Jacksonville Computer Animation Highlights 2013-2014
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This video represents highlights from Jacksonville University’s Computer Animation curriculum. Download this info sheet here. You can view this through Vimeo. Please click on the timecode below to jump to the specific class.
FVA 262 3D Modeling and Design
Here you will see the models students produced in this introductory class. Starting with a Toy model where students modeled, UV mapped, textured and rendered a toy from given blueprints They used Maya, 3D Coat and Mental Ray.
Using 3D Coat, we sculpted an Inuit WhaleEagle dish from a given blueprint. We retopologized, UV’s and painted the models entirely in 3D Coat and transferred them to Maya to render.
Also using 3D Coat, students sculpted, retopo’d, UV mapped and painted Masks of their own design, but generally drawn from popular culture and mythology. Of course, they transferred them to Maya to render in Mental Ray and made movies in Premier Pro.
Here students split into groups and modeled a Spaceship or sci fi Vehicle in Maya from plans found on the Internet. Each student got to model two parts of the ship, which was combined by the group leader or modeling lead. The students got back a complete model, which they UV mapped and painted in 3D Coat.
Munny Doll. Students modeled a Munny Doll in Maya then UV mapped it in Maya (or 3D Coat if they had to) and transferred it to Mudbox for further sculpting and painting. Of course, they came back to Maya for rendering in Mental Ray.
FVA 263 Basic Computer Animation
Students learn the basics of character animation on the computer in this intro class. The instructor (me) emphasizes the principles of animation while introducing students to the wonderful world of the Maya interface. The first exercise answers the question: can you make a Bouncing Ball bounce
Students learn the mechanics of animating the instructor supplied desk lamp. Does the lamp jump convincingly? Does it have the proper force to propel it into the air. Does it land as though effected by the force of gravity?
Animate the Desk Lamp jumping up a short flight of stairs and react to the prospect of jumping off the last step. The class learns storyboarding using the Maya camera as well as methods of storytelling to enhance the story they are trying to tell. Look for the poor lamp that gets beheaded!
Ball with Legs: Students confront the issues inherent in walking this “half character across the stage. Can they create a believable walk in preparation for animating an actual biped later.
X Marks the Spot: Students have EXACTLY 7 seconds (210 frames at 30fps or 168 at 24 fps) to get their ball with legs from the starting point to the X. They can get their early, but their animation can last no more than 7 seconds. Prepare for sound at 05:19.
Bipeds: Students animate either iBrau or Mavis, our male and female example character in walk, run, skip, sneak, strut and skip cycles. Students are to then extend the cycle and walk, run, skip, sneak, strut, or skip one or two of these characters forward for 5 seconds.
FVA 364 Character Design and Animation
Here are examples of student character modeling modeled in Maya, sculpted, UV’d and painted in 3D Coat and sculpted and painted in Mudbox. Students rig their characters for animation and are required to create an example animation demonstrating their abilities with rigging (in abAutoRig.mel from Supercrumbly at Supercrumbly.com) weighting, blend shaping and character animation. Sound at 09:39.
FVA 366 Intermediate Computer Animation
This class picks up where Basic Computer Animation leaves off. Students solve more complex animation problems.
Transition: Students transition from different types of locomotion. Walk to run, skip to sneak, strut to run, etc.
The Lift: Students animate the example character (iBrau or Mavis) moving the iron clad weight, the round rock or the tractor tire from point A to point B. They can set it down or put it on the pedestal.
The Group Project: Each student gets 7 seconds. They can do anything they want, BUT the first frame of their animation MUST match the last frame of the animation that comes before it and the last frame of the animation must match the first frame of the animation that comes after. In this particular project, students banded together to tell the story of what happens when the class character-iBrau-gets into a fight with the User.
Lip Synch: take a sound clip from a movie or TV show and animate Ozzie (the mime), Mavis or Kyle Balda’s the Woman Actor character performing the clip. Sound here. (Some vulgar language.)
The Mailbox: Animate the character mailing or receiving a letter. Is the letter a dear john letter? The last mortgage payment? A love letter?
FVA 367 Animation Drawing
Students studied animation drawing in a variety of programs, Flash, After Effects and Photoshop. Presentation Drawings: Students designed a character and created a 20” x 30” presentation poster. This After Effects animation shows the poster elements coming together in the final piece.
Motion Analysis: Rotoscope over a 15-20 second video. Try to capture the essential motion quickly with as few strokes as possible. Sound here.
Straight-Ahead animation (not Munny Dolls) create a 20-30 second animation in Photoshop and/or Flash. Start at the beginning and work through to the end. We looked at the animations of William Kentridge and others as inspiration.
FVA 368 Animation Rendering
Here advanced students studied rendering high quality images in Mental Ray and Maya.
Product renders combined color, Ambient Occlusion and Depth passes to create large 6000 x 4000 pixel images. We drew heavily on the SimplyMaya tutorial of that same name.
Exterior Renders: Using Ed Whetstone’s EdW_KludgeCity.mel MEL script, we generated geometry and rendered using Mental Ray’s Physical Sun and Sky. We inserted cloud images and learned how to pass Final Gather Rays through them. We also worked on night-time images and used physically accurate IES data for lighting.
HDRI Environments: Students shot 180 x 360 degree panoramas using a Panosaurus panoramic device. They used those images to create environmental lighting for their animations.
FVA 462 Advanced Computer Animation
This effects based class exposes students to a wide range of special effects obtainable in Maya.
Particle Demo: use Maya’s particle or nParticle system combined with pond simulation to create water effects.
Building Demolition: Muahaha! Build a building using EdW_KludgeCity.mel, then use nCloth, force fields and Fluids to BLOW IT UP!
nCloth Fashion Show: This assignment resulted from watching one too many episodes of Project Runway with my wife. Students designed and modeled an outfit or costume in Maya and applied it to an instructor-supplied runway walk. Students ran simulation after simulation to get just the right “look” for their design. Yes…that’s right…they MADE IT WORK!
For the most part, this reel represents work students produce in their Freshman, Sophomore and Junior years. Please see the Senior Example Reel for examples of students' Senior Thesis projects.