View Full Version : Celshaded elf + Motion Designer; taekwondo kicks

07 July 2003, 11:09 PM
Here's another MD experiment. Motion Designer used for ponytail, bangs and tunic:

07 July 2003, 11:21 PM

That looks good. Maybe the arms looks a little out of control but it's very nice.

Why don't you continue with that movie and add an enemy. :D

07 July 2003, 11:37 PM
Very Cool,

You defintely have you have anything like this animated with a background test as well just to see how it blends in?

Also was this colored with the SuperCel Shader?

07 July 2003, 11:55 PM
Thanks, guys!

Yup, Kara uses plain-vanilla Super Cel Shader.

I'll see if I can make a background...

Steve Warner
07 July 2003, 01:44 AM
Jen, this is terrific! But what surprised me the most was how much expression you've put into character's face. I've played this back frame by frame and am just floored. It's really outstanding! :applause:

07 July 2003, 01:51 AM
I luv it. Nice secondary motion with MD. the second swing kick could be a little faster to give more punch. But that's just subjective. :love:

07 July 2003, 02:23 AM
Great work Celshader!!:applause: Kinda agree with Toonshady about the second kick, but none the less fantastic work!!

07 July 2003, 02:26 AM
Very cool!
I also like the expressions on the face.
What did you do for the motion blur?
Frame by frame it reminds me of ReelSmart motion blur effect.

07 July 2003, 03:15 AM
Absolutely amazing, great work. :)

07 July 2003, 03:28 AM
Whenever I see tae kwon do, it really looks like a boxing using leg. As a korean I love it!!
And here is the source for you. One kick to down.:buttrock:

07 July 2003, 05:32 AM

Jen, do you have any plans to make an animated movie or something? I sure hope so. That's quite astounding.


Facial Deluxe
07 July 2003, 11:53 AM
Ears are MD too ? Woaaaaaa !!!
What about the animation, hand keyframe or some motion capture ?
Really good feeling, good weight, etc...
Me love, congrats:applause:

Rei Ayanami
07 July 2003, 11:57 AM
its good, what was the expression on her face just before she spins her head round? looks like pannic!

ohh and you have a shithotfast sever!

07 July 2003, 01:31 PM
Dang! :applause:

That is one little beautiful and very well animated (if "handmade" as I presume) little piece of animation! Very slick MD-parts :thumbsup:

07 July 2003, 02:00 PM
Still the tops Jen! That is very sweet work but how long did it take to do all those calcs? I also want to second Facial Deluxe's question, how did you do the animation, hand keyframed, mocap or what? Anyway you did it you did it well. Keep it coming.

