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 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.

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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

Reflection Month Nine

This month was College Mathematics. It was……… math…

If you know me, you how I felt about this month. I actually did pretty good

no_math1

To keep my sanity, I decided that our Sunday game Group needed Nerf guns!

My Sundays for the last six months have been dedicated to Dungeons and Dragons. There are six of us, Full Sail students, who meet at my house to work on homework and play D&D. We have started recorded them and they can be found on my YouTube page and subscribe because we will be Live Streaming the D&D when we get back from our long one-week summer break.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn_U3LxXCz4SzMhk94_UMNQ

DYLAN SMITH

I thought I would throw some Nerf Battles into the mix.

We mixed the game Resistance with Nerf for some Live action Nerf Trouble in Terrorist Town and Gmod Murder. Serious battles with only a few injuries. Fun was had.

Another break was Land Party Minecraft with all six of us.  I have wanted to play land party since I lived in Wilmington.

These Sundays are the prize at the end of a difficult week.

I am so fortunate for the group I have found.

IMG_0889

 

Reflections on 3D Animation

This is my first reflection of my time at Full Sail because it goes at warp speed. Everything I have learned from month one has been built on on each consecutive class. The layering of information has been overwhelming, but at the same time it is extremely well thought out and a good way for myself to learn.

I have been anxious to get to this class because I am finally taking all the parts I have learned and animating it!!! This class has taught me how to take the principles of last months 2D animation and put them to use and start 3D animation.

This project was the bouncing ball. It is the same one we did in 2D, but now it is 3D. I used the graph editor and felt pretty confident that I achieved  what was asked of this project.

 

 

This is my first pass at Smash Ball utilizing rolling, bouncing, slow in, slow out, squash, stretch and multiple objects. My initial attempt at using multiple parts of animation at once. I wish I had more time because I know I could have done more.

 

 

 

I spent much this ant. 

 

 

I am still spending much time with this ant. I have grown fond of him. I call him Fred. Fred was giving me trouble his arms, his broken spine and his antennas were frozen.

After many surgeries, Fred, seems to be able to walk, antennas are bouncing and he has a spine. Fred will need more surgeries in the upcoming months.

 

 

This class was fun and I learned so much. The teacher also shared a ton of information for tools in my tool box.

Back to warp speed in three days.

DYLAN SMITH