Artist Noah Bradley says it’s OK to go to art school, but only if it’s free. He feels that the debt that art school creates for artists is hurting them. Artists don’t make a lot of money yet art school can be incredibly expensive. He has even refused teaching at universities, however he does perform online training classes. I came across this interview while reading a thread on creating art that impacts the world.
New York Times just posted an emotion test on their website. There are dozens of images of sets of eyes and you are asked to pick one of four emotion options. At the end you get a score. Find out just how much emotion the windows the the soul reveal.
I was never a big fan of math, especially algebra (grammar = yuck), though I did breeze through my Geometry class. I survived a decade working in the 3D animation industry working as a rigger, technical artist and production technology lead and only implemented a little triangle math only a handful of times. *note: This does NOT mean you should skip out on getting a proper understanding of Euler rotation orders and gimbal lock, if you want to be a good character TD.
Though no one needs to understand 3D math in order to become a 3D artist, even some digital sculptors realize the importance of a little trigonometry. Having an elementary 3D math base gives an artist a better understanding of the ‘why”s.
So, since I don’t remember too much of my high school math and never took a single trigonometry class (I’ll blame the education system), I eventually realized that if I was going to produce anything jaw-dropping, I was going to need to study up a bit…
…and luckily the internet has the answers!
Where to start?
There is a boatload of free online courses available to those willing to learn from text and videos, but mathematics is a massive world and it’s difficult to figure out where to start. For those that have completed highschool (maybe even just 10th grade) and are interested playing with some bit of 3D code, here’s some items I found quite useful. Keep in mind that most 3D animation software packages will include tools (commands, expressions, functions, etc.) that will do the math for you. Remember to search the documentation!!
If you have a line, what direction is it pointing? If you have an object in space, what direction is it moving? This is your vector. The length (aka “magnitude”) of a vector can tell you it’s speed. A normalized vector is always 1, and is useful to apply to other operations. You can subtract two vectors and you’ll get another vector which tells you the direction from one vector to another. More examples with images on MathIsFun.com.
cross product (aka vector product)
a × b = |a| |b| sin(θ) n
I have two vectors and I want to find another vector that is perpendicular (90 degress) to these two vectors. The cross product of the two vectors will help. It’s useful if I have a plane and I need to know the surface normal to the plane. For those using particles, this tells us the direction that particles would travel if we are emitting from the middle of a surface. BUT, be careful, the direction of this newly calculated vector depends on what order you specified a & b. This is where the dot product comes in very handy! More cross product details on MathIsFun.com.
a · b = |a| × |b| × cos(θ)
If you have two vectors, the dot product will tell you if the vectors are moving in the same general direction (greater than 0) or moving in two completely different directions and will never intersect the same plane (less than 0). If you have just used the cross product to find a perpendicular vector (like a surface normal), you can use the dot product to see if the if it’s facing the right direction (up?). More info on MathIsFun.com.
For video explanations, Khan Academy has a great section on vector dot and cross products or trigonometry and precalculus if you already have a basic understanding of geometry.
Here’s a list links to more information on vector math:
- Ray Wenderlich’s Trigonometry for Game Programming: Part 1/2
Trigonometry for Game Programming: Part 2/2
- Dave’s Short Trig Course
- 3D Game Math Primer 4: Operations on Vector on codeproject.com (don’t forget parts 1, 2 and 3)
- Interactive Mathematics – Vectors in 3D Space
- Vector Math for 3D Computer Graphics via Chortle at CCSU
Finally, checkout this list of free technical online courses, including programming.
Thanks to Les for the inspiration to catalog my findings.
Online Math Learning.com
CosmoLearning – Subjects include math, science, economics, law, medicine, etc.
coursera.org – Learn from 595 courses, from our 108 partners.
academicearth.org – Online college courses from Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Stanford, etc.
MIT’s Open Courseware
codebymath.com – learn math while coding
N.J. Wildberger’s Math Foundations and Algebraic Topology series, or his popular Rational Trigonometry (to avoid sine and cosine).
FAQ for computer graphics algorithms
There’s lots of stuff out there, as demonstrated w/ “20 great math sites for students and teachers” .
Recently started sharing some files on a Windows 7 computer using Shares. Turned off the wizards and other dummified options and used an Administrator group in order to assign my local Windows account permissions to access the Share remotely. This wasn’t working, and it turns out, I needed to add the account name itself and could not use a permissions group. This worked… but, for some unknown reason, the share was no longer accessible after a reboot.
Next issue I had was producing a listing error when trying to use Nautilus to see the files on the share. I then tried using some terminal commands but was receiving a “Mount.cifs cannot allocate memory mounting Windows share” message. These Windows registry edits might have solved the issue I was having… or perhaps it was the samba updates that helped?
Beeple, you’ve inspired me. “One a day“? Ok, I’ll try, but maybe end up starting with “Twice a week”, first. This should be a good way to learn Blender.
I am going to start with this tutorial from BlenderTuts. Something simple, yet organic and (if rigged) animated!!
There’s some documentation out there for installing the CUDA SDK for Linux and it all seems to be good, though I did run into some little hitches when trying to run programs that take advantage of CUDA.
When running the 64 bit CUDA executable for 3D Coat V4, I received the error, “Error cannot load shared file libcudart.so.3 where is libcudart.so.3″. I found this information for correcting the error using an http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/set-environment-variable-linux/.
This resulted in the following shell file that I dropped into my home folder.
cd /opt/3D-CoatV4-0 && ./3d-coat-64-CUDA
Maybe now, combined with my recently purchased GTX 580, I will see some serious improvemnets in my voxel sculpting and simulations. For good measure, I can’t forget about all the inspiring sculpting work out there.
The mood ring of the 20th century presented as bodily maps of emotions.
“…Participants viewed emotion-laden words, videos, facial expressions and stories. They then self-reported areas of their bodies that felt different than before they’d viewed the material. By coloring in two computer-generated silhouettes…”
Time to upgrade the video card and it’s been a tough decision. “Professional 3D card” like nVidia’s Quadro versus a consumer grade gaming card like the GeForce cards. Is there a difference? There’s a lot of debate out there, but it ultimately depends on the budget and how the card is going to be used. I’m a professional 3D animator who does quite a bit of character work in packages like Maya, but I also do some FX work in Houdini and some digital sculpting in 3D Coat. Houdini and 3D Coat can take advantage of the CUDA cores and according to this thread in the 3D Coat forums, the CUDA performance has been degraded in recent releases on the GeForce cards. They seem to be settling on the Geforce GTX 580.
After much research, I’ve decided to replace my Quadro 600 card. It has been reliable and doesn’t consume much power, but the frame-rates are killing my eyes. I’ve opted for the Geforce GTX 580 w/ 3GB of RAM. Cost me $260, used on Amazon. The other option I was considering was the Quadro 4000 w/ 2GB of RAM… but I would have had to talk a seller down from $450. Considering the benchmarks and the stats below… well… I’m going to take a gamble on a “non-professional” card.
RAM = 1GB
CUDA = 96
mem interface = 128
max power = 40w
RAM = 2GB
CUDA cores = 384
interface = 128 bit
max power = ?
Here’s some links to some of the Quadro vs GeForce debates.