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The end is getting near!

May 23, 2011

Ah, some more updates, There wont be that much to write about mostly pictures. Basically its been a  couple of weeks since my last update… yes, I just realized just how many weeks ago it was since I updated this journal. But no matter.

There has been a lot of progress, we only lack a little animation on the goat and  I dare to say thats all we need to say that we are complete with all the CG stuff… NOT! Well, not much else, There is still the intro part that I wish to begin working on asap. Most of the lightning is done, just waiting for that last part of animation just to get it optimized on those shots. I’ve done all the lighting so far, and its difficult and time consuming, A lot more time consuming than I’d anticipate. And I don’t feel its that good either. But its acceptable  for this kind of project. Right now it kinda looks a bit flat since we only just the most basic textures most of the time, and we kinda forgot to put Specular on some (Most) textures, so it kinda looks a bit flat. We have already rendered out 1/3 of the shots. So, I guess that’s the style we are going for.

Currently I’m adjusting the lights (again) in one of the scenes. Hopefully done this evening, so that tomorrow I can begin working on the intro /ending shot, which will be all made in After effects I hope. Except certain elements, like the tower/smoke. My plan is to render out the tower, have it as a plate and comp in elements that will be in the shot and make a camera in after effects – basically. I haven’t really done it before but I think I can pull if off – reading it now, that doesn’t sound very promising giving the time left. But i have some experience with After effects.

Hmm, Now over to my thoughts about the time we have left, two weeks I think. In worst case scenario we might have to ask for one more week. We have one guy who works on the sound, one guy who works on finishing off the particles and does the rendering and he’s soon done with the particles – just a bit of smoke left. One guy who is animating the goat done, I think he’s got a couple shots left, not so much. And me who is adjusting lights and gonna get the intro shot done, and I’ll start to comp the shots as soon as they a done I think. So gotta work a bit between those this week.

We are rendering out in 1280×720 and using render elements so we get it out in its basic components, and comp it so we can do some changes if we like more easily.

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The Great Outdoors

April 24, 2011

And here we have the outside, no texturing done here yet. This will also be a very short scene, so basically not adding more details than necessary, perhaps some more when we texture it. All the stones on the walls will be baked into a texture as a displacement map so that we do not have to have hundreds of objects in the scene. And it kinda looks better which is good since when I created this scene I was worried if the stones would create to much “noise” The planes in the background along the wall I’m thinking to put some bushes with an Alpha map to them, if I get the time. We have so much left to do that I’m worried that we will not make all of it, especially since one of the characters at this point is not yet completed due to unexpected complications with the rigging, hopefully that will be sorted the following weed and animation can begin on that as well. Since CJ is quite quick to animate and basically all the Servant animation and wizard animation is complete more or less, except polishing. there is still hope left. IF everything goes quite well the following week we might begin to render our first shots next weekend! Tho I wont get to high hopes.

Note: The characters meshes in the scene is just there to help get the right proportions.

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Wizard Study

April 24, 2011

So, the wizard room is more or less done, We’ve done most of the texturing there, as one can see, there is not much else to say than that, since the shots are not yet complete I’ve just placed everything in the room ready to be altered, moved around or deleted according to what we want in the shot. There has been a lot of reusing of the textures naturally to save time, especially with the wood, I’ve basically just changed the contrast on the colors on some of them to get some variety. Thus there are a couple of individual wood textures. But my logic is, since everything happens so quickly, and the viewers are not focusing on the environment that much I feel its safe to reuse textures. There is about 10 – 14 different book textures. I did not want them to have just plain colors on them, but they where quick to create. I have not yet set up lights in the room. As with everything I suspect it will take more time than I’d anticipate.

Side note: and yes, looking now I do notice I need to add something behind that door hehe, A mistake that should be easy to fix.

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A short update – Servant room.

April 24, 2011

So, another update and yes its a while since my last update, so I’ll post a few updates today. First one is that we are done with all the modeling of all the environment, well we will most likely add and remove things for each shot if necessary. So basically the servant room is a small room, it is located not to high up into the tower, outside of the window we got a small shed that works as a support for the goat, as we did cut out the part where the goat actually climbs this shed, But the shed and the window will most likely be in a short shot to make the connection. Well it will be fairly obvious when the goat sneaks into the servant room through the window. Well the room is small and is connected to the spiral stairs that goes up the top of the tower.

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Finally the Environment – Wizard Study room

April 7, 2011

So, another short update.

It was back when I made the previz room for the Wizards Study I found out roughly how I would make the room. Back then I did a lot of small tests to attempt to find some unique shape for the walls, since it is on top of a tower,  as one can see here;

At this stage we also played with the shape of the tower, since at this point we where planning for the goat to climb all the way up and into the room! However when we trashed that idea, the outside vs the inside was not so critical, well, not much else to say about that. So, after a couple of attempts I found a look I liked on the room:

I basically decided to give him a bit large room,  actually, it was huge, way to large so for every Version I made of it, the room became smaller but usually a lot. we had not worked much to how to scale things at this point nor did we have any characters.  Anyways, These are all very early version that I made for to have something for the PreViz.

