Autodesk hosts a public Design Night at the Gallery in San Francisco to celebrate all the cool aspects of design. The most recent night was all about animation with a talk by Patrick Osborne, Director of Feast, at Walt Disney Animation Studios. And we got to show off Draco and the work we've been doing with integrating photos.
There are always cool exhibits to see at the Gallery and we were able to make the giant Lego dinosaur a little more alive.
Design Night has themed making activities and we saw some really cool thaumatropes.
Design Night, as a celebration of design, is more fun with a DJ.
And of course, if you're lucky, you can get your picture taken with a celebrity.
The Maya team has a short animation in the works called Hyperspace Madness and we asked Matthew Chan, one of the project artists, to try Draco, our tool for sketch based animation and effects, to see what he thought of it for storyboarding and animatics. Hyperspace Madness started as a project to demonstrate games workflows. As that was successful, the team decided to make a short intro movie for the game to demonstrate film workflows.
Normally a storyboard is created and used to sequence the shots in a film. When that is done, the storyboard is put into a short film with some basic sound to get a feel for the pacing. You can see the Hyperspace Madness animatic below.
In the first few seconds of the animatic you can see the hero moving through the scene with lasers and explosions behind him. Each of these images needs to be drawn one at a time. Where Draco was found to be really helpful was that fewer drawings needed to be created and was was created was a more accurate representation of the story intention as you can see in a few drawings below.
Beyond saving the artist time and helping to tell the story, this resulted in less data to manage. Matthew said the Draco was intuitive and uncomplicated and he really liked the gesture based options for easily moving the different picture elements.
We're still working on Draco and will keep you updated on the progress. In case you missed the picture from Autodesk University, here it is again.
The Research team will be displaying some of their work and views on the future in the Exhibit Hall and you are cordially invited to come by, have a look, be inspired and share your feedback.
In the Exhibit Hall, you'll find people and displays for the following projects:
Draco and Kitty
Autodesk is researching how design tools can be applied to synthetic biology, problems like fighting diseases, such as cancer, and improving drug discovery.
Draco and Kitty
Answering the challenge to make animation (Draco) and authoring interactive content (Kitty) as easy as drawing, you not only see this in action but try out it out for yourself.
Showing that computers can help you design - not just produce design documentation - structurally sound and interesting pieces based on your specified goals.
If you missed Hy-Fi on display at New York's MoMA, you can get a little taste of it at AU. Haven't heard of Hy-Fi or its creators The Living? Check out this video showing Hy-Fi and some of what The Living are doing.
The Autodesk University Exhibit Hall will be open at the following times:
Tuesday, December 2: 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. for the Community Reception
Wednesday, December 3: 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 3: 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. for the AUGI Reception
Thursday, December 4: 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Beyond the Exhibit Hall, there will be a number of presentations from Research team members:
The Design Computation Symposium will explore how advanced firms are bridging the gap between Computational Design and Building Information Modeling. Speaker topics will include both pragmatic aspects of digital design in daily practice, and forward thinking ideas and research. There are three main areas of interest under this theme:
Performance-based design, simulation and analysis.
Would you like to get your designs out of the screen and into your hands? While 3D printing has become an exceedingly useful tool for demonstrating and prototyping design ideas, preparing files for 3D printing can be frustrating and time consuming. In this 90-minute course we will generate a complex surface in the Fusion 360 3D CAD design app that takes advantage of the T-Splines modeling technology. We will bring this model into Revit software where it will serve as the base for a panelized solid form using the Dynamo visual programming language extension. Once we have generated the complex parametric model to the required specifications, we will export the model to a STL file for 3D printing. A 2-step process of healing the mesh for optimal printing is described with the meshmixer tool and Project Miller. Finally, we will inspect the mesh and prepare it for output to various 3D printing platforms.
Hopefully you're familiar with Project Draco, our answer to the question:
Can animation be made as easy as drawing?
We've discussed Draco here on the blog and have a video overview of what we were showing at this year's SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver to catch you up.
Kitty builds on Draco and looks into the animation question and asks:
Can we make Draco interactive?
In the image above you'll see two interactions happening:
the user can move the dragon's head into the frame
the user can move the baby dragon into the pot
With the egg going into the pot, you'll notice that the monster's eyesfollow the egg and that the egg causes a particle splash as it enters the pot.
This opens up a lot of possibilities for iteractive storytelling.
How would children like this for an ebook on a tablet?
