And now I’m done.

Posted: juni 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Stay tuned I will post my Animation Film Project here shortly…

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So here is what «enraged Jim» will look like physicly. He will be wearing a ripped T-shirt, but that I will add in cloth when I’ve got the animations ready to be rendered. Story-wize there won’t be a whole transformation scene like other movies, this guy will just appear out of nowhere, the darkness he came from. This might look like a normal heavy set guy now, but he is over 2 meters tall, alot taller and stronger than the original Jim who has no visual muscletone at all.

Here in 3x Turbo Smooth and wireframe, you can see the chest and back. Spent some time working on the back muscles and arms, especially the triceps which were difficult to make without something like Zbrush at my disposal. No referance images were used. He does not have a crazy sixpack because he won’t be showing them in the movie, thus no reason to create it. And yes he is missing a head in these screenshots.

So here it is. He has no eyes, teeth or hair yet. That is why his mouth is open, because he is going to have a constant pissed off grin on his face. He will have a spiky haircut. No hair/fur modifier this time, turned out to be too much of a hassle. This Jim won’t have too many facial animations other than the eyebrows and jaw. The other Jim will show fear, despair, talk on the phone etc so he will have more of a fixed face.

This is a render after testing some brickwall textures. The box in the middle is to represent roughly the size of the boy, Jim as he runs into the alley. There will be garbage, dumbsters and typical «urban dark alley» goodies lying around the entrance. I will also add some grafitti on the walls to give the impression that this is not exactly a «rich» neighborhood.

I will be stepping up my postings from now on, this last project has a minimum requirement of 14 posts, so I guess I need like 10 more before the deadline.

Coming up next, scans of my storyboard.

 

Anotha 3D-Film Update

Posted: mars 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yo check it out!

This is how the main character looked in the beginning stages of modelling. I’m not going to make him too detailed, because I will use this body for all the characters to save time. I will throw on either a mesh smooth or turbosmooth later on. That will of course not affect quality, because I will make changes to the body in order for them to look different. If you watch the fingers you’ll notice the joints, that are fixed so they don’t look the same on each side.

I was thinking about clothing the other day, and I made the decision that some clothing will be cloth while the ones that are unecessary will be modelled on the body. I’m currently also researching if I can get realistic hair, but I don’t have much experience with that so I’m looking for tutorials to see if it is possible(EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!), if it looks okay and won’t get it all buggy in development, hair it is.

Here I have modelled down to his legs. I’ve modelled him with pants and belt on, the shirt might be cloth, not sure yet. I’ve tried to make some folds in the fabric at his nonexistant feet, where he eventually will have shoes.

The folds behind the knees on jeans is a detail easy to overlook. Right now they look exactly the same, model first, tune later.

Here they are with some turbosmooth on, just to show what I’m going for.

And here is Jim back and front view. No specific details on upper body since he will be wearing a shirt. His knees looks a little blocky yet and his hands are missing knuckles. His belt was simply extruded from the original mesh.

Oh and I believe he is missing a head as well 😛

So after some pondering about this EPIC FILM, I’ve found that even 19 entire weeks isn’t enough for what I originally fantazised to do. It will be a project on my spare-time in the future.

That does not mean this project film won’t have some epic to it. It will be more of a focused epic climax in this one.

I chose to use my «Hulk» reinvention after some feedback on it from one of my classmates, and it suddenly sounded possible within the time-limit and fun to do.

So I already have the plot ready(which you can find in my «Conceptualization – Quick Pitch and Plot» post which I made earlier. Storyboard is coming along nicely, putting together a 2D animatic as we speak. Even though I’m used to do everything on the flow, I’m doing it this way to have a more «stable» production.

I have done a concept drawing of the main «alternate» character(future changes are possible) that shows the kind of creature I originally had in mind to portray «Jim’s Rage».

RAGE

My thoughts about my workflow this far?

Kind of slow. But I like to say that I have really productive days instead of whole weeks. I will work on switching those two.

Funny thing! I actually came up with an idea for a sequel the other day, but lets not think about that now. I need to focus on this, so I just wrote it down quickly in notepad so I won’t forget it in the future. «YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR OPPORTUNITIES OPEN!» Someone once said, so basicly write shit down, even if you don’t think it’s a good idea. You might need it one day.

