Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Busy times, looking into render passes

I found a 4 part tutorial for render passes.

I did get some help from Alex Hulse some weeks ago, ill dig out the notes i made.

here is a screen shot of how a test went for shot 07 of Leap of Faith

i rendered out 6 layers in maya. There was Ambient occlusion, shadow, camera depth, specular, diffusion and reflection. i wasn't sure how they would look, or how important each one would be. Also for this test i didn't add the character to her own layer, but that is what i probably would have to do, so she can be separate and we can tweak the colours an shadow and lighting on her separately.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Leap of faith_third pass_work in progress on shot 06

shot 06 is where the owl Reveals itself to the audience. We see a pair of eyes in the shadow, and the owl shuffles along into the light.
this is two play blasts from different angles to show what is going on without the lights on.
This took a few hours to do, and i didn't want to spend much time in this shot, but as things turned out, tweaking the animation in the graph editor can easily fill out a working day.
he starts on the very edge of the perch, and works his way to the other side, into the light. making him shuffle along was fun, I became more convinced this would work once i started adding ease in and ease out in the graph editor.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Afew things to remember while working on Storytelling of Ravens Shots

This is work in progress for shot 3 of Storytelling of ravens. The head animation is first pass, and the Blue screen removal, or Keylight is still kind of unfinished, but for now it is just to see what the composite will look like. i would like the puppet to be very cleanly blue screened, but there were some shadows when it was shot, so it will be trick, will most likely involve alot of rotoscoping masks. But overall I am liking the roughness of it, i think it will work very well. Also, bare in mind, in the final version i will have a shadow in the background, so i haven't forgotten that.
i have done it before ,where i copy the existing layer of the character, fill it with a black solid, turn the opacity down to about 35%, scew it at an angle and voila, a shadow. I just didn't add it for this test as I was more interested in seeing the composite.

When trying to render Shot 3 of brans Dialogue, I encountered some small problems. when Rendering , I wanted the head to render on its own, so I can put the head onto of the Body in After effects. But I could not turn off the image plane.

At first i tried adding the camera to a layer and switching it off, but in the renderview it was still there, even when you tell it in the show folder to not show cameras, it still shows it.

So upon talking to sophie, I found out I needed to go in the Image plane properties:

and turning the RGB setting to None, thus it dissapears. also when rendering, i needed to turn the environment settings it had on down, as it had a blue background when rendered:

This is something I picked up in the last few days when it comes to rendering. whenever i pla a video when its rendered from after effects, it chugs, quite badly. it turns out the reason is when you go into after effects render settings, when you click on the filetype in the render queue, you can change the format from Highest to medium, which is prefered as it takes hardly any time to render and also its playable in quicktime.

Simple Rules of thumb which will make production that much faster when remembered. Any little thing about formats and rendering I come across, i add to a key, so that when i come back to it, its written down where i can remember it.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

work in progress on Storytelling of Ravens_ bran's Dialogue

some work in the graph editor , working with the characters head movement.

Here is something I forgot about, is to start animating the mouth and eyes, then do the neck movement, well i started with the neck, and really it works fine. this model works really well, it still may need some model work done, but its pretty much there.

the model can do expressions in the eyes when you click on the eye mover, and can make him blink, be angry , sad etc.

work is going well, another day of work, more graph editor, and i think it will be ready. i need a second opinion on the head movement as it may be lagging behind a little, or it might just be me being fussy.

Notes i have made for the Leap of Faith Third Pass:

Leap of Faith Third pass shots 05-20
By Alex Bax

Shot 05
o Sort out Quill clipping.
o Need to see candle flame.
Shot 06
o Blinking on owl
o Her head turn to the right could havesome ease out on the rotate Y AXIS.
o Get lighting back in.
o Transition needs to be smoothed out, owl movement works fine.
o Remove beam in the BG.

Shot 07
o Blinking, eye opening needs to be quicker.
o Need sky outside window.
o Be careful where hand is writing, tighten in a few places.
o Cant see grandfather clock hands.

Shot 08
o Clock hands are slightly off centre of clock.
o Sky needs to be out the window.
o Light needs to be changing to with passage of time.

Shot 09
o Turn up old lady smoothness.
o Smooth out her movement a little bit, otherwise fine.
o Replace Quill with flexible quill for follow through.
o Drop the sliding across the book hands.
o Right hand sleeve, try getting it not to slide as noticeably.
o Both arms stretch a bit too far, see if this can be improved.

Shot 10
o Cant see watch texture. Everything else fine.

Shot 11
o Hand move too jerky, needs to be smoothed out, overall good.
o Up character model smoothness.
o Replace page 18 with one without the highlight.

Shot 12
o Her movement is a bit jerky, do some smoothing if possible.
o Up the character model smoothness.
o At the end, have one hand constantly on the ladder, one hand should always be holding on.
o The candlelight is very bright, need to see the flame.

Shot 13
o Overall good, add a flap in the middle if possible 00:46.
o Beak doesn’t move, ad a little movement.
o A bit more feet shuffling back and forth.

