Posts Tagged 'animation'

Spike the mouse – Shortfilm

Hello mouse lovers!
Today’s blogpost is one about a lovely clever animal: the mouse.  And especially about one called Spike.  He is the hero of our 3d movie that we produced during our sparetime this summer.

introducing: Spike

The competition
It was part of a competition called Golden Velvet (link FR/DE only) organized by the Swiss Textile federation. On first step (april 2012) teams were invited to send in a short synopsis on a A4 paper. All medias and styles allowed (doc, fiction, anim, stopmo, shooting, papercut etc…) We had to chose one of 6 themes provided. Actually more than themes, it was 6 technological innovation of the Swiss Textile Industry. So at end of May a total of 12 teams were chosen to get a small production funding and start the actual production. Our theme was “schock-absorbant rope” and we had to deliver the movie at the end of august.

The result
Well it seems the jury liked the story as we finished 2nd of the competition 🙂

You can see all the other movies on this page. There are some really good ones (much better than Spike in fact…)

Here is a quick-dirty comp of Spike with the trophy 🙂

Cycles rendering!

Very early in the project I decided to render using Cycles. It was a challenge to self, plus a good opportunity to learn the tool on a production level. So was cycle worth? Yes!  and even more now that all the mango optimizations are in. First of all cycles and viewport render allows instant feedback, which is more than great for lighting. Secondly it needs some time to optimize renders ( more on this on a later post). We had a tight schedule (too many scenes) and I only had 2 computers (with each a gtx 560 ), so basically if we wanted to finish the movie and its 6000+ frames the rendertime per frame had to be at around 1 minute. Some too noisy scenes were allowed to 2 mins. Oh yes, don’t even think of rendering on a non-gpu computer.

As a render farm/management I used brender, little software I created with Francesco Siddi 

Coming back from 3 weeks in China with my wife and daughter I thought it would be interesting to make an auto-critic of myself and the movie 🙂
Many details and problems are still present and animation is often not smooth or polished. It was nevertheless a real challenge to finish the movie on time for the deadline. Most of the animations are a one pass work. No refining, or minimal only. If I had only one mistake to point out is that the movie is too long. We had too many shots. Shorter movie would have allowed us way more time to add details, refine characters (yes Mr. Cat I am looking at you), and perfect the animation.
At one point I was really wanting to redo the most ugly anims, re-render the flickering and noisy scenes (now that I could have infinite time/no deadline), but I thought NO. It was made like this, delivered on a deadline, it is all part of the movie. In 10 years when I’ll show it to my daughter (who inbeetween will be making 5 times better movies in 10 times less time on her iPad 9 HD) there will be stories and explanations to be told 🙂

The final movie:

Credits go to :
Character/Set design + rendering + animation : Olivier Amrein
Animation : Andres Bajares
Director+Editing : Luc Walpoth
Sound: Bruce Wuilloud

a making-of might follow if it rains a lot and next sundays are like today: quiet at home.

3d tracking on mobile phone shot

Yesterday David (our young new talented 2d animator) and I were walking to the bakery to grab some sandwiches and in the flow of the conversation we started talking about 3d tracking. For a mysterious reason that even google doesnt know, we had the compulsory need to track something.

But we had no camera on hand, just a mobile phone. No problem, smartphones are supposed (its amazing how we believe ads) to shoot videos ! So we gave it a try and here is the fun result after an afternoon of cam tracking and some animation + film grading/degrading for hiding the bad shadows and comp hehehe 🙂

Maybe if spare time is available (!) I can make a little making of video. Tracking was done using Syntheyes.

By the way the 3d model is a CC model taken from : FLOPSY by hjmediastudios

How to animate a 360° rotation of an armature bone

Have you ever tried to animate a bone making a complete turn in a regular rotations?
I recently had to model and animate a watch for a real-time experience using the GameEngine and came up with not being instantly able to animate a bone 360° rotation correctly over one minute (using Z-axis and keyframing). My lack of quaternions knowledge made me do a quick  google-search for an easy answer to “how to animate a bone rotation in blender?”. I had no success, so i investigated myself and after few minutes came with understanding a bit how quaternion rotation works, and here is what i wish i had found on google :
This is the curves of a bone rotating 360° during 20 frames.

fig 1. ipo curves of QuatRot for a full 360° rotation

First of all Quaterions always are beetween -1 and 1. Frame 0 would be my bone completely up at 0°. At frame 10, the break you can see is actually when it reaches 180° and needs to go back up, but continue turning, otherwise you would have the bone going backward to angle 0° instead of angle 360°

Below is a visualization of the curves of a bone going from 0 to 180° and back to 0°:

fig 2. 0° to 180° and back curve


And here would be a graph showing how to animate many turns, it is just a repetition of fig 1.

fig 3. Continuous bone rotations

Voila. I do hope it can help someone one day. It is a simple thing, but good to know, as sometimes bone rotations can be confusing. I might also have missed a great tutorial, i would be happy to add it here.
And let me know if it not very clear.

Our latest 3D project at RGBprod: Grand Prix Horlogerie Geneva


We have just finished our latest job here at RGBprod . We were invited to create the 3d animations for the introduction of the different awards of the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève 2009. This event can be explained as the “oscars” of watchmaking. It was shown last Saturday to an audience of 1200 of the most prestigious watchmakers of Switzerland during the award Ceremony held in the Geneva Grand Theater.

The animations stars a robot made of an epic amount pieces taken from a watch mechanical movement. We basically modeled a shape we liked and started to stick these pieces to the shape, adding details and creating some pieces if we needed them, but most of the piece very already modeled from a previous project we did. As for the rigging process well…it was like any other rig, nothing much special 🙂 Except maybe that most of the gears are driven from bones using drivers, so they rotate whenever you move an arm or leg, handy!

For more technical things, all 3d done in blender some compositing and effects in aftereffect. The project credits goes also to Francesco Siddi (our talented italian) and Andres Bajares (our talented apprentice). Music and sound from Impactaudio.

and as with the other projects, you can also try to spot the Blender Initiative logo (for more infos please check Pablo’s Venom Lab DVD , on the bonus top secret zip).

GPHG Robot

A shot showing the GPHG watchrobot

H7 robot test edits…

well it is not really a director’s cut, but merely a personal editing that i found while cleaning the different files on the HD. I think i did it after the end of the real project nearly a year ago , to see a bit how the images could be potentially edited together. original music from Transformers soundtrack (not the most original i admit 🙂 and it was actually censored by youtube, so i had to put another lame music on it.

As for the new project we are working on right now at RGBprod i can say it is nearly finished and i hope i can show it publicly in about 2 weeks. Again an all blender production 🙂

the robot is blender for 3D and aftereffects for compositing/masking

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