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.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


here, what i did was, animate the fingers a couple of times, then went into the graph editor and put it on cycle post, and got it to loop to a certain point. This way i can create some nice repetitive animation very quickly.

And also you will notice it is missing textures, this is because the textures i have assigned are taking up a lot of ram space, so getting a preview takes all day, which if your like me, cant afford. So if you press the "5" key, you switch off all the textures and are left with bare lamberts. Also the character smoothness is turned way down to also speed things along. So what would have taken me all day took a few hours.

Monday, 23 May 2011

metalking about timing of shots, and my schedule

here is an example of me working through the timing of all the shots. i was showing my work to Dan Dalli, and he had some advice, which harkens back to first year when working with timing of the shots. We had noticed looking through the edit that the pacing was pretty "flat line", so what i am doing is going through every shot, so for instance, i will count using "1001, 1002, 1003, 1004' and with that, I can feel if a shot is too long. In this case thats the problem with a lot of my shots, too much languishing, the shots need to be snappier.

so here i have the writing shot, this is meant to be quite long, but i am using the timing to gauge if its too long, and we should move on.


I need to get the timing and animation done for all of Depa's leap of faith shots, starting today, and when we meet on Thursday, all agree on the timing for the shots. once those are done she will hand it over to Georgie the sound designer. Freeing up time for me to work on Sophies project "Storytelling of ravens" over the weekend, provided she has finished the raven rigged head for me.

I think Sophie has a lot on her plate right now, we shot the background plates and the puppet for the project, she needs to put a cut of the film together, hopefully that will be done for Thursday, but no guarantee the head will be ready.

Over al i think for this unit, my time has been spread around quite nicely. I am doing roughly 3 shots a day, i would like to do more, but i am spending more time at home these days, seem to be making way for more leisure activities. Thats not to say I'm not dedicated, thats not an issue at all, by default i work hard. In fact even when i am not working on my college films, i am making way for personal short films and digital paintings.

I seem to need to mix things up, have a bit of a different challenge now and then, instead of the usual. Really, I am doing my best on both projects. it would be nice if things could be ready when you want and such, but i am being understanding to my directors and groups every step of the way and letting them get on with their work. I work pretty fast, so as soon as their jobs done i step in.

My communication with my groups and tutors have improved a lot i can feel. I am not timid or shying away from asking, partly is just not having time to beat around the bush or dance around the issue or whatever, but i like to compliment people on their work before i ask them if they've done the job i asked, its just good manners. becomes all the more important in stressful situations, subtly showing people your not taking the piss. Over all i have kept my cool very well. i have the odd moment of loosing my cool, but thats to be expected, but over all i am feeling i am getting a lot better at coping with these demands and deadlines and expectations.

i guess i would like it still if i got to work quicker, instead of holding it off for as long as possible, things would get done quicker and i would not stress out over it as much. but i am less interested in perfection and more interested in getting it done, and at a professional looking standard, which i am confident i can do, its just starting, and dealing with scrutiny. Now i just do the job, accepting that its all work in progress. Anyway, in short i am BETTER than i was, and want to continue down this direction for better or worst.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

work for leap of faith_first pass animation

LeapofFaith shots05-20 First Pass may2011 from alexander Bax on Vimeo.

This I worked on over Saturday 14 to monday 16. Was a lot of work to get all these shots animated and rendered, but i pulled it of.

There are plenty of things left to do, such as missing textures on the clock, glitching with the main character, but we may just change the colour of the inside shirt to the same colour as the cardigan so it's not as noticeable.

I will need to get feed back from Depa o all the shots, we went through some of it yesterday, but i will get more today. Feedback as in for the second pass, how to improve the animation. Granted some shots look fine and may not need changing, other shots i didn't do much in the graph editor, so will need to spend an ample amount of time improving it rather than blasting through it as quick as possible in two days. But I aim to have it done and in the can by the end of next week, as this week i only have thursday and friday to make changes.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Getting the first pass aimation done:

Here is reference I found online for the agitated owl shot in Leap of faith:

freaky owl coming at the camera, at least i can see what is going on with the wings as he flies.

fun bit of playfulness, not quite the agitated look i was looking for, but woud be good as a looped bit of animation.

quite like how he fans out his feathers, seems abit freaked out.

pretty useful so i can see how he looks at his surroundings.

this is probably the closest i have gotten to an owl being scared and making lots of little gestures.

another one of an owl faning out.

This one just because it is really amusing, the owl is saying "are you looking at ME?" O_o Funny.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

may2011 work in progress

Shot 15 playblast of the old woman hanging for dear life on the lectern, is a work in progress, need to smooth it out some more.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Leap of faith latest works

my first pass.
This is my work in progress for shot 14. It is the shot wherethe step breaks. I took most of the day getting this shot ready, as the books were missing textures. Fortunately, i imported them from another recent file, so hopefully all the shots will look consistent.

I did have a problem wit hthe old lady model, when i go to resize using the glabal scale, whenever i want to make her blink, the head goes back to the origin point and back to big size. I emailed Clym to ask if there is something he can do to fix this quickly.

This is a screen grab of my work in progress. for the step, i duplicated it and deleted half the faces on each side, so i have two parts. Hopefully this will look fine with abit of motion blur in the render.

Last week, we did have Alex Hulse giving us a render layer tutorial. Plus how to do focus distance with a camera, using simply a luminance matte. From the sound of it it seems simple enough, being able to pull focus during the action, so what's in the background blurs and the foreground is clear, so u can get the audience to focus their attention where you want.

Work is going kind of slow, but for now I am going to aim to get my whole first pass completed by friday. And Depa can give me some feedback over the weekend and next week i can start on the second pass.

I was talking to Sophie Lodge today about storytelling of Ravens. it seems things are going good. She is currently working on the 3d bird hear, working on blendshapes and textures so we can use them. I have been invited around her apartment along with James Ferdinando so I can participate in the puppeteering of the ravens. I will be looking at the block out reference i have done for Bran, and aim to get it looking just like that. i think optimistically, we can shoot all of our reference we need on friday, maybe saturday. i am confident we can get all the reference done for the dialogue shots. Either way, I am feeling like i have plenty of time to get on with my animation. I am using the graph editor alot more often to get nicer looking curves and ease in ease out in my character actions. I am mostly going on how good i think it looks, I am not trying to make it live up to things i have seen. SO rreally I dont care at this stage, i am confident I know how to make a good animation.

for example:

Ravenwalk2 side and front1 from alexander Bax on Vimeo.

here is my latest walk cycle for the Storytelling of ravens. Now , with the new direction with the project, this wont feature (as far as i know) in the final film, but it will be something to put in my showreel for industry.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Walk Cycle using our latest model

This walk is my latest animation for storytelling of ravens. I basically animated the first 2 steps, and in the graph editor, put it on cycle, and post infinity, so it looks kinda like he is continuously walking.

I think now i see it outside the software, i can tell its not perfect, but i plan to try again, try and get a hop looking good.
I think the key is not to get it looking perfect the first time, just to keep doing it over and over again and you get better and better results.