Jump to content
Hash, Inc. Forums
Sign in to follow this  
ZachBG

Aw, heck with it...

Recommended Posts

I was going to wait 'til this was up on AMFilms, but I have a feeling it may be a while until it's updated, so...

 

May I proudly present:

 

Soap Opera

(11 MB, 5:28, On2 + QDesign codecs)

 

All the animation is mine. All the music is Jeff "Godfrey" Lee's (well, with some help from Mozart). The modeling and texturing is a collaboration between myself and Jeff, as is the, ahem, singing. The full details are in the credits reel at the end; it was originally going to be anonymous for the contest.

 

Special thanks due to the folks at MAAM who saw an early version and provided much-needed encouragement.

 

I'm very proud of this, but comments and criticism are always welcome. Be as harsh as you like; I want to make it better. On the other hand, if you do like it, tell your friends!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Zach,

 

Wonderful Job!!!

 

My wife and I just watched it again and we still keep laughing at it.

 

Congratulations Zach!

 

One comment: In some areas the subtitles are hard to read because the color of the text blends into the on-screen action. This is a common occurance (I even see this in theatrical movies). Adding a thin black outline around the text may help alleaviate that phenomenon.

 

Great job all around!

 

Thanks for posting it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an EPIC!

 

Really great piece there Zach - I'm aghast at how much you've done in the time you had available. i've also been a great fan of that particular scene, and now I'll never be able to see it in the same light again. For that I thank you.

 

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!

Jaw droppingly entertaining.

WOW!!

 

Good work, shame about the contest though you obviously put in a LOT of work.

 

Can we get Figaro in the kitchen next?

:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm very proud of this

 

As well you should be. Thanks for keeping the bar high for the animation contest and giving us newbies something to work towards.

 

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hoping Zach will post a close-up of the "Greetings from East Timor" postcard. The QuickTime really doesn't do it justice, and it made me laugh out loud when I got a look at the small details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work guys...and nice singing! :D It was longer than I thought at 11MB....good candidate for MFlix?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thoroughly entertaining, very funny, watched and it several times.

 

Just one small suggestion, the shot where he falls into the toilet, the slow mo shot, I think you should make much more of that. It's a great scene and should be really milked. Maybe increase the distance and perspective. Frame the Don more centrally and improve the slowing down of the motion. At the moment he seems to hover over the toilet not plummet. I think part of this perception is you can see his shadow cast on the toilet and the shadow looks far too large. Also, there's a slight sideways movement of the character towards the end of the shot which is very distracting.

 

Again, great short.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just one small suggestion, the shot where he falls into the toilet, the slow mo shot...

Thank you for the suggestion. Seriously.

 

Are you talking about only the view from above, or the subsequent view from below as well? I'm not sure what you mean by the "sudden sideways" movement if you're talking about the above shot... I'll have to review it (naturally I'm writing this on a computer which doesn't have the short on it! :lol: ). **Ah, I see it now. You're absolutely right.

 

He looks like he's hovering because... he is. Ha! You got me! Guess I must fix that. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that was great! Did you write the whole song over? wow. That's awesome. Yea, I was going to put mine up on AM Films too, I tried but it didn't work. Did the same thing happen to you? Anyways, that was stunningly entertaining. Good job!

-Robert Lazzarini

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here at Jeff's request is the East Timor postcard... "Greetings from East Timor! Wish you were here!"

EastTimor.jpg

 

Robert: I think the Hash guys are just really busy right now. Rest assured your movie'll show up soon enough. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. That card is awesome. hil-arious. The face of your soap character cracks me up everytime I look at it :lol: . Once again, great job!

 

-Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That must have been a lot of work! and well worth it! I watched it several times and its going on my hard drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bravo!

 

I can't tell you guys enough how impressed with the musical selection. That has to be my absolute favorite moment in all of opera. It still amazes me how much that opera holds up against the later ones by Verdi and Wagner. Not many from that period can. The singing was well done and the fake translations were HILARIOUS. I was dying when the shampoo said "Si" and the subtitles said "SEE". That was killing me.

 

Great job with GPO, Jeff Lee. I had forgotten about the On2 codec thing, you seem to get a lot out of 11MB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely brilliant!!!

 

How on earth did you guys manage to do it?