Does it make web content more dynamic?
Could it be useful for game authoring?
Is it useful for training and instructions?
Kitty builds on Draco but how does it work?
We've introduced a simple node network to define the relationships between objects. Let's look at the picture below of a different egg going into a different pot - yes we like cooking here at Autodesk Research.
We've set up the scene as you would in Draco with steam and splashing particles coming from the pot. In the following image you can see that we have a simple node graph that gets overlaid on the picture. This helps reduce UI while keeping the events and relationships in context.
You can see the path the egg takes to get into the pot as well as two blue circles representing the particle events. The user is making a connection from the egg to the circle on the right to tell the splash to only happen when the egg is close.
When the connection is made between the nodes, the egg path and the splash, the user can then choose how to link the events. In this case the movement of the egg is connected to the emission of the particles. The inlaid square defines the timing of the event.
The curve can be redrawn to control what happens. The horizontal axis represents the object that triggers the event (the egg). The vertical axis represents the object that is being driven (the particle splash). When the line is flat, there are no particles being emitted.
In this image below we explore using Kitty to explain how an electric doorbell works.
You can learn more about Kitty and see how easy it is to author these kinds of behaviours in the video below. More information is available on the Draco project page.
We'll be presenting this latest research at this year's UIST, the ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium, in Hawaii in October. If you are there, stop by to see the demo or attend the talk.
Whether you are at UIST or not, please let us know what you think about these tools and the possibilities that they open up for you.
The SIGGRAPH 2014 Studio is a collaborative working environment where the latest technologies and brightest minds come together to learn, experiment, and create. Attendees of the SIGGRAPH Studio explore wide range of new techniques and media with help from experienced hands. Attendees experience the latest in 3D printing, modeling, and animation software. The SIGGRAPH Studio is made for anyone interested in cutting-edge DIY gadgets, quasi-objects, Rube Goldberg machines, user-generated content projects, software, hardware, processes, workflows, technologies, etc.
Like any good SIGGRAPH experience there are moving pixels to describe the space and event. We're very happy to see Project Draco as the lead piece in this movie!
We'll be in the Studio Sunday through Thursday and have put our offer to you in the form of a short poem:
please stop by
give Draco a try
help us clarify
how we may supply
to girl and guy
In other words, we are looking for feedback on the technology and seeking input and ideas from people on what to do next. Letting you get your hands on it should help with that.
Project Draco comes from the User Interface Group here at Autodesk Research. Draco mashes up illustration, animation and effects in an easy to use interface. Fast Company says "Autodesk's Draco Lets You Animate An Illustration In Seconds". Take a look at the following illustration. There are a lot of simple elements in a picture that can be made to move and create an even richer experience for the viewer.
Autodesk is well known for tools like Maya, 3ds Max and Flame that let people create similar things. Project Draco takes some of these concepts and makes them available to just about anyone. The learning curve is very flat and the immediate feedback is incredibly gratifying. Have a look at the intuitive sketch-based workflow:
More examples of the workflows and things you can create are available in this short movie:
Tuesday, 12 August 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C
Branching Support Structures for 3D Printing: To 3D print a complex shape, a support structure is needed. Printing this support structure wastes time and material. We minimize this waste by generating a novel branching support structure which takes into account both the geometry of the model, and the properties of the printing process.
Tuesday, 12 August 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 116-117
Wednesday, 13 August 10:45 AM - 12:15 PM | Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Ballroom B-C
Position-Based Elastic Rods: Efficiently simulate complex bending and twisting of elastic rods using position-based dynamics. Our formulation is highly efficient, capable of simulating hundreds of strands in real-time.
Wednesday, 13 August 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Rooms 109-110
Get your hands on Draco, our project exploring animation for illustration!
We'll be showing Draco as a SIGGRAPH Studio Project. Come by the Studio Sunday through Thursday to see it live and even try it for yourself. Draco allows users to sketch objects and their motions using familiar digital illustration techniques. Motion created with Draco enriches the picture and allows for new possibilities in storytelling.
Maya, 3ds Max and General Media & Entertainment Industry Discussions
Our colleagues in the Media & Entertainment group will be showing off 3ds Max and Maya. Along with that they'll be discussing industry trends in Design, Film and Games and the trends they see. For educators, there will be a breakfast to meet and discuss these things and more. You can get the full details and register on the Autodesk Area SIGGRAPH 2014 event page.