Archive for February, 2009

pure unadulterated actionscript geekery

Man oh man. One link clicked led to another, and suddenly I’m obsessed with PaperVision3D.

It all started with this link (which you’ve already seen if you follow me on Twitter): the The Eco Zoo. If you haven’t seen it, please clicky! It’s fantastic.

PaperVision’s been used for a number of neat projects, but the Eco Zoo is a work of art. So I started searching for stuff on the train in the morning (thank you, iPhone) and turned up a bunch of great links:

For those who didn’t know, you can either use the open source Flex SDK or, if you’re a student, you can get a free copy of Flex Builder 3 by sending them proof of enrollment. I did it; I got a serial in about an hour later, although YMMV.

Not that I have time to sit down and actually play with any of this… But it’s fun to learn about. Oh, and I like PaperVision3D because the API is very well thought out and very Flash AS3-like; if you don’t like it there are other options. There’s a nice comparsion on the four major 3D engines for Flash here (warning: it’s in French). Lots of talk about speed of object creation, memory requirements, and so on. It’s always good to be informed of options before starting a project.

stuff and things

I’ve seen a bit of complaining about Dollhouse. I think people are expecting Joss to play by regular Joss rules, while Joss is going in a new direction. I’m totally enjoying the show. It’s not Firefly or Buffy, and I think that’s a good thing. While Joss’ fans have always been rabid, myself included, I think Dollhouse is more accessible to the general public. Also, the second episode opened a lot of plot doors. I’m excited I see where this show goes, and that’s not something I can often say.

I’m back on Twitter with a bit more consistency now, thanks to Tweetdeck. If you haven’t tried it you should– it’s the only client I’ve tried so far that does everything I want. I’m not into paying for Twitterific since most free AIR-based clients have similar or better features, but even free clients had me looking around for something better. Just wish AIR could publish iPhone apps.

This week I move from a “finished” storyboard into layout on my short film at Animation Mentor. This is currently frightening because I don’t have one of my characters modeled and neither ares fully rigged. 🙂 I have a feeling it’s going to be a long weekend, and for me lately that’s saying something.

I did buy that book on doing short films in Blender, so I’ve been reading it as time allows for info specific to Blender and managing data flow. The first shock I had was that “library data” (Blender’s name for references / XRefs) is not editable. You can easily set up library data for animation, but there are different ways of doing so and which way you use depends on the asset. I like the system, though– it means that unlike Maya, nothing I do in my animation scene files can corrupt what I’ve set up in my library assets. Shibby!

Okay. Today my list says: write emails (check!), blog (check!), research that thing Cory Doctorow uses for backups with Git, prototype some face rig ideas, and do some Python scripting research. I need to think through some workflow issues and whether or not scripting solutions will save me time in the long run. (Surprisingly, for the rigs it will not.) Speaking of which, if you’re not a usual follower of Jason Schleifer’s Justin Barrett’s blog (Jason, Justin, you can understand why I was confused), I highly recommend his articles on Lambda functions. Maya UI coders, take note!


exciting developments

Been too busy at work to thing about anything other than fur and rendering, buy a lot’s happened in the past few days in 3D and with school.

For starters, the story for my short film has totally changed. ^_^ It’s become a merger between the story of the grandmother and the cockroach, and the original Ramswoole maide story. I’ll post more about it when I have a finished leica reel, which should be some time next week.

I was finally able to get the Wipix no-flip leg working in Blender and that makes me happy. I still need to finish the rig and get Briar weighted, but I’m feeling a lot better about my decision to go with Blender for this short. Every time I have time to sit down and work in it, things just flow along.

As far as 3D news goes, Modo 4’s first set of preview vids are up at Luxology. Normally I watch Modo with only a passing interest, but there’s one video where a few thousand instances of a Rhino are spun around in the preview renderer, with full radiosity / GI going and volumetric lighting. It’s not unlike the speed of FPrime, although the instancing is something the old LW couldn’t do without third-party plugins (and I don’t think FPrime worked with them).

But that brings me to the second big CG thing of the week: Lightwave Core was announced and Newtek is already accepting pre-orders. There was a serious snafu with how the reveal went, but what was shown has me pretty excited– essentially an underlying architecture not unlike that of Houdini / Maya, but with Lightwave workflows and a fully-open C++ / Python SDK. It’s also using the Collads format as its regular scene format, which means it’s already a step ahead of all other packages with regards to interoperability. They said they’ve made a few extensions to the format, so just how compatible the LW Core files will be with other Collada-reading apps remains to be seen, but it’s a step in the right direction (IE: away from the horribly flawed and closed-source FBX).

There were a lot of buzzwords bandied around, and you can see the full tech FAQ on the new Core site. If you preorder (they call it purhasing a HardCore membership; man was that a bad name choice) you get access to the betas, with an apparent release date of the first build sometime in Q1. I’m remaining cautiously optimistic. If they deliver, they’ll be in a good place to pick up disgruntled users of Maya and XSI.

Okay, I’m actually hitting “post” this time; I have about three drafts on my iPhone that are now irrelevant. ^_^

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