As a result of procrastinating all day (for those of you still in school, don’t try procrastination at home, I’m a trained professional) instead of getting to work on assignments, I decided to start work on a nice little robot character I found in one of my sketchbooks from a year or two ago. It’s too late to continue on him now, but here is an image of the work in progress with some random rust textures affixed. He has no legs, feet, or manipulators on his arms, and there’s still plenty to do, but he is shaping up to be a good looking little rust bucket.
Note, the trapezoid on his chest will eventually have button-like rivets along the outer edge, much like aviator jackets of old. He is to be a steampunk robot (one of the best kinds there is).
Finals are winding down and Christmas season can finally become the focal point of this student’s attention. It’s been a long few months, but that’s one more semester down and three more to go. I’ve finished two decently large projects for school this semester, including a semi real rendering and animation of the PK380 sidearm and a short (three minute) film about a robot who has to save the day. The former can be viewed in this post. The latter I think I’ll clean up a bit more before I release it to the world.
Hey, you Buckeye Central students. I’ll be seeing you soon! In case I don’t post again before the day arrives, Merry Christmas!
Alright, I have all of five minutes to write this post. The reason I only have five minutes is that in five minutes and a few odd seconds I will be totally enveloped in watching the new open movie from the Blender Foundation which has just released! At that point, for all intents and purposes, I will be dead to the world until the film is over. You can download it free, online, by clicking right here to go to the download page.
OR! You can watch it right below here. Don’t forget to click on at least 720p resolution for the full quality of a film made with completely free and open source software!
Below is a quick render of a military missile I’m working on for a new project. It was made in Blender 2.53, and is a first foray into UV texture unwrapping and mapping in the newest version of Blender. A few more adjustments are all that’s needed and I’ll be starting on some other aspects of the required scene. References images and concepts were found via a Google image search.
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I spent a few hours at the Kehoe center in Shelby today meeting the newest College-Now students and speaking to them about technology, all of which went very well, I’m excited to get to know and work with these new ‘eager young minds’.
Following the line of CNC machines, below is a video of a machine called the RepRap, a diy fabricated 3D printer that is capable of, for all intents and purposes, printing copies of itself. Just like how the CNC Router I posted in the last is now being used to machine parts for a similar albeit much larger machine, the RepRap is a machine that can build itself. Neat, huh?
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Though it took a long time working on it here and there between work and my other projects, I have recently finished a more professional, more finalized special effects test. I learn a great deal every time I tackle another piece, and I think it shows in the final product as compared to my last test. All rendering, design, and compositing of 3D elements was done in Blender, the camera tracking was done using Syntheyes, and the video editing using Final Cut Express.
(If you want to, I would suggest taking the time to watch the video in HD rather than the default, it looks much better that way.)
Something that helped a great deal for this project was the addition of a newly built networked attached storage server, also known as a NAS. The system I built is running a free operating system called FreeNAS, and allows me to store and access all of the project files together in a central place on my home network. Eventually I may try configuring port forwarding and a service like DynDNS so that I can access my files from school and other places as well over the internet.
One of the nicest things about the new server, however, is its amount of storage and backup capabilities. HD footage can be a bit of a storage hog, with an hour of footage taking up as much as forty-some gigs of space. Inside this standard off-the-shelf parts NAS machine are two two-terabyte SATA hard drives that are basically identical twins, straight down to the data. They are connected together via a form of software raid, meaning that if one of the two hard drives die, I still have my data safe and sound on the other one until I can replace the failed drive. I had to lose a terabyte of data before I understood how useful raid could be.
In other news, I just recently finished a new and much lengthier project with the help of a close friend. I’ll be posting a video and information about it soon, so check back often!
With the shelling out of some decent dinero and about six hours of effort, I have here for the entertainment of all up and coming VFX enthusiasts a camera tracking test. If you are looking for bright lights, action, and large explosions… well you may be disappointed, this is just a test, there’s nothing too fancy about it, visually. The key focus was the tracking of a CG item to handheld video footage, and it turned out well for a first attempt.
The tracking was done using Syntheyes, the same software used for tracking in films such as Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland, and Avatar. If it isn’t already, Syntheyes is becoming an industry standard. However, if you can’t afford the license, the Voodoo camera tracker works rather well, and is free for the most part.
The compositing and CG effects were done using the node editing engine in Blender 3D, a free and open source program that continues to improve daily.
For a look at what the best of the best can do with Blender, check out this Sintel trailer, the newest short film from the Blender Foundation coming out in a few months