Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Creative title, I know! Here's another little animation I did, this time using CHOP (channel operator) Networks.

I won't have too much time in the next few weeks to post, because we are heading in to finals and then end of Winter quarter. I will, however be posting my Houdini, which I have started working on. I don't want to give anything away, but it's going to be pretty awesome!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rozin Mirror Animation!

My animation from the Rozin Mirror project, for VSFX 350.

I used a piece of footage from my favorite childhood movie, Homeward Bound. Basically what was created was this. First, a grid of 1x1 squares was created. A piece of footage was "placed" on top so that the rotation values of the squares would change depending on the luminance values of the footage. The look was inspired by Daniel Rozin's artwork with mechanical mirrors.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Daniel Rozin's Mechanical Mirrors!

Whoa! Have you seen Daniel Rozin's work???? This guy is insanely awesome! If you haven't checked him out, I recommend you do so immediately. For VSFX 350, We have to recreate the feel of his mechanical mirrors work using Houdini. Although ours won't be interactive, it will be based on luminance values of a piece of footage.

Here's some of his amazing work! I have no idea how this stuff works, but I hope I have an opportunity to see it some day in person. Basically he uses technology to create an interactive "wooden mirror". You've got to see it to believe it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Houdini - Cruise Control to Awesome.

Awesome title, I know. Let me first start off this blog entry as a HUGE apology to those who actually read it (hi mom!). I haven't had much time to devote to posting as I would like. Fortunately, I have been really enjoying my classes, and I've been having a lot of fun! Here are some images to prove it!

This quarter, I'm taking VSFX 350: Procedural Modeling and Animation, which really means I'm learning Houdini. I was a little hesitant, having spent the last 4 or so years of my life engulfed by the amazingness that is Maya. However, I was soon re-faced with a lesson I had learned back in elementary school: You're allowed to have TWO best friends! The first day, I was already dropping my jaw at Houdini. While I still see Maya as being exceptional (especially with things like modeling and shading/texturing), Houdini runs much smoother and more intuitively. But most of you don't care about that, so let's move on to the pretty pictures!

One of our first projects was to create a procedural staircase.

We had to create a custom interface that would allow the user to adjust the number of steps, revolutions, and several other attributes. (This would allow for easy animation... plus it's just pretty cool!)

The image to the right is a screen-capture of my created user interface. It looks pretty simple. All it took was some simple expressions, and Houdini runs it easily. That's another advantage of Houdini over Maya - you wouldn't dream of putting a large integer value, like 1000 into any attribute in Maya for fear of a "fatal error." Houdini however, takes it without question or hesitation.

Another project that I found really interesting was called, "Fizz Buzz." Basically, we were given an image that contained 4 patterns. We had to figure out the patterns, and create a network with expressions that would allow the patterned to be repeated no matter how large it got.

If you can't tell, the four patterns are as follows
1) All numbers divisible by 7 are colored red.
2) All numbers divisible by 9 are colored red.
3) Every 5th number is represented with a Buzz.
4) Every 9th number is represented with a Fizz.

The code for this project was a little more complicated, but still quite intuitive.

Our first large project was a procedural building. We had to create a building that when scaled in any direction, would "grow" more windows/doors/etc accordingly. We were then required to do a short animation of our created user interface. This was a little more challenging than our previous exercises. My animation is as follows!

I threw the animation and video together a little last minute, so I am planning on revisiting it in a few days to make it look better. Overall, I'm really enjoying getting to know Houdini. It's challenging my math and logic skills, as well as challenging me artistically. In the next few weeks, we'll be going over and learning about some procedural animation techniques. In lamen's terms: awesome stuff! Next quarter I'm taking Houdini 2, which covers particles and procedural effects. That should definitely be a fun one!

Hopefully it won't take me as long to update next. Thanks for reading, happy Wednesday!