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The Future of 3D: Mixing CGI with Auditory Illusions?

3D technology has become more common in the entertainment industry. Movies and television shows are produced in 3D, with the audience being given special glasses to view the effects. Developers have even found a way to create 3D effects in sound, creating a realistic experience for the listener. With the two advancement of the two technologies, it is conceivable that movies, television, games, or videos could be created with both 3D visual and sound effects, creating a total 3D experience that replicates a realistic experience as closely as technology will allow. Here’s how it works:

Auditory Illusions

Advances have been made in creating so-called “auditory illusions” in which sound appears to be coming from different locations independent of the speakers. One such example includes the “virtual barber shop” from Q Sound Labs:

The technology produces a sound that imitates real actions. As the barber in this clip moves to cut hair at different spots around the head, the sound moves in those directions. If the barber is meant to be at your right ear, you hear the scissors clipping by your right ear. The technology can also be used to create the illusion of sound in different spaces, such as a large room, a hallway, or a cave.

Possibilities for the Future

The technology exists for 3D visual effects and auditory illusions, but the two have rarely been combined on the big screen. While surround sound has been able to replicate the “3D” experience to some extent, it hasn’t been as effective as the technology seen in the type of auditory illusions created in the “virtual barber shop.” It’s possible that future movie-going experiences could include the use of 3D glasses for the visual effects and personal headphones for the sound effects.


Of course, creating personal sound ports for individual movie goers has practical and cost limitations. Doing so would require re-outfitting most movie theaters, or giving audience members personal, portable sound devices, such as a small radio on a limited frequency. The technology also has limits for personal viewing. While individuals could watch programming on a laptop and use personal headphones for the sound effects, the same experience could not be replicated by watching on a television set, which would include a larger picture for a more enjoyable viewing experience. As 3D technology grows and is embraced by larger audiences, the technology to view and enjoy will have to change with it.

Already, 3D technology is growing for movie-goers, with more 3D screens available and up to 40 percent of ticket sales coming from 3D films this year. Breakout films like Avatar have shown the possibilities for 3D visual technology and audience demand for the technology when it is done well. Combining this type of innovation in visual technology with innovation in sound technology can create a unique movie experience that could change the way films and television are created.

Alpha Mapping to Create Realistic Leaves

Alpha mapping is a technique in 3D computer graphics where an image is mapped (assigned) to a 3D object, and designates certain areas of the object to be transparent or translucent. The transparency can vary in strength, based on the image texture, which can be greyscale, or the alpha channel of an RGBA image texture.

1-Hello everyone, in this lesson we will talk about alpha maps, alpha maps are really important cause they are helpfull to create very detailed or photo realistic result in 3d from leaves for a plant or tree to character’s hair for video games.

So basically there is one rule that says  : White is visible – Black is invisible (transparent).

We will start with a leave image in photoshop to understand an Alpha map, simply search google to find any of your choice:

2 – Lets press F7 on keyboard  to open up layers window and double click on our image (name background) and press Ok; this will convert that to a layer.

3- Select magic wand tool and change the tolerance to 25, click on white area and press Delete key on your keyboard. Select magic wand tool again and click out of the screen to deselect that area.

4- So now we have a transparent leaf image in photoshop, its time to make the background green, so if any pixel fails in our alpha map, that will have the same color of our leaf and its not going to be noticable . Create a new layer, select eye dropper tool, click anywhere off leaf, then select paint bucket tool and fill that layer by clicking in our image. Don’t forget to drag our green layer under the leaf layer.

5- Select move tool, Press control-T on your keyboard and rotate the leaf a bit to get a better direction. When you are done, press enter on your keyboard.

6- Press filter menu and click in sharpen—> sharpen mask and change the values as follows, this will help us to made our leaf image sharper and better in quality to prevent blur (you can change the values as its based on your image, so play with the percentages).

7- Now its time to save our image as a jpg file. A quality of 10 would have a balance of quality and file size. Also save a PSD file just in case you want to edit something later.

8- Select the green background, select a black color and fill the background layer using paint bucket tool.

9- Select the leaf layer, click on FX icon and click color overlay.

10- Select a pure white color and click OK .

11- Now save this image as our alpha-map, also click on image—>image size and remember to write the size of our image in pixels.

12- Open your 3d software, in our case its 3ds max, and create a plane the same size as your image size. Dont worry if it looks too big, you can always scale it down.

