Thursday, 28 February 2013

Project 4: The Fantastic Voyage- (Initial Research and creative partnership)

So I dug into my folders the day of briefing and began to gather my information on cells and cell structure, gathering  few diagrams from the web, here's a scribd document of all my findings so far on the structure of Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic cells. I will do a separate post into the details of the cells cycle later.

Getting to grips with our projects at the moment seems to be a little bit slow in progress however I can see creative partnerships speeding it up. I have been grouped with Shan, Peta-Gaye, Anass and Katy. Already Peta-Gaye has struck gold with regards to an idea and we, (Peta and I) got into conversation about where things could go from there. Fortunately She remembered to record the conversation in aid of our Creative Partnership Archive. We hope to continue to do voice recordings for the duration of this new project- with everyone grouped together next time.

So Peta-Gayes idea is as follows- 'I have decided to focus on explaining the structure of the Prokaryotic cell through a song that would sing the information in a catchy way while still giving the target audience the information they need about the song. I want the animation to be humorous and something that a teacher could show to their class to break the ice on the topic of the Prokaryotic cell. The animation that would accompany the music would feature the cell dancing and wiggling parts of its structure as the song points it out.'

Here is the recording.

Project 4: The Fantastic Voyage- (Briefing and Initial Research)

Well we were briefed on tuesday as to the nature of our commission project. Our aim is to create a fully rendered, two minute animation on an education topic, Biology- More specifically cells. We've been given the Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cells to look at with a variety of areas to investigate. We could do any of these combinations:

The structure of a prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell
The structure of a eukaryotic cell
The structure of a prokaryotic cell
The cycle of a prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell
The cycle of a eukaryotic cell
The cycle of a prokaryotic cell

Now we are aiming to create these educational videos for teens in Key Stage 4 and above (essentially GCSE students aged 14 up to 6th form aged 18) And with any luck Phil might be involving some students from Strood Academy, so we could get some feedback with regard to how useful our work is to them as students.

I feel I have a little head start with this being an ex-Biology A-level student so I have some understanding of the biology (surprisingly some of what I learned seems to have stuck!) This could see me embarrass myself however if I don't get my facts right, so I will be digging out my old folders just to be sure.

The creativity on this project has the potential to sway depending on what kind of video I might want to achieve. I could make a completely educational video, to aid the learning about these cells. This would make accuracy and communication imperative. I could make a video to entice students when making their career choices and selecting their path through education. This could result in a video thats all about the wow factor as well as the facts and figures. I could make a video with a slightly different theme, such as a game style, although still communicating cell biology. 

Phil showed us some good examples of past students work that were very inspiring. There is definitely a lot to think about with this project! But first things first- research!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Toolkit Animation- (Character design sheets and Charades)

So in last weeks lesson I was started off on the character walk cycle section of the project, where my character (my clown from Storytelling Project 3) will walk a pace or two with his own unique gait and then interact with a prop. (A rope Lasso) The sheet below consists of 2 sheets worth of drawings of the clown in various poses and motions.

In todays session of animation, to shake things up a bit and make them more fun, Meg produced a mystical blue box filled with sheets of paper with a word on. We were to play charades and act out the mood or characteristic until one of the rest of the group guessed it.  The person doing the acting would strike a single pose of that mood and the rest of us had a minute to draw it as expressively as possible. It was a fun exercise. I hope we do some more of them and get to do some more dynamic stuff. And I also hope I improve my drawing style to try and be slightly more exaggerated in my drawing.

Toolkit Animation- (Walk Cycle)

So a a few weeks back we were tasked to create a walk cycle so that 2 steps could be taken in exactly a second, equalling to 25 frames. Below shows the multi-coloured figuring-out stage when drawing the keyframes of a walk.

Working off the keyframes I redrew my walking person on clean sheets in pencil. It turned into a bit of a nightmare creating the frames that went between the keyframe- all the grey lines looked exactly the same! I eventually achieved a walk cycle. It's a bit sticky in place, there's a problem with an arm but I'm sure with practice I'll get the hang of it. Below are two versions of the walk, the first is of just the keyframes, the second is the finished cycle at 25 frames per second.
(Note: completed 2 weeks ago, but initial shots were bleached out, so it was reshot and left forgotten on a hard-drive for a week, sorry its so late!)


