Neo Sports OOGA BOOGA animation

oogabooga_img_01‘Ooga Booga’ is a 3D animation commercial series design by Vaibhav Studio in Mumbai with O&M advertising agency. You can read the complete article on http://www.animationxpress.com/oogabooga/001-ob-main.htm

Introduction:
Ooga Booga is basically a concept developed to promote the sports channel Neo Sports. Cricket is the focus for the channel, so idea and concepts also move around cricket. O&M is the ad agency for Neo Sports, they come up with a lead character who is genius amongst the brain-numb Neanderthals, who comes up with innovative ideas to play the game.

 

This project has two seasons, first with three promos:oogabooga_img_02

1. Stone Bats
2. Stumps
3. Dino Belly

Second season of the series has two promos:

1. Flying Menace
2. Samba Mamba

oogabooga_img_03Ramamoorthy from O&M Mumbai has co-scripted the film along with the studio. They have the idea to link completely unaware cavemen with cricket. The series was created to reinforce the ‘cricket fever’ on Neo Sports.

Pre Production

Script – Once the stories were finalized, after that Vaibhav Studio team co-scripted the script along with O&M with full details inputs.

Storyboard – This is a graphical representation of story with consideration of all details in the script. It makes production very clear and easy.

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Animatics – Studio people also try to see the flow of the film by making animatics. This is done with 2D platform

 
Character Design, Backgrounds and Props

Character Design – Since there weren’t any dialogues for any character, it is important to give each of them visually unique characteristics and styles.

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Backgrounds and Props

Layout of particular shots, crowd positions, creation of the 3D jungle, foliage and color references served as valuable during production process.

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Modeling and Rigging

Modeling – Here with the help of 3D software artists create the models as decided in storyboard. All model done in low poly to keep the file size low. With the help of textures trees, caves etc. gets specific effects.

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Rigging – It means to provide a support to your model with IK and other means, which help the model during different movements. During rigging process previous done animatics help the rigging artist.

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Texturing and Lighting

It is an important part of the process. Color images in storyboards which has lights and shadows were helpful during lighting and texturing. The character Uvs were taken separately for texturing.

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Animation and Sound

First dialogues were recoded with the animatics, which than used by animators during lip-sync and body language of the characters.

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Compositing and Final Sound recording

3D sections are done in low polygonal modeling to make the rendering of the film easy. After rendering, final compositing has to be done, during which color correction and lighting of the scene were also corrected as needed.

During this period final sound effects and background music with incidental sounds and sync effects were created and placed according to the visual flow.

So in this way a complete 3D animation commercial is ready.

 

Reference: http://www.animationxpress.com/oogabooga/001-ob-main.htm
Image courtesy: http://www.animationxpress.com/oogabooga/001-ob-main.htm

LightWave CORE

On February 4, 2009, NewTek Inc. launched new version of LightWave i.e. LightWave CORE. LightWave CORE is a completely new system offering a unified environment that allows anything to be animated in any number of ways. LightWave CORE is a node-based, multi-processing, unified application, designed to be as future-proof as possible, with a concentration on capacity and performance.

Jay Roth, president, 3D division of NewTek Inc., say that this is based on new architecture, which will be more flexible, forward-looking, high capacity and performance driven system than any 3D content creation environment currently in the market.

LightWave CORE offers a flexible user interface design with general access to most of the UI components available via CSS, including fonts, placement of controls and widgets, down to pixel-level accuracy. Users can also take advantage of snapping palettes to rearrange their screen at will and use the desktop management system to store their preferred layout in a per context fashion: settings for modeling, surface, rigging, animating, rendering and so on, all set and stored separately.

The SDK for CORE is C++-based and is the same for internal development as it is for external development. The architecture enforces full access to C++ SDK and scripting languages, featuring Python as the primary language, while remaining open to connection with a wide range of others through SWIG compliance. CORE is completely multi-threaded spawning as many threads as it needs. The system is both 64- and 32-bit compliant, and is capable of leveraging GPU power where applicable. It will be available on Windows, Macintosh OS X and Linux.

About pricing:
LightWave v9 owners gain access to LightWave CORE with their HardCORE membership for US$395 (charter price) through March 31, 2009. Beginning April 1, HardCORE annual memberships for LightWave v9 owners will increase to US$495.
For more information please visit: http://www.newtek.com/core/

Special Fx: VisionLab Studio

Filmmaking is not an easy task; it requires creativity and technical expertise. When you want to use some special effects in your movie/film or project etc. it requires lots of knowledge of difficult software’s (which are costly too), as well as their complicated interfaces.

