Agent 327 – Feature Film Teaser.

–  For all of you who follow blender, this is probably old news, in any case, I couldn’t leave it behind  –

About 3 weeks ago the Teaser for the Feature Film of the agent 327 was released through vimeo, youtube and facebook, many big animation news sites have featured it already because of how good it is.

Agent 327 is a James Bond/Maxwell Smart-like Dutch secret agent who fights for “Righteousness and World Peace”;  Often partnered with Olga Lawina (an agent of the Swiss Secret Service), his adventures take him around Europe and the rest of the world as he battles numerous villains, both fictional and parodies of real people.

The whole idea of this teaser is to show the power of blender and the artistic quality that the team of the newly branded Blender Animation Studio can achieve and that way be able to find funding partners to produce a whole feature film based entirely in the power of Blender also aiding it’s further development.

As a member of the “Blender Cloud”  (platform that they have for showcasing materials, tutorials, assets, etc) it was really nice to be able to follow most of the process, from early storyboards, to final renders, and finish up seeing such a powerful and compelling result like this.

I not only encourage you to check out the teaser right here, but also to join the Blender Cloud platform and support further development of this great tool and also all the great films they’re making.

Tangled – “unnoficial commentary”

In my journey through the inter web, I was really really amazed by one of the very best findings I’ve ever made, a podcast episode about the Disney Animation’s masterpiece: Tangled.

This is a podcast that was hosted by Clay Kaytis a veteran animator that had a great Idea, to put it in his own words:

“Show 32 is a departure from the regular format. It’s an experiment. After Tangled was released, I heard so many people wondering why there wasn’t any audio commentary on the DVD or Blu-ray, so I got all the animators who were available to join me in watching Tangled to talk about the experience of making it. Here it is: the UNOFFICIAL Tangled Animator’s Commentary made by the biggest group of animators you will probably ever hear in one room.

Here’s the plan: queue up your copy of Tangled to frame 1 of the actual film (before the castle logo) and hit pause. When we count down 3-2-1-PLAY, you un-pause and hear us talk through the film. Like I said, it’s was an experiment and we may not always talk about what’s on screen, but it’s a great opportunity for you to hear many of the voices behind the film.”

So go grab your copy now, and get ready because here it is:

Hope it never gets taken down, if that happens, let me know, I’ll try to keep a copy around.

Dante’s Lunch

I know i’m a bit late to the party, but at least I’m here.:

Dante’s Lunch is a little promo short for Pixar’s Coco, that portrays a stray dog that found his Lunch and chases it around town, funky and beautifully animated this 2 minute pieces probably has nothing to do with the movie itself, but sort of introduces us to the setting and environments we’ll see in the movie, which is gorgeous.

Add-on: Bone Select Sets

This is something I’ve been wanting for a while, and didn’t realize it was in blender for some time now, though it has been recently rewrote, or fixed at least, and even if I’m bugging the developer to improve it, she won’t and that’s okay, she’s got a lot to do, and I’m just an other user bugging with a feature request, so I’ll have to learn some coding myself to make it a better UX, in any case, it still speeds up your workflow.

So here is what the add-on does, It aids you on creating buttons for quickly selecting one or many rig controls from a little panel.

Continue reading Add-on: Bone Select Sets

Pro Tip: Pose Breakdowner

What is it? some might wonder… well first of is a tool only for animators, actually its so “only for animators” that you can only make use of it in pose mode, I wish we could take advantage of it in object mode for animated objects, but for the most part, it’s pose mode where you’ll use it.

It’s a tool that aids ad quickly creating in-betweens by blending two poses on a percentual way, so let’s say you have two key poses

A (0%) :

2016-03-06 21_54_08-Blender_ [K__Dropbox_LOOCH_100Cycles_Cycle_001.blend]

B (100%):

2016-03-06 21_54_14-Blender_ [K__Dropbox_LOOCH_100Cycles_Cycle_001.blend]

the breakdowner can give you 100 possible mixes of this poses so 0 which will be the first one, and 100 which is the B pose, and all in between is a percentage mix of one with the other.

So select any control, or many, or even all of them in pose mode, that already has two poses or key-frames, and step in-between them like in the example:

2016-03-06 21_59_27-Blender_ [K__Dropbox_LOOCH_100Cycles_Cycle_001.blend].png

Now hit Shift+E with your mouse over the 3D view, and you’ll see your mouse turning into two arrows pointing left and right, and also in the header you’ll see “Breakdown:” and some percentage, that’s the mix amount. This tool maps 0% to the left side of your 3d view and 100% to the right side, so you just move the mouse and when you’re happy with the pose that you see in the screen you Left Click and it stays… also you can input the numbers and hit enter and that works too.

Afterwards you can key it, and you got yourself a new breakdown.

 

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This I use quite a lot mostly when I’m in the process of blocking my shot, so I know where i have moving holds and such…

If you come from Maya, this is very similar to the tween machine and also some of the tools of the aTool plugin.

Hope you learned a new way to improve your animation workflow!

Happy Break-downing!

Pro Tip: Custom colors for weightpainting

I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while, and I kept forgetting, until the next time I had to do weight painting, and so this time I just decided to write the post, it’s a bit longer than usual, but it has big rewards.

The problem: ever painted weights?… well if you have, you probably noticed that the visual representation in the view-port is very inaccurate, why?, because when you’re weight painting very often you need to make sure that some vertices have either full influence or no influence at all from a joint, as you can see in this example one could think that at least half of the ear is 100% weighted to the corresponding joint… Continue reading Pro Tip: Custom colors for weightpainting