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Dearmad

A WIP of sorts...

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pre0105ax.jpg

 

My Webpage

 

:blink: The site sort of explains it all better than I can here. Not expecting reams of critical feedback on it, but if you're gonna be real thoughtful about it, then go ahead.

 

Been working on this monster for over two years (since May of 01)- so 2.5 years. It's your typical one man, one machine (well two and needing a third for the final rendering) sort of thing.

 

And in 2 and half years I FINALLY get to post an image from the actual production. So there's proof that STICKING TO IT WILL GET YOU THERE- oops, not done yet, I spoke too soon! :o

 

Oh one other thing: My focus for this film isn't (oddly enough) animating. It's more on design, story, and the dream of being able to tell a deep, thoughful, mature story using the tools I have. I admit of all the skills that have gone into this film (writing, modelling, texturing, design, etc., etc.), my animating is the poorest- so I'm not posting anything on that until I've had a few months working out my kinks. Only stills for now! :unsure:

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Way cool stuff you have there. Spent quite a bit of time browsing your site and for a change words fail me.

 

This project of yours will be awesome when it's done!

 

Good Luck!

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DearMad -

Thanks for clueing us in! And keep on it. I love that sketch of Ravel. The project looks great and I can't wait to see it evolve. More renders please.

 

I just watched FireFlies ... very moody and nice. Love the music ... sounds french? Nice job. I love the simplicity of the the models, it works very well. Congrats. You've done some inspiring work there.

 

Doug

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Peter,

That is a great online journal! It was really nice to see how your project developed and to kind of follow along and see the work progress. Thanks for posting it!

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One small detail in case it wasn't clear: Fireflies was done using Polyray, not AM- and my own animation program for keyframing ('Tweener, a program in the DORK section of my site). In a word- PRIMITIVE tools. I have no excuse for animation like that any more, though I was very proud of Fireflies when I did it- since hey, I coded the animation program. :blink:

 

Modernhorse: Yes the music is french... big clue at the site: It's Ravel's of course! In fact Fireflies sort of led into the dreamy plot idea involving Ravel himself for "Ballet pour ma fille." The Firefly music is one of his waltzes from "valses nobles et sentimentales" work. Played by me- which avoids *some* copyright problems, but since there's still an active Ravel estate, not all of them.

 

Well, to all interested in following the film, I wish you luck, since it's going to be a long ride.... but I *will* finish, no matter what. :ph34r:

 

Thanks all for looking!

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Another scene. The village outside of Verdun, 1916. I'm not animating in this scene yet, and this render was done awhile ago. This is the most complex set. Thousands and thousands of splines.... :ph34r:

 

I'm pretty happy with the atmosphere. Only non-procedural textures in there are the stars and the cobblestone bumpmaps. Everything else is procedural. Yeah, I know... longer to render, but I just love the way procedurals hold up at any angle and at any distance if you design them right. And this way the clouds can animate and blow with the wind and deform just like real clouds. I love that effect. Trust in me to overuse it in this short!

 

My second favorite building in this set isn't visiable, it's JUST around the corner, a church with a really tall spire with a ballerina at the top of the spire in gold. You can see the spire sort of. :unsure:

post-7-1072240573.jpg

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I wish you rendered it larger so we could see more details, but what I see I like :). Let's see a pic of that church.

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this looks great my only comment is that I think the street lights does not match the scene, it's not foggy so the street lights should not be that volumetric.. They are very bright and overpowering, maybe tone them down a bit and with less volumetric effect.

 

Everything else is wicked..... keep up the good work.

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I agree, now that I think about it- I will tone down the lights- I think in that render I was just making sure the darned volumetrics were working! Took awhile to get them on. :rolleyes:

 

Zaryin,

Have faith- the final renders are at 1600x900, and the final short will be at 800x450- so I'll post a few high detail renders once I get to final renderings- I'm only doing wireframe renders and a few shaded renders to test out animating at this point, and I'm outputting compressed DiVX instead of frames (TGAs) for now.

 

Next one I post will be high rez though, just because you requested. :D

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Nice work Peter!

and your Fireflies animation is very well done as well

you have a unique style.

 

B)

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there is no rule stating that lighting has to follow real world lighting. It's an artistic choice. You could get after it for hours and hours and hours and somone would still find something that you HAVE to change.

If that's your pick, then go with it.

But I personally would tone the light down a touch, but keep the volumetric effect, it really adds to the scene!

