Learning Dark Arts

Come learn the art of 3D computer generated art and animation. This blog deals with the lessons learned and the art created by Robert G. Male using DazStudio from Daz3D. Also covered are the ancillary software, tools, techniques, and processes needed both before and after rendering in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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February 3, 2007

Animation Talk and Dreaming

My head is full of all sorts of ideas for little things for which I could do animations. The distance between idea and completion is huge though. Even just to fiddle with the movement files I have access to takes its time and certainly the computer's time. There is of course one problem with movement files like this. They have a predetermined starting position as well as the path they take. So, I could take two characters and two movement files, but there wouldn't be any interaction. This is also a mild problem for putting together more than one movement file even on the same character. Once one file ends the next takes over jumping over to its own starting point.

There may be a way to edit this, but I doubt it is within my capability, and certainly is right now. However I may work on my own movement timelines. I have things to learn about the process. I think one of my strongest helpers will be that tool where I can grab say a hand and with it move everything else connected accordingly. Of course it can be taken too far, such as pulling the hand through a movement but going too far and causing the character to stoop or lean forward. So, it takes some fiddling. Of course the worst part of it, I believe, will be to determine how far to move during any given key frame. Should be fun.

February 2, 2007

Hasan Chop and Akira-Lines

Last night all I did was read. I finished up a web design project and I took time to read a forum I keep involved with even if only by lurking. Some of the design work was interesting art-wise I guess. I did something new and different with navigation buttons. Not a huge leap by any means, but something new. The site had a distinctive logo. That logo was nice and simplified in one way. It provided a striking silhouette, which I reversed and made into a cutout removing pieces of the right side of the buttons. I rather like it. I believe sometimes that the simple things are the most elegant, even while for other things I like huge amounts of detail.

Another one of the things I like are objects, shapes, even colours I guess, that both denote and provide a sense of movement. Movement that equals urgency, immediacy. Though, movement can also be representative of other ideas. I do like that element of anthropomorphism. I'm also something of a dark-romantic about effigies as well, but that's another matter perhaps. I did run into a snag though, on the technical side. I didn't optimize for the Mozilla based browsers so my snappy navigation area turned into a bunch of disconnected islands until I go in and ignore one of the basic tenets of HTML and make it right in those browsers. It made me laugh though, I used Opera and it looked fine.

February 1, 2007

It's Alive, Alive!

I maybe shouldn't say it, but I can be so dense some times. I opened up the Render Settings in Daz last night and I think I found everything I need to start putting stuff out now. I found how to change screen sizes on the renders. I found how to output movies. I even output a movie, though I don't rightly know where to put it just yet. I did run into one issue. It came time to designate a codec for the video and I was like what now? I did a little googling and a number of sites reported that the "avi codec" "most common" was DivX. I put the video in that codec and let it run rampant on the hard drive. The result was a nice, and fairly sized small video.

The question now is how many people will actually be able to view it. I missed my opportunity to have a friend look at the video today. I had previously taken my webcam down and turned it on the screen to record the animation. It was pretty low resolution, but it was all right. Only problem is now my webcam videos are in a codec he can't view. Previously he could. I was forced to update the webcam software the other day. I don't know what happened to it. I opened the software and it asked for the CD right away. Anyway, I have my first video and I'll try to put it somewhere or maybe I'll make a more elaborate one. It's so easy with completed motion capture files. Just apply and the character goes.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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