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The Wannabe Pirates

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This is all looking great! I haven't checked in on this thread in a month or so and the progress is really impressive. It's great to see a solid idea carried through with such style and thoroughness.

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Haha! Oh man, that's awesome! I love watching movies like this...you guys weren't taking yourselves too seriously but you still took the time to do a decent job. You see way too many home movies that are done in one shot with only the first two or three lines actually planned out.

 

"I'm deathly afraid of monkeys, anything associated with monkeys, including bananas!"

 

The shot of the tumbling monkey flying through the air is killing me

 

Haha!

 

Thanks for posting:D

 

Thanks, Lee. McCrary's been telling me about the looks he gets when he tells people at his church who have seen the movie that the "next one is going to be computer animated." :-)

 

I loved this monkey sequence and have pushed for there to be a bunch of stuff with monkeys in the cartoon. You can never go wrong with monkeys... :-)

 

This is all looking great! I haven't checked in on this thread in a month or so and the progress is really impressive. It's great to see a solid idea carried through with such style and thoroughness.

 

Thanks, Gerry! I feel like it's kind of been slow going, so your comment is encouraging. I'm anxious to get all of the modelling finished so that I can move on to animating it.

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Whew! This has been a productive week. Over the last couple of weeks, McCrary and I have been coming up with some plans to really build up this project and I flew out to Kentucky at the beginning of the week and we hammered out the script and a lot of back story for the characters.

 

We're going to be launching a website sometime early next year that's going to feature a webcomic drawn by McCrary that will start with the origin story of Captain Flemm and work through the story from the first movie McCrary made. The idea being that we can establish the characters with an audience before the short film is released. If all goes well, we're going to continue both for as long as it's still fun for us to work on them.

 

One of the things that came out of the trip was a thought to stop being slavish to the movie (since no one will really ever see it) and start thinking of these as more of original characters. To that end, we're currently adapting the original designs to make them less of my interpretation of the costumes the people put together for the movie and more of what we think suits the characters. It's certainly not a complete re-design, to be sure, but there'll be more to them. We want to work out a way to make them work in both mediums.

 

Here's the updated Captain Flemm. Not major changes, just some added details...

 

 

newflemm.jpg

 

Here's a turnaround...

 

flemmturn.mov

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Moving Forward!

 

McCrary is out of town, so I'm having to wait until he gets back so we can both sign off on Henrietta before I can complete her rigging. Not wanting to stand still, I started on Cutthroat's head. He's the villain.

 

Originally he was called Cutthroat Mac, but now we're considering giving him a French accent and changing his name to Cutthroat Jacques...

 

cutthroat0.jpg

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Very nice detail improvements, your most recent characters have a much smoother more professional feel to them. Keep it up!

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Thanks! That's high praise!

 

I've been side-tracked as of late with other aspects of this project. I finished the first draft of the screenplay (which came in at a whopping 24 pages, yikes!) and getting things going on the webcomic side. Having an ongoing website will be a cool thing to drive me, hopefully. It's fun, too, since it lets us expand the world and the characters.

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Just something to keep the ball rolling. I've been working on drawing the plans for Flemm's pirate ship, but felt the bug to do a quick bit of modeling this morning and so I started on the monkey. Monkeys are almost like little aliens in our world. They are intelligent, overly serious and mostly removed from the humans. They are annoyed by Flemm who thinks they are cute little monkeys and keeps wrecking their stuff.

 

Lighting is screwy in this render, but I'm too lazy to go back in and fix it right now. :-)

 

monkeyhead0.jpg

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Great work there! One thing their expressions should be more "neutral" so after you rig them you can give them any expression you want

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Thanks, Paul! This one was more experimental. I didn't start with rotos, but instead just started by drawing the profile with CPs and going from there.

 

Thanks, Tunames! I'll try to keep that in mind.

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sneezeheads0.jpg

 

Got a start on Flemm's sidekick Mr. Sneeze. I had thought he was going to be the easiest, but I'm still struggling with him. Sneeze's design has changed some from the original. My friend didn't like his nose and this is going more from how he's being drawn in the comic strip.

