Russ 3D Hybrids


My new animation website
February 1, 2008, 9:47 am
Filed under: Animation

Hey Everybody,

I have stopped updating this site for now but you can follow my progress on my Portfolio website:

RussellEtheridge.com

RussellEtheridge.com



Great 3D Anaglyph Gallery
September 19, 2007, 8:52 am
Filed under: Anaglyphs

Hi, haven’t updated in a while. Get your 3D glasses out again, an interesting anaglyph site has come to my attention,

Tridakt 3D gallery

Thanks to Tom for this one.



Assignment 2
May 27, 2007, 8:21 pm
Filed under: Anaglyphs, Etudes, Flash, Real Time Rendering

You can download the Project Documentation here:

ProjectDocumentation .pdf

You can download my Self Evaluation here:

SelfEvaluation .pdf

You can view my final artefact here:
(this is 80mb, beware of log download if you have a slow connection, or even if you have a fast one for that matter)

Final Car f3dv



trueSpace Realtime 3D Package
May 15, 2007, 10:27 am
Filed under: Real Time Rendering

trueSpace

trueSpace 7.5 has just been released. By the way the news article describes it, it sounds like a product definitely worth looking into.

Its a fully functional 3D package capable of all the usual stuff, modelling, animation, posing, materials and mapping and is even compatible with Vray for rendering. But the most interesting this about this software is that the interactive 3D environment is really advanced. Apparently it’s capable of soft shadows, transparencies, reflections and mirrors, sophisticated materials, handling of HDRI backgrounds, and more. Not only that but the environment is multi-user over the internet like an online multiplayer game!! Also if you don’t own trueSpace, you can download the free truePlay application and view trueSpace environments.

This opens up amazing collaborative opportunities. I would really like to give it a go. They also offer an online socialising network called truePlace that seems to run on the same engine.

Links:

Caligari trueSpace
Vray
Original News Article (CGSociety)



Flash 3D Viewer
April 29, 2007, 10:37 am
Filed under: Flash, Real Time Rendering

3d flash example

This was created for use with 3D Studio max. It’s a plugin that enables you to take multiple renders of your model or scene from lots of different angles and then compile them into a flash programme. Click on the image above for an example. It’s a neat little programme, although not very smooth. I guessing it’s possible to take more shots to make it smoother, but at the same time a longer download.

You need the .NET Framework installed to run the compiler.

links:

Original News Article



World Wind – NASA’s open source Google Earth alternative
April 24, 2007, 9:48 am
Filed under: Anaglyphs, World Wind

world wind sunset over the himalayas

Ever seen the sun set over the Himalayas? NASA’s answer to Google earth has fantastically detailed displacement maps of Earths terrain. There are loads of different views and options for viewing the planet, plus you are not confined to our own planet, the other current available destinations are, the Moon, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and a very detailed section of the stars viewed from Earth. There are other options such as sunlight and atmospheric scattering, which you can see in the above screen shot.

However unlike Google Earth, World Wind doesn’t have very detailed images of cities, so zooming in really far will not produce very interesting results. It’s still really fun to play with though, I think controlling the camera navigation in World Wind works a lot better than the one in Google Earth. If only they combined powers!

Also at the moment you have a single planet view and when you change planet everything goes blank and re-loads. It would be so much more fun if you actually navigated to the next planet as if you were flying around the solar system. I suspect that it is like this currently because when you navigate the planet you are actually dragging the planet around a static camera rather than the other way around. I think the navigation should be more like a first person shooter, it would take a bit longer for a non-gamer to learn but it would be so much better!

Another great feature is the Anaglyph mode! Check out the above shot with some 3D Glasses. N.B they have got the red and blue the wrong way around, you’ll have to wear the glasses upside down:
world wind anaglyph

Links:

NASA World Wind



Home made interactive screen (Etude 6)
April 23, 2007, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Anaglyphs, Etudes, interactive screen

interactive screen wacom

This idea believe it or not came to me in a dream! (boring dreams eh?)

I have ‘built’ a home made interactive, tilt / pressure sensitive screen. All I used was my normal Wacom tablet (Intuos 3) and the mini projector borrowed from uni. It is extremely simple and crude. I strapped the projector to my tripod with cello-tape and mounted it above my Wacom tablet which was on the floor. I used a dumb bell to counter the weight of the projector on the tripod.

