Design 950 Winter 2003 with Brian Stone

A list of things I worked on this quarter:

  1. Worked on my 3-D canine skeleton model until the beginning of February. Compare the state it was in at the end of Autumn 2004 (.jpg) with the current state (.mov). The head was not modeled in detail like the other bones. I decided to not model it any further so I could move on to other things.

  2. Created 2 animatics for my survey. One is an animatic of sequential drawings of a dog trotting (.avi or .mov). The other is an animatic of sequential photographs of a dog galloping from Edward Muybridge's Animals in Motion (.avi or .mov). Both were created by selecting all the images separately. Then, I copied all images for a sequence into one Photoshop file in different layers. I lowered the opacity of the upper layers in order to align the body image between frames properly. I saved each layer out as its own file numbered sequentially. I imported the sequences into Adobe Premiere and then exported them out as .mov and .avi movies.

  3. I did rigging tests to see if I could get some geometry bound to a kinematic skeleton that follows my dog mocap markers. See details of the initial rigging tests done on a trotting dog. Next, I worked on binding simple cylinder geometry to a dog's leg who is climbing a stair case. I reached succes on my 12th attempt. View my rigging notes. View a short movie of the bound leg in Maya.
    I then managed to export this to a VRML file and figure out what to change within the VRML file to get it to work. View the VRML file of the dog leg climbing and descending a short stair case. (Get Cortona VRML viewer for Internet Explorer from

  4. I tried to rig my 3-D skeleton to the animation skeleton without success. I then decided to create "stick figure" geometry of cylinders and cubes for the entire dog. These, I successfully bound to the animation skeleton. View rigging notes. It took a lot of attempts to get it to export to a VRML 2 file, and then it took lots of hacking at the code to fix the VRML export file. View my notes on the VRML creation process.
    Maya kept locking up or ceasing to respond. I tried selecting part of the stick figure to export to VRML, thinking that it was the amount of data the computer had to process that stopped it from creating the file. I also tried selecting just the dog's geometry. I was able to export the geometry but it wasn't animated in VRML at first. I managed to fix the problem though.
    View the final successful animated stick figure VRML file. It is a normal trotting gait.

  5. I rendered two perspectives from the successfully bound stick figure 3-D model using Maya and Adobe Premiere. View the side-view movie, full-speed, half-speed, quarter-speed. View the overhead-view movie, full-speed, half-speed, quarter-speed.

  6. I did a muscle rigging tutorial from Maya Feature Creature Creations by Todd Palamar. It didn't work. His rig broke when I moved the ik handle around. The muscle went through the 3-D bone and the hand didn't follow the animation skeleton. See jpg.

  7. I read about survey design in "An Introduction to Survey Research, Polling, and Data Analysis" by Herbert F. Weisberg, Jon A. Krosnick, and Bruce D. Bowen, took notes, and thought of questions to add to my survey. See PDF of possible survey questions.

  8. Thought about the information architecture for revising the learning module. Did some sketching of layouts. Noticed that I'll need to add the links "walking," "trotting," "canter," or "stair climbing" before they choose a view: "lateral," "overhead," "frontal," or "posterior." Then they will choose to view as "motion capture" or "video." I also think it might be worthwhile to add another speed. So they could view the current movie as "full speed," "half-speed," or "quarter-speed." I'm not sure whether to use pop-up menus since these are frowned upon due to lack of accessability for screen readers and for impaired motor control. Maybe tab navigation would work better.