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

Short Film in Production: Ballet Pour Ma Fille

Recommended Posts

Quick update:

 

THANKS all for the suggestions. The little glance I've added, and other changes made really do work better.

 

Luckbat:

I rendered out that appearence moment with the Focal Plane changes that go on- forgot to also mention the camera blurs the girl heavily until Ravel turns to see her, then she's in focus and he blurs out. So overall, with the added glance, new clarity to his "thinking" moment, it works MUCH better!

 

 

Thanks again, all- wonderful crits making really good improvements; now I know why you're all paid the big bucks for this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You mean the little wheat-like plant growin at the edge of the cement?
Yeah that's the one. I should have been more specific.

 

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a double take?.....

 

Looks at the marble

Looks from where it came

Looks straight ahead

Then quickly registers the girl and looks back at her.

 

I too noticed the plants swaying in the wind. I love those little details. I also agree with the path crack comment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So let's see the new version already!

Oh you want proof I take you guys to heart? :o No, but seriously, here's a quick update- just the latter half that got the heaviest crit. Got it out at 800x448 since it's a shorter clip

 

Changes:

Added in rounded edging to building, per Robcat (looks MUCH better now)- thanks for tagging me on laziness there.

 

Head dips a tad more in last turn.

 

Looks up at marble source briefly (remember he already knows no one is there, so this is just further confirmation for him).

 

A little more "thinking" in his look away. Now this is the part I kow people are gonna jump on- as everyone has their way of imagining how one looks at a moment like that. And in fact I may change it yet, so fair game people! I WILL be changing his eyebrows a bit there.

 

Less head wobbly during camera change to over the shoulder shot- forgot a cardinal rule to NOT have characters making subtle, telling movements in across cut- it looks wrong unless the move is broad enough.

 

A few other minor timing changes to eyes and other head turns.

 

 

 

Unchanged:

The crack in the sidewalk is noted down for a change- there are other reasons for it being so wide, and I'll need to recheck some other stuff that goes on with it and how it looks.

 

Ravel's position on steps- an easy thing to change- just haven't looked at how it reads when he's moved yet.

 

 

Conclusion:

THANK YOU! Seriously, you guys are critical, kind, and to the point- a rare mix, and I appreciate it! More crits welcome, but I won't be posting any updated changes, they'll be written down in my notebook for when I go over the film at the end and push 90% complete to 100% complete.... need to move on to Section 7 now. :D

0604o_divx.avi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely improved. When I look at it still though, I think to myself.....Why didn't he see the little girl? She's right there in his line of sight! Is he shortsighted?

 

A possible solution might be her coming out from behind something...maybe a "trashcan" as you yanks call it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Definitely improved. When I look at it still though, I think to myself.....Why didn't he see the little girl? She's right there in front of him!

 

A possible solution might be her coming out from behind something...maybe a "trashcan" as you yanks call it.

Don't worry. In the context of the three preceeding shots (one of them 30 seconds long) you'll know too that she is not there to be seen.

 

Also there are shots 3 scenes back that mirror these and let you know something is up... she literally disappears in front of hs eyes in one shot. He knows at this point she is sorta like a ghost- but he's not happy with what that means to his art and to her and her mother. And he's not yet willing to accept his relationship with her on the plane in which it has to take place.

 

But, having said that- PLEASE continue to post concerns like this- things that confuse you, etc... It is valuable for me to know. Do NOT assume it all makes sense because you're missing such and such scene or haven't seen the film. It's better for me to hear confusion than silence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter,

 

That is definitely much clearer. He is clearly confused as to where this marble came from and then seems to react to the presence of the girl. Whether he senses her presence or reacts to either a visual or auditory clue is not obvious, but in a silent clip I will assume it was auditory. For confirmation you may want to show it to someone who never saw the first clip to make sure that the read is real.

 

I had to chuckle, in the quick render, when he is looking puzzled, it is as if he is puzzled by the eye targets. What the heck are these things in front of my eyes! :D

 

Scott

 

PS: You made my day by taking my crit and incorporating it. I feel a part of your film now. Years from now at a showing, I can stand up and say, see that, I suggested that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've got an IK Arm thing happening at the end. Her hand stays locked in space while her body leans forward. It looks like "mime leaning against invisible wall".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Robcat: Thanks. Fixed.