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

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Oh, I'm definitely keeping the volumetrics on the streetlights, just toning them down. In fact the cars that go through the night scene have them too... old fashioned 1910-style cars with volumetric lanterns! I *like* the look.

 

Thanks for all the comments folks. I'll post other things in here in the months to come- but don't expect much with graduate school on my back! :blink: Hoping to finish sometime in 2004, though.

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3DArtZ - True there are no rules that says you have to have a light a certin way, but lighting make or brakes your scene, so you wanna pay attention to that...

 

As you see in this shot from Killer Beam jeff did his own thing but he maintianed a nice flow between the lights and the environment which looks great.

 

http://www.jefflew.com/jpg/kbdrive.jpg

 

But as the artist you have the freedom to do as you wish good point 3DArtZ....

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I posted a small clip in the sweatbox area of my site for those interested. While crits are welcome, and I'll certainly act to improve the animation based on good crits, I won't be putting up a "corrected" clip- I'm not assembling final footage in any way at this point- just wireframe/4 poly-patch outputs for assembly in Premiere. Once It's all sweet (or least not too bitter) I'll be rendering final scenes.

 

This scene was a little tricky- involving Ravel placing a prop inside another prop and closing it... man, 'twas tough.

 

Anyway, go easy on my animating "skills;" they're my weakest point I think. :(

 

My Webpage

The "sweatbox" place

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It's looking pretty good so far. Except for a few collision defects (that I'm sure you know about), it's great.

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yeah that bit with his arm- I'm still thinking about it... one of the probs is the limited height of the character... I may just lower the whole freaking table and bag! :lol:

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I took a look at your production notes and was glad to see that materials can now be animated on groups, not merely on an entire model [i just tested it].

 

Having just watched a sorry movie about Ted Bundy while I was A:M-ing, I found the following quote unintentionally creepy: "Got the little girls all rigged up and I'm really pleased with their bone layouts." No reflection on you.

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What a lot of wonderful looking assets you have created for your project! They look fabulous! They really do. And i love the idea that it's about Ravel!

 

To me, the bits of animations you have up look too... "over smooth"? Perhaps the poses aren't extreme enough? perhaps they aren't held long enough? perhaps they have too many inbetweens? perhaps there isn't enough "anticipation" to the moves? I'm not sure.

 

But when he closes the briefcase, it's a very slight move and the case closes without any feeling that it stopped because the two halves have met each other.

 

Ok, this is Ravel, he's a dreamy "impressionist" , but i think a lot of CG floats in the "dreamy" mode a bit too long.

 

On the other hand, I've only seen a few seconds. You may very well intend to balance out this with different animation in other parts of the film.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing more!

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robcat,

 

Hey I hear you- believe me this is the biggest bite out of animation I've ever tried to choke down- and I'm still feeling my way through it. So as for the floatiness- I know, it's something I'm working on. I think the poses could be held longer with less transition time on some actions... gotta love the way AM will let me fix that without toooooo much work.

 

Keep up the crits people, I AM taking notes!

 

And Mooncaine, I'm just gonna ignore that... (shivers) :unsure: LOL "Also added some controls for their dresses..." AK!!!!!!

 

Glad the other notes gave ya something less creepy to think about. :o) I'm still back in 8.5 so I imagine one day when I upgrade all sorts of goodness will have been added to AM.

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bumpity...

 

a tiny little clip- about 50% done- the animation needs a LOT of retiming and such- but this clip took WAAAAAAAAAY too long for a couple of reasons...

 

check out this thread for the gory details (only for fatally bored who want to read boring stuff): http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3504

 

Anyway here's the clip: (1 MB)- 1 poly/face LOW RES- I wanted it to render fast to check the motion.

DiVX v5.x I dunno... make sure you got the latest version.

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I started to post a reply but looks like I got distracted in the middle of it and it never got sent.

 

Love Firefly. I can appreciate the work that went into it. Not an easy thing to do in any 3D package much less POVRAY/MORAY. The best I could do back in the command line days was make an army of manequins march across a checkered field. (Ahem. I was rather proud of that at the time as I recall. Even though everyone I showed it to looked at me like I was from another planet)

 

Good luck on completing your current project.

 

Rodney

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I really love the fact that you've found a way to use A:M that doesn't involve starcruisers, dragons or double D's. ;)

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Thanks, robcat. There ARE a few N11 aeroplanes that do a fly-by... albeit at considerable altitude... :)

 

Got about 2:33 animated so far... but once the animation is all done, I'll be going back over every chor again. ;)

 

Here's a quick image from awhile ago- made a few detail changes to the car since. She's all rigged up to turn her steering wheel and front wheels syncronously. This model took about a day once I found some good reference images that inspired me. The reference hunt ALWAYS takes longer than the modelling for me except in the case of complex buildigs with ornate facades and such...

