Here is where I am. I haven’t worked on the feet yet. Two days into it, I just need to adjust some edge loops, get rid of triangles then it will be done. Next is Vitaly then some Brave characters, just because modeling characters is fun!
Ah and some wireframes. The arms are still pretty low polygon.
37 degrees celcius
I went to see Madagascar 3 in 3d few days ago and I was struck by how efficiently they used the 3d.
Like most purist I don’t usually care about 3d and would usually go for the cheaper and flatter 2d version when/if available but this made me realize that we are living in a very exciting time.
As soon as I got out of the cinema I wanted to do some modeling and animation. Not because the movie was so good (you can swim from Tanzania to Monaco in 5 minutes, but can’t reach New York in 10? right….) but I am guessing because I had been sharing 90 minutes with CG puppets made alive, and, thanks to the use of 3d, those puppets were simply made real.
For the past few years we have merely tried to replicate in CG what had been done for 100 years with traditional 2d animation when we actually have the tools to take storytelling and cinematography to greater heights.
Let’s have a look at what video game company, Valve, just presented in a very compelling video today.
Non other than Gollum’s creator, Bay Raitt, is introducing Valve’s “Source filmmaker” (SFM).
From what I understand, they basically give you the best tool to create your own Machinimas.
We will be able to to use Valve’s realtime VFX, lighting, animation engine to create our own realtime shortfilms… for free? ;-)
On top of that, we can already imagine that animation, props, VFX creators could sell the fruits of their labour on the Valve marketplace or Steam, for everyone to enjoy. Got some crazy walk/run cycles? Sell them! You missed out on the Iphone App market? This is your chance!
Those guys are definitely thinking outside the box and created a really fresh ecosystem and business model. I look forward to hearing more about it and seeing how the wider audience will react to it.
Hit to following link for loads of tutorials.
While we are at it, check out that “Meet the Pyro” video I hadn’t seen before.
Today was a really hot day. 37C or 100 Farenheit… HOT!
Nothing like going to the café down the road and sketch some of the patrons by such temperature! I have also started using a new 0.1 Uni Pen. I was recommended a similar Staedler felt pen but they don’t do that brand at my local art store.
There is no messing around with such tool, you got to be have a clear idea where you are going as each line counts.
If you are wondering, we are in delayed pre-production at work which means no work … or income. It sucks so I’d better make the most of it and keep myself busy.
[update] Well well well… I was reading James Robertson’s blog this evening and said to myself. What about if I added some colours in Photoshop?! Learning watercolours is a big struggle for me and once you put the paints on the paper, it is too late for corrections.
Crazy I never thought about using digital paints! I was probably in the mindset that retouching sketches afterwards is cheating. At the end of the day, it is only about the final product isn’t it? And the learning obviously ;-)
And here is something I am working on if you are not following me on Vimeo
Well well well…. no farting or burping jokes, no pop culture references, fairly realistic look …. this definitely seems different! The trailer reminds us a bit of “Arthur and the invisibles” but it is obviously too early to know what this is about.
At a time where most Animated Features look alike, it is nice to see Blue Sky is trying something different. Let’s hope it works out.
Ever wondered how dense those Pixar meshes are? I have!
You are in luck, Pixar just released some video footage where we can see the wireframe mesh of both Queen Elinor and King Fergus!
Except the helmet, hair and moustache the mesh is pretty dense. I wonder whether they add one more pass of smoothing at render time though.
Those are probably not the low poly meshes anyway but we can already notice an E pole on the cheeks. This could possibly means Pixar doesn’t use Nurbs surfaces anymore.
Click to zoom in.
And here is the Behind the Scenes video with, 2 minutes into it, Animation Collaborative‘s Michal Makarewicz. (a great school to attend if you are in the San Francisco area or crazy enough to relocate for three month ;-) )
via Keith Ribbons
Compared to “Brave”, “Cloudy with a chance of Meatbals”, “Open Season”, the character designs feel really uninspired and pretty generic to me. Could this be because Sony finally settled for a TV Series director?
This looks like an interesting movie though and I am sure Kris Pearn and his team added a lot of magic to the script.
Since I have a thing for animated vampires and most Sony’s Animated Features were good surprises for me, I will probably go and see that one.
In week 06, Nate asked us to design an animal by focusing on its iconic features.
I went for my favourite animal, the elephant, and decided to give it a Ronald Searle treatment, just to show that I could draw in a different style. Character Design is not just about designing things in your own manner, in production you need to be able to adapt to other people’s style.
This little guy was done in Sketchbook pro with custom brushes on my poor man’s Cintiq aka Tablet PC (hence the small size). I tried real hard to obtain a nice line quality with my Intuos 3 but I feel it is not going to happen.
CGMA Character Design Week 05
Let’s take a break from Storyboarding today.
Jamaal just posted a awesome shot walkthrough. Really lovely work.
I am not a Disney Princesses fanboy but if you still haven’t watched Tangled, rush to the DVD rental place near your house immediately, Disney made a magical timeless movie that instantly outdated a lot of its 2d production. The acting of Rapunzel is one of the most genuine ever seen in Animated Features.
This is part 03. I started to use a more classic Photoshop brush, I am still not sure which one looks best, not that I am fluent with any of them though ;-)
This is the second panel, you read it from left to right.
You saw it here first ! ;-)
Just so you don’t get mistaken, this is a short film I am working on. Well, I am only interested in telling stories those days so it might just stay in the state of boards.
This is the first time I use Photoshop for storyboarding so bare with me if it looks a bit rough. I will probably do a clean up version afterwards anyway. I have few more sheets coming in the next few days and you can expect the character design and the drawing style to change a bit as we go along. Let me know what you think!
Quick report on my Annecy trip.
I got to attend a workshop with Bill Perkins, a talk with Disney Story artist Josie Trinidad and Disney Vis dev guy Jeffrey Turley. I was also part of a classic 1h30 long queue for a pay-to-see “Lorax behind the scenes” that nearly ended in blood bath. The “Brave” and “Paperman” queues were 2h so I passed on those (my knees and elbows were still swollen from previous brawls). On a side note, Pixar didn’t hold their regular Mifa presentations which was really unexpected and sad.
Josie Trinidad won us over with her enthusiasm and Jeffrey Turley gave a very funny talk spiced up with lovely cartoony ink-brushed beatboards at the Disney booth. We were not allowed to take any pictures or report anything on their Wreck-it-Ralph presentation so I can only share with you the following pictures. (sorry for the picture quality, I had forgotten my charger and used my phone instead)
Here is the Wreck it Ralph trailer if you haven’t seen it yet:
Despite the rapidly changing weather, Annecy 2012 was once again a great event and we will be back again next year …. with a mouth guard ;-)