Blog

Week 9

 

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So I watched a tutorial this week about exporting things from 3dsmax  to Z brush and boy was that a big mistake…

This week I had to dedicate it to CIU because of the essay work and lots of problems occurring so I picked up a potential cross discipline not sure though, maybe it can be considered as just a request.

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So this artist who goes by sparky-tangerine.deviantart.com, requested me  to colour his linework so that he could create a gif image. So far he hasn’t finished it yet but I have the images here.

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So yeah… because of CIU i didn’t get much hours this week. Only about 5 overall… I also looked over how to build with primitives since i know that zbrush doesnt go too well with 3dsmax.

What I learned

I want to try this with hair.

What I learned from this is that it isn’t as easy as it seems. It seems that the tutorial was only meant for making minor adjustments in zbrush.


Hours
Collab: 4
Spec: 1

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Week 8

My hours this week are very low and I know it’ll bite me in the end.

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I remade the hair this week… I’m still unhappy with the result but it isn’t the same chaos that was last week..

So I tried again with a different method.

What I did differently this time was making the strands more a part of the hair dyna mesh rather than creating the entire body of hair using the curve tool.

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This went well for the most part but I am not happy with the result. I managed to make a good shape however, I think I sculpted too much and because of that, it ended up creating multiple holes in my mesh…

What I learned

This is what I used for melding the hair together. My problem however was working out how to meld the poly groups with the dynamesh which ended up resulting in holes and a lot of misplaced hair strands.


Hours
Spec: 12

Week 7

This week, I haven’t done nearly as much as I should have.

During this week, I’ve been feeling extremely depressed after experiencing online bullying from an old friend. But rather than crying about it, I did some therapeutic painting to help calm my mind and add to my portfolio.

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Spring of Memories – Art Station Link

Team Magenta – Nesting Instinct

For my second cross-discipline work, I’ve teamed up with a Studio 2 Games team to collaborate on a game titled, “Nesting Instinct”.

The theme of this game is “Home”. Basically, you are a flying squirrel looking for acorns in the middle of the night to feed your hungry children.

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The nest will be warm colours while the outside is all cool and dark colours. The idea is to create a sense of  safety within the nest. I’m excited to be working on this project.

Specialization

I forgot to list this in the prior week. This was my first sculpt of Nyanko-Sensei/Madara from the anime, “Natsume Yuujinchou”. :3

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Using the curve tool for hair, I learned how to make strands. This was my first attempt at hair which was a bit too wild for my liking… I guess she could be like Medusa??

What I learned

  • I keep revising the basics to help drive the info into my head
  • This taught me a lot about how to create the texture I wanted.
  • Learning how to paint was pretty interesting but I discovered that you should use dynamesh or something fairly high poly to get a good line.

Hours
Spec: 9
Cross Disc: 4
Personal: 6

Rapid Production Project Post Mortem

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What went well

  • Pre-Production
    • Why did this happen? During pre-production, I felt very organized and passionate about my animation plan and had fun creating characters and silhouettes.
    • How can I repeat this in the future? By just having fun with the endless possibilities. I felt that keeping my mind open to changes really helped me during pre-production
  • Thumbnail to 3D
    • Why did this happen? I felt that with effective design, I was able to quickly create two characters by using similar silhouettes yet keeping them completely different.
    • How can I repeat this in the future? When in the design stage, always experiment with shapes and try to keep the design simple yet effective.
  •  Problem Solving
    • Why did this happen? When I hit a block during the production stage, I found that I was pretty good at fixing or at least finding alternative solutions to problems.
    • How can I repeat this in the future? I feel that holding on to ideas can be problematic. If I try my hardest to get an idea to work, I shouldn’t be afraid to scrap the idea or at least find an alternative solution.

What didn’t go well

  • Scope
    • Why did this happen? Because I was mainly driven by the end result rather than the learning experience, I found myself wanting to add more and more to the point that the project suffered in terms of quality.
    • How can I avoid this in the future? Just focus on what I can learn rather than the end result and don’t live for the opinions of others.
  • Motivation
    • Why did this happen? There was a point in the project where I lost all motivation due to unseen circumstances in my personal life. Due to this slump, it was a lot harder to get out. I feel that I rely too much on gathering momentum.
    • How can I avoid this in the future? Allocate specific time to work on things and try my hardest to avoid unnecessary distractions.
  • Overwork
    • Why did this happen? Due to the fact it’s a solo project, I felt that I overestimated my own abilities. Taking on too much last trimester as well, I felt that I could keep it up but realized that I cannot keep things going at the rate I was going.
    • How can I avoid this in the future? Take proper breaks and work in sprints rather than long prolonged sessions.

Additional Thoughts

Due to not experiencing a solo production pipeline much, I found myself being overwhelmed with having to swap roles constantly. Ironically, I found being the leader of my own work to be the most challenging role. When I don’t have others depending on me, I find that it takes away the pressure of doing things on time.

