Monthly Archives: October 2011

Something to write with

Adding to the list of random things on my desk, we have a pen and a piece of paper.

The piece of paper is about as trivial to model as you might thing.  I decided to UV Map it so that I could have both a front and back side of the page (though you can’t see it here).  It also means that the stuff on the page itself will deform properly if I decide to wrinkle or otherwise mess with the page.

The pen was trickier to model than I thought.  There are some funny curves and you have to cinch the subdivision surfaces at the right places for them to look right.  For some reason the label that I applied to the pen refuses to show up in this rendering. I’ll have to dig into that later.

Cables!

The way you model cables in Blender involves is summarized with this video: Making a Cable in Blender.

The thing is, that tutorial was created using the older interface… and it’s a bit tough to find in the new one.  After struggling with it a little bit… I came up with the cable you see to the right.

I can now begin to create lots and lots of cable… which is good because cables make the world go round!

Books and Book Covers

Creating book covers, particularly when you don’t really care about how well the book will actually sell… is a lot of fun.  For the first Little Robots animation, I need to come up with a *TON* of books…. here are the first two…

These are both hard cover books… I still have to build out a soft cover model as well as a Schaum’s outline style workbook model.  I’m sure that the softcover and workbooks will be more challenging than one might think… Sure, you could model it like just a box… but unlike hard cover books, the covers of their lighter weight counterparts tend to lift up on their own… plus there’s the possibility of the covers kinking and creasing.

If you’d like to use any of these book covers in your own models.. or are just curious what the images I built for them look like… here you go! Click for larger version.

I designed this one last night at like 1am.  It’s a pretty stoic design… and really was meant to be just the template image to use for future books.  I ended up liking the way it came out… so It’ll probably get used in the actual animation.

This second book I took a little more time with.  The image that you see on the front and back covers was taken with my iPhone.  I had a couple of old 1GB DIMMs from my Mac Mini.  I placed them side by side and snapped the image being careful not to have any company logos or names showing.

I need maybe 4 or 5 more tech related books to have laying around on my desk.  Any ideas?

New Desk Accessories

This weekend I went through and added a couple new models to my desk scene..

First off, I wanted to model out a computer.  This is my rendition of a mac mini (older model).  Right now it’s really just the basic shape and a little bit of texturing… but it’ll do.  The power light is always on, even if it’s not plugged in.  It occurred to me while I was modeling this, I have no real idea how to make lights switch on/off… this is probably something I need to look into.

Along with the computer, it seemed pretty obvious that I’d need a monitor of some kind.  This is a pretty generic looking monitor.  I took the basic shape/button layout from a Dell 17″ LCD but stretched it out a little to make it wide screen.  At the moment, the buttons are all blank, but at some point in the future, I’ll add the UV mapping for a power switch, +, -, and source.  The base isn’t very inspiring, but I didn’t really want to spend a great deal of time on it…

 

Here’s a real rendering with the new computer components.  I still need to add cables, but in proper lighting both of these models look pretty good… you should be able to click for the full sized image.

What’s on my desk..?

… stays on my desk…

This image is just me showing off the new desk model that I created in blender.  This is based on my actual desk layout at home… although the objects resting on the desk in this case are fictional.  This is the first of many models necessary to bring about the scene described in a previous blog post… essentially where my first little robot will be born.

You aught to be able to click to get the original rendering.  Probably the most complex bit of this rendering is the lighting.  There’s a mix of yellowish artificial light coming from spotlights located behind the turret… and then a slightly blueish “natural” light from behind.

Submediant in Stereo and the Sounds of Sputnik

My major contribution to Submediant this week was adding Stereo Sound.

Not all that terribly impressive, but it does sound cool.

Here is a tribute to Sputnik,

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

As usual, here’s the notation for this audio file:

@SONGTITLE:Echoes of Sputnik
@ALBUMNAME:Let Them Eat Test
@ARTIST:Little Robots
@YEAR:2011
@GENRE:other

@bpm:120
@timesignature:4/4
@volume:2000

&center class:musical_sine balance:45
E6:1/2 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8
E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8
 _:1/2 _:1/8  _:1/8 _:1/8  _:1/8 _:1/8 _:1/8  _:1/8  _:1/8 _:1/8
E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8

&left class:musical_sine balance:75 volume:500
 _:1/2 _:1/8  _:1/8 _:1/8  _:1/8
E6:1/2 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8
 _:1/8 _:1/8  _:1/8  _:1/8 _:1/8
E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8
E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8

&right class:musical_sine balance:15 volume:500
 _:1/2 _:1/8  _:1/8 _:1/8  _:1/8 _:1/8 _:1/8  _:1/8
E6:1/2 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8
_:1/8  _:1/8
E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8
E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8 E6:1/8 _:1/8

Get it Together – Animation Planning

It’s been a little while since I’ve actually opened the modeler… and I’m really craving some actual work in 3D.   Time lately has started to become quite a commodity… I just can’t seem to find more than an hour or so per day to dedicate to these projects… sigh.

