Month 22 Reflections

I made it!!!

My final class for this degree was, The Project and Portfolio VII: Computer Animation. This course uses progress monitoring to evaluate my discipline topics by reinforcing production deadlines and constraints. The course encouraged me to use higher-order thinking to create quality assets based on compiled reference material for use in their student portfolio.

The DemoReel required three assets. I continued to add textures to the ScyFy hallway scene, and I am pleased with how it turned out.

The CityScape was my most praised scene at the Portfolio VI viewing.

My third scene was a Valley. It received positive comments at the viewing and they thought the scene was reminiscent of, Lord of the Rings. In that scene, I focused on Color Correction.

Below is a link to my Art Station and DemoReel.

Thanks for the support and taking the time to read my stories. Graduation is on Friday at two, and I am number 91 in the walking order.

There is a live stream link on the Full Sail website.

https://nerdzgarage.artstation.com/resume

https://go.fullsail.edu/about-graduation/live-stream

Till Next Month! Dylan


Reflections Months 20 & 21

Been busy so here are my last two months reflections.

Portfolio 6

PROJECT AND PORTFOLIO VI: COMPUTER ANIMATION
The Project and Portfolio VI: Computer Animation course combined hands-on learning experiences. This encouraged me to use higher-order thinking to create quality assets, with a focus in compositing, based on compiled reference material for use in a student portfolio.
This was my best learning experience at Full Sail. I started by filming a hallway at a Disney Resort, hoping it had enough tracking to use for my project. Unfortunately, it did not have enough tracker points on the wall. My concept was to take a present-day hallway and turn it into a Star Trek hallway with 3D models. Entirely CG for walls and doors.
My teacher found a hallway that had defined corners, lights, and tracking. I worked for hours and hours to create CG elements. I had my friend, Adam, create a Star trek Turbo Lift that I added and textured. The tracking proved to be difficult to complete correctly. I went in off-hours to get guidance from my teacher, and it seemed that I had learned the hard way to fix things, and he showed me the easy to do everything.
I feel pretty good about how it turned out and will continue to work on it for Portfolio 7.

Demo Reel Sept 5


The second-class this month was ANIMATION PRODUCTION.
The Animation Production course develops the ability to plan, coordinate, and study assets, using traditional methods to demonstrate my strengths as 3-D artists. Working from a photograph and video reference, I learned how to develop characters, environments, vehicles, rigs, and animation ideas.
I had a verbal prompt that was 6 seconds that I had to build an animated scene to match.

This class was fine, and teachers were helpful, it’s just that animation is not in my field, and it was taking time away from my Portfolio project, which goes on my demo reel.

Raw Mo Cap Data in Cortex
Final Product

Last month I had MOTION CAPTURE learning techniques to digitize motion, edit sequences, and develop an understanding of simulated motion. I explored motion-capture setup, shooting, data tracking, skeleton retargeting, and animation correction and enhancement. I loved this class, this teacher and wish I had taken it sooner because I love working in Mo Cap. We designed a scene that included three actions, then filmed it in the Mo Cap room, (my teacher was my actor) then I take the data from the performance and clean it. Once it is clean, I assign it to a skeleton, then a rig which is the character and then animates it. This could only be done at school in the motion capture room on their computers. Did I already say I love this class??

Raw Mo Cap Data on Cotex
Complete Scene


Also, this month PRODUCTION MODELING which course is making model development as it applies to production in the animation industry. I explored a variety of topics, including developing surface flow, anatomically correct models, and pipeline techniques. It was a long, tedious process using a completely different workflow then I am used to. All and all, it was fun, and the people in my class were amazing.


Next Month Last Month!
See you at the end of the road!
Dylan

Historical Archetypes and Mythology Reflection Month 18

The Historical Archetypes and Mythology course introduced me to the connections between history, mythology, and iconic archetypes and the influence these relationships have had on classical and contemporary cultures of the world. Color symbolism was also explored to better appreciate folklore, heroes, and monsters of various cultures.

This month was incredibly interesting. I love mythology, and I thought I was versed in the subject; however, this class had about seventy-five percent new material that I did not know. Specifically, the Egyptian mythology I had learned about in high and had done my own, but I never knew it was so censored in high school.