Conclusion

It’s a great irony that I’ve found the value of teamwork through this solo project. I realized that there are some things I cannot do on my own. For future animation projects, I feel like I have learned a number of skills such as lip-sync animation and story-boarding.

 

Rapid Production Animation Planning

 

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For my RPP, I chose a facial animation style similar to that of the Lego Movie by Warner Bros. Pictures.

My reason for choosing this type of facial animation was due to the fact my characters had simplistic and cartoon designs and I felt that I could express emotions a lot easier if I drew faces manually.


Shot 1 and 2

For shot one, I plan on a closeup of Wolf’s mouth with a transitioning shot to a side profile view of him blowing his nose.



Shot 3

For shot 3, it will be a zoomed out stationary, view of wolf from above.

Part of the gag of this shot will involve a UI as if to imply that wolf is being targeted by some sort of futuristic sniper. However, I want the UI to be coloured pink, as if it were a girly customized version of a UI.

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Shot 4

This next shot will reveal that the UI is actually just coming from Red’s eyes and that she’s simply delusional. I want this pose to be stationary, almost as if she’s lost in a trance. the only movement here will be the hearts flying upwards.

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Shot 5 and 6

The next two shots will be of Red nocking her arrow and will be done at two angles, 3/4 turn and a side profile view. She will then say, “Hold still, Wolf!”

For Red, I am using a specific bow style, Kyudo. This movement involves nocking the bow above head as seen in the video.

For the angles, I drew inspiration from Pixar’s “Brave”.

When drafting out the animatic, I made a version with the form as a silhouette so that I wasn’t getting confused with the body form and focusing more on the shapes.

I recorded myself saying the lines like Red would. I noted that on the word “Wolf” my eyes opened up to put emphasis on the word.


Shot 7 and 8

The final two shots will show Red at a higher angle and then followed up by Wolf’s expression as he says “AH! DON’T SHOOT ME!”

This scene from the Anime, “Nichijou” was my influence for this scene. The level of intensity for the reaction is a form of exaggeration I’d like to use.

The way the lines in particular bring focus to the character.



 

References

  • ANA Global Channel. (2017, August 22). KYUDO – Mariko Satake/4D View DEMO – IS JAPAN COOL? DOU(弓道 – 佐竹 万里子) [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5A5OEAyAMk

 

  • Disney UK. (2012, February 23). BRAVE | Merida Archery Scene | Official Disney Pixar UK [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1SBjAuMN6A

 

  • Rahken Rahk. (2012, March 8). Nichijou – Mio Loses It [Video File]. Retrieved From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z30Y572EmCk

 

 

Studio 2 Week 6

Final stretch for the rapid production project. I’m losing so much sleep and there’s so much going on outside of uni. I think I’m on my last legs.

Remake Terrain

The terrain i initially had was so ugly. It rendered horribly and I couldn’t portray it well.

So I’ve decided to speed model and texture a few props.

-Bus Stop Shelter, Sign, Vending Machine7959759

Road Rails, Retaining Wall

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Flat Bush and fix the rigging and skinning on the characters

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Final

What I learned.

-I learned that when planning, I shouldn’t skimp out on details involving the bathroom because i just lost an entire week of production thanks to my mistake.

-Banging my head in frustration why my mp3 didn’t work, I learned from this video that 3dsmax only accepts wav


Hours
Rapid production: 49

Specialization Initialization Blog

For my specialization this trimester, I’ve decided to focus on Zbrush sculpting, specifically character sculpting.

Last trimester, I enjoyed creating a character model, however, I still couldn’t get the results I wanted. My other group members were doing sculpting for the first time and I saw the results they were achieving despite it being their first time. I knew I wanted to give it a try.

Skill set

Currently, I am a complete beginner to sculpting, I haven’t sculpted in the real world before either. So I will be learning from the bottom up. However, having previously worked on a 3D character before, I have better understanding of form and 3D space.

Goals

I want to be able to create stylized characters. Specifically how to create characters from primitive shapes.

What I need to learn

Since I am learning from the bottom up, I need to learn a number of things.

-I want to learn how to do faces
-Hair
-Eyes
-Posing

My final aim is to create a character bust sculpt by the end of the trimester but in order to do that, I want to learn the elements to create this.

Initial Research

Aneta’s videos have always been my go to for learning the bare basics of something in a short amount of time. I will eventually spread out to learn more advanced things, but for initial research, I think  I will begin with Aneta.

Week 5

I am feeling very Ill at the moment and can’t really get myself out of bed but I have to commit to the work I accepted.

Cross Discipline 1

(Creating the Banner)

So, firstly, one thing I regret is underestimating the time that this would take to make. I didn’t take into consideration the fact that the director would be indecisive. It was my fault partially for not asking them to fill out a form on what was expected of me and exactly what they wanted.

Pictured above, was the placeholder created by a team member. The leader asked for a banner similar to this with a little more polish.

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Firstly I created something that would suit the colour scheme of the dark horse chess piece. However, the team member I was talking to asked to have the pieces all black and to have the banner resized to be able to stretch even in mobile versions.