Shot 14
o Up character model smoothness.
o Foot stops a bit suddenly 00:51, ease out on the Y translate axis.
o Foot clips a little into the step, see if this can be fixed.

Shot 15
o Really good, maybe at 00:56, a bit more rocking back and forth in the pelvis. 00:56-00:58 pelvis should be going towards the steps so she can catch on.
o Up the smoothness on the model.
o Need to see candle flame, as it is I only see the glow light.
o Watch out for hair clipping into the arm, not a big deal, but do some secondary.
o Right hand cuff clips into her hand, not a big deal, play with pole vector a bit.

Shot 16
o Sort out smoothness of camera.
o Character model smoothness upped.
o Glasses movement is good to start with, make it more like the block out version. Glasses clip her nose a bit.
o Make sure spotlight obscures the planks of floor on the outer side.

Shot 17
o Candle black wire bit moves, delete key frames.
o Up character model smoothness.
o Quill is fine.

Shot 18
o Finger clips the wood a tiny bit, but not a big deal.
o Up character model smoothness.
o Ink pot floats a tiny bit, play with in the graph editor.

Shot 19
o Export the spotlight from this shot and add it to shot 16.
o Make the eyes wide slightly later.
o Up the character model smoothness.
o Maybe inkpot needs to be more visible in the darkness.

Shot 20
o Camera needs to be further away, for woman to be off in background, and inkpot to overtake in the foreground.
o Inkpot is not quite in view, needs to overtake the screen. The Landing is just right.
o Old woman at the start need not rotate the way she does, make the ark a bit more gradual.
o There are moments when the woman’s arms and legs “click” get rid of those unsmoothed moments.
o Need to see candle flame.
o Can’t quite see the window in this shot, but background image plane maybe needed.
o Old lady’s right leg should end up a bit.
o Up the character model smoothness.

I have sent the second pass of my shots to Depa masih, the Director, and also Dan Dalli for feedback, but for now i will be making these changes tomorrow, and over the following week. I personally think rendering will have to wait until later next week. Once I am satisfied i have done everything I can to get my shots ready for rendering. rendering will most likely take place in the college, using the Render Farm.

For me personally, there is not a whole lot more I can do for this project, if i had another couple of months to work on this, i would go over every character animation shot in the graph editor, smoothing it out, and scrapping ideas that seem a bit "lame", but as it is I am perfectly happy to let these little compromises in vision slide. i think i am learning to not be that precious with my work, all i care about is getting it done, and have a completed film. I am confident i will get that, even if I have to render out my Shots myself i'll get there.

Friday, 3 June 2011

leap of Faith Second Pass animation, Shots 05-20

This is still work in progress. I really want to do better graph editor work, but the time constraint is going to make it tight, as of monday we want to start rendering. really i would like an extra week to do that. But needs must. I will be going through this and writing a list of the things to fix. I may have to update my schedule, based on this new development.

On the side i am developing business cards for myself to showcase some of my 3D on it, i may use a snapshot of this as well as my early raven animation tests. I will be working on that this weekend :)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

work sofar on Leap of Faith Second pass animation

As i wait for shot 07 to finish rendering, I thought i would go through with playblast to show how i have changed animation from first to second pass.

One thing i have been doing a lot more is using the graph editor to improve arcs in a characters movement. this doesn't always work as the graph editor can sometimes goof. One thing i have figured out is the more time you have to do an animation, he better it is.

On the leap of faith shots, i have just been going with the planning we started at the begining in previous terms, right now, i have had to go ahead and crack on with each animation, as time is getting shorter and shorter.

It took me about three days to get to where i am with the second pass. As we stand, second pass animation is done, but i will be working on a third, as animation looks rushed and not quite what i want, again, more time to get it looking good, but unfortunately only a week to make improvements.

On the plus side, props and lights are all accounted for. So all that needs to be sorted out is the animation.

this is a new version of the owl looking scared.I took criticism onboard about the flapping about randomly, and what Depa was saying that the owl needs to take off the glasses and cover its eyes, and this somewhat works, it may have looked better the first time. Luckily i have been preserving my first pass animations, so some could be used and reworked.

foot going through ladder step, this I changed to make it seem more urgent, this will be clearer in the following. Looks better overall, its just she is a bit springy in not quite the right way. Hmm

Old lady climbs around lecturn to get to the steps. this was something I thought would be a fun animation challenge, took me all of saturday to get it done. It looks good in stills, but animation it doesn't look like real time, is kinda rushy, i groan at the thought of doing it again, but it is possible i can do it in half the time. But anyway, it may looks better when rendered in full.

Here is a really long ladder for the spectacles to fall down. This took some doing, and got a bit annoying getting the camera to behave. playing in the graph editor made it go crazy, and actually where the camera jerks upwards, i added the glasses going up deliberately to make it look like the camera is following all the action. looksok, the glasses go pretty mental, need to tweak that.\

here is Storytelling of Ravens latest version, I think based on this i will happily be able to add the characters head and animate it. James has been doing the tracking data for the character in PF Track, So i will be taking that and adding the 3D head and animating it into the scene starting this thursday. I will be spending this wednesday rendering all my shots.