View Full Version : Mike's Demo Work

02 February 2005, 03:03 AM
Alrighty... so I'm graduating soon and need some opinions on some of this stuff so I get it out the door and get hired by a bad @$$ company :)

Here is some stuff I put out last quarter, I got a run, jump, and some acting done... but I'm working on a story right now... so check out what I have and leave some crits... Thanks :)

Run (
Jump (
Acting (

02 February 2005, 03:47 AM
Here is the mouse that I modeled for a story that I'm currently working on for my Demo Reel... lots and lots of work to go...

02 February 2005, 03:53 AM
Here are some skinning tests, I'm currently skinning this character and hope to have some more work up soon... I'm considering the legs done for now, unless someone sees something that needs to be changed... this is my first character to skin, so I'm hoping for some crits on this... I know I'm going to be needing it... thanks in advance :)

Leg Test 01 (

Leg Test 02 (

Leg Test 03 (

02 February 2005, 05:31 AM
Alrighty... I'm looking for some help here... I have finished skinning the leg, and want to mirror it to the other side, so I don't have to reskin the other side. Now everything appears to go fine, until I try mirroring it, when I follow the steps and click Paste Blue to Green Bone, or Paste Green to Blue Verts, the wrong verts get pasted, and those verts that I'm copying from get affected also... You can see in the image how not all the verts are pasted to the other side. Plus If I click on the bone that is supposed to be mirrored to, it is now controlling parts of the leg it is being mirrored from. If anyone know anything please help... or I'm going to have to skin the other leg all by itself to

03 March 2005, 05:09 PM
Ok... I finished the initial skinning of Max, and did a quick walk cycle in less than an hour... I know it looks bad, but I wanted to see how the skin was doing...

There are a couple things I've seen that I need to fix, but I'm always open to yalls opinions in case yall find anything you find that I've not seen yet, I'll be fixing this tonight, so enjoy till then :)

Test Walk 01 (

03 March 2005, 09:28 AM
Hey, there seems to bee something wrong with the area between the tail and his leg, everything else is coming together nicely, ow and i dunno if you solved the mirroring problem but increasing the mirror threshold might help

03 March 2005, 08:39 PM
Yeah thanks, I've got the mirroring fix, still not sure exactly what was wrong with it but oh well... I'm dieing to work on the walk some more, but I'm stuck working right now, and have another project due Monday, ugh... school, never lets you do what you want to :)

Thanks for the input on the tail, I kinda noticed that to... I'll see what I can do about it, feel free to give more c & c.

03 March 2005, 07:17 PM
Hey everyone, I'm going to be texturing this guy next week, and I really don't have an idea of what to do for his texture, I'm not used to the mouse texture thing, lol... mostly done goblins and buildings and stuff, so please please pleaseeee.... help me, throw me some ideas and all that good stuff...

Thanks in advance :)

03 March 2005, 03:58 AM
Playing with some color ideas... not sure how much I like this one yet though, I want to try giving him some fur texture, but I don't want it overdone or anything, cause I'm not going to have alot of time to work on it, and I don't want to see it streching all over the place, let me know if you guys have any ideas :)

03 March 2005, 04:10 PM
I am no expert at all but I think that your work is totally cool!

Any tips for someone just starting out?? PM me if you can..


03 March 2005, 09:59 AM
The easiest way to fake fur is making a fallof material. In both subslots use a stretched noise map. Make shure that the fallof map is set to parralel. Make the noise map that is visible on the edge lighter than the one inside. This gives your shader a furry look. You might add anistrophy for a nice shine.
Ive made a little example, its quick but shows the effect. You should add some small hairs here and there to make it look more real.
I hope this works for your model, good luck with it!

03 March 2005, 02:11 PM

uh... I have no idea what you're talking about dude, lol... it seems like a foreign language to me at the moment, and I've done texture before, lol... I'm working in Max right now, and none of what you just said sounds familiar at all, maybe you can help me out a little bit more, thanks dude... :shrug:

03 March 2005, 02:32 PM
hehe sorry, ill explain a little more. In a new standard anistrophic material, take a fallof map as diffuse. Um maybe a picture of the material tree will help....

