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About stevetwist

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  1. Norton Commando Transformer by Steve Twist

    Cheers for the comments guys Glad you enjoyed the project Steve
  2. Hey everyone, (I would have posted this in the gallery/finished work forum, but it appears to be having issues atm, so I've posted it here instead... moderators, feel free to move this elsewhere if needed ) Alongside my work over at www.3DBuzz.com (with which you may be familiar), I’m also a university student at the NCCA (National Centre for Computer Animation), Bournemouth University. I’ve been studying BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation for 3 years, and am due to graduate this year (I should get my results any day now!). As a significant portion of my degree, I had to produce a “Major Project”. Comprising of around 8 months of work, from concept to completion, the Major Project is an open ended brief allowing us to produce a significant piece of work of our choosing. Hugely inspired by ILM and Digital Domain’s work on Transformers, I set about creating my own Transformers based visual effects project. You can see the result on the following link: All modelling, shading, rigging and animation was produced in Houdini 9.5, with the base layer of animation being driven by motion capture, through .bclip files and CHOPs. Textures were painted in Photoshop. The live action footage was filmed on a Canon XL1 and tracked using PFTrack. HDR Shop was used for basic HDRI operations. The project was rendered with Mantra, and composited using Shake. I thoroughly enjoyed the project, and am very excited to hear what you all think Thanks for taking the time to read this, All the best, Steve Twist
  3. Hehe, that's exactly what I meant . I guess we both have different uses for the word "rig". When I referred to rig in my earlier post, I guess I should have really said "bones and control objects" - i.e., control objects affect bones, we layer muscles ontop, and then those muscles capture the geometry . Thanks for the kind words about the rigging series, that means a lot, coming from someone with your reputation Steve
  4. That's not 100% true. Yes, muscles are part of character rigging, BUT there are still plenty of other aspects to character rigging to take into account. Building a character rig to provide articulation etc. and easy animator control is a huge part of character rigging. The muscles would then sit on top of the rig, if one chose to use muscles to capture their geometry, but it's also very valid to capture to bones (just because Houdini has muscles doesn't mean you HAVE to use them. If that was the case, why provide the ability to capture to bones? Capturing to bones is very powerful, and certainly not a dated technique. If you think otherwise I'd strongly advise you check out Technical Rigging Volume II). The character rigging DVDs will focus on building complex interfaces between the animator and a bone hierarchy, giving the animator a flexible, easy to use rig, whilst still giving them a lot of power. From there, a muscles DVD could then look at using that rig to capture the geometry, by layering muscles ontop of it. Yes, muscles would come into the Character Rigging series of DVDs, but it's very valid to have earlier volumes in that series talk about character rigging without introducing the concept of muscles. We DO plan on doing a muscles DVD, I'm just not sure of the time frame for production on that volume. There are a lot of concepts that I think are important to know before tackling something like muscles. Steve
  5. digitallysane was spot on - the technical aspects of rigging, and not just rigging technical objects Whilst the vehicle rig is very much a mechanical beast, the series is focusing on the technical aspects of rigging, as opposed to rigging only hard objects. We look at capturing (which is very much for organic rigging) and stretchy systems (very much designed for toon characters) to name but a few topics that focus on areas more related to characters than mechanical rigging. As for muscles, this is an area I'm interested in persuing at some point, but isn't on my immediate list of priorities. I'm currently hard at work researching and developing the character rigging series of DVDs. Once they're complete, the next volume into the rigging series will most likely focus on muscles, but I don't yet have a schedule in mind for when I'd like to move onto producing that volume. If ever you have requests for areas you'd like to see, be sure to head over to 3DBuzz.com and be vocal about it! I read every single post made in the Houdini forums at 3DBuzz (even if I don't always reply), and I always take suggestions and comments seriously Thanks for the interest, if you have any further comments, suggestions etc., be sure to make them heard And for those of you who've just purchased any of the volumes in the Technical Rigging series, I really hope you benefit from them, and enjoy them thoroughly Thanks! Steve
  6. Houdini Technical Rigging Series now Available! We are proud to announce the launch of the new Technical Rigging video series for Houdini, for the award-winning visual effects software package from Side Effects Studios, Inc.! This new series includes specialized rigging topics, emphasizing essential skills and custom tool creation with Python! The set includes five separate volumes: Technical Rigging I: Intro to Skeletal Systems and FK Rigging Technical Rigging II: Introduction to Capturing Geometry to Bones Technical Rigging III: Introduction to Inverse Kinematics and FK/IK Blending Technical Rigging IV: Stretchy IK Systems and Dynamic Curves Technical Rigging V: Advanced Vehicle Rigging and Automation Systems These videos will become an invaluable reference for anyone aspiring to become a rig developer or technical director with Houdini! Lessons will take you from the basics of using bones all the way through creating a wide variety of custom tools with the Python programming language. Other topics in the series include capturing (known as “skinning” in other 3D applications), creation of stretchy IK systems, and rigging complex vehicles that have automatic simulated animation of steering, suspension and more! Also, starting with the Houdini Technical Rigging series, you will be able to not only receive the DVD of each volume you order, but we will also give you on-demand access to a streaming version of the videos! Now you can view the training anywhere you have an internet connection, and leave your discs at home! Please note that access is subject to an order verification process! For pricing, and to find out how you can get one of these products for FREE, click here! http://www.3dbuzz.com/xcart/product.php?productid=68 Thanks! Steve Twist, Director of Houdini Education, 3DBuzz Inc.
