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“Can you sing” first shot polished

Posted on December 4, 2010  4 Comments
Filed under Animation, Portfolio

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 :-)


4 Responses to ““Can you sing” first shot polished”

  1. Henk on December 4th, 2010 06:03

    Hi Olive,

    You could, given the time and money, make that skeleton look absolutely amazing :-]

    However, the shot is still about a character simply tapping the finger. Its not about a live long journey to find the bones of a lost relative on the slopes of the himalayas. (in that case you`d invest your budget a bit more specific on the skeleton)

    Most likely the time needed to pimp details can be wisely invested in other parts as well.

    So what I`m saying is this: move on, and make the whole thing work as an animation reel :]

  2. Olivier Ladeuix on December 4th, 2010 06:20

    hey Henk, well lighting and rendering is not everything but it can really help to sell a shot.

    Funny enough, when I was visiting my friends at Dreamworks this summer they always insisted in hunting for the fully comped render of their shots when I would have been just as happy to see the original playblast.

    French feature animation industry is also tougher to break through than other markets as most applicants come from Gobelins, Supinfocom, ESMA and other schools trying to emulate them. Those students are fully versed into modeling and rendering so competing against them is a real challenge.

    Also I am a buddying film maker and always see my animation in a context under a specific lighting and cinematography so I always find it extremely frustrating not to be able to communicate those.

  3. Henk on December 4th, 2010 10:20

    Cool, myeah, I figured you both enjoyed it and use it as a strength as well. And yeah, competing against those 3 schools is a rather tough challenge.

    On a side note, I had the pleasure to see a small small presentation about Supinfocom and its intimidating. Basicly lasts 5 years (not 4 like dutch artschools), has an AM style focus on making stuff in very constrained assignments, and features plenty of teachers who`re working in the industry. Pretty cool if you ask me.

  4. Olivier Ladeuix on December 5th, 2010 13:43

    yes french students are very privileged, they have a vast amount of professional coming to tutor them for one to two weeks and some amazing animators like Kristof Serrand come to visit very often, I am hoping to meet him at the animation school next door very soon

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