Sunday, 19 June 2011

17/06/2011 - Hand in - The Group Dynamic

Initially when the group formed I had worked with 2 of the members before on different projects in the previous year and had no particular issues so I was looking forward to starting the project. I knew from the start that I wanted to be a cog in a machine rather then be in charge of a group or have to organise other people, I wanted to take the chance to gain an insight of what it would be like in the industry as I would be happy to be told what to do. Initially when we started to work on the film we were told to try having multiple projects rather then just the one but the group very quickly decided to work on just Dave's film. When we first started working on  Dave's film it was more of a concept then a solid film all we had was the basic story and character designs which to be honest was the same as most films.

A lot of the first term the team took a lot of blows in confidence as the film was not praised, we had no positive feedback and everyone's passion for the film was beginning to waver. Although this was effecting Dave more then the rest as every iteration of the story he had was knocked and the rest of us were focusing on Dan's unit we never really got to think about it other then think this may not turn out as planned.

It wasn't until after Christmas and what was now the 4 or 5 iteration of the animatic that I went to Dave's house for a weekend and we spent the whole time solid working together on the animatic this is when the groups confidence started to pick up. I really felt that Dave and I were on the same level with how we wanted the film to look and it really ignited my passion for the film and so I think the positivity rubbed off on the group. Everyone was happy with what we had and the group really pulled together. Character designs started getting finalised and the models started getting built, within a few weeks we had a character model for the marmot and a model of the man made by Clym. A few weeks into the second term we also had a pitch to do where we were required to have a final test render for our films to show our style. I spent the weekend before the the pitch creating a making of movie purely for the pitch and I personally felt our pitch was the most well prepared out of all the films, we even got an applause from the rest of the class but again we received negative feedback and the team was disheartened again.

It wasn't until the next day that we were sitting in the common area on level 4 after talking to one of our tutors gave us positive feedback, from that day the groups dynamic changed and we really pulled together. Everything in the film was going well except unfortunately one of the group members quite often wasn't coming in as they were working from home when the rest of us were in everyday, this was worrying as they were our lead animator and it began to feel like they were trying to distance them self from us. This became awkward at times as we would be making changes to scene that would all happen during a day at uni.

This distancing continued through the third term which was a shame as the group dynamic had become so enjoyable, we would be going for lunch on the rare occasion they were in uni and they wouldn't join us. It got to the stage we had to get a 2nd year animator on board who in truth saved our film. Other then these issues the biggest show of how this team worked together as a group was the fact we finished the film and even though there are still tweaks to be made for the degree show I am happy with the end result and feel I have learnt valuable lessons

17/06/2011 - Hand in - The Three Folders


Three Folders


I knew from the start of this film that I didn't want to be an animator, which considering I'm on a animation course is probably a bit odd but its just the field that never interested me. Knowing that i wanted to have technical as my main folder i was pleased with what i did have a throughout the whole film I only animated on one shot although I had done secondary animation on one of the early opening shot test that I worked on. I also had created the 2D fx throughout the film so i knew that although this was going to be my weakest folder I had a fair amount of work for it.


Although this folder wasn't my main one I am confident with the work that was in there, the animatic was one thing I was particularly proud of this because the cinematography was down to Dave and I, Dave having the ideas and me visualising them. I was also fairly confident with my modelling as on this project I ended up becoming a bit of a problem solver for most issue bar nay involving the rig.

Technical (Main)

This was my main folder in the film from day one, I always knew I wanted to be compositing and editing so I am very confident with my work although I am constantly worrying that I didn't put enough in the my folder as my role in the film didnt come through until the last 2 weeks so it was a bit of a crazy rush to get the majority of the film rendered, composited and edited as well as finishing my folders in time. I had enough time to break down a selection of the more complicated shots and then put the current edit of the film at the end of my video. I do realise there was a few issues with the final film as well but I didnt have a chance to fix these before the deadline. Below is a list of issues with the film that I didn't have time to fix before hand in.

Shots to Fix
  • Shot 2 - Add steam when Marmot sniffs camera
  • Shot 3 - Add rock for marmot to dissappear behind
  • Shot 8,9 and 10 - Add more environment to bring life to scene
  • Shot 11 -  Put a distance between characters
  • Shot 13 - Sort out character transparency
  • Shot 15 and 16 - Adjust Shot Transition
  • Shot 16 - Have to clouds one for marmot one for man
  • Shot 17 Part 2 and 3 - Camera Adjustments
  • Shot 19 and 20 - New Shot in between or extend 19
  • Shot 20 - Adjust eye colour
  • Shot 27 - Fix eyes
There are other tweak to be made but these are one that concern my main folder.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

16/06/2011 - Hand in - Scheduling Analysis

Unfortunately at the start of this project I didn't have as much control over the scheduling as I was waiting on other people to finish concepts, although this gave me time to work on my other units for the term as well as experiment with renders in my own time.

