Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blood vessels

I started working on a smallish project. According to Eric Keller, every animator has to do a blood cell animation at some point in time, so this is my shot at it. I'm practicing up on some dynamics. The density isn't right yet. I'm not sure how accurate I want to get the biology, since that will probably result in millions upon millions of RBCs. I'll do some calculations, figure out what kind of vessel this will be, and go from there.

The geometry is very simple. I tried to add some randomness to the vessel and the red blood cells. I'm also using procedural textures to see how realistic I can get with ramps and noise.
I haven't touched the lighting yet; that will make a big difference. Eventually I think I'll have a large WBC travelling through and the camera will track on that. Nothing too original, but like I quoted above, everybody's gotta do one ;)

Later,
Stuart

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A whirlwind trip and reader input!

I think a small update post is necessary. It's Sunday, and tomorrow will be my first real day off work. For the past three years, I've been working as a bioinformatician at the University of Victoria. Some of the research I've been involved in you can find here. I was happy to hear that another manuscript I co-primary-authored was just accepted. As great as this work experience has been, what with the massive number of things I've learned and the great people I've been able to collaborate with, I'm now looking ahead to the future.

Last week I got on a flight to Toronto to undertake the stressful and challenging task of finding a place to live for August. After looking at a number of places (with ceilings shorter than me, a sketchy neighborhood, a building with no laundry, etc.), on day 2 of 3 I found an apartment in a great location, for not too much money (still small and expensive), and squeaked in an application through high demand. I also got my student card, and wandered around the amazing UofT St. George's campus. I'm so looking forward to studying there. It will be an experience and a half.
This week, amongst the organizing and packing, I'm hoping to put some full days of CG and drawing. Of course I will have plenty of opportunity to do the practicing while I'm in the program, but I want to get as far as I can in these moments of "free time".

So... this is the interactive portion. Along with tutorials and that sort of thing, I want to produce another ~30 second short this summer. What should it be about? I'd like to hear some ideas. Anything will do... toss out some ideas. I've got loads of ideas jotted down, enough to keep me busy for years to come, but I thought it would be fun to have reader input. Rules: 30 seconds means it can't be an epic feature length saga. Write your ca-razy ideas (a phrase, a theme, a premise, whatever) on my facebook page or in the comments here, or tweet @biocinematics. If there's enough ideas, I may put a poll up, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Later,
Stuart

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June sketches 05

It seems to be July now, so Happy Canada Day everyone. A couple final sketches I thought I'd share:

  
This is a campfire off a photo; I found it pretty tricky to sketch flame... it's not a simple form, even to get the impression.


And this creature head's obviously from my imagination; I just kept adding features as I went. Kind of an interesting result.

So looking back on the month: 25 pencil sketches, 2 maya "sketches", and a zbrush doodle... totalling 28 sketches in a month of 30 days. Not too bad, considering there were also 4 graduations, a wedding, and a funeral... and a week and a half of a nasty virus or something.

So what's up for July? Well, I have to find a place to live in Toronto, pack up and move; I'm finishing up at my job of 3 years; I'm going to be spending some time relaxing and holidaying with family; but I'm hoping to have some solid full days of learning more Maya and also brushing up on some anatomy and the human form before my program starts in late August.

You can keep tabs on me on twitter or facebook or here, and feel free to comment here or on my facebook wall.

Later,
Stuart