Maya Animations

We decided to make an animation of the submersible in maya so that people could get an idea of what the end product might look like or do. The first attempt was not very successful as we were working with parts of maya that we hadn't used before.

The First Attempt:

We used the one body submarine because it seems that that is going to be our final choice. We started by creating a sea floor, then added in the submarine and a camera (with aim).

Two lights were used, one directional light aimed downward from above the scene, and a spot light that went on the from of the submersible. The first was not very bright, and only existed so that the sub and "unlit" part of the scene could be seen. The main light went on the front of our sub as a spot light because that is how the submersible will actually be seeing; after a few meters there is very little light and so the submersible will have to provide its own.

As with any photorealistic rendering we then spent a fair amount of time making the submersible, rocks, and sea floor look natural and life like.

After animating the scene (just the sub and camera) a few different times we decided that it looked quite boring and we added in an arc shaped rock and a smaller rock on the sea floor.

Finally we decided that we wanted to add in seaweed. To do this we used the "squirrel fur" option in the furs menu. We then changed it to be long, green, and more sparse than actual fur. Also we made it scraggly and have a much thinner top than bottom so it would look more seaweed like.

Finally we made a fan that affected the fur, through a hair system. And animated the seaweed so that it waved back and forth like waves washing over them.

Finished First Attempt Unrendered

Then came the hardest part of trying to make a video from the animation. We rendered 96 frames as iffs to start off, but were unable to find a converter. Then we realized that with QuickTime 7 Pro we could convert jpegs into a .mov.

Once we did that we decided that we needed to make it longer and had to fix some of the lighting. Thus we turned it into 144 frame animation and re-rendered a few times, and tried converting a few times until we finally got it to work.

This is the final animation at 12fps

The Second Attempt:

This past Monday (1/12/14) we learned that we were being interviewed for Channel 6 on Thursday. We decided that the more basic animation was not going to be good enough for television and so decided to make a better one.

We then decided to make a better version of the animation, and in the next four evening spent a total of about 24 man hours on it.

We first took the new SolidWorks model of the submarine that Jon Amory helped us to create. It has the main thruster as well as a flashlight and pi camera on top of the basic shape. 

Possible Final Submersible

The first thing that we did was locate the preset that takes place underwater. It was hard to find and we had to resort to using the find function on the computer. It was very helpful though as there was a light that made it look like anything put into the scene had water moving over it, and it had fog that reduces visibility in the distance.

We then created the squirrel fur seaweed and the rock again. Then we worked on making the submarine and rocks look realistic. 

Then made the light for the front of the submarine and made it part of a group.

Then we did the actual animating of the submarine and the camera (with aim), as well as the fan for the seaweeds motion. 

Then spent a fair amount of time getting a geyser that emits bubbles to be at the very end of the animation. As well as a mass of crystals, which were already in maya under PaintEffects. 

Finished Second Attempt Unrendered

Second Attempt Full Screen

Here is what the final animation looks like.

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