Diagram depicting the art of 3d animation

http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/5156/3dcoursesc1.jpg
(Diagram)
Ok, So let me start out by saying I sincerely believe the world of 3d animation is by far the most advanced, most evolved, and most flexible/ extendible form of art ever created by man. It grabs every form of art in the world and locates it in one area. Painting, drawing, acting, cinematography, lighting, photography, special effects, are all part of this field of art.

By saying this I realized that its crazy to believe that anyone would be an expert in every area of 3d art without being mediocre, thus it is smarter to be an expert in one field, and you should focus your attention on the underlying origins of that aspect. So I decided to make a diagram to help me map out the 3d art form.

A majority of the diagram is not to its fullest, because I got lost myself in the attempt to map it out. It would be nice if it could be mapped out like the modeling is, from modeling to line, shape, ect. I would appreciate it if you know a way it could be better represented, or could add something to make it more complete, and just updated it and uploaded it.

I’d love to hear your opinions/ comments. Thanks

I personally believe that you can’t make a diagram of Art. And, I’ve seen some awesome stuff made by one person.

OMG are you Edward Tufte?!?!

Speaking seriously, I’m not sure what your chart is trying to convey. It’ll have to be a lot clearer (and more aesthetically engaging) if you want to appeal to anyone who’s unfamiliar with the art.

Its not really ment to convey anything to someone who doesn’t know anything about art. Its meant more for someone whom would like to see what areas of study they need to practice more in order to increase their ability in that particular set of 3d Art.
This came when I was practicing 3d sculpting, I realized that my issue was capturing the proportions exactly from the photographs, the basics of drawing, then I continued that texturing is made up some photographic duplication and blender and also painting, painting is broken into two parts drawing, and pigmentation. drawing is line, shape, and perception since shading would be pigmentation.
It can also be see like an evolutionary chart of art to its final most complete form.
I could use help on rephrasing, but the main Idea is to break it down to elements. Much like the way that that they break art to form, shape, color, texture, contrast, value, line, space.

You can at least get rid of the ugly blank spaces underneath and on top of the image.

thats for expansion. I was hoping that people would add on to it and make it more complete

First thing I’ll say is this.

Cool. I like the idea. Of course you can’t capture art in a diagram, but it’s interesting to try. It can get you thinking anyway.
One thing absent from the diagram is pre-viz. Composition. storyboards and concept art, etc.
Also, more broadly, there’s INSPIRATION. i.e. the reason you’re doing it, the story you’re trying to tell and the concept you’re trying to communicate.

Even the most specialised amongst us should have an idea of the bigger picture.

You seem (your chart seems) to be focussing on the technical aspects of CG, rather than animation. I don’t see anything about, say, squash and stretch, or anticipation, or timing. Hell, I don’t see anything at all about music, and where would animation be without music?

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting mind map. But mind maps are rarely collaborative efforts. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to see animation just the way you do. Anyway, keep at it. Undoubtedly it will prove useful in your studies of animation.

I’m negative towards this because it doesn’t have any of the actual concepts or the art, just the breakdown of the technicalities and various work areas (of which you covered very few, as texturing, for example, incompasses all those things, and you don’t just work on ONE of the subcategories, you work on ALL of them, since the whole point is to get them ALL to work together perfectly. If you master one thing, then you leave it and master another, it doesn’t mean that you’ve mastered the art of combining the two).

The diagram is not complete, I posted it in the hopes of getting information and ideas for the development of it from people who focus in other areas. I have little if any experiance in animation, I’ve spent more of my time in modeling. Someone who knows more about animation can give further direction as such.
freen:
I love that diagram, thanks for the link.
It is a good Idea to add a Previsualization catagory to the diagram. What would the branches leading up to Previsualization be in your opinion. somewhere would be storyboard, then that would relate to drawing/ painting.
As for inspiration, that would be located under previsualization, It would have sub catagories such as other art work, and some others which I would need help on.
Orinoco:
That is exactly why I posted this. I totally forgot about those things.
Music would have to be a sub catagory of post production, wouldn’t you say?
squash stretch and the other aspects of animation that Disney listed should be posted under motion. Or some other way. Like I’ve said I don’t know too much about animation so drawing that part of the diagram is like a blind contour drawing.

