Maya 2018 Fundamentals

In this module, I will be creating a model through the entire process of textures and materials to the ship. Then adding in the animation controls, movement, and dynamics as my final animated sequence.

Progress 1

Here’s what I’ve got ever since I started on Monday. I added in the reference images for the model and then started working on the body core from it with a simple cube. Then the sides and the top are build by extruding them out as my progress goes. Where I am right now is building the cockpit for my model.

Progress 2

The next Monday, I had worked on modeling the front and back vents, defining the wings, and the rough cockpit. As shown above, it is smothered out by pressing 3 on the keyboard and can be altered back by pressing 1. I will be creating the ship’s engines, sail, and detailing other specific parts, such as the sail, to stand out more.

Progress 3

This Wednesday, I’ve added in the sail and the engines along with grill, front sail, sail frame, large connector, back sail, and the back frame. I am done with the model and now moving on to add in their respective materials and textures. Textures such as glass for the cockpit, car-paint for the sail, and copper for the sail’s pole to decorate before rigging for animation.

Progress 4

In this update, rigging for animation is done and I’m moving on to animate the model. I will get used to use the animation controls and using the graph editor to add in the keyframes. The keyframes in Maya is a bit different from other applications. You select the model from the main screen and their properties will show up in the Graph Editor tab. In order to see more specific attributes to those parts, pressing S from the keyboard will open up X, Y, Z axis so I can translate, rotate, or scale the model. With this, I will be able to create motion paths for the model in the next tutorial.

Low-Poly Game Building

Progress 1

On this lesson, I will be creating a low-poly game building. The building will end up looking more cartoonish rather than realistic. I have already finished making the building’s model and its window along with a planter box. Next step is texturing the windows with the window’s blind and plain from the exercise files. Soon I will texture the planter box as well.

Progress 2

Where I left off is when I’m creating the door for the poly building. I have already created multiple windows and duplicated it to paste on the other two sides. Details were changed on a few windows so it can have some variety (flowers, blinds). The door is made by copying the window’s structure and shape, without the flowers and the frame, and moving it downwards. The space left in between is for the upcoming stairs right after finishing up the door with texture.

Progress 3

After applying the door’s texture, I have added a few more windows next to the door’s sides and the other small building. However, the windows are applied with awnings by creating another cube and modifying the shape. The stairs was the next step. It is created with a simple cube, modifying into a wide rectangle, deleting unnecessary faces, and extruding multiple times with the edges. The banister is added with two reformed cubes, same thing goes with the small details along the building’s trim. Finally, I inserted the building’s walls so it is able to seem to have red bricks. While it is close to finish, the last thing to do is texturing the foundation and adding in the air conditioners above the building.

Progress 4 (Final)

Finally, I have added in the air conditioners for both of the buildings. Once I’ve done it, I went back to refine any elements on the building and added another extra window on the other side of the smaller building. This progress took about four weeks to complete at my own pace and have finalized the end model for the game building.

Modeling a Simple Human Character

Progress 1

For what I did in Maya 2018, I have started on adding different planes and testing them out on different camera angles. Then, I opened up Hyper shade for the next step to add on the reference files onto the work area. Before I did, I used the second lambert to export the top view reference. I will then drag the lambert file onto the top view camera angle to show the reference.

Progress 2

After adding in the reference files, I lined them up evenly to match the expected model. Then I added a simple cube shape and modified it to resemble the body. I scaled the to fit in the size and moved it where it needs to be. One common tool I used to enlarge the shape on a specific face is extruding. Once I’ve done this, I corrected the top vertices/edges from the cube to finalize the body.

Progress 3

The next step I’ve done from the first video is adding on the head of the figure. I extruded the neck and added in more offset edge loops to extrude that as well. After I extruded, its head will end up as a block. During the modifications to the head, I selected specific edges and vertices and scale/move them to the appropriate locations just as where the reference files shows. This is the last step on the first video and I will move on to the next step on the second video.