13- Now press M to open material editor, select a material, add the leaf image we created in photoshop as diffuse and add the alpha image as opacity. Also check two sided box.

14- Make sure the plane is selected then press “assign material to selection” and “show standard map in viewport”.

15. Now we simply finished to get a working alpha map in our 3ds max software. By adding more segments to our plan and moving them around or adding a bend modifier, we can create a good result that we can use on our models.

I hope you enjoyed using this method, please dont hesitate to ask if you have any other questions.  Don’t forget to check out the other tutorials in our Texturing section, and if you’d like more information on this technique have a look at our older alpha map tutorial.

Happy alpha mapping!

3D Image of a doorway in a dirty alley at night.

So you want to become an Animator? Here’s Everything you Need to Know

School is back-in-session which means high school seniors applying for college and even current undeclared college freshmen and sophomores will soon need to select a major-of-choice. If you have a passion for the arts but are not sure which specific niche to delve into, you may consider pursuing one of the more popular areas that is predicted to provide an adequate number of employment opportunities in the coming years—animation. If you are unfamiliar with this career choice, continue reading below to discover what this job entails, including working environment, the skills you need to possess to be successful and starting salary.

What does an Animator Do?

In a nutshell, an animator creates original 2-D or 3-D visual images or special effects for a variety of industries including film, television, gaming, publications and the web. While traditional methods such as hand drawings are still mildly used, the industry is more or less dominated by the use of digital tools to create animation. That said, it’s important that those who choose to pursue this career are not only naturally gifted artists, but are also a wiz with computers so they can easily learn how to use all of the digital-creating software. Some other skills a successful animator needs to possess include the following: an eye for details, excellent time management skills, strong image-editing skills, and the ability to create and read storyboards.

What are the Educational Requirements and Classes you Will Take?

Typically, you need a Visual Arts or Fine Arts bachelor’s degree with a concentration in animation to get hired as an animator. While animation is usually a concentration within a broader field, students may just very well be able to tailor their skills even further and select a specialization within their concentration, such as 3-D imaging or visual effects for example. Regardless, some sample classes you will be required to take are the following: Computer Animation and Graphic Design,  Composition and Design, Illustration, 2-D Animation, 3-D Animation and Film Making just to name a few.

What is the Career Outlook and Working Environment?

Unlike other laborious careers, animators typically work in a cool and well ventilated, lighted area such as in a studio, loft or other type of office space. They may need to do some light traveling to sister studios or visit exotic places for inspiration, but other than that they tend to stay in a centralized location. Working hours are sporadic (generally not a typical 9 to 5 job) and on a daily basis animators work with animation directors, photographers, graphic designers, and other clients.

While many careers are unstable, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics those pursuing a career in animation should see many employment opportunities within the next decade. In fact, the Bureau predicts that employment opportunities should increase about 14%, creating about 11,200 new jobs by 2018— especially in the movie, gaming and television fields. This is because these areas will demand more “realistic” imagery in the coming years, the Bureau states. Other trending popular areas include design agencies and scientific/medical research facilities (medical experts for example need animators to illustrate procedures etc.)

That’s not to say that competition won’t be fierce because it will be. But to make sure you increase your chances of employment and to beef up your resume, focus on obtaining a lot of experience via internships while pursuing your undergraduate degree or consider become a “specialist” and earning a master’s degree in the subject. While salary will depend on various factors, including place of employment, degree level and previous experience, according to the Bureau animators typically earn anywhere from $41,710 to $77,010.

Ambient Occlusion Combined with Toon Shader Tutorial

(Editors note: Hey folks, this is the last post we’ll be seeing on here until January sometime – I’m entering a heavy development phase and I can’t maintain this as well. I will be back though, promise. For now, over to Prantic)

Hey there back with another Maya rendering tutorial and this time its on Render Composites of Maya’s Mental Ray Ambient Occlusion Texture and ToonShader.
With the combination of these two shader networks we can create a very cool composite that can be used for any CG stylized animation or commercial product rendering.
Here we’ll learn about different techniques to render out AO pass and then combine them with the Maya TS.

The video training can be categorized into:

  1. Ambient Occusion Through manuel object Plugin
  2. AO through layer compositing
  3. Toon Shader techniques
  4. Compositing the render scenes in Photoshop


Ambient Occlusion and ToonShader Render Composite Tutorial from Heather Craik on Vimeo.

Or watch it on Prantic’s Channel.

