3DStudents.com is a resource for digital 3d content production students, whether it be for entertainment, fine art, industrial, medical or any industry. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact me. cornell " at " 3DStudents.com ~Cornell

About My High School Program, Digital-Evolutions. [ ]

http://www.digital-evolutions.org/

Digital-Evolutions, is a public high school digital arts program, introducing students to digital sculpture, design principles, traditional art mediums, programming, visual storytelling, engineering/medical visualization, video production, and a heavy focus on 3D visualization and animation. Students can participate up to four years, with two possible advanced college accredited tracks, both IB and traditional. Our core philosophy, is to move past just teaching the tool, to empowering students to become intrinsically motivated, independent learners, story tellers, and artists. It challenges them to tap into both hemispheres and further develop their logical and creative abilities as an artist and critical thinker. The program is both exciting and challenging, providing students with a learning environment without limitations and opening the the door to artistic expression and conceptual exploration. Students become artists, visual story tellers, and technical problem solvers, further preparing them for the ever-changing digital landscape and future workforce.

Digital-Evolutions is hosted at Smoky Hill High School part of the Cherry Creek School District.

Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008/09 predicts that digital media design and animation will show tremendous growth ‘much faster than average’ through 2016 nationally. As of 2008, China has over 30 animation industrial bases, 5,400 animation companies, 450 high schools teaching certified animation courses, and 460,000 students studying animation related subjects. This was an increase of over 36% in comparison to 2006. (Aldric Chang 2008) According to Robi Roncarelli industry expert, China’s growth is not even due to outsourcing, but huge local demands. So it can be said that, our local industry is just at its infancy and this perpetual growth is blending together multiple disciplines, blurring the line between art, science, math, and technology.

But our underling goal is to develop intrinsically motivated creative learners with the skills to succeed in their chosen career path; whether it be engineering and the sciences or entertainment and the arts.

About Me . . . [ ]

Creativity and design has always been a huge part of my life, it has been infused in the way I think, live, parent, and teach, so it is difficult to separate it from my studio classroom. I am a 3d designer and sculptor, my entire family comes from some type design and/or art background. My father was head designer at Kodak and used cutting edge design equipment since the 70's, which lead me to receiving my first computer in 1982. My brother is in a think tank and has been using 3d printers for close to 25 years. A “learning space” is more than just physical, it is a way of thinking, it is a process, it is an atmosphere, it is what I call a “Creative Epicenter”.

In the classroom, I have sixteen years experience working with k-12 and post-secondary students; eleven of those years my emphasis has been teaching creative work flows, the design process, 3d design, and visualization. Additionally, I spent two years as District Technology Coordinator and curriculum trainer for Red Creek Public School District, NY. Personally, I have eight years of Industry related experience – founder and head artist at Specular Studios LLC (http://specularstudios.com/).

Over the last 12 years, I have developed two design program models, a new high school model, Digital-Evolutions (http://www.digital-evolutions.org/) and a middle school version TEAM-C in Denver Public schools.

Digital-Evolutions is a public high school digital 3D design studio housed in Smoky Hill High School outside of Denver Colorado. Our core philosophy, is to move past just “teaching the tools” to empowering students to become creative, intrinsically motivated, independent, conceptual learners with a solid understanding of the creative and design process. Students can participate up to four years, with two possible advanced college accredited tracks, both IB and traditional. The curriculum challenges students to tap into both hemispheres of the brain to further develop their logical and creative abilities as both an artist and critical thinker. The program is both exciting and challenging, providing students with a learning environment without limitations and opening the the door to artistic expression and conceptual exploration. Students become innovators and problem solvers, further preparing them for the ever-changing digital landscape and future workforce.

Presently, I am teaching: 3D Design and Animation, Advanced 3D Design Animation, Digital Portfolio I and II, computer graphics, MYP Design Technology, and IB Digital Arts. The backbone of the classes are to guide them through the design process while they create an original product. During this process, I emphasis that 70% of out effort is developing the idea and once that is set, we build it.

The studio is set in three main areas:

“The Tank” - a collaborative space and think tank, which also houses the recording studio and currently the 3d printers and 3d scanner.