Progress 4

On the second video, I manage to reach during the production of making the figures arms. I am halfway through the video and finishing up the modification on the arms. I used extract from the elbows to stretch out the arms and offset edge loops to accomplish the roundness of the arms. Only the wrists needs to stay squared in order to make the hands in the next process.

Progress 5

Halfway through the third video, I have made it all the way into the making the man’s hands. I am currently adding in the fingers by extruding the base of the hand. Once the fingers are done, I will finalize it by rounding them up just like the head. To make it look smoother, it requires moving and scaling on the desired model.

Progress 6 (Final)

On the last video on making the mini man, I finished adding on the extra fingers it needed and attach them into the same hand by using the bridge tool. Then I had finished finalizing the extra parts from the video, such as the legs, neck, and hand, to continue. In the end, I duplicated the model and smooth it out from the polygonal copy, where this is the final step.

Adobe After Effects Fundamentals 2

Working with Texts (6)

In this module, I will be learning about creating and editing text, formatting characters and paragraphs, and using the source text keyframe. Creating and editing texts is a simple start to manage the words or letter’s size, fill/stroke, or fonts. At the top left corner, you will see a “T” in the panel, which it will create a text for you and you can edit it by right panel. The text layers have a unique property called Source text. What it does is it allows you to keyframe text, which it’ll change the text over time. No other layer or asset has this property. By creating a text, you will hover over the disclosure triangle, of your text layer, clicking it and doing the same thing with text. You will see the source text and clicking the stopwatch next to it will bring up the keyframes. Instead of a diamond keyframe, it will add a square keyframe which is a hold keyframe. It is the only keyframe you can add while you’re working with source text and will hold it until you change its properties.

Working with Shapes (7)

In this module, I will be working on creating shapes with shape tools, using the pen tool, and creating shapes from paths and texts. There are two types of shapes, and that is Parametric and Bezier. Parametric means shapes created from the shape tool itself, located at the top left as a square, and Bezier means shapes created from the pen tool or a pasted path. With the shape tool, you can create different shapes by holding the icon and picking the desired shape. This goes the same with the pen tool, but this will help you create rather more irregular shapes. In the image above, you see a letter “R” along with the other shapes. That letter isn’t a regular text but a shape that is created from the text. To do this, you select the text layer, right click it, and clicking the “create shape from text” option. The same letter will appear as a shape layer. Creating shapes from paths is much more complex and it only applies from using photoshop or some other source. Nonetheless, when you open up an image, from photoshop for example, you copy the path of the image by clicking the layer and “marching ants” will appear around it. To copy it, hover over the path’s tab and at the bottom you click on the fifth icon to convert it into a work path. Once it is converted, ctrl/cmd C to copy the path and ,returning to After Effects, create a new shape layer and select the pen tool to actually add the shape to the layer. Open up shape, path, make sure that is active, and ctrl/cmd V to paste it. The shape you just copied from a different source will appear at the stage with current properties.

Introducing Video Effects (8)

In this module, I will be learning about applying video effects, animating the video effects properties, and presenting the effects. To apply an effect to a video, make sure a layer is selected and then you hover your mouse over the right side of the panels labeled “Effects and Presets.” You can always adjust your effects over its settings (by clicking the triangle) or apply any additional effects. By animating these applied effects, you set the keyframes over their effects layer. Set one keyframe at the start and then changing its properties on a different keyframe will generate a transition, almost as if it was moving when you move around the playhead.

Using Specialized effects and Layer Styles (9)

In this module, I will be learning about Keylight animation preset, using effects in adjustment layers, and applying and adjusting layer styles. Using Keylight animation preset is found at the effects and presets panel. The way how Keylight works is that you select a color by using the eye dropper and then that color will become transparent (this is how they edit with green screens). Applying effects on visible layers can be used to apply single set of effects to multiple clips in a sequence, create vignettes, present multiple “looks”, and following objects in motion. Adding effects for layers, or even text layers, can be applied by using the effects and presets panels over the right or clicking on Layer at the top of the panels and hovering layer styles. Effects can come in variety such as drop/inner shadow, outer/inner glow, satin, color overlay, or stroke. These are the basic styles, but hovering at the panel instead will help you find more specific styles.