Tynach:
don’t quite understand what you mean by " texturing, for example, incompasses all those things, and you don’t just work on ONE of the subcategories, you work on ALL of them, since the whole point is to get them ALL to work together perfectly. If you master one thing, then you leave it and master another, it doesn’t mean that you’ve mastered the art of combining the two)."
I mean lets say you wish to improve you ability to make realistic looking textures, you wouldn’t want to waste your time modeling, uv maping and all this stuff if you know that the area you need to improve is just the aspect of painting a texture. Or are you refering more to that people should master every aspect of 3d?
How could I better describe and break them down to thier elements and trades. my goal is to relate modern 3d animation back to its origins as drawing, acting, cinematography, then list the elements of those.
If you have any Ideas how to better improve the diagram I would love/this is the reason for posting this, didn’t mean to make anything about putting things in catagories in this message seem concrete they were more questions about whether that would be the proper placement.

This all seems fair enough. A rough sketch would be concept > research > script > storyboard / previs / concept art. A few months ago I saw the Pixar exhibition here in Melbourne and was blown away by the level of effort they put into their previs and concept art. On some big productions they have a storyboard that only deals with the colour design of a movie, basically how the palette changes over the course of the movie to reinforce the mood of the story. Concept art is important too; it flows on to just about every other aspect of the project.

Not necessarily. (Have you ever seen Fantasia?) My current project is almost entirely based on a piece of music.

My interpretation is that somebody has to be able to combine everything, and that is a skill in itself. This is why an all rounder might be more suited to project management than a specialist. Rent a Pixar and read the credits. These things are done in teams and the teams all have leaders. Even if you are a team of one, you have to have the skill of combining the parts. How this fits into a diagram, I don’t know.

sigh No, this is what I mean:

Say you’ve mastered modeling. Now, lets say you have now mastered Photoshop and all its components. Lets say you are the BEST modeler and the BEST photo manipulator in the WORLD.

You still havn’t learned how to put a texture on a model.

Now, lets say you’ve now become a MASTER at UV unwraping a texture around a model.

You still don’t know where to put the seams on your model.

Ok, so you’ve mastered the ability to put seams on your model, and of course the ability to unwrap the model follows.

You still don’t know how to get the texture to appear in the right spot on the model, because you just have a texture, and the texture was made independently of the model.

Ginneon, what is your master plan? Do you want to learn animation? Rigging? Lighting? Texturing? There are people here who can help you with any of these. This charting project has a feeling of procrastination about it. Are you putting off learning something new by gazing out at this uncharted territory?

freen:
Thanks for the idea on the previs category, I will work on it tommarow.

My interpretation is that somebody has to be able to combine everything, and that is a skill in itself. This is why an all rounder might be more suited to project management than a specialist. Rent a Pixar and read the credits. These things are done in teams and the teams all have leaders. Even if you are a team of one, you have to have the skill of combining the parts. How this fits into a diagram, I don’t know.

I agree with you 100% a project manager is best when he’s a generalist. But I believe tring to become a generalist leads you to be mediocre. A project manager’s job is to assaign this and that to someone who’s best for the job, a specialist. Its all a matter of what you want to do, there is more of a need for specialist becuase they are better at what they do than a generalist who is spread over a larger playing field.

The music thing, I guess It could also be connected to the previsualization sub group, do you agree?

Tynach:
Well I’m not tring to imply in this diagram that mastering line will automatically make you a master of putting shape and perception together. I kind of thought it was implied that the skill to add these would be there. How would you suggest fixing the diagram so that it reflects the manner you believe would be better?

Orinoco:

Ginneon, what is your master plan? Do you want to learn animation? Rigging? Lighting? Texturing? There are people here who can help you with any of these. This charting project has a feeling of procrastination about it. Are you putting off learning something new by gazing out at this uncharted territory?

