Effervescence


3D modeling project 2- instrument
February 26, 2009, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 Welcome to project 2 of my 3D class. Today, i start the research process. Here’s what i know so far:

The assignment is to build a 3d model of an instrument from different angles in different musical positions- then to bring those images into flash and make the instrument play. Its an iphone sized project. 

The issues to consider while i pick my instrument:  

   accuracy. Do i need to pick an instrument that i can play    

  positioning. Do the positions need to represent every note possible    

  interest. What is an interesting instrument that hasn’t been done before (or isn’t being done by a member of my class)       

resources. If i pick an instrument that i can’t play- where will the sounds come from, how much research can i find regarding the specific things i need to know.  

 

 

Having said that- here’s what i’m thinking about so far.     

   Piano        Flute      Xzylophone          Harp 

 

Pros and Cons:      

 

 

Piano– has repetitive qualities- which could make modeling easier                  

   the piano is big… so how much of the piano can  be included?                      

 I can play the piano (sort of)- so i can do my own notes                  

   I can also include a “play piano song” function, and since i write my own music, won’t have to worry about copyright infringement of any kind.           

 

 

Flute–                        

 

 I played the flute for years. So i know the fingerings and the notes                      

   However, my flute is a thousand miles away, so i can’t do my own notes or music.                    

  The flute is extremely complex- so different angles would be hard      

 

  Xzylaphone–  

 I don’t play the xzylaphone. So i don’t know anything about it.                       

 on the up side- the xzylaphone can be pretty colors.

Its also a basically over viewy instrument- that would probably be seen from above.        

 

Harp– I like the harp. Its pretty. However- its a weird shape to display on a screen…

i don’t know anyone who plays it and i don’t think it would be an interesting model.

 

Ergo- i will hence forth not be doing the harp.

 

 Its good to have that out of the way.  So… piano, flute or xzylaphone———–

 

Piano.


 

 

I have decided on the piano. Ergo- here is my research on the piano

 

History: The piano was born after several other string instruments hit with mallets came to being. The hurdy gurdy and the harpsochord preceeded the piano.  Bartolomeo Cristofori of Padua, Italy is credited with the creation of the first piano. Today, there are still pianos around that were made in the 1720s.  Piano making really took off in the 18th century in the Viennse school. Between 1790 and 1860, most of the adjustments that would make the original piano the modern piano occurred. Over time- the 5 original octaves became the 7 and a quarter  octaves. Much of this progress is attributed to Broadway and the budding pianists of the time. Here’s a piano diagram this is a diagram of a piano.

 

Types of Piano:

 

Grand–  the grand piano has longer strins which makes the sound richer and fuller. The grand piano is considered to be the superior kind of piano to own.

 

Upright– the strings and frame is verticle- which makes the piano more compact, but have a lower quality tonal value.

 

Toy– The type of piano that plays itself.

 

Almost every modern piano has 36 black keys and 52 white keys for a total of 88 keys (seven octaves plus a minor third, from A0 to C8). Many older pianos only have 85 keys (seven octaves from A0 to A7), while some manufacturers extend the range further in one or both directions.(wikipeida)

 

 Pianos have had pedals, or some close equivalent, since the earliest days. (In the 18th century, some pianos used levers pressed upward by the player’s knee instead of pedals.) Most grand pianos have three pedals: the soft pedal (una corda), sostenuto, and sustain pedal (from left to right, respectively). Most modern upright pianos have three pedals: soft pedal, practice pedal and sustain pedal, though older or cheaper models may lack the practice pedal.

 

 

Pedals

The sustain pedal (or, damper pedal) is often simply called “the pedal”, since it is the most frequently used. It is placed as the rightmost pedal in the group. It lifts the dampers from all keys, sustaining all played notes, and altering the overall tone.

The soft pedal or una corda pedal is placed leftmost in the row of pedals. In grand pianos, it shifts the entire action, including the keyboard, to the right, so that the hammers hit only one of the three strings for each note (hence the name una corda, or ‘one string’). The effect is to soften the note as well as to change the tone. In uprights, this action is not possible, and so the pedal moves the hammers closer to the strings, allowing the hammers to hit the strings with less kinetic energy to produce a softer sound.