Wacom have their own screen tablet with their Cintiq range, however these are very expensive. This is in essence a cheap version of that product without any dissecting of valuable equipment.

Although this is a fairly interesting solution, there is a slight lag between the tablet and the screen. The biggest draw back though is that because the surface of the tablet is so smooth to avoid damage to the pen, you get quite severe glare from the projector above, a problem which would not be an issue in Wacom’s own Cintiq tablet.

I have created a video of the setup and a demo of me using the tablet:

InteractiveScreenDemo_LoH264.mov (H264, 360 x 288px, 12mb)

The end of the video shows a short clip of my anaglyph animation running on the wacom screen. A possible idea for my final project would be some sort of an interactive anaglyph programme running on this set up.

I have found a similar project to this. Some nutta has built a Wacom tablet screen by taking apart a tablet and a LCD screen and combining them together. This would probably work much better than my version, however taking apart all that equipment can be risky and expensive, my way avoids any of that risk.

Links:

DIY wacom screen at BongoFish.co.uk
The BongoFish screen in action (YouTube)
Wacom Cintiq

Wacom Europe



Maxwell Renderer for Sketch Up 6
April 15, 2007, 11:56 am
Filed under: Sketch Up

I just found out that Next Limit Technologies have a Maxwell Renderer plugin for Sketch Up. Maxwell is an amazing photo realistic renderer, combined with the powerful modeling system in Sketch Up will provide an attractive combination for graphical artists, particularly in the design or architectural fields.

Links:
Original news source

Maxwell Renderer
Next Limit Technologies



A really good Mandlebrot animation
April 12, 2007, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Fractals

I found a great fractal animaiton on You Tube. It doesnt really explain how it was made, just gives this big long blurb about lsd. Check it out:

Mandlebrot Chaos Zoom (YouTube)



Etude 5 – Animated Fractal Experiments
April 12, 2007, 4:52 pm
Filed under: Etudes, Fractals

Etude Number

5

Basic Details

6ft, 70kg

Your name

Russell Etheridge

Your Pathway Combination

Digital Arts Specialist

The title of your etude

Animated Fractal Experiments

A short statement of intentions

I have always had an interest in fractals, the beautiful mathematically generated art and their striking similarity to the biological life that we find all over the planet. I have used various fractal generators over the years, even one that someone scripted in Visual Basic (it was actually really good!). I recently discovered Ultrafractal – Animation Edition that allows you to not only create fractal based on your own mathematical formulae, but also animate all the properties and render it to your computer. Thus as a fifth etude I plan to get a handle on the animation functions in this software.

Describe and depict what the actual concept of the etude is

The interesting thing about fractals is that although they are mostly displayed in as a 2D representation, they can be expanded to infinity. Due to this it can be argued that they have depth loosely classifying it as a 3D object. There have been 3D representations of the common fractal formulas but I haven’t found any particularly interesting attempts at it.
I believe that we find fractal images innately beautiful due to the fact that it closely resembles patterns found in nature. So by taking this concept and attempting to animate these beautiful images it will give a good platform for inspiring content in more conventional animations.

Documentation of Technical and Artistic Process

I have produced two separate animation experiments using Ultrafractal. They can be found in the following posts along with some blurb about how they were created:

Fractal Animation

Fractal Animation 2

References

All the research and links I have done during the creation of this etude can be found in the following post category:

Fractals

How successful is the etude?

The main drawback while producing these animations was the fact that I only have a 30 day trial of the application. As a result, as I am sure you are aware of if you have viewed the videos, that the words ‘evaluation copy’ is strewn over any image you export from the application. This makes it impossible to use the images for anything apart from tests and experiments. Despite this problem I feel as though the tests were quite successful. I would love to get my hands on the full version of this software and implement some fractal animations into other kinds of animation I am producing. If I can it would be good to play around with adding parts of this to my final project.



Etude 4 – Sketch Up to Google Earth
April 12, 2007, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Etudes, Sketch Up

Etude Number

4

Your name

Russell Etheridge

Your Pathway Combination

Digital Arts Specialist

The title of your etude

Sketch Up to Google Earth

A short statement of intentions

I have a keen interest in 3D applications and artistic implications of the technology. Due to the recent Sketch Up phenomenon, I wanted to see what all the hullabaloo was about and get to grips with the programme myself. Thus I decided to create my house in Sketch Up and upload it onto Google Earth.

Describe and depict what the actual concept of the etude is

The connection between Sketch Up, one of the most user friendly and efficient 3D modellers and Google Earth, a fantastic real time 3D version of Earth is a stroke of genius. It presents the possibility that one day everyone will have free access to a complete real time 3D version of our planet. When computers become powerful enough you could simply go on holiday in Google Earth rather than having all the hassle of booking flights and packing bags! Well maybe not that extreme but it certainly makes navigating easier. Imagine driving with a GPS device running something similar to Google Earth which contains highly detailed 3D data of all the landscapes and buildings which at that instant are passing by your window in real life.
My intention is to add to this burgeoning technology and create my own house for people to see in Google Earth. It will be useful for people trying to find my house who have never been there before to know what to expect before they arrive. In the process of doing this I will have learnt how to model and texture simple objects in Sketch Up and get to grips with the connectivity to Google Earth.

Documentation of Technical and Artistic Process

The most useful button in Sketch Up when creating a model for Google Earth is the ‘Get Current View’ button. It basically takes a screen shot of your current view in Google Earth and imports it to the 0, 0, 0 coordinates in Sketch Up ready for you to start building on top. It even imports terrain data. This can been seen in the screen shots of the finished textured house below.

To test out the modeling in Sketch Up I decided to build my whole house using only one object. And to my surprise it was particularly easy! Below is a screen shot of the finished model before I added any materials. (click on the image to enlarge)

house model no textures

I decided that to keep the model simple and easy to run on other computers I would take photos of all the sides of my house and texture the model with real images of such things as windows rather than modelling everything. Below are a couple of screen shots of the finished model with all the textures. (click on the images to enlarge)

finished house with textureshouse finished back

A sunny day is not the best conditions to take photos for textures as you get really harsh shadows that may not match up to the light source in your scene. I do, however, think the overall effect is quite successful.

A screen shot of the finished model in Google Earth can be found in the following post:

Sketch Up Post

N.B. I don’t particularly want to give out my address on the internet, but if you had the 3DWarehouse connection .kmz open in Google Earth you would be able to find it if you knew where it was.

References

You can find all the related research and links in the following post category:

Sketch Up Category

How successful is the etude?

I think this etude was pretty successful. Although fairly straight forward, I did learn the basic ins and outs of modelling in Sketch Up and also got to grips with the Google Earth connectivity. The final model, although not millimetre accurate, is a pretty close representation of my house. If I get some spare time I think I will rebuild the house, re-texture it and create the front and back gardens. Up to now personal houses aren’t automatically coming with Google Earth so you don’t really have a limit to the complexity, so when I get round to it I may as well make it pretty detailed for the entertainment of friends and family.



Fractal Animation 2
April 11, 2007, 7:12 pm
Filed under: Fractals

fractal animation 2

I have created a second fractal animation. This time I was experimenting with the formula that makes up the Mandelbrot set. It is possible to create some very interesting effects with small changes to the numbers. Ultrafractal is very good to let you animate all these values. However the “evaluation copy” sign is very irritating and I still haven’t figured out how to make the key frame interpolation totally smooth, it seems to do it under its own discretion!

I also made this animation loopable. Once it reaches the end it will seamlessly loop back to the beginning (if you had the play settings on loop that is).

You can download the animation here:

FractalAnimTest_2.mov (H.264, 640 x 480, 20mb)



Sketch Up Community
April 11, 2007, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Sketch Up

There seems to be a great burgeoning community going on around Sketch Up and Google Earth. The 3D Warehouse is a great place to find free 3D models and the network connection to Google Earth works really well. You can find all kinds of weird and wonderful places of interest on Google Earth. Below are some things I have found:

the tardis from dr who This is the Tardis from Dr Who.

well built house This house has been well built with a good amount of detail.

inside good house This is an interior of the house above. Football fan obviously.

stonehenge A detailed model of Stonehenge. It doesn’t look good with terrain turned on though.

I believe it won’t be too long until we have a pretty detailed 3D version of the entire earth. Especially when people such as ‘Yanickma’ are out there building things like this:

google earth machu picchu

An very detailed model of Machu Picchu in Peru.

The 3D Warehouse network connection for google earth is really useful. It can be downloaded here:
3D_Warehouse.kmz

Links:

Sketch Up
Google Earth
3D Warehouse
Yanickma 3D Warehouse Profile



Sketch Up
April 10, 2007, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Sketch Up

I have been experimenting with Sketch Up. It is a really good modeller, there are things that you can do whilst modelling in Sketch Up that would take a lot longer in 3D Studio Max.

I’ve created my house in Sketch Up and added it to the Google 3D Warehouse. I partially textured it with photos I took of the outside of my house and preset materials built in to Sketch Up.

It is pretty accurate, everything is there but the proportions are quite wrong. It’s probably me, but there doesn’t seem to be a scale tool in Sketch Up.

Click on the thumbnail below to view the full size screen shot of my house in Google Earth.

google earth house



Sylvie Gallet Fractal Gallery
April 10, 2007, 12:14 pm
Filed under: Fractals

Imagine a really cool fractal image here (you can’t link to the pictures in the gallery they have really strict copyright rules)

Gallet has explored the beauty of fractals in great depth. Her website contains multiple galleries containing various explorations in Ultrafractal and other fractal software. It is well worth a look, many of the works look more like paintings than mathematically generated images!

Sylvie Gallet Galleries



Fractal Animation
April 10, 2007, 11:50 am
Filed under: Fractals

fractal screen shot

I have created a quick animation using the Ultrafractal software. It is more advanced than I initially predicted. You can animate most of the settings controlling the fractal display. I have produced an excursion down the classic Mandelbrot set. I then adjusted the footage in After Effects. To my surprise you are capable of using interpolation (easing of motion) on the key frames in Ultrafractal and you can even add motion blur to the movements. It doesn’t give you much control over the interpolation, I couldn’t figure out how to make the key frames run smoothly between one another, it would only ease in and out of each frame stopping at every step.
Unfortunately they are not that generous with their evaluation version of Ultrafractal and subsequently slap “evaluation copy” all over your images.

You can download the QT animation below.

FractalAnimTest.mov (H.264, 400 x 300 px, 17mb)



Ultrafractal
April 10, 2007, 10:27 am
Filed under: Fractals

ultrafractal mandlebrot

The above image was created using a programme I recently installed called Ultrafractal. I only have a 30 day trial at the moment, but it seems pretty good. I have the animation edition so I will see what kind of motion you can produce with this.

Ultrafractal Website



Fractals Info and Anaglyphs
April 10, 2007, 10:00 am
Filed under: Anaglyphs, Fractals

I have always had an interest in these beautiful mathmatically generated artworks. I have recently been exploring fractals created in 3D. I have found a PDF file written by Dominic Rochon that seems to be a university lecture on the history of fractals and creating them in 3D. The problem is that it is all explained in bullet points and nothing is explained. You can however get the jist of the information and it is fairly interesting. You can get the PDF here:

3DFractals.pdf

Whilst looking into 3D fractals, I stumbled upon this web page that contains a java applet displaying 3d fractals that you can view as an anaglyph with 3D glasses. At the bottom of this page are some links to other anaglyph applets.

3D Fractal Generator



Etude 3 – Analgyph Animation Test
April 7, 2007, 11:10 am
Filed under: Anaglyphs, Etudes

Etude Number

3

Your name

Russell Etheridge

Your Pathway Combination

Digital Arts Specialist

The title of your etude

Analgyph Animation Test

A short statement of intentions

I want to see how Red / Blue 3D Glasses Anaglyph techniques will apply to different kinds of motion in an animation. The idea is to create a short series of interesting motion experiments and see what kinds of motion and shapes are most effective when viewed as an anaglyph. I intend to create this animation in 3D Studio Max using the Vray renderer which I am quite familiar with in conjunction with the recently acquired Xidmary plugin that allows adjustable dual perspective rendering.

