Posts Tagged ‘Photoshop’

OM3D – 3D Manipulation of 2D Photos

Friday, November 14th, 2014

When it comes to editing photographs, Photoshop reigns supreme. But what if there was a better approach to editing a photograph? What if you could take an element within a picture and have full manipulation control over everything about it? Better yet, what if you could do it for free? Researchers over at Carnegie Mellon and the University of California found a way to do just that – through the announcement of a new, free, suite of 3D manipulation software. Their software, titled OM3D, allows a user to take an object within a 2D photograph and turn it into a 3D model. That model can then be manipulated and moved around the photo however the user desires. It also allows the users to adjust the lighting and texture of an object in order to blend in with its surroundings. The software achieves this by utilizing vast libraries of stock photographs and 3D models, and compares them to the two dimensional object the user wishes to shape. It then merges the attributes from the library of stock photos with that of the 2D object to create a 3D model that is viewable from every angle. Once the model is created, the photograph can be freely edited.


Demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipTyCJi0t1Y
Download: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~om3d/code/OM3D_1_0_0_source.zip

Concept Art Process for Award-Winning Short Animated Films

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Kong Vang, Cogswell alumni and Art Director of two short animated films

Kong Vang, Cogswell alumni and Art Director of the two short animated films “Driven” and “Worlds Apart” – both created in Cogswell College’s Project X class – shares his process of creating character concept designs and more.

While working on the films created in the Project X class, I learned that it takes a very dedicated team to make a short film in four semesters or less. Many of the students on this team are attending classes full-time in addition to contributing their talents towards making an awesome film.

Here’s an overview of what happens during the production process of a short animated film: First the script and storyboards are completed and approved, within the first semester. Meanwhile, the concept team begins creating concepts for characters and environments.  Approved concepts are sent into the modeling pipeline as soon as they are approved where our artists create 3d models. As each model is approved by the Director, they are sent into the texturing and rigging pipeline. Technical artists create animation rigs for each model and prepare them for animation testing.  Animation is a long process so it is important to get the rigged 3D models to the animators as soon as possible. Animation takes almost a year to get all of the shots approved.  After the animation is polished, the first test of the film timing is created, approved, and sent off to the sound effects and music score team.  Also during the process of animation, approved shots are sent to the lighting team for light set and test render. When the finalized lit shots are rendered out, they are sent to the compositing team for the final clean up. After the composite shots are cleaned up and finalized, they are sent off to the film editor who creates the final cut of the film and music score.

On the latest film ‘Driven’, each member of the team wore different hats depending on which stage of the production pipeline the film was in.  For instance, initially I started out in the concept design pipeline, then moved to the animation pipeline and finally to matte painting for the final stage of the film.

One of my jobs as a concept designer was to collect the approved designs from the other artists and finalize them. Because most approved designs are from different artists, each with their own distinct style, the finalization process ensures a consistent look and feel. After finalizing the look and stylization of the characters, I would render each character in 2D using Adobe Photoshop so that it would represent its 3d counterpart.  This allows the Director to easily visualize how each character will look before it gets passed along to the modeling team.

Digital media is the fastest way to work and Photoshop offers the perfect tools and work flow for this demanding field. With infinite tool presets, custom brushes, and limitless iterations, it allows me to work more quickly and easily compared to traditional mediums like paint or ink.

To block out the initial character’s silhouette, I like to use a standard round brush, which I adjust into an ellipse shape, then angle it 45 degrees. This style of brush setup creates a line weight that flows much more nicely than the standard round brushes. Once the silhouettes and internal shapes look good, I create a new layer in Photoshop and start to block out the forms with one color value. At this early stage, I prefer to work in black and white.  It makes it easier to focus just on values and form rather than getting caught up about the colors. My preference in digital painting is to work from dark to light values, or shadows to highlights. It has been my experience to get results much faster using this method than trying to paint from light to dark.  I push and pull (lighten and darken) the values until the character forms are clear.  During this process, I maintain a wide range of values to create depth and realism.

Once the characters have been sketched out, it’s time to experiment with color palettes. I like give a slight color tint to the values before painting on top of the black and white image. The tint layer acts as a color wash so none of the black and gray value show through later. I create a new layer and set the Layer Mode to “Color”. I start by painting over the character with the color palette that the team agrees on. By using multiple layers, I don’t lose my original black and white image – and I can test out different color schemes.  Once I’ve added general color blocks to the characters, I use a new layer to start painting in details. For the final detail stage, I use textures and custom brushes to polish the look of the characters.

