CAP 203 - Computer Animation III

Chapter 10: Logo Treatments

Objectives:

This lesson covers material from chapter 10 of the text. Objectives important to this lesson:

  1. Logos and treatments
  2. Classic treatments
  3. Assigned Exercises
  4. Other exercises
Concepts:

The chapter begins with a discussion of treatments, which are described as new art based on previous art. An animator may be assigned, for instance, to create an animated logo for a customer who only has a static logo. You may be assigned to create a new idea, to freshen or update an existing company symbol.

If the text showed you a new and unique kind of animation, it would cease to be new and unique as soon as it became well known. Instead, the author introduces several techniques that she calls classics, from which you can learn basic skills, and on which you can build your own art. The techniques can be summarized as:

  • 2D to 3D
  • Perspective Matching
  • Cutouts
  • Fragments
  • Light beams
  • Text path
  • Unfolding a sphere

Perspective Matching Exercise

The first lesson we will consider in the chapter is Perspective Matching on page 196.

  1. You don't have to open the start file for this lesson. If you start from scratch, you only need to know how to set up a LookAt Constraint, and to assign a bitmap image to the diffuse map property of a material. Do both of these things for practice, and set up the scene as instructed in the text.
  2. When you make a box, the length, width, and height are created relative to the viewport you make it in. This means that you may have to adjust your definition of what those words mean when you switch to work in another viewport. In the image on the right, I made a box, then adjusted it to have 6 length segments, 5 width segments, and 1 height segment. I moved the box so that it is bisected diagonally by the reference image, and sized it to look like the box on the right in that image.
    The author's technique of using alt-x to make the selected object transparent is helpful when moving the box into position.
  3. I did not find the Perspective tool useful here.
  4. Making the other two boxes is useful, in terms of populating the scene and in terms of getting all three boxes in the right locations relative to each other. It is quicker to clone the box, making two new copies that can be modified independently of each other.
  5. In step 5, the author offers good advice: model the objects in standard orthographic views. In case you have forgotten, that means top, bottom, left, right, front, and back. What she does not offer is any assistance making these boxes into buildings. Try one building at a time.
    1. For the building on the right, I experimented a bit, then changed the length segments to 12. You will see why in a moment.
    2. I converted the box to an Editable Poly, and then did an extrusion (intrusion?) into the box for the polygons representing the windows in the reference image. (The Front viewport is a good one for this change, while you watch in the Camera01 viewport to check your work.) Do not extrude the polygons in the top row of the box: start in the row below that one.
    3. I then switched to the Top viewport, where I could see five polygons. I used the Slice Plane tool, with Ignore Backfacing turned On, to slice a new edge in the centermost polygon. (Which subobject mode must be active, and what needs to be selected to do this?) I had six polygons on the top of the box at this point.
    4. For my next magical trick, I changed to Vertex mode, and Target Welded several vertices. Referring to the image on the right, I Target Welded red vertex 1 to red vertex 0, red 2 to red 0, red 3 to red 0, then red 4 to red 0. Then I repeated the process for the ones I have labeled in green in this image. This effectively gives you two polygons on the top of the box, separated by the new edge you cut in part C.
    5. The next step is to extrude the edge in the center of the flat roof to become the peak of a slanted roof. Use Extrusion Settings to make the extrusion height look right to you, and set the extrusion base to the width of the roof. This last bit will not work unless you have eliminated the original vertices along the edges of the roof as I have instructed you to do.
    6. To trim this building a bit, I selected the polygons in a ring around the bottom of the box and deleted them, as well as the actual bottom. Then I selected the border and capped it.
    7. The next building is handled the same way, but it has a small extrusion in front. I handled the roof of that section by Target Welding the vertices in the new crease to the vertices in the row above them.
    8. The third box will need to be rotated so that the edges across the top face the right direction for the roof of that building. The author states that you may want to rotate this building a bit, but this was not her reason. Make sure you have an adequate number of segments on the relevant surfaces before you convert the box to an Editable Poly.
  6. Create two planes that will become the hills in the logo. See the hint in the margin about this step, that offers two methods to make the planes fit the contour of the logos. You may get good results by converting a plane to an Editable Poly, and selecting vertices, and using a large Soft Selection Falloff value.
  7. Try several lighting schemes. Obviously, the main light source for this scene will not be the sun that is behind the buildings.
  8. At this stage, animate the camera as you please. Make this your take on the scene, not the author's.
  9. Add text, and animation for it, and continue making the scene your own. Render the animation to a file, and show it to me.

Text Around a Sphere Exercise

This exercise is on pages 204 and 205. We did an exercise like this in After Effects, but not in 3DS Max, so let's try it out.

  1. In step 1, make a sphere, and map the texture to it that is described in the notes on page 204. Make a path for the text to follow. If you have an idea other than a circle, draw a spline to follow that idea instead.
  2. We have not done much with text in 3DS Max, so this step is an opportunity as well. Make it an introductory phrase for your show reel that you need to make in CAP 271.
  3. This step introduces the Path Deform modifier.
  4. Animate the scene as indicated in the text, or as you are imagining.
  5. Save your file. Render an animation of the globe and text rotating, and show it to me.

Pick Exercises

  1. Pick two more exercises from the chapter.
  2. Explore them in class to find what works and what does not. Particularly, find what you need to do that the author did not tell you.
  3. Write up your findings about those exercises, and be ready to discuss them in class. Hand in your write up for credit.