Saturday, June 20, 2009

boSmear 2.0 documentation

So I just finished the documentation for boSmear 2.0. It's available for anyone to read here:


Friday, June 19, 2009

boSmear 2.0

So I recently returned to the magical boSmear in order to make it better. The setup I had in 1.x versions was a little complicated, involving follicles and lots of unnecessary junk. This new version is far superior in both speed and economy. The setup for this smear is instant, and with the option to turn it's weight on and off (a float from 0 to 1) you can effectively eliminate any speed detriments and animate as if it weren't there. This let's you add the smear at the beginning of your animation work period but still avoid the speed hit of a big lattice until you are ready to animate the smear itself.

There's a really sneaky technique that I used in order to make this version possible, so I thought I'd describe it briefly. The new smear 2.x setup creates in the end around 13 nodes total. Compared to the last version, which created around 600+ nodes, this is a huge difference made possible by directly connecting the vertices of the smear mesh to the deformer. The problem when trying to do this simply (create a mesh, create a lattice, connect) is that the lattice will inevitably collapse on itself, considering the fact that lattice points are not 0 0 0 by default, but the mesh verts are (and for good reason, it gives them the ability to easily be "zeroed" out). Lattice points are created with worldspace coordinates, so naturally you want to convert them to 0 0 0. Fortunately, when creating a deformer on something, it creates a shapeOrig node (like smear1latticeOrig). This node holds the worldspace data for the lattice points, and effectively turns the visible lattice points to 0 0 0. So the trick I used was to create a cluster on one of the lattice points and then delete the cluster right after it's created. This just simple "freezes" the lattice, making it ready to be plugged by the smear mesh! Long story short, creating deformer on a non-freezable object allowed me to avoid having a separate cluster, curve, etc.. for each vertex on the smear mesh. Anyway, it's a strange technique but it works pretty effectively.

I previously had smear 1.0 up for free, but I'm thinking about asking for a small fee, like $2 or something. It'll be free to Ringling students ofcourse :D. Just donate on the scripts site or drop me an email/comment if you're interested.

Oh one last thing, Keith Lango just recently finished an animation using the older version of boSmear, so go check it out! It's seriously awesome (it's the Funky! video).

To start things off...

...some, if not most, of the mel scripts that I write are made readily available (for free!) on my scripts site ( Other stuff may not be as readily available, but requests are welcomed! Just comment if you're interested in something and I'll see if it's something I'm willing/able to share.


Woohoo!! So I've started this scripting blog as a means to show updates and describe techniques on the stuff I work on. It may range from mel scripting to as3, maybe some python, basically anything that I'm currently working on. I'm also gonna bring over the script related posts from bo.log (they'll be listed as earlier than this one). Anyway, I look forward to filling this blog soon!