I feel that I have a clear perspective on how to find and describe the Hero’s Journey. In fact, I cannot stop seeing it when I watch TV. I think that my paper on The Magicians was very thought out and my favorite essay I wrote this month. The paper on spiritual creatures was adventure into Japanese folklore. I love everything Japanese so picking a creature was difficult because there are so many to choose from. I ended up writing about the Tengu. He had an interesting evolution going from villain to hero over the centuries of verbal legends. Someday I hope to go to Japan and see the statues of Tengu in front of temples.

I did watch the required video on The Journey RA and then binged every video they offered. I found them so interesting.

This class had made me curious again. I have been so focused on the art that I have not read or watched anything for just fun on my own. I will remember to take time in the next months to do that because it was good for my mind and soul, like therapy.

This course has helped me delve deeper into the back story or mythology of the series I am writing. I have made myself a goal to write the Hero’s Journey for my show “Half Note Bridge.”

Till next month.

Dylan Smith

Reflections Month 17

Compositing and Scene Finishing


The Compositing and Scene Finishing class broadens the base of my knowledge by offering insight into the process of combining computer-generated imagery (CGI) with video and film elements. By learning what happens when rendered representation is integrated into the post-production process, I will better understand the core principles of proper compositing and finishing practices.
I continued to node-based compositing systems, 3-D camera tracking tools, and common rendering methods used in current post-production pipelines.

Pass One
Pass Two
Pass Three
Pass Four
Pass Five
Pass Six
Pass Seven
Pass Nine



Final Pass Turned below.


Final Pass

This is all the passes I made and had to make a CD render in Nuke. I was given all the pieces required, separately and the goal was to over four weeks put all the parts to together to match in an organized workflow.


It was much trial and error to get it to blend. The lecture videos were beneficial because they offered a step by step process.
This was my favorite class so far. I was fun as hell.


See you next month when I will be making a scene of my own design.
Dylan

Reflections Month 16 Full Sail University

This month was The History of Visual Communications which taught how people have used the visual arts to communicate stories and concepts throughout history and across disciplines. From cave paintings to digital media, students will explore how visual techniques have been used to convey emotions, break sociocultural boundaries, and share new ideas.

The first week was focusing on nature. We went to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which the central theme was Tiffany glass work. I was tasked to find a favorite piece of art in the Museum. I chose a vase that was delicately painted with cherry blossoms and fish. I looked Japanese.

We had to make concept art that related to our spiritual traditions and nature or landscapes.

I have always been drawn to the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Japanese Art. To me they there are many similarities. They take inspiration from the landscapes and transform them into fantastical or whimsical. The colors are bold and not necessarily the natural color for the subject.

Their landscapes which are described as mystical, lend themselves to the thought of Buddhism.

My arts foundation so far has been more towards the fantasy, mixing real worlds with my imagination. I believe that my art of nature has connections to Buddhism.

My piece was inspired by Vincent Van Gosh and his mixing of the environment around you and the twist of color and textures.

I went to the park and took pictures and videos of many things; flowers, clovers, trees, and birds. My original thought was to put the night sky in place of the clear blue sky. However, this did not work due to technical limitations. I then tried our pool water at night with waves in it. I liked the way it contrasted and matched. I ended up lightening up the water to give it more vibrant.

Next was Wabi Sabi art. The Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi offers an inspiring new way to look at your life. I drove to the Winter park to look for flowers around the lake, but when I walked around I was drawn to this tree because of the striking contrast of living, bright green leaves and dead, the hanging moss. I played with colors and framing.

The next weeks’ focus was Imagination. I had to create a deck of our own design and style. I chose to base it on the Series I want to make, Half Note Bridge, set in a bar in otherworldly New York.

The third week was all about art and propaganda.

The last week was about Imagination.

The main project was Abstract Music Visualization, which was picking a song, listening to it and then describing it through art.

John Newman – Love Me Again

The first time I heard this song, I envisioned, the reality in black and white and fantasy life in vivid color. I used it to make an AMV showcasing this idea.   

AMV showcasing my vision.

The reality is slowly deteriorating in the black and white. Fantasy is taking over. My image has the black and white burning away.

This month was awesome. I had a better connection with the projects in week one and week four. The abstract music visualization and Concepts of nature really resonated with me.

Next month is going to be amazing and totally busy.

See you on the other side.