Plodding forward though, The first animation that I want to put together for Little Robots is a sequence where Seña is first activated and is interacting with her creator for the first time .

The perspective is from the creator who will probably be voiced by me.  The whole scene will be done while looking through a large magnifying lamp because well… the little robot is little!  The setting is a cluttered wooden work desk where the robot is being assembled. There are a variety of little doodads that need to get modeled that sit on the desk, so… I’m sure we’ll end up with a few blog posts about individual items.  The overall point of the animation is to exercise the rigging with a variety of interactions which instill an emotional response from the robot.

Assuming that this animation has a good feel to it, I’ll probably do a similar “Getting it together” animation for each of the other robots.  I’m toying with the idea of making the owner of the next robot, Hakko, speak completely in Japanese. I’ve always wanted to mess with subtitles!

 

Breaking out Instruments

I did a bit more work on Submediant. The goal for this set of changes was to allow the score files to define what kind of instrument to use.  Before, we could add multiple instruments but they all used the same basic sine wave generator…

Not only did I want to give the ability of specifying an instrument to the score file, though, I wanted to make creating new types of instruments easily… so I introduced a class hierarchy.  Essentially, all instrument objects have a common ancestor, the Instrument.  I defined MusicalInstrument as any instrument that knows/understands musical notation.  Finally, I defined two children of MusicalInstrument, MusicalSineInstrument which plays a sine wave and MusicalSquareInstrument which plays a square wave.  I then found a simple score to transcribe into Submediant…  Here is what it sounds like:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

According to the description, it’s a Welsh Lullaby arranged for a recorder duet.

In case you’re curious… here’s the Submediant score file:

@SONGTITLE:All Through The Night
@ALBUMNAME:Let Them Eat Test
@ARTIST:Little Robots
@YEAR:2011
@GENRE:other

@bpm:120
@timesignature:4/4
@volume:2000

&recorder_1 class:musical_sine volume:1000
_:1/2 G5:1/4. F#5:1/8
E5:1/4 G5:1/4 A5:1/4. G5:1/8
F#5:1/4 D5:1/4 E5:1/2

&recorder_2 class:musical_square volume:300
_:1/2 D5:1/2
C5:1/2 E5:1/2
D5:1/2 C5:1/4 D5:1/4

&recorder_1
F#5:1/4. G5:1/8 G5:1/2
C5:1/4 B4:1/4 C5:1/4 D5:1/4
E5:1/4 F#5:1/4 C5:1/4 B5:1/4

&recorder_2
E5:1/4 D5:1/8:tie C5:1/8:untie B4:1/2
_:whole
_:whole

&recorder_1
C5:1/4. B4:1/8 A4:1/4. G4:1/8
B4:1/4 A4:1/4 G4:1/4 F#4:1/4
G4:1/4. F#4:1/8 E4:1/4. G4:1/8
A4:1/4. G4:1/8 E4:1/4 D4:1/4

&recorder_2
G4:1/2 F#4:1/2
E4:1/2 D4:1/2
_:whole
_:whole

&recorder_1
E4:1/2 F#4:1/2. G4:1/8
G4:1/2. _:1/4
_:1/2 G5:1/2. F#5:1/8
E5:1/4 G5:1/4 A5:1/4. G5:1/8

&recorder_2
C4:1/2 D4:1/2
G4:1/2 _:1/2
_:1/2 D5:1/2
C5:1/2 E5:1/2

&recorder_1
F#5:1/4 D5:1/4 E5:1/2
F#5:1/4. G5:1/8 G5:1/2
C5:1/4 B4:1/4 C5:1/4 D5:1/4
E5:1/4 D5:1/4 C5:1/4 B5:1/4

&recorder_2
D5:1/2 C5:1/4 D5:1/4
E5:1/4 D5:1/8:tie C5:1/8:untie B4:1/2
_:whole
_:whole

&recorder_1
C5:1/4. B4:1/8 A4:1/4. G4:1/8
B4:1/4 A4:1/4 G4:1/4 F#4:1/4
G4:1/4. F#4:1/8 E4:1/4. G4:1/8
A4:1/4. G4:1/8 F#4:1/4 D4:1/4

&recorder_2
G4:1/2 F#4:1/2
E4:1/2 D4:1/2
_:whole
_:whole

&recorder_1
E4:1/2 F#4:1/4. G4:1/8
G4:1/4. _:1/4

&recorder_2
C4:1/2 D4:1/2
G4:1/2 _:1/2