View Full Version : Business Week: International Design Idea Award 2007 B

08-21-2007, 07:58 PM
Hey Guys,

Just a heads up.


The design and 3D animation production team that I am a part of in NYC, David Wu and Associates just sent me some good news. David's client, Arnell Group, a high design firm in Soho, has been honored with the Business Week: International Design Excellence Award for 2007 "Silver Winner" for "AquaBrids" Design Concept.

Designed by Diddo Velema


David, "G" (modeler) and I contributed several comps, animations, models and fully rendered scenes to project which was realized as interactive A.I. robotic aquatic hybrid.

ElectrimImage "FBX" was instrumental in many of the animations that were dynamically simulated in Maya.

First, I want to give praise and honor to my Lord Jesus Christ. :) 3D technology can be very humbling.

Special thanks to ElectricImage Animation Programmers and constituincy.

www.electricimage.com (http://www.electricimage.com)

Phil Martin, President, Matt Hoffman VP of ElectricImage, Blair Burtan, The Igors. "Lolo" Laurent Marques, Tomas Egger, and Brian Pohl and the member of the EIAS Beta Server
hosted by Bear Wieter.

Very special thanks to Douglas Martin.

Again I want to thank David Wu and Family, Robert Fan and Daniel Lee who know business is about relationship and who have supported me in many ways.

The Aquabrid system is a new, innovative way for visitors to explore and discover the underwater world. Aquarium visitors create their own virtual creatures by selecting and combining actual attributes from the sea life they are viewing. This information and the Aquabrid creations are stored on an RFID tag that visitors carry with them. Several robotic Aquabrids also “live” among the real sea life. These Aquabrids are built with animatronics and embedded with artificial intelligence, blurring the boundary between the virtual and the real. Such a novel interaction gives visitors a unique opportunity to fully immerse themselves in an aquarium’s content that they can also take with them when they leave.

Credit: Arnell Group, LLC Client: Gehry Partners, LLP, Kerzner International Bahamas, LTD (Bahamas ) and CapitaLand Commercial & Integrated Development, LTD (Singapore)

08-21-2007, 08:13 PM
Way to go Alonzo. Great job! Feels good doesn't it?

08-21-2007, 08:20 PM
Way to go Alonzo. Great job! Feels good doesn't it?

Actually Brian, all I remember is being on my knees saying "Lord help me, help me" hahah. "IK spline what??"

I think you remember one of those nights when I was asking you about dynamic, baking animation data and all kinds of stuff in Maya.

:) Thanks.

but yes, Victory, even at much sacrifice is very sweet indeed.

08-21-2007, 08:24 PM
If its possible, can you post some of your EI renderings from this project? It would be nice to highlight them here on the board.

08-21-2007, 08:36 PM
We rendered full underwater scenes but I'll just post one or two WIP single character shots.

To be safe, I will only post similiar stuff to whats already posted. Just need a day or so.

I can do one or two animation as long as it's not reposted.

08-21-2007, 09:13 PM
This character is called a Monopus. I modeled the design from the Photoshop file, added UVs, then imported it into Maya where I simulated a swim. The motion was baked to the bones then exported to EI via FBX.

However I often use O2F from Ramjac. Jens Moeller and Partrick Rosendahl (and Tomas) have been very instrumental in helping me find solutions for importing Cloth Sims from Maya into EI.

Encage from Konkeptione was paramount in handling the "Huge" UnderWater backgrounds with Coral reefs. O2F and Encage are very reliable and work well together in production with EI.

"G" did several creatures as well. I call David the "Render Ranger". He made EI shaders for Agrapha do dynamic things. All my models were then sent back to NYC from Buffalo (I don't know where G is from) where David gathered all the data assets, processed images, animation and composites elements on his EIAS "Renderama" animation farm ( free EI render nodes)

Lastly, I did a great deal of "Technical Direction" with models, topolopy and consistent workflow. David supplied all equipment which on my end was Apple Hardware. He uses ElectricImage on PC as well. We updated to the lastest version of ElectricImage which made a huge difference in FBX import predictablity. Once the client (Tara from Arnell Group) saw the Monopus test renders whipping and snapping it's fangs, it was full steam ahead.

I believe EIAS renders were used as prime sales and visualization tool but I think the final renders are use in the interactive kiosks in Singapore as well.




08-21-2007, 10:41 PM
Some creatures would have not only been impractical to animate on a tight deadline but also rig. With this creature to animate the tail would have been very time consuming. With an FBX workflow, I didn't have to use any IK or high level controls for the bones.

Automatic dynamics made it so I could just animate the body and all the parts of the fan tail would gain overlapping motion. This way I could animate in Maya on a proxy, then skin the FBX motion to a high resolution model in EIAS.

It saved me tons of time by only animating a few keyframes instead of rigging and animating every bone for each bone chain.