The concept studio - which is our HP workstation lab (sponsor) fully equipped with hardware and software

The prototype studio – which is the hands on area, for creating maquettes,

Have a Question or a Great Tip? . . . Please Contact Me. [ ]

Lofting Basics

In the Top View create a simple curve that almost closes. Then close the curve, Curves > Open / Close.

Loft1   Loft2

Change to the side view.   With the curve still selected duplicate the curve at least 5 more copies and move them up in the Y-direction 2 units.

loft3

It should be spaced like this.  Now select the all the curves in order from top to bottom. 

loft4

Now loft the selected curves.  Surfaces > Loft 

Loft6

It should look something like this . . .

Loft7

Reverse Normals: Mesh Display > Reverse

Loft8

Activate Smooth Preview {3}  It should look like this.

Loft9

Adjust the curves to create to create a desired shape.

Loft10

Select all the vertices and then merge them. Edit Mesh > Merge

Loft11

Select an edge on the top hole.

Loft12

Now fill the hole.  With the edge still selected, choose Mesh > Fill Hole.

Loft13

Switch to the rough quality display {1}

Loft14

Using the Multi-cut tool, divide up the face into appropriate sections.  Mesh Tools > Multi-Cut

Loft15  Loft16

This is how I divided up my face.

Loft17

It should look like this with smooth preview {3}

Loft18

Select the perimeter edge and bevel it with default settings.   Edit > Bevel

Loft19  Loft20

It should look like this with smooth preview {3}

Loft21

Repeat for other end of the shape.

Loft22

It should look like this with smooth preview when both side are finished.

Loft23  Loft24

Smooth the object.  Mesh > Smooth

Loft25

Your final model should look like this . . .

Loft26

LIGHTING: 3-Points - Notes


    Overall Goal, post 4 renders showing, 1-Point, 2-Point, 3-Point and a creative setup to your blog.  All renders must have the same same camera and position.

    • 1-Point Lighting
    • 2-Point Lighting
    • 3-Point Lighting
      Watch video on 3-point lighting.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcMX1RcNRYA  
       New_New_3-point-light
      Overall Goal, post 4 renders to your blog: 1-point Lighting, 2-point Lighting,  3-point Lighting, & Final Render
      General Steps for Key Light:
      Three Point Lighting
      What is a 3-point lighting system and why are we learning it?  It is basically a lighting technique that was created to simulate real world lighting in a studio environment in Hollywood. The Three Point Lighting Technique is a standard method used in visual media such as video, film, still photography and computer-generated imagery. It is a simple but versatile system which forms the basis of most lighting. Once you understand three point lighting you are well on the way to understanding all lighting.
      A classical 3-point lighting scheme has three lights, a key light, fill light, and rim light.
      One Point Lighting  and Key Lights
      The key light is the main or the strongest light in the scene that illuminates your subject.   It  is also responsible for the over all exposure and defines the most visible shadows.  It could be from any main light source from the sun penetrating in a window sill to the spotlight on a stage. In a classical 3 point lighting setup. it is generally placed 30 to 45 degrees to the right or left of the camera. This range for the key light helps bring out more texture and form (dimension) in the subject.
      Punk


      Here is an example of a model with 1-point lighting. She is only lit with a “key” light.
      New_1-point light
      Here is a 1-Point setup with the abstract shape.  The light is essentially in the same location as the models but our shape is completely different and captures more light.

       
      3-Point_LightA general overview of my steps . . .
      Create Key Light: Create a spot light Create > Lights > Spot Light then while the light is selected in the side orthographic views choose Panel > Look through Selected. Also label the light “Key_Light” then manipulate the light accordingly, placing it about 30 to 40 degrees to to left or right of the camera.
      Look_through_Selected

      The goal it to look through the light so that the shadow reaches across the scene into the darkness.  Setup the light similar to as seen below.  *Note there is no shadow until you activate ray tracing.  When you switch the render engine to Mental Ray, ray tracing is automatically activated.
      Light_Render-1
      Set Render to Mental Ray: Open render settings and change render using . . . Switch to Mental Ray.  Notice when you render again using Mental Ray, a shadow appears – Mental Ray automatically turns on ray tracing.
      Turning on Mental Ray:
      If it does not appear, activate it by: Window > Settings/Preferences > Plug-in Manager > then check the boxes for Mayatomr.mll.

