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My first MAXScript! Nanne’s ViewportColourSwitch 0.1

Category : MAXScript · No Comments · by Nov 27th, 2009

Big day today, I’ve just wrote my very first MAXScript ever! :D

Its function is very straight forward; it allows you to quickly toggle between the standard grey and pitch black colour of all the viewports.

The black viewport makes it easier to see particles when working with Particle Flow and the standard grey is my preferred option when working with other stuff. So this is simply an easy way to toggle back and forth between workflow.

Installation

  1. Put the file in your 3ds Max Startup Script folder (e.g. “…3ds max 2010ScriptsStartup”
  2. Start or restart 3ds Max
  3. Go to Customize -> Customize User Interface…
  4. In the Category drop-down list select Nanne’s Scripts
  5. Assign the script to a hotkey, a toolbar, a quad menu or a menu; it’s up to you
  6. Start toggling!

A special thanks goes to Marco “KIT” Brunetta over at Tech-Artists.org for helping me with some of the code :)

Anyway, feel free to try it out. You can download it here: ViewportColourSwitch 0.1

Edit:
I’ve just added the script on ScriptSpot.com, so soon I will become famous, hehe :P Check it out here: http://www.scriptspot.com/3ds-max/nannes-viewportcolourswitch

Cheers mates, and don’t forget to comment! ;)

Awsome Particle Effects synced to music!

Category : Inspiration · No Comments · by Nov 25th, 2009

This is just amazing! Probably the coolest use of particles I’ve ever seen… or something like that. Matthias Müller is the genius behind this and it is absolutely brilliant!

It is done in 3ds Max with Particle Flow and the following plug-ins; FumeFX from SitniSati, Particle Flow Tools: Box #3 Pro by Orbaz and renderd with Krakatoa from Prime Focus.

Check out some other cool stuff Müller has done here:

http://www.vimeo.com/user624589/videos

http://matthiasm.cgsociety.org/gallery/

One day I will be able to create awesome things like this, just you wait and see! ;)

Cheers!

WIP: The Back Alley – Part 2

Category : Work In Progress · No Comments · by Nov 7th, 2009

I finally got some time over to pick up where I left of with this piece. So I’ve been working with unwrapping and texturing for now. Texturing is something I really need to improve on. But I found some nice tutorials on the net that should give me some tips and tricks :) Check out my collection of Photoshop links here.

I also tried out TexTools 2.9 and it’s a really nice tool. It adds a lot of new features for unwrapping in max. They don’t always work or perhaps I just haven’t figured them out yet, but I still like it alot. Try it out, now! :)

Here’s the new update:

The Back Alley

The Back Alley

Comments and critique is always welcomed! :)

Cheers mates!

WIP: Xellyr Spider (Creature modelling) – Part 2

Category : Work In Progress · No Comments · by Sep 28th, 2009

This will be a short post, but I’m done with the sculpting in Mudbox. So without further ado here are some screen captures of the different Sculpting Levels.

Xellyr Spider Level 0 (2040 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 0 (2040 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 1 (8160 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 1 (8160 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 2 (32640 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 2 (32640 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 3 (130560 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 3 (130560 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 4 (522240 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 4 (522240 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 5 (2 088 960 quads)

Xellyr Spider Level 5 (2 088 960 quads)

I got it up to about 2 million quads (4 million triangles) and then my laptop was down on it’s knees :P Here is a quick test of the generated Normal Map in 3ds max.

Xellyr Spider with Normal Bump

Xellyr Spider with Normal Bump

Next step will be to do some texture painting in Mudbox, will be fun to see result of that –  stay tuned! :)

Cheers mates!

Finished Work: Animation Project

Category : Finished Work · No Comments · by Sep 20th, 2009

So it finally finished, and I’m very satisfied with the result :) But one step at the time. My next step was add the breakdowns. Breakdowns are used for defining the motion and cleaning up the interpolation between the extremes. Here it is with added breakdowns.

After that I switched over to the Straight Ahead method rather then Pose to Pose in order to add Secondary Action, Follow Through and redefine the Inbetweens. Also I started to work on the Facial animation, not a very easy task I tell you! :S He is talking very fast and at only 24 fps there was only about 2-4 frames per word to work with. But I think it turned out pretty well :)

But ‘nuf said, here is the end result – enjoy!

Feel free to comment and suggest improvements so that I will evolve as an animator :)

Cheers Mates!

—————
Don’t miss the first parts:
Part 1
Part 2

WIP: Xellyr Spider (Creature modelling) – Part 1

Category : Work In Progress · No Comments · by Sep 20th, 2009

I got a sudden urge to do some modelling. So I decided to go for some game creature modelling in 3ds Max and then do some sculpting of details in Mudbox and generate a normal map and also try out texture painting in Mudbox, that’s new to me.

So I decided to go for a giant spider, it is a classical fantasy creature, and I came up with the name Xellyr Spider – just for the heck off it :P

Here are some images of the low-poly, 3ds Max version. It’s 100% quads made up by 4080 triangles. Not very low-poly so let’s call it a next-gen game creature, or a boss creature :)

Xellyr Giant Spider - Shaded

Xellyr Giant Spider - Shaded

Xellyr Giant Spider - Wireframe

Xellyr Giant Spider - Wireframe

So all modelling and unwrapping was done in 3ds Max – got to love pelt mapping :D Next step will be to put it in the mudbox and sculpt away – it sure will be fun :)

See you soon for updates, cheers!

