Outside the Box:
By Paul "Villam" Steed
Anything I say comes from me and represents my personal opinions, views and subtle plans for influencing society. Read, ruminate over and remember at your own risk. If I teach you something and it helps, teach someone else.
elcome to this month’s installment of ‘Thinking Outside The Box’, anathema to myopically constrained, politically correct squares everywhere. So if you don’t enjoy reading about high-poly breasts, keyframes, and whatever the hell my Muse tells me to write, then back out and go elsewhere. It’ll save you and me plenty of needlessly wasted energy.
Except for a few uptight, voluptuously challenged people who leant toward a more anatomically realistic model to illustrate animation techniques and ideas, the majority of you dug the first animation TOTB I posted three weeks ago. Cool. I figured you probably heard all you wanted to hear about low-poly modeling for awhile so I thought a shift towards animation. As some of you may know tutorials in general are time-consuming, but tutorials on animation are especially time-consuming. I’m trying to get caught up and go to a weekly schedule again, but Quake 3: Arena is hogging all my bandwidth right now. After we get the game out I plan on going back to a weekly schedule.
Last couple weeks were pretty colorful for me. I got caught up in some message board wackiness over at ‘da shugashack’ and now understand why message boards in general are to be perused with extreme caution and a truckload of grains of salt. The main object of contention started with the walk animation tutorial that starred my model, Shauna. People just made some wrong assumptions about her importance and future (non)appearance in id’s next game. All the fuss just made me pull out the uh…big guns and introduce people to another model called Hunter who has an even higher FPB* ratio as well as a meaner demeanor.
Curiously enough people responded to Hunter much more favorably than they did to Shauna. I reckon Hunter’s more warrior-like appearance sits better with all you fragsters. Too bad she won’t be in the ‘official’ game either. Believe it or not I actually do have a great deal of respect for all the women gamers in our community. The official models ending up in Q3A will be cool with both sexes (see I do have a brain as well as a…well you know). However, I won’t go off on another "whythefuckImakesexymodels" diatribe but just remember the Quake 2 chick. She will be in Q3A as well and thanks to Kenneth’s Scott’s ministrations she’s much more badass and battleworn than before. As far as my modeling button stuck in ‘unrealisticbabe’ mode just wait until you see the ‘heavy’ class female player model. Kevin Cloud came up with the perfect idea for her and Ken waddled through the research material (I’ll never doubt your intestinal fortitude, KS) for her. I’m telling you though, you just thought you wanted realism. But WTF, I aim to please and hell…I might even give her glasses, too!
Also as far as my modeling button goes please see the Sleeg TOTB tutorial for how I do the modeling thing from start to finish. I thought it was obvious that I did that massive stream-of-modeling-consciousness for just that purpose. So instead of e-mailing me to show you how to use Max and/or build a hotty like Shauna for your adolescent pleasure, I encourage all you WAREZ-heads to go out and buy any book about Max. Even if you got your copy of Max legitimately I still encourage you to get an additional book on it. Currently I try to make time for a book by Jon A. Bell called ‘3D STUDIO MAX R2.5 F/X AND DESIGN’. It’s a great for learning Max without falling asleep during the tutorials that come with the program. John and a guy named Frank Deluis are ‘Da Men’ when it comes to great instruction in printed form and Frank has a series of instructional videos that just ROCK.
So let’s get into the next animation installment of TOTB.
Recently I got e-mail from an aspiring young modeler named Ian Ross who basically wanted to get a primer on animation in Max. So instead of facetiously suggesting he read through the tutorials (which I still recommend you do, wholeheartedly – manuals, too) I decided to do a simple animation covering some of the basics. So the theme for today is, uh…’Basic Stuff?’ Shauna’s off in her Lambo with a friend so stepping in for her is my man, Mr. S.A. Down (known to his friends as simply ‘Sitcher’). Ian suggested (I quote):
"For instance let’s say there was a guy who decided to stand up from a sitting position, make some hand gestures, and then stretch his legs…"
Good enough. Let’s do just that (with some Steed embellishment of course ;) First, I want to treat this as a series and I don’t want to go too fast for a novice or clipboard-and-coffee-cup-carrying producer type who’s trying to maybe learn something about art. So this first part will to cover the basics and basic terms you’ll need to understand when you begin animating those cool models you’ve built.
Ah, right on cue. Here’s Mr. Sitcher A. Down now.
Uh…like, yo, dude. Quit screwin’ around. I’m doing the instructional thang and you’re diminishing my effectiveness here. Sitcher, putcher head back on.
"‘Like’ verily, Old Chap. I’d love to accommodate your didactic vein, but I seem to have devolved into this missing link situation."
Missing link…? Ohhh. Gotcha, Sitcher. Nice segue, boys and girls into the first part of the animation process: linking. Linking is just what it sounds like. You ‘link’ or attach something to something else. Usually the point of linking one thing to another is to provide a ‘parent-child’ relationship. One object drives or moves another like the upper arm moves the forearm and hand. In this case the upper arm is the parent, the forearm is its child. To continue the analogy, the hand is the child of the forearm, the first digit in the fingers become the children of the hand. Each successive finger bone becomes the child to the one before it. You can’t animate your character if it isn’t linked together.
Credits: Thinking Outside the Box logo illustrated and is © 1999 Dan Zalkus. Thinking Outside the Box is © 1999 Paul Steed. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, so don't even try it. We've got really big guns, and we're ripped, baby.