Once we started getting concepts and we had a more solid idea of what was going on time scales improved. Our rigger Tara was able to finish a Rig in a week and then fix any bugs that were given to her, allowing animators the chance to start early. My models were all built quickly except for the eagle character as I had some issues with the feet but that was more for creative issues where I needed to sit with the director.

It wasn't until the start of the 3rd term that the scheduling started to fall apart as our lead animator rarely came in delaying the shots being given to me making me unable rendering as I wasn't getting scenes from anyone as the lead animator was meant to help finesse the scenes. About half way through the term maybe a little earlier we got a second year animator Rob on board to help us and suddenly the shot were coming along, Tara basically took on the role of lead animator help everyone to finesse there scenes to a good standard. Although I didn't get any scenes till 2 weeks before the deadline I was impressed with how the scheduling became more on track throughout the term mostly down to getting Rob to help us.

I have to admit personally I surprised my self that I met my plan of getting 2 shots rendered a day, I was expecting to still be editing 5 minuets before the deadline but instead with one day spare the film is fully edited with only small tweaks being needed although the director and i intend to make more changes for the deadline. If I could go back and change any of my scheduling I would mainly just be that I got the shots sooner as I would have liked to spend more time on the lighting in the scene also because i was in such a rush at the end to get the film fully rendered, composited and edited I didn't have a chance to sort out some of the render bugs that I wanted to. (bugs cover in folders evaluation post)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

14/06/2011 - 3 Days Till Deadline

So far my Scheduling has gone to plan as I only have 3 days of term left I and 2 more shots to render, this has all gone a lot quicker then I was expecting as I knew I was being optimistic when I wanted to get 2 shots done a day.

Starting to worry about my folders as well as I don't think I will be able to fit everything I have done on there as I have Rendered the whole film

Shots Rendered 17 part 2, 3 and shot 20, 21, 22

Sunday, 12 June 2011

12/06/2011 - More rendering

A lot of what I am doing at the moment is all very similar to previous posts as I am trying to get the simpler scenes out of the way because they are quicker to render, this should mean that I have more scenes finished giving the film an overall more finished feel to it.

Visually I feel that the film is coming on leaps and bounds with the style working through out and the story flowing consistently as I am editing it together in Adobe Premiere.

While compositing I had some issues where the environment was bleeding through the characters because I lowered there opacity to give them a more blended feel with the film. This was fairly easy to sort out I just used the layer with the characters as an alpha map over environment layer creating a mask so that the layer does not appear behind the characters. Although I was limited in the amount i could do as i wanted to get my laptop back to rendering as soon as possible.

Render Screenshots

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

08/06/2011 - Playblast edit and Folder Preperation

Today's plan to get 2 scenes render went completely out the window as I started editing some videos together for my submission folders, which i then ended up getting really involved in as Editing is really one of my main passions. I started editing the break down of my different FX passes to different shot, below you can see a break down of the passes of smoke I added into shot 29.

I also had one of the animators in the group come round to help me clean up some of the shots today as some of them were a bit of a mess after getting them from the other animators. so we spent a lot of the day just cleaning up small parts of scene, we also changed some of the camera angles in some shots to had some of the weaker points in the animations. She ended up taking some shot home with her to do some finishing to but otherwise I now have nearly every shot the is ready to render excluding 3 or 4 which are being finessed by the animators.

I also spent a large chunk of the morning working in my E&E unit so although today has been extremely productive only 25% of that was towards the film.

I also used today as and opportunity to playblast all finished animation shot and start to edit them together  and although its a mash up of Blocked out playblast, Finesse playblast and render shot the story is starting to come together and im getting excited about the film again.

08/06/2011 - Scheduling so far

This is a production schedule of how my work has gone so far, you can see how all over the place it is, as I have been given different shots at different times and some of the shot have taken longer to render then planned because of rendering issue. Unfortunately it is really hard to accurately schedule myself as rendering is one of the most unpredictable areas of animation, I have managed to reduce the time as much as possible by using layers and passes but there isn't much else I can do