Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Jack Rollins - The Seance - Animated promo video

Review video.

Final Video (Brightened)

Final Video (Dark Version)

I had to change features from the initial plan, due to time constraints, problems on my computer system, and knowledge of the programs used.
 A main feature changed is the "Ancient Greece" segment. What was going to be completely animated, was turned into semi-still frames. The camera moving through the scene, the water simulation to keep the viewer drawn to the screen. These changes were massive time savers, resulting in the animation of characters were reduced greatly. Factors like this would result in the project price being reduced. The publisher was kept in the loop through these changes to ensure they would be happy with the result.
The mirror frame and fireplace (which was not used in the end) were not made using the Sculpt Geometry tool, as the level of detail could not be given on the objects using this method. To gain a high quality version, the polygon count would have to be ridiculously high, which would impact on performance and render times.

Render Times were a large factor, some scenes taking several hours, the largest Render Time was 23 hours.

Martin Bell, of Yes, Commissioner  animation studio gave me tips on setting up skeletons for characters in Maya.

One of the characters required rigging from scratch, which was a new experience in Maya.

The completed skeleton.

Naming structure

Skeleton and model. Note the texturing issues, also.

When rendered, these issues were not visible, meaning they were completely Viewport settings.

Below are tests for the ocean scene. Using inbuilt Indirect Lighting settings, I was able to simulate time of day via changing the X axis properties,

Another simulated piece was the table cloth. I simulated this to get the best quality folds of material.
This was exported as an .obj and imported back into the program, meaning the system no longer simulated the cloth, keeping the detail.

Light tests of the first scene. I would alter the lights greatly to give a more pleasing look. The mirror would have a green tinted light shining on it to give an eerie feel.

The flame of the candle is a direct simulation of fire. This is a completely different kind of flame to what you would find with a lit candle. This was to create an eerie, supernatural effect. 
The obsidian block gives off a green glow which is clearly visible on the table in the Fisherman's home. Green was used as the haunting colour as it was the main colour used on the book cover. When the mirror is revealed, the green light is still shining on the mirror, giving it a slight tint.

The mirror reveal is done off screen, due to the simulation not giving a satisfactory result. Going further, I will look at how to attach faces/vertices to models, so they directly impact the movement of the simulated cloth.

The cat was originally made in 3Ds Max and could not be opened in Maya. By saving the original file as an .fbx format, Maya was able to read the file, including the bone structure, meaning one less character required rigging.

Test of candle light flicker.

Test of grain effects. These would be toned down, slightly, as they were quite jarring.