03 March 2005, 02:36 PM
Ok... I think I get what you're saying now, I'll have to check that out later tonight and see if I can pull it off... I can't do it quite right now, I have to finish my print portfolio before 2, so I've got a bit of work to get done, lol... Thanks alot :thumbsup:

03 March 2005, 09:57 PM
Looking good mike. Post a pic of your story board.

03 March 2005, 08:48 PM
Ok, I've been working on the texturing and I have this small problem I need some help with, Please Please Please.... Ok here is the problem, I am using small texture maps and applying it to faces using a UVW Map so that the fur texture gets applied to each face and is an easy look for fur...

Now here's the problem, when I render out the scene the faces point different ways, so in some areas the faces are horizontal and in others the faces are verticle, what I need to know, is what would be the best way to get all the faces going verticle so it looks like the fur is running down his entire body, thanks in advance... :)

03 March 2005, 05:58 AM
Ok, I've been doing some cloth tests this evening, and I'm having a hard time getting the cloth to settle the right way... I'm using Max, with reactor, and have been fiddling with this for a couple hours, but I can't get the cloth to bounce less without it just sinking through the body, here's once of the tests I've done so you can see what's going on.

Cloth Test (

***Oh and I'm still having the problem above if anyone has a solution :)***

03 March 2005, 06:49 AM
Hey, i dont know the solution to the texturing problem, but have you checked the scale of your model? Reactor works with realworld units, so if your character is very big it looks very strange.Anyway, maybe its easier to use the cloth plugin from discreet, it comes with max standard now and it should be downloadeble to anyone who hasnt got the newest max version. it works way better than reactor and it has all these preset clothmaterials, like cotton and wool. I am not shure if its free, i hope it is...

well, good luck

03 March 2005, 08:59 AM
The uvw mapping issue your having is very strange, can you post more on what you did. Anyways, in response to the reactor cloth. Try setting your mass higher because the mass effects how the cloth will react to other objects in the scene, as well as messing with the damping, stiffness, and friction, but I think mass is the one you want to mess with more. I have posted a vid and a pic. the vid isnt fancy but I hope it helps you, and the pic are the settings I used for reactor to get the result of the vid.

reactorsettings (

testcloth (

03 March 2005, 02:35 PM
Yeah... uh, when I modeled the guy I still didn't really know about size in Max, so he's freaking huge, I think a good sky scraper tall, lol...

Is there a way to reset the scale of the world, so that he'd be normal size, with out screwing up the rig or any of that, I've tried messing with it a bit, and it kept breaking my rig... maybe you know of another way...

As for the new Plugin, I'll have to take a look at that, and see if I can grab a copy...

KC, I'll post up some shots later tonight of what I did on the UVW Face mapping problem I'm having, hopefully you'll know of a way to fix that, but the guy's at Ritual and my work said they don't know of a way, so I'm thinking I could be S.O.L... oh well... :shrug:

03 March 2005, 02:42 PM
there is an option in reactor that could save you, world scale. I never got it to work right... But you could always try. the option is located in the reactortab under Utilities. You can look up how it works in the included helpfiles. Just look for world scale.
I hope it is fixable. Otherwise you could try to make a very simple vest with flex.
Good luck

03 March 2005, 10:45 PM
If messing with the reactor world scale doesnt work, then I would mess with the cloth modifier some more. Try making your values extreme. But looking through the reactor reference guide I did find this. I hope it helps some. I know its alot of reading but I hope it helps you out.

Physics, as a body of knowledge, is enormous. What we are concerned with here would more accurately be described as a mechanical simulation of the interactions of objects at real world scales. We are dealing with Newtonian mechanics, that is, the well understood laws of motion, popularized by Sir Isaac Newton, that describe the behavior of objects under the influences of other objects and external forces. Since then we’ve discovered that these laws break down at really small (i.e. subatomic) and really large (i.e. planetary) scales.