Sooo what else? Well after well over a year after I left the army in good shape, sitting in this chair nearly everyday leaving me out of shape, has driven me to start working out at a local gym again. I’m just glad I never picked up World of Warcraft when it was popular. Working out would probably not even cross my mind if that was the case. That goes for homework and projects too :P.

19 weeks. That’s what I have to create the animated film that hopefully will launch me into the early stages of becoming an animator in the world of 3D.  In the entertainment-based world this one have evolved into, it certainly have proven to be a usefull skill to those who masters it.

«Here we go»

And here we appearantly stopped, hit a brick wall, and started hammering it with our bare fists. I of course can’t come up with an idea for my animation film now for some reason. I do have certain parts worked out and goals with it, but the story won’t appear to me. I want to be original in a world where so much has already been done.

So here’s what I got, this is what I want to be the viewer to feel, think and review my animation film as when they see it for the first time(I can’t order them to like it ofc :P)

EPIC! Oo Epic, why art thou so epic? That is the question… No, I do not read Shakespear but I know the basics of some of his material, having been nearly indoctrinated since childhood to know that this man, whom I don’t know or have never read an entire book from, only visual renditions from films, is the greatest writer that has ever walked the earth. That first line was of course a remix of the famous «Romeo and Juliet» and the equally famous «Hamlet». BUT BACK TO MY FILM!

What is «Epic»?

There are several definitions of the word online,  but the one I’m looking to convey on my audience is more of the modern understanding of the word. I am basicly looking for an EPIC WIN, and not the opposite EPIC FAIL. How do I define epic? Lets put some of my thoughts down:

  • War = epic
  • Epic event/action
  • Size does matter = epic
  • Large numbers = epic
  • Heroes = epic
  • Slow motion = epic
  • explosions = epic
  • destruction = epic
  • epic music = epic
  • epic battle in war with heroes and explosions and huge creatures and landskapes, with massive destruction and effects along with orchestrated music = pretty epic

Actually, the more there is of one of these epic things mentioned above, a rize of «epic» is registered on my «epic-o-meter». But there’s also a certain hidden secret in all of this epicness, one must also never forget «too much of anything»…is bad or something…whatever.

That an event is epic, may very well be true. But if you want it to be the level of epic only truly EPIC goes, I’m talking legendary epic here. Those events are often, if not always unexpected. If you can see the «epic event» I speak of, coming a long way, then it’s just epic, and it may even degrade out of it’s level of epicness later on, even be surpassed by a slightly more epic event and lose it’s epicness all together. That’s not really epic at all now is it?

Another part of epic is the power to exaggerate beyond what is normal. It is actually a part of us all, since we all tend to exaggerate when we either tell or brag to someone about what we have done or what happened on this or that day, and why they should had been there to see it. «I caught a fish and it was this |———–O———–| huge»

But there is more. Contrast, I think as well. Take this scenario:

 Two armies of 10,000 men race towards eachother.

But now read this:

One man, vs an army of 10,000 men race towards eachother.

I’m not the Judge Dredd of what is epic, but I’m pretty sure the last one is the most epic of the two. Movies like «300» or «The Matrix» might come to mind. Two glorious examples of epic indeed. Of course again you would think that the one man is the hero of the story, and that some how he would come out of it safe as the victor. Killing him right there on the spot wouldn’t really help the epicness after such anticipation, other than the «EPIC LOLS» perhaps? As I said, there is a balance in all of this.

Project Planning

Posted: februar 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

«Those who fail to plan, plan to fail»

We’re getting ready to start off the BIG project, and this week we are doing perhaps the most important thing which is planning. There are 3 things we need to produce this first week:

  • A flow chart
  • A time estimate
  • A self-reflective text
  • Clarity of plans

There’s a whole range of things to take into concideration here. We are now acting as our own producer for our own animated film.  Ordering myself around, will be a challenge indeed.

 What should I take into concideration while making a flowchart and time estimate? There’s always the «what if» scenario, or anything that can go wrong will. How will I keep the project going with minor setbacks if something didn’t go as planned?