 

Any chance of a glance at your storyboards? In fact I'd love to see a break down of how you set about this whole project from brainstorming to concepts to staging and choreographing. Of course I'll understand if you are saving all of that for the 'Making Of' DVD. :)

 

 

I'll have to view it again tomorrow, when I'm not so tired, but I really enjoyed the first viewing! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How on earth did you guys manage to do it?

I'm not sure. :lol:

 

I've been listening to that section of Don Giovanni since I was in high school at least, so I know the music (or at least one recording of it) like the back of my hand. So the actual musical synchronization for what I wanted to achieve was fairly quick. It was almost like I had been planning it for fifteen years without knowing it. I modeled the bathroom based almost exactly on my own, so that was reasonably simple.

 

The music-making, Jeff could speak better to. I do know that all I asked him to do originally was give me a version, created with GPO, based on a MIDI file I had found on the 'Net. He wound up volunteering to re-do all the parts himself so it would both sound better and be completely copyright-free, and then sang, modeled various knickknacks, added dirt and grime to my models, and even did the bulk of the rendering. I owe him a HUGE debt.

 

Brainstorming, I don't really remember... but it was probably, like most everything I do, tossed about in my head while I was either trying to get to sleep (in bed) or trying to wake up (in the shower). Most of the jokes in the translation came pretty early, but it took me a long time to actually write it down from beginning to end.

 

Any chance of a glance at your storyboards?

I didn't do storyboards for this one. The folks who worked with me on Duck Sauce could tell you my storyboards are useless anyway (there's a reason I came to animation from an acting, not art, background). :) I did do a layout pass, however, and let me find it...

 

Here it is. I don't know if anyone else will be interested in seeing it, but...

 

http://www.hash.com/users/zachbg/SoapOpLayout.mov

(4.6 MB)

 

There are points where the screen goes blank; that's 'cause the camera is behind a wall and I hadn't fixed it yet.

 

Thanks everyone for the kind words and comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy smokes! That's an amazing effort and a great short, Zach. Very funny! Congrats to you and Jeff!

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was great! Hilarious! I cracked up so many times.

 

One of my favorite pieces. The modeling on the soap is not exactly smooth, but it really doesn't matter. It's clear that the animation is the most important element and it's very hard to put a face (especially cheeks!) on a flat surface.

 

I didn't do storyboards for this one. The folks who worked with me on Duck Sauce could tell you my storyboards are useless anyway

 

I never saw them, but I did see your character sketches (way in advance to the project).

 

Zack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main contribution was the soundtrack; to expand a little on what Zach's already said, I used the MIDI file he sent me as the basis for the tempo. I scrapped all the actual note data, and played in each individual part on my keyboard, both to give it more of a human feel, and because of the peculiar way Garritan Personal Orchestra handles dynamics (using a mod wheel instead of keystrike velocity).

 

Once that was done, I sent him a stereo recording of the instrumental tracks, and he recorded Don Ivory and Leporello-bob's parts (as well as a couple instances of him singing the Coro di Duckies' part). He sent those all back to me individually, and I recorded myself as Il Dispensadore and a few more Coro voices. Then I put all the tracks together and created panning envelopes for each of the principal voices to match their positions on (or off) screen. Finally, I ran the various elements through SIR for some nice convolved reverb (I used a couple of different impulses from an 1800-seat auditorium).

 

But I think Zach gives me too much credit; pretty much everything you see visually is his work. I only modeled some of the minor set dressing (toothpaste, toothbrushes, pill bottles and the like) and painted some dirt maps. All the characters and the set itself (and the fantastic lighting, which I first saw during the final render) were done by Zach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's an opera so... Encore, encore! :lol:

That is an incredible effort you put forth.

 

And, sorry for the bad pun, but... the soap opera contest was just good clean fun. :lol: (I just couldn't resist.)

 

-Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The modeling on the soap is not exactly smooth, but it really doesn't matter.

Actually, that's one of the things that really stuck in my craw. It's not so much the modeling as the rigging; in order to get him to move the way I wanted with all those splines... I still don't get it. It was only about a week ago that I realized I might have been able to accomplish what I wanted with a distortion box, but by that time it was too late. Still, there's time to experiment now.

