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July 11, 2005

strawberry fields of vision

by sven at 10:30 pm

Looks like I'm going to wind up with 7 hours of LSGL work today. Today's big project: eyes.

Lots of frustration -- but at the end of it all, I did manage to render 3 seconds of flailing eyestalks. Here's a still.

The eyestalks can move. The eyes can rotate. The eyelids can open and close. The iris is great; I'm less happy about the white of the eye; and I think I made the eye too glossy. The eyelid should be thicker; the endomorph lets green show through when subpatching is turned on, which isn't OK. The texture transition between the eyelid and the eyestalk is too abrupt.

The eye needs to be parented with the last bone in the eyestalk. The eye and eyelid objects have to have their center at the origin, so they rotate correctly; therefore they have to be saved as a separate file from the torso. The coordinate system has to be "local", or I run into gimbal lock.

It looks like a single eye should be rigged with a single snake; then I can "load object from scene" four times to pull together a full critter. I haven't solved the issue of gaping between snakes yet... It'll probably involve creating several specialized rigs.

My biggest grief: because I'm doing major color correction in AfterEffects, the eye will change color if I process it along with everything else. My best solution so far is to render the background and process it, then use that .mov file as my background in the compositing window -- rendering a second file, with the critter in front of the new backdrop. Ouch.

How'd I make that killer iris? Strawberries! Last summer Gretchin was making strawberry shortcake. As she was cutting up the berries, she suddenly exclaimed that they'd make good eyes for the critter. Brilliant! She cut a bunch up, asked which ones I wanted, and then even photographed them for me. Thank you, gl. :D

A year later, a little PhotoShopping, and... ta-da!

(I said a post or two back that that I'd done a new render of the interior of the hive. Well, here it is.)

posted by sven | July 11, 2005 10:30 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie, movies