Saturday, June 10, 2000

Photoshop Color & Automation

posted at Indo3D mailing list

Q: Apa bedanya RGB dengan CMYK...??...(apa CMYK itu untuk gambar yg mau diprint...apakah berarti saya harus mengubah warna dulu ke CMYK...bagaimana kalau awalnya RGB abis itu diubah ke CMYK....apakah ada perbedaan yg jauh sekali???..)

A: RGB (red greeen blue) merupakan color space dari device yang menggunakan cahaya sebagai dasar (scanner, monitor, mata kita), jika dicampur akan menghasilkan warna putih, sehingga disebut juga warna aditif, sedang CMYK adalah color space dari tinta cetak yang jika CMY tadi dicampur akan menghasilkan warna hitam sehingga disebut warna subtraktif. Tetapi karena gabungan CMY pada kenyataannya tidak mampu menghasilkan warna hitam yang murni (akibat impuritas tinta), makanya terpaksa ditambahkan warna hitam.

Untuk gambar yang mau diprint harus dikonversi dulu ke CMYK. Setting untuk mengkonversi RGB ke CMYK di Photoshop berada pada File/Color Setting/CMYK Setup (PS 5 & 5.5). Setting default Photoshop untuk konversi sebenarnya diatur agar kualitas gambar optimal jika dicetak di atas art paper.

Gamut adalah batas dari kemampuan medium tertentu untuk mereproduksi warna. Gamut RGB memang lebih luas dari gamut CMYK sehingga ada warna-warna tertentu yang hanya direproduksi di RGB tetapi tidak bisa di CMYK, contohnya: warna ungu, hijau yang terang. Sebaliknya, warna-warna kuning, magenta dan cyan juga tidak dapat direproduksi oleh monitor serupa saat dicetak. Hal ini memang merupakan keterbatasan masing-masing medium.

Photoshop akan secara otomatis memasukkan warna yang di luar gamut menjadi di dalam gamut CMYK saat konversi. Agar warna dapat kelihatan lebih vibrant, Anda bisa menambahkan saturasi gambar di CMYK.

Q: Kalau mau ngeprint dgn hasil yg tajam dan optimal...minimal harus berapa dpi??...(kalau nggak salah 300 dpi ya??....)

A: Jika raster (halftone screen frequency) saat cetak digunakan 150 lpi, resolusi yang dibutuhkan adalah 1,5 - 2 kali sehingga didapat 300 dpi. Tetapi pada raster untuk koran hanya digunakan 85 lpi sehingga resolusi maksimal yang dibutuhkan hanya 170 dpi.

Q: Minta tolong dong, ada yang tau gimana caranya nge reduce ukuran images yang sekaligus banyak? Saya punya 550 image sequences (640x480), ukurannya mau dikecilkan jadi 320x240 tanpa harus render ulang... pake apa ya ?

A: Saya tidak menyarankan untuk melakukan proses pengecilan dengan Premiere karena proses interpolasinya tidak sebagus Photoshop atau After Effects.
Jika menggunakan Photoshop, gunakan fungsi Actions. Caranya, buka satu gambar dan buat action baru dengan merekam langkah pengecilan gambar. Setelah itu, jalankan Actions ke seluruh folder dengan menggunakan File>Automate>Batch.

Digital Studio

Tuesday, June 06, 2000

12 Animation Principles from Illusion of Life

posted by Daniel Harjanto at Indo3d mailing list

These are the "principles of animation" from The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson. by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston ISBN 0-7868-6070-7. These principles are also listed in reference to Character Animation Exercises under that section because they are so very important to know! If you study anything and base any of your character animation exercises on anything...base it on these rules.All of the blue text are my own notes. I have also added some important principles of my own that I have found very important and useful to take not of when working on character animation.

1. Squash and Stretch--What is the character made of? How much muscle, fat,bone, hair, cloth? How fast is the character moving, accelerating, or decelerating? Try to maintain an objects original volume and its material integrity. ("truth to materials"). Remember that the material does not have to be a bouncing ball to have squash an stretch. Human and animal skeletons have an enormous amount of squash and stretch going as they move. Think about the words "collapsed" and "sustained" when animating a character.

2. Anticipation--What is the character about to do? What is the character thinking?(mental vs. physical anticipation). Helps to clearly telegraph story ideas and actions even before they occur. Leads the viewer from one story point to another. Contrast in motion is KEY here. If the character is about to do something radical and quick, there should me a slow anticipatory hold on his before before the quick action in order to prep the eye for what is going to happen next AND to show that the character is thinking about doing the action. Motion with out thought is pointless.