  7. Coming VERY soon. There'll be an official announcement when they release... I'd highly doubt anyone would miss the launch We're literally in the very last stages of adding polish right now. I can't wait until they launch . I'm very excited! Thanks for the interest, Steve
  8. I'm gonna try and keep this reply short. You said it yourself... Jason said in those videos that they were designed for people new to 3D, and as a Maya user, you were not new to 3D. You can't then complain that, because you chose to watch through the videos, that you felt you had somehow wasted your time. It's like me finding some videos over basic mathematics, and complaining that I felt like I wasted my time because I'm very confident with the subject matter already. Ok, so I can understand your desire to try and get the most out of the videos... and that's a good thing, but sometimes that does mean using your initiative, and skipping sections of video if necessary. As for the dishes and chocolate... I was asking you to point out when we were "Joking" about them. Jason was very serious with his analogy. He uses analogies a lot as a teaching aid. I personally think they're a great idea, and definitely help teach a new concept - by making links to something someone is already very comfortable with. I agree with you - different people learn differently, but at the end of the day, you can't show me a single video where Jason and myself are "joking" or "gossiping". We take this very seriously, and find any suggestion otherwise insulting. Now, as for the confusion with my earlier post... granted, I maybe wasn't totally clear. But you have to bear in mind that I wasn't making an official product announcement, simply trying to clear up an earlier question. Maybe it would have been better if I'd have said that Technical Rigging 1 through 4 will teach you a variety of core techniques, and that in a later DVD, we'll use those techniques to setup a complete character. Please, I urge you to check out the sample videos from my earlier link. That will give you a good idea for the direction of our Advanced Vehicle Rigging DVD. Thanks, Steve Oh, and one last thing.... Can you please clarify what you mean by this? We were never commissioned, asked, paid or otherwise rewarded by any company (including SideFX) for our involvement in the fundamentals online course, if that's what you were suggesting. If you'd like confirmation, check with Robert Magee. What I find frustrating is the number of people who think that now SideFX have sponsored us, that we're now required to make free training. We've truly invested 100s of hours in the effort to help the community with no one paying us.
