Author Archive

RockFish (2003)

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 动画影片, 幕后制作

    RockFish 是 Blur Studio 2003 年制作的电影动画短片,用于测试最新的 CG 技术。RockFish 讲述了一个“捕鱼”的故事,在遥远的星球上,地表下的岩浆里游动着许多岩鱼,一个猎人使用一套复杂的装置在地表钻洞准备猎杀这些岩鱼的老妈。

Making of A la francaise

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 动画影片, 幕后制作

    A La Francaise 是由 Supinfocom 电影动画学院的学生 Julien Hazebroucq、Emmanuelle Leleu、Morrigane Boyer、William Lorton 和 Ren Hsien Hsu 制作的毕业动画短片。该片获得了许多奖项,其中包括 2013 年 Siggraph 最佳影片,以及 2013 年 Animago 最佳角色动画。本文是是 IT’S ART 网站对制作团队的访谈。

Softimage 用户的声音 – Sylvain Lebeau

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 Softimage, 业界资讯

    Sylvain Lebeau 是 SHED 的 V-P 和视效总监,在 Autodesk 宣布停止开发 Softimage 之后,他谈了一些关于 SHED 的短、中期计划。

    我们并没有跳船,我们仍然心系 XSI。但同时也是时候打开眼界看一看,等将来某一时刻真正到来的时候(也许2-4年)我希望可以做好充分的准备。我知道 Marcos、Ben 和 Eric 将继续支持 XSI,只要用户还在用它,我非常信任他们。但现实是,新的技术还会出现,但我们不会看到它们被融入 XSI,例如 Open SubDivision。然后它就会慢慢淡出了,只是一个时间问题。

THINK

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 Blog

I started SI not 3 years ago as an intern. I had to work with two other generalists, one on Maya and the other in SI. In under 3 months, I learnt from zero SI to enough knowledge to produce double the quota of my Maya partner (year experience in Maya). The factors could depend on the artist, but then again SI is a great animation and render and compositing package, quick to learn and flexible right out of the box.

Learning more about Maya, I do believe Maya is a great product. Don’t get me wrong, but reading more on this list is starting to make me doubt the pipeline workflow, with future issues that could set us back and keep us at similar costs and incapability with our competition in this growing market here in Colombia.

Due to our nature of being an aspiring VFX and animation industry for the Latin population (a huge market) here from Colombia, South America; the alternative software, for cost sake and functionality, is Blender.

This little rebel of an idea promotes innovation and flexibility. People are working on Ice like nodal flexibility and incorporation, it has sculpting like mudbox, compositing nodes as powerful as SI’s and as capable as Nukes, video editing (in a 3D package?!), and tools that come standard to Maya, Max, and SI. Yes, it’s not there yet, but it’s future is by the users for the users. It’s open, and developing fast. Each release has hundreds, yes hundreds, of bug fixes and cool new features. Not to mention it runs a gpu+cpu hybrid render engine already included from the get go. And it has the flexibility for developers to grow it, an open SDK.

This is very attractive here. And free, and hopefully always free.

Being in South America, our production budget is not capable of what Autodesk offers at most times, especially at startup; and I have to say that here, piracy is prevalent in this industry for nearly all of this continent. Not till the emerging studios and talent become successful can they afford to purchase legal seats from Autodesk. As a startup our product turnover and profits are small, every peso counts. Spending thousands of dollars that squashes our currency on what Autodesk or any other software package is offering sometimes is not viable if we wish to grow or re-invest in more staff and better products; as we can only, more often than not, only cover costs with Autodesk current marketing model and their most popular toolset and expensive pipeline.

This situation brings most of Colombia and universities here to start working with Blender. It is a reality that open source software is competition to anything Autodesk offers; and even if it wasn’t, it would be pirated due to the economy of the industry here. Yes, Autodesk has the prestige here, yes those who are successful will buy what they offer.. But it’s losing traction; even as corruption is challenged and more and more studios require legal software to be granted a sale. But being new studios in a growing industry, it simply can’t afford Autodesk with the industries current low turnover in Latin America (for lack of cred), especially for a difficult 3D pipeline with costly maintenance, need for development, plugins, difficult non-destructive/render pipeline workflow, etc; that is not what is needed in a competitive pace within the industry, one that SI could offer.

