Welcome to the Project

Remember when all Morpheus wore was that gray leotard? Let's get him into something a little more comfortable.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Great First Day

Bonus cookie points for the whole team and thanks to everyone for a great first day. We sorted out a bunch of questions and clarified many of the project goals. Fantastic to have Rodney B. joining us every class for lab - your modeling skills are vital for this endeavor.

Our first pass of what the project goals will be:
  1. Everything is free for use to non-profit ventures including festival films (credit required)
  2. Everything will be 100% student content.
  3. Any non Ex'pression content (if included at all) will be in a "use at own risk" area
  4. Everything will be built to a consistent and high standard
  5. Costumes and Props will be modular and easily modifiable
  6. Everything will be light and easy to integrate.
  7. Clear documentation and tutorials with everything.
We determined who our clients are:
  1. Ex'pression College, Marketing and Promotion
  2. Ex'pression College, Current and Future students
  3. "Pre-Students" (folks thinking about going to art school)
  4. Students (other colleges and programs)
  5. Industry Professionals
  6. Short Film Makers
and we established the costume and work-flow parameters (image below):

We also gave everyone their first tasks:

Dressing Room Environment (Meyer Hall) - Ruby & Joe
"Template Suit" Concept - Catie
Explore MEL scripting for costume shape fixes - Ruby & Joe
Lighting Ideal Parameters (3 examples) - Natalia
"Catwalk" Walk animation - Josue
"Mugging it Up" animation - Logan
Model Jayna's Khaki Concept - Jacob
Texture Map Test for Hairdo - Les
Set Up Texture Templates - Tony
Model Jayna's Cowboy Costume - Joe
Props and Hats Sample Rigging - Tony & Marcus (I'll fill you in on this one Marcus)

These tasks will only cover the first days - we will get a larger deliverable schedule worked out in next class.

Rodney B. solved the question of how we deal with non-deforming costume objects (buttons, badges etc): Muscle>Bonus Rigging>Surface Attach - select two adjacent spans and it will create a fixed surface locator that we can use to anchor anything to the costume mesh.

To load Maya Muscle, Select Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager. The Plug-in Manager window opens. Locate MayaMuscle and turn on Loaded. Maya loads the Muscle module and adds the Muscle menu to the main menu set.

That's all for today - my brain is full.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day of class for the ECMWP

Monday Feb 28th will be the first meeting of the group project at Ex'pression College. This will be a five week course where students work toward making the wardrobe project a reality. I'm filled with excitement and a small dose of trepidation. My own area of expertise is limited to animation and this undertaking covers more modeling than anything else. I'm thrilled to have a couple of students joining me who I've worked with before, so it's not all unknown territory. As I've said before: a huge "thank you" to Andrew S. for his faith in the project concept (and me). Let's see what tomorrow and the next five weeks will bring.

-David Latour

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


for the cowboy/lawman

I figured two variants of what we need would be good; I think there is a lot of visual reference too on the web so probably don't need orthographic shots.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

cowboy/lawman version

so I put this one together; feedback of course welcomed; I figured i should be able to get out at least one of these per week; i can throw variants of hats/accessories on him as well.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lots of Great Developments

Good news all around for E.C.M.W.P. - It looks like my second term at Ex'pression will be supervising a group project centered on the wardrobe initiative. Huge thanks to Andrew S. for making that possible. It means I'll have the dedicated efforts of 10 or more students for 5 weeks (M/W/F). The challenge is finding roles for all the varied disciplines as not everyone is a character modeler/texture artist.

I've been casting my net out there to find professional concept artists who'd like to offer their costume concepts for consideration of getting built by the project. Jayna P. and Andrew N. - I'll be looking for you to do some more concept work as well ;) I'm going to try trolling LinkedIn next, but let me know if you have any other ideas to reach out to the pro-concept community.

David W. did a great job of re-topologizing the hands for Morpheus, with feedback and guidance from Rodney B. I'm sending the .obj to Josh today to get his comments. The face on Morphy is rock solid, but the body needs a little love, especially around the armpits. I'm hoping before the second semester starts, all the base mesh stuff is already taken care of.

I've got a meeting next week Wednesday with Miwa K., the Director of Marketing at Ex'pression College to discuss the project (fingers crossed for even more support.)

All said, a great week for the project!