New physics systems have been devised to work with these scales (e.g. relativistic and quantum), but these are way beyond the scope of our physics engine. Our physics simulation technology works at the scale of objects we interact with on a daily basis, such as chairs, cars, buildings, and footballs. By default, the engine works in units of meters and kilograms.

It's important to keep in mind the scale in which you're working. For example, one of the most common mistakes we see people make is to start by creating a box 100*100*100 meters and wondering why it takes so long to fall. A box of this size when viewed at a distance sufficient to be able to see the entire box (say 1km away) will appear to fall at the same speed as an aircraft hangar dropped from a height and viewed 1 kilometer away. Slowly.

<H3 class=title>Changing Scale

The Havok physics engine does not care what units of measurement you use when specifying the size of objects or the strength of gravity, it only cares about the numbers - so you could, for instance, work in inches. However, for realistic (or at least predictable!) results, you must be very careful to be consistent. So, for instance, if you are working in meters, then you need to make sure that gravity is set to an appropriate value in meters (if you want Earth-like gravity then use 9.8 m/s2). Otherwise you may find that objects appear to fall far faster or far slower than you expect.

Note that, due to CPU floating-point precision, a physics engine will be most accurate when dealing with numbers as close in magnitude to 1 as possible (i.e. values like 10000000 are bad, as are values like 0.0000001). Therefore for real world scenes when creating objects of 1*1*1 size it is more useful to be working in meters or feet than centimeters or kilometers (or inches / miles) in that you will most often be simulating objects larger than sugar cubes and smaller than football fields. It is for this reason that the default values in many physics engines are usually specified in meters.


03 March 2005, 05:47 AM
Ok, I've been working on this vest some more, and I was really hoping to get a bit further on it then I did, take a look at it and let me know what yall think...

cloth_test09 (

03 March 2005, 11:42 PM
first thing first for you hair texture, your uv info is mess up.
so you might need to remap your character. you can use a uvw unwrapp for this.
if you have all ready unwrapped your character make sure that your maps are pointing at the proper uv channels.
for exapmle your maps might default to objct xyz so change them to explicit channel and and use channel one 1 (if your unwrapp uvs are in channel 1 that is.)

for your scale issue..
a trick i have used before is
figure out how tall your charactrer is with the tape messure tool
lets say he's 200 ft tall...
so you want your character to be lets say 5ft tall
so divided newhight by currenthight. exmp: 5/200 (.25)
this give you a a scale ratio
now go to customize..
unit setup...
system units
get the number that 1 units = (usualy it's 1 if your setting are "1 unit = 1.o inches")
and divide your ration by the nomber above. exmp: 0.25/1 (.25)
change the sytem units so it read to the new number. exmp: 1 unit = 0.25 inches
save your file
reset your sytem units to what they used to be exmp: 1 unit = 1 inches
now go to file, new file, and and choose new all.
now marege the file you save out into yor new file and done.
your rigg should now be 5ft.
i'm currently scripting this steps. so maybe later a post a tool.

03 March 2005, 01:58 PM
Hey Skye. Not sure if you're gonna be promoting yourself as an animator or a generalist, but since you posted some animations, i'll go ahead and crit those...

Your run doesn't read well at all. when the character turns and starts to run, there's no sense of weight. This is partly because there is no change in the Translate Y channel. (no up and down movement of the body as he takes a step) Also, your spacing is all wrong. When the character swings it's right leg around with it's body, it's WAY faster than the rest of him, and it's also very linear. Then we run into another problem. You cut way too much. The viewer has no time to even analyze the animation before you cut to another angle. This can be misconstrued by some potential employers as you hiding your mistakes, which i'm sure you're not doing. Judging by the third angle you've got the beginnings of a decent run going. It's a bit jerky, but nothing that can't be solved by going into the graph editor and smoothing out your curves. The problem with walks and runs, etc. is that they're so overdone, and done wrong 90 percent of the time on reels. So i'd say unless you can get it really working nicely, don't put it on your reel. If you want to do the whole starting into a run and then slowing back down to a neutral stance, don't cut to different angles. It's not easy get to get a character to do what you're trying to do and actually make it work, so keep at it! but again, don't include it on the reel unless it's really working.