07 July 2003, 08:05 PM
Thanks, everybody! :cool: For what it's worth, here's more details on this piece:

First, I hid all of the "soft" parts of the character to cut down on distractions, and I keyframed the body's animation by hand.
The arms and legs are IK-controlled; I added a null and made the head use Match Goal Orientation so that its rotation would move independently of the body and stay "locked" whenever I wanted it to stay locked. This messed up the IK-controlled eyes, so I bit the bullet and switched the eyes over from IK to Targeting. I don't like using Target because it ignores rotational limits, but I made sure I keyframed the eye goals so that the eyes didn't roll back into the elf's head.
After I was sure I liked the body animation, I started adding details. I keyframed the ears with bones, and I used Morph Mixer to animate the elf's face. I made sure the eyes looked correct, too.
After I had all of the keyframe stuff done, then I turned to Motion Designer. I created four separate scenes, one for each MD-calculation: bangs, tufts, ponytail and tunic.
For the bangs, side-hair-tufts and ponytail, I used MD_MetaPlug. I calculated the MD using ribbon-shaped objects for the tufts and ponytail. The cage object I used for the bangs looks a lot like two curtains side-by-side, with copies of the "root" sections of the bangs that had "Fixed" turned on so that those points would stay locked in place.
For the tunic, I used MD_Plug.
In each scene, I tweaked the settings until they looked right. I also created stand-in collision objects for the body and head, to cut down on the number of polygons that MD had to see. The stand-in for the body has "webbing" on the fingers so that the tiny geometry of the fingers wouldn't "catch" on the larger polygons of the tunic and accidentally drag it away.
I made the stand-ins by copying geometry from the body, turning off sub-ds and tripling the results. In the case of the body stand-in, I turned the hands into flexible mittens. In the case of the head collision stand-in, I removed the unneeded detail of the eye sockets and filled in the resulting gap with polygons. I parented these stand-ins to the body and had them use the bones of the body, to make sure they tracked the motion of the body.
In each MD scene, I tweaked the settings until I liked the results, then saved out the results -- one MDD file for each part. The calculations themselves went quickly, and it took me an hour at most to generate good MDD for the hair. The tunic was tricky, though, so I wound up spending all day on it before I figured out where to place my "fixed" polygons to get the results I wanted.
I then created a "playback" scene, where I applied all four MDD files to their respective parts. Again -- MD_MetaPlug for everything except the tunic. I used the low-poly ribbon and curtain objects used to generate the MDD information as the "cage" objects.
With all of the animation done, I tweaked the lighting until it looked "right." I used only one light for the scene -- celshaded characters often look best with one light.
If her foot intersected the floor, the ink line describing the bottom of her foot would have been hidden underneath the floor. I lowered the floor slightly to reduce the chances of her foot intersecting the floor. I didn't lower it too much, because I still wanted her shadow to look right.
With LightWave Edges, higher antialiasing results in smoother, nicer ink lines. I wanted the ink lines to look their absolute best, so I cranked up the AA to Enhanced Extreme with Adaptive Sampling turned off.
Then I had to decide whether or not to apply motion blur. I wanted the motion to look smooth, so I turned on Dithered Motion Blur at 50%. With the Enhanced Extreme AA, the Dithered Motion Blur looked nice and smooth.
The motion blur did lead to a small problem, though. On every frame, the elf looked fine. On a few fractional keys, though, she was intersecting with her tunic. Sure enough, these intersections showed up in the final render because of the Motion Blur. :D Instead of tweaking and re-rendering the entire scene, I spent an hour or less painting out the render errors on those frames with Aura. I figured if the ILM guys could paint out their render errors with Photoshop on Terminator 2, then I could paint out my errors, too.

Thanks for the link to that awesome avi, fasthotfinger! I had seen part of that clip in a fan-made music video that I downloaded off of KaZaA called "taekwondo.wmv", but I'm glad to have the whole clip -- it's great!!!


Mike Pauza
07 July 2003, 08:12 PM

07 July 2003, 04:41 PM
Totally impressed! I'm curious, which polys did you end up fixing for the tunic?

07 July 2003, 05:00 PM
Hi Celshader...
very neat animation, and the MD rocks!!! :thumbsup:
I just have one liittle gripe, somehow the movement has a very ballettesque (if I may say so :) ) feel to it, I would somehow image martial arts to be a bit more snappy (vague, I know)...
just my 2 cents, forgive me :wavey:

07 July 2003, 08:43 PM
Fair enough. :)

Originally posted by ASCIISkull I'm curious, which polys did you end up fixing for the tunic?

Well, I wanted a "modest" skirt that covered her rear end on the first kick and covered most of her crotch on the second kick. I wound up making the double-row of polygons in front of the middle of her rear and the double-row in front of her crotch "fixed" so that they would not move anywhere the leg bones didn't tell them to move. I guess if I had to do it over again I would have gotten more elaborate with the skirt setup and put bone chains in the fixed areas for even more control. I was happy to see her rear end covered on the first kick, though, so I let it be. :D


An old Motion Designer tutorial did a similar thing to keep a skirt in place, only it extended the fixed polygons down the sides of the skirt instead of the front/back of the skirt. Check out the tutorial here ( -- it shows how to maintain the pleats in a skirt while using MD on it! By using a non-pleated stand-in object for the MD calculations and later as a lattice/cage, the real skirt's pleats stay "ironed" all the way through the deformation.

It's an old tutorial, though -- ignore what it says about MD and IK. That was then. :beer:

07 July 2003, 09:04 AM
That's fabulous. I love the small animation details in there.
Great work!


07 July 2003, 07:07 PM
:beer: Very Cool Cel Animation!

07 July 2003, 05:11 AM
hey jen,
just saw this
wow really you've out done yourself.
bravo very fluid motion, and motion designer stuff is look so sweet now!!

remember i had so much trouble with my slabs o letters dropping on a conveyor belt (couldn't maintain volume prob)

saw the tire roll too.. it seems you've fixed the prob


and the clothing looks great!!

kudos to you!

07 July 2003, 09:02 AM
now lets see her battling a evil doer!:thumbsup:

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