I created this month’s free tutorial with one thing in mind: How can I help improve artists’ workflow’s? This tutorial explores Maya’s ‘Transfer maps’ tool and is designed to do just that. I’ve made sure that we cover this tool in great detail, providing valuable insight into how it works, and how you can avoid common problems. It’s a very practical, hands-on demonstration of the ‘Transfer maps’ tool and with it, you will learn how to bake a diffuse texture from multiple pieces of geometry to one individual model.
As a creative professional, we hope you’re going to find the information below as exciting as we do. Last week, 14th November 2011, NVIDIA announced the arrival of NVIDIA Maximus, a technology that is set to revolutionise the way we all work. Delivering significantly increased speed and productivity to any pipeline with a single system that allows you to achieve a range of compute-intensive and graphics-intensive tasks simultaneously, you may start to wonder how you ever managed without it.
SIGGRAPH is the worlds leading conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques. Each year they welcome thousands of artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students and academics to Vancouver from 74 countries around the world.
On September 7th, 2011 we held a webinar for Autodesk’s 2012 version of the Entertainment Creative Suites. As ever, registrations for this Autodesk webinar were plentiful, and we're delighted so many of you were able to join us on the day.
Creative Futures is a study we recently commissioned to uncover what people in the creative industries really think about training. One of the key factors emerging from the report was that many professionals currently in full time employment, were actively seeking new skills to further their career. In these cases online or evening study are the only option.
Pixar, renowned for their cutting edge animation, know better than anyone the advantages of saving time where possible. The technical directors and supervisors on Cars 2 were faced with the challenge of building locations for this feature length animation. Those of you who have seen the sequel will remember that the lead character, Lightning McQueen, is being sent around the globe to race in the world Grand Prix. The challenge for the Pixar creative team was to build recognizable cities, on a very broad scale.
Our friends at Autodesk have just announced that from 27 September 2011, selected 2012 versions of Autodesk software will be available for download for subscription customers. Autodesk Subscription Advantage Packs offer early access to new product enhancements, giving you the very latest in Autodesk software. Subscriptions are available to contract managers, software coordinators or anyone who has been granted access to Autodesk product extensions.
In honour of the recently released Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite, Escape Studios are hosting a webinar to highlight some of the nifty tools in this 2012 version. Maya guru Lee Danskin will be walking through how these artist driven tools can assist with multiple pipelines without compromising on creativity. With one click solutions that give faster results, this new edition promises to increase creativity, flexibility and productivity, and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
My walk down memory lane continues...
I went on a simulator ride called 'Slot Car Boogie' at the weekend. it was actually made by some old friends at Rocket Films in Bournemouth quite some years ago. 1996 I believe! Rocket Films are sadly no longer trading but it lead me to wonder who makes these kind of films today? It's hard to find any reference of it in the UK, which is a shame as we were obviously quite good at it.
This work would have been done on a Silicon Graphics machine running PowerAnimator. To put this into perspective, this would have cost around £60-80K for the SGI hardware and the software for just one artist... Oh, how lucky we all are now!
If you know of any companies that do this type of work in the UK, do let me know.
As with most of my memory lane trips, the memories were normally pre Internet revolution. I have however found this on YouTube, Slot Car Boogie by the originator Ian Williams.
I’ve been looking at the latest version of IKinema, and I reckon those of you out there who work on game animation might want to take a look at it. If you don’t know what IKinema is, the official marketing description is “A full-body animation technology that allows effortless run-time control of characters during game play to achieve full adaptation to a scene giving users a new game animation experience”.
If you want to replicate the complexity of real world objects, you need to create materials that mimic them and this month's free tutorial will show you exactly how to do that. A car body is made up of lots of materials or layers, like metal and paint. If you want to create a rusty car you'll need more materials to create the common signs of deterioration. Many Maya users will be familiar with the 'layered shader' and 'layered texture' nodes. This tutorial asks what happens if you are using the MIA material and rendering in Mental Ray.
If you're reading this blog, then chances are you're like most of us here at Escape Studios and love blowing things up and putting them back together again. So this month's free tutorial should be right up your street because we're going to teach you how to demolish a brick wall using nCloth.
We had an enquiry from one of our online students asking if she could view our online courseware on an iPad via the Skyfire app to view flash content... As we have not yet worked on mobile releases of our learning system (busy building fab courses), I thought I would take a look at it as I was kind of intrigued.
So I invest my £2.99 and loaded her up! I was amazed I could get in to our system and play the video content! Sadly my joy soon tempered when I could not make out the text in the 3DS Max interface. #disappointed!
The loading was also a little clunky to be honest, you would select a video to view and it would load a little window in the bottom left hand of the screen and find the video. Not elegant.
Not to be beaten I decided to look at some additional apps. Whilst I am sure there are others I came across iSwifter. It was also cheaper at £1.79 ;-)
So I was again a little disappointed, this time with the speed of scrolling in our system... However - once I played a video it was seamless, no drop outs excellent quality and I was really very happy with the results.
Whilst we do not 'officially support' the iPad or mobile devices, I now know at least I can grab iSwifter and load up a video with my iPad. If you do have an iPad and want to try this out iSwifter do allow you to take a peak so why not grab one of our free tutorials and give it a go?
Have a great weekend everyone.
It's always great to hear when escapees land jobs - especially if it's one that they've always dreamt of getting. Tom Harle, who studied our Games Art Production course has just secured a job at top games studio Rebellion. He's worked really hard on his portfolio and it's clear that it's really paid off.