K object tracking — in a nutshell. And I have to say, it’s really, really smart and straight forward. The suite con PinTool, and the latest addition: ReadRiggedGeo. Most of them use PinTool as the foundation.
PinTool is an incredibly simple concept with some intel and move it into the position it should be in the frame, then you repeat with other vertices. The object will quickly line up into place. This is most helpful if you are replacing a needs to be. If you have a moving camera that’s tracked, you can move to a new frame, make adjustments, and Keen will
GeoTracker and FaceTracker work with the same fun- damental foundation, with the difference being that once you place your object à la PinTool, then Keen will what you’ve aligned it to, allowing you to make further work with rigid objects, while FaceTracker can be used geo that matches the character’s head, and then tracks deformation to match to the performance.
So, FaceBuilder uses PinTool technology to generate head geo that matches the structure of the character, utilizing various photos of the performer. Like PinTool, you grab points on the geo face and match them to the actor — the geo will transform and deform the more points you align. You go through and line up one view, then switch to another photo and repeat. With each view of the head, the solve will become more and more accurate. Then, you can use the photos to project onto the geo.
Finally, the ReadRiggedGeo node allows you to bring in an - acter within Nuke. You can also bring in animation data from outside and apply it to the character. I’m not quite sure that you can sell the idea to animators to animate in Nuke, and I’m open to the idea that I’m overlooking something.
However, my ignorance aside, the other tools in the suite are so fast and so powerful that I’m not sure why one wouldn’t have it in one’s arsenal. For FaceTracker and GeoTracker, I don’t see rendering out CG characters, but for adding digital makeup or beauty work, I can see so many applications. One day, I will also probably use FaceBuilder to quickly get a model of an actor’s head.
This may be a small suite, but it’s quite mighty.
Another cool, nerdy feature is that you can choose different kinds of compressions for different kinds of data. If your velocity channel doesn’t need lots of detail, then a lossy (irreversible) compression can be used to help with storage issues. But, you can retain the detail in the places - ed during I/O, so access and writing is faster. This allows for faster caching for previewing, which can also be optimized by changing the resolution of the cache for viewport playback. In addition, the results can be saved to OpenVDB for use in Arnold, Redshift and Houdini.
Also, a new licensing scheme allows for license rentals, just in case you aren’t burning stuff year round!
I ZBrush from version to version. The advances are substantial and numerous, and it just overwhelms me to the point of
Firstly, most digital sculptors know about Sculptris — It’s a fast, light sculpting system centered around the it as a free downloadable primer for getting into the world of digital sculpting. The super cool thing about Sculptris is that as you sculpt, it dynamically tessellates the mesh to accommodate the detail you need. Now,
is a big deal: In the past, one had to subdivide the sculpt as one carved more and more detail. Either subdivision levels or DynaMesh-ing, you were increasing the resolu mesh was getting up-rez’d, even in the places that didn’t have detail. Sculptris Pro makes it so your hundreds of available brushes will dynamically rez up the mesh just around the strokes you are making. And inversely, smoothing the surface will decimate it — lowering the resolution, and optimizing your model so you won’t hit a wall when your model reaches a gazillion polygons.
The Sculptris Pro feature is activated through a button on your tool shelf, and the settings can be saved on a per-brush level, including a feature to dynamically adjust the size of the stroke so it stays the same size relative to the model, rather than relative to the size on screen. This “locking” of parameters to brushes is also normal brushes, not just Sculptris Pro.
The Sculptris Pro feature should be enough to upgrade. But, there is more. ZBrush 4R8 introduced the concept of live primitives where the creation of a primitive comes along with these cones changes parameters of the primitives like resolution, twist, symmetry, etc. — all within close reach of your working area. Then there is the idea of Insert Multi Mesh (IMM) brushes, that you can use to actually embed a mesh into another mesh. Take those two concepts and you kind of
Project Primitive embeds primitives into a mesh, but the merge remains live while you manipulate the parame - itives is a vastly increased selection of deformers to further massage the combination. This allows one to - lows one to iterate faster and more often. the images and derives a point cloud, builds a mesh, - volved!
feels rather simplistic, and some have compared it to a Microsoft Word type of thing. But that simplicity is deceptive. On the surface, it steps images and click the Start button, and off it goes. For the most part, you get something pretty usable out of the gate — as long as you shot your images correctly. From there, you can determine how much further you need to push things to get a better solve.