Conceptualisation of the work

Leading up to the production of this etude I started off exploring the various methods involved in producing anaglyphs. Although I had a fairly good idea of the process of combining two images from different perspectives in Photoshop to achieve the anaglyph effect, it was still useful to look at a tutorial which would give me more detail into the reasons behind each step. The tutorial I found here (How to Make an Anaglyph with Photoshop) was particularly useful. Following the tutorial I produced various anaglyphs by taking two photos with my digital camera from different views in and around my house. You can find the best of these experiments in my post here (Anaglyphs).
After a lot of hunting around and forum discussions into compatibility issues I found the Xidmary plugin for 3D Studio Max. This plugin allows you to simultaneously control two cameras in 3DSMax of which you have full control over their distance apart and rotation (scale and focal distance respectively when applied to anaglyphs). The plugin allows you to render the 3DSMax scene from each eye separately, it is then up to you to combine them together in an image editor such as Photoshop to achieve the anaglyph effect. Following the acquisition of this plugin I produced a couple of stills to test the plugin. You can find the stills I made in these posts (Max 8 Stereo Image Renderer, Another 3Dsmax Anaglyph)
After these tests I wanted to create an anaglyph of an object in motion that also looked pretty realistic, so I produced the following image which can be found in this post (Another analgyph test).

Describe and depict what the actual concept of the etude is

The purpose of this etude is to experiment into what types of shape and motion are most effective when viewed as an anaglyph. This etude will be a useful insight to my larger project where I may carry on with an anaglyph or similar experience for the audience.
I think the use of anaglyph technology has perhaps been overlooked as a serious medium due to it’s poor colour definition, it’s slight strain or discomfort on the eyes and the fact that you have to wear specially made glasses that, lets face it, are something everyone owns but no one can remember where they are. However it is always a novelty and will appeal to most people if they have access to the glasses.
As a 3D Hybrid I see this study as a hybrid between old and new technology. When the anaglyph technology was invented the only way to utilise it was to use two cameras shooting on two rolls of film simultaneously. However, with the advent of computer generated 3d imagery the technology has a chance to be created very easily by someone with minimal knowledge of most 3D applications.
With this study I hope to produce an interesting 3D experience for the audience that will enjoy the fluid motion and realism of the 3D effect and also appreciate the technical process behind it.

Documentation of Technical and Artistic Process

You can see the final video and a description of the process in the following post:
3D Anaglyph Animation

Technical Analysis

During this etude I have vastly increased my knowledge of creating anaglyphs. I now know the requirements of the scene set up that will make the 3D effect see as though it is behind the viewing surface (the computer screen) and also what makes it seem to pop out. I have also discovered that textured or highly detailed objects add to the 3D effect much more than flat featureless objects.
Extremes in closeness and distance don’t work particularly well if viewed for long periods. For example at the end of my animation when the particles are flying around it is difficult to focus on the close ones without straining your eyes. However it is very effective when the final particle whizzes past your head. The shorter the amount of time that the object is really close the better.

References

Below is a link to all the research I have done into anaglyphs and the process of creating them:
Anaglyphs

How successful is the etude?

I think overall the test has been quite successful. It could have been more interesting in points and I think it will benefitĀ  from some sound effects, but as a small test into animated anaglyphs it has provided me with great insight. In this animation there were a lot of blank surfaces and I used the same bland lighting throughout. For a future animated anaglyph I would use more textures, particularly bump mapped surfaces and produce a variety of lighting environments.



3D Anaglyph Animation
April 6, 2007, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Anaglyphs

anaglyph animation screen shot

I have created a short series of motion experiments using the Xidmary plugin in 3D Studio Max. I wanted to create an interesting experiment with 3D motion that would be unnatural in the real world. I am particularly happy with the section from which I took the above screen shot, the cloth sim would make a good flower. I found this quite rewarding, I would have liked to carry on getting more and more complex. I particularly enjoy the finale when one particle seems to fly straight at the audience.

The short was animated and rendered using 3D Studio Max and Vray using the Xidmary plugin. I rendered the animation from both Left and Right perspectives which instantly doubles the render time.

left and right perspective example

Then in After Effects I adjust the colour channels so that the Right image only gives off light in the red spectrum appearing black when viewed through the cyan eye of the 3D glasses and invisible in the red eye of the 3D glasses, and I adjust the channels on the Left image so that it only gives off light in the cyan spectrum making it invisible to your right eye and black to your left.

red cyan example

After I have done this I put the left image on a layer above the right image and apply a ‘screen’ blending layer effect to produce the screen shot that you can see at the top of the blog. If you are wondering why the colour is put back into the image when they are placed on top of one another it is because the combination of red and cyan makes up the complete RGB spectrum (cyan is green and blue combined).

Below is the link to the high quality Quicktime file, try to watch it full screen if you can.

Anaglyph Experiment Animation QT (640 x 480, 37mb)

Also for anyone who is interested:

A history of the 3D teapot