Technical Art for Animation and VFX

Archive for the rigging dojo category

IMD and All Good Things

April 26th, 2010

ImageMovers Digital will be closing after the completion of Mars Needs Moms… it’s still really hard to type that sentence, but I’ve waited long enough. It has been one heck of a ride and I couldn’t have asked to work with better people. We did the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

Since the announcement, I’ve been busy with the reel and networking. Made a trip to SF for a job fair at IMD North and visited a couple PhaseSpace powered mocap stages while I was in town. Thanks to the Motion Capture Society, I was lucky enough to get a seat at the Performance Capture Technology panel hosted by Dreamworks on Thursday. Incredible line-up of presenters, including IMD’s very own, John Root.  I also spent the last week  standing in as a mentor over at Rigging Mentor. Created some video training for MoBu related questions. Had a blast. Love to do it again.

VERY excited about my FXPHD classes this session: Crafting The Scene, Mathematics for Visual Effects and Design, Intermediate RenderMan. Especially the math class – I hate not knowing how my tools work under the hood, so I’m pumped to be part of this.

There’s much more I want to say, though I think I’m just going to quote a fellow IMD’er and call it a night…

“The future is bright. Time for beer.” – Geordie Martinez

Rigging Dojo: Free Tips and Tricks

February 12th, 2010

If you become a fan of Rigging Dojo on Facebook, you’ll get access to their feeds – several of which have links to solid resources like this and this. They’re just getting started, so expect a lot more content to stream in as they add more mentors and students.

Rigging Dojo Opens!

February 1st, 2010

It’s official… Rigging Dojo went live today!

I’ve learned a lot from Brad and Chad over the years. When RD was ready to go into Beta, I immediately signed up. After seeing firsthand how they operate … I gotta’ say that I’m very excited about the approach they’ve taken. All the RD guys know their stuff across a wide array of software and are used to ramping teams of artists up for production. You can learn most of what you need to on your own, but there’s a lot of time involved researching, testing and working through some painfully difficult issues. I swear it’s always that last 10% that seems to take the longest. If you’re like me, you really don’t have a lot of time for that kind of thing. In the long run, I’ve often found it’s worth the cost to go to someone with the experience, knowledge and ability to get you up and running quickly. So far, that’s exactly what I’ve found at the community Rigging Dojo is fostering.

They put up a nice lil’ FAQ on their site so you can get all the details. If you have questions, just email them. They’re usually really quick about getting back to people.

riggingdojo.com/faq

Lookslikematt 2010!

January 11th, 2010

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

You might have noticed that my posts have been fairly sparse over 2009. I had a lot of opportunities that I jumped headfirst into and sadly, had to neglect the website. I know… excuses, excuses. Right?

Here’s what was keeping me busy:

  • The Produced By Conference… to see the talks by the MCS panel, VES previs panel, the Stereoscopic 3D panel, James Cameron, Pixar producers and the PGA/ASC Camera Assestment Series.
  • CG CON…  checked out many of the animation classes from the Animation Mentor guys.
  • FXPHD… took classes for crowd work in Massive, scripting with Python, Maya and match-moving in PFtrack.
  • Beta Testing… software and what looks to be an excellent online school for rigging.
  • Some much needed traveling… trips to Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Wellington and Sydney.
  • and of course LOTS of mocap time with the great crew at ImageMovers Digital. :D

I’ve been very blessed to meet and work with some incredibly talented people over the last year. I hope you all had a chance to see Up, A Christmas Carol, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Avatar (all in 3D of course). Many of the people I met have put forth amazing effort to polishing those films and have been part of an incredible push on technology and artistry to make them a reality. 2009 really was an incredible year and I’m very proud of everything that was accomplished within the medium.

As far as animation goes, the plan for my 2010 is a few more classes with FXPHD, lots more python scripting and a welcome return to rigging and animating – for me it’s still all about the performance. I’ve had a lot of requests to update the The Mocaptionator’s Handbook to include some more detailed thoughts on facial mocap, props and tools. I’m not promising anything on that front this year, but we’ll see how it goes. ;)

Here’s to another great year!

- Matthew