I had plans to grow my studio here in Colombia and by now we have produced double the quantity with competing if not superior quality with teams the fraction the size of any other studio in this country (which run mostly Max or Maya). This could be thanks to SI. This year we are landing a television series, and we have done all our preproduction in an older version of SI. We hoped to upgrade to the newest and latest, as our pipeline depended on what SI could offer – workflow, functionality, trustworthiness. We were planning to invest a lot in Autodesk, but now our alternatives are to finish our production with our antiquated software, and we can only hope we can purchase SI in the upcoming months or later this year when the contract funds transfer, and carry on till we adopt a viable alternative – which would be Blender or anything else that will help us grow faster than our competition , either with costs or flexibility and future. If we had the opportunity to invest in Softimage later on this year without any previous subscription, we would, and be ahead of our competition many years to come.

I’m not saying blender is or ever will be competition, nor am I saying that South America is a lost market – no. I am saying the marketing strategy for Autodesk software and any other 3D software should change to accommodate these needs in growing industries, with thousands of potential new users and content for the worlds second largest mother tongue language, Spanish.

I hope Blender will not be bought up, I hope it stays open. I also hope there will be a contender that also is made by the people, for the people, but that will benefit Autodesk in some way. I also hope Autodesk, for the sake of their own industry, will have a contender for Houdini and Modo, Blender and Nuke all in one, which Softimage IS.

I hope Autodesk will have the backing of a developing VFX industry in Latin America, that will not be thwarted by costly and uncompetitive pipelines and replaced by open source packages – completely legal, developing and trustworthy.

Taking away a toolset that competes with Houdini, Nuke, Blender, Modo – the competition together – for a prized toolset still in development, yes, popular, yes, stable, yes, growing… but not appropriate for an industry who can’t afford to spend the level of education and workflow bottlenecks Maya or Max has to offer – it’s disabling.

Especially when the alternative to everything is free, legal and developing fast.

Softimage, why discontinue it? Where is the strategy in there? (To make the other software stronger? without having to expand staff and business/marketing costs?)

Why not transition the business model to something potentially competitive for the competition (yes, not to your own business model and packages, but complimentary) that could even compete with Blender and their mentality of a 3D software of the people, for the people by opening the SDK and still giving access to potential customers?

Why close a competing product that can ward off quickly growing competition for quite some time as is? Why not let the people maintain such a tool to your benefit? Why not keep the mentality of efficient and investment worthy mentality of an emerging industry here in Latin America – why not benefit from the ideology of growing studios, efficiency and innovation in itself? Why have people settle for yes, a tried and true, yet flawed, pipeline – instead of promoting tools that make everyday VFX work easier (as recent products in the industry have shown created within SI). Why take away options (for people to invest in Autodesk)???

Even if you don’t open the SDK, why not offer alternatives to studios and emerging industries looking for alternatives that are more efficient and cheaper in the long run than software still in development? Cheaper and more efficient than Hollywood VFX pipelines? Why take away an answer to the industries needs?
Why not give the option to emerging students, studios and industries in growing countries with markets potentially larger than the English speaking world a chance to optimize their budgets with an arsenal of stable and competing pipeline alternatives to optimize mainstream and costly methods : Maya and Max with Nuke/Houdini (competition)? Why only offer options that need much more costs in education for multiple software, taking away from any individual or Studio from potential seats they could rather invest in with Autodesk? Why add production waiting till another software is capable of such efficiency?

Why was this decision set back in only September, then when industries watch the Lego Movie and think how did they do it? Or even Metegol, yes, working in Maya, struggling with the render pipeline – when simple tools in SI could have avoided that and their movie would not have been the most expensive in Argentinian history – or even South American history.

The current pipeline model Autodesk offers, and the army of tools that are more than capable to stand against the competition on it’s own, Softimage, is an asset.

A business asset.

Not a liability.

Don’t sell it, but open it. Don’t cease and desist it, take advantage of it. Don’t minimize your focus, you have a good strategy for dominating the market – don’t limit your options, the ones your clients and future clients will want and need.

Don’t give in to your competition.

Softimage is an asset – especially in an emerging industry here in Latin America – one striving for pipeline friendly, ready out of box, cost worthy products that works more efficiently than any first-world industry using the most popular tools: Maya or Max, or many softwares for a single pipeline (and the closest thing to a unified workflow would be Blender, not Maya). It’s an industry as a whole looking for alternatives – and now you are taking it away from them.