On grand pianos, the middle pedal is a sostenuto pedal. This pedal keeps raised any damper that was already raised at the moment the pedal is depressed. This makes it possible to sustain some notes (by depressing the sostenuto pedal before notes to be sustained are released) while the player’s hands are free to play other notes. This can be useful for musical passages with pedal points and other otherwise tricky or impossible situations.

On many upright pianos, there is a middle pedal called the ‘practice’ or celeste pedal. This drops a piece of felt between the hammers and strings, greatly muting the sounds.

There are also non-standard variants. On vertical pianos, the middle pedal can be a bass sustain pedal: that is, when it is depressed, the dampers lift off the strings only in the bass section. This pedal would be used only when a pianist needs to sustain a single bass note or chord over many measures, while playing the melody in the treble section. On the largest Fazioli piano, there is a fourth pedal to the left of the principal three. This fourth pedal works in the same way as the soft pedal of an upright piano, moving the hammers closer to the strings.[6] (wikipedia)

  

In so far as angle is concerned- i am wondering about starting really wide- above the whole piano, and then zooming in to be able to play the actual keys. I don’t think that the screen can probably hold more than 6 or 7 without becoming so crowded that the buttons would collide. 

 

I think that the above view will probably work best, because when you sit down at a piano, you are usually looking at it from above. like this:

My new concern is now- how to make a piano interesting. Normal pianos have been done already. So how can i make pianos interesting. I have plans to have buttons that play actual songs… but as i’m not the only person in class who is doing the piano, i feel that this warrants attention.

 

Ideas for making the piano interesting:

 

putting skittles or colorful candy on the keys

         problem: would they move when you move the keys

         possible solution: model them individually and move the                            skittles when the buttons are pushed?

Glass piano

          problem: there’s really no such thing…. so people might not                     get it

         possible solution: use black and white glass

 

Toy piano

        problem: will people understand that its a piano if the                             outsides are a different color

        possible solution: show enough of the outsides to indicate that               its a piano frame

 

Colored Piano

     problem: it might look cheesy

     solution: you could make a button for choosing your piano                        color—- and have alot of choices

 

I think that my favorite ideas are the pick your piano color idea and the skittles

idea. i guess i’ll sit and mull that over for awhile. 

 

 

 

I have decided to go for the skittles. skittles pictures are forth coming. in the mean time… here’s a robot i made

My robot with some color. i'll probably do more with him later.

My robot with some color. i'll probably do more with him later.

 

my robot without textures

my robot without textures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

here are some skittles pictures:

studying shadow and shape

studying shadow and shape

skittles are thicker than m and ms

skittles are thicker than m and ms

this is the s font that i need to find

this is the s font that i need to find

just the colors that i want i will probably use photoshop to steal the exact colors

just the colors that i want i will probably use photoshop to steal the exact colors

an actual skittles bag. i probably won't incorporate that, though

an actual skittles bag. i probably won't incorporate that, though

a drawing of a skittle. with great high lights

a drawing of a skittle. with great high lights

sour skittles. i think i'll go with normal ones. these look molded

sour skittles. i think i'll go with normal ones. these look molded

bigger example of the letter s i need

bigger example of the letter s i need

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fought with skittles today. alot. i can’t quite get my UV map to lay the way i want it to. so i guess i’ll work on that later this week. however- i made some progress on my piano! this is still pretty rough- but here it is!

 

 

my piano from the side

my piano from the side

piano from the front

piano from the front

my piano from an angle

my piano from an angle

 

 

 

alright. here is some spring break updates.  i finally got my sketches scanned in- so here those are.             
zoomed out sketch

zoomed out sketch

some over views

some over viewsthe lower left is at a slight angle--- which i am considering to be my direction

So today- i tried to work on my piano model in my maya trial version. Unfortunately- the screen is cut off… i’m not exactly sure by what, but i think that my trial may be faulty. Which is sort of frustrating- i was going to tackle the texture mapping on my skittles. Which i have been fighting with for a couple weeks now- my picture always spirals in the middle, and i need to figure out how to make it not. however- with the screen being funky as it is- i might have to wait. The piano modelling is going pretty well- i like the piano that i have above. i need to experiment with angles a little bit more i think- but i’m pretty sure that i’m going to use that piano.
So i finally stopped fighting with maya about my skittles… so i made them in cinema 4D. I’m hopeful that i can import them into maya. if not, i think that i’ll probably render them in cinema and add them in flash. At any rate- here they are. i pulled the actual skittle colors off skittles- so they should be fairly close. 
My skittles! i'm so excited about them!