25 Frames per Second

Toolkit Maya- Biped Rigging (Feet, Legs and Spine)

Well its taken me two sessions to complete this first one but it is finally (almost) done! I made a mistake (annoyingly, somewhere near the beginning) When first placing IK handles into the legs. As it would seem the IK in the left leg is the wrong type. (I made it an IKSCsolver instead of an IKRPsolver)which therefore meant I could not attach a pole vector to the left leg. On a happier note i achieved it with the right leg! Not sure how to fix an error made so early in the process I continued to build the rig keen to at least learn the rest of the tutorial. I shall try and get this fixed in the next Maya session on monday.

So continuing on from my (almost) complete leg rig I began to build the spine. It was not nearly as hard as creating the legs, but then again I only had to create it and the controls the once. I'm looking forward to completing this guy and also really appreciating how much time and patience rigging requires!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Toolkit Maya- Double Sided Shader and X-Ray Shader

So we're beginning to get into funky details now with Maya, I never realized how difficult it would be to create book pages, never crossed my mind that an image on one side of a plane would be mirrored on the back. So in this tutorial we were taught how to create to sides and apply different images to the geometry.

On this second tutorial we were encouraged to use glows and transparencies in order to create this rather funky x-ray effect. Both tutorials were completed in no time at all. However rigging legs is proving to be a rather long challenge. (I'll hopefully have it uploaded by the end of this week)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Project Requirements)



Art Of

Final Storyboards

Final Script

Story Development
Initial Idea's
Developing Idea
3-Act Sequence
Premise, Logline, Step-Outline
Character Biographies (located in Greenlight Review)

Preparatory Storyboards

Final Concept Art

Supporting Artwork
Character Designing1
Character Designing2
Character Designing3
Environment Designing

Supporting Research
(Connected to Character Designing3 and Influence Maps.)

Influence Maps

The Cutting Edge Film Reviews

Creative Partnership Archive

Like-For-Like Storyboard

Submission Disc Artwork

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Animatic)

Project3:Storytelling and Commission- (Creative partnership Archive)

The final one for this project.

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (The Art Of)

A link to the Final Script, just in case the PDF one doesn't work.

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Submission Disc Artwork)

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Starting Pre-Viz )

So I finally began building my set at the beginning of the week, here are the stills from the modeling matching the various scenes from my script. Unfortunately the lighting is not all that great in some of them. Here I was trying to figure out some of the camera angles from the scenes in my storyboards.

The Restaurant Exterior

The Restaurant Interior

FlashBack Saloon Doors

The Anti-Room (Storeroom/Corridor)

The Managers Office

Unfortunately due to time management issues this is how the Pre-Viz remained, un-animated. It was started, following the completion of the animatic (which was slowed down due to a few technical hiccups), however that was too late to produce anything and put together in PremierPro. This is really disappointing as I am sure creating this Pre-Viz would really have helped me get to grips with using Maya better and understanding how to pace a sequence using the animation software. I hope in future something like this does not happen again. 

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (The Final Concepts)




Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Final Script)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Dandy Andy's Diner)

Here we have a far better concept art of the restaurants interior. As I flicked between some research into the Diner look and back to my layout I made some minor changes so that the layout would make sense. This is the view should you walk into the Diner just passing the window seats.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Toolkit Maya- Spot Check Tutorials

Please find here the links to all the tutorials completed so far since September.

Maya Basics

Geometry types
Character Part1
Character Part2 and Texturing Part 1- Common Shaders
Texturing Part2- UV Maps
Lighting Part 1- Lights and Shadows
Character Part3- Lighting and Rendering
Animation Part1- Using Rigs, Animation Part2- Using Motion Paths & Animation Part3-Using MEL

Digital Sets

UV Layout
Colour Maps, Bump Map and Specular maps
Dirt Maps- To be completed

Lighting and Rendering

Exterior Lighting- Midday
Exterior Lighting-Sunset
Exterior Lighting- Romantic
Exterior Lighting- Night
Interior Lighting- Kitchen

Pre- Visualization

Camera Part1- Custom Camera Rig
Pan, Roll and Pitch Shots
Dolly, Crane and Distance Shots
Camera Coverage, Shake and Contra-Zoom


