Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Project Schedule

In an effort to motivate/terrify both myself and my team, I put together a rough schedule for the production. It'll most definitely change and become more refined as we move forward, but it's good to have a base timeline to assess. 

It's a lot of work to cram into such a short time, particularly given the fact that Jan-Apr is going to be extremely busy with the Going Live project, but I'm confident that with the right amount of dedication it'll be successful. I've never let ambitious amounts of work get the best of me in the past, and I don't plan on it any time soon. 

Some deadlines might be rather naive, so if anybody can suggest some changes/optimisations that would be much appreciated. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

PhD filming assistance & location scout.

Kieran II was kind enough to drag me along on another adventure assisting his PhD fieldwork at White Caterthun for some live action film shooting. 

It was a good opportunity to practice using the (very heavy) equipment, which we'll probably be lugging into difficult places for our own filming next year.

This location had some really stunning light, and although we'd be unlikely to use the site itself the nearby Cairngorms could offer some impressive vistas. I took some snaps throughout the process for reference and documentary purposes. 

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

NURBS assignment.

Completed the NURBS assignment, which was to model an environment/scene from a reference photograph. My chosen reference image is below, along with a still from my scene. Quickly flicking between the two, some major differences become apparent. While I was modelling, the reference image was displayed on my laptop and not imported into Maya. In hindsight this was a mistake, but we were given no indication whether it was recommended to import the still.

Having never used NURBS before, it took a little getting used to, but once I got into the swing of things the process was relatively straight forward. I don't expect to use NURBS often at all, and I feel that the exercise took time that could have been more effectively used on other work.

Here's the required camera movement for assessment. I included a lighting pass to make the scene a little more dynamic.

Monday, 18 November 2013

More like... polyGONE. Hehehe.

I've completed the texturing/shading of my polygon boot model, and I'm pretty happy with the result!

For the turnaround below I rendered from a single master layer so there's no post adjustment except adding in a background and vignette. I might go back and render out different passes to experiment with in Nuke. 

I used UVLayout to map the boot, which I found to be far superior to Maya's in-built UV mapping tools. My biggest regret for the entire project was making the texture map 2k, in hindsight I'd make it 4k instead. The lack of resolution is apparent, even at 720p. 

Capturing the texture images was a pain, as the leather boot is relatively shiny and the surfaces are extremely wrinkled... making it difficult to get even detail. There was a lot of adjustment in Photoshop to correct for this. Aligning the images over the UV map was a serious challenge given the structure of the boot, which is made of up only a couple of large sections. Blending the different texture images together while retaining the intricate stitching detail was tedious, and is still not perfect by any means. 

I created a bump map and specular map from the same files, which definitely add a lot of realism to the final output. I'm extremely happy with the overall aesthetic considering I've next to no experience UV mapping/texturing/shading. Here are the different maps used. 

Bump Map

Specular Map

Diffuse Map

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Location scouting.

Went for a wander along the sea cliffs at Arbroath today and found some possible shooting locations for the film.

The idea we're running with at the moment has a montage-esque sequence which can accommodate a lot of changes in location with practically no limitations in terms of story, so it's a good chance to get some epic landscapes... which I really love.

Managed to snap a couple of moody shots, and only nearly died twice (left a decent chunk of palm skin scraped onto a sharp rock though).

Friday, 15 November 2013

Life Drawing

Our Thursday class was cancelled this week which gave me te chance to head along to the 4th year life drawing class, I was pretty rusty but didn't realise how much I missed drawing. Im planning on heading along when I can.

Tried some new things this time, mainly drawing entirely in pen, which was quite liberating once I got over the fear of making mistakes... also tried a new stylistic approach to my shading, I'm quite happy with it, but I think it'd be a lot more effective if the base drawing was stronger (particularly the face).

This one was a 10 minute pose, looks weird due to the fact he's floating with no legs... need to get the whole figure down at the start. 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Polygon Boot Mk.II

So after losing all my files, the main loss was the polygon boot which was finished. I was hoping the second version would be better, and I think it certainly looks better, but the topology isn't quite up to scratch. There's one or two errors I actually spotted after rendering this turnaround which I hope to go back and clean up, but it's not essential at the moment. 

Decided to go for a video this time, just in case.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Final project inspirations.

I've been collecting a large number of inspirational videos for our final project, and it's starting to form into a clearer idea.

The idea itself is still in development, but we're going for a mix of live action and 3D animation, with elements of exaggerated character animation, 3D motion graphics and VFX. Here's some sample videos which are similar to the potential look/style I'd like.


Friday, 1 November 2013

Lesson learned: back up your stuff.

So the uni servers deleted all my stuff, putting me a couple of weeks behind. Here's my artists representation of that exact moment.

The silver lining is that it could have happened 6 months from now and I'd have been properly screwed, so I now know to back up my files religiously. Also, I'm hoping the quality of work will be higher the second time around.