If you had face the same situations anytime during your projects than here is a solution for you and that is ‘VisionLab Studio’ from Fxhome. You can get more details about this and other product on http://fxhome.com/. VisionLab Studio is all-in-one toolkit for visual effects, compositing and color grading. Other products by FXhome is ‘EffectsLab Pro’, which is used for advanced visual effects for low-budget filmmaking; ‘PhotoKey’, which is helpful to discover the creative possibilities of green screen photography; ‘VideoWrap’, which convert your video for iPods, mobile phones, YouTubes and more.

In this article we discussed about VisionLab Studio, with very easy to use interface and preconfigured effects library, VisionLab Studio makes endless possibility for your creativity.

Keying: VisionLab Studio has a wide variety of versatile keying abilities. As you were aware that keying is a technical feature, which is used to developed special effects scene from greenscreen video to photos and CGI.

Particles: You can create many effects such as weather, smoke, and fire and fantasy visuals with very sophisticated particle system.

Grade: Color grading for your movie or project is available in an easy way. You can use filters like bleach bypass, day for night and multicolorize.

Muzzles: Muzzles flashes are basically used for historical, modern and futuristic weapons. These flashes you can rotate in 3D with full control on each feature

 

Software screenshot
Software screenshot

 

Lightning: You can create good effects of lightning as well as effects for magical and sci-fi effects.

Optics: This feature helps to generate lens flares and lightning, which will be enhance the overall look of the scene.

Mask: With the freehand shapes you can mask any complicated areas for effects. This makes tidying composites garbage matting, simulating depth, layer interaction and area-specific grading quick and easy.

Neon Light: This feature gives you the power to develop Star Wars sword effects. With freehand tool you can directly draw shapes on the video that is very easy to work.

Compatible:  VisionLab Studio is compatible with other software’s such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.

Lots of helpful tutorial videos are available on the Fxhome website, which helps you to learn this product.

Animation, with special perspective on 3D animation

Each person is having a special bond with animations, whether that is cartoons, serials, games or movies.
But do you know what exactly animation is?
How these animation movies, serial are prepared?

  • In Latin ‘ANIMA’ means soul. So it all about giving soul to a character.
  • Technically it is change of property within certain period.
  • To ‘Animate’ is literally ‘to give life to’. ‘Animating is moving something which can’t move itself.
  • Animation adds to graphics the dimension of time, which vastly increases the amount of information, which can be transmitted.

How does Animation Work?

  • A simple theory known as persistence of vision offers an explanation. The Greek astronomer Ptolemy discovered this principle back in 130 A.D.
  • If images are flashed before the eye at at least 10 frames per second, the brain thinks it is seeing a single moving image. 
  • The number of frames per second, or FPS, directly correlates to how smooth the movement appears.
  • If the frame rate is too slow, the motion will look awkward and jerky. If the frame rate is too high the motion will blur.

Understanding the persistence of vision PAUL ROGET invented the “ Thaumatrope” in 1828

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Figure 1.1: Thaumatrope

Types of Animation

  • Cel Animation  – Animation is made drawing frame by frame like a flip art. Most popular method for animation.
  • Puppet Animation – Puppets were used in the scenes, where the movements of limbs are shifted frame after frame to reproduce the fluid motion of real life.
  • Cut out Animation – Animation made by moving paper cutouts frame by frame.
  •  Clay Animation – small changes to the clay puppets were done frame by frame until a relatively smooth motion is produced when the pictures are run continuously.
  • Sand Animation – Sand is used to depict characters and changes made in sand are recorded frame by frame to make an animation.
  • Computer Generated Animation (3D Graphics and Animation)

Computer Generated Animation (3D Graphics and Animation)

Introduction

3D graphics and animation are produced in standard software packages, such as 3D Studio MAX, Maya or Lightwave3D. The fundamental skills of the 3D artist involve learning to use such packages, which are astoundingly complex. Learning to create, texture and animate models using the standard applications is the central task, and requires years of dedicated study.
History of 3D Animation

1960 – William Fetter of Boeing coins the term “computer graphics” for his human factors cockpit drawings.

1962 – Sketchpad system for interactive computer graphics developed by Ivan Sutherland at MIT.

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Figure 1.2: First computer graphic image

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Figure 1.3: First sketchpad system


1963– Mouse invented by Doug Englebart of SRI (Stanford Research Institute)

1963 – 1st computer generated film by Edward Zajac (Bell Labs)

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Figure 1.4: First mouse

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Figure 1.5: First animation

 

1975– Martin Newell (Utah) develops CGI teapot (physical teapot now in the Computer Museum in Boston)

1982 – Jim Clark founds Silicon Graphics Inc.