My skittles! i'm so excited about them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

so now… i’m wondering what to save my c4ds as to import them into maya… going to go research. 

 

Hey cool- it IS possible. Export the c4d as a .fbx and they will work. sweet. some of my textures are a bit off- but i’m on my way to fix those now. sweet. i’m so jazzed right now. 

 

ok. so here are some screen shots of my piano and my skittles together at last. i’m not entirely sure that the skittles aren’t too big… 

 

the front

the front

the side

the side

the front again

the front again

the other side

the other side

the top... sort of distorted

the top... sort of distorted

Now i’m going to work on my pivots… so that my keys can bend and the skittles can move without stuff looking weird. this… is probably going to take me awhile. 
So- i have figured out that if you group the top of the key and the bottom of the key together and change the pivot- you can make them pivot together- and you can make them pivot from the bottom of the lower key. cool! here’s a picture: 
it pivots. oh yes it does.

it pivots. oh yes it does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More pivoting magic: 

 

i'm wondering why it looks so elongated...?

i'm wondering why it looks so elongated...?

from the side

from the side

So- i now have 2 major issues to work on, i think. 
1). how far down do the keys actually need to go
2). which angle showcases the piano best?
             because all the keys pivoting will have to be rendered at the same angle
also- how close up can it be. and if you can see the background… what will the background be? i guess i may as well go all the way and do a skittles wall paper behind it. i’ll have to think about that. 
This is the screen FREAKING OUT

This is the screen FREAKING OUT

So. Today i had a scare. it was insane. I added too many skittles- and maya freaked out! it stopped working… and i had to unplug my computer. twice. took a screen shot of the madness. here it is: 
So now i’m making a skittle pile to go under my piano. I’m making it in cinema, because of maya’s huge problem. Its currently importing… its taking its time. Here are the skittles in cinema. And Kristen, if you’re reading this, i’d like you to know that you are hilarious and only moderately creepy. 
my skittle pile. now i'm hungry. drat.

my skittle pile. now i'm hungry. drat.

 

 

Interesting fact about importing fbx into maya- is that it imports HUGE. like crazy big. Like my skittle was about 20 times bigger than my piano. And now i ‘m importing 400 skittles. Poor maya, no wonder its mad at me. 

 

Well. Its official. I  have changed my mind about how to do my background. I am now going to use the pile of skittles AFTER it goes into flash- because maya and cinema can’t handle having 90 million pieces to work with. So now i just need to work on lights i think. And maybe angles, a little bit. I think i want the skittles on the key board to do something entertaining and different than the piano keys. that might add some flavor (no pun intended). I’m excited to use flash some more, so hopefully that’ll be successful. 

 

so check this out- i work on this project for… i think its been 9 hours today. here is how the project looked before… and how it looks now.

this it before today

this it before today

and this is it now

and this is it now

the coolest thing about it is that when you click the skittles, the purple part changes to a different color. sweet huh? of course that means that i did about 5 times as much work as i had to. but it was definitely worth it. i’m going to post it on my other site (the site that is very much blank and in progress) if you want to check  it out. 
and, by the way- i learned that sometimes, if things are messed up in flash, quitting the program can be a huge help. all of my music quit working, and i exited out and came back- and it was magically fixed. SO cool. 
here’s the link! get excited! http://students.oc.edu/riata.booky//pianofinal.swf 
Now that this project is over- here’s some of the stuff i learned. I learned about Maya. I like parts of it… like the intuitivness of the bevelling and what not… but really don’t like other parts… like UV texturing. That part is really REALLY obnoxious. I learned how to create good sounds in garage band… how to move notes around and what not. I was very glad to have flash knowledge, because the flash would have been really confusing otherwise. This project was a success- i love it, and i am definitely putting it on my website- when i make it for flash in the next 3 weeks.
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