Here are some positive facts before starting this project

  • I have two computers(3 including a laptop)
  • The new computer is a monster: Hexacore processor(6 cores!), 1,5GB graphics card, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB storage(1000 GB)
  • I use a Wacom Intuos 4 Drawing Tablet for image editing in Photoshop.
  • Sony Vegas is a great alternative to Adobe Premiere(saving time editing)

These things will be a great advantage advantage for me during this project. I have two computers so in case one goes down, I have a backup computer to work on, or maybe even work on at the same time as the other(work on one, while the other is rendering, maybe try connecting them to make a «render farm» if possible).

And the new computer, the beast that she is, will save several hours of rendering time and I have plenty of storage to save files on. I just about learned everything there is about Sony Vegas myself, and I find it much more easy to use than the Adobe Series, but of course I will use that too if it’s required. Greenscreen is also good to know, if I want to make a change in a scene with a high-detailed background, because then I can just render it first, and change the forground as I wish, not having to render the whole scene with the background every time. The Intuos 4 is great for changing textures, backgrounds and such on the fly.

And the negative:

  • The new computer’s  hypnotizing effect when it comes to gaming is very tempting(MUST RESIST!)
  • My friends on Skype are ruthless(I’ll explain)
  • I’m kind of lazy
  • I’m not very skilled in the rigging department(always room for improvment

Well I am an avid gamer, I must admit. Some times, if not often, I have put gaming in front of more important work. But this is my last project, and it will represent everything I’ve learned these last three years(skipped one for the army). I must sacrifice my gaming time to make this work. Also I’m pretty much always on Skype with my friends who are studying other places, and they are REALLY CONVINCING, when they try to get me to game a few rounds, which suddenly turns into hours into the night and then I’m too tired to work. I basicly just have to stop logging on if not un-install it if I can’t constrain myself. And facebook during work hours is now officially FACE/OFF.

That I’m lazy has much to do with that I’m bored most of the time. I think I need to listen to some music so I won’t «shut down». Spotify playlist in the works!  I should actually be excited about this. My own film, who hopefully many people will see, and it will probably be a great plus in a portfolio/reel.

HELL YEAH I’M SO EXCITED!!! MY OWN 3D FILM! WHO CAN DO THAT? I CAN! YOU DA MAAAN PATTY! YOU DA MAAAN!….Yeah that works ^^

One thing I always had a hard time with is rigging characters. Now I don’t know if I will feature characters at all, having not decided what the film will be at this point, but I think I should since it seems it would be positive, since we did have a lot about character animation this year. I’ll have to check out some rigging tutorials.

So I was thinking about if I will lower the visual quality(rendering hours) apposed to animation, but concidering that I do have a pretty powerful computer, I really want to go all out with smoke, cloth maybe even hair! reactor FTW!

Now that it seems I have most of it covered, I’m making a flow chart making it easier to keep track of what I’m doing and in what order.

Now I have created the flow-chart, and so on to the time-estimate. Since this is a 5 day task I haven’t really had much time to think about what my film will be, and how many characters, or how detailed it is.
What I do know is that I like to figure those things out «on the run», as I’m working. I don’t even have a story yet, so how to estimate time for each task without being specific about content.
Well I know that modelling, rigging and animating can take most of the time of a project, as well as rendering. So lets say from reaching 100% of all tasks,being done finito, a larger percent would
be spent on the main parts of pre-production and the rendering. As this project has given us a timeline of about 19 weeks, these tasks must take up at least 60% of the time combined.

So will I spend 50/50 on each of them or 60/40?
I’m going to trust my gut feeling and of course experience with other projects and say that modelling, rigging and animating will take most of the time.
So there we go: 60% of the time on pre-production and 40% on the rendering, that together makes up 60% of total work time of the entire work time of the project(not counting weekends of course.)

Now there’s 40% left for all the other tasks. They include creating the story, Concept drawings, along with a storyboard and then a 2D Previz(to begin with)
How much time can I spend on these tasks efficiently?(what? 110% ALLWAYS!).