As for the jump, first off, you need to offset the head so it lags behind on the take off and landing 3 or 4 frames. Right now it's moving perfectly with the torso. Offset it and you'll get a lot more weight in there... The legs are popping into the air and popping back onto the ground. Maybe allow a few more frames between keys, and get into the graph editor and smooth some things out... The left arm is touching the ground when he lands, then floating up a few inches, and freezing for a few frames. this looks really unnatural and distracting. The right arm is getting there, but the hand seems to be rotating in some strange directions. And i'd ditch the second angle of the jump. It's overkill and a bad angle anyway.

As for the acting piece, he never stops moving. this is bad. nothing reads at all. With a soundbyte like this you're gonna really want some facial expressions in there for it to make any sense. the character is gonna be thinking a lot, and you can't see that with this particular rig. You've got way too many poses in there, which is why he doesn't stop moving, and most of them don't read. it's hard to tell what he's doing. It's a great sound byte choice. i'd say use a rig with a good facial setup, and keep your major poses to a minimum.

Again, i don't know what you're gonna be selling yourself as, but if it's an animator, i'd suggest going back to the bouncing ball exercises and really getting into that graph editor and tweaking those curves. i think it would greatly improve the harder tasks you are trying to tackle now. either way, keep on truckin! you'll get there! good effort so far, man!

03 March 2005, 03:56 PM
Thanks Carlos... I'll follow those steps you gave for the world scale and see if that ends up helping me out...

As for the Texturing Job I did, I never unwrapped the character, I just applied a UVW Map, set to Faces, and then threw a small 288 by 288 texture square on each face to represent the fur, I know weird size, but that is what was looking good... but as you can see, the squares either go horizontal or verticle, and I've not found an easy way to control them... it looks like I'm going to have to go about it the other way, and unwrap the character, I've never done that before, so It should be interesting :rolleyes:

03 March 2005, 05:12 PM
Chris Capel...

Thank you so much for going through those... I am promoting myself as an Animator, I'm sure it's a bit hard to tell right now with the texturing and modeling stuff thats on here, but I'm still going through school right now for Character Animation, and I'm trying to graduate here in the next 6 months or so... So it's time to start putting that Demo Reel together and getting something that looks good...

The mouse is part of an Animation Short that I'm putting together for my demo reel... my school has all of the animation students come up with a little story and create it pretty much from scratch, I've had help with mine in some of the concepts and environment work, but I've done everything else... woo hooo... so much work :)

So... I'll have to make those changes you suggested, those animations are actually from my first, and so far, only animation class, and those were the rigs we were provided with... that's why I've had to build my mouse, so I'm not stuck looking like everyone else's stuff... the reason I did the cuts with the run, is because it was hard to get a good angle with a fixed camera and still see everything... Would you suggest that I just have the one side angle of the camera and show it, and then show it again with a front angle?

As for the Jump... sounds like that is what I did the best on :) I'll make those changes and throw that up here, not sure when I'll get to it, I have two weeks left of this quarter and lots to wrap up for those classes...

So ack... guess the acting one wasn't so good, would you suggest just scrapping it, until I get a different model that I can do better facial expressions with?

Once again... Thank you for taking time to look at my stuff, that was great feedback, and I can't wait to hear more from you as I keep going with this stuff ... are there any other suggestions you could give, that may help before and after graduation... thanks :)

03 March 2005, 07:30 PM
Thanks Carlos... I'll follow those steps you gave for the world scale and see if that ends up helping me out...

As for the Texturing Job I did, I never unwrapped the character, I just applied a UVW Map, set to Faces, and then threw a small 288 by 288 texture square on each face to represent the fur, I know weird size, but that is what was looking good... but as you can see, the squares either go horizontal or verticle, and I've not found an easy way to control them... it looks like I'm going to have to go about it the other way, and unwrap the character, I've never done that before, so It should be interesting :rolleyes:

in that case you should unwrapp it.
or at last cut it into planer maps, to unify all the faces togather.
in my experience there are not short cuts go good uvws.

