06/01/15 Craft-Thales , School

Happy New Year

The last few weeks have been a bit busy for me. I have been at the project-IM office a lot but I’ve been working on my research. It is almost done and I will have it out of the way very soon.

Today we had a meeting with the whole team. I think it was a very necessary one because that way we could all get our heads together and get the same general direction. We discussed the project and we all agreed that we cannot finish this by the end of January.

I’ve sat down with Nikolai a while ago and talked with the rest of the guys about reorganizing the NAS folder structure. This week we are going to use the new folder structure. Everyone has been updated on the situation and Remco will reorganize all the old stuff and put it in a folder. All the new stuff is going to contain the new folder template.

Nikolai, Remco and Rob are also working on finishing our animatic so we can have a final version of the shots we are going to use. That way we don’t have silly mistakes about what footage to use. So probably by tomorrow we have a final raw version of the movie. Me and Hajir are going to digitize the storyboard.

So far we still have the whiteboard hanging which hasn’t been updated yet. I am going to update the entire whiteboard and change it so we can see per CGI scene what needs to be done. I’m going to work out a sketch version first and then apply that to the white board. That way everyone in the office can see exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

We are also trying to help each other out more in the office, for example Hajir needs some help on setting up the layout and importing the robot for a shot so Hajir can focus on fixing the rig and textures. Stefan is going to help here, hopefully we can get more identical situations where someone else’s skills can help.

We’ve also discussed the rig for the robot we are using for the wide shots. The shots where the robot is far way we want to use the HumanIK rig. For all the detail shots we are planning to use the custom rig. We made this decision to save time and hopefully get renders done soon!

Since everyone has their own school subjects continuing in early February i’m also making a long term planning on who is going to be here until when, for overview.

So far the update and what we talked about for today.

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10/12/14 Craft-Thales , School

Craft Thales project Saxion

Saxion University of Applied Science in the Netherlands is working on a production called Craft Thales. Craft Thales is a experimental project within Saxion where students work on high-end production video with CGI. I am working in this project as an executive producer. I make sure the team is going in one direction and that project management is being done. Also I communicate with external parties and make sure everyone on the external is on par with our project, a little Public Relations on the side.

Personal Learning Programme

Within the Art & Technology education you have your personal learning programme ( PLP for short ) in your fourth year. You have three classes which you can fill with your own content. I am currently doing 2 PLPs for this Thales project. For each PLP that you have you have a assigned counselor. Every student has his own counselor depending on how you designed your own PLP class.

Craft Thales

Every Wednesday we have a counseling moment so our teachers can evaluate our progress for the Thales project. Most of the crew is present during these meeting and those are the moments we talk to the teachers about progress, blockades and technical difficulties.

It was quite hard for me to get into the role as executive producer because most of the project until now lacks structure. For the time being we have a deadline for next week, but there is no solid structure for me to see where we are going with the trailer. I still need some more time to get around what everyone is doing and what everyone is working on for the trailer. I have a general idea but there is no storyboard or layout where i can see per scene what needs to be done.

For the final movie in collaboration with Rob and Remco I would like to add more structure to the project. We for example need better folder structure, solid storyboard for the movie, a nice overview of what needs to be done per scene and a scrum like planning. For Thales we would also like to see a flipbook on how the movie was made for internal distribution. In the end we also want to set out a general blueprint of how to setup this project for future students.

Software

The project offers students to get really well know with industry standard software. Within the project we are using programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Nuke, 3d Equalizer, Maya, 3ds Max, xNormal, After Effects, Cubase and Quixel Suite.

Most of our communication is done in Slack. We are still searching for a piece of software to use for project management. Shotgun is a recommended industry standard but it also has a cost. So far i’m looking for a scrum like program which is targeted for video productions. Trello seems to be a option but we will definitly use the board hanging here.

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08/12/14 3D , School

Modeling first, then render.

I started drawing some really basic houses which i want to create. I’ve built one of the drawn houses in Maya to keep practicing on my modeling. One of the things i’m afraid of is to have a really nice render at the end but to have horrible topology in my model. Hence I keep on modeling on these houses.

For me it’s hard to actually sit down and draw because i like to see direct results in what i do. Also i cannot correct any errors made in drawings which doesn’t help either. But even before drawing i first need to get a sense of style through a moodboard. I think i’m going to gather up a lot of references and create a moodboard out of that.

One of the things i have to get used to is not  to keep hitting the render button. When i finish one level of the house or just the basic shape of the house i already want to get into the lighting, materials and rendering. These houses may already have a general feeling on how it is going to look like but it’s far far away from the amount of detail that i want. I would like to see so much more assets being added to the scene.  Windows, floors, walls, chairs, floor, carpet and outside assets to name a few. Note to self, modeling first then renders.

Here are some renders i did based on this drawing. I did not touch the environment yet, it’s just a huge cube with some vertexes soft-pulled. Just again this one was just for practice. I’m going to work on good references, moodboard and drawings. Maybe some new models for buildings to keep up practice.