      Light_Render-2


          Decay Rate: Changing Decay Rate controls how quickly the light’s intensity decreases over distance.  The default setting is No Decay.  I generally try to similar real world lighting, hence I use Quadratic Decay.
          No Decay:  no decay; light reaches everything
          Linear: light intensity decreases directly (linearly) with distance (slower than real world light)
          Quadratic: light intensity decreases proportionally with the square of distance (the same as real world light)
          Cubic: light intensity decreases proportionally with the cube of distance (faster than real world light)

          Change Decay Rate to Quadratic and the scene should get really dark.  *Now the light is based on distance; if you move the light in closer, the scene will get brighter.
          Decay-menu
          Light_Render-3

          Notice there is not enough light now.  Change intensity until the subject has enough light.  *Now the light is based on distance; if you move the light in closer, the scene will get brighter.
          Decay-menu
          Light_Render-4
          Light_Render-5
          Light_Render-6
          Light_Render-7
          Light_Render-8 
          Light_Render-9 
          Light_Render-10 
          Light_Render-12 
          Light_Render-13 
          Light_Render-14 
          Light_Render-15 
          Light_Render-16 
          Light_Render-17 
          Light_Render-18 
          Light_Render-19
          SHADOWS There are two main choices for shadows Raytrace and Depth Map.  Depth map shadows and ray traced shadows produce similar results, Capture52though depth map shadows usually take less time to render. Maya documentation suggests to choose depth map shadows unless they cannot accomplish your visual goal; I disagree.  The quality and control is more superior with Raytraced shadows and that is what I generally use.   
          On your main light, the "Key light,” activate Ray Traced Shadows, check Use Ray Traced Shadows, and change the light radius to somewhere between  1–10, (it could be lager or smaller) it all depends on the scale of the  scene and  the distance the camera is from the main objects.   The shadow rays adjusts the quality of the shadow.  This can drastically slow down your render times.    I tend to start with at least 10 and increase it to may 40 for the final render.  This will remove the “grittiness” in the shadow.

          • Light Radius
            – This defines the area from which the light is coming. The larger the Radius, the softer our shadows will be.

        • Shadow Rays – Increasing this will increase the samples of our shadow quality, but will also increase our render times.
        • Ray Depth Limit – Is the limit of how many times the light ray will bounce from one surface to another.</> </></>
            1st Render – One Point Perspective: Key Light with ray traced shadows.
            Save render as 1-Point_Perspective and make sure you change it to a JPG format.
            • Post render in Blog.

          • KEY LIGHT with FILL LIGHT
            The fill light should be able to reduce and control the amount of shadows created. The idea is not to totally remove the shadows but to maintain a good ratio between main light and fill light. Different ratio gives you different feel so you have to do a lot of experimentation.  The fill light helps fill the shadows that the main light casts, basically it simulates the ambient light .   NEEDS MORE

              Here is an example of a model with 2-point lighting. She is lit very evenly with both a “key” light and a “fill” light.
            New_2-point light 
            Here is a 2-Point setup with the abstract shape.   The “key” light has not changed from the 1st render.  The “fill” light softly fills in the shadows made by the “key” light. 
            Create Fill Light: Create a spot light Create > Lights > Spot Light then while each light is selected in one of the orthographic views choose Panel > Look through Selected. Also label the light“Fill Light” then Manipulate each light accordingly placing it about 30 to 40 degrees to to left or right of the camera.
            Fill Light Shadows On your "fill" light, activate ray traced shadows, check Use Ray Traced Shadows, and change the light radius to about 10 , it can be anything, but the objective is to soften the shadows from this direction.   The shadow rays adjusts the quality of the shadow. This can drastically slow down your render times. I tend to start with at least 10 and increase it to may 40 for the final render.   This will remove the “grittiness” in the shadow.
             

