Moving !

I’ve moved to a new server.
Here’s my new website address:
http://animengine.org


Adventure Game Times

I will cap off this blog site with a compile from the first released game I worked on. An adventure in a dog town controlled by the fascist Chegga The Dog. All graphics created in Real3D / Realsoft3D (an old 3D software from the Amiga days) – I raytraced these on mine and the work buddies 386 computers. These were the days. I made up all the shit that happens in this game.

Here’s a link to the play-through and nice, nostalgic comments from players

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Rigging Work

Completed four high detailed creature rigs for Kojo Productions – HumanIK, The Setup Machine 2, and custom facial setups.

Demo

 

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Karate App for iOS

Karate Edge Sparring is released last week. I’m quite happy with this project, I’ve been able to incorporate high sample rate motion capture + motion editing into a training application that really makes sense .. on mobile, with some funky interactive controls, all done in C# on unity engine.


POLYMEDIA

POLYMEDIA is a print artists collective run in Melbourne and I contributed a sketch / print technique involving the ubiquitous toner-based office printer. Ancient meets modern.

POLYMEDIA

POLYMEDIA


Realtime Character Setup – Skylanders

PipRussel

Contracted by Autodesk representative Storm FX to set up some live character networks using Motion Builder for EB Games Expo. Two characters, live event, realtime streaming of motion capture and facial and hands animation to be triggered with three or four operators using gamepads and mocap suit. Even some live camera switching. Completed in two weeks – I used relation constraints tree to build a really complex logic network. Sort of like a puppet in software.

IMG_0569

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Exhibiting at PAX 2013

PAX 2013. Thousands of lovely Melbournians and some internationals have passed through our exhibition stand. And many have trialed an early version of Ancient Future Fighter – possibly the only 3d Muay Thai multiplay video game in existence ! Brave souls – we enjoyed ourselves and will probably be back for PAX 2014 !!


Muay Thai Game Prototype Here

I’ve been developing a video game based on Muay Thai

Here’s a link to where I upload playtest builds.

FightPose

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Unity Game Prototype – Bike Race

Extending the Unity base tutorial with:
1. Modifying of Car Tutorial for more ‘arcade’ handling – more manageable physics needed for next step ..
2. Merging in a waypoints solution to automatically drive cars around the whole track
3. Converting from a car race to a bike race – assets/animation in Motion Builder, physics setup, some custom player control, pelotons/groups and fine-tuning the code and assets, for a solid looking prototype.

2 Weeks development for this.

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Character Work – Automated Speech

Example of some character work which combines auto-speech recognition, motion capture based body, and some crafty model/paint/rig.. Realtime rendered in Motion Builder.


Characters

Screenshots of the 3d facial sculpt, and texture for character creation
Sculpting and Painting in Mudbox, works by KD
[nggallery id=22]

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Carnival Hammer Game


Next animation production

A current 3d Animation production – which links into the Fanimania events system. Using the ‘Entertainment Creative Suite’ of tools which are Maya, Motion Builder and Mudbox, As well as a Motion Capture System and some background ‘pipeline and tools’ scripts. This is the sort of production that gets done out in a few weeks of work – with myself and one Generalist assist.

There’s a lot of automation involved in the process, such as dynamics physics solving, body motion capture, as well as various processing scripts that push the production through a graphics production pipeline. So in one sense this sort of production is quite technical – a bit like technical animation work for games. The good thing here is that ANY part of the production can be altered at any time – and the scripts and project setup mean that the production can be generated again start to finish with the change propagated through.

There’s a whole bunch of creative input too though – the cartoon rendering style, the motion editing, camera work, pretty careful integration of character and environment.


More animated character work

We’ve had to put on hold short film efforts. I’ve been working for the last few months out of the post production dept at FreehandTV doing some good things with Motion Builder / Maya / Mudbox.