3. Overlap--How is the character constructed? The different parts that go into making a character will move or cycle at different rates based on its construciton, or its hierachy. "An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest." What forces are driving the movement. Watch appendages and how the move in relation to the main parts of the body. nothing moves at the same time!!!

4. Followthrough--What is the character made of? Any single character is made up of many different materials (muscle, fat, cloth, hair, etc.) Each of these elements will start ("drag") and stop ("follow through") at different times. Its takes some time to REALLY understand LAG and OVERSHOOT. Picture a character that drops his arm to his side from a pose where he is holding his head. That drop of the wrist does not just stop as it reaches the thigh. The wrist/hand will overshoot its intended position and then place itself in a natural hanging state. A more obvious example would be a baseball pitcher. When the pitcher throws the ball he does not stop his motion as the ball leaves his hand. His entire body with follow-through the intended motion. When deciding on the amount of LAG and OVERSHOOT you apply, keep in mind what your character is made of.

5. Slow in/Slow out-- What is the mass of the object? Heavier objects take longer to get into motion and longer to stop. Lighter objects will accelerate faster, and stop quicker. If your character jumps and lands on something heavy, that heavy object will rock in response to the impact of the jump. The thing that will show how heavy the object is that your character just jumped on is the timimg of that rock. A quick rocking motion will imply a light object while a slow more even rock will tell the viewer it is a heavy object.

6. Secondary action-- What is the character thinking? Often the hands, or eyes give us clues as to what a person is thinking, as opposed to what he/she is saying. Secondary action can also give us clues about a character's background. Secondary action is like the icing on the cake. You begin with the body motion and posing and finish it off with secondary motion to emphasize the idea. Examples are eyes, hands, appendages like ponytails and tails, and of course facial motion. In my opinon, thi sinvolves the last 10 percent of refining in your character and is what eventually makes the difference between good and bad Animation.

7. Staging--What should the viewer be looking at? How can a charcter be posed, or a camera angled, so as to make the characters action read best, (silhouette)? How much or how little do we want the viewer to know? This can make or break your shot. You are telling a story and YOU decide what the viewer should be looking at. If you are not precise with your staging you story will be missed. Refer to my writings on this under the characters section of this website.

8. Pacing--"A series of actions all with the same intensity and amount of movement will quickly become tedious and predictable". Look for ways to show contrast in your characters movements and attitudes. This is another tough one. It is probably the biggest error made in CG Animation. Sta away from swimmy spliney motion that looks all the same. Watch people when they speak. They dont look like they are under water! They moves with some fliud motion and then it is contrasted with more stacatto motion that emphasize what they are syaing.

9. Line of Action--Use the "line of action" in your poses for more clarity, simplicity. Contrast lines of action, in your animation, to add variety and rhythm to your scene. Remember tourque and twisting in your character. Your character's poses will define his emotions!

10. Exaggeration--Cartooning is a "caricature of reality". Study the emotions. Study the physics. Then see how far you can push it. Try to look for ways to break the rules. Only when you have a realistic motion can you add personality so make sure that your character is moving realistically from all angles. This is 3D and most likely if the character's movements do not look right from one angle, they will look wrong from your camera angle. Once you get the motion down, embellish it where needed to create the personality you desire.

Storytelling-- In the form of Character animation, it is important to externalize the inner thoughts of the character. It is the driving force behind the actions of a character. Most people take this term literally to mean tell a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. This is true, but it does not mean to create a HUGE production of minutes of animation. Take any ten seconds of any Disney film and you will see a story being told. The character is externalizing his emotions through the acting. Working on a short film will make you lose sight of the action and emotions you are trying to create for your film. Any animator at for instance PIXAR or PDI is not expected to think about the entire film they working on, this is the director's job. Their job is to create an emotive response through their character's actions for that particular scene. In summary, create some exercises that will show great acting skills. John Lasseter's Luxo Jr. was created as just such a character test. It is a simple stage with two characters interacting. Don't attempt to create a huge story or you will lose sight of the forest for the trees. I think the mistake that many students make(Including myself) is that they try to create a piece that stands entirely on its own from head to toe. Models, Lighting, Surfaces, layout, story, and animation. You could easily spend one year in each of these catagories alone. For one individual or two, I think there is to much too handle. Target you interests and focus. For example, I am in the process right now of creating three simple shots of simple primitive shaped characters demonstrating different principles of animation, such as weight or follow thru, etc.

