Monday, 1 February 2016

Louis & Ethan - testing

For those waiting for a complete animatic, I expect to have something ready by the beginning of next week. Until then, what I have to show now is another animation/FX test; this time demonstrating a morphing effect.

We want to bring the sculptures in the picture to life, and one of the ideas we had for this was to try morphing them and mixing them up a bit. I have been in Photoshop, messing around with one of the sculptures and have made a new sculpture using features from the other sculptures in the picture.

Left: The original face / Right: The new face

Now that we have two versions to blend between, the next step is to morph one to the other. Cross-fading between the two images is the simplest way, but I want to go one better.

I want to distort the contours of each sculpture to fit the shape of the other sculpture as it blends between them. I've seen morphing effects done this way before and I know that it works well.

This was my first attempt:

It's may not be perfect, but it's getting there. These are the contours I drew for each image.

This next video shows the distortion that is applied to both images as they cross-fade. As the contours blend between the two targets, they're also controlling how the image distorts.

Left: The first face / Middle: deformation / Right: The second face / Bottom: The final effect

To further refine the effect I will need to think about creating one or more intermediate images to blend between (so each image is like a key-frame).

The contour effect demonstrated here was achieved in Maya using the wire deformer, blendShape deformer, and the deltaMush deformer. (although I've since found that the wrap deformer works better than the wire deformer.)

I suppose the next big question will be, how can I combine this with the 3D projection technique from last week? This is where things get interesting!

I'm hoping that these little test pieces are enough to understand the direction I'm going in until I'm ready to sort out an animatic. I wanted to find out what was possible before committing to any outlandish ideas!

Ethan Shilling

1 comment:

  1. Another fascinating post, Ethan - we're going to be very interested in popularising these techniques you're developing - I can think of so many past projects which have called for this kind of approach! :) In terms of the perspective projection mapping, I can see very clearly how this might become hugely useful when work begins on the 17 minute animation for the Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra... more about this later! I'll be in touch...