The development stages from concept to finished product vary from character to character; it all depends on what the Director is looking for. For example, secondary characters may be approved before main characters. Main characters are often challenging as they have to be visually pleasing and have the right visual attitude. On the other hand secondary characters have far less restrictions, allowing flexibility for designers to explore their creativity.

The concept team spent almost an entire semester designing characters. After four months and multiple iterations, all nine characters were finally approved. Once approved, I took the concepts and started finalizing each character’s look. It took me roughly four or five hours to render out the first pass of each character to show the Director.  One character in particular – the adult Biff cop – took almost ten hours to design.  After multiple small changes, the final designs were approved.

One of the most surprising and challenging characters to design was the Jet Bike that the main character rides.  Its importance in the film is equal to the character that rides it. Although there were many great concept designs shown to the Director, none of them were approved. That’s when I was given the tough task of designing the bike. After fifty designs, we started to narrow down the concept. Once the main silhouette was chosen, I mixed elements from the best three designs together to get the final jet bike concept. The process for this single ‘character’ took three or four weeks, from start to finish, working with traditional mediums like graphite and paper.

This is just the front-end of the production pipeline for a short animated film. It takes a strong team and lots of man hours to complete the film. In the end many people had come and gone, and lots of talented people contributed to the film. We were all so glad that the film was finally finished. It took the PX team about four semesters and two summers of hard work to accomplish the short film, Driven. The Project X class has given me the best hands-on experience possible. It has definitely changed my future and life for the better. Thanks Project X!

Kong Vang

Dare of the Week: 009

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Day After Tomorrow scene

Hello again Audience!

It’s time again for this weeks dare! I know this one is a little earlier than most but I couldn’t wait! I found this great little challenge on another site and I had to share it. This is another one where I supply you with a file and then you have some fun with it! So what is it this time…?

Dare of the Week: 009
Do a fun “Day After Tomorrow” scene with the file provided.

This is what the file looks like when you will get it. The checkered areas and blank so you can put anything you want in there, or anything you want inside the room for that matter! Have fun, be creative, go wild!

Source File Here: www.cogswell.edu/picts/DayAfterTomorrow.psd

Photoshop Challenge

And remember, once you are finished, post those final images here:
http://www.facebook.com/cogswellcollege

-Zombie

Dare of the Week: 006

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Liam Neeson Vs. ???

Time for the Dare of the Week ya’ll! I am trying really hard not to laugh at this one, the idea came from a friend who suggested I try this. I would really like to see some fun results with this one! This time, I am totally participating even if you guys don’t.

Dare of the Week: 005
Liam Neeson vs. ???

Get to photoshopping! The source files for this challenge are here and here. They are already cut out and ready to be modified, so have fun and get creative! Post your final images here: http://www.facebook.com/cogswellcollege

-Zombie

Epic Tutorial: 002

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Super Powers Tutorials

In this one I am going to give you guys TWO tutorials! The best part of these tutorials is that they pertain to the Dare of the Week! Rock on ya’ll! Don’t copy the tutorials, use their knowledge toward your idea of super powers and make something really cool. Enjoy!

Tutorial 1: http://www.photoshoplady.com/tutorial/create-a-super-powerful-effect-on-a-human-hand/4119

Tutorial 2: http://www.photoshoplady.com/tutorial/create-a-super-energy-ball-to-surround-a-girl/3888

-Zombie

Dare of the Week: 004

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Zombie's Dare

Hey guys and gals! I do believe it is time for the dare of the week. I am going to make this one a little more easy for people who don’t necessarily know how to draw. This time around you will need a bit more Photoshop chops. Once again, if you guys participate, I will too!

Dare of the Week: 004
Take a picture of yourself or a friend and Photoshop superpowers on them!!!

oh and please, when you are done, post them on the facebook for people to stare in awe at, here: http://www.facebook.com/cogswellcollege

-Zombie

Epic Tutorial: 001

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The Creation of "A Life of Aquatic Sounds"

I found a really cool and fun Photoshop Tutorial! If any of you guys end up trying it out or doing something like it, post your results on the Cogswell Facebook!

A Life of Aquatic Sounds Tutorial:
http://wegraphics.net/blog/tutorials/photoshop/the-creation-of-a-life-of-aquatic-sounds/

Cogswell Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cogswellcollege

-Zombie