03 March 2005, 08:01 PM
Well Carlos... turns out that those world scale steps didn't really work for me, it might have something to do with the fact that my character is a giant, 1700 feet... lol, so I was having to go with a 1 = .002935699 modifier, or just .003 and well, It acts like it's going to work till this happens when I merge it with a new file :shrug:

Guess I'm just going to have to work with this scale or something...

03 March 2005, 12:19 PM
Hey, I would seriously consider rerigging the character at the right scale, working at this scale with dynamics is just horrible. Rerigging it should save you all the trouble and time.
I'm sorry for you there is no solution.
Good luck

03 March 2005, 07:57 PM
ok they way i usaly fix the mesh oxplosion is that in the skin mod, under advanced setting there is a box called "always deform" just uncheck it and recheck it agein.
this should rest your binding just make sure your rigg is a bese pose whan you do this.

let me know how it goes.

03 March 2005, 06:05 PM
Well... Carlos, that worked pretty good, the mouse is now is shaped correctly, but there is a small problem :) some of the bones went wacky crazy... <---- (technical term)

But I've talked to my professors some, and I'm reworking the original story so that I can do more walk cycles and concentrate less on the story, so that's a good thing, well if you have any ideas, let me know, and as always thanks for the help.

03 March 2005, 06:38 AM
Ok, I have a new animation I've been working on for about an hour or so tonight, so it's just a very rough animation at the moment, it's part of the new story that I've gotten for class so that I can concentrate working on Cycles after I'm done with this, so I'll post up some boards later this week so yall can see what I'm doing...

As always feel free to leave some c&c, and thanks in advance :)

Push WIP (

03 March 2005, 09:25 PM
If you have anytime post up your new storyB. On an other note, instead of doing a simulation on the cloth maybe you could just skin it to the body and use morphs or a ffd to animate the cloth. Your animation is coming along nicely, the only thing Im going to say since its not a final piece is your IK setup. The legs pop at a certian point during the animation, and also your skinning on your mouse could use some tweaking or even some morph deformers. Such areas as the shoulders and the back of your thigh, I saw didnt morph well.

03 March 2005, 02:22 PM
Ok... thanks for the comments... I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to respond but I've been working other classes and wrapping them up so you know how that goes I'm sure... well here are my new storyboards that I got approved... they're much shorter and less elaborate than the original ones... that way i'm not so focussed on the story as with the animation and the cycles i'll be doing later... so yeah... here you go :)

03 March 2005, 02:23 PM
Lol... and for you to see how basic my story is now... here's a shot of the environment... woohoo... I built this sucker myself in record time ;)

03 March 2005, 06:46 PM
The new story I like alot better than your old one. I think this has more animation in it. Have you fixed any of your problems since your last posts? The uvw face, cloth, or the IK setup?

03 March 2005, 07:39 PM
No... I've not had a chance to get any further on the animation, been pretty busy :( But I think I'm going to give up on the cloth before I spend another week on something futile.... Well I'll try to get some more stuff going here soon... it might be a week... but I'll get moving again :)

03 March 2005, 08:51 PM
Watched the animations. My comment to the last one the "Push WIP":

The animation isnt't bad. When I watch it I can imagine the weight of the box, so you did a good job because you reached this goal.

But you have to do some facial animation. Otherwise this won't ever look like it should. It doesn't look like your charakter is quite exertet (he looks quite relaxed instead)

03 March 2005, 05:28 PM
Lol... yeah I know, I've not done any facial expressions for him yet, just wanted to do rough out that sequence and then I'll go back and work on it alot more... Havn't had time lately, just got done applying for an Internship and have been busy with work :( Oh well... hopefully I'll have lots of time next week...

04 April 2005, 06:54 AM
Hows your animation coming along? done anywork on your week off?

04 April 2005, 04:48 PM
Nope... no work done this past week, seems I was kinda out of town for quite a few days, but it's time for me to get going again. Expect much more coming soon, it's time for me to get crunching and get going. :)

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