Working in “Classic” 3D Space (10)

In this module, I will be learning how to work with lights, changing layer material options, controlling the camera, and using separate dimensions. To add light, you hover over layer (at the top left) and select new then light. You can also do this by hovering at layer panel and right click with the same steps. The light settings will appear and you can select the desired light types (such as parallel, spot, point, or ambient. Once you click Ok, a new layer will be formed. The light layer will have more options as you can also change the tensity (to make brighter or darker) or its color. I have also focused on the shadows and light transmission (light going through). By using Ray-traced 3D, it will help me show reflections to a surface. Adding shadows was already an option at the light setting (shadow darkness by default is 100 and shadow diffusion is 0 by default). To have a better view, clicking the active camera (in the middle above the layer panel) will give you the options to move the scene at a different angle to see the light/shadows. For a custom angle, holding C (shortcut for the camera) and moving around with the mouse until you let go of the mouse button to return back as selection tool.

Creating Specialized Text Animations (11)

In this module, I will be learning about text animation presets and fundamentals (much like “Working with Text” but with animation into it). At the start, you need to add a text (by doing so use the text tool on top left) and whether you need to change you font, stroke, or color (using the panel at the right). Once you typed in some words, you will see a “Animate” with a play button next to it in the layers panel. When you click on it, it will give options on what you can animate (such as opacity, scale, or fill color). As you make changes with your text (if you click on Animator 1), a red line with triangles attached to them will appear. This indicates the start and the end of the range. Let’s say that if it was originally black and you changed it to red, moving the lines will convert that text into black again.

Exporting (rendering) a Comp (12)

In this module (final), I will be learning on exporting (rendering) a composition on different methods. There is a difference of saving a comp vs. rendering a comp. If you only save it, it won’t export at all but will update all changes made and you can work on it later (to do so, click on file, save as, and save as again). You only render the comp if you are completely finish with it and others can see your video. There are two ways to render, one is Render Queue and the other is the Adobe Media Encoder. On the Render Queue, the easiest way to render is by clicking the comp to make it active (it won’t render if it’s inactivated) and hover over composition (top left), click on add to Render Queue. Use the Quicktime file format and then go over the format options. The best codec to choose, for beginners, is H.264 then you click OK. You then click on render, which is at the right side, and wait until it is done (for a 10 sec video, it will take 25 sec to render which is much quicker and has less space than using it on AVI file). On the Adobe Media Encoder, you click on add to Adobe Media Encoder, instead of add to Render Queue, and it will open up Media Encoder CC. This software can run in the background, so you can work back to back. It is similar to Render Queue except it has many more options. First you need to choose a format (H.264 is the default). Then choosing the present within that format (Match source- High vibrate is the default) and finally picking a file name and file folder location. You will click on the link next to it and go to Desktop, Courses file folder, change the name (if you want) and then Save. To start rendering, click on the little green play button located at your top right corner. Once it is done rendering, it will gray out and a massage will appear if you click on it. You click on Yes on the message and the file will be located at your folders. Both files of Queue and Encoder are located at the Course files (or the files you decided to locate).

After Effects Fundamentals Part 1

Introducing After Effects (2)

In this module, I have been walkthrough a mini project (as projected above) and explaining about its layering. The layers shown can determine the objects location and their scaling. For example, the woman on the right is more larger than the woman on the left. Notice that the same woman’s head is above the text “Multiplane animation.” This means that this layer is above the text layer and giving more priority to be shown. If I moved the woman’s layer under the text layer, the text would block the woman’s head instead.