              2nd Render – Two Point Perspective: Key Light with ray traced shadows.
              Save render as 2-Point_Perspective and make sure you change it to a JPG format.
              • Post render in Blog.
              KEY LIGHT, FILL LIGHT and RIM LIGHT



              Classic three point lighting set up.
              New_3-point light
              Here is a 3-Point setup with the abstract shape.


               
               

                3rd Render – Three Point Perspective:
                Key Light with ray traced shadows.
                Fill Light with Soft ray traced shadows.
                Rim Light with Soft ray traced shadows.
                Save render as 3-Point_Perspective and make sure you change it to a JPG format.
                • Post render in Blog.
                <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
                </></></></></></></></></></></></></></>
                </>
                Rim Light Shadows On your "fill" light, activate ray traced shadows, check Use Ray Traced Shadows, and change the light radius to about 10 , it can be anything, but the objective is to soften the shadows from this direction. The shadow rays adjusts the quality of the shadow. This can drastically slow down your render times. I tend to start with at least 10 and increase it to may 40 for the final render. This will remove the “grittiness” in the shadow.
                  4th Render – Three Point Perspective Final Render:
                  Key Light with ray traced shadows.
                  Fill Light with Soft ray traced shadows.
                  Rim Light with Soft ray traced shadows.
                  Save render as 3-Point_Perspective and make sure you change it to a JPG format.
                  • Post render in Blog.


                   
                  This is what it look like from the top view.  The lights are not really setup the way we want them to be, we will change this in a bit.  This is just the initial setup.
                  Label all the lights:  Key Light, Fill Light, & Rim Light.
                  Turn off both the Fill and Rim light:  Select each light and in the Attribute Editor change their Intensity to 0.
                  Capture49 
                  FINAL RENDER     3-Point Lighting
                  CREATIVE LIGHTING

                  Two Point lighting: Hard “Key” light from the right side and hard “Rim” Light from the back left. Ambient light slightly revels the subject.

                  Two Point lighting: Hard “Key” light from the right side and soft warm  “Fill" Light from the front left.


                  Soft cool textured light.



                    1. All the lights were hard sources and upstage for this shot.
                    2. One Lupo 800 light was all I used plus a bit of magic. Continuous light is perfect for this kind of effect because what you see is what you get. White balance was 3800k.
                    3. We then broke off from f/16 and opened up to f/2.8 for a bit of a shake up. The light here was daylight coming through my open door in the studio.
                    4. Next it was time to shoot the same corner with continuous light. The Lupo 1200 provided the slash of light while the Lupo 800 was warming up as an area flood. The warm up period gives a green light, it soon passes to reveal pure white light.
                    5. Pop the white balance to 2600k for a bit of blue action
                    6. One Lupo 800 light was all I used plus a bit of magic. Continuous light is perfect for this kind of effect because what you see is what you get. White balance was 3800k.
                        New_3-point-light-2
                        Great Rendering Article.
                        http://www.fxguide.com/featured/the-art-of-rendering/
                        Talk about indirect lighting.
                        In our case, the main light source is in the ceiling. Look at the top your hand, why is the bottom of your hand not completely in the shadows?
                        Reflecting
                        Light is a transverse, electromagnetic wave that can be seen by humans.
                        The photon the basic "unit" of light
                        Any light that you see is made up of a collection of one or more photons propagating through space as electromagnetic waves. In total darkness, our eyes are actually able to sense single photons, but generally what we see in our daily lives comes to us in the form of zillions of photons produced by light sources and reflected off objects. If you look around you right now, there is probably a light source in the room producing photons, and objects in the room that reflect those photons. Your eyes absorb some of the photons flowing through the room, and that is how you see.
                        For instance, a photon in the visible spectrum would contain an energy of approximately 4 X (10 to the power of -19) joules Thus, a perfectly efficient 100-watt light bulb would emit approximately 2.5 X (10 to the power of 20) photons per second.
                         
                        HDRI image
                        If I put a chrome ball in a black room, what would it look like? Reflective material is directly dependent on the environment.
                         
                        HDRI IMAGES HERE: http://www.pauldebevec.com/Probes/