 

Fishman: Yup, I was laughing at his watching those nullls too- like curious mosquitos or something.... And hey, when I post animations, I take what you all say seriously, so being a part of this film in that way is easy! :) Hash Forum gonna be getting a credit, no doubt.

 

Anyway, here's an update. Hope these aren't too frequent for you guys, but when I make progress, I like to share a little bit of it. So here's some stills from a montage-like sequence of Ravel driving to and from the front at various times of day. It's during this sequence that he almost kills someone (the 1916 road rage animation I posted).

 

Night, Afternoon, Morning times from top to bottom.

post-7-1118875132.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hope these aren't too frequent for you guys, but when I make progress, I like to share a little bit of it.

Brain... imploding...

 

Night, Afternoon, Morning times from top to bottom.

Excellent. I'd argue in favor of altering the color of the light between noon and morning, not only the sky color and light intensity. Perhaps morning could be more pink or amber?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did, but maybe it's not reading strongly enough. I'll push the pinks and ambers a bit more in the morning light one.

 

Oh waitaminute, I forgot the red/pink tones completely, now that I look at the chor: good call! (And thankfully an easy thing to fix, because I'm an idiot. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW! That's simply...art! ... I can't really think of anything to say, it's beyond my vocabulary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wohow! If the story is as good as the visuals, you're going to have an internet smash on your hands!

 

I notice in the night image the smoke trails are very straight.

 

Man I can't wait till you get your hands on v12 (hopefully)!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Jage:

Thank you. It's been a lot of hard work, and I appreciate that people like it. It was my intention from the beginning to squeeze out the purtiest pictures I can get from AM as far as I can with my skills.

 

Ken:

Yeah that's frame 0 after the preroll, a few frames into the shot and there's a force and an action to vary them that break it up considerably. That's when the scene actually will start. Also a few sparks fly up from the chimneys on occasion. You're good at picking out things that bug me too. :D

 

Ok, back to animating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No updates for a while....how's it coming on? I assume you're working away at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi.

 

This'll be my last update for awhile. Yeah I'm plugging away at it and will finish it, but I'm in my last few terms of graduate school, so things are serious with that.

 

In fact applesnake.net/com will be down for awhile now too, but I'll be maintaining the registration for them and such and will reappear when I'm done with my comprehensive exams and practicums...

 

I'm at a scary point in my schooling - make or break time, so I better make it, get that nice job... and then return to my beloved hobbies!

 

At any rate- the film is half animated now. All sounds are recorded/ready- so everything is in place for me to just find time to put butt back into chair.... which won't be for awhile... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Peter!

 

 

Good will with your studies. I enjoy watching the development of your movie, and look forward to your coming back.

 

Michel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick note to say applesnake.net and .com are back up with a really nice web host. And progress is being made on the film... :)

 

I stripped out a lot of the old avi's i had in the "sweatbox" 'cause I lost them at my old host, but no worries- they weren't important to the film, just rough clips I was sharing. new ones will come now, anyway. ;)

 

And PLEASE email me about any erros at the website if you encounter them... as reconstructing it was straighforward, which means I probably did something wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've been too quiet, Peter, but I'm glad to hear that it was for a good reason. Hope the studies are going well.

 

Your website is looking good and I am looking forward to seeing further progress on your movie when you are able to give it your time.

 

Congratulations on passing the half-way point!!! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Dearmad! Does this mean you're back?

Luckbat,

Yeah for at least two weeks solid here... and then I'm budgetting "me time" regularly weekly. I find I need animation to stay sane...

 

Paul,

 

thankee kindly. Now back to the happy grindstone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Completed two scenes these past few days... well, "complete" meaning "I'm moving on anyway..." Here's some info on one of them.

 

A still. There's a quick-rendered clip added to the sweatbox at my site.

 

While it *should* scale well and show enough details at 2x resolution, I am sorry for the sorta small resolution, especially for a non-action scene. Until I get a good monthly read on traffic at my site- I need to be a little coservative about bandwidth...

 

The main points of the scene are the expressions the mother goes through looking at her daughter, from sadness to that welling of love feeling and a smile. Then she sees something...

 

Stuff I want to improve:

The rate of mother's turn toward the bed, some of the bracelet animation early on.

 

As usual, crits welcome.

 

Thanks for looking, all!

post-7-1126471506.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter, I get the following error when I click on the link to your newest work on the 'Sweatbox' page:

"You can email about this error, but maybe you just tried to go too deep into a site that -ahem- doesn't have much depth to it. Consider going back and trying another link." :blink:

 

Edit: If I right click it gives me a filename of 404.htm to download so I guess that is an error too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter, this is beautiful! Even with no sound and the low resolution the emotion is coming across loud and clear. The girl's head is a bit hard to read, it took me a few viewings to be sure of what I was looking at. The rest is sublime. The mothers range of expressions produced a lump in my throat. The tilt of the head and the smile. I empathise completely. The light wafting of her scarf and the other draperies is uplifting and I can feel the welcome breeze.

If you can see a need to alter anything then I guess you should trust your sensitivity to the subject matter and do it. Personally, I love it! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mesmerizing. So nice to see a clip where it all comes together. Love the secondary motion on the bracelets--your perfectionism knows no bounds. I can't believe you did all that fabric motion without SimCloth!

 

The woman's performance is just lovely. So nice to see naturalistic acting in 3d animation. You must've slaved over it. It was well worth it.

 

One thought about the framing--are you disregarding the TV safe area? Because if not, both characters are looking a little scrunched over into their respective sides of the frame. Even ignoring the TV safe area, the woman seems a bit overpowered by all the movement in the room, especially since the camera begins to edge her out of the frame towards the end of the clip. Is the windiness a story element?

 

The set design, of course, is top-notch. Always a joy to visit this little dollhouse world you've created.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The main points of the scene are the expressions the mother goes through looking at her daughter, from sadness to that welling of love feeling and a smile. Then she sees something...

I clicked and watched the clip before I read your explanation and I must say that my reading of the clip matched perfectly your goal. This is very well executed. Bravo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul:

Thank you. Putting in the extra time- acting it out, and thinking "what the heck is the point of this scene- I need to remember to focus on that," paid off.

 

The girl IS hard to read- even for me. I'm not totally happy about the initial framing angle, and have it down as a concern for this shot in my notes for when I return to it.

 

Luckbat:

I respect you skills involving cinematography, and I agree. The mother should probably be pulled in more to frame a bit, also the girl at the start maybe, now that you and Paul have me thinking about it. Excellent crit. Something I'll change first thing in the morning- THANKS you two!

 

And yes, btw, I am using full frame as my space, so my third crosses are from those extreme edges, in most shots- I like the more extreme geometric (or harder) feel it gives framing for most of the scenes in the film. However, there are some moments in the film when I pull in the frame of focus considerably to "soften" the feel, sorta make the picture feel "safer," more symmetrical.

 

Yeah the wind is- actually the very air is also an element to the story. Things flying through the air in a previous section (airplanes, obviously, but some other things too-which will remain secret) and represent an important element to Ravel's final realization about what the heck matters to him. The dance becomes a flightless way of mirroring motion through the air- dance is human flight, sorta is the idea...

 

Dang, but you are observant.

 

Yves:

Wow. Praise indeed. I can't tell you how releived I am that you viewers are getting the thought behind this brief scene- it means the following scenes that build from it in this room will actually make sense to people when they watch it edited together!

 

Nancy:

Glad to know someone with your unique and artistic take on things (which mesmerizes me) likes some of what I'm doing.

 

Thanks, all- I appreciate the comments and crits. Again, feel free to nitpick- this is a learning process for me.

