Taking a Break: I Made a Thing in Maya

**WARNING: Picture-less blog incoming**

This is what I was doing last week, instead of blogging.

The following is an incomplete cutscene for my demo reel open assignment. After literally staying up all night on Thursday night, and countless batch renders with the wrong camera viewport, this is what I’ve come up with. It’s… very rushed and choppy, even by mainstream standards. Except that beginning shot, that was sweet. Didn’t think their walks would turn out so perfect.

Click here to view video. (It is unlisted)

As you can probably tell, it’s very rushed. No matter how early you start, no matter how few other classes you have, animation takes time. As it is, the models in this scene are just free rigs I found off the web. And animating a whole scene? Blah… can you tell that I gave up on animating the last few shots?

This was quite a learning experience unto itself. Sure I’ve made a very short, even worse scene, but this was big for me because it was something I wanted to do. I was in complete control of how the final scene would end up. I guess the biggest problem I’ve had in game dev, is that it’s difficult to work on projects for which you hold no passion. This is why I blog: so I can share my own ideas and thoughts. That and procrastination; I can already hear my teacher going, “imagine how it would’ve turned out if you’d started earlier. 😉 ” And he’d be absolutely right. It sounds like a should’ve-would’ve-could’ve statement, yet it’s also kind of encouraging: if I can do this in less than a week, imagine what I could’ve done in a month? A year?!

Here’s proof that I’m not as bad at lip syncing as the scene lets on. In fact, I made the neck rig myself. Everything else used the model given in class. Oh man, I know what I want to do this summer… Who knows, maybe one day I can be the next Monty Oum. ;P (RIP Monty, both social media and real life meanings applied here!)

Animation, crafts, cooking, gaming… I don’t want to stick to one thing. I want to create, I want to have fun, and I want to make the world plush.

Do you have 3D animation software and want to give the rigs a try? Here are the links to the free downloads. I recommend starting with the Morpheus rig since the package includes the head model, and you can create your own blend shapes to make facial animation and lip syncing so much easier:

Morpheus (Mark)
http://www.joshburton.com/projects/morpheus.asp

Mery (Mia)
http://www.meryproject.com/#!download/c1n0f

***Pictoplasma (“Cat?”)
http://www.cgmeetup.net/home/ultimate-rigs-maya-rigs-maya-character-rigs-free-maya-rigs/

What are your dreams for the future? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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Pi Day with Pudding Pies – Dessert Days #4

Today is March 14, 2015, and the time is 9:00 pm. Aka 3/14/15/9:00. Aka 3.14.15.9. I meant to wait about 26 minutes more, but when you’re in a comp sci related field, 3.14159 is enough. Any more decimals, and you’re just being a douche.

Anyway, this post is dedicated to today’s most obvious pun: Pi Day!

I’ve never been a huge fan of pie. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good chicken pot pie. KFC used to make this amazing cookie dough pie, but I think people were getting too fat, so they discontinued it. Not to worry, it was promptly replaced by lava cakes and strawberry cheesecake. Mmmm, cheesecake… *drool*

Mini Shoonie and me, learning to make awesome pie

Mini Shoonie and I, learning to make apple pie

We made apple pie years ago, using apples we picked. Shoonie was only 7 years old at the time. *squishy squishy squishy squish* We brought the pie home, baked it (kitchen smelled amazing) and ate it with ice cream. It felt great to eat an apple pie that wasn’t just hot apple-flavoured jelly and apple bits wrapped in a flake pastry. (One of the big reasons I wasn’t a big pie fan) Here’s a picture of us making it, taken from my old deviantART account. No, you’re not getting the link. >:O Fun fact: that purple shirt went on to become this dress.

One of my favourite types of pie is Key Lime. I love the sweet and sour combination. Of course, when I suggested making it this week, mi madre was all, “who’s going to eat so much pie? Make it next week!” Oh well, we don’t have lime juice anyway. 😦 And then, I thought about Marzia’s Puga Puffs, and remembered the package of banana pudding we have sitting around. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: thank goodness for small-portion recipes.

puddi-pie

Mini Pudding Pies

You can look up the most basic pie recipe and you’ll notice that they have three main layers: the crunchy bottom crust, the flavorful middle filling, and the light topping. Just like the cupcakes, these pies whip up quick and are perfect to satisfy any sudden cravings. It’s unlikely to happen, but if you get stuck, please follow Marzia’s video above.

First, you will need to make the bottom crust. Get some plain biscuits (I used Maria biscuits) and crush them as finely as possible. Two biscuits gave me enough crumbs for two thin crusts. Then, melt a teaspoon of butter and mix it into the crumbs. Don’t soak the crumbs through. They just need to be wet enough so that they pack together, like this:

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Next, you will need a pudding of your choice. You can make it from scratch or use a mix. I used banana, because that’s what we had on hand.

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Finally, top it off with whipped cream and whatever else you want! Make sure the whipped cream is nice and thick. This will make it look prettier in see-through containers. It’s difficult to tell from the picture, but I put a bit of coconut on my pies.

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Now I have a snack for these shark week cravings! Yay!

What’s your favourite type of pie? Are you going to do anything fun for St. Patrick’s Day? What DO you actually do on St. Patrick’s Day, if you haven’t reached the drinking age? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Cupcakes For Two? – Dessert Days #3

You might notice I’ve gone ahead and changed the titles of some previous posts. Yes, I have a  section of dessert recipes. This one will simply involve me trying out different recipes from around the web. And they’re mostly sweets. I felt my blog wasn’t cute enough without cute snacks.

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It was mi madre’s (my mum’s) birthday this week, so I figured I would try out this recipe. Lately we don’t have enough space to make crazy amounts of cakes. I would put this recipe on my list of go-to “fix” recipes, next to the microwave chocolate cake.

Click the name below to view the original recipe!

One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes

IMG_20150304_143006578Before starting, the one thing that bothered me about this recipe had to be the egg whites. I’ve been told that the egg whites are the part that contain salmonella, and you must cook them thoroughly before consumption. As one of those habitual food preparation snackers, I didn’t want to get sick. >.< I did notice the ingredient list was very similar to the microwave chocolate cake recipe, except this time we will acutally use baking powder. Perhaps next time, I will add baking powder to the chocolate cake and bake it.

Anyway, I made the batter. So far so good, it looks and tastes like ordinary vanilla cake batter.

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IMG_20150304_145340199Oh wow… I thought this was TWO cupcake recipe, yet I ended up with an even four. I think it’s because I used smaller liners. You can see the extra space between the liners and the actual pan. This is fine; now we can have smaller sizes, and mi madre won’t complain she’s getting fat.

IMG_20150304_151850519Baking time! It took about 10 minutes before these cupcakes were as baked as Squirt, that one time in Montreal. (hehehe… durg references.)

Fresh cuppies look and smell great as is! But they are still missing something…

I know! Decorations! I made them look like flowers, with centers that matched their respective cupcake liners.

*insert Zelda item acquisition theme here*

Finished! So what is the final verdict?

These cupcakes were tasty and moist, and they are an excellent recipe to make as a birthday present! Still, I feel like the baking powder didn’t mix correctly since the cakes felt a bit heavy and didn’t rise as much. Are cupcakes supposed to rise more? Or am I thinking of muffins?

Either way, these were great. Maybe next time, I’ll use bigger wrappers to get them closer to their intended cupcakes for 2. I’m certainly inspired to look up more small-portion recipes for future use!

Would you/have you tried making cupcakes for 2? What other small-sized recipes have you tried? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~