Creature Factory Question & Answer

Ok, I thought it would be good to have a thread where we can ask questions to clarify techniques seen in the Creature Factory DVD.

The format I would like to suggest using is:

Section - Tutorial - Time - Question
(ie. Timelapse - Modeling the Mouth - 00:09:16 - How does he select the vertices at this point?)

Anyway, my first question is:

Mesh tools - 00:05:58 - How does he make the mesh spherize around the new center point? I have tried using ctrl-shift-S but it seems to just spherize on the plane that the object is on. If I use the “To Sphere” button it spherizes the way it works in the video. How do I make this work off the shortcut keys?

Before he activated the tool, he changed the pivot point to 3d cursor. Looks like the button on the mesh tools panel automatically uses the 3d cursor as a pivot. With the hot key, it will use whatever pivot point is set in the pivot point menu. In your original attempts to spherize the (planar) mesh, it used the median point (the default), which is on the plane.

is the dvd so unclear that a thread is necesary to ask basic technique questions?

LOL, I highly doubt that. But with any teaching aid (ie book, dvd, video) there are bound to be questions or sections that any given reader/viewer is going to want answered.

It would be unrealistic to expect otherwise, considering that everyone learns differently and what is clear to one person may not be as clear to another.

Well the DVD isn’t really a tutorial it is more of a timelapse of the whole production process for a small short.It has some tutorials on it to accompany the material but most of it is screencaps and explanations by Andy.

The DVD is not unclear. It is great. The timelapse of workflow in terms of modeling the creature, the background, doing the texturing, rigging, animating, compositing… wow. just wow. It’s a very impressive production and quite inspirational. It’s the intermediate to advanced tutorial everyone has been missing up til now. Combined with Harkyman’s upcoming book on the production process, I expect to see a lot of major improvements in Blender produced video within the next 6 months to a year.

That said, anyone who tries to follow along without Andy’s mad skillz at Blendering is going to have questions about how things are done from time to time. Like setting the pivot thing. I didn’t know that until LiquidApe asked about it, because I’m in the habit of using the panel button to “do sphere.”

So, for those of us learning those mad skillz, this thread is useful. And for anyone interested in animation and Blender – get the Creature Factory DVD.

Yes, I agree that the DVD is not unclear, but it is definitely not made for the absolute Blender beginner. At times the time-lapse does zip by pretty quickly and though most of the time technique is explained, it is not always explained in detail. Often times Andy will say he is using tool X to do a job, but does not explain how that tool is used. I find I often have to go Google the tool to learn more about it. I’ve noticed sometimes online documentation is lacking on some of the tools…hence this thread.

Before getting this DVD I have done many very small projects, just playing around, but was always scared off with the complexity of larger projects. This DVD has given me the roadmap on how to build a larger scene. Most of the skills it teaches are not Blender exclusive either, but can be transitioned to any 3d package. I have learned more about Blender in the last week then I have learned in the last year and I thank Andy for it.

I look forward to further DVD’s from Andy post BBB. I believe Creature Factory was narrated about 6 months after the time-lapse base footage was filmed and after Andy learned a lot working on BBB. He often states in the video that he would do things differently now. I’m curious how much would change.

And if your considering buying the DVD, do so…at first I was torn, but then my finance put it another way. If you signed up for a class to learn this stuff at a college the class would cost $200-$300 or more. Your not paying for a DVD, your paying for Andy’s knowledge. The $40 is cheap for that.

Ok, @ndy goes over the creation of his color/diffuse maps, and there are plenty of raw files on the disk to examine to learn how he makes them, but there are also specular maps in TGA format on the disk, but no explanation on how to create specular maps and there are no source files for the specular maps to learn from. Anybody know how he makes these? Or how specular maps are generated from the Diffuse maps?

Just found this tutorial on texturing. Gives a more thorough rundown then Andy’s dvd.

So my questuion: In some part of teaser mapped textures of creature are changing into red wired model. Is this in real time? composing or sequenced or what?

once you get the color map, it’s very easy to extract specular, reflection and bump maps out of it