Thursday, 24 April 2014

Going Live: FINISHED

MAV: Filming with John H!

The mere beginnings of my no doubt prosperous acting career.... working with John H in the green screen studio to film reference footage for his short film.

I have to admit, being dragged around by J.J and Tom while wearing giant condom outfits was a bit bizarre, but it was nice to lend a hand!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Going Live: Revisiting Sound Design

We have completed an initial draft of the film (which is still under wraps for now...) but I wasn't 100% happy with the audio balance and narration. Some of the levels were a tiny bit off, and the narration felt a little cramped in the middle. I'm really happy we revisited this, as I think the new audio track is a vast improvement over the old one. Thanks to John and Tom for their stellar work on the audio, I think it sounds ace :D

Monday, 14 April 2014

Going Live: Dragon Transformation

I've been avoiding this effect for a little while as I wasn't 100% sure what would be possible given the time we have left. It worked out rather well though!

I started off by using the ID matte for the tree to mask out the eagle leaving only it's ambient occlusion pass, the tree then expands to fill the entire frame with blackness as the eagle begins to desintegrate and the dragon materialises around it. 

It's a similar effect to the one I developed for Ticked Off, but it looks pretty slick and is relatively painless.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Going Live: Shot 02 Composite

I've spent a LONG time wrestling with the passes for shot 02, the main issue is trying to get the shadows for the town to soften accurately, while retaining a stylistically sharp shadow for the dragons which are high above the landscape. If rendered accurately the dragon shadow would be extremely blurred due to the penumbra softening the edges.

I eventually managed to render out two seperate shadow passes and composite them together to achieve the desired effect.

I then precomosed this shadow pass and treated it like a single shadow pass to composite with the rest of this shot. I've still got a lot more to do on this shot, particularly at the end when the ground burns away to reveal shot 03, but at least this problem is solved!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Going Live: Final Render Passes.

I've completed the final render passes for the film which are listed below. Some may show up better than others and might be best viewed full size. Shot 3 (the one shown) probbaly has the most, but shot 2 also has some unique challenges which I'll need to address.

For simplicity some of the passes (e.g. Fire) have been composited and merged as it's made of up several individual layers/effects. 

I've also been given access to the render farm, which allows me to set off the renders at will. It's a really great asset to have, and I'm picking it up pretty quickly! 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Going Live: Locking down the compositing.

I think I've got a pretty solid idea of what layers/passes I'll now need for compositing. I've spent a lot of time trying different looks and figuring out how to obtain the correct passes. This is how it's looking at the moment, still plenty of stuff to tweak but I'm pretty happy with the progress so far. 

The rest of the production is coming along smoothly and we've got some beautiful animation completed, which I can't wait to render and comp. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Going Live: Final Paper Shader.

I've finished tweaking the paper shaders and textures for the dragon, really pleased with the look. I could have spent a lot longer messing around with it but I need to move on to finalising the compositing!

I thought it would be cool to add in a glowing fire from inside the dragon to really show off the translucency of the materials. I achieved this by parenting a light to one of the joints inside which I will render out as an individual pass allowing me to toggle/flicker it when he breathes fire.