Saturday, 28 April 2012

nCloth Curtains

For our new Melvin film we wanted the cat to interact with a curtain. So I did a few tests with the curtains Oly made to remind myself of nCloth.

This shot I was just regulating the wind simulation so that I could give a more realistic feel of a curtain by an open window.
This was a simple simulation and I'm quite familiar with the wind simulation with nCloth so this wasn't much of a challenge for me, I merely did it to remind myself.

I had to make the wind very weak or the curtain flew up too fast and didn't flutter, I also had to constrain the bottom corners so that the curtain didn't lift up too high.

This next test I did I had the wind simulation and introduced a collider. This was just a simple test to see how the cloth would react to something passing by it as we thought for our Melvin film we wanted to have the cat walk past a curtain.

I used a simple sphere here to pass by the curtain, this gave a nice effect. I still  had to constrain the bottom corners of the curtain so they didn't fly up really high up in the air.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


It happened again....Rigs....dying on my Maya.... I hate everything right now.

Richards Dog rig was fine one week, it hadn't been updated and was the exact same rig I had been playing with the week before. Then all of a sudden....It wont let me save.

I could work on the dog fine, so long as I never tried to save it, because as soon as I did...Maya crashed. This happened every. Single. Time. I didn't know the cause at all. I only managed to perhaps pin it down to the fact that it was created on a mac and I'm running PC as it worked fine on any of the macs I tried it on but not on my PC. This was the only theory I could think of as to why it stopped working but it doesn't explain why it was working fine the week before.

Regardless I spent a lot of time trying to work around why the dog wouldn't save till I finally got it working. I had to do this beginning part on a Mac. Firstly I had to set up everything I needed in the scene. I needed to put the collar on the dog and put the rock in the same scene as the dog. I then saved this scene with the three elements I needed and then moved it over to my PC. I then had to reference that file I had made so that I could actually animate. it was a pain in the butt but it finally got sorted. But it wasted a lot of time.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Fools Gold

So with Cat and Rat getting cut I tired to see if any other groups needed any animators. Luckily for me Richard was in need of some help when his group bailed on him so I got the opportunity to do a little bit of animating for him.

I offered to do any animation he wanted me too as I'm a keen animator.

Richard asked me to do a small scene where the dog in the film walks up and sniffs a rock.

Theses are the passes I had for the shot I did for Richard. I had a lot of problems with the rig. and I was so happy that I finally got it working enough to animate. He does slide a little on ground when he walks forward but it was difficult to get him walking more fluidly as his ankles controls were a little off. I did my best though and Richard was happy enough with it and it went in the film.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Melvin the Siamese

So in the end we all decided that Melvin was going to become a Siamese cat. This was a nice interesting breed but also had a simple coat so it wouldn't take Sarah very long to texture him, where as if we had chosen a tabby Sarah might have been texturing the cat for longer than we needed.

Now this is where I'm going to geek out a little, I found it amusing (and Im probably the only one who does and ever will find it amusing) but our cat Melvin reminded me of another Siamese cat...called Melvin. Except this Melvin has far less polygons.... and lives in a game.

For a while now I've been watching a guy on YouTube by the name of "Chimneyswift11", he mainly does Gaming videos, one of his most popular videos are his Minecraft ones. He has a series on his channel called the Minecraft Files, where he builds stuff every week and goes out adventuring in his Minecraft world. One day he went out and got a cat. This cat was a little Siamese cat which he (after a few episodes) names Melvin.

I know this is completely irrelevant but I thought it was cool that he had a Siamese cat called Melvin and then we ended up picking a Siamese cat called Melvin.

See Melvin and Chimney in action (geek mode activate!)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Melvin Concepts

These are some of the ideas I had for which breed Melvin should be. I tried to pick some basic everyday breeds that were common in houses but also interesting breeds. I tried out a diversity of colours so that they all looked different. 

In the interest of not having a lot of time left before deadline I used the line art I did for the cat in the Cat and Rat film as we were merely just deciding what breed to make Melvin. We weren't aiming for a fancy cat design, so I didn't need to worry about how the cat looked.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Hello Melvin

So with the end of Cat and Rat came the birth of MELVIN!

We decided to use a cat still bit instead of the zodiac story, Me, Oly and Sarah decided to do a short animation of a day in the life of a cat.

All three of us had cats so we all had funny little ideas of little things Melvin could do. We got the idea for his name off a list of the top 50 American boys names, we all decided Melvin was the best name for our new cat.

We didnt have long to try and get a short done, but Oly rebuilt the cat rig so that his feet moved better and our previous cat rid had problems with the ankles.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bye Bye Cat and Rat

So after all our troubles with this project, it has sadly been put down....

We were advised by the tutors to give up on the Cat and Rat film and go for something else. This was a bit of a shock, we had finally gotten past all of our problems but it was little too late and we had to abandon all hope.

It was a little upsetting to hear that after nearly an entire year we had to give up and forget about the film. We had all put a lot of work into the film and gone through so much and just when we thought we were pulling through....we had to end it.

So on to bigger and brighter things? Farwell Cat and Rat...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Bad Kitty!

This cat rig has been the pain of my existence during this project. It was very picky about when it wanted to work and for how long.

To begin with the cat rig was fine, but as the project went on and the cat got updated and improved, the likelihood of the damn thing opening on my Maya decreased.

I had to test out the cat rig when it was first built to find out if it all worked and if all the weights were done properly. So each time the cat was sent off to be updated the less it started to work my end. Until eventually it just stopped working all together and would crash as soon as it was opened.

We thought that maybe this could have been due to the fact that it had Vray settings on the cat whilst I did not have Vray on my maya.

In the end we resorted to making the cat and MA file rather than an MB and it made the cat a little more workable with my maya, but not all the time, sometimes it worked and some times it didn't.

Its really becoming a pain and we dont have time to make a new rig.