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Jamaal Bradley acting shot walk-through

Posted on June 3, 2011 
Filed Under Acting, Animation | 7 Comments

[update with the trailer video]

ohhhhhhh. It just came out!
Dreamworks animator extraordinaire, Ianimate mentor and Pencil Test Depot writer Jamaal Bradley just released an Acting shot walk through now available on the JRA webinar store. For those who don’t know, Jamaal previously worked at Sony then on Disney’s Tangled where he did some of the most impressive shots.

The video is only $29.99, I just bought it myself and can’t wait to receive the download link!

JRA webinar store

Related posts:
Pencil test depot
Mike Walling ….. avec une moustache
Mike Walling walkthrough

“Can you sing” first shot polished

Posted on December 4, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Portfolio | 4 Comments


There is probably one frame of overshoot missing for the tip of the index and possibly a need of overlap for the other fingers but the next shots will be much harder to polish so let’s call that one DONE!

The lighting is temporary, I am now using Mental ray and this is foreign territory for me. A lot of testing and research will be necessary.

The Area light simulating the sky has been switched to a direct light to get a more realistic look but causing the loss of the soft shadows. I don’t know how to use depth map shadows in Mental ray yet. I will also try to frame the skeleton’s shadow a bit better and brighten it in the next pass. It would also be nice to get the guy’s hand shadow come into screen before the actual hand to prepare the audience for what is coming next.

Ah, I havent used any global illumination or occlusion yet, this requires much more testing than I have time for at the moment, my priority is to finish the animation before Xmas and have an amazing showreel for january 1st.

Regarding the materials. I am using a quickly customised misss_fast_sskin for the guy’s hand. It works fine for that shot but not for the next ones. I have in mind something similar to what they did on “Tangled” (gorgeous movie) or what Malcon Pierce used on his AM short film.

A tweaked leather procedural material has been applied as a bump map to the skeleton to give the feeling of a weathered material, this only shows in Full HD. I will probably need to add some 2d textures to create more dirt on the lower part of the skeleton unless I could use a procedural gradient, is that possible?

For the cinematography, I am wondering if I will use a cross fade at the begining then use a slowly focusing camera or maybe a slight pan, truck in…. we will see.

Ah ah!!! I was about to forget! I have in mind to have a shredded piece of cloth around the shoulder of the skeleton, some sort of bright blue hawaian shirt but I am not too sure how to go about it yet. A cloth simulation and a shredded looking opacity map could do the trick but I don’t know how Mental Ray handles opacity map with Depth map shadows.

[update]I am back to raytraced shadows and the cloth simulation was much easier than I thought :-)

Applying painterly concepts in a CG film – Bolt

Posted on September 13, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Education | 1 Comment

Bolt painterly effect

I was doing some research on rigging and more specifically Pose Space Deformation (PSD) when I came across a bunch of really cool papers published on the Disney Animation website.

Among them was a very abstract paper I was looking for but also a much more appealing one for the artist and keen painter in me.
Applying painterly concepts in a CG Film – Bolt

In that paper, the authors discuss the shortfalls of traditional CG Renders and how they applied the traditional painting concepts of Edges and Massing .

I now understand why the various trailers and teasers from “Rapunzel/Tangled” look so appealing. If only I knew how to apply this in Maya….

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