Mental Ray Caustics Tutorial (Maya)

Alright, after so much anticipation in creating a lighting tutorial in Maya, I’m back with a proper, easily understood, video lesson regarding Caustics. The Video lesson is about 20 minutes and focuses on Maya’s Mental Ray system shaders and lighting techniques. Caustic effect is an important and a remarkable effect which occurs in nature and is very much required in creating a realistic looking glass lighting effect.  As this is a more advanced tutorial beginners may have a little trouble initially; don’t worry, I’m available if you’ve any questions.

The Topics in the video can be categorized as follows:

  1.  Intro: Discussing “what is caustics?” with examples
  2. Creating basic caustic effect using Maya’s own default material nodes
  3. Discussing about Photon transmission, GI/Caustics
  4. Creating Caustics with Mental Ray materials
  5. Ways and Tips to make Renders times faster
  6. Conclusion: Showing mental ray renders with properties and Photon Map Visualizer.

So, grab a pack of something (I’d recommend chips) and let’s get started!

Maya Mental Ray Caustics Tutorial from Heather Craik on Vimeo.

Alternatively, you can watch it on Prantic’s Youtube channel.

3D Burning Paper Tutorial (FumeFX)

3D Burning Paper Effect (Ian Steve) from Heather Craik on Vimeo.

Hello everyone, I’m Ian Steve, welcome to another 3d tutorial. In this tutorial we are going to  to create a nice 3d burning paper effect with FumeFx plugin in 3DS Max. Ok.. let’s get started.

The first step, let’s create a simple plane on perspective view. Size or color doesn’t matter.

Open up material editor, select ‘Get Material’ and apply Gradient Ramp on the first slot.

Now, we can add 2 keys on the Gradient Ramp color until we get a white thin line like picture below. Set the noise amount to 0.1 and size to 2.

Now, let’s create texture for the paper. Drag the first slot material to the diffuse color on the second slot and choose ‘instance’. Rename it to ‘Paper’. Then apply it to the paper on stage.

Apply UVW Map modifier to the paper. Rotate the gizmo 900 and scale it up little bit.

Let’s scale up the timeline to 400 or 450. Go to the first slot of your material editor then turn on Auto Key. Animate the 3 middle keys from left to right. Then, turn off the Auto Key.


Go to second slot, drag/copy the diffuse map to opacity map, and clear its diffuse map.

Go to gradient ramp parameters delete the second keys and edit the color like picture below. Don’t move or delete the other keys.

We can now create the temperature map. Copy the opacity map to the new slot then rename it to ‘Temperature’, select ‘output’ and choose ‘invert’.

Edit the gradient color of the temperature map like below.

Now, let’s apply the FumeFx grid to the whole paper. Select FumeFx Helpers, choose ‘Object src’ and draw this outside the grid. Choose ‘pick object’ and click the paper.

Select the Object Src, set the Fuel, Temperature, and Smoke map to ‘Source from Intensity’. Chose instance for all map.

Open FumeFx UI, go to General Tab and set the Spacing to 1 . Then go to Simulation tab set the parameters like below :

–          Quality : 3 (depends on your computer spec)

–          Bouyancy : 0.65

–          Burn rate : 12.5

–          Dissipation strength : 5

–          Check Fire Creates Smoke.

Go to Obj/Src tab and choose ‘pick object’. Then click the src helper on stage. You can also change the fuel or smoke color from Rendering tab. Let’s start the simulation. And here is what I got on output preview.

Finally, render the scene as video and see the final result. Happy 3d ^^

3D101 Introduction to Matrices

Introduction to Matrices

We have talked about transformations, projections, spaces and many other cool things belonging to 3D fundamentals. But one of the most important things in this 3D world is to know your way around matrices, we’ll learn why they are used and how we can use them properly to optimize our final code.


  1. What the heck is a matrix?


According to Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia, a Matrix is defined as follows:


            In mathematics, a matrix (plural matrices, or less commonly matrixes) is

a rectangular array of numbers, symbols, or expressions. The individual

items in a matrix are called its elements or entries.



To make things simpler, let’s take a look at the matrix shown below. Just like Wiki said, a Matrix is simply a rectangular disposition of elements, similar to a table. All matrices have size, and it is defined as MxN where M is the number of rows, and N is the number of columns. Hence the matrix on the sample is a 3 by 2 matrix (3 rows, and 2 columns), which can also be written just 3×2. – Most times matrices are written inside square brakets as shown on the figure, but you can also use curly braces and even huge parenthesis.