Dylan

Reflections Month 15 Full Sail University

Character Animation
The Character Animation course focused on my animation skills by exploring methods for creating a movement that is entertaining, appealing, and clearly driven by the characters’ emotions and personality. I worked with classmates to act out and analyze methods for creating solid choices that are unique and interesting. Through discussion and analysis, I was introduced to the importance of evaluating my own work as well as the work of my peers. In other words, being critiqued. This month was very different from other classes because, though the critiques could be harsh, there was no information on how to improve the animations. I sought out clarification from lab teachers and fellow students.

The assignment was to animate to the audio clip and add the lip sync to the dialogue. This was my final turn in pass. I thought adding the lip syncing would be very difficult, however it turned out to be much easier compared to the basic walk. This basic walk had about 20 keys and brake downs for this four second animation. Then there is the addition of ears, tail, foot, hands and emotion. I thought it turned much better than the first project of just the walk and emotion. I fell like I have better understanding of animation

This was the first project and it was to animate a basic walk and an action. I am not really pleased with the final result, but there is never enough time….

This was the first brake down of the animated lip sync. This shows where I started.

This month was much more difficult then the other months so far. I am not sure if the teaching didn’t click or the amount of work in the time given.

Moving on. See you next Month!

Dylan Smith

Reflections Month 14

Project and Portfolio IV: Computer Animation

The Project and Portfolio IV: Computer Animation course combined hands-on learning experiences with summative and formative portfolio assessments. This course uses progress monitoring to evaluate discipline topics by reinforcing production deadlines and constraints. The course encouraged me to use higher-order thinking to create quality assets. This course emphasizes modeling based on compiled reference material for use in my portfolio.

This month in the project of my Demo Reel, I was able to use these techniques, almost all successfully. I was able to perform all tasks relating to the compositing process such as layering of elements, tracking, matte extraction, rotoscoping and color correction. I used 3D tracking to get the point map on my main footage. I used 2D cornerpin tracking to help stabilize the images I layered in. I used a matte extraction to get rid of the skies in all of my assets and replace them. I used color correction on all my assets to the main footage.

I definitely had to troubleshoot all the way through this project. Having only had the basic compositing class, I had an uphill battle with the Demo Reel.

This month was challenging, and I am very novice; however, I went from knowing nothing to teaching myself how the nodes interact and works. This is the first time at Full Sail that my challenges and missteps were not frustrating. It was fun to problem solve the issues. I guess it was a little disappointing that I went to tutoring and there were zero Composting tutors, and no one had any idea of what I was doing or to solve the problem.

My Demo Reel presently shows that I have attempted layering of elements, tracking, matte extraction, rotoscoping and color correction. It shows that with only a little Composting training that the time I have put in, I am determined to become a competent and hireable Compositor.

Career Module IV: Career Strategy and Planning

In this class, I planned and prepared my short-term and long-term career goals. Through the advanced structured learning activities, I built build upon my individualized career research to create a career-strategy map that identifies opportunities and establishes goals and then create a strategy for achieving those goals. I also created two tools that will help me navigate my career path: a targeted employer list and a job tracker.

 Dylan Smith

https://www.nerdzgarage.com/

https://www.instagram.com/nerdzgarage/

Reflections Month 13

Compositing fundamentals This month was the beginning process of compositing which is incredible. I first put a CG truck over a live scene that was filmed on our Back Lot. I made a 3D scene in Nuke. My final project was a group three projects tracking in geometry nodes in 3D. What was easy for me that it was all node-based projects, which is easy to understand once you know what each node does and how they connect to each other. I had trouble with rotoscoping. It is where a manual green screen where you cut out people or things out of the scene, and it has to be done for each stage. It is tedious, and it must be perfect, or it is very noticeable.

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 10.35.38 AM

I had a great conversation with my Compositing teacher the first week about what my discipline would be, and by the third week, I had decided that I love compositing. You can do so much with it, and it is my chosen discipline for my degree in animation.

In my free time, I am working of flushing out the characters for the animated series I am writing. It is called Half Note Bridge and set in otherworldly New York in a time reminiscent of the twenties.

logo_transparent_background1

Fundamentals of Physics My other class this month was fundamentals of physical science and movement This class had online experiments that were interesting. One test was playing Angry Birds to shows physical movement and angles. Each week I had to design a diagram template that showed movement in Inertia, the force of buoyancy, the effect of sound waves and light waves. My favorite was week four when we worked space and dark holes.

