Archive for October, 2012

Autumn Quarter – Week 8

October 30, 2012

This past Friday, Marie and I met with Dr. Wolfe. We used this time to briefly discuss what are plans are for the remainder of the quarter and to also practice for our Saturday Presentation at Saint Xavier University for the ChiWIC, Chicago Women in Computing, event.

I hope to spend some time this week working on the lashes for Paula as they are the biggest concern at the moment. I did a practice run last week by manipulating a plane to conform to the general shape of her lashes. It did not turn out quite the way I would have liked. This week I hope to explore creating two lines that meet the overall shape and then extrude/loft a plain along those lines.

As I mentioned, we gave a practice run of our presentation for Dr. Wolfe and a few other faculty members. Then on Saturday we attended ChiWIC. Overall, things were quite successful. We enjoyed the opportunity of sharing our current project and to have the opportunity of learning and hearing from other women in the field.

Things have gotten even more hectic as we are coming towards the end of the quarter due to Final Projects. I do hope to make more progress over the next week or two with Paula.


Autumn Quarter – Week 6 – Week7

October 20, 2012

This week Marie and I are preparing for the Chicago Women and Computing Conference that is to take place on October 25-26th. We are going to do a Lightning Round presentation covering what we are currently working on this year. We were able to put together a presentation for it and presented for one of Dr. Wolfe’s classes on Tuesday.

Dr. Wolfe, Marie and I met again this Friday. We went over the finishing touches of our presentation, adding a few additional slides to the powerpoint, and Dr. Wolfe gave us tips on how to best prepare. We will present again on Tuesday for one of Dr. McDonald’s classes, and we will run through it again this coming Friday for Dr. Wolfe. Hopefully by that Saturday we will be prepared.

Another thing we talked about on our Friday meeting was our remaining goals for Paula. As previously mentioned, we identified key components of Paula’s model that have an excessively high number of polygons thanks to the script Marie wrote. As it stands, there are about 67,000 polys in the entire model. Of that 67,000, about 45, 320 are distributed through the lashes, teeth and tongue, sweater/pants, face, hands, feet and hair. The teeth and tongue hold about 8900, the hair about 8000 and the lashes are about a whopping 17,000! This is something that needs to be addressed.

To help us track our progress, Dr. Wolfe has provided us with a script that tracks how long it takes to render out an animation. Marie and I will both perform tests to track how our editing of the model’s geometry affects the rendering speed. Starting off, in the initial tests we will render out about 50 frames of Paula as she currently is. We will keep track of the time, the date and which machine the test was performed on. From there, we will begin to make modifications on Paula. Once we have remodeled or edited those key areas previously mentioned, we re-render and take note of the differences in render times.

When beginning these changes, we will tackle each aspect one by one. Marie has already started making modifications to the hair mesh using the ProOptimizer. The results aren’t exactly perfect so further work will be done to come to a suitable solution.

I will begin tackling the lashes.

As you can see, each lash is made using a line that is rendered out as a tube/cylinder. Up close, it is not very attractive looking either.

I plan to tackle this by creating a plane that conforms to the general shape of the lashes. Then I will make and apply an opacity map to it and hope that this will provide a suitable solution for a good looking pair and low poly count set of lashes.

I am still finishing up with midterms and concentrating on the ChiWIC Conference. I will begin work on this as time allows and will hopefully make progress within the next 2 weeks or so.

Autumn Quarter Week 4 – Week 5

October 8, 2012

For week 4 on Friday we had a large group meeting. Marie and I did a practice presentation for everyone where we presented the poster we would show at Grace Hopper on the 3rd of October. After that, we practiced a bit more in the ASL transcriber program. I chose the word ‘breath’ and tried to get Paula to accurately portray it. It is just about completed.

Over the past week, I worked on creating a case to carry the poster for when we went to the conference. You can see it here:

This is the case about halfway completed.

This is the completed case.

The Conference itself went on between the 3rd and the 6th. We woke up quite early on Wednesday to catch our flight.

The flight was delayed for about an hour or so due to the weather.

Here is a picture of Marie and me at O’hare airport, taken by Dr. Wolfe.

Upon arriving at the convention center we set up the poster and explored a bit. The poster session lasted between 7:15pm and 10:00pm. Marie and I got to talk about it quite a bit to many different people. It was a lot of fun to be able to talk about what Marie and Allison had worked on last year and to be able to speak briefly on what we are working on this year.

Here we are with the poster, taken by Andrea Danyluk.

Overall, being able to attend the Conference was an amazing experience. I got to meet many different people and get a ton of information on all the different options that are available once I graduate.

Now that the Grace Hopper Conference is over with, it looks as though Marie and I will try to attend ChiWIC, Chicago Celebration of Woman and Computing, at the end of this month. On Friday, we were able to make time with Dr. Wolfe to put together an abstract for doing a Lightning Round presentation. We hope that we will be able to speak briefly on the work performed last year, but also on what we are currently working on this year.

I myself have not a had a lot of time to dedicate to Paula. Marie has had some time to test out the use of the ProOptimizer tool on Paula’s hair. It reduces the polygon count of the model and her appearance does not suffer very much. I will perform the same test as soon as I am able. I will then move on to the mouth region. With midterms this week, I may still not be able to dedicate as much time as I would like, but we’ll see how things go.