Sunday, 30 October 2011

Space and Shield

The upcoming pitch requires a 'wow' image to blow the audience away before we even get on stage. I believe this will be on the brochure.

This is the level of mind-blowingosity I'm aiming for. AT LEAST!

My wow image is going to be based off of this basic composition I did in Maya with my blocky models.

I'll just trace over it and flesh out the creatures, the composition helping with perspective, colours etc. I'm also planning to add HUD from the probe camera (this explains the extremely close camera) and perhaps even a crack on the lens (which explains why the 'photo' will be blurry). I've foolishly left this until quite late and so there's a possibility of it not being finished in time for the hand-in. Failing that, I'll use one of my Pitch slides.
Such as these:

'Triple Dash' is the company responsible for XenoWildlife films such as "Mars' red fossils" and "Europa: The Ocean Moon"

This one is in rough - that light-grey smudge is supposed to be the sun reflecting on Fentil's surface

I really like that grey grid - which is good because I'll be using it a lot for the whole Fentil project.
So I should probably get on that whole wow image business!

Oh yeah, and completely nothing to do with anything - A few months ago I made this shield:

It was a bit of an exercise in using minimal textures. I could have done a more interesting and more complex object, but I figured that I'd start off small and simple.
It was vaguely based on the visual style of the upcoming Skyward Sword and one of the shields.

THIS shield in particular
I'm somewhat looking forward to this game.

Now time for some things to watch:
The Backwater Gospel

Making of:
I like how in their pitch they break down how they make their wonderfully stylized characters. It's a wonderful insight and I'm sure that they had a very successful pitch. I also really like how they rigged their mouths, using independent sprites for the phonemes. They also included their animatic which is useful research for making my own animatic (see last post).
A cool music video by the director of Akira , Ken Ishii.

Friday, 28 October 2011


...yeah, that.
So I've made a very rough animatic for Another Life.

The sounds and even some of the shots are tentative for now, but it's just to get a grip on the timing of shots and pacing. It really feels like some of the shots are rushed to make the film under 3 minutes. As much as it pains me to do so, I'll definitely have to do some cutting down if I want the film to be properly paced.

It saddens me

To help me with figuring out the action and how to 'film' it, I'm making a diorama of the 'set'. For this I decided to have a little fun with it, and emulate something that I love (for some reason) in video games. Level dioramas:

For some reason these little caricatures of environments capture my imagination.
So I'm doing one for the Another Life environment, just to get bearings of where everything is. It can also give Olly something to light while he waits for the actual sets.

One of the things I've been looking into for these sets is how to connect the Tile Tops. Their caps grow in a circular fashion, however, seeing as they grow to the same height, the circular caps tessellate, and so can no longer remain circular. It took me a while to figure out how best to imagine how this would look, until recently I discovered that I didn't need to.

Bubbles (and skin cells) fit the bill perfectly - and these have really helped with planning it out.
I already have a model of a Tile Top plant:

But at this point it's redundant as there has been changes to the design (There's no 'petaling' on the blue cap - now it's just flat like a drum skin) but the final models will be rigged to an extent so that I can use the same model but adjust the cap shape to allow for the above tessellation, and to make up for the more slender species that border the plains that provide shelter for the Bright-Eye and its pup.

How cute

I will be making this in Maya soon enough.
Now back to working on the pitch...


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Eye sure have been busy.

Don't hate me for the pun.
Last night Olly said that he needed a rig where the eyelids move as the eyeball moves. It's never essential to a rig, but it does add a lovely subtlety which I think is noticeable. While I don't think he'll be using this model, I do think I did the job with the actual rig, despite some rushed weight binding at the edges.
I'm pretty sure I over-did it with the eye-twitch.

Over the last few weeks I have been working on Another Life, the Fentil wildlife documentary third year film thing.
I am happy to say that I have a near-final storyboard sans annotations so there may be some abiguity as to what's going on, but it shows the basic unveiling of the story.
I'm in the midst of making a rough animatic with silly mouth-and-nose sound effects just for timing purposes. I've been advised to hold off making the animatic/storyboard too pretty until I've done more research into cinematographic methods of nature documentaries.
Doug Allan is a nature photographer who has won a fair few awards for his work, and it's definetely going to be part of my research. I've also been watching countless nature documentary series' such as Life, Planet Dinosaur, Secret Lives etc.

I've been overdosing on Attenborough.

Fentil (or at least this film) needs a blog or website or something, and I should really stop putting it off. I did in fact start a blog for it (here) but there's nothing there to look at, as I'm still tinkering with the HTML to make it look nice. I want the cool stripey blue bar at the very top of the post, above the heading, but I'm still working on it. However, now that it is getting some decent development done, I need to keep the blog up.

It's somewhere along the long list of things to do.

High on this list is preparing for the upcoming pitch.

Kinda nervous.

HOWEVER! I do have a plan for the presentation:
I will 'pretend' that I have already visited Fentil, and that I have returned with field sketches and some wonky photographs, and that if my pitch is successful, I will be funded to go back to the planet and 'film' the Another Life documentary. I think it will make the pitch more fun, and acting out the part might help dispel some of the inevitable stage fright.

Once the pitch is behind us, I'll begin work on a block-through animatic in 3D. Lucky for me, I already have a tail-feeder block model rigged and ready for use:

I have also made a similar model for the bright-eye. It is yet to be rigged.

I'm definitely feeling a lot less stressed now that I have a basic plan of what I need to do over the next few weeks.

Next post I'll put up some drawings I've done - I'm pretty backed-up on doodles by this point.

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