 

I just got the art for the 10th strip. McCrary wants to have a stockpile of 20 before it starts and it looks like he'll make it. The plan is still to start the strip at the beginning of February.

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I think Vern would have a liability case! :D Nice work again. I'd love to see (for fun) what these characters look like with SSS.

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LOL! I'm gonna' have to seek legal counsel. :-)

 

Thanks, Ken. I tried out SSS on Flemm awhile back and didn't have much success. I don't really know exactly what I'm doing with the SSS settings and most times it just rendered out solid black. :-)

 

I don't think I've tried it in v15 yet. Maybe, for fun, I'll do a test...

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It will render black unless you set threads to 1 and/or final render (to file). Preview renders don't work.

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Thanks, I'll give it a go.

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Wow, it's been awhile since I've updated this! The holidays kind of knocked me off track.

 

Things have been progressing, though! We've finished the first 17 strips for the webcomic and they'll start appearing on the website starting on February 1st. (We'll be 20 strips ahead at that point). It'll update twice a week with new strips on Tuesday and Fridays. McCrary is handling most of the chores on the webcomic. I'm pitching in a little bit on the gags and doing the lettering.

 

Last night I started back on modeling the heads of all the characters. This is a part-way-there Poco Boco (still hairless at this point). Poco's character design has changed a little bit from the original design and will have a beard and hair. I'm going to have to do some playing to see how best to accomplish it. He's also getting a scar on one cheek and his eyelids will be more droopy once he's rigged.

 

2poco_heads0.jpg

 

After Poco there's just two more character heads to do: the Storyteller and we've given Cutthroat a parrot.

 

Then it's back to give 'em all bodies. I may give up on this assembly line workflow, but for now, it feels like the smart thing to do.

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3poco_heads0.jpg

 

Poco's head is mostly done. Good thing he's a mute, 'cause I don't know how I'd deal with those teeth in a lip sync. :-)

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2storyheads0.jpg

4poco_heads0.jpg

 

Rolling along! Here's the Stoyteller and another render of Poco.

 

Just one more head to go!

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I got a bug this morning and suddenly decided I was tired of all the shiny stuff. :-)

 

I guess I must've been going through a phase, but I went back and started dropping the specular intensity out of the models and seeing how they looked. Gave me a chance to put together a sort of where I'm at so far graphic that I printed out at work and put up for inspiration.

 

Here's a smaller version of it... I don't know how they'll end up in the end, but I kinda' like them this way (at least I do now.)

 

characters_s.jpg

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I think that looks much better. These are very good models, I've been following along -- but this way of rendering them looks the best, imo.

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I got a bug this morning and suddenly decided I was tired of all the shiny stuff. :-)

 

I guess I must've been going through a phase, but I went back and started dropping the specular intensity out of the models and seeing how they looked. Gave me a chance to put together a sort of where I'm at so far graphic that I printed out at work and put up for inspiration.

 

Here's a smaller version of it... I don't know how they'll end up in the end, but I kinda' like them this way (at least I do now.)

 

characters_s.jpg

 

I like it better with less specularity. Dang this project is coming along real nice. I'd like to see more of what ya got goin. :)

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Thanks, guys! Wish I had a good excuse for the prolonged period of questionable taste, but for some reason I just kept chasing the shiny. :-)

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Wow, just awesome!!

 

I've been away for a while, and I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread. Is this a project for fun or will it be a business?

 

By degree and experience, I'm a Mechanical Engineer, and this deintely proves that you need to have artistic ability outside of A:M.

 

Keep up and the Great Work and Thanks for sharing with us!

 

Bob

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Thanks, Bob!

 

This is for sort of a fun business (meaning one that will probably never make any money.) :-)

 

The idea originally was just to make a short film, but it's grown more open-ended. When my friend and I discussed story ideas, we started thinking we could do a series of cartoons, but the reality is that there would have to be huge gaps of time in between them and that's where the idea for doing the webcomic came from. We can tell more stories that way and keep the characters "alive" in between short films.

 

This will all be on the website, and we will be selling advertising, but it's doubtful we'll see any real money from that.

 

Mostly, we're doing it because we want to and are having fun.