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However, afterwards the director said he didn’t like the designs at all and asked that I start again. He couldn’t explain to me what he didn’t like about it which made the process take even longer. The team member that did the mockup then explained that they were all big fans of Andy Warhol’s style and requested something like his soup can work.

So I used this as a reference with the approval of the team members. They also requested I use a similar font to the Campbell’s soup font and so after searching on dafont, I found a similar font and got the approval from the director.

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This was the first preview image I created. However, the director then said to not use any maroon shades.

 

I took each iteration to the director and got his approval for each one because he was very particular about what the colours were allowed.

After I finished them, I suggested that the icon be made monochromatic because of the term “dark horse” being someone who breaks expectations. They all agreed that it was a good idea so I went through with the idea.

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After seeing this, the director requested the font be placed on the banner. Sticking to the Warhol theme of reproducing the same work over and over, I created this iteration.

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The director requested for the font to be singular and bigger.

By this point I was already getting exhausted with the amount of last minute changes. After I sent this, the director commented on the font “looking terrible” and that I shouldn’t have chosen it despite asking for it.

 

This new font got a lukewarm response but the team agreed that it was a better iteration but the director said he “didn’t love it”. He requested for the font to be pitch black and sharper. I had to step in because having the font be pitch black would make it harder to see with the dark tones on the horses.

Pictured above was the reference for the newly requested font.

So he requested that the horses be blurred and faded to show the font clearly. After this he changed his mind about the profile and asked for a rainbow background on the dark horse icon.

He then said that this was only meant to be another place holder because he had another graphic designer working on a replacement banner as I made it.

What I learned

-I learned to be clear about the amount of work I was willing to do
-I learned from other graphic design students that I should create a form for clients to fill out in order to find out exactly what is needed.

What can be improved

-To be honest, I didn’t appreciate the fact my work felt so insignificant considering it was replaced within one week. What I need to improve is not being attached to my work so much. However, I think I would feel different if this were a paid job.

-I feel that I need to do a better job of convincing clients to accept certain decisions and eliminate any chance of indecisiveness.

Rapid Production

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I added a small house and more cedar trees in the background. I also modified the sky dome to have more of a horizon. I also made a separate material for the black trees in the background to create more depth.

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i’ve also finally gotten around to inking and creating the in between frames for the lipsync.

Resources used

-https://www.akademika.no/introduction-to-language/hyams-nina/nina-hyams/robert-rodman/victoria-a-fromkin/9781413023169

^ The first linguistics textbook from my bachelor of linguistics. This doesn’t necessarily help for creating lipsyncs but it was helpful for explaining how voice sounds are made.

^ For basic lip positions.


Hours
Rapid production: 35
Cross Disc: 5

Week 4

I’ve been working on getting my models into shape.

I have been experimenting with shaders and ways to create a cute cell shaded look.

For the facial expressions and necklaces, I added plans and snapped them to the body and went into Photoshop, and created an albedo and opacity map.

I had to do a decent amount of research because I’ve never been able to get opacity maps working that well so that was a nice experience.

Lastly I learned how to create a skydome since my only experience working with a sky dome was in my first trimester where we had a pre-made dome.

I also searched for videos on how to make low poly looking terrains.

I’m fairly satisfied with what I’ve been able to make however, currently it’s not how i envisioned the map.

What I learned

How to use opacity maps in 3dsmax

-How to make a skybox

-How to make low poly terrain

-How to use the freeform paint brush

 

 

Resources

I learned this from a friend but I also studied this video to better understand how the shaders worked.

 

I used this for how to construct the skydome and for the terrain. However, I didn’t like the terrain because I had no control over certain areas.

Not necessarily worth listing but this is what I used to learn how to make the heart tip of the arrow

If you ignore the intrusive music, it gives a good idea of how to construct something low poly. I used this for my trees.

I used this for the mapping of mountains.


Hours

Rapid production: 31

Week 3

It’s animatic time and holy shit I have completely forgotten how to use after effects

So I took the advice that was given to me in regards to the storyboards which I was very grateful for.

So with this, I realized that I did the storyboards completely inefficiently. I completely didn’t realize that making an animatic that you could use the psd file and so I had many layers that weren’t suitable for rigging up into an animatic. So I had to spend a few hours fixing and redrawing many assets.

Additional Work

This week I’ve been suffering a bit of fatigue but I managed to at least do some additional work for a friend who needed a favour. He wanted something to put on his students’ report cards but also requested variants for his soon to be youtube channel.

I would post the original reference image he sent for himself however, he requested that I hide his face.

What I learned this week

-I learned about how to better familiarize myself with After Effects

-I learned how to make individual shots and composite them through premier

-I learned the importance of audio

Resources

-If it wasn’t for this video, I wouldn’t have been able to do a single thing.

https://www.audioblocks.com

-This site was very useful for finding Royalty Free audio. I signed up with a free trial by using Seth Everman’s link in the description


Hours
Rapid Production: 21
Commission: 1