If the values of M and N are the same (such as 3×3 or 4×4) the matrix is said to be a  squared matrix because the number of columns and rows are the same, effectively resembling a perfect square figure. Squared matrices have special properties that will be discussed on following sections.

Each element of a matrix can be any mathematical object (such as a number, an equation, and even another matrix!) each of these elements on the matrix have their own location, and this location is defined by coordinates of the form (i, j) where i is the row number and j is the column number. To follow the example matrix shown above the location of the numbers: 1 is (1, 1), 5 is (2,2), 6 is (3,2), 2 is (2, 1), etc. This is very important to remember and to understand.

Since matrices are mathematical objects, we are able to perform several operations with them just like we do with numbers. With numbers we can add, subtract, multiply, divide and many other operations. With matrices we can also perform operations such as: Addition and Subtraction, Scaling, Transpose, and Multiplication. There are several other operations that can be performed over matrices, but to avoid lengthening too much this lesson we will cover only the basic operations mentioned above.


1.1 Matrix Addition

Addition and subtraction are essentially the same operation, the only difference is simply convenience for us humans, since it is faster for us to evaluate 1 – 2  (written as a subtraction) than 1 + (-2) (written as an addition). To perform matrix addition we need two matrices of the same size. For example, let’s evaluate the following matrix operation:

To evaluate this expression correctly we need to make sure that all matrices are of the same size. The first matrix has size 3×2, and the second is also 3×2 so we can now proceed without issues.

Given two matrices A and B, both of size MxN, the addition of those matrices will produce a matrix C also of size MxN, each element C(i,j) is defined to be: C(i,j) = A(i,j) + B(i,j)

In more easier terms the previous statement means that each element of the resulting matrix C will be the sum of the corresponding element on A and B. So, the result is:

The same principle applies for subtraction. As follows:

1.2 Matrix Scaling

Scaling a matrix is also known as multiplying by an scalar factor, an “scalar” is simply a number. Scaling is a binary operation involving one matrix and one scalar factor. The factor is usually written on the left side of the matrix as a coefficient.

Given a matrix A of size MxN and an scalar factor k, the scalar multiplications of both terms will produce a matrix also of size MxN, where each element of C = k*A is will be k*A(i,j). – In other words, each element of the matrix A will be multiplied by the factor k, and that will be the corresponding element of the resulting matrix C.

1.3 Matrix Transposition

Transposition operation is used to reverse the size of the matrix (including all elements inside it). This is a unary operation in which only one matrix is required. The transposition operation is written using an uppercase T as a super index on the matrix as in: AT

Given a matrix A of size MxN, assuming B is the transpose of A written as B = AT then each element of B is defined as B(i,j) = A(j,i) and the resulting matrix B will have size NxM.

1.4 Matrix Multiplication

Multiplication of matrices is most of times what makes people really angry in just a few minutes, specially when multiplying on paper. It is a lot more difficult than the rest of the matrix operations. So, let’s start already! – Matrix multiplication is a binary operation that requires forcefully two squared matrices of the same size.

Before going further, there is need to define the dot product of two vectors. Imagine we have two vectors A and B for instance A = <1, 2, 3> and B = <4, 5, 6>, the dot product of A and B defined as C = A•B is defined to be the sum of the product of each corresponding element on the vectors, so, C = 1*4 + 2*5 + 3*6, therefore C = 32.

Given two matrices A and B both of size NxN, if C = A*B (matrix multiplication) then the resulting matrix will also be of the NxN, and each element of C is defined to be

C(i,j) = A(row-i) • B(col-j) , where “•” is the dot product operation.

Let’s view the following example, here we are multiplying matrix A (bottom left) with matrix B (top right), the result is matrix C (bottom right).

The definition basically says that for every ROW i in A, we have to take one COLUMN j from B and perform dot product, the result is the element (i, j) of the resulting matrix.

In the example ROW i=1 of A is <1, 4, 7> and COLUMN j=1 of B is <1, 2, 3>, the dot product operation explained is 1*1 + 4*2 + 7*3 which results in 30. This final result is the element (1, 1) of the result matrix.

Matrices can be a bit complicated at first, but once you get the grasp of them you will see how useful they actually are. Matrices will save us a lot of time, and they have a lot of uses, some of those uses apply to 3D algorithms as well and will be detailed on our next lesson.