 

I'm not huge of realism for this film- thus the resulting simplified axles, crank shaft , etc... Ive a 15-20 minute short to animate- don't want to model forever! Besides, one of the BEAUTIFUL things about AM is that I can always add more details to this car and they'll track through chors- that is just so cool!

 

Hope you all enjoy!

post-7-1076735385.jpg

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as always lovely work Peter. :D

There's some great shorts underway at the moment and I think every single one has a different style. This one is wonderfully European :D

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I really love the fact that you've found a way to use A:M that doesn't involve starcruisers, dragons or double D's

 

Dr. D wants to know what you mean by that! He's hoppin' mad.

I told him you meant the female type... he doesn't believe me.

 

Great car!

You guys are making it painful to read this list but... keep those updates postin'

 

Rodney

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You have certainly captured the essence of dog and master! I love the way the little chappy follows after his master; I can imagine him sulking and pineing in the frames that would follow!

 

Chris

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Another bit of animation is nearly done... I'm feeling fatigued enough with it to post just to show that I'm alive and so is this project.

 

It's in the "sweatbox" now.

 

Ravel sorta lopes in a little too fast for me, and his face is not animated yet (just his eyes), but his thinking is actually sort of there- something I'm a little proud about.

 

It's funny, but nothing in my entire film will be any sort of "cool rock on!" scene- it's a pretty quiet little film telling a story that's probably more sophisticated than I should have aimed at with my first AM project... ah well!

 

Link to the sweatbox from here:

 

http://www.applesnake.net/ravel.htm

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Everything is looking wonderful. I wish I had words to offer that would make it go faster and easier, but you are getting there.

 

UGo! :)

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Dearmad :

 

excellent project.... characters and props are amazing ....

keep us updated

I perceived that three great projects are being made using cities as main focus or sets ....

 

Frank Hegemann´s city

my city and

your city ...

 

all made by A:M ( Amazing : Metropolis ) :P

 

Cheers

 

Xtaz

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In moving to a new location for a scene I always work on the lighting solution first... I usually spend about 3 days working on just the lights before I bother to animate. And even after that I continue tweaking them as I animate... I think lighting is EXTREMELY important- right up there with the materials as far as setting the tone of a pice.

 

Anyway, I've heard people do the lights afterward, but to me it makes more sense to animate after I know where the lights are actually placed- I roughly already know the action as I have storyboards. After I get all the lights in place and have tested actors out at their various positions I think it's a good sign if I like the solution well enough to want to make myself a large still...

 

So here's a much reduced in size sample of where Ballet Pour Ma Fille is currently at.

 

I'm rather proud of this lighting set-up. The rather *bright* light coming from downstairs is an open door where the sunlight is streaming in. It closes in this scene, and the sharper raytraced shadows will disappear.

 

5 lights: A key, A fill in the alcove, The sun practical outside, the doorway practical, and an internal spotlight softshadowing.

 

No post processing. This is straight out of the 8.5p renderer...

 

One thing that did drive me nuts lighting this little scene was how AM screwed up rendering transperencies when you intersect a non-transperent object with one that is transperent. I wonder if that ever got fixed in the latest version?

 

One stupid thing I did... but I'm proud of it anyway: the chandelier strings ARE indeed chains. Each individual link- didn't take that long to model but no one will ever REALLY see them in the film. I can only make them out in the full size image I made for myself at 1544x2000. Ah well...

 

Comments and crits welcomed. ;)

post-7-1091421335.jpg

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Very artistic modeling.

Has a nice warm feeling to it.

 

I like the nosey cat by the banister.

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A practical light is one that fills the purpose of indicating a "real life" light souce without necessarily illuminating a scene in the ay expected by that "Real" source. Like if you had a lightbulb in a lamp (say a point light)- you wouldn't necessarily use that light as the real source of light in your scene. Or christmas lights on a tree- I'd have them but very dim (or faked with glows/ambience, etc...) and light the scene with other lights to get the "effect" of the practical lights. This way I control the light easily and to my exact liking.

 

I borrowed the term form my theater days.

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Thanks for that great explanation, Dearmad. I'm glad I asked, because at first, I thought you might have meant that a "practical" light was a real world light, and I was puzzled. Thanks!