Each week you could ask the teacher ANY question, and he would answer it. I asked a question about time travel, and he said that is subjective and not factual… as of yet. My other question was what would happen if two dark holes where in close proximity to each other and his answer was what I suspected, that they would fold into each other. Each month goes at warp speed, and I am learning so much.

These reflections that I am sharing are to help me remember my time at Full Sail University.

Dylan Smith

Reflection Month 12 Visual Development and Rigging

Visual development, which is texturing in high definition in Substance Painter was trying to grasp the first week. Trial and error worked a lot, and the reference key made it more clear. I could not have done it without the references provided. When I got down to scratches dust and grunge maps, that was all me with non-reference assistance. The scraper I made really worked. I was well graded because I was able to hold it in my hand and the look got cleaner because the students were holding it repeatedly. I made it look like the one in my hand (cleaner) rather than the pictures online, and that extra effort was given a high grade. I loved this class and this discipline but, during this month I cracked my toe and was in a boot also adding that I got sick all in the same week. The teachers noticed what I was going through and gave me a chance to rework my models in the final week and adjust my grade. On the pain medicine, I received a 56, and my final grade was a 90. I really connected with that teacher. Every time I work with texturing I love it and hope to work with it in the future.

Rigging, which is adding the bones to a model and creating scripts to the model to make it move. This was what I thought I wanted to be major discipline. This was what I thought I would love, sadly it did not click for me. The scripting of writing the code was not something I enjoyed. Coding is not for me. I know people who really love it, but I did not. What worked for me was making the joints and testing them that they worked and the I-K F-K systems were decent to use. If rigging was just that I would pick that as my discipline.

CHARACTOR RIGGING
Next month I am required to pick my discipline for the rest of my time at Full Sail. I am meeting with a few teachers for guidance, but I am leaning towards Compositing or Look Development.


See you after month thirteen.
Dylan

Reflections Month Eleven Character Modeling Fundamentals

Character Modeling Fundamentals

The best advise I received at Full Sail was, to take a breather if you need it. Knowing how in involved this month was to be, I took last month off and studied and prepared for this month. That being said, it was still a very difficult month. The work load was everyday from when I woke up till late at night and I made it. It was arduous, but so fulfilling.

What did not work well for me was  reference for Modera. It worked the first week, but not all at after that. It was not symmetrical and I had to utilize cannon pictures which were not T Posed.

What worked well this month was making armor in Mya. I really wanted to make a prop scythe for my character, not knowing if I had the time to finish it. I ended up making the chain link for the scythe using a Z Brush tool saved me about two hours work and I was pleased with the look of it.

What I would do differently next time would be to pick two models that I really liked instead of one I that was suggested and one I truly liked. Working on a character I love is much easier and I can work through the night on it without getting frustrated or over tired.  Putting in the extra time on the character I liked did not even feel like work.

There were multiple stumbling blocks for me this month, too many to count. A few major frustrations came from Z Brush constantly crashing and there is nothing I can do to fix that. The faces were very difficult and I eventually had to get help from a tutor, which was beneficial.

In the end, I would of liked to have an extra twenty hours for this month, but I am satisfied with my end product that I turned in.

I looked forward to every lecture this month. The teachers were amazing, funny and answered all billions of my questions.

This month involved:

  • Selecting character reference
  • Adjusting and correcting reference images for character modeling
  • Identifying primary forms in your character reference
  • Identifying secondary forms in your character reference
  • Identifying proportions and landmarks on your character model
  • Breaking down character reference for the modeling process
  • Base level human anatomy
  • Planes of the face
  • Landmarks for the facial features of a character
  • Creating primary forms and structures of a character model
  • Creating the secondary forms and structures of a character model
  • Creating higher level secondary forms and structures of a character model
  • Creating accessories and props for a character model
  • Modeling and sculpting hair for a character model
  • Good topology practices for character modeling
  • Resurfacing for organic surfaces
  • Laying out UVs for a character model
  • Creating and applying normal maps for a character model
  • Adjusting and troubleshooting normal maps for a character model

 

Dylan Smith

Nerdz Garage

September 2018