So according to how I feel right now, I can use one week on coming up with a story/idea, concept and begin on a storyboard. Another week for creating a 2D Previz and one more for the 3d animatic.
So 3 weeks: creating story, concept, storyboard, 2d previz, 3d animatic. And out of the 95 days we have(not counting weekends, 5 days per week)this takes up about 14% of the entire work time.

So now we have set up 74% of the tasks. 14 out of 19 weeks. Only 26 % to go, and what is left now?

(Cinematography(setting up cameras, scenes), Music/Sound FX, Editing, Final Render with Titles and Credits.)
And fittingly these are towards the end of the work project.
Setting up cameras is a part of the animation stage so this is already taken care of at this point. Finding music and sound effects should be easy, as well as writing titles and credits.
So it’s the video editing that will grab the larger bite of what’s left. As there’s 5 weeks left, lets say finding music/sound gets 2 weeks and final editing gets the last 3 weeks.

Now if you are confused let me explain how I figured this out 😛
We have 19 weeks on the Final Animation Film Project. In 19 weeks, there are 133 days, not counting weekends there are 95 days(5 day weeks). 1 week is then about 5% out of 100%(19 weeks)

So from the top:
Creating the story
Concept
Storyboard
2D previz
3D Animatic
3 weeks = about 14%
Modelling
Texturing
Rigging
Animating
Rendering
11 weeks = about 60%

Music
Sound
Editing
Final render
5 weeks= 28%

3 + 11 + 5 = 19 weeks

14 + 60 + 28 = 100 percent.

So how will my days look like?
As this time estimate is not very specific about every task since I have no detailed information about its content yet, lets put it this way.
On every one of these 95 days, I will work 6 hours or more, no less. So I will have up to at least 570 hours. But of course, how can I guarantee this limit is upheld?
I can be more active on my blog, posting every-time I’ve produced something, no matter how much I think it’s not worthy of blogging(as I usually think).
And I can change my daily rutines, which usually consists of me staying up until I see the sun hit my monitor 😛

This idea is kind of a reinvention of «Hulk» combined with «Jekyll and Hyde», without  necessarily the main character being a huge green guy who always keeps his trousers on(physicly impossible). Not that I would want to see such a thing. Nor does it have anything to do with some kind of experiment gone wrong.

Pitch:

A young man stands against an endless stream of thugs who have hunted him into a dead end alley.
His only option is to give up fear and stop running, and let his bottled up rage take over to take them down. His rage takes over his body and splits his personality in two.
The more events he remember where he chose to stand down and not intervene as these thugs terrorized people, the more power his rage gets which results in nothing but destruction in his path.

Plot:

A young man named Jim is running through the cold urban streets at night, breathing heavily as it seems he has been running for a while. He has been running from an angry mob determined to take him down for some reason. Jim then finds himself running into a dark alley to meet a dead end.  The only way out is back where he came from.

As the thugs close in mocking and calling for him, not able to see him in the dark alley, Jim in fear for his life has some sort of epiphany. A dark voice whispers to him. It convinces Jim to remember all the bad things he has witnessed the thugs do to innocent people in the city. Then he takes control of Jims body, feeding on the rage Jim had been botteling up inside. This gives him super strength, making him able to take down all the thugs in the darkness of the alley, and to survive his previously inevitable doom.

As Jim steps out of the darkness it reveals his dark side, as a giant creature feeding on the thirst for revenge.

 

The original idea was to make the main character have some sort of altercation with the gang of thugs, but I found it would be irrelevant, because when it starts with Jim running, it’s already pretty obvious that they have. And why not start the story with some excitement?

I’m not entirely sure about the style of the animation, It can be done toony as well as realistic. The only thing that is important is that it’s dark.

So this is my pitch and plot, what do you think about it?

This isn’t the kind of storyboard you just draw pictures with small texts under, here we have to imagine the pictures and just write every «scene» or «shot» in every square.

I’m not sure if I can make one of those here, so here’s a screencapture: As you can see, I have a better overview of what scenes and shots that will either drawn or animated later on, compared to the treatment.

I will definately use this in future projects. Yeah and those square’s on the bottom are linked to the ones on the second page, my bad. 😛

Making a 2D Animatic is a good way to plan ahead what movements and particular events you want in your animation. I’ve never made a 2D Animatic before, but I must confess I found it to be great fun. I’ve actually gotten a little interest for 2D animation now as well.