1986– Softimage founded by Daniel Langlois in Montreal

1987 – LucasArts formed

1990– 3D Studio (Autodesk)

1992 – Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) produces Terminator 2

Tom Brigham and Doug Smythe and ILM get Academy Technical Achievement Award for morphing technique (MORF)

1993 – Digital Domain founded by James Cameron, Stan Winston, and Scott Ross (iRobot, Golden Compass, Transformer)

1995 – Academy Scientific and Engineering Award goes to Alvy Ray Smith, Ed Catmull, Tom Porter and Tom Duff (Pixar) for pioneering inventions in digital compositing.

Components of 3D Graphics and Animation3d_figure-1_05_sideimage

  1. Concepts & Storyboarding
  2. Modeling
  3. Texturing
  4. Cameras & Lighting
  5. Animation
  6. Rendering
  7. Visual Fx

  

Concepts & Storyboarding

Series of panels that contain a visual interpretation of the screenplay is called storyboard. Storyboarding is a process where a storyboard artist along with the director, the character developer and the background or the layout artist discusses the entire script and plans in advance the camera placements, the camera and character movement etc.

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Figure 1.6: Storyboard

 

Modeling

This is the process of creating objects in 3d animation software like characters and any possible design. These objects are called models.

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Figure 1.7: 3D Model


Texturing

The models are given colors and textures

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Figure 1.8: Textured 3D can of Coca Cola


Cameras & Lighting

The scene is then given lights and camera position to give a realistic feel.

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Figure 1.9: 3D Car with camera and lights


Animation and Visual Fx

3D Animation is capable of creating realistic animation coupled with stunning Visual Fx

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Figure 1.10: 3D Movie Kung Fu Panda

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Figure 1.11: 3D special effects

 

Indian Animation Industry

Some major animation production houses in India

  1. Jadoo Works
  2.  Toonz Animation India Ltd.
  3.  Rhythm & Hues
  4. UTV Toons
  5. Escotoons
  6. Western Outdoor
  7. Digital Canvas
  8. BIG Animations
  9. Crest Communication
  10. Graphiti multimedia
  11. Animation India – Bangalore
  12. Colour Chips (I) Ltd. – Hyderabad
  13. Dataquest Entertainment Pvt Ltd – Hyd
  14. Tata Elxsi

 

Softwares used in Animations

3D animation softwares

  • MAYA
  • 3D Studio Max
  • Softimage
  • Houdini
  • Lightwave 3D
  • Deep Paint 3D
  • Autodesk Motion Builder
  • ZBrush

2D animation softwares

  • US Animation
  • Toon Boom Studio
  • MOHO
  • Macromedia Flash

References: Internet and other resources on internet( Content & Images). But content are edited and rewritten according to the need.

Electrical wires will be history soon with advent of electricity broadcasting technology

 

A ground-breaking technology that broadcasts electricity may render electrical wiring ancient history, say its inventors.

The device called WiTricity beams power to laptops, mobile phones and stereos without cables or sockets.

It is being showcased this week in Las Vegas at the world’s biggest gadget trade show.

“We’re going to delete the word ‘recharge’ from the dictionary,” British tabloid The Sun quoted David Graham, co-founder of makers PowerBeam, as saying.

He has revealed that the technology converts electricity into an invisible heat laser, and shoots it across a room.

As soon as the laser hits a solar cell inside any electric appliance, according to him, it is converted back to electricity.

David says that, presently, the gizmo can beam 1.5watts of power to a solar cell 30ft away, and that can easily be scaled up.

In future, WiTricity is expected to operate like internet Wi-Fi with “hotspots”, where all gadgets would power up automatically.

Scientists deny that wireless broadcasts can trigger cancer.

James Holland, editor of gadgets website electricpig.co.uk, said: “You’d buy a desk that charged any gadget placed on it. You’d never need to hunt for the right charger again.” (ANI)

 

Reference: Yahoo News, ANI

Special Effects

 

What are special effects?

Types of special effects.

Technology used to create special effects.

 

What are special effects:

 

Special effects is both, an art and a science:  In this, science parts involves in understanding that how human begins perceive the world around us through sound and visual sensory part of body and brain.

 

Persistence of Vision: When related still image sequences are passed in front of human eye with a particular speed (min. 15 frames/sec.), human brain perceive that it is a single image with movement i.e. it perceive second, third images as a continuation of the first image. This phenomenon happens because nerve impulses are slow as compared to light speed. 

 

Principle of Motion Pictures: Persistence of vision is the base for principle of motion pictures. In motion pictures, camera, lights, audio, computer generated objects (CG) and other visual media exploit this phenomenon.

 

What is motion: Motion of an object is the continuous displacement of the object in space with reference to another object. This phenomenon is the basic for compositing technology.
 

