Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Gesture In 3D

As promised in the previous post, I now offer a few examples of the quest to get a hand-drawn look into CG animation.


  • Make a black and white image in Photoshop
  • Select the foreground color with magic wand
  • Make Work Path (paths palette menu)
    2 to 4 pixels (2 will make more control points, 4 will make less)
  • File > Export > Paths to Illustrator (set to work path)
    You can put the .ai file into the "data" subdirectory in your prop's project folder (Example: /TBOS/prop/foliage/data). Remember to give it the .ai extension (if saving on a Mac)


  • File > Import (Option Box):
    Use Namespaces, resolve all nodes with this string: nameOfElement
  • In the next dialog, cruise to the folder where you saved your.ai file
  • Select transform (group node) containing all curves in Outliner
  • Planar Tool (Option Box):
    Linear, Partial, Polygons, Quads, Count (standard fit sometimes)

  • Edit Mesh > Extrude
  • Subdivide to see smoothed results (Proxy>Subdiv Proxy)
  • Once these shapes are in 3D, they can be used to cast shadows, throw silhouettes, wire them up with Maya hairs and blow Paint FX "Grass Wind" or "Tree Wind" through them, mold them in the round with Soft Modification Tool or Nonlinear deformers, etc.

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