A well made 2D Animatic is also a good way to show off your idea. Sometimes words might disturb your vision that made it so fantastic to begin with, and that might make it harder for the listener or reader whom you pitched an idea, to actually take interest. «Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.»-Morpheus inThe Matrix. I wonder how the idea pitch for the movie «Matrix» would have gone without some visionary presentation of any kind? If you have a vision, a story, you have to show it! So you can make like a gazillion dollars, if it turns out someone likes it.

What’s good about a 2D animatic is, that if you change your mind, you can just erase it and draw something else, for free! Instead of working hours on something that doesn’t work out in the end. That would be such a waste of time and effort.

As I mentioned in the last post «Treatment» this is a story about a boy who doesn’t seem to be all too interesting at all, but since I’ve added Edvart Grieg’s King of the Mountain Hall, you know from the beginning that something is coming, and it’s going to be either big, shocking or entertaining. And hopefully you’d want to sit through to the end and see what it was all about.

«Treatment» is one out of 3 projects(which actually is one project). The others are Storyboard and 2D Animatic. What is a «treatment»? It is probably one of the quickest and shortest way to pitch an idea for a film or scene. It can also be a great tool for planning how to film a scene and what effects to use.A treatment is essentially the present tense, short story version of a script or proposal. Or, put another way, it’s the condensed version of a film or TV production. It covers the basic story and themes and introduces the main characters and locations. Treatments cover the story from beginning to end, focusing on the most pivotal scenes. They also include dialogue that is in (or will be in) the script. In general, a treatment will run from 1 to 25 (or more) pages. Here is my example I am using for my current project:

» NO SCRUPLES»

A baby BOY is born in a hospital. Peculiar behaviour(«Mr Burns» hand gestures) is noticed, but thought cute by an exhausted mother and father.The FATHER is a businessman, always wearing a suit and tie, always keeping up with the latest business news even late at night watching TV in the livingroom.The MOTHER walks into the boy’s room, now about 6 years old, tries to hide what he’s doing on the floor. She wants to see what he’s doing. It appears he had drawn a picture of his mother smiling. Mother smiles, pets his hair and leaves the room. The boy is always by himself in class and lunches, always drawing. He doesn’t try to be popular, or draw too much attention to himself. His father’s business seems to be booming, always talking on the cellphone smiling. The parents gives the boy some money, then he empties the biggybank in his room. Later the boy comes out of a«store» with a lollipop in his mouth, clearly pleased with his purchase.

Then we see into the future, the once little boy is now graduating. His father is not present, his chair is empty, because he’s back at the office struggling with his business. He seems desperate and angered. He slams the phone down and proceeds to clean his desk with his fists. Has papers that says «file for bancruptcy» The boy, now dressed in a tight suit, bursting with self confidence, walks out of the same «store» we saw earlier, only this time he is carrying a briefcase. He then proceedes to enter a limozine waiting for him outside. As the limozine drives off, it reveals the name of the store, which is the company his father worked for. Then suddenly we see a backflash of the earlier events, but from different perspectives that show us what really happened and what has been taking place all this time.

We go back to the boy’s birth, we again see the hand gestures, which shows the baby boy’s evil intent from the beginning. While his father was staying up late, watching TV, the boy was watching and paying attention from the crib in his room, through a slightly opened door. The time his mother wanted to see his drawing,under the drawing were calculations and business estimates. The drawing of his mother was a cleverly placed decoy. All this time when he appearantly was sitting by himself drawing, he was actually calculating his own future profits. When the boy emptied his piggybank and went to the «store», we now see him enter it, which bears the same name as the business as the one his father worked for. There he buys stocks from a negligent older lady reading the paper. The lollipop was only complimentary candy in a basket.

Now we see the boy turned into the grown suited man, receiving a briefcase full of cash, after which he takes a lollipop from the basket, puts it into his mouth, winks at the new younger lady who blushes, then he leaves and closes the door behind him.   THE END

And here’s the sketches I drew. I will redo these for the 2D Animatic, but this was helpful while writing the treatment.

Storyboard