Be ready for a very long post, even longer than the last one! haha but very informative and with a lot of WIP. So grab a cup of coffee or teh peng(a mixture of tea and milk here that I have come to like a lot) and let's start!
So you may be eager to know if the interview for the internship went well I suppose… well I’m only telling you that I even got a second interview after the first one. n_n And that I will be staying a little bit longer than expected in Singapore. ;) More information on that in the future.
I can’t really hide my excitement right? Waaah santy stop writing about it! Back to University work! The Character animation post last time was a little weak so this time I will make it up for you. Some of it is very embarrassing haha but yeah it’s WIP and the result at the end will hopefully fulfill all our expectations.
So after deciding the track we tried to change the story a little bit and make it our own. We also decided that having 3 inactive characters out of 7 during the whole clip would be useless. We decided to replace them and give special attributes. And here a turntable I did to present you all our characters!
Characters in order of appearance: Boss, Mr. Blue, Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange, Mr. White, Mr. Pink and Mr. Blonde
The ones I was in charge of doing were the Boss, Mr. Orange and Mr. Brown. It was really fun to do them. It was quite funny too when my friends were asking me what I was doing while I was making Mr. Brown. =P
The Human characters were done with only one rig. We are using the Morphy rig made by Josh Burton. Very powerful rig, I have not come across any impediments for our animation either, though it is slow as hell when you place 4 in one scene, but yeah we have to deal with that.
So as for our story, here our animatic:
It is horribly primitive and confusing! haha but time is short and we had the picture clear in our heads, so we didn’t bother to make it more understandable and went right to layout.
After this we began the blocking, fixing the problems we had with the layout. The sorting of shots for each one of us happened automatically, simply the one who was free started with the next few shots. In the end we were accidentally happy with the shots each one of us ended with. I'm in charge of all the shots that you will see in color.
After this we did the second blocking pass, fixing here and there, and extending our blocking.
And the last blocking pass adjusting timing(there are still problems) which we will fix on the next passes that will be already splined, so this was the end of our blocking.
I also got by accident to to the tween Machine pluggin... Why didn't anyone tell me about it earlier? I came to it about 3 days ago and tried it out on the blocking of Mr. Pink's close up. And wow... I like it! it's really so useful at the blocking stage! In betweens are done much faster and threfore I had more fun and did more! The cool thing I find is that one can go much deeper in detail with the timming and in between poses, keeping the whole thing in flow, without already beeing in spline mode. But the rules of animation have to be very clear for you since it's a very technical pluggin and it may be a little weird at the beginning thinking in percentages but sticking to spacing and timing, but once you get it... Yeah, you will feel it once you tried it. I can't wait till I do the next animation and I have to block it out! Too bad I discovered it too late, else my blocking would have looked much better and fluid. But I won't change the irregular blocking that I already did, since I did it already thinking in splines, so everything should look ok when I spline it up.
I also did a quick rendertest for our animation, lighting it up!
Oki this is getting really long and it was only one course of the ones I'm taking... But don't worry the others are not that extensive.
For Digital Painting 2 I'm currently learning Nuke. I will have to do a camera projection of the last matte painting I'm currently doing. It will be stylized again though, since I'm planning to use it as look development for our FYP. So no more photo-real stuff this sem, I'm sorry. So in order to paint it I gotta see how this thing gets done! I'm doing that right after I finish this post.
Pre-Production dor our FYP is advancing as well. We are mainly trying different styles and levels of abstraction so everything will look different and this are all early concepts.
As you see I approach character design in a very different way lately. I develop the silhouette first, then if I think it's woth it we take it to colour. I find it a very effective, especially if you are working right away digitally and not on paper. Try it out, it may work better for you too.
But we were not really only working on that. We were also concerned about transporting a stylized style to 3D. So I decided to give it a try last weekend. I remembered there was a specific style I liked a lot that could use a lot of the advanges of 3D but make it still look painterly.
It looks easy right? but it's a pain in the butt to do it in Maya! I have not tried it in Lightwave, but I don't think they will have magic sliders like in the video. We tried really hard to do it on Maya in order to use it for the Arthur production one year ago but we didn't succeed... Well, this time was different, it took me about 2 days to come with all the out of the box thinking in order to make it possible.And since it is not shader based we can keep using all of mayas shaders and even make it work in very big scenes without much work.
This was the first 2 sec render test I did. It took per frame about 5 seconds to render. But that is with the motion blur in maya enabled and with quite high settings. I also tried it out with a motion vector pass of it and works wonders. Some ideas how to handle depth of field are also thought out and it seems very feasible, even to use it in production.
I would love to have more time to do more tests and continue developing this faster but there is a lot of other stuff I got to do at the same time. Plus there is a life I still gotta continue. n_n
By the way, now that we talked a little about Arthur, my two good friends Hannes Krieger and Mark Hacker, that did Arthur with me, are making their second production back in Germany. This time they are doing VFX, so if you are curious about what the other Arthurians are doing go check their website out!
I know it is in German... Nevertheless I'm trying to convince them to do it in English, so if you are interested help me out and drop them a message saying that you would really like to understand too =D
Ok I think we have reached half of the post now, so I might as well continue. Just kidding n_n I've got some Nuke tutorials to watch.
I hope you could take something good out of this post! Thank you for reading! It's always nice to know there are people interested.