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'Thinking Outside the Box'- The Bob Animations

I give you the first of 'The Bob Animations.' I hope you enjoy this little animation. The next one is already in production!!!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Project 4: The Fantastic Voyage- (Some Render Stills)

I think I may have finished animating today... Maybe. But I won't count my chickens until I've batch rendered all my scenes and completed render layers on the close ups and finally pasted them into after effects to view the whole thing. In the meantime here are a few shots.

The Golgi Body Close Up

The Mitochondria Close Up

The Nucleus Close Up

The Full Cell

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Project4: The Fantastic Voyage- (Progress Render)

With a lot of help from anyone in my vicinity, I'm slowly but surely animating my scenes again for the full render. Here's a render still, in close-up, at the point in which the Mitochondria is studied in more detail. The coloured background will eventually be replaced in on After Effects with a funky photoshop version, but in the meantime, the colour has given my animation a whole new look.

I have to say, even though the nucleus membrane isn't very purple any more, it looks pretty funky and I'd like to keep it that way! The only issue I have at this moment is that there is a very particular shadow I haven't yet figured out how to delete. Somehow a material has been assigned to my camera rig and a reflection of it does appear very faintly below. I attempted to delete the lambert I believed was the culprit but alas, no joy. So I'll just have to knock out the rigs visibility to be sure on rendering. All the other ring reflections however, I would like to keep, they are part of my cell's universe and they add a nice dimension.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Project 4: The Fantastic Voyage- (Lighting Tests)

Its one of the last things to be done before I finally animate the whole thing and put it together. And it really adds something to the look of the cell I think. I used a mix of directional lights and spotlights to achieve these looks.

1. One directional light- clearly far too dark to see anything.

2. A directional Light and Spotlight from above- matters are improving...

3. Two opposing directional lights and a spotlight from above- This sees everything fairly lit but all have dark shadows below.

4. Two directional lights (from opposite directions) and two spotlights, above and beneath- Now everything is lit up rather brightly, too brightly perhaps

5. Two Spotlights, above and beneath, one directional light- this might be the between ground I have been looking for...

Project 4: The Fantastic Voyage- (UV Mapping and Bump mapping)

So I've been trying to add textures and bump maps to the key organelles within the cell. in my case  this is the Nucleus, Mitochondria and the Golgi Body. Although the Pre-Viz looked OK I feel there was some 'oomph' missing (aside from the lacking text content.)

Golgi Apparatus

So I began with the meanest of the models, the Golgi Apparatus. In order to UV map this I was guided to divide up the body again into the separate 'lumen' (?... I think that is what they are called). I then had to map each one using a mixture of planar and cylindrical mapping. It took me absolutely ages to get this done and I have some terrible seams. So these will have to be covered to my best abilities with the photoshopped textures.

In trying to do a test run I have used both an image and a bump map to create this texture.The bottle green is a little intense so I will probably work on that when I adjust the edges of the images in photoshop. I could still just as easily eradicate the image and keep the bump map so as not to kill off the fairly clean organic look that has been the most common motif in my design. I will have to experiment further.


The next few thumbnails are various tests using a multitude of textures and in some cases colours. At the moment I want the Golgi to look the proper texture... slightly 'blobby', or as though it has been made from thousands of cells.

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                                                   5                                                         6


Next up came a slightly simpler object, or so I thought. The Mitochondria. It was in fact an absolute nightmare to unwrap!! Simon did the whole thing for me. But the result was a far better bump map than previously. Unfortunately, in a bid to sort out the issues I never actually screengrabbed the 'before', I only have the result of Simon's hard work evidenced here.


Finally I look to the Nucleus. The simplest design so far to UV map and texture. 

The subsequent images are developments in which I added the bump map and then added the attributes necessary to the final nucleus I need, unfortunately the last image doesn't come up too well despite being exactly what is needed for my cell. 
1. Addition of the bump map to an opaque lambert
2. Adding transparency to the lambert
3. Finally adding a dark purple lambert to the genetic material within the cell.

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Toolkit Maya- (Pistons, Eyes, Neck and Head)

 So the biped rig looks pretty complete now. I'm relieved to have finally done it. It takes a long while and I'm still not sure some of the joints make sense to me yet, but I'm sure in time I will begin to understand why the skeleton must be this way in order to work a CG character.