I have no idea who to talk to, and I am not sure this is worthy to share or send to superiors, board members or developers. But think. THINK. Be real business men, be entrepreneurs, adapt, use what you have, you have the toolset to dominate the market still – nothing can compete with the competition quite like Softimage can – and yes, Maya will eventually… in a few years – but right now these years will count against you. You are crippling your own market with the possibility of not being able to bounce back from a VFX industry unhappy with the current cost of the mainstream pipelines Maya or Max, or even the competition, have to offer..

We need alternatives.

And you have that alternative, a secret one, one that a needing industry wants and is looking for, but don’t know much about: SI. With the Lego movie, it will become more apparent that it CAN be a solution to current everyday pipeline issues with other popular tools.

You have the solution, don’t let the competition give it to the industry and market you are trying to survive in. Don’t take away alternatives to a world looking for cost to efficiency ratio solutions.

Thank you for allowing some thought to your current market to “upgrade” cost free, and for extending the offer. But do more for those who are not yet your customers, and for those who are unhappy with your other tools looking for alternatives. Don’t let them go to the competition or to piracy – or to play in a uncompetitive costly (and difficult) pipeline, shrinking the potential market to those elite few who can afford it or who already have their pipeline over years of growth with your alternative software.

THINK.

Life After Pi 少年派后的日子

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 业界资讯

    Life After Pi 不是少年派的续集,它是一条纪录片,描述制作电影少年派的美国特效公司 R&H,在奥斯卡获奖前 11 天宣告破产的事件始末及后续发展,如何影响全球的特效行业,并凸显出美国电影产业链的矛盾情况。影片选择在去年“奥斯卡事件”的同一天2月25日在互联网公映。

2014 年春-夏学期开设的 CG 类课程

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 教学

2014年2-6月

0AC05《数字视频》 Digital Video

0BB02《美术设计》 Concept Design

0BA05《建模与角色设定》 Modeling & Rigging

0CD08《高级动画》 Advanced Character Animation

0CD05《数字特效》 Digital Effects

0AC03《故事板创作原理》 Storyboard Principle

0CM04《概念设计与绘画》 Basic Fine Art

2014年7月

0DM04《数字影视制作专题》 CG Production Workshop

网站建设常见问题

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 网站设计

为什么 mp4 视频在 Internet Explorer 9 中只能看到滚动的图标

    mp4 视频可以在 IE6-8,Safari,Firefox,Chrome,iPad 上正常播放,在 IE9 中却只能看到滚动的 gif 图标。

    这是由于 CentOS 5.3 的 mine.types 中没有定义 mp4 的视频格式,服务器将 mp4 视频以 text/plain 传送,导致 IE9 误认为是文本。修改 /etc/mime.types,添加以下内容:

特效 TD 的工作準則

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 Article

作者:Hammer Chen / 转载自 http://hammerbchen.blogspot.com/2013/07/vfx-td-td.html

    一直以來都想要寫這樣的文章。不與技術直接相關,不受限於特定軟體,不隨著時間改變的工作準則。因為在從事電腦特效工作的這幾年來,發現專案執行最大的瓶頸往往不在電腦硬體的效能,亦非軟體的版本,反而是許多非技術性的觀念往往影響了整個進度的順暢。以下整理出自己累積的要點,與讀者分享並時時提醒自己,在遇到特效製作困難,如何才能在短時間解決問題。

Tips – 删除 Softimage 场景中大量的无用材质

作者 xdxu 发布于 . 分类 Softimage, Tips

如果场景中有大量的无用材质(例如从 CAD 中导入的场景,可能会有上千个材质),使用 material manager 来删材质,肯定会死机(对于其它软件也一样,如果要打开材质编辑器,光 load 这些材质球就会崩溃)。可以使用以下 python 脚本:

import time

start = time.clock()

import win32com.client
oObj = win32com.client.Dispatch( "XSI.Collection" )
oObj.Items = 'Sources.Materials.DefaultLib.所需删除材质名中的相同部分*'
print oObj.count

Application.SetValue("preferences.General.undo", 0, "")

for mat in oObj:
Application.DeleteObj(mat)

Application.SetValue("preferences.General.undo", 50, "")

end = time.clock()

Application.LogMessage( round( end - start, 3) )