My Blog WIll Never Die!

Not even when I die. It’s true. But it might need some CPR from time to time. CPR, by the way, is short for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation so don’t pretend I never tell you anything useful…

Today’s anecdote is about me. I recently found out that I am actually spending more money than I am making. Ignoring for at moment the fact that I am only procuring spending capital and not actually making money, this came as quite a disappointment to me.
The anecdotal part of this story and the part that is very telling to my way of dealing with money, is that my reaction to the said discovery was to immediately buy a butt-load of books on Bamazo, I mean Amazon…

I am so looking forward to getting them!

Underpants

It’s not like I really need an excuse, but I have been wanting to play with doing something a little less clean than what I usually do. Something with rough lines and textures and stuff*. I think I will go back to drawing Guild Wars™ girls again soon.

A Jedi in her underpants

This is not a Jedi in her underpants

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* and no, said stuff is not “boobs” or “light sabers”. Those are just bonuses.

Maya and the Corrective Blendshape

So, It turns out that either I am a lot more stupid than I had previously given myself credit for, or someone suddenly made it a lot more difficult to make corrective blend-shapes in Maya than it ought to be. That, or Autodesk introduced some fancy new tool in Maya 2009 that no one has told me about.

If you, like me, find yourself with a strong desire to make corrective blend-shapes but without the corresponding desire to do so fumbling blind and pulling random vetices, you would usually find some script or plug-in that would allow you to do it in the deformed pose you wanted to correct (Note to Google: This might also be called Pose Space Deformation). If you then, like me, find yourself unable to find said script or plug-in it would seem that  you have only the following Fahrenheit-rigging-DVD-non-approved technique to rely on.

  1. Model, rig and skin your character. If you are like me you have already done this.
  2. Pose you character in the pose you want to correct
  3. Duplicate your deformed mesh twice, calling one positive and one negative. Move them a little away from your model
  4. Model your corrected shape on the mesh called positive.
  5. Make a new blend-shape node on your character containing the two duplicate meshes. This blend shape must use the parallel blending mode.
  6. Move your character back to bind-pose and in the parallel blend-node, set the positive mesh to 1 and the negative to -1. This should blend your mesh so that you only have the deformations you made to the positive mesh, but now in a neutral pose.
  7. Duplicate this new mesh and call it something with the letters BS is the name because this is infinitely funny. This mesh can now be used as a corrective blend-shape
  8. Delete the parallel blend-node and repeat these steps for all your shapes. Yes, really.
  9. When done, add all your new shapes into a new blend shape node called corrective-something-or-another, making sure to use front of chain blending. I think.
  10. Set up your shapes with driven keys or whatever works for you.

Congratulations, you are done, possibly. Please note that this worked for me on my very simple character but as mentioned, the Fahrenheit rigging DVD says that the method is flawed and will probably cause problems. Buy the DVD if you want to know what kind of problem (Hint: it could involve explosions).

Please let me know if you know anything better.

PS. I was kidding about that explosion part. Most likely.

Also Something Fishy

It would seem my blog went and broke itself in my absence. Or, possibly, there is no blog and it is only myself that is broken… In all cases the layout isn’t centered as it ought to be anymore. Please bear with it until I get around to fixing it sometime soon. Possibly.

SOON THEREAFTER: Well, that was surprisingly easy.

A Long Time Ago

Bless me Internet-Deity, for I have sinned: It has been 25 days since my last posting to my blog…  In the hopes of appeasing you I come bearing gifts in the form of a drawing of a goth girl.

Goth Girl

This is not a goth girl

Sex on the Internet

So, here is a fun little thing to tell you while my particles are caching. I was watching a video on YouTube about “New Techniques for Acquiring, Rendering, and Displaying Human Performances”, because I am that kind of geek, and when I was done I figured I would take a look at what else the Google Tech Talk channel had to offer. So I click the link, see nothing particular interesting and then go on to click the link to the most popular videos. Lo and behold a video called “Sex on the Internet” was first on the list.

By a margin of 1,433,861 views against 136,161 for the second runner up.

Now, I am not sure why I am surprised. It is possible that I just figured that a Tech Talk channel would be boring enough to be safe. In hindsight, I think that is probably missing the whole point.

Maya and the Wireframe – A Fairytale

I don’t know if my 3ds Max upbringing has spoiled me but I have always harboured the belief that making a wireframe render should be as simple as ticking a box marked “Wireframe” and then pressing render.

Maya, however, disagrees with me. She believes that that would be to easy. “If you could just click a button, you wouldn’t really think about what kind of wireframe you really wanted,” she seems to say to me. “I mean,” she continues, “maybe you just wanted a simple wireframe render, but what if you wanted a wireframe with a thickness? Or one that was a bit wiggly? Or one that turns slightly red based on the distance to the nearest torus-shaped object?”

When I tell her “but honestly, I just wanted a simple wireframe render,” she pauses for a bit before turning away from me, quietly sobbing.

I then boot up Firefox.

Laurence Fishburne is CSI

That’s right. Morpheus is now a CSI in Las Vegas. I did not see that comming. I am happy about it though. With Grissom leaving they need some serious gravitas to fill the hole left behind and Fishburne might just pull it off. It will never be the same show again without Grissom but it might just turn out to be another show that is just as good. Time will tell.