So at the end of 2014 I was capturing dancers for an installation project run by a group of Drexel University professors. The piece isn’t done but it should be a great one. Dancers responded to poetry with improv dance in the mocap studio. The data will then be used to generate some abstract imagery and animations that will be played over the dancers as they respond to the same poetry but months later. Its been an interesting project to work on. I just wrapped on cleaning the data (8 dancers at about 45 minutes a piece was tough by myself) so I thought I’d post up some Instagram videos I took during them. I’ll try and take some more when the piece is complete! Until then I’m gearing up to teach the mocap class again this spring term. My second syllabus rewrite, I’m feeling good about it.
Oops haven’t updated this blog in a hot minute. Summer has been pretty busy. Graduated in June, spent a month freaking out about work and now I’m knee deep in projects.
First off is my personal project, a rhythm based fighting game working with Greg of Dumb and Fat and Dain Saint of Cipher Prime. Greg is programming gameplay, Dain is composing the music and I’m providing character art and animation. Greg and I team up on design and extraneous art. We all have other work so this is slow going but I’m really hype about it. Its gonna be big.
Next is my real paid grown up video game job. Sorta. I’m working as a dev at Philadelphia Game Lab. I primarily work with the Kinect V2 for Windows, making little games and demos for potential clients. Artists and theater folk wanna use this cool tech but don’t know what it can do and the lab has been doing a bad job getting through the tech jargon to explain it. So games speak louder than words! I made a quick demo in which two players with xbox controllers are trapped in a wheel that the kinect player can turn like a pirate ship steering wheel. The kinect player tries to spin it and get a ball in a hoop and the players inside try to play goalie while getting flung around. Its pretty quick and dirty but I am moving onto something cool and bigger. And with SPACE PIRATES! Shout out to Space for Unity asset guys!
finally I’m getting back into my true love Mocap! I’ll be teaching two sections of the motion capture class at Drexel University in the fall! WOW SIX HOURS OF TEACHING WHAT AM I DOING EVEN. Sike it’ll be great. Its really great being on the ground floor of training this army of mocap animators and techs. Gives me hope for the future of building some big studio in Philly! I got my syllabus approved and start teaching in September. On top of that I’ll be leading a small team on an experimental mocap art project with dancers and crazy projections and 3D printing (???). So that’ll be fun. All this and I’ve still been hitting the gym 4 or 5 days a week and making it to Philly Dev Night every week and Creative Mornings every month, come say hi!. If you don’t hit your pillow at the end of the day completely exhausted then you didn’t have a good day!
For this past week’s experimental game class assignment I worked with Greg and Kenneth on the theme predator and prey. So we made a versus ghost hunting game! The ghostbuster aims with the mouse and right clicks to run toward the cursor and left clicks to catch ghosts. The ghost player uses WASD to float around and attempts to hide among NPC ghosts to attack the buster by floating over him. I did all the 3D art and helped with some design choices. Check it out!
So for my senior project game we needed some serious skating animations so I brought in 3 very talented Philly skaters and tried a lot of things out. I got basic movement, turning and riding very easily. Much like with running I had them try and go fast and just ride out of the volume and reenter it before cutting. The trouble was getting them to land tricks. It was tough for them to get enough speed to perform the trick and land all in the diagonal of the volume. I just let the cameras roll and had them go back and forth doing the same move a few times and will try to splice together the best takes of take off, trick and landing. I made an attempt to capture the board as a prop, but do to the skater’s foot placement changing it was impossible to get a spot where it wouldn’t swap with their feet or fall off if the board didn’t land perfectly. Luckily for our purposes in the game, their feet will likely be locked to the board with and IK solver and be more similar to a snowboard. I’m looking forward to combing through these 5 gigs of animations.
This is the project that got me into motion capture at Drexel University. Glenn Winters ran the session and acquired the data then James McGuire and I did the post work as well as building the rig and plotting the animation to a custom rig in Maya’s HumanIK.
Been working on my character animation 2 face. This is the rough cut i suppose. I started by blocking in the head motion, adding eye movement and blinking to get some of the rhythm down. then I blocked in the opening and closing of the mouth, then wide and tight. started adding some expression and visemes to round it out. then got the eyebrows in a little. a lot more to do to make sure the timing and speed is deliberate. and i think i need to tweak things and add a lot of subtle things but i think this is all the big movements i want. audio is also pretty quiet so i’ll have to fix that somehow.
Here is my quick drawing of Scott the horrible intern for my professional practice class. i forget what the assignment was already. we had metaphors for items? practicing the creative process i think. he reminds me of that one kinda dumb cop on Psych that gets picked on but is always super nice to Shawn.