Starting a Project and Importing Assets (3)

In this module, I’ve been taught to organize the given assets in this project. By hovering the cursor over the assets panel and not clicking anything, you press the tilde key that is in the upper-hand corner of your keyboard. This will pull out the asset panel in full screen mode, which makes it easier to arrange the files. You can see the assets’s type of file as well. By using this, it is more convenient to make create a folder, that is located at the bottom left corner as the second icon, and putting the same files in one folder. This will create less confusion for beginners as it is more planned.

Creating Comps and Adding Assets to Comps (4)

In this module, I’ll be setting up new comps and then adding the necessary assets for the project. There are multiple ways to start a new comps but the most common way to begin is by hovering over the “composition” at the top left and clicking “new composition” as soon as you opened up After Effects in a blank state. This will bring up the composition settings as you can customize your desired comp. But if you already have a project that has been downloaded, you can go to “file,” located at the top left corner, and selected “open file” to open up the project as shown above for example. To add the assets, whether it is downloaded, you double click on the asset panel, where there’s nothing in there, to open up the files. You can select the acceptable files, or holding shift-key to select multiple files, and it will appear in the asset panel.

Modifying and Animating Layer Properties (5)

In this lesson, I have started on modifying and animating layer properties. I will soon be able to transform properties and as well as using the Bezier curves, to create paths for vector graphics. Once I’m done with this module, I’ll work on working with texts as my next assignment.

On the same module, I’ve been using the Bezier curves, shown above, to create bent paths and moving the blue rectangle. The anchor point, which is in the middle of the rectangle, is the starting point of the path. As I drag the blue timeline in the bottom, the rectangle will move with the path. I can change the path by clicking on the dotted squares (red means its selected and non-filled means not selected). A line would appear and can be dragged around for the desired position to create the curved motion path. The name Bezier comes from a Renault automobile engineer named Pierre Bezier. He didn’t invent the curve but popularized them when he used them to define the shape of a car body.

After Affects Progress 2

In this update, for what I have finished is adding music to shapes and layers. The last module I’ve done for this section is using shapes with track matte, which it makes the text to look like they’re part of one layer. The next thing I’m going to do is converting the audio with keyframes.

After Effects progress

Here’s my progress for last Friday

Right now, I’m in the part where I’ll transform a regular white square burst into an abstract shape to show translation. This will be done without the multiple use of layers and using the effect called reaper.

About Me

Hello, my name is Arleth Juarez

I’m a learning animator, artist, and a sculptor. It all started when I was in 3rd grade when I was obsessed with my art class at elementary school. I’ve always wanted to learn animation because the process of moving drawings/pictures is what interested me. I’m more into the old classic 2D style animation, but any other than that is alright with me.

In my blogs, I make posts about Animation I and II inside in my Animation Portfolio. Either my posts are completed tutorials or the process that leads to my current major projects. Each post roughly contains a brief summary to give background information behind the work. This concludes the daily progress posts of every Wednesday/Friday.

I’m looking forward to make fun and interesting projects with my class. While doing so, this will help me in the future and my career choices.

If you’re looking forward for more posts or projects that I’m working on, consider following me and let yourself notified on what I’m am doing. This may also help you if we have similar goals or interests.

Lessons 4-5

In this lesson, I’ve learned how to use multiple motion tweens on different layers and how to edit a property curve. While editing a curve from a layer, I used ease to create a more realistic motion for every block and the hand. Overall, I have made refinements in the motion tweening of the blocks to create a bouncing effect and the hand bumping the stack.

In lesson 5, I’ve used motion tweening and classic tweening as an more simple way to move objects from one location to another. In the beginning of the lesson, it teached me about layer parenting. As I connect the layers to create their relation, if the parent layer moves so does the child layer. The lesson also introduced a new tool such as Asset Warp Tool and taught me about deforming a symbol. In the end, I finished it off by setting auto synchronize dialogue to create a lip syncing to the monkey.