I’m not quite sure of what exactly I want to specialize in at the moment. I enjoy modeling, and I am getting into texturing, but everyone does that so when in the future I plan on moving on into the actual field, 7ish years away, I will have alot of competition, so I’m generalizing my knowledge so that I know exactly what I enjoy the best. I kind of see Rigging as being one of the most interesting so far.

Like I said this chart came from me getting frustrated with my skill in Zbrush, and I kind of realized how all the 3d stuff relates back to its former incarnations, thus to study those you can be better in 3d. Like the Resistance: Fall of Man interview a few months ago the Lighting artist was talking about the best way to learn lighting was to get into photography.

The chart CAN’T show it. To have a COMPLETE chart of EVERYTHING needed, it would have to have every part of the brain accounted for, and quoted multiple times for each time that part of the brain is used to do a task.

Each time you CLICK A BUTTON, you must show on the chart that you can click THAT button. So, the chart would have many random entries labled something like: Ability to move mouse; ability to click RENDER; ability to wait patiently for render; ability to see render output;… and so on. The list is endless.

Sure there are MUCH more important and general aspects, but there are WAY too many to put on a chart. For instance, for modeling, you’d have to have:

Understand concept of extruding edges; understand concept of extruding faces; understand concept of extruding vertecies; understand edge loop skinning techniques; understand face making techniques (no more than four sides to a face, etc. I’m giving a broader feild now); understand concept and result of subdivision surfacing; understanding splines; understanding NURBS modeling (I’'m sure there are more within this, but I don’t know what they are, because I’m not good at NURBS); understanding meshes;… And so on.

Good luck. You’ll need it.

Tynach
Well edgelooping are techniques/ concepts. The diagram isn’t spose to represent that. Its spose to represent the classes being broken down to thier elements.
line and form are differnt from edge loop and bevel. a more close would be drawing a square and edgeloop.
Your breaking it down to actions and not elements.

An edge and a face are both elements that make up a model. If you understand one and not the other, you can’t model.

That I will Agree with but you were talking about edge looping and extrusion and all the other abilities and stuff that are not elements.

I was a bit amazed because i dont ever think that the 3D art has so many branches and a huge complexity of works.

I think you need a more structured approach to this chart. You should break it down from the absolute simplest ideas to the most complex and specific and try not to converge them unless it’s necessary. For instance, instead of using, as a center point, the ‘art’ of cg animation, you could instead have the finished project: A 3D Animated Short / Feature. Then branch that out into “Audio” and “Video”, branch video out into more specific ideas like “models, animation, lighting, effects” etc, then “rigging, sculpting, textures” etc. Audio would branch the same way to “Music, effects, sound design, dialogue” etc. You could add a third branch for the writing aspects… tho it’s not really video or audio… not sure what you’d describe that as…

OR if you wanted it to be something more useful to people who may be confused by how these things get made, you might want to break it down in a step-by-step process that each element or asset goes through before finally reaching the final product. Modelling -> rigging -> texture -> animation -> lighting -> etc -> Finished Film. Then people might see exactly how much work it actually takes, when they take into account the fact that everything in a scene has to go through these steps. Pretty amazing, really.

But i don’t think that it’s entirely impossible or implausible to do this stuff on a large scale with very few people (or even one person). One simply must think of all the steps of the process and figure out ways with which to reduce the time or detail they need to put into that aspect of the project. it would take a while to complete something on that scale alone, but not impossible. It’s been done a number of times already, most recently with the Killer Bean Forever film that (hopefully) will be coming out some time in 2008.

Why exactly are you making the chart, tho? You say it’s to help better come to grips with the various tasks that need to be done to make a film, but i think that in that case it would be better to stop the chart once you get down to the individual job positions in a studio. I mean… there’s nothing below a modeler or an animator. To go any further than that - unless you want to start describing the kind of experience needed to obtain that job - seems a bit moot.

Apologies for the long post. It seems i am incapable of posting anything less than two paragraphs. I should start blogging my replies and just post a link.