 

Gotta say AM is just rocking as a tool for animating- I am more and more impressed with how free I can be to approach the animation in layers, each one deepening the performance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter,

Looks great! The only thing I might add that the more esteemed members didn't already mention is that in the stills the foot board on the bed frame looks kind of strange. Not sure if it is the modeling or the camera angle/focal length. On the left the horizontal member meets partway up the vertical whereas on the right it disappears below the matress. Also, the projection of the lampshade onto the bedspread is too sharp. It accentuates the lack of wrinkles in the bedspread, either a soft shadow or some wrinkles in the beadspread may help.

I speak for all, I'm sure, when I say that I can only imagine how excited I'll be when the whole movie comes out if I get this excited when I see that you've added an update. You're doing an awesome job, keep up the great work.

 

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right. But your crit reveals a slightly more complex problem at heart- and I'm glad you said something. That pattern on her bed is from a stained glass window above the little girl's head. The viewer knows it's there at this point from previous shots, but the volumetrics I have going from the window to the bed aren't quite right... need some work there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott,

 

Fiddled with the light settings, and added in a gel. This ought to make it much clearer as to source, and, for my money, this makes the scene that much stronger.

 

Again, thanks for your crit- you got me thinking!

post-7-1126553031.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool volumetrics! Did just adding the gel change the colour of that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter,

I hadn't noticed the volumentrics before that, but what struck me and still does is the sharpness of the edge. Light projected on cloth like that is not likely to have such a sharp edge. Additionally, the roundness of the window staying perfect like that accentuates that the bedspread, with the little girl underneath it, is flat.

The enhanced volumentrics look good.

 

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cool volumetrics! Did just adding the gel change the colour of that?

Basically yes. I needed to readjust my volumetric settings on that light to get them right too. Some further details:

 

That effect is actually two lights.

 

1:

The practical that shines through the window projecting the colors onto the bed through the transperent stain glass window (which also has translucence set so it gloes when in frame a bit).

 

2:

A volumetric light set to NOT light every model- in fact it is on no light list at all in the chor, so it lights nothing. Everything is turned off on it except volumetrics. Then in the chor I added a gel using the same image map as used by the window to this light.

 

 

Trying to do this effect with one light didn't work for me because of how AM (8.5) handled shadows interacting with volumetrics out of one light source. And a lot of other little details that added up to using 2 lights to get it right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. This week has been hugely productive. About 10 seconds per day.

 

Here's another clip from later in the scene above- skipping over about 4 intervening shots. The mother exits her daughter's room then spies something out the little window in the hallway...

 

Here's the clip.

 

And here are some stills so you can get a sense of the look, not just the animation. The lower still is from the next shot where the mother is looking out the window.

 

After this very contemplative moment in the film, the next scene involves some action and a near death accident... that'll be a fun contrast to animate.

post-7-1126920702.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter,

More great stuff. A comment on the little girl. Without eyelashes, when her eyes are closed it is very difficult to discern which way her head is turned. I find this distracting as I have my attention drawn to it and away from the main action.

 

You've had a great week!

 

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice again - I am fascinated by your handling of the clothing - are you using cloth in 8.5 for the head scarf, or are you doing it by hand? Such lovely light delicate appropriate movement. Also am curious if the dress movement is handled with extra bones for the skirt that you are also "hand animating"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott,

 

PM'ed you with an image. Let me know.

 

 

Nancy,

 

Her scarf is handled mostly by the 8.5 cloth feature- but the settings change for every shot depending on what I need it to do- sometimes the settings are dramatically different. Also, in nearly every shot I'll add a force to help manipulate the cloth further in the manner I want it to move. Once that's done, I double check the collision interaction (visually) and then will manipulate the channel data to fix any problematic collisions I can't fix through the simulation- this is rare, but coincidentally I had to do it for this last shot). It usually takes about half a day to set up and get right.

 

Her skirt:

While I eventually came up with a very simple solution to how I wanted it rigged, it took a lot of experimenting and pulled hair to arrive there.

 

Basically I rigged it as if it was controlled by her two legs, but then there's an intermediary bone in the center which orients as an intermediary (within certain spherical limits) to the outer calf bones to smooth the center of the skirt. Since I designed her so that her feet are never seen, this simple solution works perfectly adequately because her feet never to lift from the floor (much).

