Monday, 25 February 2008

Week 8 - making the blockout and blendshapes

..and ofcourse the dissertation.

On Monday Josie and I meet up in college to do the blockout, I met our sound guy Emmet in the corridor and we discussed sounds for the film a bit and I told him that finally he would get the block out today. Moahaha. Never say never. Ironically everything that could go wrong did go wrong and even more, images from shoots appeared as the background on the timeline so I almost thought the computers graphic card was about to die and all the 2D art work went made when I tried to make playblasts out of the animation. Josie and I chose to laugh about it. We tried different solutions from ten to 4PM and then we gave up and called it for the day. Aminata meet us and heared my mental laugh and decided to come to my house on Wednesday and try to sort out my Maya and save my mental health :)
Ben in my class came and asked me for work so I told him that I, Aminata and jess all needs help with various things. He was interested in designing a new Bobo as I told him that we had problems with him - I also told him that I had to discuss it with Wan as he already is working on Bobo, but maybe Wan want time to work on his dissertation as I know how much work he has done for me and knows that he is a bit behind with dissertation work? I also wanted to make clear to ben that if he wants to do this it has to be done in a week or maximum two. Ben called me the same night which made me happy, he seems really up for it, nice not having to hunt people all the time. Talked to Wan about it on skype and I told him to keep all the work that he had done but that I was not happy with Bobo still and that maybe fresh ideas from outside could help us, right now his legs looks more like human legs then toy legs and there was no development done from the ruff maya Bobo that I had done to show Wan how we might make Bobo more like-able by giving him more shape, rounder belly, more bottom, details on the then very flat ears etc. I need new concept or a modeler who is familiar with character modeling who can do it. And do it now. Did not want Wan to be disappointed or angry with me so we talked about it and he said that he actually much rather makes blendshapes so then it was all for the best for both him and Ben. So now Wan will work on his dissertation and the both of us will make blendshapes for the girl and if Ben doesn't do it then we use Wan's version but we decided to give it a try.

Tuesday, easier to write what I do everyday cos I noticed that otherwise I forget a lot. Dissertation meeting with Mike.H, waited for him for an hour and was so tired when I could see him that I don't think I made any sense - BUT - I did borrow him a digital recorder from college so that he could record his daughter and / or his sons voice for my film :) Told Wan that he could stay home tomorrow and work on his dissertation as I feel responsible for the bad concept work with Bobo. Ben was in and had two Bobo sketches, I told him that i really liked his drawings but that they felt both a bit to comical and that we wanted a fairytalish, sad and beautiful film so that Bobo could not be to cartoonish. Wan was also there so I asked him what he thought and he thought the one we liked the most could work but that it right now looked more like a boys toy and I could see what he meant when he said it so I asked Ben to give the toy a slimmer and less masculine body and try to make it more like a girls toy. I need to discuss the ears with him as well as the long ones he had now would be LOTS of animation work..dont want that eventhough it could be really nice. I hope that Ben is serious cos I am so tired of people saying they will do things n then disappearing.

Wednesday, I can't work anymore. I try but nothing comes out of it. Can't wait for the easter break!! Worked on the dead world, changed a clip in sequence 1 in the first scene n came up with some much better camera angles then the ones in the animatic which is good. Can't stand the playblast problems with maya anymore and the look is not what I am after either so today I imported the animated girl into After effects, cut the background of n started with scene one that also would define the style. Looks so much better in After Effects! need to sort out the clouds and the background so that they follow the 3D camera though. Couldn't finish as Aminata was coming over to fix my maya. Don't like working in college so it is so frustrating not to have maya at home!! We worked about 5 hours on it...doesn't work on my Intel computer. Nice. Oh yes! Raphael showed up today and he also e-mailed me a couple of days ago so it was nice to see him again. I told him that we have a formative next week and that he actually has nothing to show for as he has done nothing for me this term. I asked him to get images that could work as the view from the hospital room and to develop the white flying creature that he should have done when he disappeared, we discussed if it should be 2D or 3D and decided to go for 2d as it would fit the dead world much better. Had a meeting with Mike and told him about our status and what we were doing.

We are behind but I feel more positive then before.

Now I just need to get:
a really good blockout done with Josie
do blendshapes for the girl
finish my dissertation,
make sure we get the train and has everything finished for the easter week with scene/camera/mood and animation list for all involved. Less then two weeks to go!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Week 7 - uffie, peaches and coffee

more grey colors

testing the color schemes for the dead world, the grey scales are to depressing. Need to make the dead world a nice place.
Most of it will be 2D so we discussed it today and there is no reason to do it in 3D - waste of time, we should animate all the characters separate - everyone gat the size scales today via mail - and then we put the animation in in After Effects and add clouds, mist, fire flies, ray of light etc.

I am trying my best to stay motivated but lately I have been very down, will try and change it around. Have been talking to Aminata about the Eiffel towers, clouds, backgrounds and textures that I have done for her and have told her that I can make more and make changes if she wants ( i think its fun ) but she said that its alright at the moment and that she only has a problem choosing clouds and that she will merge and mix textures in Photoshop.

Giles will help us and rig the girl so I have posted the last changes to Aminata as I still think the girls ears are to small and round. As soon as they are done Giles will get the file and can get cracking.

Painted the lip texture for the mother and passed to wan we have been in contact daily on skype as he is working on the blendshapes for the mother. her face is so narrow that it makes it really hard for her to look happy and show a big smile, wan has been working really hard on it for days now so I told him that we should leave it and move now, its not possible i think to get the look I want with her face so - just move on and get her finished.

I have done my won personal timetable and I have asked my group to do the same as we need one for the easter break but it might also help planning our time better. No words from Raphael yet. A bit pissed off, can't be that hard to send an sms or an e-mail?

Sketched on more different flowers, these ones are more simple then the other ones and suit the new color scheme better.

Talked to Aminata on skype and she said that she needs some more textures so I am quickly trying to paint more tonite as I want to work with my dissertation. Or..actually i don't want to but... guess I have to.. :)

test with my textures on Aminatas buildings, I like it a lot!

I thought that Wan's eyelids with the box in the end wouldn't work but both him n Mike said it was good at the last meeting so I was thinking well, what do I know? But they didn't work so now poor Wan has to change all the eyelids. I asked him if he ever checked how the other modelers done their eyelashes and we did a quick test with alpha channels but it didn't work so I said that we have to leave it and move on, she will be alright without eyelashes- we just need to finish her now - I want Wan to get time to work on his dissertation as well cos he has been struggling with the mothers hair texture, blendshapes etc and has done A LOT of work. We have been talking a lot on skype this week, sending files back n forth and trying to get the mothers happy face and smile to work but she has such a narrow thin face that it is hard to make her laugh and make it look good. Anyway - I AM doing work, producing and directing takes some time eventhough you might not think so, looking through everyones work and trying not to miss out on something essential, making changes, plan this n trying to hold it together, make decisions etc. This is how Wan and Aminata and I have worked, sending files with feedback and comments back n fort to each-other via skype, really handy with skype!

E-mailed Caspar about the train, need to make sure if he will texture it or not. I want it in cream white with gold details, looked for textures earlier this week and sent some to Caspar:

Josie and I will finish the Block out on Monday so that feels really good! Then I can pass it to our sound guy.
I hope that Mike.H is back this week as well cos then I can give him a digital recorder so that he can record the voice for us.

Promised to animate a scene in Jessica's film during the easter break, that will be fun! So I will add that to my Easter schedule when I know more about it. Will make a schedule for the rest of this production as well.

Size referance of sophie that i made with wan and e-mailed all the modelers as she was to big for the train and the nenvironments couldnt get nice depth with her that massive.

Peace n Luv,

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Week 6 - and I wanted to put this film down

I had it the other day, so today I really wanted to put this film down and was very certain of it. I feel that I am getting my degree, my showreel and final year fucked because I was stupid and pitched a film with both 2D and 3D that I couldn't make by myself cos I am not good with 3D, rigging, modeling etc. But that was the point I remembered - we should pitch a film that a lot of student could and would like to work on that wasn't to long and complicated and didn't have to many characters in it. I did that. It took weeks to figure out the dynamics of the group and realizing that actually some people don't do shit but is bullshitting me week after week. So I started loosing hope. I am probably a shit producer- probably a shit director. But I work try to do my best.
The same week as we are warned about always fucking up deadlines - deadlines get fucked AGAIN.  So, how long should I let this repeat itself? Can we do it? Mike is probably thinking about what is the best for the course and what is best for the majority of students - but I actually have to think about me. I am not leaving this college without a showreel. Fuck No.
I felt more positive after the meeting when Giles said that he could help us and rig the girl, maybe even help us with some blendshapes. Sarah and Rob also offered to help with modeling props and characters. I will ask Sara to help out with background paintings and the deadworld, 
a lot of people were doing concept on it but actually all I gat was two drawings, one from Eva and one from Josie and it is not enough. I sketched some on it as well. I will give this one more week, then I don't care what anyone says. This is about MY future. I don't live with my parents.  I am not 18 or 20. I am 30 years old and gave up a flat and a good job to go and get a degree.. even if I am not an animator.
Anyway, here is the hospital room. Will fix the duvet and pillow when the girl actually is in the bed so I can shape it after her body. The lamp needs another texture and the plant in the window is not done. 