FX Experiment #004: Fracture with Reactor

Category : FX Experiments · No Comments · by Sep 13th, 2009

I played around with Reactor for breaking stuff. I used ProCutter for the pre-fracturing and it is a really cool tool! I also tested the script Fracture Voronoi and it works very good, but keep the number of pieces down to avoid crashes. However using ProCutter allows for more detail on the new inside geometry, but it is a little more labour behind it. Here is my result, captured directly from the viewport of 3ds max 2010.

Here is the tutorial that got me started; Reactor: Exploding an object part 1. It shows how to use ProCutter and Fracture in Reactor. Have fun and go nuts! :)

Cheers mates!

WIP: Animation Project – Part 2

Category : Work In Progress · (2) Comments · by Sep 11th, 2009

The blog is going strong, I have TWO confirmed readers! :P So this post is dedicated to them.

My project is moving along nicely and so far every thing is going according to plan. For the last few days I’ve been working on the Extremes in the animation and I’ve refined some of the key poses to what I believe to be better ones :) By the way, the Extremes are poses that defines direction and changes in direction in the animation. Here is the result with the Extremes added and all tangents in the Curve Editor set to Linear instead of Stepped, allowing me to preview the transitions between Key Poses and Extremes. This makes the animation much smoother and gives a good overview on where I need to create my Breakdowns (os Passing Positions) later on.

Next step will be to add the Breakdowns, refine the Inbetweens and add Follow Through and Secondary Action. And that is lots of fun :) I’ve printed out a paper with the 12 Principles of Animation worked out by Walt Disney and his animators back in the 1930’s and I have it beside me as a reminder of what to work with. It helps alot to keep track on what to do and improve the animation :D

Here is the time schedule

Thursday – Basic Idea and Storyboarding
Friday – Animatic, Key Poses and Rough Animation in FlipBook
Saturday – Key Poses in Maya
Sunday – Key Poses in Maya

Monday – Extremes and refining Key Poses
Tuesday - Extremes and refining Key Poses
Wednesday - Extremes and refining Key Poses
Thursday - Breakdowns and Inbetweens, Secondary Animation

Friday - Breakdowns and Inbetweens, Secondary Animation
Monday - Modelling Props (Alien, Knife and Room), PowerPoint Presentation
Tuesday - Facial Animation
Wednesday – Facial Animation
Thursday – Facial Animation, Final Tweaking, PowerPoint Presentation
FridayPresentation!

Hope you enjoyed this, see you in a couple of days for more updates.

Cheers Mates!

—————
This was Part 2, don’t miss:
Part 1
Part 3 – Finished Work

WIP: Animation Project – Part 1

Category : Work In Progress · No Comments · by Sep 7th, 2009

We’ve started a new project in school that will be running for two weeks. The goal of this project is to animate in Maya and I’m going for character animation :)

I’ve downloaded the audio file for last month competition from 11secondclub.com and I’m going to animate a free, pre-made character rig called Max for Maya. So I will spend all my time on animation and don’t bother with character modelling, texturing and rigging.

Here is my time schedule for this project.

Thursday – Basic Idea and Storyboarding
Friday – Animatic, Key Poses and Rough Animation in FlipBook
Saturday – Key Poses in Maya
Sunday – Key Poses in Maya

Monday – Extremes and refining Key Poses
Tuesday - Extremes and refining Key Poses
Wednesday - Extremes and refining Key Poses
Thursday - Breakdowns and Inbetweens, Secondary Animation
Friday - Breakdowns and Inbetweens, Secondary Animation
Monday - Modelling Props (Alien, Knife and Room), PowerPoint Presentation
Tuesday - Facial Animation
Wednesday – Facial Animation
Thursday – Facial Animation, Final Tweaking, PowerPoint Presentation
FridayPresentation!

So far I’ve defined the Key Poses (the storytelling poses) in FlipBook and made an Animatic/Rough Animation that I use in Maya as a guide for posing my character. Very nice workflow, thanks goes to Jason Ryan for introducing this method to me, check out his webinars here. As well as Richard Williams for his work on The Animator’s Survival Kit, very handy book for animator wannabes ;) It is also available as DVDs: The Animator’s Survival Kit Animated.

Here is the FlipBook Rough Animation.

Here is the first blocking of Key Poses in Maya.

Stay tuned for updates, there’s still eleven days to go!

Cheers mates!

—————
This was Part 1, don’t miss:
Part 2
Part 3 – Finished Work

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Category : Games · No Comments · by Sep 6th, 2009

Bioware and LucasArt are working on a new MMORPG called Star Wars: The Old Republic. Now, ordinarily I hate MMO’s, because they are all the same – that is dull and boring with a lame combat system that makes organizing files and folders on your desktop seem like revolutionizing game play in comparison. And the quests are usually beyond boredom; kill a billion of creature in order to collect their tails, or whatever. But surprisingly only about 10% of them have got a tail apparently, forcing you to become a mass murderer and practically hunting the species to its extinction. I once spent three bleeding hours in a dungeon in Lineage II grinding monster in order to get the hold of five bloody crystals, I never been more bored!

However I have much respect for Bioware and you know that when these guys sink their teeth into something, it is going to come out good! Now I’m not saying that this game is going to change me into a MMO-player over night but I think that I might actually enjoy playing it… for a while. For one thing they put a lot of effort into the story with cinematic, voiced over conversations in-game. No more mutes standing around like tree trunks handing out quests on paper :P More so they have also integrated a cover system into the combat and thereby making combat look pretty interesting, rather then a stressful workday in MS Excel.

Check out this 20 minute Developers Walkthrough over at Gametrailers.com

Well as I said this MMO actually looks pretty fun, and I might just give it a try :) But until that day I will at least continue to check for videos on their progression.

Hope you all enjoyed this video, cheers mates… and may the force be with you, always!