Assymetry-- To avoid twins/symmetry when posing a character, remember torque, contrapposto, line of action and/or shifting of weight. This means that the characters weight will be distributed more to one side than the other. On the side that has the most weight, the pelvis rotates up towards the shoulder on the same side, and the shoulder rotates down towards the pelvis, while the spine slightly takes shape as an arc. As long as you remember this, and you dont put the arms in exactly the same position with the same angles and directions, you cant possibly end up with a twin. This type of posing will create much more interesting characters and acting. Also, try to vary the direction that the limbs are pointing. For example, both feet will NOT be pointing out from the body at an angle of exactly 45 degrees. At least one foot will always be pointing towards the person the character is talking to, or whatever his object of interest is. When creating a walk you should realize that very rarely do characters walk with their feet facing forward like a soldier. A walk is a personal thing and can be influnced easily by a simple turn of the ankle.

Weight-- You must constantly be thinking about the material that your character is made of and his size. This influences every one of these principles and if the character is not infused with a sense of weight it will look lifeless.

Friday, June 02, 2000

Soal Gaji & Profesi Animasi

posted at Indo3d mailing list

Andi S. Boediman
Ketika muncul pertanyaan mengapa orang Marketing selalu dapat bagian lebih besar daripada animator sendiri? Menurut saya adalah karena it's about market, not about product. Pemikiran yang sama saya miliki sewaktu memulai karir sendiri. Saya pikir, kemampuan adalah segala-galanya, tetapi kondisi market membuktikan hal yang sebaliknya. Hal ini tidak berarti bahwa animator perlu digaji lebih kecil atau lebih besar dari bagian marketing. Tetapi yang utama adalah semua mendapatkan penghargaan yang setimpal atas kemampuan masing-masing.

Ada pendapat bahwa marketing tanpa animator tidak bisa apa-apa sedangkan untuk animator masih mampu memasarkan karya sendiri tanpa bantuan orang marketing. Sebaliknya orang marketing akan berpendapat, saya cuma perlu tahu selera pasar, cari produknya dan jadi makelar aja. Kan enak : ). Saya lebih setuju bahwa kita mengukur gaji tidak hanya dari skill saja, tetapi dari besarnya tanggung jawab. Kenapa direktur digaji gedhe padahal cuman duduk-duduk aja dan kerjaannya nyuruh-nyuruh doang.

Kenyataannya, dari pengalaman pribadi, saya melihat bahwa banyak artis yang memiliki 'attitude' yang kurang positif (dibaca: sok artis). Sebagai creative director, saya perlu bekerja sama dengan klien dengan berbicara dalam bahasa klien (yang market oriented) dan berbicara kepada artis yang product oriented. Saya lebih setuju jika kita saling menghargai profesi masing-masing dan tidak merasa bahwa dalam suatu proses produksi, semua itu adalah jasa si artis. Bahkan, sikap inilah yang membuat terjadinya perpecahan.

Perlu adanya sikap bahwa dalam suatu tim diperlukan marketing, produser (project manager) & artis dalam kapasitas sebagai mitra yang saling menghargai kemampuan masing-masing.

Jadi meskipun saya dapet klien yang seleranya agak norak pun, saya berusaha untuk mengerjakan yang terbaik. For a good designer, there's no bad project. Malah tugas kita untuk mendidik klien dengan menunjukkan karya yang sebaik mungkin yang makin lama akan meningkatkan apresiasi mereka.

Di Amrik, yang gajinya gedhe adalah sopir bus dan masinis kereta listrik. Apakah tugasnya sulit dan perlu melekan? Tidak! Tetapi tanggung jawabnya luar biasa besar! Nyawa orang lain.

Bullit Sesariza
Mengambil contoh MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) adalah sebuah program ujian kayak TOEFL untuk proffesional IT yang ingin menggunakan produk Microsoft, yang bisa dilakukan dimana saja, bisa on-line malah dan ada angka nilainya. sehingga dari situ ketahuan si peserta ada di level mana...

Yang saya mau utarakan mata ujiannya ada 4 :
1. Manajerial : Cara menganalisa kebutuhan dan menemukan solusi
2. Basic skill : Mendesain dan menerapkan aplikasi desktop
3. Basic skill : Mendesain dan menerapkan aplikasi network
4. Software Skill : Menggunakan salah satu Software pilihan

Karena itu standarisasi itu mencakup dari sisi manajerial sampai software skill...kan perbandingannya 1 manajerial : 2 basic skill : 1 software. Dari sistem itu Microsoft secara otomatis mengarahkan para pengguna produknya untuk melihat dari berbagai sudut pandang walau nantinya mereka hanya jadi operator saja...

