IRTC Topic for January 2007: Dance

General discussion about JPatch

IRTC Topic for January 2007: Dance

Postby dcuny » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:34 pm

Seems like I've seen this topic before. It was a non-starter for me then.

On the other hand, it might be a good opportunity to bring back the Moai and have them not dance:
    Moai 1: Oh, look... We've got subtitles now.
    Moai 2: Did we get feet, too?
    Moai 1: Urm... No, just subtitles.
    Moai 2: Well, at least we won't be disqualified this round! What's the topic this time?
    Moai 1: "Dance."
    pause as they consider this
    Moai 2: Are you sure it's not something like "Standing Still?"
    Moai 1: No, sorry. It's "Dance."
    Moai 2: I thought they already did that topic.
    Moai 1: No, that was "Dancing."
    Moai 2: Oh. It would be nice to be able to dance.
    Moai 1: Yeah, well, it's a pity still we don't have any feet.
    Moai 2: And we're still carved out of stone. And we're still inanimate objects.
    Moai 2: It's a pity, all right.
;)
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby pndragon » Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:30 am

Moai 1: Oh, look... We've got subtitles now.
Moai 2: Did we get feet, too?
Moai 1: Urm... No, just subtitles.
Moai 2: Well, at least we won't be disqualified this round! What's the topic this time?
Moai 1: "Dance."
pause as they consider this
Moai 2: Are you sure it's not something like "Standing Still?"
Moai 1: No, sorry. It's "Dance."
Moai 2: I thought they already did that topic.
Moai 1: No, that was "Dancing."
Moai 2: Oh. It would be nice to be able to dance.
Moai 1: Yeah, well, it's a pity still we don't have any feet.
Moai 2: And we're still carved out of stone. And we're still inanimate objects.
Moai 2: It's a pity, all right.

Add:
Moai 1: I'm dancing on the inside.
Fadeout to the sound of "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John

--- Jim
"We're so sorry, Uncle Albert,
But we haven't done a bloody thing all day."
--- Paul McCartney
pndragon
 
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:27 am
Location: North Carolina

Postby sascha » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:28 pm

Heh, this is just great :-)
I guess this is a kind of obligation, so I gotta do it.

I think the old Moai models are still ok, they maybe could benefit from one or two bones (e.g. to be able to turn their heads slightly).
What I'd also like to have is some weed waving in the wind.

PS: How about "And the sound is much better too" somewhere near "...just subtitles."? ;-)
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:57 pm

I love those Moai models, and you did an excellent job animating the little details (eye motions, blinks). Despite the audio flaws, I still really like the video.

Another option might be to keep the crappy audio, and start off with something like:
    Moai 1: You know, it would be nice if I could understand what we were saying.
    Moai 2: Hey, look... We've got subtitles now!
That way, we're pretty much making fun of everyone. :lol:

The other thing that would be nice is a bit of music in the background, like the strumming of a ukulele. I've got a steel string guitar that would probably give a similar effect, if no one's got a ukulele handy.

By the way, it was this same round one a year back that the Moai was submitted.
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:53 am

An other idea is that they could discover the subtitles. It could start like the original movie (with the sound of gulls and surf), but with subtitles (like the subtitles for hearing impaired) - with one of the Moais watching the subtitles.

By the way, it was this same round one a year back that the Moai was submitted.

Actually it's been two years!
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Sun Nov 19, 2006 7:37 pm

Two years? :shock:

I had thought that one of them would look down and "discover" the subtitles. Did you have something different in mind?

If there were more time (or in some other animation) I could see them messing with various features, like changing the font, color, or even the language of the subtitles. But given the number of gags already crammed into this video, perhaps that's best left for another day.

Of course, if you had the time, you could throw in one more gag when the credits roll, and actually have the Moai dancing. You can look these Tikis for an example of what their legs and arms might look like.
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:26 am

I had thought that one of them would look down and "discover" the subtitles. Did you have something different in mind?


No, that's exactly what I had in mind. I just thought that when no one was talking, there were no subtitles. Thus the idea with the "hearing impaired" style subtitles.

Two years?

Yes. Alarming, isn't it? :?
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:05 pm

You're right - it's sort of paradoxical that he discovers his subtitles as he's saying he's got subtitles. So an additional bit would make sense, but I doubt most people would notice it. (I didn't! ;))

You had mentioned that you had a lot of trouble lipsyncing the animation before. I'm wondering if the new option to "snap" to the next shape (instead of using interpolation) would solve that problem.

The reason I suggested a "dancing" Moai at the end credits would be to let people know that JPatch is capable of bones-based animation - it's just not used in this animation. It's also non-essential, so you could leave it out if there were time constraints.

Another option for the end credits (once they are done rolling) is to have the Moai at the IRTC office, with a "We're here for our IRTC award..." sort of thing.

Or you could take a different twist, with the Moai asking the clerk from the Imposter animation what the current topic was:
    Moai stands at the IRTC clerk's desk.
    Moai 1: So what's the topic this round?
    Clerk: "Dance."
    Clerk looks down.
    Clerk: Dude, nice subtitles!
    Moai pauses to think...
    Moai 1: Didn't you already do that?
    Clerk: No, that was "Dancing." This is "Dance", they're two different things.
    Moai 1: Oh...
    Back at the island, both Moai are talking.
    Moai 2: "Dance?" Didn't they already do that topic?
    Moai 1: Yeah, well, it's a pity still we don't have any feet.
    Moai 2: And we're still carved out of stone. And we're still inanimate objects.
    Moai 2: It's a pity, all right.
    Fade out to the sound of surf, gulls and ukulele.
I don't think it's got as much punch as the first script, though. For example, the subtitles gag isn't really funny. :?
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:52 pm

I like the idea with the clerk, but I too think that the initial version of the script is better.
Adding dancing Moais would - theoreticaly - be possible, but it would require more work for the credits than for the "rest" of the animation, so I don't think it makes much sense. It would be a nice expiriment, but I'm not sure how the judges think about it - one reaction could be to simple ignore any animation in or after the credits, because it looks like it doesn't belong to the movie.

