Shane Pillay from Amsterdam has an interesting hobby - he trys to coordinate the production of a music track and associated video with contributors around the world. He has recently made an electronic house track with music producer John Russ from the US and poet Anamoli Meraki from the UK, and asked me if I could do a video. I thought it suited an abstract animated video, and gives me an opportunity to try baking sound animation - something I haven’t tried in blender before.
I’m thinking of two scenes, one organic and plant like with soft body physics, and another with hard objects and perhaps using the animation nodes addon (which I have also only used a little so far) Any advice, (and sound baking advice in particular) would be very much appreciated!
A bit more work on a ‘bouncing tree’… Next step is to animate the main part of the tree, and to add more detailed soft body motion to individual leaf parts. Then replicate a number of times Then I might get to see how the computer handles that…
I’ve been playing around with different ways to have a scene with a lot of soft body animation in it. I haven’t really tried this before.
A workflow that seems to work for me is to build a number of low poly models animated with one to three lattice modifiers with soft body physics.
I then save the resulting animation as PC2 mesh cache files. The main scene then has a large number of these models inserted with the mesh cache modifier driving the animation. Apart from speed, these has the advantage that I can change the starting frame of the animation, and the influence, and then each animated part has a different looking action.
In the main scene, the leaf pieces are joined together with a ‘trunk’ made of curves, and animated with an armature that is driven by various vertices in leaf pieces. This way the motion of the whole tree is somewhat linked together.
So here’s a rough layout of the first scene. The trees are just duplicated at the moment. When I have it laid out, I’ll build a few different trees. Still, you can get an idea of the effect of starting the mesh cache modifier at different frames. In this video there are only three different animated movements, but I think it looks like more…
Sorry - it’s been long break since the last post. Work, other projects travel etc. However, I should be able to spend a bit of time for the next few weeks, so hopefully there will be some progress again.
This coming weekend I plant to film a little bit of live footage, mainly for the intro to the video. The idea is that a girl will be in an unused underpass, and when she starts to listen to the video, there will be a breeze and the camera will be drawn down the tunnel into the animated scene.
Finally having enough free time to have a decent run at this project. Most of the texturing is done for this scene now. I just want to add some floating globes that spray something or other at the appropriate part of the sound track. I’ve been really pushing the GPU memory - I haven’t really had to worry about that too much in the past. I can’t preview the whole scene in the viewport and if I add new things, I have to simplify other bits of the scene. Interesting! I’ll have to investigate cycles optimisations more thoroughly.
Did a few test renders to check the movement of the pink/purple grass which moves to left/right with the bass line and back and forwards (more or less) with the synth. Not too bad, but some stuff to tidy up. Getting some idea of render times also.
Well, the main scene of the video is pretty complete and is being rendered (around 4 min per frame so it takes a while). I was planning make a few other sound driven images to edit together with the main scene. I saw a ‘how to’ video from ‘Blendmaster’ on youtube - it looked interesting so I tried an animated version. I might be useful to composite over the top of other videos.
Also, I was keen to play around with the Animation Nodes addon. I’ve done a couple of small things with it before, but this seems like a good application.
Here’s the first attempt. I took the seven stems that I received from John, and ten graphics equaliser channels to make an array, then duplicated that a few times. It’s an awesome addin. I’ve probably try a few more things as well…