 

In addition, when I designed her dress, I added little sleevelets (whatever they're called) to enhance secondary motion at her sleeves- those are hand animated, two different rigs depending on the situation. I got cocky and added *two* bracelets to each wrist too, to further lend life to her motions... those are hand animated as well. However, animating secondary motion is practically a snooze compared to animating the motion that *drives* the scene- since secondary motion only reacts depending on what is influencing it, it doesn't take too much time. It's relaxing and I enjoy doing it it after finishing up a tough scene.

 

The other mother in the film (the blonde one- rig on the right) has a long skirt on too, but her feet and lower legs are exposed... this posed a whole MESS of problems which required a center thigh bone to be added and another control bone (orange arrow points to it- the vertical blue bone) which by it's rotation (animator controlled) further tunes the rotation of the center bones, whose orientation is still controlled by a balanced orient constraint and spherical limits of the leg bones which are manipulated by moving her feet control bones. Shew! Anyway, this way as I move the leg, the skirt keeps the correct distance from the lower leg to look like it is reacting to her legs underneath.

 

On top of this, for the skirt to properly fold, and drop with gravity (especially on the blonde mother- since the viewer can see her leg it needs to look right), and for buttocks, lower back muscles, and belly to properly tense, etc... I added smartskins controlled by the leg bones. Some of the smartskinning changes the geometry a lot.

 

Oops, long answer alert!

post-7-1126929670.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the wonderful answer - I always struggle with skirts - you have made it look effortless - Very well done. It's the secondary motion that adds a real special quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nancy,

 

Sure- anytime I have the time I'm happy to share.

 

Scott,

Ok, here's an updated still with the changes. I think it's much better. Thanks, and respond to my PM.

post-7-1127000976.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just looking at the pattern in the window. There seems to be some purple colours. But on the bed, there doesn't seem to be any.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh. Uh... :unsure:

 

That's gotta be about one of the dumbest mistakes I've made since I'm so anal about lighting. I left the practical light that goes through the glass at 200 intensity(!)... -sigh-

 

Thanks Ken. Colors are not blown out into white anymore... :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love it when I get a break from school, 'cause then I get to ANIMATE!

 

I've moved ahead completing 2 scenes (about 11 seconds of footage). Here's the latest 17 seconds worth that I'm still working on. I think I'll be able to finish section 8 by the time brak is over! Then there will be only 4 more to do!

 

For those who are curious, this scene is pretty much blocked out timing wise, and needs cleanup now, along with final detail animation (eyes looking, blinking, small things like that), and then the camera jitters added to the last bit.

 

I call this scene: "A typical damned cat!"

 

This bit wasn't storyboarded like this at all, but as I animated it, it sorta hit me exactly what the cat was gonna do.

 

The scene to this point took about 6 hours of work. It's in the DiVX codec.

0803divx.zip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only critique I would have is the motion on the vehicle. It seems a bit, well, weightless to me. :blink:

 

The rest of the animation is top notch! :D

 

 

I look forward to the finished film, looks excellent so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weightless, hm? Interesting. I tried for heavy looking. Maybe with the street part put back in (I removed it for quicker render time), it'll look more "grounded." When I finish up the scene, I'll repost it, if I tweak that part at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good to see you getting some time to work on this, Dearmad!

I have missed your regular updates. So, is 2006 the year? Of course it is! Have a great one!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Only critique I would have is the motion on the vehicle. It seems a bit, well, weightless to me. :blink:

This struck me too. The smoothness with which it slides across the ground, and rigidity it displays when landing.

 

I'd start investigating some extra jiggles and shakes as skids out. And if it were possible to rig that canopy that's over the driver... just a little overlapping motion on impact might go a long way to selling this shot.

 

I also think the camera shake is way too slow.

 

I'm sure sound effects will help when you put them in, but if you can get it to work even without the sound that would be great.

 

But, as always, I love the whole idea of this movie, and am eager to see it.

 

One more thing, I think the cat's legs could be off set just a hair front to back. They look exactly in synch right now.

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...