But then again, it's too tempting :-)
What about this:

(after credits, or maybe during the credits)
In IRTC museum at the clerks desk:
* OTS shot of the Moais saying "We're here for our awards" (with a new screensaver on the clerk's monitor).
* Reaction shot showing the clerk shaking his head.
* Closeup of the clerk's hand pressing the panic-button.
* Cut to black, we hear the snap sound of the trap door (of course with a "[trap door opens]" subtitle)

:?:

I'm not sure which renderer to use. POV-Ray drops out because the Moai texture requires reference-geometry support. The clerks glasses require refractions (which rules out Aqsis?), and the grass would require a curves primitive with self shadowing (which rules out Inyo?).
It seems that the remaining renderers are 3Delight (which is not open-source), BMRT (which isn't open source either) and Pixie.
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:10 am

I've got a paper for adding support for the Curve primitive into a raytracer, and I'll be happy to try implementing it into Inyo. But my personal feeling is that hair and raytracing makes for excessively long rendering times, and using a zbuffer approach to render the hair as a post-process in Inyo is probably the better way to go about it. I'm basing this on what I've seen with Blender, which has some really good looking zbuffer hair. I think they render anti-aliased strands directly to the image. There won't be any need to implement anitropic shading for plants.

Of course, you don't get shadows that way. Personally, I don't think anyone's going to really notice the missing shadows, and the increase in render time will more than make up the for difference.

Another option (if you really want shadows) is to implement curves as line segments (say, each curve is broken into n segments and fit that into the Inyo architecture. It's essentially a simplification of the Curve primitive, but it's unlikely that any of the segments will be of sufficient resolution to make a visible difference.

I think any additional sequence (clerk, dancing, etc.) should be designed so that the main animation's not dependant on it. Sort of like Pixar's "cut" scenes they add to the end of moview. One of the main gags of this animation is that it's re-uses most of the pre-existing stuff from before (including most of the dialog). Adding too much would probably spoil the gag (and make the animation a lot more work than it needs to be).
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:23 am

One solution would be to render the grass with RenderMan and the rest with Inyo. If both renderers output depth information it would be possible to blend the two images later.

I haven't tried, but I think shadow maps should work well with curves. Another way to fake the shadows would be to use a color cradient on the grass (dark green at the bottom and light green on the top).

Without the museum scene there's little need for a raytracer (no reflective surfaces, no glasses) thought.
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:21 pm

I think the Sunflow renderer supports all the features you want. The XML file format that it uses looks a lot like the .obj format, so I think it wouldn't be that difficult to create an exporter for it. I was playing around with it yesterday, and the results look nice, but the demos are all pretty slow to render because they're set to highest quality. My recollection was that if you turned off a lot of the fancy features (image based lighting, etc.), it was actually a pretty fast raytracer.

From what I've seen in Blender, shadowmaps can do an excellent job with fur. Recently Blender's implemented a specialized, self-adapting shadowbuffer that gives some really nice results, but I've heard mixed results from other people who have tried to implement it.

What I'd really like is for the animation to be rendered with JPatch's internal renderer. :) You could do what the Gelato renderer does - render at a larger size, and then downsample the image for antialiasing.

Another neat tool I'd use is Wu lines, which give anti-aliased lines "for free".

In addition to the color gradient (which I believe A:M uses), you can also use the surface angle to calculate implied shadowing on the line. I've already mentioned this on a prior thread; the results certainly look good enough to me:
Image

I think adding shadowmaps to the internal renderer would be the most valuable thing that could be done, since it would make the preview mode that much more useful. Following that, supporting Sunflow would be neat, since I think it's the best candidate out there to replace Inyo. Or I could work on adding lines to Inyo, or some other combination.

Any way you do it, you'll want to make sure that you don't get bogged down in huge rendering times just for a cool effect.
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:33 am

I could try to use OpenGL for rendering the animation. It has support for antialiased lines and nowadays shadow-maps too.

I've run some tests with procedural textures in OpenGL 2.0 (with GLSL), and found out hat my graphics card has no support for hardware noise (the Perlin noise function in GLSL). But it falls back to software rendering, which isn't a problem in this case.

Since OpenGL will be mandatory in the new version, I'll also use it for previz-rendering.
And a new material editor could output both, RenderMan and OpenGL shaders, so you'd even get a preview of the materials.
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Postby dcuny » Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:58 am

OpenGL support would be great! My pride says I'd rather have it rendered in Inyo, but my common sense tells me that this is a much better route in the long run. Besides, the more you can do to speed the workflow, the better.

I can't help recalling that you wrote "JPatch is not a renderer (and never will be)". ;)
dcuny
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 6:07 am

Postby sascha » Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:35 pm

I can't help recalling that you wrote "JPatch is not a renderer (and never will be)"

Well, it is not! :)
I planned to write a little z-buffer renderer for pre-viz, but with the advent of OpenGL shader language there is no need for it anymore. I'm quite sure that in a few years graphics hardware can do what RenderMan did in the '90ies, but in realtime - this will open op some interesting new possibilities.
For the pre-viz renderer, older GL versions will still work, but without shader support (i.e. they'll be limited to OpenGL's hardwired material and lighting support).

The reason for not writing a renderer is that there are bazillions of free renderers out there, some of which can deliver very high quality images. On the other hand there are just a few free modeling/animation programes out there (at least as far as character animation is concerned).
sascha
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 9:16 am
Location: Austria

Next

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron