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Messages - rowan

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 9
1
Mac / Re: WinRAR for Mac
« on: February 04, 2016, 02:17:38 PM »

2
Mac / DPX4Mac
« on: August 25, 2012, 10:38:56 AM »
.dpx is a logarithmic format commonly used by high-end digital cameras and digital intermediates. This includes the RED Camera. You are likely to come across it in your careers, particularly if you work in visual effects. I found this app useful,

http://sourceforge.net/projects/dpx4mac/?source=recommended

It's a small open source program that builds upon the 'Quick Look' feature of Mac OS, allowing you to preview .dpx files as you would a .jpg, .tga, .png or whatever. This is great because it's one of the few formats Mac OS doesn't natively preview, since they added EXR support a few years ago. It will make your dealing with the files that much easier  :)

<3 Rowan

3
Maya / Re: good looking displacement maps
« on: January 30, 2012, 10:53:20 AM »
Thanks for taking the time to put this up to help people out, and I'm sure this workflow works, but there is much more efficient ways to deal with the sculpting workflow, and I disagree with pretty much everything you've said except for point 3.

As it came up on Facebook, you'll get aliasing artifacts like a moire pattern especially on sequences if you disable filtering all together. For better quality results consider mental ray's advanced elliptical filtering which is used in conjunction with .map pyramid files, you'll need to change the filter type to mipmap instead of quadratic, and this requires tuning. Also 8 is quite profoundly wrong, one shouldn't look at displacement maps & normal maps as alternatives, you can use normals maps and displacement maps together, because they do totally different things. Displacement maps should honour your primary and secondary form (the silhouette), normal maps honour your tertiary form. Normal maps are used widely on feature films it isn't just a game thing, just as displacement maps are used in games, including real-time level-of-detail subdivision. You should only need to subdivide high enough to make your displacement map represent the secondary form, never (or rarely) to the maximum value you sculpted to, it's just a waste of processing time and RAM overhead. Incidentally there's nothing wrong with the approximation editors parametric subdivision, it's what ZBrush & Mudbox use after all, spatial can save render time & memory but it can also cause artifacts in sequences if not properly tuned because like final gather it's view dependent.

I don't mean to be a dick and shoot your post down but there is a lot of confusion and bad information out there on this workflow so I'm just wanting to jump on this in case this post confuses people. Like I said, I'm sure this one works, I just believe you can get much better results for less render time with a bit more technical understanding.

I actually wrote a paper and did a seminar on this workflow, while it's total information overload for new comers, for anyone that is interested in digital sculpting it's probably worthwhile reading to get started on the right foot.

I'll make it available for those interested for a while here;

http://rowankarrer.net/files/rowanKarrer_surfaceDetailing.pdf

<3 Rowan

4
External / Re: Real Serious Games Seeking Junior 3D Artists
« on: January 22, 2012, 09:55:34 AM »
Thanks for the heads up, Alex!

<3 Rowan

5
Mac / Re: Total Finder
« on: January 22, 2012, 09:47:51 AM »
Also, be sure to enable the visor feature in preferences, it's very handy!

<3 Rowan

6
Mac / Re: Don't rush to lion
« on: January 22, 2012, 09:28:45 AM »
While I have no intention of being the definitive word on the topic I have tested the following programs on Lion;

Maya
Mudbox
Adobe Production Premium Suite
ZBrush 4

I didn't run into any problems at all, but I didn't get a chance to test Lion until 6 months after it was released so that's perhaps why.

These are tested on a 2010 iMac and a 2011 11" Mac Air.

<3 Rowan

7
Mac / Total Finder
« on: January 22, 2012, 09:22:59 AM »
If you've subscribed to the RSS Feed of Damian's Blog you'll already know what this post is about, but I'm sharing this one more widely because every mac owner is going to want this.

Basically it makes your finder behave more like an internet browser, with tabbed windows and several upgrades over the standard Finder window. Advanced features include you can now cut & paste  :-[ (yes I'm serious) and it builds in defaults that make it more akin to Windows Explorer, which is a good thing because Finder out of the box is fairly rubbish and requires tinkering to work well.

Total Finder costs $18 and has a 2 week trial, it is available here.

A worthwhile upgrade to your built in Finder is forcing it to display the file path at the top of the window, just like on Windows Explorer. This is easy to do, open terminal and execute this command;

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool YES

Tested on Snow Leopard and Lion.

Happy tinkering.

<3 Rowan

8
Maya / Important information regarding render layers
« on: December 01, 2011, 12:28:47 PM »
Render layers are wonderful things, but according to my experience and lengthy forum searches, since render layers were built into Maya, there has been some serious bugs with the system, and they are yet to be resolved.

The symptom you may one day experience is an error when attempting to assign shaders to geometry. The warning will read "error while parsing arguments". Once this starts happening, your scene is essentially ruined. You must delete all render layers, revert all objects to the intial shading group, and re-build them from the ground up. Autodesk built a script into Maya 2010 which was supposed to fix this, you can try it, execute "fixRenderLayerOutAdjustmentErrors;" and it will clean the connections. However in my experience this does not fix the problem.

You actually have to avoid it from happening in the first place, here's a few tips.

NEVER assign materials to components

There's nothing wrong with assigning a material to several faces of an object normally, but when working with render layers, simply do not do it, the second you do, is the second the layers will corrupt.

When creating, importing, combining, or seperating objects, do so on the master layer

Make sure if you're creating new nodes, that they belong to the master layer first, then add them where necessary.

Never put a camera on a render layer

There's no reason to in the first place, but you can do so by accident, and it causes problems.

Always save your files on the master layer

This is a hard habit to get into, but it is a very good idea, especially when command line rendering.

Render layers are at best, a patchy system, and require meticulous technical practice to work. Be careful and you'll be fine, if not you can find yourself spending many hours repairing or working around the problems. Remember you can also save out entirely separate scenes with different shaders and things applied as an alternative to render layers. Of course this is a problem if you want to tweak any animation etc.

Good luck,

<3 Rowan

9
Maya / Setting end frame in render globals
« on: November 01, 2011, 10:13:27 AM »
There seems to be this bug in 2012 (even in the service pack) that prevents you from setting the end frame in the render globals, when attempting to change it from its default 10 it just switches back to 10. An obvious work around is to specify an end frame in the batch script, but it's still annoying.

It seems that it's supposed to be a fail-safe thing, to make sure you set your frame padding correctly, but put simply it's broken. So to work around it what you can do is adjust your frame padding, move it up, then back down to say 1, then adjust your end frame to say 99, then move your frame padding back to where it needs to be in the first place (usually 3) and then you can set your end frame once more.

I know, it's dodgy, but it's an easy enough workaround, fingers crossed it's resolved in 2013!

<3 Rowan

10
Maya / Re: Maya 2012 graph editor - wont display multiple attributes
« on: October 02, 2011, 09:20:30 PM »
Ok I've tested 2012 Service Pack, it resolves this issue along with a few others. Any chance this could be rolled out into 206? A few of the computers in there are having license trouble at the moment anyway so could kill two birds with one stone.

<3 Rowan

11
Maya / Re: Maya 2012 graph editor - wont display multiple attributes
« on: September 30, 2011, 04:01:19 PM »
It's a niche problem, but it's definitely a huge bug for animators. I'll test the SP1 on my home computer and see if it's fixed in that release.

<3 Rowan

12
Maya / Maya 2012 graph editor - wont display multiple attributes
« on: September 30, 2011, 02:43:10 PM »
There's a major bug in Maya 2012 that prevents the editing of multiple attributes in the graph editor simultaneously if you're using character sets. It was resolved in hotfix 4, unfortunately the labs don't run this (yet) so if you come across this problem you'll have to decide - what's more important to you, being able to animate effectively, or having character sets? On your home computer be sure to upgrade your student version to hotfix 4!

<3 Rowan

13
External / Re: Live & Love Short Film Competition
« on: September 14, 2011, 01:28:51 PM »
Is this your way of telling us hages?

<3 Rowan

14
Movies / Re: Dennis Muren Seminar
« on: August 23, 2011, 07:16:02 PM »
I find his comments regarding the expansion of the industry and the knock on effect this is having on artists really interesting, and concerning at the same time. He makes these comments that seem to be driven by passion and a desire to see greater things from visual effects in movies, but the reality of change as he describes it seems to only benefit profit. Shorter time lines, cut corners, and higher markups at point of sale. It's great for the studios I suppose, but as an artist it all seems a bit self defeating. Maybe the industry is just in a transitional phase trying to keep up with all that demand?

15
Texturing and Shading / Re: Basic texturing articles
« on: August 22, 2011, 10:55:29 PM »
Great stuff thanks Bridgey!

<3 Rowan

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