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View Full Version : Jason: Your suggestion on a DVD purchase?


stzaske
06-09-2003, 10:34 PM
This is a public message directed at Jason Schleifer, but anyone can respond if they have an answer.

Jason:

I'm an animation hobbist, and frankly $130 is a lot of money to me. I already feel burned by Alias Wavefront, buying Maya 4.5 and then seeing them release 5.0 a few months later.

You've got a great reputation here, and everyone recommends your DVD on "Fast Character Rigging", but I wanted to ask before I go spend $130...are you about to release any new books or DVD's? I'm sure either DVD's would be excellent, but I'd also like to have the most up to date DVD.

Anyone else hear anything about good upcoming character rigging content (DVD's, books, etc)?

Thanks,
-=STZ=-

TheWraith
06-10-2003, 03:22 AM
shouldn't you get the maya 5 upgrade free if you bought maya 4.5 within the last few months? i thought it was like within the last 6 months or so.

jschleifer
06-10-2003, 09:34 AM
Heya stzaske,

Thanks very much! Unfortunately, I don't have much time to develope anything new right now.. a bit busy finishing up the 3rd LOTR film, so when I go home at night the last thing I want to do is work on another dvd.. :)

However, I AM supposed to be updating both dvds to maya 5.0 versions as soon as I can work out the deal with Alias|Wavefront. I honestly don't know which is better between the two dvd's I've done.. I prefer the first, but others prefer the second.. <shrug> I put a lot of work into both, so I think they're both worthwhile.. but then, I'm a bit biased. :)

What is it you're interested in learning? Both DVDs are for intermediate to advanced users.. not at all geared towards the beginner. If you're looking at beginner level stuff, then maybe the gnomon dvd's or some of the other AW dvd's..

anyone else? :)

-jason

p.s. sorry if any of you have emailed me recently & I haven't gotten back to ya.. it's been crazy busy! I'm slowly working my way through my email, so I promise I'll get back as soon as I can!

KaB
06-10-2003, 02:32 PM
I just got Jason's second DVD from A|W store. It's awesome!

I am already planning to get the first DVD soon as I can.

-Great stuff Jason :applause: :thumbsup: :applause:

stzaske
06-10-2003, 03:13 PM
Hmmm, well thanks for the response.

I wasn't honestly even considering the first disk ("Maya Techniques | Integrating a Creature Animation Rig within a Production Pipeline"). I'm not worried the content will be too advanced, rather the title is just too strange sounding. I'm not sure what "Creature" refers to, but I've suspected it means quadruped...and I'm not too interested in learning about production pipelines at this moment.

On the other hand, "Maya Techniques | Fast Animation Rigs" sounds like a more general introduction to advanced character rigs.

What I think would be a very popular DVD would be one titled "Advanced Biped Rigs by Jason Schleifer". I think there are a lot of people like me...too advanced for a simple rig but unfamiliar with some of the techniques on more advanced setups. There is a real dearth of information on advanced rigs on the internet. OH, and I'm a BIG fan of your idea of keeping rigs SIMPLE. I've seen a lot of complex rigs, and I know from personal experience how a complex rig can slow down your animating.

As for "Return of the King" must be awefully fun to work on. Personally though I'm dreading its release. I found the book pretty depressing, and I gotta admit I'm kinda hoping Mr Jackson "Americanize" the ending. I KNOW I KNOW...BLASPHEMY!

Thanks again for your support in these forums, -=STZ=-

jschleifer
06-10-2003, 10:20 PM
I was thinkin it might be kinda fun to put together a DVD based on the production of the short I'm doing.. with all the scripts/etc used to make it & go through the process step by step. So it's an all-encompasing dvd.. would people find that useful?

-jason

Ckerr812
06-10-2003, 10:27 PM
Yea. for sure man. I would buy it.

Zappa
06-10-2003, 10:59 PM
Hey!Jason,

I think that wud be a great idea, havin a production short from LOTR III would certainly rock!!!
is it possible to to tell us (at least vaguely...without breaking the weta secret code :) )......what the short is about?

Cheers
zappa

goosh
06-10-2003, 10:59 PM
Yeah yeah yeah...

