't guess who was roaming the animation cubes tonight?
James Baxter himself! I had always heard that he occasionally visits the school to help out students and with 5 days to go---tonight was the night. I passed him twice around the cubes, but I was way too intimidated to even try to talk to him, and it definately appeared like he was there for certain students. The rest of us were peeking around corners with big eyes, acting like giddy school kids(I kid, not everybody was crawling the walls to see him.)--lol.

Aside from that, I spent the day dusting off Maya with a new rig I found online.

Whenever I could, I'd playblast a version just to kind of show the way I work. I have about 4 versions from the first pass to final, but didn't include them in this movie. With this guy I tried something different: linear tangents instead of my usual stepped/clamped keys then spline everything. This "first pass" isn't entirely my first pass, but certainly a very early step compared to the final version(like adding a floor, making him actually cycle, and squashy foot action). Lots of bugs with the first cycle, but I ironed the majority of them out by the final version(he still 'pops' and I'm aiming to fix that later, among foot issues). Only crashed Maya a grand total of 5 times---and it's not even a full second of animation. Amazing!
Fun little rig though, definately plan on doing some more lively pieces with the pooch. He doesn't have any facial controls though, so he's permanently stuck with that expression on his face.
Definitely need to dedicate this weekend to Maya...been too long since I really animated in it and I'm really feeling the rust. I do have about 3 personal, not assigned by any teacher, 3D W.I.P projects so hopefully can wrap up 1 or 2 this week and get back into my Maya groove.

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