The finished jellies

At last, dear readers, here is my finished animation on the life cycle of a jellyfish. This has been a fun and challenging 4 month process of storyboarding, animating, texturing and lighting. I think my biggest challenge was creating an underwater scene for my characters to exist.

The final animation took 4 days to render. Rendering is the process by which an animation program (3ds max in my case) creates sequential images. In rendering the program calculates  the lighting , textures and character placement for each frame. These images are compiled and create an animation.

Please sit back and enjoy!

Animatic

I’ve spent the past several weeks working on this animatic for my animation class so I thought I would share it with you. Animatics are a rough version of an animation showing the various camera shots and generally use primitive models to mock-out the action. In my animatic I decided to add in a few advance stages of my models to get more of a feel of what the final animation may look like. Enjoy!

Animation

This semester in my graduate studies I am taking a 3D animation course. It is covering the production processes of making a (1 minute long) animation. We will becoming acquainted with several  software programs for animation such as Adobe After effects, Adobe Premire along with working within the 3ds Max environment for modeling, texturing, lighting and animating.

Here is my first stab at animation; this was made after only two days of class. Enjoy!

The Nintendo Wii

secondary-3I have caught the Wii bug. As a birthday gift I received a Nintendo Wii and a few games for said Wii. Hands down the greatest thing about this console is the way you are able to interact with it. It’s more than just button mashing as you find with other console’s controllers. For this gaming system it’s about aiming and positioning combined with some button pressing.

Yet, I shouldn’t just talk about the console; I should also talk about the games. The top two (from the five that I have) that I would recommend is Wii Sports and Boom Blox.

511vBBiKpGL._SL500_AA280_Wii Sports has a collaborative mode where you can bowl, play tennis, baseball, golf or even box with one or multiple friends. Out of the five sports I enjoying tennis and bowling the best as they have the most realistic motions for the sport they are trying to portray. 5120wA4BGBL._SL500_AA280_

Boom Blox, is a close second. The object of the game is to shoot, pull, and destroy boxes. The developers have creatively made this simple premise into a fun filled game, where the more you play the more game options you unlock. One of my favorites is a Jenga-like set of boxes where you have to pull out a set number of boxes before the structure may fall. This game also has collaborative/combative modes.

So if you’re looking to take a stab at some expensive but fun entertainment check out the Nintendo Wii and a few of the above game options.

Making Edutainment using Unity 3D

For my final project in my stereography/virtual reality class I will be making a primitive, strategy, web-based game using Unity 3D software. This program is designed for making game applications for the I-Phone, Wii, Web and a few other

platforms that I will fail to mention just for simplicity. Unity 3D supports three different scripting languages: JavaScript, C# and a dialect of Python to program interactivity of buttons and other gaming assets.

You’re probably wondering by now, “Why is someone in Biomedical Visualization trying to make a game?” If I can be so bold to surmise your inner dialog. Well, part of what is essential to my graduate program is thinking in an innovative way along with with knowing how to do many innovative things.

This brings me to the discussion of edutainment. If you have not heard this expression before it is merely a form of entertainment designed to educate as well as to amuse (Wikipedia). Edutainment seeks to instruct individuals by embedding lessons in some familiar form of entertainment such as: television programs, computer and video games, films, music, websites, multimedia software, etc (Wikipedia). So teaching information about science or more specifically medical topics should no longer be considered boring, hard or not fun right?

The topic of my Unity 3D edutainment project is looking at how a part of your bones, spongy bone or also known as trabecular bone, repair itself after it has undergone stress and has cracked. Here is a link to a six page PDF of the essential concepts outlining my game. Let me know if you don’t understand or have any other ideas. Thanks and enjoy!

Click here to open PDF of game concepts

Interested in seeing more examples of edutainment?
  • Here is a youtube video describing the heart and more specifically EKGs (Warning: contains heart dissection images)
  • Here is a CNN video detailing a doctor training environment

Inappropriate Uses of Technology

This semester I am taking a stereography and virtual reality class. Yesterday we touched upon touch screens and how they work.  You see them everywhere! This technology has invaded your grocery store, i- phone, GPS unit and other countless portable devices.

Technology is built upon innovation and is often implemented to make everyday life more convenient. It  also has its entertainment and demonstrative purposes along with an inherent funness. Who doesn’t like poking buttons?

Here is a brief parody by SNL over the touch screen technology used during this past election.  (Click the image, it will take you where you can watch the video).

snltouchscreen

How do touchscreens work?

Read this article and be sure to watch the video at the bottom it deals with multi-touch technology.

More than just a light bulb

lightbulb1

Image from GE's website

Recently I invested in a few energy-smart light bulbs but probably not for the purpose that you’re thinking (not that there is anything wrong with that). I have been doing a lot of research on color management of LCD displays and projection.

You would not believe what must be taken into consideration when you are trying to match the color of your computer screen with what you print or an image you’re projecting. Alas, I will not go into all of this.

What I will tell you is a simple way that you can control one of the factors of how color displays on your monitor, by controlling the light in your room and the environment around your computer. I’m sure you have noticed that there is a difference in brightness, and color of light emitted from your respective lamps. Well, the factors you can control are the color and brightness of your lamp, and the objects around your computer (make sure they are neutral in color)! My suggestion for a  light bulb is General Electric’s energy-smart, daylight, fluorescent bulb. Since I changed my bulb I have definitely seen more consistency in how my color is displayed on my monitor. Another key factor is to make sure you have consistent lighting conditions.

If you’re looking for more information on color management among digital devices check out:

Overview of Color Management

International Color Consortium

Look what Max can do!

The TECHNOLOGY behind computer generated imagery is amazing! Oftentimes I ask myself is that real or CG? There are so many different computer programs out there to create such imagery, however, for this post I will focus on one of the programs that I have had quite a bit of experience using to give you the basic idea of CG imagery-Autodesk’s 3ds max. It’s a great program for modeling, texturing, lighting, and animating. In this program you are able to take primitive objects (such as a square, cone, or sphere) and pretty much change it into anything you would want. Using deforming tools (scale, rotate, shift) you are able to manipulate the object’s vertices, edges, and faces and using other modifiers (bend, squeeze, smooth, and stretch) affect the overall appearance of an object. It’s digital sculpting! Once you have the shape modeled you are able to apply various textures to its surface to make it more life-like. Once this is done or during this process you can add lighting to bring out the form of the object (true lighting, in my opinion, is what can make your image really come to life). Tell the program to “take a picture of the scene” or “render” and hopefully only a few minutes later you’ll have your CG image.

blogmaxfake01

primitive object

blogmaxfake02

scaling primitive

textured primitive

textured primitive

lighting primitive

lighting primitive

Rendered primitive

Rendered primitive

Go to this link to see if you can tell the difference between a photo and a CG image: http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/fakeorfoto/