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08/12/14 3D , School

Creating a 3d environment

I’m in my 4th year of art & technology and for this semester we get to choose 3 personal classes. For one of these classes i’ve decided i want to get better at Maya. So I’ve talked to my counselor about creating an environment where i present a house. Since i like architecture a lot i have a idea of visualizing a beautiful home into a rocky area.

Mudbox

I first wanted to create a rocky environment which i create with Mudbox. A lot of high poly environment is done with Mudbox and it is highly versatile in creating different assets and surface materials. The Mudbox interface is really easy to use and with just a couple tutorials i was able to create a impressive piece of rock.

I was also advised to look at  other environment related packages as VUE and World Machine. I think i’m going to give both a try in my holidays.

When starting with this terrain I also created a fast and simple house just to get back into modeling and rendering. My future plans are to first determine the house style and then plan the environment around it. I want to have a general sense of the look and feel of the house. Modern architecture or maybe an old Himalayan Chinese style? I think i’ll be creating a moodboard for the final house i’m going to create.

 

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30/04/14 Programming , School

Writing to Google Docs with Cycling 74 Max

I am currently doing an internship at 100%FAT in Enschede. It is very interesting to say the least. The 27th of march we had an opening of our latest project called Smartware. It’s a series of interactive vitrines where companies show their innovative business and where users can read and browse through a menu. A Leapmotion ( works like a kinect ) lets you browse though menu’s and watch videos in the vitrines. All the vitrines we built run on MacMini’s and run a Max patch.

One of the other interns is busy doing interaction research and we needed data. We want to know how long people take before they understand how the Leapmotion works and how long people stay in a certain menu. So i was asked if i could find a way to log the data and write it into a file.

I asked my colleague how the data was going to be processed and found that it would eventually end up in an Excel sheet. Recently i worked on an online survey where i posted data into a Google spreadsheet. I found a piece of code by Martin Hawksey where you can use a POST or GET method to insert data into Google Docs.

Shell & cURL

Max has a Shell tool where you can send commands to your Mac terminal. Thanks to Russau for his answer at stackoverflow.com i found cURL. The cURL function comes standard with Apple OSX and it can submit data via POST method and can even simulate a <form>.

Combining the Max Shell, cURL and Martin’s code i am now able to POST data to a Google Spreadsheet.

Setting up Google spreadsheet

It is important to do it in this order!

Create a new Google Spreadsheet and change the SHEET name (not document name) to DATA. In the first row set the column title. In my example we are using: date, time, message, count.

WritingToMax8

Go to Tools -> Script editor. This will open a new window and choose Blank Project. Now copy Martin’s code in here.

Beware that we are using POST method to submit data!

function doGet(e) { // change to doPost(e) if you are receiving POST data

Change this to:

function doPOST(e) { // change to doPost(e) if you are receiving POST data

And make sure you replace app with undefined at line 49.

Now that we have a script we can run and publish our project. Go to File -> Save and it will prompt for a save, anything is good. Now we need to Authorise our project, go to Run -> SetUp and you will see it execute and ask for authorization. Continue here and accept the authorization. Now we repeat the last step to setup the app, go to Run -> SetUp and we’re almost ready to go.
WritingToMax4
Now we are ready to deploy as web app and post data to the spreadsheet. Go to Publish -> Deploy as web app and make sure you have the same options as below and click the Save New Version button. Now we can hit the Deploy button.

Google gives us a Current web app URL that looks like this: https://script.google.com/macros/s/RANDOM-ID/exec. We need this later in our Maxpatch.

Now that we have setup Google Docs we can continue to Max.

Max

For this to work you need the Shell tool for Max. We are going to use this to send cURL commands to the terminal. Here is where the first row of our Google Document comes in. The data was date, time, message and count. The example Maxpatch below sends current date, current time the message “awesome” and a simple incremental counter. Make sure you MATCH the row data with the data you are sending via curl, so in my example:

cURL command

curl -d date=04-30-2014 -d time=13:10:07 -d message=awesome -d count=1 https://script.google.com/macros/s/RANDOM-ID/exec

You can also use -F to simulate a html form. Beware of case! You can find more curl commands here.

And it matches the first row of my spreadsheet: date, time, message, count.

WritingToMax10

Below is the maxpatch file. Copy it and open from clipboard in Max.