  9. Jason and myself have been involved in around 30 hours of FREE Houdini 9.x content (all of which you can see for free, over on 3DBuzz.com), not to mention the 26+ hours of content released so far in the Technical Director series (TD Volumes 1 and 2, released as part of Houdini Fast Track). Name me ONE part of any of those videos where we don't take our work seriously, joking about "dishes" and "chocolate". Yes, we're light hearted... that's what makes our videos so enjoyable, but I personally take my work incredibly seriously. If you're not enthusiastic about the amount of DVDs and the running time of the content, then I put it to you that you're not enthusiastic about your education, and that's fine. All we can do is offer to help people to develop their skills and learn core techniques. We strive to help people better themselves as Houdini artists and logical thinkers. If you don't want to invest the time to learn what we're offering to teach you, that's fine. You'll find plenty of other places happy to offer you a 2 hour video that will give you a taster... you know, how to use a shelf tool or two (generic, run of the mill solutions), but not provide you with the core knowledge you need in order to solve a variety of problems. Which leads me to another thing: How, if you're not willing to learn the CORE techniques, can you honestly hope to ever rig an "actual complex character". I know that some people like the night school approach: "Here's how to rig a generic character in 2 hours". And that's fine... good for them. But they'll never be able to approach a real world rig, because a real world rig is most likely not going to be the same as a generic rig. Without knowing the core techniques, you can't possibly hope to approach a variety of problems. Knowing the core techniques, knowing how something works "under the hood", will allow you to think out of the box. It will allow you to approach even the most obscure of rigs, because you'll be equipped with a toolset - not a final product. But hey, if you're just after a quick fix and wish to only rig generic characters, then that's fine. However, if you want to be able to solve a variety of rigging situations, then you're going to want a solid foundation of the core techniques... a solid foundation that takes hours to learn (hence the quantity of DVDs). Unfortunately people have used the tired cliche of "quality not quantity" way too much, to the point where people seem to associate these things as mutually exclusive. We strive for both, and I think you'll find most people who take the time to watch our content agree. Every single minute of the Technical Rigging series is focused, quality content, over what I personally believe to be a core area of Houdini's rigging toolset. Let me give you an example (and a teaser, all in one). The Mirror Capture Weights tool. I know some people, who'd be happy to get the 5 minute run down over the Mirror Capture Weights tool. They'd like to know how at the click of the button they can mirror their weights, and leave it there. However, as part of Technical Rigging 2, we spend over 2 hours discussing this tool in depth (1 and a half hours of whiteboard discussion), talking about the intricacies of how the different behaviours work - equipping you with knowledge that can be applied to the vast majority of mirroring situations. With that knowledge, you'll know when and where to use the different behaviours (a decision that you'll need to make more often than you might think). Someone who knows how to click a tool, will run into issues mirroring capture weights in a "real world" situation. Someone who knows how that tool works under the hood, will quickly solve any of these issues. Just so you are aware of how strongly opposed I am to your generalisations, assumptions and what verges on ignorance, I actually broke from a very serious recording session in order to jump in here and give you my thoughts. I've taken the time to reply to you, so as I bring this to a close, I ask for you to take the time to reply to me: Point out just ONE place where Jason and myself "gossip" in our videos. Just one place where we don't take the work seriously. I think you'll find you'll come up stuck. Thanks, Steve Twist PS - For those of you interested in the Technical Rigging series, you'll be pleased to know that we've just announced a sneak peak of the advanced vehicle rigging DVD: http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/showthread.php?t=170317 We'll be announcing more details, along with officially launching the technical rigging series, very shortly.
  10. "Shortly" means "shortly" . Steve
  11. Close.... The first 4 DVDs focus on a variety of techniques that apply to all types of character rigging. The ACTUAL character rigging DVD will be released shortly after the first 5 DVDs (4 techniques, and the advanced vehicle rigging DVD). More details coming right around the corner! Steve
  12. It's a bit of a shame we didn't model the vehicle in Houdini, but we're working very hard on Houdini content, and the only person with the time to put the model together was a Maya artist. Not to worry though, in the real world studios will use multiple applications in a pipeline anyway. Nothing wrong with modelling something in Maya and then rigging it elsewhere. Thanks for all the interest in the Technical Rigging series. I'm very excited and I can't wait until our official launch of the content... coming very soon . Steve Twist, Director of Houdini Education, 3DBuzz, Inc.
  13. 3dbuzz Reloaded

    Everyone's got to start somewhere. As much as we'd like to dive into really advanced topics straight away, you have to understand that if we did so, we'd have a lot more people complaining that there wasn't enough introductory material to get them to the point where they could follow the advanced stuff (in fact, the general concensus for those who haven't used Houdini before is that even the videos we have just released were a little too advanced (which we agree with, and have real beginner content in the works!)). If you're lucky enough to be at a level where you don't benefit from such videos, then maybe you could take the time to help those out who do need those videos, rather than complaining that they're "boring". As for everyone else - Thanks for the support . We're gonna try and keep the videos flowing as often as possible, so you'll be seeing more content in the near future, which (over time) will become more and more advanced Thanks, Steve Twist Director of Houdini Education, 3DBuzz Inc.