And here we got work on the “final” which I’m currently working on,

However, when I started putting in models that me and Andre have been working on, we found out that.. ouch. The room is still huge. We noticed it well when we started filling the room up with objects, so basically, I decided to cut a away a section of the room, which would be the 2nd “floor” Doing that kinda sucked cause I liked it. But it was necessary and I think it will look overall better and perhaps a more home feel to it. We will begin to texture it next week.

So this is the room, as it looks now, considering the walls and where I cut it, its not yet done, but I felt it was important to get all the major changes in the post before just posting something final.

There is still a good amount of details that is missing, but which will probably get done tomorrow. And on Saturday me and André is planning to get the Servant room done, its a lot smaller and got fewer details. And here is a close up of the wizards main work area, Note that nothing here is final! there will be many changed as to where stuff is placed etc! I find it bit amusing that that area which got so much detail is only going to last but a short moment. But I think it will be worth it.

A few updates.

April 7, 2011

So basically last week I dedicated to the wizard as I mentioned in my previous post. I am more or less done with all the modeling on the wizard, However I will not have the time to texture him or rig him at this point simply because I need to get busy with the environment. The servant is now completed by CJ and he’s already begun with the blocking stage. Then some environment would be nice to have, so for the next couple of weeks I will probably be busy with completing the environment and texturing. I’m not sure at this point how long this will take, hopefully not to long with the models, texturing will be the time consuming part here. And when I’m done with that I suppose I got the get the wizard done and ready for his one shot. If I will animate him at that point I do not know, or if someone else are going to do it.

There is also the issue with sound, as when we spoke with Deryck our web-tutor last week he gave some good advice about that, perhaps we should spent a day or two just on the recording bit splitting up in two groups getting as much soundtracks to work with as possible, hopefully before the animators completely gets engulfed with.. animating.

Now, over to my wizard, and finally some screen-shots next to the goat Lars made! We had a small discussion about his size, the goat was already a bit big in an earlier version so he had to scale it down

So, well here he is, Now this is a bit late update because the last couple of days I’ve been working with the environment.

AFP – and so the story goes

March 27, 2011

So, after several weeks in to our last project I have completely neglected the Journal post, forgotten about it and so on. Well I’ll try to keep it updated. I’ll write a bit about what we have been doing the last couple of weeks.

So, a short review of what we have been doing, basically we worked out this idea, an old wizard living in his tower, with his servant. Now he stumbles, falls down and accidentally gets his magic wand to turn him into a goat, yes a goat. In doing so he accidentally alerts his servant whom sits in his room a floor down. Comes up and see the goat and think that its a real goat that somehow got inside the tower. Throwing the goat out. Now the wizard ( goat ) got to get inside again to be able to turn himself back, but when he manages to get the wand he gets interrupted  by the servant and breaks it, turning the servant into a dog who, will chase the goat, and that’s it.

The first weeks we pretty much work more as a group rather than individual parts of the project, we spent a lot of time just finding an idea, I’ll admit we weren’t that effective mostly because we didn’t know what exactly what we wanted to do. we went everywhere from a meditating monk to a mailman viking going from floating islands to deliver mail, this was where we somehow got into the idea of having a goat in the film, we played with the idea for the mailman to deliver a goat to someone living in some strange place and so on, we liked the floating islands quite much so we got stuck with the idea of goat and floating islands. Then we went back to having a wizard mixed in the idea and thats where we began to  flesh out the part where the wizard got turned into a goat.

And well, now we are here. we have four characters we are working on at the moment one for each person in the group, I think perhaps its a bit overkill to make four characters for a minute and a half long film. Hopefully we’ll get them done as soon as possible, this week or so.  Then me and André got to get busy making all the environment, get the basics in so that the two animators got something to animate in.

I got the responsibility to create the wizard, I’ll post some updates this week on the progress on that. Hopefully I’ll get it all done the following week, but honestly, I doubt it. One of the big challenges with creating the wizard and the goat that is, is to make sure they look like the same character just transformed. Its going to be tough just to get a pleasing result, but I cannot spend to much time on a character that is only going to be in two or three shots making it  10 – 20 seconds at most. Compared to the amount of work that remains on the film, and to point out we got two “dedicated” animators in the group, and two “dedicated” everything else.

This recipe will hopefully get us done in time since Animation will be the most time consuming part of the whole thing. So the logic is when Lars and Cj is animating me and Andrè will get the time to finish the environment, texturing, lighting and rendering and compositing. We’re planning to have a shot-production mentality. Tho I suspect the “who does what” might blend out a bit in the end, since I suspect the animators might be get tired of animating after 6 weeks of it – I hope not.

I really hope we manage to get some really nice looking environment and animation, and characters. Well to say I really hope it will be a good short film, but I should probably not have to high expectations, since well this is our first film and the first of everything well, usually does not go as planned.

Now, do I think we will actually manage it on time  errrmmhh…. No. I suspect we’ll have some sort of a panic attack sometime in production having to cut out stuff we have probably spent to much time on.