 

This is something that I probably should have posted on the WIP forum for feedback, but I really wanted it to be anonymous for the contest. Not that it mattered it the end...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a nive piece of animation. I like how you matched the camera POV with the dramatic of the scene and how you manage to give your simple characters enough personality to convey their thought process while they move and sign. And a lots of humour in it. Bravo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man the way you guy took one of the most fearful moments in any opera and made it hilarious. Just excellent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow.....now THAT would've been a nearly instant win, methinks. Animation could used more polish, but the creativity and storytelling still make it a lot of fun to watch.

 

Now, where's my hat.....oh yeah. It's already off. :) Kudos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!

 

Animation could used more polish...

 

Any specific places in particular? I want to make this near perfect before I do a DV-sized version. As I said above, be as mean as you like... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved it. Already downloaded and saved for repeat viewings and showing to friends. My favorite part is the shampoo bottle's mouth.

 

I have no crits, I'll leave that to the experts.

 

Most Excellent!

 

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Animation could used more polish...

Any specific places in particular?

The shampoo bottle works pretty well overall, partly 'cause he's so limited. Very nice work on lip sync for that character, although I'm not sure the "teeth" (when that extra shape pops into place for some nearly-closed-mouth shapes) works that well. Because it flashes on and off, it doesn't really feel like teeth coming together. The way he's constructed, I'd almost say it would be better to drop that element entirely. I think it might work just fine for the style to ignore his teeth completely. That's how the VeggieTales characters operate, pretty much. The teeth only appear when they need to do a toothy-grin, not during regular speech.

 

Most of the cleanup is needed for the soap and sponge. I don't have time to dig in super deeply into specific segments, but I'll try to point out some global issues quickly...

  • There are many places where acting choices could be better. One that jumps to mind is the "I can't believe my eyes" line from the soap bar. He's referring to seeing the shampoo bottle, but it feels a bit awkward 'cause he's not even looking toward the shampoo during that line.
  • Some moves feel unmotivated. During that same line from the soap, some of his body motions put him in awkward poses. It almost feels like he's moving just to move at some points. Pick your poses carefully, making sure that they're motivated by what's going on. You can insert bits of "business" where appropriate, but even business should fit within the larger structure of appropriate, clear poses.
  • Lip sync for both the soap and sponge is pretty good, but feels slow at times. Could be a bit snappier. And as with the shampoo, the flashing teeth don't really work that well. Because these two are more realistic in their facial design, they definitely call for more more realistic handling of their teeth. But the more I think about it, I think you could also get away with nixxing the teeth entirely. It could go either way. But the flashing doesn't really fit. Too jarring, distracting.
  • Body movements could use a hair more snap in some places. Stronger holds.

That's what jumps out at me right now, looking back through the first little bit and going from memory on the rest. One spot that works really well is the "hand" gag w/ the soap. Even though it's really obvious that the gag is coming up once the shampoo's line has been sung, the way you stage it makes it work well. You did a nice job conveying a sense that the soap character believed he actually had hands at first.

 

Cool stuff! Just take a bit more time to spit and polish it. Not too much spit, though, or the soap will just turn into a pile of goo. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to critique a bit, Justin. I really appreciate it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this without any fore-knowledge of the production details, so I was impressed with the visuals and just presumed that the sound track had been "borrowed" from a CD.

 

Then the credits rolled. I was stunned that it was an original recording. It was that convincing.

 

I had listened to the demos on the Garritan site before this and wasn't knocked over by them. Jeff Lee has done some very clever work in putting the sound track together.

 

Good work guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:blink: Somehow I think this just *might have* placed had there been a contest. :blink:

 

One word: Wow!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh. My. God!

 

How did I miss this? What an amazing, funny, well-executed, charming film! When my jaw wasn't on my keyboard I was laughing out loud. You guys should be proud. Get it on the circuit and make sure you submit to Nicktoons before they cancel that show.

 

Congratulations, all involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to let everyone know that the creator of Garritan Personal Orchestra (which Jeff used to make the music) was so impressed by Soap Opera, he'll be playing it at his booth at NAMM, a music industry trade show, in Anaheim, California. Pretty cool stuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this the final or will you be doing some tweaks? I noticed it's still not on A:M Films yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will be tweaking (and re-rendering for video). But it is in the queue for AMFilms; it just got delayed because of Ken's trip to Macworld.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...