Alternative to Wacom Stylus?

Dart Stylus?

Now that Wacom have released a bunch of different styluses for tablets, the Solo starting at $20 ranging up to the top of the line one at $70…there suddenly seems like a lot of choices one of which is the Dart, also $70 but this seems to work much better across various platforms.

Not one I’ve had the opportunity to try right now, but it’s something that should be on any digital artists radar looking for something with a bit more control to be used on various tablets who aren’t in the Cintiq budget.

Stuff from 3D Stimulus

>So this is really a highlight of some of the info as there are videos of some of the talks to come later.

Okay, so most probably couldn’t care, but asking to help folks at the local New England resellers out, they’re looking to get 200 people signed up for the 20th April event. GET.

If they do, they’ll get some money to put towards local events, and they’ve helped put on a lot of cool events for artists in the Boston area, so if you’re in the area or just want to help out, register through them and it’ll be much appreciated.

The webinar is mostly a bunch of presentations about vfx, one is from the effects on Black Swan and another movie and one is a game I think.

If anyone is interested, give Heidi a shout –

She needs your name, email and either an address or your company name and she’ll automatically opt you out of receiving any Autodesk newsletter spam, unless you actually want it.

Other bits and pieces, Motion Builder or the Entertainment Suite of products, if you buy through GET, you’ll get a free Kinect and set up with hacked software to have your own motion capture device out of it. if you want to check out the software that was demo’ed as a mocap software that plugged right into Motion Builder.

A nice free shader for people to use in their work was 3Point Shader Lite found here.

3D Stimulus Day

>GET are hosting another 3D Stimulus Day event – 9th April

A recap about the event, which is an awesome free art and networking event –

Location: Mt. Ida, Newton, MA

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Presentations this year include:

  • Chad Moore of Turbine and Rigging Dojo, with Job Hunting Tips for 3D Artists
  • Alex Schwartz and Yilmaz Kiymaz of Owlchemy Labs, presenting Mixing 2D and 3D in Unity
  • A panel-discussion with various tech artists from local game companies, mediated by Chad Moore
    • Ryan Griffin, Senior Character TD, Turbine
    • Elliott Mitchell, Vermont Digital Arts
    • Brandon Bateman, Senior Tech Artist, Turbine
    • Farley Chery, Instructor, ITT Institute and Bunker Hill Community College
    • Justin Woodard, Technical Artist, Turbine
  • Willem Van Der Schyf, Tencent Boston, presenting his Workflow for Character Creation using Max & ZBrush
  • Afternoon networking session upstairs with demos from local individuals and companies including Brass Monkey, Vermont Digital Arts, Owlchemy Labs, 3d Camera Technology, Mocap with Kinect and Motion Builder and lots more!!!
Adding to this, The Boston Post Mortem are having a meet up on the 13th April and will be talking about Game Law Hot Topics.

This should be a great, interesting meet up too.

Boston Post Mortem – Animation Panel

>The BPM meet up was last night and the topic was about Animation, information about the event is here.

The panellists consisted of Ron Friedman (panelist, Tencent Boston), John Lindemuth (panelist, Turbine Inc.), Andy Welihozkiy (panelist, Rockstar New England).

I’m only going to summarise what they covered, which included what they looked for in a animation reel, how best to present your work and what to look out for in doing good work.

The reel, they all agreed that the time should be around 1 min to 1:30 in length, starting out with your best piece but also ending with something strong and memorable, but you should also include your name and contact details at the start and end of the reel for convenience.

One tip they suggested for people who don’t have a lot of samples in their reel is to break down the animation into segments, show off a particular part of a animation, break to another area and show that and then showing the whole sequence as a whole.

Using sound got a split response, couple of them would watch without sound just to get a sense of weight and style of animation, while one panellist liked seeing how you timed and edited your animation to the music/dialogue to see if you understood how your animation might be used. They all agreed to stay away from “funky” music though and if you don’t have a reel that is well timed to the music to not have any.

Weight is a big part of animation, so they liked to see a whole character, don’t zoom that character in on a particular motion, such as a hand shake, they want to see how the character stands and leans around as a whole, not just the particular motion of the hand shake, even if you add some silly jitters and coughs or what have you to bring the sequence to life.

More about weight, they often could tell if someone acted out their animation or used reference video because it added a more natural rhythm to the animation which is what they want to see, you using the best resources out there to make the best animation, so don’t be afraid to look in a mirror and be goofy acting out the sequences, don’t be afraid to use your webcam to record your motions. All good studios should have some sort of set up or space to do this.

Don’t be afraid to include the bouncing ball in your reel if you can show good weight and life to the ball bouncing, they want to see you understand how things move, not necessarily have the most sexy looking models, but it is how you used them that impress and they appreciate seeing the basics. They want to see these basics because it shows you understand how a walk cycle works, how a ball moves around. If you understand that and also show a good little sequence you’ll be in a good position because a cool sequence doesn’t show that you understand all the fundamentals, just that you had a lot of time to tweak a certain animation, plus it gives you more content to show.