Project Euler…A Hobby?

Recently I have been getting more and more into programming; so much so that I have been not only doing it at university but I have also taken it up in my spare time to make programs that make my life easier and to also solve problems from project euler.

For those of you who don’t know project euler is a website that has a large amount of mathematical and programming problems/questions that can only be solved through making programs to work out the answer (unless you want to spend years of your life working out the answers). An example of these questions is to work out the 10001st prime number or to work out the largest product of 13 sequential digits in a larger number consisting of 100 digits. These are only the easy questions too!

I find myself late at night while my brain is still whirring thinking about possible programmable solutions to the problems to calm me and nothing seems to give more satisfaction then when I solve one of these problems. Could this be the hobby that I have been searching for? It’s almost perfect in my mind as hobby; programming in general that is however as I seem to have a lack of my own problems to solve with programming project euler is perfect for giving me goals to work towards. It’s also quite a feat too to complete the later questions where only handfuls of people (compared to how many have answered the first questions) have tried and been successful. Some of the later questions only ~90 people have solved them where as the starting questions have been solved by ~50000.

Perhaps if I find the time I will update this blog as I progress through the questions; a challenge I am very much looking forward to.


Beehive Yourself!

This is the first of the projects that I am presenting to you which I have completed recently. This project was not entirely completed by myself; rather I played a part in its production.

For an outline of the project I was set the goal was to create a short animation (approximately 1 minute in length) of a narrative. The narrative was pitched by other students whom wanted to direct these projects and everyone who didn’t pitch (or didn’t have their narratives chosen) were designated to each of the successful directors groups.

Within the group I initially wanted to work on scripting and animation however this unfortunately didn’t occur. Instead I worked on:

  • Character Modelling
  • Rigging
  • FX(Fur)
  • Animation (Shots 4 and 5)

So for your pleasure here is the animation:

I modeled two of the bees; the Drone and the Worker. I was supplied model sheets to do this and overall I think they turned out well!

I also created the rigs for all three of the bees (Drone, Worker and Queen bee). This was relatively simple as they all needed similar rigs and the legs of bees are segmented and so no smooth weight paints were needed for any part of the body except for the neck area and when the thorax joins the rest of the body. I also implemented IK handles in each of the rigs for each leg and the antennae to make animating easier.



Next I created the fur for the bees. To do this I used GMH2 (a plugin for maya hair). The process was simple however there was a large amount of testing performed to get the right look. To attach the fur I used polygon cards which were constrained to the rig. I then attached the fur to the polygon cards in clumps.


After all that all that was left for me to do was animate shots 4 and 5:

Finally, here is the turntables of the two bees that I modeled:

And that’s all there was to it! I hope you enjoyed this post and my work!


Personal Project

As a somewhat productive way to use my time over these three months I have decided to continue one of my university projects as a personal project which could eventually add to my portfolio/showreel. The scene that I will attempt to make was originally envisaged for my pre-production unit and it seems simple enough however as all of you whom have created animation before will know nothing is as simple as it seems. I look forward to the challenge and also look forward to posting pictures and telling you all about it as it develops! For now however I shall leave you with a brief taster of the story:

Title: WIP
synopsis: A handsome young gentleman heads out for a romantic meal with his lady friend, little would he know that nature itself has other plans for him.

pretty simple idea and I hope it develops nicely as I look further into all aspects of it!