Monthly Archives: March 2013
My Maya project, recreating a Jean Tinguely kinetic sculpture, is coming along. Modeling in 3D space is just a different kind of thinking for me, though it’s very similar to sketching in a way. With a sketch, you rough out the drawing and build the drawing up until it has the detail that you want. When you’re working with Maya, or any 3D program I would assume, it seems like you have to take a similar approach. You start off with a simple object (a cube, sphere, or cylinder to name a few of objects) and then add detail by pushing and pulling vertices, edges, and faces until you get the detail you want. The thing that I’m still getting used to is how many different ways to push and pull vertices, edges, and faces there are. To think that I thought Photoshop and After Effects were complex programs. Maya might be edging them out.
I think my 3D object has come pretty far compared to my first posting, now I just have to add the “arms” and make sure that I can animate it. I think that once I apply a texture to it and put it in an environment with good lighting, it’s going to be a nice portfolio piece.
I just volunteered for HPTV, Highland Park, NJ’s local public access television station (Channel 15 if you have Cablevision in Highland Park). I think that this could be a good chance for me to learn even more about shooting video, live sound mixing, and post production. If I’m allowed, I also think it’ll be a good chance to use my After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and Photoshop skills to update the station’s “look”, the station’s IDs, and most importantly, create some new content about the people and events in Highland Park. I’ll also be looking into updating the HPTV website, YouTube page, and creating a Facebook page for the station so that the station can be even more connected with the local community.
As for content, once it gets warmer, I was thinking of creating a half hour show highlighting the musicians of Highland Park. A showcase of 3 or 4 musicians playing a few songs in someone’s house or backyard with an interview in between sets. What do you think we should do? Also, I definitely can’t do this by myself nor do I want to (I do have a movie to finish up), is there anyone in Highland Park who would like to volunteer? We’re going to be looking for people who can shoot, edit, and just help out. Or, if you can’t volunteer, do you have any content that you’d like to put on TV? From what I can tell so far, this is definitely a good opportunity to learn how a local public access television station works and it’s a great way to help the community out.
For more information on Highland Park TV please email Gary Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most recently I enrolled in the Mercer County Community College 3D Animation Certificate Program. My first class in the program is 3D Modeling 1 with Autodesk’s Maya. Wow! Maya is powerful and there’s just so much to know. Our first big assignment is to create a machine which later in the semester we’ll be animating. I was going to do Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots but the instructor said that a lot of students create robots, cars, or guns and that I should create something “different”. After seeing some examples of projects done by the instructor’s prior students I was inspired to create a 3D model of a Jean Tinguely kinetic sculpture that I saw while visiting my friend, Joel Radvanyi, in Basel, Switzerland. I’ll be showing from time-to-time the steps taken in creating the model. So far I’m at the stage of creating the basic shapes that make up the sculpture and once I get everything laid out, I’ll be getting more intricate with the shapes. One thing I can say is that I’m not a big fan of Maya’s drawing tools so I’ve been drawing some of the shapes in Adobe Illustrator and bringing them into Maya to be extruded and revolved. Anyway, here’s where I’m at today…
I just went to my first After Effects New York meeting on February 28th and it was a blast. There’s something about getting a whole bunch of like-minded people in the same room that can be really energizing. The guest speaker was Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot, the king of motion graphics tutorials and he was there to show off his baby, Element 3D, a plug-in for After Effects. In the simplest sense, this is a plug-in that let’s you import 3D OBJ and Cinema 4D files into After Effects. From there you can do things like use 3D objects as particles or animate the deconstruction of a 3D object. The 3D text with all the different bevel presets seem to look pretty amazing too. Some of the reviews have brought up that objects in Element 3D don’t cast shadows but Andrew Kramer showed a demo of a newer working version of Element 3D that did cast shadows. Did I mention that you can buy 3D object bundles? If you don’t know how to create 3D models, Video Copilot provides different “packs” for you. You can buy 3D models of food, buildings, guns, and materials just to name a few things. I’ve barely touched on what this plug-in can do and I can’t wait to get my hands on it (I would love to be able to play around with a demo version if it were available). My only regret is that it’s yet another program that I have to learn after Maya and Cinema 4D. When are they going to add more hours to the day?
AENY logo and crowd image ©2013 AENY
Social media. That’s what we hear it’s all about in this day and age. Well, we here at Meat + Potato Brand Graphics HQ are going to give it a go. We’ve all ready established a Facebook page and a Twitter account and now we’re going to have a blog. We’re definitely going to talk about the projects that we’re working on and in addition to that we’ll probably be talking about motion graphics, 3D animation, movies, music, comics, and soccer – pretty much anything that comes to mind. Hope it’s a good ride.