Conventional 3D animation tools are time-consuming, labour-intensive, and can take years to master.
Now, Google Research in collaboration with Czech Technical University in Prague, ETH Zurich, and the University of Washington have come up with an open source sketch-based framework named Monster Mash that allows both experts and amateurs to create casual 3D models and animate them, using an intuitive process and interface.
Workflow: The user begins by drawing the outline of a body or a character on a blank canvas. At the press of a button, the program inflates the shape into a smooth, deformable 3D model which can be easily animated by adding point constraints and moving them around.
Easy-to-use: The entire interaction happens from a single viewpoint with no complex modelling, rigging, or 3D manipulation. This is particularly helpful for novice users, and for professionals who want to demonstrate an idea quickly without the complications of traditional 3D environments.
Unlike previous methods which inflate the sketch first and then deform the resulting mesh, Monster Mash combines aspects of the sketch inflation with elastic deformation in a joint optimization process. To know more, check out the images and videos below.
1. Walk Cycle
Watch the program in action below
00:00 – Intro
00:30 – Elephant example
01:56 – Previous methods vs. Monster Mash
02:32 – Comparisons with other techniques
03:06 – Animating with Monster Mash
Tutorial for animators
Share this post with a designer/animator friend and voice your views in the comments below. All images via Google AI Blog.