Types of special effects:

 

Computer Effects:

  • Blue/Green screen
  • Computer Animation
  • Compositing
  • Morphing/Warping

 

Humanized Effects:

  • Use of Latex
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Wind
  • Fire
  • Blood bags/Bullet Hits
  • Explosion

 

Computer Effects: These are those effects, which are generated with the help of computer technologies. Some effects are as follows:

Blue/Green screen: In this technique, blue/green screen is used as a background in a scene. This scene will easily overlap on another scene and blue/green background will be removed with the help of compositing software’s. Blue / Green Screen is a special kind of compositing, where the mask is calculated from the foreground image.

 

Figure 1.1
Compositing

 

 Computer Animation: Computer generated animations are used with real footage (camera scene) with the help of compositing software. E.g. Gollum (which is totally CG character) in ‘The Lords of the Rings’.

 

Cartoons Frames: Here cartoon character is used with real footages (movies). Best example is ‘SpaceJam’.

 

Figure 1.2
SpaceJam movie

Physical Models: In this technique physical model (mechanical robots) should be used to depict the character.  Best example is ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Godzilla’ etc.

 

In this undated image released by Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston is shown working on a dinosaur for the film, "Jurassic Park". Winston, the Oscar-winning special-effects maestro responsible for bringing the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" and other iconic movie creatures to life, has died. He was 62. He died at his home in Malibu surrounded by family on Sunday, June 15, 2008, after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, according to a representative from Stan Winston Studio.
In this undated image released by Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston is shown working on a dinosaur for the film, "Jurassic Park". Winston, the Oscar-winning special-effects maestro responsible for bringing the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" and other iconic movie creatures to life, has died. He was 62. He died at his home in Malibu surrounded by family on Sunday, June 15, 2008, after a seven-year struggle with multiple myeloma, according to a representative from Stan Winston Studio.

 

Compositing: It is a technique by which one shot is super-imposed on another, resulting in a composite shot.

Morphing: Morphing is a special-effects technique that creates a smooth, controlled transformation of one image or movie into another.

 

Morphing of a female face to male
Morphing of a female face to male

 

Morphing of Man face into Eagle
Morphing of Man face into Eagle

Warping: Warping essentially the same as morphing, except it uses only one image or movie.

 

Warping
Warping

Humanized Effects: Those effects, which are generated manually. Such type of effects are as follows: 

 

Use of Latex: Latex is a material which use to make monster out of human or simple for scars on the faces, extra eyes on monster head, it can make young people old and vice versa. Best example is movie ‘The Nutty Professor’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ etc.  

 

The Nutty Professor
The Nutty Professor

 

Orcs character in Lord of the Rings
Orcs character in Lord of the Rings

Rain: In special effect (computer generated) rain, you find it difficult to wet the cloths and other surroundings of a character. So film maker use original rain, production people use a long plastic tubes with tiny holes in the bottom, and attached it with water hose and with this setup they create a rain sequence. Isn’t it interesting? 

Snow: For snow, snow machines are available which help in creating snow for your shots.

Wind: For wind, production people use large fans with high speed and create good wind effects.

Fire: For those scenes, which require massive fires, production crew calls experts, which create huge fire shots with the fire machine, which easily turn on massive fire scene, but can also turned off it in a matter of pressing a button.

Blood bags/Bullet Hits: When a person hit by a bullet in movie, blood burst out from his/her body. It is achieve by a small explosive charge, which is triggered by a battery causing a blood-filled bag to burst outwards. 9V battery is used to burst a squib (Firework consisting of a tube filled with powder that burns with a fizzing noise), which has to place under the shirt of character. On a plate, a squib is place that is triggered by a 9V battery. And above this squib a blood pack with red color liquid is taped. Cable is run from the squib down the actor’s leg to a control box or nail board.

Explosion: Some times when CG (computer generated) explosion is not that much effective, and if you need realistic look than special machine i.e. Pyrotechnic machine is used to achieve this kind of effects.

 Technology used to create special effects (Softwares):

  • Autodesk Combustion
  • Autodesk Inferno
  • Autodesk Flame
  • Autodesk Flint
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Digital Fusion
  • Elastic Reality
  • Boris FX
  • Hollywod FX
     

     Why use special effects?

    • Movies would be really slow, boring & basic without special effects.
    • Society likes entertainment.
    • We can create endless possibilities and bring dreams, illusions, and fantasies to life.

     Conclusion:

    • Special Effects have revolutionized the way we are entertained, they have made movies almost seem so real.  
    • The Revolution of Special Effects in movies has  just begun; the best is yet to come.
       

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