lets not mourn or get depressed about this shit, lets try and make the best out of the situation.. lets design the Dead-world!
I kept this image that I found online since last term, and it gave me an idea.

maybe we should have some weird plants/flowers in the dead-world? I started sketching on some weird flower growing on roots.

and then this was the colors we wanted to use;

and I'm not longer sure about if they are "happy" enough. Testing color combinations.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Week 5 - finishing of environment 1: the hospital

Sunday, talked with Aminata and Wan on skype. Told Wan to hold it with Bobo, that he should finish the mother first, arranged so that they use the same hair and skin textures. Asked Wan about the mother, if her clothes are cloth or not and if the have fabric bumbmaps. I want at-least 2 characters finished by Wednesday. E-mailed Sophie to Caspar so that he can get the size reference and get the scales on the train right and i can get the scales for the hospital room right as I want to finish it tomorrow. Tried to find textures online. Changed the girls eyes to brown and it looks so much better. Sent Aminata the last textures and some Eiffel towers and clouds. Asked Josie to send me the toys tomorrow so that I can put them in the room. Told Patrick that he should focus on the Dr instead of the Deadworld environment as the Dr is scheduled to be finished this week and Patrick worked on the Deadworld during the x-mas break and I only seen one test. Now I am going to sleep. Tomorrow a new week begins.

Today is friday, I have been coughing up my lounges for three days but I am going into college today to finalize the hospital room:

* put some bumb maps on,
* find a more typical hospital floor texture,
* put cloth effect on the pillows ( wait with the duvet until Sophie is finished as she will lay under it)
..and as Raphael has been gone for 2 weeks without sending us any work or saying why, I will take over his job and texture the heart rate monitor. I want to find the typical texture for the window to their room as well, maybe I will call Lewisham hospital and ask them if I can take a few pictures of there floors and windows haha.

and then home and finish chapter 1 in my dissertation and wait for my boyfriend to come and make a pc part on my mac so that I can install windows and get Maya to work hopefully, cos in college u can only work until 9 at nite, I prefer working at home so I need to get my computer sorted out. It ois really weird that it doesn't work, we have tried for 4 months, Jessica has tried as well..grrrr, hopefully it works today cos I need to do some nite shifts.

During the week:

The last thing I did was plain grey walls, not what we decided but I like it the most. It makes the room completly sterile and soulless. Will finish it tomorrow and ask Ross if he wants to do the light. Now I have to write a chapter on my dissertation.

green yellow painted walls

watercolor walls

started texturing the hospital room and its really hard to find a nice floor texture so it looks as if I will have to paint it. Tried real wall textures and this watercolor one and I prefer watercolor and Josie did as well. Now I just need to make a nice floor.
I am not happy with the wheels and will add wheels to the hospital bed as well. The room needs to clearly show that she leaves there and has done so for a long time but also that its not an environment she wants to be in. Josie is making two toys and Raphael is texturing the heart rate monitor. I want a pair of slippers on the floor by the bed as well, fluffy ones, Sophie's ones.

yes, more textures... no point for me to post them up here cos so far I have painted 43 different ones.. still 2 color schemes left to do then I am really looking forward to see how it looks on all the Parisian buildings, think it will be really nice.

Aminata asked me if I wanted to make clouds as well - and actually that is exactly what I've been thinking about and looking into for my film.. this is from Persepolis that Mike showed me.

and this is how they made them in "I lived on the Moon",

I have looked at all kinds of illustrated and painted clouds but these 2 examples are the ones I like the most so...back to the bath tub with all my paint! Want to make my own kind of clouds so this will take a while..lets get started.

water color and photoshop clouds

painted water color clouds

and some more..

I have been looking for more textures for the hospital room as I want to make a little test and see and compare how it looks with "real" textures and how it looks with watercolor textures. Think it could look even darker and more unwelcoming with green watercolors - will try today. Have to go to college to be able to work with Maya. It sucks.
Did some more textures as well, try to draw like a kid - I worked with kids this age for 4 years but can't really remember how much your drawing skills has developed when u are 7.. probably more then this..

Sophies drawings