Monday, 31 March 2008

Paper Animals

I have finished designing all my paper animals for the fireworks scene. Hurrah!

Friday, 28 March 2008

This week...

I have been animating my girl all week. This is what I have put together so far.
There are quite a few errors here. The biggest problem is the size of the buildings compared to her. She either looks like a giant or a midgit. Think I might have to get back into Maya and change the size of the windows or doorways. Something I am not too keen on doing as I have already textured all the damn things >.<

My eyes have gone funny from looking at masks continuously over the last few days. I am planning to go back into Maya after the weekend and start working on my backgrounds again. My graphics card has gone so my computer is acting pretty poorly :( Hopefully I will have a new one by next week though. ^-^

The bluescreening session is on Sunday. I'm quite excited but also pretty nervous. I hope nothing goes wrong. We only have that one day to get everything right. eek! Gonna spend a couple of hours tomorrow going through my storyboards and checking every scene which will need crowds in. :)

Monday, 24 March 2008

Girl animation!

I have FINALLY started animating my girl!
Hooray! This is one of the first shots of her and one of the first shots I have completed! ^-^ hurrah! The background isn't properly textured and lit but there will be some kinda of movement going on behind her.
I'm pretty happy with this paper/paint cut out texture look. Now I just have a zillion more other shots to animate! o_O Hoping to get most of the hand drawn stuff done over Easter then I can get right back into the Maya when uni starts up again. Then all I have to worry about it the dragon scene, animal scenes, backgrounds and sounds... not much then o_O eek! 2 months to go!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The hand drawn animation begins!

I was beginning to get fed up with all the Maya work plus my eyes were drying out from intense staring at the computer screen so I decided to start on my hand drawn animation of the girl. I have pretty much animated the first scene... I think... I just need to scan it in and test out the movement to be 100% sure. Something that will take a while o_O

Also while messing around in After Effects with different textures for the girls jacket and hair I managed to put together this kinda paper cut out look which I really like. I am just wondering what everyone else thinks? AND am I making even more work for myself by animating her this way?

I much prefer the girl without the heavy outline around her hair and jacket. Plus when it is moving it has a really nice effect. I decided to use a painted texture for her hair so that she would fit into the environment more. I have been worried about the mixing of 2d and 3d from the start and I hope I can pull it off. I have been texturing the ground in my environments with a painted texture also and I plan to add one to the fence in the image above.

I modelled my lamp which took my ages. Mainly because I was being so indecisive about what it was going to look like... but I got there in the end. You can see where have put the dragon onto the lantern in the image below. This is not the final thing as I really hate it. haha I've been experimenting with layered textures to make it appear stuck on out of gold foil... but its a slow process which has kinda been put to the side now.

And finally! I thought I would upload this picture because Hannah and me had so much fun messing around with the paint effects in Maya. Martin suggested instead of making my own tree from scratch I just use the paint effects and edit them. Which is what I have done... however I also made this crazy twirly wirly branch tree by mistake which I thought was cool :)

Oh yes... one other thing... it seems my graphics card after being in use for one week has screwed up o_O gah! I managed to get a spare one in here for now but Ash is going to help me tomorrow try to figure out what is wrong with the original! >.< ah! Why do computers break when we need them the most!?

Happy Easter Everyone! Now I sleep :)

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

I created another dragon yesterday to put onto my lantern. I'm not really happy with it at the minute but I'm planning on working on that somemore later today.

I successfully created my lamp post yesterday. Didn't get any good pictures of it yet but I will do hopefully tomorrow.

Today I am focusing on experimenting with snow, the street textures and lanterns.
It's been quite productive so far. I'm thinking of using my painted textures for the ground... could look quite nice.

Back to work now! ^^

Monday, 17 March 2008

What I've been doing the last two weeks......

I wanted to upload something to show what I am currently working on.
The environments are taking so much longer than I imagined o_O Having to learn and create at the same time is tough but I think I'm getting there :)

This is the hiding place of the main character I have almost finished texturing these scenes. I just need to add more details like lamps, lanterns, snow, icy streets and maybe trees. After that I can experiment with lighting and such.

This is the second environment I've been working on, Tiananmen Square. I originally was going to hand draw this scene but then I really want to have my dragon fly over the Forbidden City gate and I figured the only way to get this right was to create this in 3d. I spent a lot of time messing around with the tiles and they are still a bit off but I think I'll be able to get away with it. The flying scene over the building is going to be very fast and probably not that close... lets hope o_O Need to do some camera movement tests, will probably get on with that next week
Just need to add a couple more elements to this scene aswell. Lamposts, snow, cars and stuff.

