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Monday, 21 September 2015

My Retopo Video Prominently Featured On IAMAG.CO!

I just realised my Retopologizing in Maya video got featured on the main page of IAMAG.CO!

It is the second day today, and I have gotten 263 views. This is not exactly a normal trend for when my other uploads usually get 20 views in the first week.

Thus I decided to take a peek at the stats analysis of that video on Vimeo.com. I realised that my video was embedded on iamag.co with 168 plays coming from there.

I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw: There on the main page of iamag, on the very first article, was my video. :)

This is an affirmation, an encouragement of my ongoing efforts to share my passion and knowledge with the community. 

Here's the main page where I saw a screen shot from my video :)

Here's the full-page article:

Friday, 18 September 2015

Retopologizing Workflow in Maya with Quad Draw

Following up on my previous post of retopologizing in Maya, here's a new video giving an introduction to using the Quad Draw tool, and my modeling / retopo workflow.

This is a pretty long video.

In the first part I show the features of the Quad Draw tool.

Then I show how to tackle a retopologizing situation with the tool.

The tool is simple, but the controls are intuitive and convenient. This helps us accomplish complex tasks without getting in the way. That is what I like about the tool in context of the workflow.
Here's the same video on Vimeo.

Retopologizing Workflow in Maya with Quad Draw from Patrick Woo on Vimeo.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

An Introduction to Selections and Soft Selections in 3D Studio Max

Here's a new video I uploaded. An introduction to selections and soft selections in 3D Studio Max

In the video I talk about using the selection tools in Max, how to add and subtract from selections, and finally, soft selections where the selected elements can fall off in strength.

In summary:
- q key puts you in selection mode
- ctrl-click on an element in selection mode will add it to your existing selection
- alt-click on an element in selection mode will subtract it from your existing selection
- turning on the 'soft selection' check-box will enable soft selection

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Excluding Ambient Occlusion in Selected Objects

Here's a short but very useful article on how to exclude ambient occlusion from selected objects in your ambient occlusion renders in Maya's Mental Ray renders.

Neal B├╝rger is an amazing programmer and computer graphics artist. On Neal's amazing website, he gives instructions on how to go about setting up objects so the ambient occlusion shader excludes them from AO computations.


Ambient Occlusion calculates and creates shading of shadows based on a open un-occluded lighting situation of an object placed in the open, the environment is then like a hemisphere of light-casting dome, contributing to the illumination of the object. Each pixel, sample region is then shaded based on the percentage of blocked by neighbouring objects versus an entirely unblocked situation.

In a standard rendering scenario when I set up an AmbOcc or AO pass in Maya, I will either add a Mental Ray Pass or create a Render Layer, and then add a Ambient Occlusion preset to that Render Layer. This will then create an AO shader and assign it to all geometry objects in the scene and gives me my AO pass.

However, it does not take into account objects that do not need to cast a shadow in the AO pass. A good example of this would be like the image shown above. Glass objects do not generate strong shadows. Windows of cars and helmet visors for example. Of course a quick fix would be to hide these objects in our render layer. However sometimes we still need these objects to occlude other objects in the AO pass.

Thus Neal's method is a great solution to the problem. :)

Tiles Flipping Rigs

Tiles Flipping Rigs from Patrick Woo on Vimeo.

I finally got the time to  put up a test where I rigged up tiles  / cubes / boxes to flip over when a locator is within a certain distance.

The each tile has an expression that takes the distance between the locator to itself, and use that to drive its own rotateX.

I understand this is super simple to set-up in Houdini, but in Maya I had to write a script to set this up, simply because each tile had to have an expression that watches out for the locator. In this aspect, I find Maya's system to be a bit unwieldy. Even when it is procedural, it requires technical knowledge to set things up for a relatively simple task .