Di-O-Matic has a great interview with Luis San Juan, character rigger with Nexus Productions, fresh off their latest commercial for the International Olympic Committee. In it he discusses the process of facial rigging as well as various software tools used.
We used another tool, created by Matt Clark one of our fellow freelancers at Nexus, which allowed a good fast automatic skinning for a starting animation and proxy version of the mesh. (Sliced mesh linked to the rig for having a quick frame rate). The skinning was improved later and we used skin morph to model correction shapes where we needed in the models, mainly hips, elbows, knees and wrists.
Later we focused on facial rigs. I prefer a nice UI that makes animating easier, so the UI we used was a mask to select controls for the eye brows, the jaw, lips, lip corners and animate them as you would move them in reality. So if you grab a lip corner and move it on the side it will move the corner of the mouth to the side. I like each icon to be quite graphic so the user is not confused with what he is grabbing.
via Facial Rigging in 3ds max with Luis San Juan.
Dimension2.5 has a great interview with artist Sergio Santos about his experience entering the modeling field, modeling for video games, and his preferred tools.
What’s new best about our 2011 line of Autodesk in modeling and texturing of characters?. Any more general level?.
It seems that Autodesk is stepping up this year. In 2011 Maya emphasize simplicity to change the interface, something I’ve always missed.
In 2011 Mudbox say I was pleasantly surprised, this version is much closer to ZBrush and even surpassed in some respects, as in the generation of Normal and Displacement Map, poses and paint.
As for 3ds Max 2011 had not taken a big leap from version 4 or 5, is much more robust and stable materials for nodes, the options have painted a giant leap and the new render Quicksilver is faster rendering (at that level of quality) I’ve ever seen.
BoingBoing has a great interview with Tish Shute, visual effects designer and owner of Ugotrade, a great blog interviewing the leading minds in the AR industry. In the interview she gets into the recent Augmented Reality Event 2010 in Santa Clara, CA, and what she sees in the future for Augmented Reality.
ARWave has the potential to unleash the power of social augmented experiences and enable augmented reality game development in a big way. Also, very simply, it will allow anyone to attach data to their world view, and share it with others. Things will start getting really interesting when anyone can create AR content, an AR browser/client, or even set up one's own server. An open federated platform for AR, where people can share data and one login, will be a big step forward. I can't wait to see AR experiences move out of walled gardens!
via Tish Shute – Augmented Reality, ARWave, and the industry – Boing Boing.
Last week we were able to interview Berk Geveci, Kitware’s Director of Scientfic Computing, about Kitware’s dedication to open source computing and their popular VTK and ParaView products. Berk now leads a team of 18-20 people focused on high performance computing scientific visualization and, more recently, informatics and information visualization.
Kitware is approximately 12 years old, and started as a research company around the Visualization Toolkit (VTK). The business model is founded on supporting and consulting on open-source software, tho now they have 5 differenct groups on various interests. Berk runs the Scientific visualization group, but they also have groups on computer vision, medical imaging and computing, data publication, and software processes like CMake and CDash.
During the course of the interview we discussed how Kitware deals with open-source and proprietary technologies, their government and industry collaborations, and what we might see in the next version of these popular products.
Read the interview after the break.
Cool Infographics has a nice interview online with Nathaniel Pearlman, president of Timeplots, LLC, the company behind the “Visual History of the American President” and “Visual History of the Supreme Court”.
Cool Infographics: What software applications do you use for the Timeplots posters?
Nathaniel Pearlman: So far we have programmed our graphics in the R language and done some final design work in Illustrator. I’m interested in hearing about other platforms to use for complex data and layout — especially other software applications that would allow us to create interactive and print versions from the same code base.
via Cool Infographics – Cool Infographics – A Cool Interview with Nathaniel Pearlman (infographic designer).
NPR recently sat down with the visualization guru Edward Tufte to discuss his sculptures (You knew he was a grand-scale sculptor, right?) on the announcement of his new gallery in New York City’s Art district, and eventually the conversation moves towards his work with Recovery.gov.
