Portfolio Post #2: Film Specifics

All Videos are Examples and do not reflect the sum total of contribution.

Meadow Sequence

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Lighting.

Stream Sequence 1

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Lighting, Water & Paint Effects

Stream Sequence 2

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Lighting, Water Effects

Snake Sequence 1

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Lighting, Paint Effects

Snake Sequence 2

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Lighting, Paint Effects

Hill Sequence

hawk

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Camera, Lighting, Paint Effects

Hill Base Sequence

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Lighting, Water & Paint Effects

Log Ocean Sequence 1

Modelling (Rabbit, Environment, Wolf Retopology), Rigging, Environment Layout, Lighting, Water & Lightning Effects

Underwater Sequence

Modelling, Rigging, Lighting, Water Effects

Memory Sequence

Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout, Camera, Lighting, Water & Paint Effects

Log Ocean Sequence 2

chimera

Modelling, Rigging, Lighting, Environment Layout, Water Effects, Camera Correction

 

Portfolio Post #1: Contribution List

The Short Film Storm within was created by myself and Anna McCraith, whilst Anna handled the Character Animation and Compositing, as well as Texturing of characters, I dealt with the 3D Modelling, Rigging, Environment Layout and 3D Effects that you see in the film.

A brief bullet-point of my contributions broken down by scene is below.

  • Writing
    • Original Concept
    • Major Villains (Conceptualization of the Wolf, Hawk, Snake and Chimera)
    • Potential Environment Planning
  • Character Modelling
    • Rabbits
      • The Main Character, Alan – Modeled based on original concept art by Anna McCraith
      • Fat Rabbit’s – Modeled and adapted from the Model of Alan.
    • Snake
      • Modeled based on original concept art by Anna McCraith
    • Hawk
      • Modeled based on Silhouette Reference.
    • Wolf
      • Retopology and Model Adjustments to Zbrush Sculpt originally made by Kerry McCormick.
    • Chimera
      • Model ‘bashed’ using previously listed models.
  • Environment Models
    • Trees & Shrub Pseudo-3D models based on 2D Textures by Anna McCraith
    • Rocks (27 Unique Rocks arranged into 3 Clusters)
    • Reeds (Used in original Animatic)
    • Brambles
      • Attached Thorn Models
  • Rigging
    • Rabbits
      • Alan the Main Character Rig & Paint Weight Corrections
      • Fat Rabbit Rig & Paint Weight Corrections
    • Wolf
      • Rig & Paint Weight Corrections
    • Hawk
      • Rig & Paint Weight Corrections
    • Chimera
      • Rig & Paint Weight Corrections
    • Snake
      • Rig & Paint Weight Corrections
  • Environment Layout
    • Meadow Scene
    • Stream Scene (Version 1)
    • Stream Scene (Version 2)
    • Snake Lair Scene
    • Snake’s Run Scene
    • Hill Scene
    • Hill to Ocean Scene
    • Log Ocean Scene (Version 1)
    • Log Ocean Scene (Version 2)
    • Underwater Scene
    • Underwater Memory Scene
    • Final Step-Off Scene
  • Lighting
    • Scene Lighting
    • Character Mesh Lighting
    • Volumetrics
    • Reflective Lights
    • Film Colour Sequencing
    • Tonal Planning
  • 3D Effects
    • Lightning
    • Water
      • Stream
      • Hill
      • Ocean
      • Underwater
    • Grass Effects
      • Reeds
      • Shrubs
      • Plants
    • Highlight Smoke
      • Snake Eyes
      • Wolf Eyes
      • Chimera Eyes
      • Hawk Wing Trail
  • Rendering
    • Wrangling
    • Set-Up
      • Cloud Render Management
      • As-Needed Correctives
      • Shot-By-Shot Assessment
      • Colour Correction (partial)
    • Organisation
      • File Fixing
      • Sequence Set-up
  • Compositing
    • Shot Assistance & Planning
    • Credit Sequence Planning
  • Additional Contributions
    • Sourcing and Laison for Music Production
    • Sourcing Sound Effects
    • Primary Research Gathering

 

Updated 3D Animatic

This was the 3D Animatic we put together for our last presentation, with some rendered shots – the rest would begin rendering the day after.