When is the DVD coming out? tomorrow? you need more time? next week?

good good good

G

dmeyer
06-11-2003, 02:59 AM
Originally posted by jschleifer

What is it you're interested in learning? Both DVDs are for intermediate to advanced users.. not at all geared towards the beginner. If you're looking at beginner level stuff, then maybe the gnomon dvd's or some of the other AW dvd's..

anyone else? :)

-jason



Good point here. While Jason's DVDs are great, if you are brand new to rigging you'd be better off with the Gnomon Kinematics set...which segue nicely into Jason's discs. Once you get through those, then pick up the AW dvds!

jschleifer
06-11-2003, 03:07 AM
Heh, it's not a LOTR short.. it's my own short I'm working on.

you can see a few images from it on my website, but I can't give out any more info than that right now.. there will be more to come as I get closer to finishing, but I probably wouldn't be able to release the DVD until siggraph next year. (if I produce one)

-jason

Originally posted by Zappa
Hey!Jason,

I think that wud be a great idea, havin a production short from LOTR III would certainly rock!!!
is it possible to to tell us (at least vaguely...without breaking the weta secret code :) )......what the short is about?

Cheers
zappa

TRi-14
06-11-2003, 04:11 AM
that would be awsome Jason! its would show workthrough and the process which many people ponder about. cool idea! :)



:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

-chris

Zappa
06-11-2003, 05:42 AM
Hey!Jason,

i checked out your site...and Jonh and his dog (did you spell John thatways on purpose?)...theres not too much info out there as regards the storyline etc...however looking at the cartoony style of the drawings im sure its gonna be awesome :-)....and havin a DVD based on the production would be just great....however please include everything that goes into it,...not jus the rigging:D ...thatways it would have the entire production proceedings, he!he..(maybe thats askin fr too much)..well at least the main aspects of it.

All the best with your Short...and im sure it will be awesome.
Cheers
:beer:
zappa

jschleifer
06-11-2003, 11:12 AM
Yep, Jonh was spelled that way on purpose.. can't tell ya why yet, but it's on purpose! :)

yeah, the idea was to do the dvd based on the entire production.. not necessarily giving out the data for the whole thing, but the techniques and tricks 'n stuff..

Stuppert-CharTD
06-11-2003, 02:05 PM
Hey Jason,

That would be a great DVD to have, for beginners as well as advanced users. And the whole concept would be cross-package/cross-platform, too (win-win situation).

nd

GrafOrlok
06-11-2003, 09:04 PM
I was kind of wondering about the first DVD -"Maya Techniques | Integrating a Creature Animation Rig within a Production Pipeline".
Does this one cover specific issues regarding setting up a rig that will be used in a larger production, where one guy does the skinning and stuff, another does the shading and texturing and another one is doing animation, all at the same time without interfering each others work? I think the title suggests that, but you never know.

I want to learn more about streamlining your production pipeline; how to use reference files without hazzle and so on. Is this the DVD for me?

Zappa
06-11-2003, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by jschleifer
Yep, Jonh was spelled that way on purpose.. can't tell ya why yet, but it's on purpose! :)

I want to get the DVD already!!!:)
btw, is this a team or a one man project?

lricho
06-12-2003, 12:14 AM
And the whole concept would be cross-package/cross-platform, too (win-win situation).
dont you mean a win-mac situation? ;)

Stuppert-CharTD
06-12-2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by lricho
dont you mean a win-mac situation? ;)

that's a good one!!!

loked
06-12-2003, 01:11 AM
Hey :wavey:

I've purchased both DVD's and they are both invaluable resource's in my everyday rigging.

I personally prefer the first one as it covers things that are a little more advanced IMO. Its geared more to rigging for realism and covers some cool stuff like Gimbal lock and the importance of joint orientation as well. Also there is a nice little chapter on procedural rigs at the end and anybody that's tried this will know how useful it is. I must agree though, neither are really for beginners.

