Thursday, 12 June 2008
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Ok, it took a day and we missed showing Mike our Nick ideas with the class but we finally got the High Definition video backgrounds done. They do look sweet. Here are some shots from the videos. It took a day to get the HD videos from the camera onto the computer as it seemed only the tech engineers knew how to setup the one (and only) HD tape deck in the uni- post production students had no idea how to use it!
Anyways, the videos are encoded in Windows Media Video HD making it easy for me to encode it again and change them for editing etc. There are 7 HD videos each around 30 seconds and around 15-30 MB each.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
Monday, 9 June 2008
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
It's like Maya but more around compositing images and videos.
So far, I think Autodesk Combustion is for PC and 'Fire' is for OS x and Linux.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
This one was made while Seth was still at college. If me and James work on these characters some more we may even get an idea for a whole series planned- so our expearance in making this DVD would pay off as we'ld make another one- including footage from our future series, which would be passed around the industry.
For now though, the video should do well on each of our portfolio projects. Hopefully, next time (when we have a series pitch) it'll be funny enough to show to some network. :)
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Well, we're working against the clock so as a solution i've had to use the (urgh) 'reduce polygons' tool to simplify the model and extend the arms out and use the rigid skin tool. It worked quite well, and if anything adds definition to the model as there are more bumps around the model which can only be seen with the outline- so it looks like he's mroe muscular. It's hard to describe but it looks fine.
If all goes well I might be able to smooth him again to add back the definition and make it more like the drawings of him.
The wrestler is done now. However we had some problems with the texturing. As this character is unlike the other characters as the wrester has a lower polycount and hard edges, this created a problem for the highlighting of the characters textures as the highlights depends on how the polygons are facing the scenes light source. If the character side is totally flat then there won't be any variation- so it would be either light or dark - no inbetweens. We overcame the problem by adding some more polys around the character to make is look like there is some highlighted areas when really it's just a lighter textured part of the character. Other parts of the character had to changed from the drawing though to solve problems with the outline.
The outline tool is a random one as sometimes it works fine and othertimes it's annoying as it sometimes sees random verticies as border lines so you end up with random black lines on your character. After merging some polys and reducing details on the waist the problem was eventually sorted.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Monday, 26 May 2008
Captain Man's hand as it is now. Even though this would be in 2D, the hands have to be modeled well. It's important to get the proportions right. Also, this could be difficult with the Toon shader as the toon shader likes to add crease lines where they should be. Getting rid of as verticies- without losing detail would reduce the chnace of this happening.
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
We managed to rent a HD camera for a few days, with batteries and a tripod. We managed to connect successfully connect the camera to the laptop to allow us to record directly into Windows Movie Maker without any quality loss but the silly camera refused to enter record mode without a tape inserted into the camera rendering the camera useless to us as finding a DVCPRO tape proved to be harder than finding any meat in a MacDonald’s Mc’Chicken Sandwich (sorry I’ll end the jokes now). I mean we travelled miles to every electronics store in the area and most people acted like I’d just made up a tape format that doesn't exist. Some guy at Curry’s said "I just work here; I don't know what DV tapes are".
I found some tapes on some dodgy website for £20 which I'm not trusting so I asked my housemates who do Broadcast what they do- they said that they borrow tapes from their teacher.
Here's the first version of Captain Man ©. This man was used for the pitch for Nick with the promise that the final version would look more like the drawings, we're making a final version of him now. The script for this one is the character looking at the camera, blinking, scratching his face and farting. The animation was really a test to prove that we could make this animation and also to see if the idea had any charm to it.
The background is a simple flat surface which can be fillled with a motion video. The characters are placed infront of the video and viewed from a side pane which makes the characters look 2D. I used my handy Mini-DV based camera for this which is limited by a resolution of around 520 lines. When you compare the capture on the left which uses a photo as a background with the one on the right using my video, you'll notice the big difference in quality. The characer can be rendered in a standard 720p HD resolution. However, my camera can't record video to match this standard so we need a HD camera from Uni.
Works has been going well so far. Overall Nick was happy with our pitch. They even asked to keep a copy of the DVD of our work- probably to steal our ideas and make a cartoon series about them I bet/hope :(
Anyways, they said to go back to the drawing board and think about the characters some more. The characters designs are great (thanks go to James!) but they are lacking story and character, they suggested that each character should have his/her own motives and should all be related to each other more closely.
Isn't this meant to be a 10 second advert filler? How much story can you fit into that? How can you explain character personalities and motives in such a short time? What’s wrong with a pointless fart joke? These are all questions we kept to ourselves at the time of pitching as it looks like we need to re-examine our characters and storyboards to make something tailored to what they want.
They suggested some ideas such as the superman being a complete failure at his job due to his tiny size and how the characters could all be living together in a living room. They loved the combination of live-action and 2D/almost 3D animation.