Here’s two weeks worth of work for Fanimania, who I’m working for here and hope things to grow in a good and very animated way 😉


Short Film Previsualisation


Film Previsualisation Created in Motion Builder
Soundtrack “Reflection” Silver Bone Tone

This is more a side-project where some important processes could be practiced
The piece is not far from a completed set of film shots. This one remains as a several weeks ‘practice’.
Motion Capture for robotic type character
Customisation of Human skeleton, to something slightly different with regards to rigging and retargeting
Creation of visual storyboard, script, cinematography
Organising a reasonably complex scene and character into coherent set of data and visualising, pretty close to render-ready


Tech Notes Automated ‘Two Elbows’ Rig Extension

Details on construction of the Arms Rig Extension to handle the structure of creatures arms.

The key thing here is that the rig works within a motion capture pipeline.

Motion Capture drives the character, the rig extension is ‘packaged’ alongside the character and solves the non-human bits, at all times.

1. Description of a technical solution to automatically generate solve for a 3 bone arm chain (shoulder to wrist).

The Seraph character has three articulations from shoulder to wrist. All the character animation for the project is driven from motion capture data, where the regular biped (and me the actor) has two bones in the chain from shoulder to wrist. Shots are built using Motion Builders Story Editor, using a Character track. Since animation clips are brought into Story as externally referenced files, and these files can be updated at any time – example for cleaning data – the cleaning of data was able to be done after most of the shots were built in Story. Ideal that animation data remains within a Character for all steps of the project. Character Extension is the solution. I’ve built a system in Motion Builder consisting of an IKChain constraint which solves the 3 bone chain, based on the nodes in the 2 bone chain, and minimal extra fussing. Animation of pole vector node is all that’s required (Quite easy as they are parented to upper spine anyhow and generally positionally fine for motion of the motion coming through).

The IKConstaints parameters are the skeleton start and end node, a Pole Vector node and the End Effector node. Three extra Parent/Child constraints are made. 1) End Effector Child/Parent links to the regular Character Wrist Effector on the Control Rig. 2) The First chain of the 3 bone skeletons Parent/Child links to the regular Shoulder Effector in the Character Control rig. It only links translation though – rotation is handles by the IKChain constraint for this bone. 3) A Parent/Child constraint to bind the Pole vector node to a suitable part of the body such that it has to be hand-animated only in a few instances where arm pose is extreme.

This system, consisting of the IKChainConstraint, the three extra constraints, the the 3-bone chain ‘extra’ skeleton are packaged into a Motion Builder Character Extension, and hence can be available as part of the character – including handing in Story mode, and inclusion of it’s data for import / export fbx Character data. (Option exists to include Character Extensions as part of Character data). Also Preferred angles are set in the skeleton chain also since Tpose and the character model itself meant that the initial chain (Stance Pose) was not nicely curved ready for a 3 bone chain solve. Attention was given to make sure the new 3-bone chain has optimal rotational axis (joint rotation), as well as optimal axis solve order for each joint, for purpose of the chain solver. Rotational axis consistent, Y axis pointing bone direction. Axis order Euler XYZ for each (except last node which isn’t important for the solve). The regular two-bone chain remains in project. Motion Builder recognises it as input data for Characterisation. However skinning binds the model to the 3-bone chain instead. After setup, the system remains stable, and solves nicely, and works in Story.

Red = Conventional 2-bone structure
Green = Character Extension 3-bone structure. Sky’s the limit really on which extensions can be added to conventional control rig.

3BoneChainSetup2.png

Animation Contracting – Plastic Wax

Recently completed a month of animation contracting for Plastic Wax animation studio. Previously I’ve done some lighting / rendering work with them and this time around it was animating in Motion Builder for a new cutscene they have in production.


Motion Capture for FuelVFX. Tomorrow, When The War Began

Motion capture and motion editing done for Fuel VFX. Providing on-site motion capture technician services, and also using our own motion capture studio, we provided, edited and processed motion captured performance for FuelVFX to complete a crowd simulation script and crowd shot for the film. It’s a nice big important (I think) shot, and a great showcase for using our facilities on a high-end feature. The film is due for release later in the year, and I got word that I’ll get a credit for this one as a motion capture technician. Nice.

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