Monday, 28 April 2008

Opening Shot... almost complete....

Nearly finished with the Maya backgrounds and lanterns....
Just need to work a little more on the lighting tomorrow and I should be all set to go! Then I can get back to the actual animation! hurrah!

Thursday, 24 April 2008


Just thought I would mention that I have been having lots of fun in Maya creating sparklers :) Initially I was going to use tissue paper to create them but as time is running out and the paint effects in Maya are so much fun I think I might use them :)

Rendering.... Rendering....

I pretty much have my scenes completed I am just trying to figure out how to render it.
Maya Software and mental ray are both good and bad in different ways.... I am thinking about combining the two. See my example below...

Maya Software
The Maya software shows the detail on my textures a lot more and the colours are much more vibrant.

Mental Ray
This is using the physical sun and sky so I can get a really realistic look which i s much softer... but at the same time I feel like I'm missing the kinda brightness that I think would work well with my girl character.

This is a quick combined version so I can get the affects of both of them. As most of my backgrounds are going to be statics it would be quite simple to layer the two renders out on top of each other with a filter in after effects... however it could be more troublesome when it comes to the dragon scene, unless he also looks good with the combined effect.

I know I could spend time messing around with the lighting effects and the textures but that is the problem. I could mess around all day with that kinda stuff when there is other important things to be done so I guess this combining this is just a shortcut for me. If anyone has any opinions on the above images or ideas with what I can do then let me know ^-^
I've once again had a pretty slow week... now is not the time for slow weeks! eek!
I'm working on the opening shot of my lantern again... but as always maya is causing me some problems and confusion... best get back to it o_O

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Today's Crit

Today was pretty much the second to last crit for us. Everyone had to put all the current animation they had done ontop of the exisitng animatic.
I just thought I would post it up here for recordings sake :)
I added some of the bluescreen footage into this version. But as you can see it's not completely finished yet. :)

I have pretty much finished texturing up the street scene today just need to add a few more snow patches then I am going to move onto the Forbidden Gate scene and add the finishing touches there.

There are a few edits which I need to make on the final scene of the dragon flying away but that should be easy enough to sort out tomorrow in Maya :) so hurrah! things are coming along... slowly... slowly...

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Animation of the last (almost) two weeks

I realised I didn't update with any animation for last week... and now I am almost at the end of another week o_O I can say however I have been animating very very hard!
I've been working on my dragon flying scene.. which is one of the most important scenes in my film. It took a while to get the dragon rig made up and then sort out all the timings. I have almost finished it! I am planning to finish it off tomorrow and sort out the dragon texture so he looks more like transparent paper and perhaps with a slight glow... I am not sure yet o_O I do however know that I need to get this scene completed by the weekend so I can start thinking about the animating the girl to put on his back. Here is a video from a couple of days ago... the movement is looking a lot better now and I have fixed the timing of the camera movement on the closing shots. I just have to tweak a few more things tomorrow and hopefully it will be done.

Other things I have to think about this weekend are the paper animals... I'm thinking I will have to animate them all in after effects first and then apply the animated textures to a flat plane in Maya... I really hope this all goes smoothly as time is running out o_O It seemed to go well in my tests but I've heard animated textures can sometimes mess up and cause problems. eek!

The sound side of things is going pretty slowly. I need to put aside some time for recording and searching for sound effects as well as sending Suzie examples of the kind of music I would like. o_O The whole sound thing freaks me out and because of that I have been avoiding it >.< but I must not ignore it forever!

There are many other things that need to be done such as
-the lantern shot
-the chinese lion parade
-more bluescreening filming
-sorting out the bluescreened footage
-fireworks and sparklers
-sorting out the lighting in both my Maya scenes

eek! I am getting very stresesd when I think about all these things! >.< so now I am going to bed and hoping for an early day tomorrow. Goodnight!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Back to Maya...

Been trying to finish off my environments with textures and snow etc... I am finding working at uni really slow o_O Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be working at top speed again. I need to add a couple more buildings to the Tianamen Square scene as its looking pretty empty o_O Not too good considering I want the dragon flying over it.
I really must get a move on now though because I need to start animating the dragon itself. That is essentially the most important part.

I just rendered out some shots of what I have been doing today. The first image in rendered with the Maya software and then the second two are using the physical sun and sky settings with mental ray. The sun and sky was lots of fun to play with! ^-^ But I only started playing before uni closed today so hopefully tomorrow I can mess around a bit more and try to create a dusk and night scene ^-^ yay! I also need to learn more about this physical sun and sky because I seemed to be loosing a lot of the detail on my textures when rendering with these settings.... o_O Lets hope I can sort it out! I would hate for all my painted textures to go to waste >.<

Friday, 4 April 2008

The later update as promised.....

So here is the animation for the week... not a lot really like I said before. o_O I have been getting very distracted by things this week such as TV, MSN, Food, Internet >.< gah they are all from the devil!!!

The animation won't really make any sense because there are lots of shots missing but I'm pretty much trying to animate everything in order. Also I know there are some serious problems with her run o_O It was stressing my out last night so I just kinda left it to deal with another day.

I have been spending today trying to sort out my dragon.
I have re-designed him! (see below) I have extended his body because I felt it was much too short before. I then experimented with putting him into Maya, just to make sure I hadn't forgetten everything I learnt last time. It took a while but I got there in the end... This is a little something I did this evening...

The animation is pretty shoddy but I was just messing around and experimenting with the keyframing certain attributes and messing around with the curves. fun fun o_O

Oh! Also I figured out how to animate the textures in Maya... It is actually quite simple.. I don't know why everyone has been telling me its too difficult! gah! I did a little experiment today with my rat but I will probably carry on with that in a couple of weeks time.
Back to uni next week o_O Which means back into Maya and back into games design *sigh* I really wanna get my environments totally finished plus the dragon flying complete over the next couple of weeks. I'm running out of time!! Only 8 weeks left!! eek!

Bluescreening Antics Part One!

Rachinta and I did some last minute planned bluescreen yesterday afternoon :) Which was very fun! Suzie's grand daughter did some lovely little runs for me :) so sweet. Then later in the afternoon Zainal and his two kids arrived and did some very good acting too :)
So now my villian is filmed and I have some shots of kids running too! hurrah! Now we need to arrange another session to get some more crowd scenes for Rachinta and me. Be warned! we are coming to recruit YOU next week! :)

Other than this I haven't really got much done this week. >.< I have seriously slacked off compared to last week. I will be updating later with the little bit of animation I have managed to do this week though. But now I'm going to finish redesigning my dragon so I can get him into Maya :) [I have been doing this all day...and I still haven't finished >.<]