Make sure you understand all matrix operations, specially multiplication. Doing that will be give you great advantage on the next lesson “Affine Transformations”.

Matrices are scary at first, but they are your friends. 🙂


How to Use Clipping Masks in Photoshop

Learning how to us clipping masks only takes a few minutes and it will be a skill you’ll use again and again.  When you create a clipping mask in one layer, it hides the contents of the layers above.  Your clipping mask can be whatever you like; it could be a shape or text.  I’m using text in this example and here’s what we’re going to achieve:

First thing you need is your background image.  In your finished product this is the image that will ‘shine through’ your text.  I’m using a tropical beach scene.


Next, create a new text layer and write the text that will form the object for the clipping mask.  It’s always a good idea to use a fat, bold font when creating clipping masks from text so you can really see the image behind.  I’m using a great, 100%-free font called Bevan (you can download it here for free: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/bevan).


Now we need to create the ‘mask’ layer.  Go to you your Layers Palette and click the “Create a New Layer” button.  You need to fill this layer with a solid color.  I chose white but you can choose any colour.


We now have the three layers we need to start the magic!  Go to your Layers Palette again and put your layers in this order:

  1. the beach image
  2. the text
  3. the new, blank layer

Your Layers Palette should look like this:


Now we need to Create a new Clipping Mask.  Make sure you’ve selected the beach photograph layer, then click on the Layers Palette menu button in the top-right of the Layers Palette Window.  Select “Create Clipping Mask”.  Alternatively, you can press ALT + CTRL + G.


Ta-da! It’s as easy as that!  Your clipping mask has magically appeared.


You can now make the final adjustments to the text to make it stand out.  I’m going to add a 3px stroke to the inside of the text.  Double-click on the text layer to bring up the Styles Palette and add a 3px Stroke:


That’s it, you’re done!  Here’s the finished product:


I guess the question that you are all wondering though is where can I use this skill? Well, there are a number of different places that creating beautiful text can assist you. These include:

  • Creating bold and noticeable headlines for pamphlets or leaflets that you plan to deliver.
  • Making a website really stand out from the rest with an attractive and professional design.
  • Using them in emails, so that people are immediately drawn to the design and don’t simply disregard the message as spam or yet another offer for them.
  • Making attractive cards or other handicrafts, either for sale or to send to someone on their birthday or at Christmas.

As can be seen, the use of this technique is only hampered by your own creativity. So, be original and get experimenting – the results can be totally spectacular!

3D 101 Fundamentals of 3D Renderers

Now that you’re familiar with the fundamentals of 3D (spaces, coordinates, projections, and rotations) it’s time to begin to learn how to write a quick and clean 3D renderer. But first, let’s talk about how 3D objects are defined.

1. Object Definitions

In 3D we define objects using vertices just like in any other space, for example a line is defined as an object having two vertices. Certain other objects require a different definition such as the sphere which is defined by a center vertex and a radius. There are also fundamental objects such as the triangle which can be used to form much more complex objects such as planes, spheres, hexagons and many many more.

Most of time objects are defined using the latter method, that is, using triangles to define more complex objects. Triangles are used because it’s a fundamental figure, the first that is a closed shape with minimum number of points (3).

Now imagine a complex polygon as shown on the following figure (left figure) that polygon can be represented using triangles only as it is shown in the right figure. The action of converting one polygon to a sequence of smaller objects which collectively can accurately represent the source polygon is known as tessellation.

Before we continue, there’s need to think about what a 3D renderer actually is. To make things simple it’s enough to say that “A 3D renderer performs rendering which in this context is drawing 3D objects in a 2D display with as much accuracy as possible.”

There are two basic types of renderers, real-time and non-real-time. Non-real-time renderers use mathematical equations to generate thousands of vertices and draw objects with great accuracy. This type of renderer is very very slow but has an amazing output image quality due to the incredible number of vertices generated. Non-real-time renderers are used in commercial applications such as movies and animated series.

Real-time renderers on the other hard are incredibly fast and efficient because they need to render an entire scene dynamically on demand in real time. These renderers lack of high detail because of the technique used, which uses less detailed approximations of the real object to make rendering time faster, that is the primary goal of real-time renderers, provide output as fast as possible with averagely good quality. Real-time renderers are used in games, software, interactive applications and more.

