Category Archives: 3D

Life Wisdom #1: Never be Ahead of Your Time

Good old Jeff! I mean evil old Jeff. ;)
Just found out (!) via watching the Disney TR2N screening footage that the original movie Tron (Walt Disney Pictures, 1982) was never nominated for best special effects. It’s mind-boggling. Academy said they cheated because they used computers instead of… I dunno, film processing machines?

And after this, somehow, all movie companies turned cheaters.

I sort of always assumed that naturally, it won all special FX movie awards there were. Not so among the fuzzy-logic uninformed rabble.

Please call it an “Academy” when the members have received some sort of “standard, SUB-standard” training :)


Call me MELman!

Today saw a foray into uncharted terrain – wonderful MEL-land. Well, wonderful and taxing. I tried to bend my brain around a problem that other MEL tools didn’t seem to have solved – a proper backface culling toggle, regardless of what you’re doing.

MEL is the scripting language of Maya which allows you to customize it and create extra functions useful for 3D work. I was too impatient to get started to ask in forums, and Maya Help didn’t answer my specific questions. But by experimenting and finding a very few sources of info on the net I got an inkling on how to proceed.

I spent a good two hours on said problem until I broke it down into three special cases and “ignoring component mode”, since Maya can go into vertex or whichever mode without ever going into component mode. I finally cracked it, and added some (for me, and perhaps others) useful functions.

It certainly will help me modeling. I’ll have a think again tomorrow. If I can make it really good I will upload it to highend3d or someplace. It was a big relief when it finally worked flawlessly, and a very satisfying session of ‘coding’. Maybe I can have some fun with this.


Whipping Out the Sharpener

Today was cause for celebration. For I was trusted to create a 3D character and animate it for a five second spot in a TV commercial! Time to clean the drawing board I used for drawing cartoons. Nip half a dozen fresh, clean paper sheets from the 500-pack and get started! Oh yes, and whip out the sharpener.

It really was a lot of fun getting aquainted with the tools of old. I discovered that if I made the sketches twice the size of my old cartoon characters, I had more control. I really enjoyed myself, inventing middle-aged men of all shapes while listening to 70s music on original vinyl :)

I’ve done about a dozen sketches so far, of which half will be presented. But I think I will continue tomorrow morning, to see if I can’t conjure up another good one.

I won’t do any 3D until I know which one is selected by the client, but I will experiment with making cartoon style eyes look good when rendered. I can’t believe how good the timing of all this was, with me learning rigging just in time!
pencil
^ I use one of those, only smaller.