View Full Version : FYI : What happened at Kiwavers, December 03, 2003

12-04-2003, 02:09 AM
Hey folks

Many, many thanks to everyone whop took the time out to come along to Wednesdays meeting, and especially since the building did close down (so a little effort was required to get in) :)

Nonetheless, I think it was yet another fun little meeting, plenty of talk, etc.

As always, a handful of animation to look at to start things. And a
surprise that we had so much snack food and drinks as well! Seems everyone is really pitching in on the food front and it really is greatly appreciated! :) Thanks to everybody who bought a bag of goodies to share!

We started out by getting those entries in for the competition. 3 this time around from Logan (Catapult Sleigh), Dave (The Whale Rider) and Petrik (Jet Sleigh) - Thanks guys! The entries were all cool! After a show of hands, we voted Dave the winner, with his humorous entry "Santa Claus is the Whale Rider". Dave was also kind enough to quickly give us an overview of the techniques he applied. Nice work Dave, and congratulations!

I'm considering an animation competition for the next one. Once I confirm the prizes, I'll post out more details...

This part of the meeting is always the best part, IMHO. Well, no, not cause I'm a big show off (heheh!) but because we've been seeing more and more stuff from users this year then any other year, and seeing what people have been doing is a real buzz!

Louise showed us a video project that included a CG creature. The creature moved nicely, and was rigged using techniques learnt from a tutorial by 'digiwonk' - This tutorial is apparently available for download at www.3dpalace.com - But someone please feel free to correct me on this if I'm wrong (I haven't checked yet). There was plenty of discussion, and some good feedback from various people in the room...

Jarno bought along yet more very cool plugins, and demoed them, including the freely available 'Sketch' plugin that can be downloaded from www.tufflittleunit.com - An image filter that does a similiar job to Celshader, but without having to add shaders to everything. And with plenty of options (plus envelopes on settings, a built-in mini preview as well as the ability to save presets) this tool could be a very useful addition to
your LW postprocessing toolkit!

I bought along a fully rigged version of my previous Superhero character - It seemed a pity to model it and then not use it! And by doing so, I manage to create stuff to show at the next meeting!

I demo'd a couple of animation examples I'd made (you can see the walk test in the video gallery at www.kevman3d.com), and explained the bone structure I set up (without weight maps) and why... I also showed an image of the character sitting under a tree in a forest, with misty ground fog - For those interested, I used a free 'ground fog' plugin from www.happy-digital.com called hd_groundfog. Its FAST and its relatively easy to use. And it looks VERY nice! I suggest download it and see for yourself...

Yes, on the menu tonight was a demo of the latest version of Terragen, the World generator and rendering software that you can download for free from www.planetside.co.uk/terragen - Version 0.9 is vastly improved upon the previous 0.8 - Not just in a few cool new features like shore foam, but more importantly in RENDER SPEED!

A world exclusive? No, not really - However to animate landscapes in Terragen its just not that easy, if it wasn't for the first public demo of my new TGS EXPORTER plugin I developed on the weekend to allow me to use my trusty copy of LightWave to animate and then create cool CG worlds with Terragen. By the time you read this, I should have placed the download on my plugins page at www.kevman3d.com/lightwave

Its an LScript so it 'should' work for both Mac and PC. But as always with software, there are no 100% guarantees...

And there was more...

I also took the opportunity to demo 2 rigging tools I had built (well, 1, cause the other didn't want to work!) for creating extra controls in rigs (one breaks a heirachy and then reattaches subheirachies via an expression, the other was supposed to add a control handle bone to the start of a heirachy of bones (but didn't work for some reason))

I also demo'd 'SprayCan' - An extremely BETA shader that used the interaction between Particles and the surface to let you spray paint splats all over a model with an emitter! :-) Slow, buggy, but luckily I had a demo Quicktime on hand to show the effect.

I briefly touched on a plugin to load bone 'Favorites' from one scene into another, but ran out of time to demo it.

Many thanks to Petrik, who supplied us with not only a nice selection of 3D animation from around the web, but a look at the DAVESchool DVD #5! We took a good look at the many projects that the students at DAVESchool produced, as well as a bit of 'behind the scenes' stuff. Very cool...

This was followed up by an episode of a bizarre cartoon called 'Sealab 2021' that Dave bought along - A retro 1970's style cartoon (aka Scooby doo, Josie and the pussycats (but worse)) with real moronic characters. Erik Estrada ('Ponch' from the TV show 'CHiPS' did some of the voice work!). Wierd, hilarious and great stuff - It was enough to finish off the meeting at 10:00pm.

I had a great time (I always do) and just would like to Thank everybody for their support this year and for making 2003 one of the best years yet for the LWUG! I'm sure its just going to get better, specially with LW8 round the corner and a pile of new and cool stuff coming in the very near future!

I'll also put full effort into getting the new LWUG website up and online before the year is over (keep your eyes on this mailing list!)

We'll see you all again next year (January hopefully) - Have a great christmas, and a happy new year.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Kevin Phillips
NZLWUG - 'Kiwavers'
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

12-05-2003, 04:38 PM
hi kevin

dont worry kevin , the year 2004 is near , i wish you and your meeting group all the best :) ;) :)

we have our last meeting at 12.20.2003 with some gifts

12-11-2003, 03:58 AM
Many thanks to Simon for taking some small snapshots at the last meeting and posting them through. Only two, but at least I can say 'I have some photos'.

The first is just a small section of the people there (it was a small meeting, we had about 8-10 people)

12-11-2003, 04:01 AM
and a snapshot of me (complete with motion blur!) demoing some rigging/animation tips. I was also doing a 'show and tell' on the rigged version of my Superhero model from the last meeting...

I'll probably do a new rig with weightmaps to test some ideas and show that at the next meeting.