----------begin_max5_patcher----------
1285.3oc0ZszabaCD97t+JHDPNUaujh5oALPCfuzCoEn2JJBBzClcYhdAQpX
6Fj+6UjTxV1YUknrV5svXs7LKWoY932LblY822twJt7dByBbM3uAa178sa1H
UITroSdiUdz8IYQL4xrRJyyIEbqKTuGmbOWpmkQ2efCRIYQO.3k.FgCxILVz
dBHljUd2E.9ARAHNpXOf93m+ykEbF8eHh6Ax9JXu558wBUvG0TEwSNPK1+oZ
RBWYvgh2E3D5ItX6GJu3bED7wtOSQSNsHivkVNpSYbSbbFYnFZpzCJi+xkX3
PCqHJWtPq2WSixrd5tV1v6usPgxercq3WW7JwvjxpG.OT1TC1WVtOi.XI0zJ
NHiV7UvARMYMPMOOId4z94bawKHZEfM6PS.aEj6ZeX+DponbHHbBz4HXAJTf
AcLHOrDIfigD1Gwucz0u6AOkJ9CUDkkXIhKr.ebAvRWT1OylZpy.WlBRi3ja
fNsb6Ka2scDp3zbxMH70H30Peght6wMQ2QXk4DgpjxlB9MHvANuhc8tcJt3U
Jl4UsT3c4QI0krcrc+46+8a+iOb4uc6Nx8jD82F7bDaCtAhEA7gNhKn.c1Gv
q19vx1CFgZFCvKEMBfJvXBR4wBFQ5BF3+SR4Eu35pRR6Hb5iRtsXhH+kJp0y
VaNCJ3MlyLFjHN4bA4x7CTG.BkPA1We.w4sNHpIOlTuDOWdTF1U5ytPsiXlw
oWUQ0s54j5OQJh5NHDdTPwdLPgJNw+0DCMRRleAfV.l4DHwLXfjszUKfFrEb
3pwVD.yZBHzECGcYSVBb3e1BGMEUQIeE.E+rzSi5.Fajq1AWN9q1wQcQPCtr
l3TaIMwzBB3VvkfOz95u.+ZUTZZKb.rawN4qkhecwYShetGA+z9bpQy.IPsy
Hpkcn8PtELT+Rc79eF25PqPd6K1pvs5.vdx0T.3QHWHzY.4ZrBgDcorfd5fx
B.PNxl5vX8qCx67rYBQebKN+shanvDsBwPtqVHVFkICt5ut3frwHLuFDpmun
eymnyzlOYU0sH7mAOaN.ui8X++p+ruyekjpo+2wV74bpZvmrsUmi.ivfySbT
Bi.wL6hJR0GXBcE.SGhDpeyI9lXzZwMbdYg0TSJCEza9Z5DdFaZXS5IX09A1
agthiwbkwhqOPxxV5rN63gX8qiecqTX0QknpJRQp4lVoSWmypAsnWUqmn7bR
Cn8z0hW9M5HcBg9mCqrxl5j9aUWTJ3I2Hkv3zhHNsMb5o0HF48fEcfllRJFN
MjTJSLfjzwSEsplCxXlinQrIsG4oXlxf7mgA4Lk8jSSqJaOgi0OIDIeNPNOj
ABO8XVW6GMG62d91Ox2dfCLT5T4A1ywCbluGX6CG3ACkNAdfXLdSxgBMFkdV
lC947looztcopUekJgxu3fmKYqVhuO5Qo2JvVkAAaF3dNYPvla62dNo7QH8x
nggCyHLT5DrEK8.zb7.MxogC8G5ACjNUdf8b7.Mxo4DNbOXnzovCblSgCXyw
pwyvd7OuLGyUVkMZF7MruYsmIifCLq8L41k2Yl8Xvnq4FrizsHXGe4+aT9tg
OJcBxVgleaE1FAPQy5PXWisA+hG0HEY6aV6YpDD1lKfD4L2ZlMj8fOy3OnYG
fgLiAAmSHus4.n4zF9BsF0Lohpp9Fol0cKkFhUdzWJqEhdWHEoEJQ4vtrpIe
i1ud0BhpSNP4jDdSsZfY2G3YsU7b9w1+E3qoP+.
-----------end_max5_patcher-----------

Now every time i bang, i get a new line in my Google spreadsheet.

WritingToMax11

Good luck writing to Google Docs!

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22/02/14 School

Internship at 100% FAT

This week i started working as an intern at 100% FAT, a dutch company that fuses art with technology. To really know what they do check out 100fat.nl. So far it has been an awesome experience and i’m really glad i applied as an intern there. The team is young and i have the feeling that i can learn a lot while i’m here. It’s very nice since i can do a lot of experimenting with a wide array of tools. This week i already started with Max/MSP and Arduino communication. It has got me really interested what else i can do with Arduino. I think i’m going to buy a breadboard and a soldering kit just to get started on my own projects.

So far they have showed me a lot of their work and current projects. One of the projects i’m helping on right now is a project they are creating for the Gallary at the University of Twente. They are using a lot of leapmotion technology which is really interesting, currently i’m working on getting Arduino to communicate with some remote controls sent via infrared. Awesome first week!

 

 

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21/05/13 School , Video

CupClub de Verleiding

Currently i’m developing another website besides this one. Also backed up with wordpress i’ve created a custom theme and menu. The website will be used to promote our interactive machine we are building during our last quartile. You can find the website at http://cupclub.gjcb.nl/

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23/04/13 School

De Verleiding Time Schedule

For the fourth quartile we are doing “De Verleiding” this is the time schedule that i’m keeping up.

You can find it in this Google Document.

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