Step one: Press Start again! Seemingly, the system knows that you weren’t happy with the result, and it shifts its approach — whether with a different algorithm, or weighing some images more than others, or something. Frequently, you failed, you actually might get something. From there, you can see, “Oh, I need more data there” — and, if it’s accessible, you can go and shoot more photos in that area and add them to you can use lidar scans, geo-referencing, DSMs — basically, the more data you have, the more accurate your solve.
Then you can dig in and really push to get manual solu- tions. Like if your solve comes up with three different pieces you can tell it which features in the photos are the same, four common points and RC will do the rest.
- tools to help with the projections. The UDIM support isn’t as robust as I would like, but it looks like it’s in the works. In the
RealityCapture is really straight forward, even when you have to do some stuff manually. It’s pretty darn fast, and the solutions are great. For the hobbyist or indie guy, the price is within reach. You just have a few restrictions, like only photos per project! The cost does skyrocket when you go commercial. There’s also a free trial version — you just can’t
Entertaining the concept, or even going so far as to actually work with these types of clients, hurts every professional in the industry. It lowers the bar on a global scale and enables these predators to continue feeding on gullible victims, thereby devaluing the service from every angle.
Brush up on these tactics and keep this list handy so you can spot bottom-feeders and their ilk a mile away. Use the time, energy and money you would have wasted on their projects to seek out quality clients that value your craft and appreciate working with a creative professional such as you.
O - - zuki’s informal memoir Mixing Work with Pleasure: My Life at Studio Ghibli ( Shigoto Doraku Shinpan: Studio Ghibli no Genba - - ures at the celebrated Studio Ghibli, Suzuki has served as a producer, chairman and other administrative positions, working with Hayao Miyazaki and the late Isao Takahata on some the last three decades.
working as a journalist at Tokuma Shoten Publishing after graduating from Keio University. him to put together the premiere issue of Animage animation — on a breakneck schedule. He - ries The Little Norse Prince Valiant, which Takahata and Miyazaki had worked on.
But when he contacted his future co-workers, who were making Future Boy Conan, Suzuki recalls, “The only thing I said to Takahata was that I would like to meet him, but he started on be possible. He went on for an hour! I was dumbfounded.” Conversely, Miyazaki said, “I have a ton of things I want to say about The Little Norse Prince Valiant.
- ly moved from writing about animation to producing it — a transition he doesn’t seem to member of the production committee for Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Stu - cupied more and more of Suzuki’s time and - came company director.
Suzuki offers rare insights into the characters and working methods of two of the greatest directors in the history of animation. “For Miya-san [Suzuki’s nickname for Miyazaki], was his senior, his rival, and sometimes almost even now he will say, ‘Doing it the way we are now, Suzuki-san, I’ll get scolded by Paku-san (his nickname for Takahata).’ These are the
Suzuki quotes Takahata about Miyazaki: “The terrifying realism his characters possess is not the result of any calculated or objective observation. Even if he does incorporate his astute observations into his artwork, he remains possessed by, and fuses with his characters ... he can’t stand the idea of creating any with whom he can’t identify with emotionally.”
The accounts of Miyazaki’s and Takahata’s approaches to direction, character and storytelling are fascinating. But the production of an animated feature seems to be remarkably similar in Japan and America. Artists in both countries face the same problems with story, budget, deadlines, advertising and even merchandising — which Suzuki largely resisted: the model of a small neighborhood factory manned by master craftsmen. If the company suddenly transformed itself into a producer of character goods, who could tell why it had
Animation buffs who have met Suzuki on his visits to America or his appearances at var his genial, self-effacing style in Roger Speares’ lively translation of his prose. Suzuki describes himself as a pragmatic man who works on the tasks before him, rather than aspiring to an overarching goal: “Basically, I have taken a passive approach, dealing with problems as they come up and believing that the future will take care of itself.” Yet Miyazaki said, “He keeps your nose to the grindstone while pre - ing not to.”
Suzuki has written a new preface for the English edition, and included the afterword to the revised Japanese edition of through major changes since the book’s original - ing Miyazaki’s retirement and return to work, and the appearance of new directors. In addition to stills have been useful.
Mixing Work with Pleasure is a book everyone interested in animation should read. With any luck, the Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture will follow it with translations of Suzuki’s other writings and Takahata’s books.