Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Where am I at this point in time

its been a little while since I last posted anything. I've been in Maya mostly, animating away, working my way through each shot. Although not in any particular order.

Although before I did that, I grouped my story boards together into their complete shots. There are a total of 13 shots in this sequence. I then put an approximate time against each shot, based on the edits in the animatic. I spliced the sound into 13 pieces and with all this, I could setup my scenes in maya, with the correct length and sound associated with it. OK. So where am I now?

There's still a few more shots to go and all the scenes need various effects added to them. Such as bubbles, rolling fog and a few particle splashes. The character is also missing in all the scenes at the moment. Can you believe that I'm still wondering how I am going to do that. Considering the amount of time left. I haven't properly lit the scenes either.

Anyway, I thought I would post all the bits of animation that I have done so far, as Playblasts, in sequence. The blank areas are shots that still need doing. Having seen them all play in sequence together like this I can see some areas that need further improving. Mostly regarding the camera.

PS in the last two shots, the water isn't moving because it was taking too long to calculate for the playblast.

I think almost every shot, the animated camera requires more refining.
As an example. Shot 10 (about 40 seconds in) seemed to look good by itself, but when played after the previous shot, something looks odd. It could just be me, but I think its because the end camera angle of shot 9 is very similar to the beginning camera angle of shot 10. The fact that the camera in shot 10 is moving considerably faster than in 9 could also be contributing to making this edit look slightly odd. It could just be that in shot 10, the camera is starting too far away or it shouldn't accelerate so quickly. In fact, looking at shot 9 now, I think the animation needs to be changed drasticly, because for me, it isnt working.

One thing I have done is created a table, listing the 13 shots in my animation, with tick boxes of what needs doing. Columns starting from basic animation to camera animation, additional effects, render setup to compositing etc and lastly a done box. I actually did something similar to this on the last uni project as it helps me see exactly where I stand.


  1. PS
    Looking at whats left to do on my table, I might be able to finish off all the animation and effects by the end of the week and thats if i'm lucky. If I'm really lucky, I might even be able to start rendering a few bits as well. The problem is that even with the slight extension on the deadline, I doubt the making of will arrive in time. I say that because I don't want to be doing any work on this project after uni starts except for rendering. And thats only going to happen if I just focus all my efforts on the animation, this week. The one thing I don't want to happen is to have a stressful week trying desperately to get this done for the sake of a competition. Then to come back to uni feeling bad because of a stressful week, with rendering and a making of to do with the unlikely chance of it being ready for the deadline.
    So the simple answer is to forget the competition, just get the project done, without being rushed. And if by luck, it does get done in time, then thats great, but if not, its not the end of the world.

  2. Wow Ethan, this was amazing.. so epic aswell :D
    Particularly enjoyed the camera work, felt really filmic to me .
    And I agree with your point of view - lets not make things overly too stressfull, we'll get plenty of that this year :D
    Congrats with the result so far!

  3. Hey Ethan - your pre-viz gave me goosebumps. JJ is right - your filmic sensibility is coming through loud and clear - some great compositions here, and I love that little detail with the fish at the start, how it darts off at the end of its path - nice observation. While you will be a busy bee at the start of term, not so in terms of 'making cg' - at least, not in the first instance... I don't think you need to worry too much, but neither should you get stressed and burned out before term begins. You are making something with a lot of impact, and I agree that the biggest prize of all may simply be seeing this animation as polished as possible. I wish you luck, and I'm very impressed.