She’s arrived!

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions | Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

I’ve finally received the Female anatomy figure from AnatomyTools.com this morning, which is fantastic!

I’ve been waiting for this figure for ages! :) The male one I’ve had for about two years has proven to be a fantastic anatomy resource and has helped me tremendously in my work. So, naturally, the female one, which covers skin and flesh (the male one covers bones and muscle) should also be helpful in many ways. Still, they make a fantastic couple together :D

anatomy_female_01.jpg anatomy_female_02.jpg anatomy_female_03.jpg

They’ve improved the detachable limbs tremendously, they have magnetic joints, so they don’t require almost no effort in order to pull them apart, which is fantastic (that was one little drawback of the original Male figure). They used a slightly different paint color, but that doesn’t matter that much actually. But overall, the figure is fantastic. Detailed and just gorgeous!

Unfortunately I don’t have enough room on my work-desk for her right now, but thankfully we’ll be moving out to a house soon, so this will be a non issue. Anyways, I highly recommend these figures for anyone interested or in any way concerned in the human anatomy, these have proven to be really invaluable to the work I do (riggin, char. development etc…) and to the work my peers have been doing (modeling, texturing, concept design etc…). They are not exactly cheap, but definitely affordable, at least in the V.1 version.

24p via 60i, part 2

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions,software | Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

As a follow-up to my previous post, 24p via 60i, what a pain in the ass!, I’ve gone through several forum discussions, blogs and user posts to find out what works best for the 60i to 24p conversion.

I’ve seen several software options and packages that did the inverse-telecine process right. One of them is CineForm’s NeoScene. It’s a $129 USD package that does a bit more than the conversion process. It also correctly interpolates the chroma 4:2:0 → 4:2:2 and saves the data in a 10bit intermediate file, which is nice. It can also deinterlace, should you wish to go 30p from 60i or 25p from 50i.

I’ve also compared the clumsy process of mine (exporting an interlaced image sequence and then applying a pulldown in ProCoder) with the result from NeoScene to see how far off I was. Surprisingly I managed to get the exact same results as I would when doing the pulldown in Premiere CS4, but the NeoScene footage was different. Don’t mind the color difference (Adobe Media Encoder’s to blame here) in the image below that compares the NeoScene footage on the left with my mumbo-jumbo footage on the right. One thing I’ve noticed is that the NeoScene footage had a noticeable, almost like ghosting, motion blur, that the ProCoder footage didn’t. But on the other hand, the ProCoder footage froze for a frame every 5 or 6 frames.

Inverse Telecine comparison

I guess NeoScene is right here as it’s primarily designated to deal with AVCHD 60i to 24p conversion, however I’m yet to test insert a CG element into the 24p footage to see if it can be fit properly including the motion blur etc. Hopefully I’ll have some spare time this weekend to take a look at this issue. In the mean time, I’ll be looking for my credit card to place an order for NeoScene ;)

24p via 60i, what a pain in the ass!

loocas | opinions,software,technical | Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Why is it such a big deal to make a consumer level camera (hell, even some pro-sumer level ones) that does a true, native 24p video?

I have a VIXIA HG20 that records everything via its 60i mode. I have no idea why, or what was the technical reason for this, but it’s a pain!

Ultimately, when I record at the 30p mode, I get a 29.97 progressive video (no fields), however, when recording at 24p, I get interlaced 29.97 embedded in the 60i mode! WHAT THE HELL? Well, no big deal, I thought, I’ll record everything at 24p (via 60i) and have it converted to the regular 24p. Well, it would be a good idea if the software I run here worked as advertised! For instance, ProCoder 3 has a known issue decoding native 1920×1080 AVCHD video (it has no problems with 1440×1080 with the 1.33 PAR though), so I can’t use that, not directly at least. Which sucks real bad as ProCoder can apply pulldown filters and generally does a pretty good job of removing fields.

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Siggraph 2009 in pictures

loocas | miscellaneous,photos | Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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Siggraph 2009, dissappointment

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions | Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

It is true, this year’s siggraph, possibly plagued by the challenging economy, is quite dissappointing. :(

Old friends are not here, many of the companies I look forward to checking out are not on the exhibition floor (Pixologic, The Foundry, SouthPaw, Gnomon, Boxx etc…), the newly released major applications from major players (Autodesk) are really weak.

Everyone keeps repeating that it’s not only due to the economy, but also due to the location. New Orleans isn’t really the hottest place, in terms of CGI technology. Also, everyone keeps saying that the next year’s Siggraph, hosted in L.A., will be huge, which is understandable and easy to believe.

The conferences were sweet as well as the user meetings, so thankfully this doesn’t show signs of the falling trend in recent years.

Well, we’ll see. I should have some photos from the show tomorrow, so I’ll treat you with a few actual views.

Autodesk announces their 2010 product line

loocas | 3ds Max,Maya,opinions,software | Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Following the announcement, Autodesk revealed the 2010 product line.

Hands down, the updates are really not about new big features at all, this time. Well, maybe except for Maya 2010, which’ll, for the first time in years, come in one version only, just Maya 2010, no Unlimited or Complete (which was confusing anyways) and will include Toxik (altough called Maya Composite) and MatchMover.

I still haven’t seen any presentations of these new features, but I’m really looking forward to that. Even though I really dislike the idea of having Toxik inside of Maya by default. I never liked that compositor, always felt very “Flame-ish” and therefore “odd” to me, being used to Fusion or Nuke. But still, I’ll save my judgement after I see a demo.

Autodesk also announced a 3ds Max 2010 SP1 release, which is always good, if it wasn’t for “subscribtion customers only”, which is, in my opinion, bullshit!

Then Softimage 2010 with some minor additions and bugfixes. Notably f-curve editor really needed that sweet touch and Scintilla, which I really felt in love with after it was included in 3ds Max, is also a very nice additon.

They’ve also announced digital production Suites, which seem to be a great idea, possibly taken from Adobe, that you’ll be able to buy a bundle of 3ds Max/Maya, Motion Builder, or even 3ds Max/Maya, Motion Builder, Mudbox. If the prices are “reasonable”, I’m sold!

As I’ve said, I’ll wait for tomorrow’s demos to pass my judgement on these new releases, so, stay tuned…

Siggraph 2009

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions | Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Siggraph 2009

Here we go!

Yeah, finally, after a year, one of the biggest and, arguably, most important CG conferrences is open in New Orleans.

I’m lucky enough to be able to attend and see what’s up and what’s comming in the following years in the industry. Also, I’m proud to be a part of the Cebas group that’ll be showing off some of the new, hot stuff from Cebas at their booth, so if you’re around, drop by and say hi :)

I’ll go see some conferences today, but tomorrow, I’ll be on the exhibition hall.

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