“I’m working on things where people can see immediately the 100 biggest projects, the 100 smallest projects, the 100 biggest medical projects, the 100 smallest medical projects,” he says. “So it’s a way of — in one click — of getting down to the material. And also you can put your zip code in and see the projects.”
When asked if his work with the government and with information design has any overlap with his art, Tufte says he does see a commonality. In the end, he wants to try and leave things that are forever — and that “make people see a little differently.”
via The Many Faces (And Sculptures) Of Edward Tufte : NPR.
Robert Kosara has a great interview with the Charlotte Observer, which makes sense as he is a professor of Computer Science at UNC Charlotte. They start off easy with the definition of ‘data visualization’, but quickly move into some of his own implementations of visualization.
I worked with Bank of America looking at wire transfer frauds. We built a visual system that gave them a way to look for clusters of wire transfer transactions by using certain criteria. This was using a large amount of data; they might have a million transfers per week, 50 million per year. Using the visual system we built, they could find suspicious transactions and then investigate. The data here is very abstract. People think about money as coins and bills, but here it is just abstract numbers.
via How to turn numbers into a visual treat – CharlotteObserver.com.
If you’ve followed IBM’s Many Eyes and the IBM Visual Communication Lab very closely, then you’ve probably heard the names Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg. They recently left Big Blue and formed their own company named “Flowing Media”. They sit down with InformationAesthetics in a great interview on why they moved and what they hope to do in their new business.
Why did you start Flowing Media?
We believe that visualization is ready to come of age as a communication medium, and we’re excited to focus full-time on consumer and mass-audience visualizations.
We see a huge range of applications for this flavor of visualization. A non-profit group might want to draw widespread attention to data on the environment. A news organization might want a new set of tools for its reporters. A fashion house might even see the chance to make a striking statement.
Flowing Media offers strategy, design, and development services. We can help figure out what kind of visualization is right for a particular purpose, and then invent and design the technology to bring data to life.
via Interview: Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg from Flowing Media – information aesthetics.
While several companies are now selling stereoscopic televisions a BluRay players, there is still an incredible vacuum of 3D content to view on them. Gamasutra talks to Microsoft’s Habib Zargarpour about Stereoscopic 3D in the home and he reveals that he believes the gaming industry will be critical in pushing stereoscopic 3d to the forefront of television.
In fact the 3D veteran hopes that games may be the killer app that helps 3D take hold in the home. “People aren t going to buy those TVs unless there s stuff to do with it” he said. While Blu-Ray 3D may be somewhat interesting playing major interactive games in stereoscopic 3D will be a lot more tempting for consumers he added.
via Gamasutra – News – GDC Canada: Zargarpour On Gaming’s Key Role In Popularizing 3D.
Cool Infographics interviews Jess Bachman, owner of WallStats.com and creator of the popular Death & Taxes posters, and they discuss some of the creation of this popular poster.
Cool Infographics: What software applications do you use for the Death & Taxes posters?
Jess Bachman: The only applications I use are Photoshop and Excel. Excel is where I in put all the data and it crunches the numbers, adjusts for inflation and calculates diameters. Photoshop is where I put it all together and the PSD file occasionally exceeds 1 gig so it can be a beast to work with. Saving takes about 5 minutes.
Cool Infographics: What’s your design process?
Jess Bachman: Normally I start from scratch and layout the images and make them fit; however, this year the budget didn’t change all that much, likely being from the same President, so I was able to keep the 2010 format and change the size of circles. Of course some things had to be added and removed. So this year I saved myself about 3 weeks of work just getting right into it, but the design process is grueling. it’s small tasks, repeated 500 times.
Also, CoolInfographics is having a contest to give away a free print of the poster.
via Cool Infographics – Cool Infographics – Jess Bachman Interview (Death & Taxes 2011 Poster Giveaway!!) #deathandtaxes.