Supervisor Meeting 4 – 19th February 09; 12:00PM

February 19, 2009

Minutes – Supervisor Meeting 4

Department of Electronics, University of Kent – 19/02/09 – 12:00PM


  • David Byers Brown (supervisor)
  • Mehmet Konur Alp
  • Miles Coulling


– We displayed our current progress so far using our blog to show screenshots and rendered out images of our scenes.

– We discussed camera moving techniques.

– We discussed the best ways for timing mouth movements on our characters with our recorded dialogue.

– Our supervisor said we had good progress but we must look to start animation soon. We are planning on this at the beginning of next week.

– Our supervisor wants us to create a layout using our characters. It will display camera movements and give an idea for how our animation is coming together.


Re-Texturing our Park Scene

February 17, 2009

Below is a rendered out image in HD of our newly textured park scene with a much realistic look. As can be seen the whole scene isn’t fully textured.


Furthur Progress:





Fully textured park scene:


Street Scene

February 9, 2009

Below is a screenshot of our street scene.


Summary of Prototype Presentation on 30th January 09

February 4, 2009

Below is a summary of our proposal presentation we made to fellow members on our course along with two lecturers on 30th January 2009 2:00PM – 5:00PM. Much of the material such as playblasts of nCloth on our characters are already in separate posts on the blog and so there is no point in repeating that.

Current Progress

  • We have modelled each of our characters we intend to have in our animation.
  • We have fully modelled all of the scenes we have in our animation with the exception of the street scene.
  • We have rigged two of our four characters.
  • We have textured some of our scenes, started to include lighting, bump mapping etc.

A rendered out shot in HD of the kitchen now including the kitchen cupboards:


A shot of the park using some basic shaders and basic lighting:


Furthur Development

In terms of progressing furthur with our project we need to:

  • Complete our female character (Sophie.)
  • Complete all texturing (including bump mapping etc.)
  • Complete the rigging on Sophie and the car that shown modelled in our Proposal presentation.
  • Animate the project.
  • Render the animation.
  • Add music and narrative.
  • Editing the animation in Adobe After Effects.

Our new revised GANTT Chart to show our new schedule as a result of being set back due to problems:


Problems Ecountered

  • The main problem has been falling behind schedule due to the unforseen network problems in the Multimedia Labs in term 1.
  • We had problems when trying to manually rig our characters. After spending a large time period on it; when we tried to set up the IK handles the rig developed a problem that couldn’t fix.
    • We solved this by using a plug in called ‘The Setup Machine’ which is installed on the Multimedia computers to aid the rigging process.
      • The problem with this plug in is that in some cases we have had to re-paint weight our characters to get correct movements.
  • Another main problem has been working with ‘nCloth’ for the first time and setting properties for our characters clothes that we have created from the nCloth to make them look realistic on our characters.

Potential Problems

  • Animating to a smooth realistic standard.
  • Making sure we leave enough time for rendering our animation.
    • Considering what settings we will render with to get the best balance between quality and a sensible render time.
  • Any unforeseen computer/network problems.

Project Progress – Animation

January 26, 2009

Here is a playblast of one our characters moving with wearing a t-shirt made from n-cloth. As the video starts you can see the ncloth relax on the characters body.

While creating the trousers from ncloth, as can be seen in the video below the trousers fall off the character.

Into order to solve this problem we used the points to surface option to hold the ncloth on the character:

While creating the above playblast we found that the nCloth wasn’t working as we expected.

Project Progress – Lighting

January 26, 2009

Once we had textured the kitchen scene we  set up the lighting, shadows and reflections.



Project Progress – Rigging

January 25, 2009

Project Progress – Rigging

We ran into our first problem while trying to set the correct joint orientations today. We had set the character as Z-axis forward, the left hand side of the model facing X-axis and Y-axis facing upwards. But while trying to set our joint orientations the same way as our model the following error occurred; ‘no zero rotations occurred’.



As a result of a mistake we made earlier on in the rigging process which was using rotation instead of moving individual joints this prevented us orientating the individual joints in the fingers on both the right and left hands.


We fixed this by setting the rotational axis of the joints in the fingers back to zero. This allowed orientation be performed on the joints.

Below is a screen shot showing the first stage or rigging complete.


We then moved onto the start of setting up the IK Handles:


But while trying to set up the IK handles we ran into another problem that we couldn’t undo.

Plug-in: The Setup Machine

After further research into the the rigging of our characters we found a plug-in within Maya (The Setup Machine) that is specifically built in for helping to create rigs for characters and reducing time taken to set them up as opposed to doing them manually. Upon finding this plug-in we decided to use this plug-in to aid our rigging due to time constraints of our project.


Below is a screenshot of our character Ernest having been rigged and clothed.