So in EIAS, I could rig other controls on top of the imported FBX motion. So I could animate the swim procedurally and David could control the direction or position of the character swimming when he merged the scene with other characters.

EIAS tools for "massaging" the dynamic generated mocap data from Maya was very simple and flexible. I could scale the swimming charater, spin it in a circle, filter or keyframe portions of the data. This made life for David...Happy. The character may be wiggling all over but all he had to do was rotate one or two higher level EI controls in his underwater seascape.

This model of Seal-Crab-thing by "G" rig by AVT

08-21-2007, 11:17 PM
Great work. Alonzo.
Amazing idea. About the ´how´ i understand barely half. Maybe someday...
Nice little critters.


08-21-2007, 11:26 PM
Great work. Alonzo.
Amazing idea. About the ´how´ i understand barely half. Maybe someday...
Nice little critters.


If you go through all the videos in the DVD I am making for you, you will have a foundation
knowledge to handle any FBX Bone setup.

It's easy after you understand it but the first time dealing with complex non human or "non earthly" aquatic hybrids...maybe you should wait til I do a FBX DVD for that :)

It's a little tricky.

08-21-2007, 11:33 PM
..maybe you should wait til I do a FBX DVD for that...

You have another sell!! just let me know when and how many.
Congrats again.


08-21-2007, 11:52 PM
Again, what seemed complex really just broke to simple fundamental principles.
It was very impressive that I could manage simulated motion data in EIAS as well as Maya. The two worked together, not against each other. I used them both for their strengths. EIAS for scene mangagement and rendering and complimented by Maya powerful modeling and dynamics. Yes, EIAS could use more tools, but there was lots to work with. Again Kudo to Blair for FBX and "The Igors" for the interface tool to manage the data.


08-22-2007, 12:04 AM
Definitely there were modeling and rigging challenges. I'm looking for tighter integration with ZBrush, but already ZBrush helps with texture painting and my sculpting pardigm.

There's still a lot more to this project that I can't show yet like all the creature literally "morph" into new hybrids. David and I would like to do a more official release of the project when we have full release. So that's all for now. Thanks Folx.


08-22-2007, 02:01 AM
Really nice stuff Alonzo. I look forward to additional info on how you did this.



08-22-2007, 05:07 AM
Marvelous achievement Alonzo. You are definitely pushing the envelope with EIAS.

Well done.

08-22-2007, 06:27 AM
Congrats Alonzo! Excellent job! Keep it up (the good work... not the dongle...)

08-22-2007, 06:31 AM
Congrats Alonzo! Excellent job! Keep it up (the good work... not the dongle...):applause:

Reason for edit: So Alonzo, I congrat you twice! Well, you earn it. Don't understand the double post. One has the applause emoticon the other one doesn't...?

08-22-2007, 04:42 PM
Congrats Alonzo, excellent work! It's really good to see you able integrate each program for it's strengths, I know you had some headaches along the way. Just looking at those rigs makes my head hurt. :)

08-22-2007, 08:09 PM
Hey Guys.

I really appreciate the Kudos. It's funny being a part of an award winning work. Never paid much attention to stuff like that before. It was a team effort. David really blessed me by calling me in on the project. He also had a "cool head" while figuring stuff out during some high pressure deadlines. And "G", tho he is from an archi background and more or less learning organic modeling, was in despensible in helping us break down the work load. He even UV'd some of my own models. Two heads are truly better than one. That's not to mention the people who modeled the underwater scenes, I think Frank Gehry team. I prep'd their nurbs models for David, so I had to instruct them on export low res proxy from Maya so we can manage with Encage. Nurbs doesn't import into EIAS so O2F and converting data was needed.

Anyway, I'm still processing the feeling :) It's validating and certifying for sure. "So does this mean I know what I'm doing?" hahaha!!! ...Maybe.

But yes, no doubt about it the intensity of the project, bought me to my knees some nights. However, with rigging, that's not something new. My first pupil rig had me in tears. haha. Now, it's easier than eating Jello Pudding. It's understanding bad behaviors and how to correct it. Why it broke, and how to fix it. that's all.

I gotta get this info out to you guys. We all can benefit from it and we all don't have to get headaches to do the same things. I just need to go through each topic.

I will have an update on the "Deformer Rig" shortly.

08-22-2007, 08:15 PM
Eric, Kurt, Richard, and Allan. Thanks.

Allan, you would amazed at how easy that octo would be now. I want to do another octopus.
Rich, I'll keep my dongle on my KB. haha. Good advice thanks. :)
Eric, I got your email thank for the update.
Kurt. really appreciate it. thanks.

Still more "Good Stuff" to come.


08-23-2007, 01:03 AM
I want to do another octopus.
command d works for me :)

A.C. Farley
08-23-2007, 05:22 PM
Very cool Alonzo. Nice work.

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