Wednesday, 19 April 2017

MASH Networks

MASH Networks

Further research into MASH networks and how to use them effectively and the capabilities of what they can be used for. Finding a lot of information and still barely scraping the surface of how powerful MASH can be within Maya. Initially I wasn't so sure on whether I wanted to look into using much more of MASH as I hadn't quite gotten into the swing of being able to control the results. Looking into the functionality there is much more control than I could have ever imagined. The nature of the system leads to pretty quickly generating results that can be passed off as quite attractive to look at, but the shear depth provided gives ample amounts of creative freedom, if you're able to problem solve your way through the mass amount of interchangeable nodes that can adversely affect results based on the order they're in. Being a mathematical system, it works both ends of the spectrum, creating either natural shapes and movement through use of Fibonacci or more mechanical similar to the Sierpinski triangle.

Fibonacci Spiral Sierpinski Triangle

I've fulfilled one goal with MASH networks in relation to creating procedural audio animation, something I've always wanted to create, but never found the software or information on where to start. So my next goal, is to create something else I've always wanted too, a distinguishable figure using procedural systems. Always amazed me to see characters made out of unconventional substances especially when that substance also adheres to rules that synchronise with another stimuli.
I want to make a man made out of the music.

So I did.

Low detail render to get a broader glimpse at the movement, however, to get a feel for how it may look rendered 17 second clip part of the way through the sequence. Though the character is only performing a walk cycle, I can pose this character and animate him similarly to any other 3D character. I simply did a walk cycle to keep my tests simple more as a personal proof of concept to understand the nodes in MASH.

MASH definitely requires a LOT more exploration and I know I'll definitely be using this for a whole plethora of different things in Maya from abstract animation, dynamic movement or even creating interesting character rigs. Literally, endless capabilities and I am excited.

Initially I've been finding it difficult to find much information on MASH Networks, the system still seems relatively new. A lot of the information I found lead me to discover Mainframe a UK based Motion Graphics studio that handily have a Vimeo filled with both MASH tutorials and a body of work that is also great for inspiration. Further digging reveals they are the creators of the MASH software for Maya. As a new addition to Maya 2017 explains why I've not stubbled across this previously.

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