Thursday, 17 May 2012

Blog Submission - Guide To Navigating It

Although I will be continuing to work on the practical elements of the course in the coming week, this morning is the final submission of the blog for our semester 2 assessment. I thought that it was worth explaining what would be the best way to find relevant information on the blog. A current state of construction of the model will be presented in the Exploring Practice presentation on Wednesday afternoon.

Using this blog:

Under blog archive at the right each post is listed with the date and the title for reference. I have also arranged each post under different categories or Labels which can be accessed on the right hand side so that all posts pertaining to the relevant categories can be viewed chronologically in one page even if they are interspersed throughout my blog. I have put a guide to the labels below. Please note some posts will be shown under more than one label as they were appropriate in more than one category:

1. Experiments - Practical work completed or tested for the course, storyboards, program of study,
                          basic match moving/ film/ HDRI tests etc.

2. General - Posts like this which are less project/ module specific or ones which are related to my
                    attitude or opinion of animation in the broader sense

3. Inspirations - Critical reviews of films, artworks, buildings or photographs which I feel are useful
                          references or examples for my main Master's project

4. Leap Year - A side project carried over from last year which I will be using as a way of testing 2D
                        textures on 3D models

5. Presentations - Completed final presentations or assessment work which was required throughout the
                            semester to pass the modules

6. Research - Similar to inspirations research is more practical and reflective and contains analysis of
                      certain sources and exercises such as the extract which was required for Research and
                      Methods module.

7. Waverley - Everything which is directly related to the practical project has been given this label.

8. Collaborative Work  - Work I have done with or for other animation students.

A useful post which is indicative of the overall blog is the mind map which can be found at the link below and the search function on the top of the blog will assist if anything seems to be missing.

blog mind map:

I hope you enjoy my blog so far and thank you for the time to look through it!


Updated Programe Of Study

Shot 03 Version 1 Build Up

Texture Maps

So I have been working on creating the various maps required for improving my textures. I have compiled them again into a little video to prevent my bombarding the blog with lots of repeated images. many need tweaking and most of all I need to learn how to apply them properly in maya.

Animatic 4.0

No sound as yet I'm afraid but a revised, much shorter animatic. Hopefully this is one I can definitely complete in time. Low quality but you get the jist!

Storyboard 4.0

After cutting down the film and creating a new animatic I have updated the Storyboard. The external shot looking to the internal may not be finished depending on the time I have but if possible its one I would really like to keep in.

New Production Chart

Cutting down the film and updating the storyboard required a new production chart. 

Monday, 14 May 2012

Shot 03 Version 1.0

In spectacularly bad timing I've managed to contract mumps. Excuse the strange aspect ration (I uploaded the shot strange and it requires tweaking but having been struck by illness at assessment time I'm having to find ways of working from home without studio resources or full internet access. But it at least conveys some of the atmosphere I am trying to achieve in the film.

Shot 03 Development

After useful advice from Pat I have been working on some 3D rain tests for Shot 3 while having returned to Photoshop for the textures in this shot.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Slow Progress


The ever-great Pat Imrie (check out his blog here for useful tips and tutorials: ) answered some questions regarding my texture issues earlier so fingers crossed that the situation is not as dire as I think it is. As a back up I reworked that awful window texture in Photoshop. Already liking it so much better, its not quite finished as the glass and window surround have not been textured up yet but getting there...

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Farewell Internal Model

Today I had another tutorial with Jeanette. It was decided that to save time and stress that I would be advised to focus on the external and leave the internal shots as a potential extra/ something to work on after masters. Although this is a lot of work I have to abandon (some of it I was rather happy with) it should potentially make life easier in the long term and is more essential to the final assessment/ course requirements than the external.  (If at all possible I am still going to try to find a way to get the peeking in shot done though...)

Texture Problems

Really going round in circles. I keep getting advice from different people as to how/what is the best way to do it. From what I gather it seems like I'm going to have to give up my current approach and use Zbrush. No real idea on a decent workflow yet so its once again its scrap what I have and return back to drawing board. Ignore the glass as I haven't touched it but from the model you can see the stretching issues etc I was getting from the current approach. On the up, the lighting set up is definitely better and you can see a cheeky IBL in the background. 

Image Based Lighting

Some HDRI's derived from the photographs and shots taken from the site. Should help to light the final models. Eventually.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Footage 01

First attempt at gathering options for the final shots. Mostly went ok however some shots were harder to gather than I had anticipated. Roadworks, Street diversions, changeable weather did not help much. Still did mange to get a lot of useful shots. Below are some options for some of the shots. Excuse the colour and quality as it was HD footage I was gathering I have had to compress it quickly and severely to get it to upload.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Storyboard 3.0

Prior to going on site filming tomorrow I felt it was worth taking teh time to update the storyboard with final scene lengths/shots etc. A lot has changed since cutting the animatic down last week so here is Storyboard 3.0...

Sony EX-1

Earlier this week I received training on how to use the Sony EX-1 camera so that I can gather some final footage in edinburgh over the weekend. It wont make much sense to most of you and its really for my own reference but basic notes below. I received the camera this morning and its pretty gorgeous so now all I need to do is ensure all the batteries are charged and do the equipment justice....

reset: bottom menu - execute
format: bottom menu - video format : HQ 1920/25p
format both media a and b separately
ensure shutter is turned on
16:9 = 6.97mm x 3.92mm chip (maybe)
use full wide angle

When filiming record: the focal length
                                    the chip size

wish me luck...

Internal A1

A long overdue partner to the external poster I got printed in December.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Material Matters

Since the textures are roughly blocked out I have been beginning to learn about using the mental ray materials within maya to build shaders for the final model. I'm finding it a bit tricky to get my head round some of it but starting to make a breakthrough. I decided to use the window shot as a model for testing this out. this is because I have a range of textures in it and is at present the only shot where you really see the textures up close. At present I am focusing on how to get a realistic glass texture which I can apply the stained glass texture to. Its slow going...

Below are:
The storyboard Rough Shot
The New Maya Model For Test
Lighting/Material Test in Mental Ray

Dark Update

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Layout Sketch

Lucy was asking for a quick sketch of Edinburgh to aid the modeling foe her film. Its far from perfect but was an example of how she could use repeated elements and house types to create a street which was detailed but sparse to fit in with a simple illustrated style she is looking for. Its a very cute project.

Updated City

Now Featuring A Subwoofer Deity...

Scary Monsters and Bright Sprites

A darker synesthesia background for Brian. The smoke needs to be more evil and less bright while the glow needs to be tones down and I will be adjusting the eyes but here is version one....