Objectives

The basic premise is to build a short 2 minute animation involving a hamster in a ball and a soccer game. A little crude but I hope that it will end up being a fun video.

Storyline

  1. A hamster is sleeping in a clear ball
  2. Pan out to see that the ball is in the middle of a field
  3. Ball is kicked, waking the hamster and causing panic within the ball
  4. The hamster runs haphazardly while pursued by players
  5. Hamster escapes by scoring a goal

storyboard.jpg

Technical Challenges

These are the technical details that I will need to overcome to complete my project:

Tools

I wil be using the Blender 3d Graphics program to build my animation.

Timeline

Even though the assignment is due in week 12. I've given myself an additional 2 weeks for poor estimation/other craziness.

Week 4:

Week 5:

Mid-semester break:

Week 6:

Week 7:

Week 8:

Week 9:

Week 10:

Diary

Week 4

I spent most of week 4, researching animation and modelling. I went through this tutorial that will prove useful when animating the hamsters running across the ground.

Week 5

Found a bear rig, that I will try to convert into a hamster. There was also a mouse rig but it looked less like a hamster. However there is currently no rig set up for the face so I will have to mock something up for that.

Mid-session break

Most of this week was taken up doing the flame assignment. I did find a good model for a human that should suit my needs for the soccer players. The players will all look the same but I don't forsee many close up shots of the players. So this shouldn't be a problem.

Week 6

Animated the start where the players shake hands and the camera zooms into the ball. Animated the ball being kicked into the air.

Week 7

Animated the player kicking the ball. Since the model I am using is quite simplistic, it is quite difficult to get the right and angle and flow of the player. Although the initial kick looks reasonable, the follow through doesn't look quite right. The trajectory of the ball also needs some fine tuning.

Week 8

Found a model of a squirrel that I can use as a replacement of the hamster. I have animated the squirrel waking up and the squirrel running. This website has proven invaluable in developing a realistic run cycle. Although it is not blender specific, it has pointed me to the features and movements I need to concentrate on and where to start.

running.jpg

Week 9

Built the opening sequence and made further modifications to the running sequence to make it look more realistic. I originally had the opening sequence zoom in from above, however its was hard to get a good idea what was going on from that angle. So I have changed the camera to zoom in from the side.

Week 10

Built the squirrel animation as it is kicked along the ground. Modelling the bounce of the ball has proven to be quite difficult. For rendering the ball, I have used the values from this website as a guide.

Found a useful tutorial on how to model grass, using blender's in-built particle system. http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=68269. Blender allows you to specify the number of particles used to render the grass. A good number appears to b 100000, although at that level it slows down my computer considerably.

Week 11

I started rendering the animations, for the more complex animations one frame has taken 20 min to render. Without a render farm at my disposal I won't be able to render some scenes with ray tracing and high quality anti-aliasing.

I found a really good tutorial on how to create a realistic looking LED billboard. I also used this http://cogfilms.com/tutorials/Animated-Procedural-Textures.pdf%20tutorial in order to get the texture moving realistically across the sign.

The different scenes that I ended up building were:

  1. Starting sequence (zoom into the ball)
  2. Squirrel waking up
  3. Ball kicked
  4. Ball bouncing and then stopped
  5. Squirrel stunned and gets up
  6. Squirrel running through a sea of legs
  7. Squirrel "scores" goal
  8. Sign
  9. Credits

The individual scenes were put together using Windows Movie Maker. This turned out to be more painful than anticipated (see final thoughts).

In order to get a full animation rendered I have had to compromise on some key features.

Animation

soccer-critter-movie.wmv

Final Thoughts

After completing the animation there a few things that I have learnt from the experience:

Soccer Animation (last edited 2009-06-04 22:37:39 by anonymous)