Jason, forget about a DVD on the production of your short, do one on the production of Gollum!!!:bounce: Dont we all wish:)

On a serious note though, one of the things that I think people seem to be having terrible problems with is skinning, if you could do a DVD that focuses on skinning and ways to make the process alot easier, I'm sure people would be down on their knees thanking you. I know that you dont paint weight's at all and really just use influences as much as possible. I recently just rigged a character like this and it worked perfectly, but I'm sure there's a whole lot I'm not doing that you are!! :argh:

Keep up the good work!!
Later:wavey:
Loked

Scandell
06-12-2003, 09:02 PM
yes..i agree

a skinning DVD would be the most helpful for my production

lildragon
06-12-2003, 10:51 PM
I just found out the pain of weighting characters in Maya, but man it's still way better than Max's envelopes :argh: I still have occasional shivers.

Honestly the best implementation of weighting I've seen so far is in Cinema 4D. Their Claude Bonet tool is to die for.

P.S. Jason see if you can also coax Bay into making a facial rig DVD sometime ;)

-lild

Zappa
06-13-2003, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by lildragon

P.S. Jason see you can also coax Bay into making a facial rig DVD sometime ;)

-lild [/B]

That wud be awesome...like a 2 DVD set from Jason and Bay :drool:

GrafOrlok
06-13-2003, 07:18 AM
That wud be awesome...like a 2 DVD set from Jason and Bay

...on Gollum! They should have taped their lectures on 3Dfestival. That would have been ONE HELLUVA DVD!

muckywetnoodle
06-13-2003, 05:22 PM
Hmm, since Gollum's faces states are sculpted so it would be cool to see how that works with the underlying muscle system.

I'm hoping for a skinning DVD too. :) "Skinning and Deforming a Character".

GrafOrlok
06-13-2003, 09:51 PM
Hmm, since Gollum's faces states are sculpted so it would be cool to see how that works with the underlying muscle system.
Gollums face was not driven by muscle simulation. And the blend shapes where not traditionally sculpted either. Bay Raitt modelled the head in Mirai (and, yes, it went back and forth from digital model and sculpture during this process)and he then made over 800 morph target to get a full facial blendshape setup. He developed a system based on what is neurologically possible to to with your facial muscles. They had a bunch of presets where you as an animator also where allowed to go in and tweak details in the facials. The system didn't allow you to combine blendshapes that would make the face tear apart. Instead it created a sort of intermediate expression based on what was physically possible... I didn't really get all that...

The sculpted facal expressions that has been seen in photos was an early test for facials, and actually just a few sculptures photographed in various angles to get different expressions. The Gollum face where re-done 3 times... each time Bay had to redo all 800 blendshapes...:insane: Guess I'll stop complaining next time my character has to have over 30 morph targets...

As you might guess my eyes where as big as sausers and I was constantly drooling at the Gollum-day at the 3d-festival.

muckywetnoodle
06-14-2003, 12:14 AM
Yeah, I know. I think I've heard of that Mirai thingy. I think it 's a Maya plug-in. :P (j/k, been using it for a few years now)

"Instead it created a sort of intermediate expression based on what was physically possible"
That sounds like he built the displacements isolated so you could mix and match. So say, build left-eye-brow-raise, which could be combined with right-mouth-corner-snarl etc. In Mirai, since all the displacements are stored in one model, it's easy to mix and match small portions of different targets. You can select some verts from one area, displace, select some verts from another, displace those, and so-on and then you can save the resulting expression as a new displacement (morph). A couple other things to note are that you can mix and match whole displacements in varying degrees with a mixer (numerical and slider setup) as well as the vert selection method. One of the really cool things about the vert method is you can displace isolated areas but you can displace with a magnet fall-off area so the displacement blends nicely with the surrounding mesh. I can't wait to see what new stuff they've made for all this. I'm just a pee-on so I only get the old stuff. :)

Dunno if you've checked out that Cinefex article:
"The Gollum facial model consisted of 675 sculpted expressions with 9,000 sculpted muscle shapes."

What I don't understand is if that means 9,000 subtleties sculpted in the mesh or underlying muscles like the rest of the puppet.

sdh
06-14-2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by loked
On a serious note though, one of the things that I think people seem to be having terrible problems with is skinning, if you could do a DVD that focuses on skinning and ways to make the process alot easier, I'm sure people would be down on their knees thanking you. I know that you dont paint weight's at all and really just use influences as much as possible. I recently just rigged a character like this and it worked perfectly, but I'm sure there's a whole lot I'm not doing that you are!! :argh:


YES PLEASE! :bounce:

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