Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dreamworks Premo

This software!

Dreamworks' Premo made a big splash at SIGGRAPH this year. For those new to the software, Premo is Dreamworks' new animation tool that was used to make How to Train Your Dragon 2. It was developed over the span of 5 years or 300 man years to produce and looks incredible! Their previous tool Emo showed its age over the years, making basic animation tasks more complicated than they needed to be. Premo allows animators to really focus on their craft in a fast and intuitive manner. Dreamworks worked with HP and Intel to come up with a better hardware and software architecture that can best utilize multi processing from today's powerful CPUs to get maximum performance. This allows animators to animate characters at full resolution and without needing proxy models. This is a really big deal considering how much detail characters have in Dreamworks films. I am ecstatic of the results after watching How to Train Your Dragon 2. They were definitely able to hit subtlety in a beautiful way and get great performances from their characters. You can definitely see how that is possible by watching Premo in action.

Hit the jump for some great articles on Premo and a video of it in action:

PyCharm and Maya

This was a little bit overdo so I wanted to make sure to talk about PyCharm a little bit. I haven't had a chance to fully use this IDE like Eclipse and Visual Studio. I can say that from initial testing, I really do like PyCharm and I think that it is a great option for tech artists when writing scripts for their DCC apps and for Python programming in general. Note that I am also comparing from a Windows perspective and from a pricing perspective. I notice that Linux users tend to lean toward Eclipse over other software partially because it supports multiple languages, compatible with multiple platforms, and free :).

Hit the jump for some video overviews and some links to setting up PyCharm with Maya 2013. Also I'll provide a brief comparison of Eclipse, Visual Studio, and Pycharm.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

From EA to LucasFilm

It has been an exciting year for me between working on Madden15, Teaching at UCF, and starting this blog. I am excited to announce that I also moved to San Francisco this year to work at LucasFilm! I joined a serious dream team and I am really excited about the work that I will be doing. Down the line, as more stuff gets publicly released, I'll talk a little bit more about my work here. San Francisco is an amazing city! The people here are great and there are so many things to try. I hope for this to be an exciting new chapter for me while I continue to experience new stuff both professionally and personally! I will also continue to update this blog with more new on games but I will also add film topics now that I will be more exposed to that. The tutorials will still come as well. Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way! I'm living out my wildest dreams and cannot be more grateful.

Madden 15 coming out

Madden 15 is about to come out this month which is very exciting for me! This image sums up a lot of the work that I did for the game this year. We made great strides in graphics and character likeness. My main contribution was in the facial animation workflow and pipeline. We had lots of problems in previous years with facial rigs breaking randomly on coaches and players. When facial animation wasn't broken, usually the animation would tend to break the likeness of the model. We made huge improvements in this front as well as in the modeling from to get really believable likeness on key players and coaches. I'm really proud of all that was achieved in this past year. It's like night and day compared to last year. Fans are definitely noticing the improvements and I am definitely excited for the game to come out. We needed to make sure that these major fixes applied to every single character across the game so if there are no broken faces on any of the players this year, it will be a great success.

Sadly this is my last year working on Madden as I have moved to LucasFilm. I will say that working on these titles was an incredible experience for me. There's a great group in Tiburon making this title and I will definitely root for them every year.

Hit the jump for some video trailers of the game!