Human Anatomy: Final Project

For my final project in my anatomy class, I had to depict some sort of figurative scene of my own choice. I wanted to do some type of warrior illustration and after a lot of looking for reference images, I found some that inspired me. The scene I chose to depict was from Greek Mythology and is of the twelfth labor of Heracles (Hercules). Heracles had been cursed at one point by his step-mother Hera into having a fit of madness, during which he killed his wife and children. In order to atone for the murder he had committed, Heracles was tasked with twelve seemingly impossible labors. The final labor he was given was to capture Cerberus from Hades. I wanted to have the opportunity to create this scene and capture the tension right before the first blow is delivered.

Also, to give you an idea of how I went about creating this image, here is a breakdown, layer by layer, of all the little layers and adjustments I used in Photoshop:


A.L.F.R.E.D.... Just kidding about the last post!

Okay, so I may have jumped the gun a little bit last week. I spent many days rendering out my animation in passes only to discover that it was getting too washed out from the light. I also discovered that the light flicker and fire particles were completely gone from the render calculations, which was was everything was so washed out.

Sooooooo..... I did another batch render of the movie file the way it was supposed to be. I also took the liberty of adding a few sound effects and a music track to it. Now, I think I am going to call it good.


A Disney Ride in a Game Engine

I am actually very impressed by this, even though it is kind of pointless in the end. Someone created the entire Disney Haunted Mansion in a 3D game engine. And it looks like they got it pretty accurate. Props to them.


Human Anatomy: Rodin's The Thinker

I finally put in the finishing details of my sculpture of The Thinker. It's a bit different from the original, but it was a good study. I got to learn about how to create a sculpture if you are going to be firing it as well as how to work on a figure sculpture without an armature.

One Part of the Entertainment Industry that I Wouldn't Mind Getting Into


A.L.F.R.E.D.: Curiosity

Well, this week was a long week of being a render wrangler. Essentially, we had to render out our animations this week in preparation for submitting the final version. So, without further ado, here is the animation you've been waiting since February to see:

One of the requirements of this assignment was to render out in separate render passes. This is a common industry practice because it allows you a degree of control over color and image quality after you have rendered. Typically you will have dozens of layers per frame separated out into different channels, as well as having the characters, props, and background all separated into different layers. To give you a taste of what that means, watch the video below:

All in all, I've discovered that I have a lot to learn about render passes in Maya. There are a few things that just didn't quite work out for me when I was rendering this out. However, that is what my summer class will be about, so I am excited to learn more.


Audio Illusion: Shepard Tone

Someone in my ward introduced me to this odd, real life illusion. This is a video of what is called a Shepard Tone. From Wikipedia:

A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upwards or downwards, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.

Take a listen to this clip from You Tube. You'll have to replay it a few times but it is interesting to notice that as you restart it, it sounds like it starts on a higher pitch than what it started on the first time. It's just one of those odd quirks that your brain gets fooled by:

Human Anatomy: Animal Muscle Strucutre

This was essentially the last week that we had to do drawings for this class. It really is remarkable how similar in structure and function the muscles of the human body are to that of animals. This is a drawing done from a sculpture of a goat.

Since I already had pictures of the Dewback Lizard, I decided to try and draw the muscle structures rather than doing complete surface detail.

I also promised myself that I would try this at least once. I decided to set up my web camera to do a time-lapse photo capture of my drawings. Essentially, it took a picture every three seconds or so, then played them back at 30 frames per second. It's kind of interesting to see this done at high speed. You can see approximately how much time I spend on details and what tools I use. I'll admit, it was kind of painful to draw this week because I was trying not to block the camera, so I had my arm fully extended.


A.L.F.R.E.D. - More progress

I have been doing some more tweaks to the animation and trying to get all the lighting to be a bit better than it was. I also added some shakiness to the camera when the explosion happens. The shake is driven by a random value generator built into Maya, so I have some control over what is going on, but for the most part, I have no idea where it is going to be thrown. As you can tell, some of it is still kind of jerky. I'll be smoothing that out later.


Figure Modeling: I'm Thinking...

Our final project in this class is to do a seated or reclining figure. One of the options was to do the ever so famous "The Thinker" by Auguste Rodin. For the first part, we are only blocking in the major geometric forms, as usual. From there, further refinements will be made.

One of the things that is different about this particular sculpture is that it has no internal metal armature. I wanted the practice of trying one without something to hold it up inside. Instead, I have inserted bamboo skewers to help support the clay. This is something you do if you are going to fire a piece in a kiln. I might not fire this one, but I wanted the opportunity to try out a new technique anyway.


Human Anatomy: Warning, this post contains very naked...

... animals! We've essentially covered the basics of human anatomy now, so we are taking a look at animal anatomy and how it relates to the basic structure of human anatomy. If you look at the skeletal structure of this cat below, you can see many of the same structures: scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, etc. It really is amazing to see the similarities between all types of animals: mammal, reptile, avians, etc.

One of the other assignments we had this week was to draw the skeleton of a mythical or imaginary creature. I tried drawing one of my own, but I didn't like the results. It was supposed to be some sort of lizard dog thing, but it really didn't work out at all. So instead, I opted to delve into the Star Wars universe and decided to work on a dewback lizard, one of the forms of transportation of storm troopers on Tatooine as seen in Episode 4.

And just to give you an idea of what they really look like, here is a Japanese guy riding one: