Archive for the ‘Maya’ Category

Maya AE Live Link

I’ve been using The Maya-AE Live Link feature that was recently added in Maya 2017 Update 3 and it is a marvelous solution for motion graphic artists and animators who use a Maya and After Effects workflow. Whereas you had to use a hacky workflow of scripts and baking keys to go back and forth between apps, this new workflow gives me just the right amount of control and ease of use.

Although it doesn’t give you 3D rendering inside AE, and honestly you don’t want to be rendering Maya scenes from After Effects, it gives you the ability to exchange cameras, lights and transforms with which you need to match your render sequences with the composite. I am currently developing Pixel Cloud 2.0 and using Maya-AE Live Link in the workflow. Hope to show it off real soon!

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Visual Type FIRE

Added another theme to my list of visual type experiments. Fire created using Maya fluids. If you haven’t seen the previous post with my other experiments. Check them out here.

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Visual Typography

It’s been a while since my last post. Life happens. It’s been a busy year. So sorry for the extended hiatus and I promise to come around more often!

Recently, I’ve been challenging myself during the few chances I have for experimentation to create short 5 second visual typography clips. A colleague of mine mentioned a Reddit game identifying movies from a single word uttered in the movie (without uttering the title, of course).

I tried to do similar creating short clips designing around a single word and completing within an hour or two. Here are four examples of what I’ve done so far.







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Pixel Cloud and Maya Batch Bake Demo

More and more, I am using Pixel Cloud as a visualization tool. Although, I may not have the need to relight a 3D render, I am compositing it with another pass or a background. In order to make sure the composite works, it helps to visualize how it may look within a 3D space. Pixel Cloud can help with that. Last night, I was experimenting with outputting a PPass and a Normal Pass as a UV texture from within Maya. Using this technique, you can create a point cloud not just from the view of the camera, but from all textured points on the model. Maya’s Batch Bake function allows you to do this, with it’s support for baking 32-bit texture maps. Although you cannot create image sequences in this way, you can create a working reference of the CG model from all angles. This reference could be useful when visualizing a composite.

The application of this technique is quite simple. Create and texture your position pass as normal and use Batch Bake t0 create 32-bit floating point tiffs for each pass. You need to make sure that UVs are completely unfolded and not flipped, otherwise the command may not work. Also set your options to output 32-bit. Import into After Effects and use these passes with Pixel Cloud as you normally would.

Creating the PPass texture in Maya will be the same as connecting the samplerInfo node’s pointWorld with the outColor of a surface shader. Creating the Normal Pass is a little different. One needs to connect the samplerInfo’s normalCamera to a vector product node. Then connect the rendering camera’s worldMatrix to the vector product node. Set the vector product node to matrix multiply and connect the output to the outColor of the surface shader. You can then use Batch Bake to create the texture map/passes. These were my settings.
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Maya Export Position and Normal Pass to Pixel Cloud Tutorial


Hey guys, this tutorial is a brief overview on how to use Maya to quickly create a position pass and normal pass to be used with the Pixel Cloud plugin for After Effects. The process is pretty much the same as in my previous tutorials but this is dedicated to exporting the passes from Maya and the adjustments necessary after importing into After Effects.

On a side note, I’ve started setting up a Forum for any questions regarding Pixel Cloud, Scripts and even just general graphics talk! If you have any technical questions please feel free to post here and for my customers feel free to email me at support@blurrypixel.com I’ll get back to you! The forum is still in the beta stages but feel free to start using it!

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Introducing Pixel Cloud!


The Pixel Cloud plugin for After Effects is a powerful compositing tool that allows you to relight a 3D generated image, make 3D aware selections or displace the pixels in 3D space. Combine the use of a Position Pass and a Normal Pass with the power of After Effects’ 3D lights and cameras and change the lighting of your composited 3D graphics. This native plugin for After Effects can use the coordinate information from a Position Pass or depth map to generate a Pixel Cloud in 3D space. This Pixel Cloud can be viewed from all angles using AE’s own cameras. With a Normal Pass, the Pixel Cloud can be relit using After Effects’ own lights or using an image as an Image Based Light. There are a number of uses from 3D compositing to motion graphics! Find it at AEScripts.com!

Features:
Relighting with 32-bit passes
Use AE Lights and Cameras
Diffuse
Specularity
Image Based Lighting
Reflection
Alpha Lights for matte generation
Support for falloff in CS5.5 and above
Pixel Cloud generation with 8bpc to 32bpc
3D Displacement
Pixel Texturing
Lo-res Preview modes
Multiprocessor compatible

Generating the position pass can be done in various 3D software packages. In Cinema 4D you may use the PointPosition C4D from AEScripts.com. There is also a tutorial for doing this here: http://youtu.be/yfoT7bxbBwo

For Maya, you may use the Point World output of a samplerInfo node connected to a surface shader and render an EXR using mental ray and the 32-bit framebuffer. There are also a variety of tutorials available.

For 3DS Max, you may add the XYZ Generator shader to the surface slot of a mental ray material. Set it’s Coordinate System to 3 and render to an EXR using the floating point framebuffer.

More tutorials coming soon!

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Demo: Pixel Cloud Relight

The Pixel Cloud plugin effect for After Effects has several nifty features including the ability to relight a 3D rendered scene using separate passes. With this feature, you can drastically change the light source, direction of light and mood of a scene as well as the specularity and reflections in an image. Here is a demo/tutorial of how this can be achieved in After Effects with the Pixel Cloud plugin!

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LIDAR: 3D Scanning Technology

A recent post on FXGuide regarding Pointcloud9, a European company that provides high quality 3D scanning services to the film industry, has me fascinated with how this technology is being used today. LIDAR is basically the process of using a laser to get the 3D information of an object or environment similar to the way desktop 3D scanners operate and it ties in perfectly with my previous Recreality post, about the future of cinema. These laser-based range finding cameras are ultra accurate. No Kinect hack here. Perhaps this is the way it will be done in the future? Incidentally, this technology was used 4 years ago for Radiohead’s House of Cards music video.

 

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On the YouTubes!

Yeah! After some soul searching, I’ve moved all the blog videos onto YouTube! Our YouTube channel is at TheBlurrypixel. Of course all the videos are still embedded in the posts so no need to go directly to the channel but I will be posting some bonus extra videos on there that may not be on the blog so show us your support and Subscribe!

 

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Pixel Cloud Relighting Preview

Here is a video of some of the relighting features available with the Pixel Cloud plugin for After Effects with a side by side comparison from the original footage to the Pixel Cloud effected footage. You can see the practical utility of not having to go back into the 3D process just to re-render a shot.

The voice track is from Shakespeare’s To be or not to be soliloquy from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s film Hamlet portrayed by David Tenant.

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