Saya mengambil contoh standarisasi dari microsoft karena ada contoh standarisasi konsultan dari pemerintah (lewat departemen PU) beda lagi... mereka melihatnya dari modal yang dimiliki... jenis dan alat yang dipunyai sehingga hal itu menentukan kemampuan menyelesaikan tingkat kesulitan proyek. Kelemahannya untuk jasa animasi..intelectual properti jadi tidak ada nilainya.

Standarisasi mungkin salah satu jalan untuk memulai menggerakkan "Industri Animasi", karena apabila sudah ada standart yang baku maka suatu industri yang notabene untuk cari untung akan memiliki variable yang bisa dihitung akurat dalam cashflow dengan tidak mengorbankan animator dan dijamin menguntungkan karena si animator pasti mampu menyelesaikan tanggung jawabnya.

S. Inderaprana
Perhitungan cashflow yang akurat kayaknya nggak perlu standarisasi (berhasil juga ngomongnya) gaji. Dengan harga pasar saja mustinya udah bisa.

Buat saya, animasi adalah industri yang agak sulit di-baku-kan, karena terlalu banyak variabel yang berhubungan dengan seni, selera, dll. Apalagi kondisi di Indonesia (saat ini)

Masalah siapa korban dan siapa mengorbankan, kayaknya banyak juga terjadi di industri lain (termasuk industri yang udah di S-word kan), masih banyak demo karyawan karena gaji masih di bawah UMR.

Balik ke dunia animasi. Masalahnya balik lagi ke individu masing-masing (individu bisa dibaca studio/perusahaan). Kalo saya cenderung dikembalikan ke masalah kemitraan. Apa yang bisa dikontribusikan si animator (ato profesi apapun) pada perusahaan dan apa yang bisa diberikan perusahaan sebagai kompensasi. Seorang animator ato marketing ato sales, bisa aja punya gaji selangit karena usaha mereka menyebabkan perusahaan untung selangit juga dan bukannya bergaji selangit tapi hasil nol besar. Jadi bukan masalah siapa dapet berapa, tapi siapa menghasilkan berapa (shg dapet berapa). Emang agak ruwet juga, karena sistem evaluasi SDM musti jalan bagus. Jadi pastiin dulu kualitas, baru pasang harga. Ayo rame-rame naikin kualitas .... O, ya naikin kualitas nggak cuma dengan belajar dan berlatih lho .... pengalaman juga musti ditambah (inget Aliens? "How many times did you do this?" ... "hundreds of times in simulation" ... "How many times did you REALLY do this?" ... "Never".

BTW: belok dikit ... saya kembalikan masalah team work di sini, kita nggak bisa bilang tanpa animator nggak ada kerjaan, dan tanpa marketing nggak masalah. Kalo si animator lagi sibuk, gimana mau jualan? Memang, animator lebih independen daripada marketing yang tergantung produk. Team work bukan berarti animator dan marketing saja, masih banyak lagi ... animator kita artikan sebagai apa nih? animator tok? modeler? TD? Render wrangler? Texture Painter? SysAdmin? Librarian? Itu baru di 3D.

Gaji rata-rata animator amerika disana US$50.000,- /tahun (standard). Dengan pendapatan perkapita US$14.000,- untuk amerika dan US$1000,- untuk Indonesia, dengan kurs dolar = Rp.8000,- maka didapat angka gaji Rp. 2.38jt./bulan untuk animator kita.

Itu itungan bodoh saya dan enggak usah di jadiin patokan, jawaban yang lebih kongkrit ada di posting bullit sendiri;

Dengan kata lain, bisa saya analogikan dengan contoh berikut ini, ada 3 level bisnis-man:

Low level
hanya menjual tenaga saja, seperti tukang loak (maaf) yang membeli thermos bekas seharga Rp. 1000,- dan menjualnya kembali seharga Rp. 1250,- dan mendapat keuntungan hanya Rp. 250,-;

Medium level
tidak hanya tenaga yang dia jual, tetapi juga: waktu, skill, spesialisasi, pengalaman, nama besar, kemampuan managerial prooduksi, kecepatan kerja, dll;

High level
sama seperti diatas, ditambah faktor "political bussiness" yang mempengaruhi negosiasi gaji. seperti: hubungan personal, tingkat ketergantungan perusahaan, pengaruh dalam team-work, pengaruh dalam networking secara keseluruhan, dll;

Dengan kata yang lain lagi; salary ditentukan dengan kemampuan kita mengukur diri sendiri dan kemampuan bernegosiasi.