Help make the Suzanne Awards Announcements!

Hello everyone.

You may have noticed that the Blender Conference is just around the corner!

At the conference every year we have the Suzanne Awards and Animation Festival.
Right now we (a bunch of helpfull blenderheads and me) are working on making the announcements of the nominated works for the awardshow.
You can see what we came up with last year here.
What we will end up with is 15 short video clips to announce everyone.
Last year we used still photographs to composit some characters onto.
This year ccherret has recorded high definition video!
The video motion is being tracked by ccherret and kngcalvin.

It’s a camera moving down a path in the woods.

Now the idea is to have lots and LOTS of little robots doing “stuff” on this path.

So we need lots of animations!

I already made and rigged the little robot. All you can help with is animating it, then posting a link to your animated file here. I will then put your robot next to the others on the path.

No robot will be seen for more than 30 seconds in the final compilation. So animate it for 800 frames if you want to be sure it keeps moving!!!

You can find the robot file and information about how to animate it here.

All I need from you is the “actions” so basicly… don’t change the rig or robot at all! only animate it! Then put the file online somewhere and post a link here, or send me a private message with the link in it.

You need a recent version of blender to use the rig (I put a link to a windows version on the page linked above here).

Of course we’ll add your name to the credits if you submit something we use.

Naturally I do reserve the right to choose what we use and what we don’t, but unless you make something very distastefull there’s very little chance I won’t use it :wink:

Also if you want to animate more than one robot feel free to do so. You can also simply copy the entire robot and rig in the downloadable file so you can make one file with multiple robots interacting (you have to assign a new action manually to the new robot if you do this).

Oh and of course if you want to use the robot model for something else… feel free :slight_smile:

That’s all… have fun… and I hope to see lots of little guys doing lots of interesting things!

Dolf (macouno)

UPDATE 1 I almost forgot… the conference is the Oktober 12th, so there isn’t a huge ammount of time… try to get me your stuff before the 1st… that way there’s still some time to render!
ps: moderators, if this is in the wrong section, feel free to move it… it could be considered a WIP after all (and sorry if it is).

Great idea.

To be sure we should only send blend file not render anything right?

Yes just the .blend… I will put all the robots together. All I need is the animation data. I may still change the materials a little bit. Falgor asked how long animations should be… I will get back to you on that in a couple minutes!

Ok Update no robot will be seen longer than 30 seconds! (unless you’re running with the camera)

So… try to animate 700 to 800 frames if you want to be sure!

And it’s not a very wide path… so the bot can run back and forth a lot, but not in huge circles! Unless I make your bot really really small :wink:

Macouno, I would like to try but I need to ask a question. If you want an animation of 700 frames, will the actions need to be combined into a single action somehow to make sure the animation is the same as what I make? Or do I need to construct one long action at 700 or so frames? I also would like to comment on the build - it is the best uv unwrapping with the texture visible in edit mode - lovely to move verts as well as situate the faces in the editor window. Still a little buggy, but nice workflow :slight_smile:

You can use the NLA editor, as far as I know. Just combine them actions in there.

I’d like to try to participate, but why do I need a version of Blender newer than 2.45?

Go King Calvin! :smiley:

Lord of the Rings Junkie
It seems there is some armature related functions which arent yet in the official release.
Also, remember to enable “emulate 3 button mouse” and “global undo”… They seemed to be disable in the build by default. At least when I opened it.

That’s a very nice rig, Dolf - and well documented.

Thanks guys.

craigomatic: yes pease make it into 1 single action.
That way I can do the following… Make a new .blend in which I link the group with the robot in it from my original file. I can then make a lot of empties with dupligroups on. So I have however many copies of the robot that I want, without making multiple copies of the robot. Then I can also link all the actions from all your files and assign them to the “dupligroup” copy of the robot for a specific empty. So if you all just make 1 action per robot… it makes life very easy for me, and it’s going to be enough work already :wink:

Lord of the rings junkie: Yes as falgor said… that resizing of the orange things at the top, to for instance rotate the toes… that doesn’t work with an old blender version. Also the old blender version doesn’t work with the lighting settings I used, so your test renders would look very different from mine :wink:

Oh and lucidmonkey wondered why the it’s hard to place the hands on a surface… like feet. The reason is that you can move the hand bone to move the arm like the foot to move a leg. But unlike the leg you can also rotate the shoulder for instance to tweak the arm… you can’t do this to the hip. So it’s a choice… do you want to be able to stick your bone to a specific global location, or do you want controll of the entire ik chain. (there might be a solution, but that was a bit too advanced for me)

Hi Macouno,

I did a test pose with petunia, and to reset everything I select all, and then ALT R + G + S and got these weird deformations on the toes. Should I not use these funtions on petunia? Or why is this happening? I’m using the latest blender build.

Another question, you mentioned that the camera is moving, should we move with the camera and at what speed, or will the camera to a fly by? Maybe we can have some screenshots of the actual footage to get an idea of what we are working with, or is it the whole idea not to know?

Thanks in advance

I can’t seem to attach any files, and photobucket is giving problems. I will see what I can do to show you the deformations pic.

You have to use the build that is mentioned on the site, or a fresh SVN. Anyhow, macouno, I’d really like to remove the constraint on the shoulder… Hard to make break dancing with stiff shoulders. I will do my best.

thanks for the explanation macouno.

my first test;

Your face somewhat makes me want to party, and also the same time, makes me want to run away. What a controversy! It also might be that it’s 6 am and I haven’t slept.

Djarielm: That may well be… the odd toes… at some point during my process they became twisted somewhat… so just don’t reset everything :wink: shouldn’t be nessecary anyway. I’ll definitely show some test shots of the path data later maybe.

For now it’s just best for you guys to ignore whatever the camera does.

Falgor, well… I’m not going to try dealing with multiple versions of the same rig… I’m sure that it’s possible to do something with the shoulders as they are. See it as a challenge to use the limitations :wink:

Hmm. I’m on Mac OS X and I’m using a recent build (with “heat” based skinning) but I can’t key the IK bones on the hands. That is, I can key them, but the Ipos remain flat. Am I missing something or is this an issue of the build? (The posing of the fingers, etc, with scaling the custom bones is working fine).

No you’re missing something!!!

The thing is… the hands are targetless IK’s… this means… you can move the hands/wrists as if they’re a normal IK, but you can also move the hands by rotating the bicep/forearm… you can’t do this with a true IK like the feet.

The result is that even though you move the hand… it’s location is stored as rotations of all the bones in the arm. So… basicly… for the arms you do not want to use manual IPO keys, but in stead as suggested on the site use the record option from the timeline. That will automaticly record all the rotations of the bones in the arm…

oh btw, thanks for this great character and rig :yes: I’ll ignore the reset functions, and you right I won’t need to use them.

Woosh! I’m gonna definitely download this character (awesomely cute). However, I still need lots of character animation practice before I think I am ready for this sorta stuff!

Thanks for posting the robot!

Does we need to render this animations? Or you need just the Blender file?