Bouncing Ball Part1- On the Spot, Bouncing Ball Part2- Travel and Rotation
Pendulum Swing- Settle and Rest,  Chain- Secondary Action and Overlap
Toadstool-Squash and Stretch, Arm-Anticipation and Follow-Through
Felix Jnr. Rig- Walk Cycles

CG Artists Toolkit- Felix Jnr. and Walk Cycles

So here we have my first animated walk cycle. When carried out methdodically creating this animation sequeence was not nearly as difficult as I though it would be, (but then again, I didn't have to rig him.) The sequence can be found below. Also as a side note the creating of a 'shelf' and the buttons created to go in it proved to be very useful in the animation tutorial. Now I can see how customizing the main desktop can really speed up production.

CG Artists Toolkit- Old Alleyway- (Colour, Bump and Specular Maps)

Here is the result of the colour mapping section of the old Alleyway.

Here are the bump maps for the old alleyway. I struggled a little with the crates however, they always seemed too dark no matter what I did with them.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Project3: Storytelling and Commission- (Character Designing)

So Having designed some faces I got to creating the body shapes that might suit the select few I'm taking onwards. From the Clown faces I chose the first one (top left) to take forward. Its a sweet face, not at all creepy and has potential for a great number of expressions.
In figuring out the silhouette form for him, I looked specifically to him in his altered Waiters uniform, trying to pinpoint the exact features I wanted. normal sized hat/small hat, huge cowboy boots/regular cowboy boots, plump clown/skinny clown. I'm still unsure of which features I really want in my final clown.

 Next up is the Manager character. Now with feedback and my own preference, I cannot decide between the faces of A or E, so when I made the silhouettes I had both faces in mind. 

So here we have several variations. Two tall, two short and then one of each pair is a little plump while the other is skinny. I'm not sure which of these variations communicates a strung out boss more.

Thirdly we have the critic. Now this character I have a struggle between two extremes. In looking through the faces, most of them received a vote which didn't help me narrow them down. So I ended up taking through three of the six. G, I and J.

 Figuring out the body types of these ladies proved difficult as the look for G and I seem to fit well with a puny body, much like 1 of the silhouettes sheet. But J looks interesting and has potential to be absolutely enormous. This posed an interesting problem, should the critic be a tiny lady with immense power of restaurants and their managers, or should she literally be a towering woman that dwarfs them in physical power as well?

In any case to try and put some scale in the matter the silhouettes sheet below gives you an idea of the size of the characters in relation to one another.

Life Drawing- Sessions 14-16

I'm a bit late on posting this lot up  know, but here they are. Sessions 14-16.

For session 14, after our initial quick poses we were encouraged to draw with an emotion in mind. Including Anger- the drawing with the black halo. Nervousness- the drawing in which Jane is curled up in an arm chair and lastly Power. The poses and facial expressions certainly helped in drawing, but i feel i could have been more artistic with communicating these emotions.

Session 15 was a very interesting one. Someone made the request that we did quick poses all session and having just watched Psycho we knew exactly where to starts after completing the warm-up quick poses. To continue with a theme of dynamism and animation, Jane agreed to hold a series of poses that together created an action, paying homage Hitchcock the first action was a stabbing one.

As the session progressed we tried drawing at different speeds, having completed one animation sequence with 2 minutes for each pose, we sped up the pace with the second one having only a minute for each. You can see where I came unstuck in the first drawing only managing an arm and a shoulder at first. With more gestural shapes I managed to become quicker as the exercise continued. We tried other movements, this next charcoal one was Jane shying away as though something was being thrown at her.
  We moved onto other poses and I tried to change my sequence drawings. this was an unsuccessful experiment as Jane was creating the movement of someone ecstatically punching the air and therefore her main frame hardly moved while her extremities did and my choice of materials was not all that wise either. The next few drawings however were completed simply using curved lines only and ovals, for more of a gesture drawing.  I tried to continue with this technique in the last page filled with a series of quick sketches. It got a little too loose and messy by the end, but we achieved a lot in this session.

Session 16 saw us going the polar opposite to all the quick poses the week before, this time we were to do a single pose for the entire session. I shrunk the scale of Jane into my page in order to incorporate the environment, I think maybe that was the wrong decision. It should not have been quite so small, I could not get any detail in Jane's features and she was just too small in the space.