At this point in the film, my contributions are less visually obvious –  modelling,  rigging and environment design all tend to be hidden behind fantastic animation from Anna, so the trick at this point is to make the Lighting make the environments and characters pop in a much more meaningful way.

Research : Video References

Over the past few months I’ve followed alot of tutorials, below is a rather extensive list of the ones I followed.

I used this tutorial primarily to get a stronger understanding of how to skin the joints of the character, and to try and find a solution to the ‘floating eyes’ problem I encountered.

Floating Eyes: The Eye, Teeth and Tongue Geometry of the Snake frequently detached itself from the rig and moved through space parallel to the rig.

When Modelling the Rabbit and Snake, and early attempts at the wolf – I would create their general shape in Maya then port over to Zbrush for fine detailing – I hadn’t touched Zbrush for some time and so I used this tutorial and  the one below to refresh my memory on how to use it.

This Tutorial and the two below are fairly obvious, Mainly trying to find different ways of modelling the eyes to make them look realistic – Anna was fairly strong in her view that the eyes needed to be realistic to make the characters feel alive, and so I wanted a range of options.

This particular tutorial was quite handing for working out how to get eye-reflection, however it didn’t work as well in Arnold as it did in the early test renders on maya software.

The mouth cavity tutorials were mostly to just get an eye for the topology and working out how the blend-shapes would deform.

This particular tutorial was mostly to try and get an idea for how I wanted the mouth to deform with teeth and still appear threatening, though I ended up going for the more realistic approach with the teeth and have them contained within the mouth instead of protruding out.

I love the look of this rig and some of the more interesting components of it, though it was more complex than what we needed for the short.

This tutorial was particular useful for grasping how the leg set up should work, with the full body crouching and hierarchy structure of the controls.

This and the tutorial below, primarily served to get a sense of how the legs of the wolf and chimera should bend – initially the chimera was a completely different creature from the wolf, exhibiting similarities and features, but eventually it became easier to simply adapt the wolf itself for narrative reasons.

Though we had no human characters, these were mostly to help get a sense of IK set-ups and refresh my memory of some of the tools available to me while rigging.

Similarly, this tutorial was to help me quickly grasp joint hierarchy and remind myself of the different settings and options available when setting up skin weights.

Whilst this tutorial was helpful, the features it showed from DM were never used, as I couldn’t actually source a free functional version of it for 2018, though the 2017 version was interesting to play around with, if a bit clumsy looking.

Initially, the facial animation was going to be done with controls, however blendshapes were a stronger and more flexible choice for what we wanted.

This whole section was part of me trying to work out why I couldn’t get my IK’s working the way I wanted them too. It eventually took a tutorial Alec sent me from Lynda.com for me to figure out the solution.

This tutorial was less about the IK and more about the arrangement for getting the wolf leg motion exactly how we wanted.

Quadrupeds are tough and make an interesting challenge.

This first foray into Paint Effects seemed to convoluted for me to want to use, however I would later come back to it when looking at how to craft the grass for our scenes.

I loved working with XGEN and MASH grass, however it proved too scene intensive, eventually preventing my laptop from opening any scenes at all – as such, the environments had to be rebuilt and a less strenuous method found.

This was used to help guide me on how I was going to create the busier stream section, and while this tutorial builds a much more complex environment – we wanted to keep ours simpler to help maintain focus on the characters.

These tutorials were just research into different options for creating grass I had, and hopefully in creating fur on the characters – though that would eventually get scrapped for myriad reasons.

Like I mentioned earlier, I initially looked at attaching fur to the Rabbits and Wolf, however similar to with the grass overloading my environments – this made animating and fixing rigging issues very difficult, and it became more hassle than it was worth to actually graft the fur to the characters.

Most of these videos highlight the things I either got stuck on or needed to refresh myself on how to go about enacting. They were mostly helpful, with a few duds here and there depending on many different factors at the time.

Aesthetic & Tonal Reference : ED

All the anthropomorphism wasn’t part of what we want to go for, the overall aesthetic, rendering effects,lighting and the shifting tones throughout the scenes all had good relations to certain shots we had planned.

It also had a good use of sound without dialogue through the short film, something we too planned to do.

Tonal Reference : Poilus

I remembered this video from last year, and thought that it had some apt tonal similarities to what we wanted to achieve.

Specifically the use of cloud and greytones to create a narrow and closed space, and the close up camera angles through action scenes to convey the character’s emotion constantly.