Another thing I've been spending WAY too much time on it my lantern. The opening shot is really important so I want to get it perfect and have been messing around with the hair tool in Maya to create the tassles from the bottom. This was my first test and the movement isn't really 100% right. I think the tassles need to be more stiff. I modelled this lantern pretty large thinking I could just shrink it down later to add to my scenes... however as it has a rig this is impossible :( So I spent a whole day last week trying to recreate the lantern at the correct size only to find there was hardly any movement at all. I don't know if it was the length of the hair or the settings... but I messed around for ages trying to figure it out. Yesterday I decided to have another go following the instructions I had written down for myself to follow. I figured they worked at uni so why wouldn't they work on my new shiny computer. Alas, I failed once more. I have no idea what is going on this time but when I created the hair it wasn't being made in the right place. I'm guessing it's my computer's settings but because I'm still such a noob in Maya I'm going to leave it for now. I've tried help files and tutorials but I still can't figure it out, I will have to complete it next term.

This is turning out to be the longest post of all time so I will go now. Will try update often but the Maya work is proving very slow. :(

Saturday, 15 March 2008

The last week and a bit....

Sorry the last couple of weeks have been thin on the updates. I have been spending most of my hours up in the games design area trying to get as much work completed in Maya before we closed for Easter.

It was my plan to have my whole environment created, animated and rendered in the last two weeks. I realise now how stupid I was to think that would actually happen. o_O
I have learnt so much over the last two weeks that my head is overflowing with information. The environments are pretty much built I just need to sort out my textures a bit and add some extra things like ice and snow.

Luckily for me my boyfriend delivered my new computer today! :) So now I can finally work on Maya from home on a decent computer ^-^ Just as well really as the school will be closed for the next three weeks for Easter.

More updates:
I have listened to the records provided to me by Ming :) and I have recorded some nice traditional Chinese music. I just need to listen to them over and over and try to find the right kind of thing for my film. Because of copyright and stuff we are going to attempt to create a similar kind of music using Logic... I can only hope it works.

29th/30th of March will be the day of bluescreening fun for Rachinta and me :)
We need to bluescreen a couple of crowd scenes which will hopefully be used for rotoscoping etc...

There is so much to do on my film that I get nauseous o_O I will update with screenshots and the such at some point next week. But for now I must get on with things!! >.<

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Slowly... Slowly...

..its coming along...
kinda changed my original design of the alleyway to incorporate the buildings I modelled the other day. I figured they were much better considering they were based on actual buildings.

Having a few problems with the uni at the minute concerning our exhibition space for the end of the year. But we have a couple of ideas up our sleeves so hopefully it will turn out ok and the fact we got screwed over won't affect our show too badly. :)
Must carry on with this environment though. Figured out how to do bump maps this evening which is cool :) Just need to finish putting the street together and making a couple more elements. Could be fun... if the process wasn't so slow >.< meh

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

On we go....

Having a few set backs with the Maya stuff.... for various reasons. But it should be fine. Got a lot of reading to do this week :)

I went to see a lovely Chinese man yesterday who provided me with some old Chinese records. Gonna get a record player into uni sometime this week and test them out :) all very exciting! :)

My original plan this week was to get the enivronment complete so I could start building the dragon.. etc.. however this might have to change a bit.
I am going to buy a new computer ASAP though because then I can work from home on a nice new beast machine <3 so that will be awesome!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

This week has been a little slow on the work front. I'm starting to get annoyed with myself >.< we only have fourteen weeks until the deadline and that includes all the time I'm gonna need for rendering and sound design >.< !! ah!

I've started modelling some street scenes in the this software called Sketchup. It's really simple to use, hence the reason for me using it.

I figured I need to get all hte backgrounds and scenery done before I started animating the dragon and other paper animals. I'm also going to try get some animation of the girl done as well... as the hand drawn stuff seems to take so long. >.< ah! Hopefully I will have some linetests up here by next week.

Update on the sound front: I'm going to see the head of the Chinese Community Norwich on Monday about music. I have no idea what he is going to provide me with, but it was worth a shot at getting so geniuine Chinese music. :)

Crowd Scenes: Am in the process of arranging a day up in a studio somewhere to do some blue screening to film my crowd scenes. All very exciting! Need to gather some people together and make sure we have allt he correct equipment. But that should be fun ^-^

Oh and an extra update it seems the art school have gone over our heads and nicked our exhibition space and given it to Illustration for the degree show. Extremely annoying since we have been planning our show since the beginning of term. Looks like the only way we can get a semi decent space now is to just comprismise and share. lame.

Weekend Aims:
Complete modelling of streets
Create textures for streets
Make some paper animals
Start animating girl