My first pair of CG rigged eyes. I love how they move once they are complete.

The piston caused me some problems, certain points wouldn't stay put in the world and trying to see the joints in amongst the wireframe mesh was a bit of a job! This see's me conclude all of the rigging tutorials. Onto the next batch!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Project 4: The Fantastic Voyage- (Pre Vizualization)

Below is the first full attempt at Pre-Viz I have made, complete with sound effects.

I have noticed there are a few issues that could do with being fixed that both can and cannot be seen.
The first big booboo would have to be that I skipped clean over one frame of my final storyboard near the beginning. Not  intentionally- I completely forgot to account for it when animating in Maya and it only struck me recently, having almost completed the pre-viz. For now I will leave it as it is, however this begs the question do I really need to add in that scene...? Its is simply introducing the idea you can tap an organelle once and it reveals a label identifying it. So...

yes ?  no?

Now, apologies for the random pink and yellow lines through the screen, this would be where I forgot to hide the camera rigs when playblasting they are easily fixed. But more irritatingly when playblasting the window that rendered changed in size, so that is why there is that godawful transition in the Golgi Body section as the text box is drawn out.

If you are wondering what the tap in the top left corner is all about, it is where there will be a small logo operating as the 'home' button, so that a user of this app can return to the full view of the cell from the close up of various organelles. This can just about be seen in my storyboard slides....

... It will appear only when the camera is 'in' the cell for a close up and disappear when the camera has reverted to the full view of the cell having been touched.

If there is one big question, it is the speed at which the cell revolves, is it too slow? At the moment is makes a 360 revolution with every 200 frames in Maya (at 25fps) But bearing in mind the idea that this would be an app, you would be interacting with the miniature organelles. If the cell spins too fast, trying to click the organelle you want could prove to be difficult and very annoying.... Whatever happens, the next time round I am going to have to sit and do some maths to ensure I keep those rotations constant!

As a final note, any feedback on this pre-viz would be hugely appreciated!

Project 4: The Fantastic Voyage- (Maya modelling)

I began modelling  the various organelles in the last week of term and completed them towards the end of Easter break. Here are some of the progressions made throughout that building process.

I started with what has to be the most complex looking organelle in the cell. The Golgi Body (or Golgi Apparatus s it is otherwise known.) Consisting of 'flattened sacs' according my research it seemed anything but as straight forward as that. My Golgi Apparatus was created using a number of cylinders cut down, merged together and then rebuilt into full 3D using mirroring. It was then tweaked with endlessly to try and create some different edges nd variation. It somewhat resembles a rocky outcrop in side view.

Next came the Mitochondria, the outer membrane was a cinch to create but that inner membrane, folded up to form the 'cristae' was anything but. It took a lot of fiddling and tweaking to get that going. Unfortunately I forgot to take screen shots of its progress so all I have here is the finished model.

Next up was the Nucleus. I had decided I wanted the nucleolus to actually look like genetic material all tangled up into a dense object within the nucleus, with some free floating ones in the remaining area. So I resorted to using an extrusion and repeating the shape, rotating it to create the bundle seen below. I think it worked fairly well.

Having modelled the key organelles for my animation I looked to creating the remainder. The Ribosome, the Rough and Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum (Reticuli? I have no idea what the plural is.) and finally the Centriole. Their building processes can be seen below.

The Ribosome design was kept simple and so the building of it was much the same. Plus this organelle will be absolutely tiny in the grand scheme of things.

The Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum was created with a chunky extrusion adjusted slightly and then finally had some edges merged together creating this funky finished item.

Rough and Smooth ER (Endoplasmic Reticulum) are very similar except for the presence of ribosomes on the surface of the RER. I thought it made sense to keep their shapes similar with a little differentiation so they could be easily identified within my finished cell. The Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum was created using a duplicate of the SER (Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum) and then covered in duplicates of the earlier created Ribosome.

The Centriole is the last of the organelles to be created. What I understand of it is that it is the organelle has something like tendrils made of tubulin that stretch out and pull apart the genetic material during the cell cycle. With this in mind and previous diagrams displaying it as something sort of star shaped I created mine to be made of tubes.

So finally I placed all the organelles within a cell, it has to be viewed in wireframe to see everything but in any case... One complete cell body!