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loocas | miscellaneous,videotutorials | Monday, June 30th, 2008

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Intermediate wheel rig.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Thursday, June 26th, 2008

A friend of mine asked me how I’d go about rigging a wheel so that it spins no matter which direction it travels and stick to a ground as well. At first I thought this’d be a piece of cake as all I really needed was a direction vector and its magnitude to add to the rotation of the wheel. Well, the solution turned out NOT to be that simple in the end.

(the video lags a bit, but the entire rig is actually faster than real-time)

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Transform conversion successful!

loocas | 3ds Max,Maya,technical | Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Just a quick note about my latest, successful :) , transform conversion in a real production environment. If you’ve read my last article about the transformation matrices and how they can be used for manipulating object positions, rotations and scale, you’ll remember I also wrote about an example of converting 3ds Max object transform matrix into Maya’s xform matrix. All I needed was some real-world scenarion where I could successfully test out this method as it was, to me, untested territory. It finally came on the project we’ve been working on at UPP. I have several characters set-up and rigged in 3ds Max that I then transfer between various software packages we use here (mainly Maya and XSI). Obviously, the problem is the Up axis that is different in 3ds Max, which is the Z axis, in Maya and XSI it’s the Y axis. The problem isn’t the translation of objects, that’s easy, the main problem is the rotation of objects that needs to be converted to the different axis scheme.

Max to Maya matrix conversion

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Summer’s coming

loocas | photos | Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Some photos from this weekend. Nothing much, but I was happy to finally test-out my new lens, plus, there was a part at my girl’s mom’s summer house, steaks, beer and such… ;)

road.jpg watermen.jpg raft.jpg raft_struggle.jpg loocas_posing.jpg franta_pilsen_01.jpg franta_pilsen_02.jpg doggie.jpg

Photos from today.

loocas | photos | Monday, June 16th, 2008

Here are a few more photos I took with my new Canon 70-200mm lens. It’s a real pleasure shooting with this one :)

prague.jpg building.jpg suburbia.jpg atom_eyes.jpg

More to come as soon as I have some spare time…

Testing my new toy :) Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens

loocas | opinions,photos | Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

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It finally arrived today! My new Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lense. I’ve been really looking forward to this lens as I, usually, shoot from greater distance and in motion. So, a telephoto lens with an image stabilizer was always what I wanted. Especially after trying out Milan Vasek’s Sigma APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO HSM, for which I thank him again ;) , I felt this kind of a lens would be a must have for the kid of photos I take. So, after a lot of comparisons, charts, reviews, etc… I finally ordered this one and today I, very briefly though, tested it outside. It was getting late, around 7pm., so this was a good time to test out its speed. Well, I’m not a photographer, I just like my Canon EOS 400D that I bought mainly for shooting references, textures and “family photos”, if you know what I mean :D but I felt in love with it and I try to keep improving my skills, so this lens, really, is an extreme luxury for me, but that’s the way I am :) Anyways, here are some photos I took with this lens on and slightly post-processed them in Lightroom and Photoshop, mainly adjusting exposure and colors (I always shoot in RAW, by the way).

flowers_01.jpg flowers_02.jpg flowers_03.jpg flowers_04.jpg channel_closeup.jpg

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A few photos from the weekend.

loocas | photos | Sunday, June 8th, 2008

cloudy_afternoon.jpg channel_catch.jpg channel_harley.jpg
channel_direct_look.jpg channel_lookout.jpg dark_corner.jpg

3D procedural textures are actually 3D!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Have you ever thought that you actually can display a 3D procedural (such as Noise, Cellular etc…) in the 3D space? No? Well, then know that it is possible and it’s nothing difficult. Well, the most difficult part will be what should actually represent the color values. The representation is up to you, but for my experiment, I chose simple point helpers (nulls) of a very small size so that they looked almost like points (vertices would have done as well).

Take a look at this short video capturing the result of modeling a noise procedural:

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The transformation matrix is very useful, when understood.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Maya,technical | Monday, June 2nd, 2008

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The matrix in a 3D space has nothing to do with Neo’s hassle with sentinels, no, instead these are extremely useful and helpful vector arrays that make up a position, rotation and a scale of any object in your scene. Recently I’ve been re-inventing the wheel when I needed to write a system that’d allow me to instantly and without any user input transfer objects from Max to Maya and XSI. The reason for matrices in this case lies in the convenience of the whole matrix storing the object’s entire transformation information, which is, essentially, all that you need in order to accurately describe object’s exact position, rotation and scale in a 3D space.

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