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Boo.

 

There's a brief animation up at my site- quickshaded and small- two character's talking.

 

While some main poses are done, other than the lip synch, they're not completely animated- their eyes are in "STARE" mode still, for example. I like to peg the larger timings before I mess with that sort of stuff. In this case the timing of their line delivery was what I was most wanting to get done right before I move on.

 

DiVX 5.2. about 1.25MB.

 

Anyway, HERE'S, the link. In the Sweatbox from there.

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Boo again.

 

Added all the other animation to that scene above and uploaded it again. It should look more "alive" now. Eyes, shoulders, etc... Ravel moves his head a *little* too much in the secondpart... but mostly this'll work well enough for me to move on.

 

So... no comments, hm?

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Big improvement! Is he saying hum what I have to her? Intruiging....

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It looks great. I like the subtle hand held camera look. The design and use of colour are impressive. I, like Ken, found it a little difficult to understand what was being said that was all. Probably the compression though.

 

Nice stuff :D

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Yeah, the sound is at 22khz in this sample, to save space- it sounds really close to the micr. in that clip. I just let Premiere compress it without any concern for how it ended up- which is not how I treat sound in the final- I'll be putting together the sound in a dedicated app before letting premiere slap it into the video without any further compression. Original recordings are 44khz and *much* nicer.

 

And yes, he does say "hum," which, given you guys have no real context for this moment isn't exactly an expected word. Funny thing is of all the lines in the entire script, that is the one that bugs me the most due to that word.

 

Thanks for the comments.

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And yes, he does say "hum," which, given you guys have no real context for this moment isn't exactly an expected word.

 

Ah, in that case I think I can understand all that is being said. I just assumed he wasn`t sayimg `hum`. :lol:

 

I`m very much looking forward to seeing some more of this production.

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I just viewed the movies and browsed through your posted images. The two years you've put i this really shows. All the attention to details. And I like the acting. You mention you did theatre. Well this too shows. I especially like the eye movements, where they point as the character speaks, This communicates his thought process and a lot of emotions.

 

Very good job.

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Wow, great stuff. I can't wait for the finished product!

It's great that you're documenting so much of this.

Mike Fitz

www.3dartz.com

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Really nice delicate work - this kind of stuff is really hard to get right, the line between subtlety and letting a characters "go dead" is a difficult one to achieve.

 

The most obvious thing to me that needs work is his entrance. At the moment it looks like he is moving in on a bobbing track. The stiffness of the shoulders is a stark contrast to the detail in the movement of his head after he stops.

 

I agree with you about his last head gesture - "to her". If anything it seems a tad too late.

 

Can't wait to see more.

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Parlo, Mike3dartz, Yves,

 

First of all, thank you very much for the replies. Crits from you guys means a lot to me, and the I take what you say to heart (or head) in order to make changes.

 

Funny thing, Parlo, about that last scene- I completely LOST the animation chor for that scene! LOL. I was SOOOOOOOOOOO angry- I have backups up the wazoo and was just breathless I had lost anything! Anyway I reanimated it and it's improved. Nothing like animating something from scratch TWICE to make improvements! LOL now only because it's been awhile since then. The detail you noted about his head bob made all the difference. The hard part was that his walking pace is VERY slow there because of the mood (walking into a sick girl's room) so any little oddities in motion are so telling.

 

Anyway I've not done much lately since returning to grad school for what I hopeis the LAST F'ING YEAR!!!!!!!- (grad school SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

 

For anyone wanting to know where this little project is at- I've about finished decorating the next major set and nearly have it lit for the next scene. I posted a small still of it at the stills part of the site:

 

http://www.applesnake.net/ravel.htm

 

Hope I can inspire others to keep on keeping on.

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Yet again very nice images. I admire your dedication.

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Dearmad -

Each time you post a progress report I end up spending some time at your site (this time I finally got to your sketches, great!). I too admire your perserverance and dedication to your film. I wish to encourage you to keep going as much as visiting your site has encouraged me.

 

Doug

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Hi, Dearmad.

 

I have just been catching up on your progress with this project and I must say the I think that your work is beautiful and sensitive! I think that you have chosen your style carefully to be sympathetic to your subject matter and I love everything about it. I need to go back and finish watching the clips that you have on your site but I just wanted to congratulate you on your determination and ability to hold fast to your vision. Keep up the good work.

 

I look forward to seeing this in the Christmas TV schedules in a couple of years.

:)

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