As shown on the figure above, the left side shows a generic triangle rendered as a one piece object which is usually how a real-time renderer would draw a triangle. The right side shows a tessellated triangle with 16 sub-pieces, this has a much higher detail when lights and reflections are rendered, this is how a non-real-time renderer would draw the triangle, although probably with more than just 16 sub-pieces, since non-real-time renderers use micro polygons which can be as small as 2 or 3 pixels each.

Nowadays real-time renderers are much more efficient than they were 18 years ago when Doom(Game, 1993, ID Software) blew our minds for the first time, this is due to the powerful help of 3D accelerated graphics cards which can render millions of polygons per second, allowing us to build highly detailed frames without worrying about speed.

2. Renderer Operations

As we mentioned before, a renderer has to take care of drawing objects appropriately in a 2D display, to do this there are several basic stages that we need to go through in order to achieve a correct output image. The following sections will describe these basic rendering stages. Note that a fully featured renderer may or may not implement more stages in this process, depending on the level of quality and methods used. In future lessons these processing stages will be written in code one by one.

2.1. Consumption of Object Data

In this stage the data of objects in the scene is sent to the renderer for further processing, these data is added to the object queue. By object data we refer to all the required information about an object that is required in order to draw it correctly, such as vertices, texture coordinates, shading method, light parameters, view model matrix, etc.

2.2. Vertex Lighting

In this stage a light modeling algorithm such as the phong reflection model is used along with the light sources defined in the scene to calculate the color and intensity of lights on the all the vertices of all objects in the object queue. Lighting is an optional stage at first and should be added only until the basic renderer is stable and produces correct results.

2.3. Camera Transformation

In this stage a camera view matrix is used to transform the entire world to make it look like it’s being viewed from point of view of the camera. This is commonly known as converting from world-coordinate-space to view-coordinate-space.

2.4. Fundamentals Generation

In this stage the renderer has to convert or tessellate objects (if necessary) to generate fundamental polygons (triangles). After this stage has finished the object queue will be composed only of fundamental polygons.

2.5. Polygon Culling

In this stage the renderer has to discard from the object queue all polygons that are either facing backwards (process known as backface culling) or those which are behind a non-translucent polygon (known as hidden surface removal), the result is a much smaller set of polygons which are always visible.

2.6. Clipping

In this stage all polygons in the object queue have to be checked to verify that they are in fact inside the view volume, all polygons outside it are removed. Sometimes a polygon lies partially outside the view volume, in which case the polygon is clipped against the view volume and this usually results in the generation of one or more smaller polygons that effectively lie inside the view volume. Clipping is essential to render frames correctly.

2.7. Projection Transformation

In this stage all polygons are projected to 2D space using a projection matrix. This is usually known as converting from view-coordinate-space to viewport-coordinate-space.

2.8. Viewport Clipping

In this stage the resulting points from the last stage are clipped against the viewport to make sure no polygon lies outside the valid rectangle viewport range.

2.9. Polygon Scan Conversion

In this stage all polygons are scan-converted to generate scanlines which can easily be drawn later by even the most basic graphics library.

2.10. Polygon Filling

In this final stage all polygons are drawn one by one simply by filling the scanlines with appropriate data using an specified shading method, such as a plain color (flat shading), a gradient (gouraud shading), an image (texturing) or even a simple wireframe.

All these stages are executed by hardware when 3D accelerated cards are available, to make use of these cards a hardware-enabled library such as OpenGL or DirectX should be used when developing 3D applications instead of a custom made library.

Despite of all the scary stages, there’s no reason to panic! A highly simplistic renderer can be developed with only four stages (2.1, 2.7, 2.9 and 2.10). Later on in future lessons we will develop a somewhat simple renderer with 6 to 7 stages.

How to Animate a Dodgeball Throw in Maya

Today we’ve got Prantic’s first video tutorial; How to throw a dodgeball (no, not a volleyball – that was my bad) in Maya. Now I don’t use Maya very often personally, but it’s Prantic’s main software and he uses it well. Tutorial is really good, though not short so be sure to grab a cup of something before you sit down to watch.

Here’s a quick overview of what will be covered:

  • Working from a storyboard
  • The Primary Animation of a Dodgeball Throw
  • Secondary Animation to make it all look a lot more believable
  • Constraining the ball to the character’s hand then releasing at the right time
  • Various animation timing tweaks

How to Animate a Dodgeball Throw from Heather Craik on Vimeo. Or head over to Prantic’s version on Youtube.

Don’t forget to comment and let him know what you think!