 

I would think having artistic ability would help, but I think it largely depends on what you're wanting to do with A:M. There's some amazing mechanical modeling on these forums that I couldn't even imagine approaching and when I realized I was going to be needing something modeled that would be better handled by someone with that ability, I commissioned one of those people really talented in that regard to do the model. (I'm gonna' be all mysterious and not say anything about it yet, but it should be finished very soon and it's really cool!)

 

I definitely have a personal philosophy that I don't know I can't do something until I try.

 

Thanks and I appreciate the encouragement!

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Haven't been here in awhile but wanted to say this is looking great as usual!

Gerry

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Thanks, Bob!

 

This is for sort of a fun business (meaning one that will probably never make any money.) :-)

 

The idea originally was just to make a short film, but it's grown more open-ended. When my friend and I discussed story ideas, we started thinking we could do a series of cartoons, but the reality is that there would have to be huge gaps of time in between them and that's where the idea for doing the webcomic came from. We can tell more stories that way and keep the characters "alive" in between short films.

 

This will all be on the website, and we will be selling advertising, but it's doubtful we'll see any real money from that.

 

Mostly, we're doing it because we want to and are having fun.

 

I would think having artistic ability would help, but I think it largely depends on what you're wanting to do with A:M. There's some amazing mechanical modeling on these forums that I couldn't even imagine approaching and when I realized I was going to be needing something modeled that would be better handled by someone with that ability, I commissioned one of those people really talented in that regard to do the model. (I'm gonna' be all mysterious and not say anything about it yet, but it should be finished very soon and it's really cool!)

 

I definitely have a personal philosophy that I don't know I can't do something until I try.

 

Thanks and I appreciate the encouragement!

 

 

I think it's great, and I wish you the best of luck!

 

I am looking forward to your Grand Opening...

 

Bob

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Well, here's that big thing I was talking about!

 

Flemm's ship, The Sea Anemone (Flemm can't pronounce it, but he loves it!)

 

Stian Wahlvaag has done a miraculous job of taking my cartoon designs and building this pirate ship for the movie. It came out really, really cool and my movie is instantly many more times better because of it!

 

ship_notexture1.jpg

ship_notexture2.jpg

tsa_ocean0.jpg

tsa_ocean1.jpg

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That ship is superb and fits with your nice cartoony characters. I look forward to see all those in a movie.

 

 

Michel

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That ship is superb and fits with your nice cartoony characters. I look forward to see all those in a movie.

 

 

Michel

 

Hey! You have a great product in your hands, keep working!

 

Benjamin

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Wow - very nice ship. I have been wanting to model something like this for years and just never got around to it. The version I have in mind is a fantasy skyship (a cross between Monty Python and a Warhammer Fantasy model I saw)

 

Can you produce a bigger 'grey' render with splines so I can use it for a wallpaper :)

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You are quite a talent.

If this wasn't already obvious from your character modeling your ship would illustrate that fact just as well.

 

That is one very beautiful ship. :)

Its always a joy to open your topic and see what you've got waiting for us to see.

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Thanks, everybody! I think Stian did a fantastic job modeling the ship. Seeing it take shape has been a real booster shot for my inspiration and challenged me to up the quality of my work, too.

 

Gotta' make something worthy of it. :-)

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(Silly question here but its important to me!)

 

Is there going to be more than one ship?

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There is another ship in the script, but it's a mystery ship (much different than the Sea Anemone) and how much detail of it is shown is really going to depend on what the needs are when I do the storyboarding. In the script, it only appears in two scenes and I wrote it with the wiggle room to get away with not seeing very much of it.

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There is another ship in the script, but it's a mystery ship (much different than the Sea Anemone) and how much detail of it is shown is really going to depend on what the needs are when I do the storyboarding. In the script, it only appears in two scenes and I wrote it with the wiggle room to get away with not seeing very much of it.

 

Cool. :)

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Everything is looking fantastic!

 

The ship looks great on the water as well.

 

After watching TWO, your Trek and this project progress as well as others, Hollywood better watch out, cause A:M is coming on strong!

 

I am curious as to how you did the water and if it is animatable (hmmm, is that a word)?

 

Looking forward to seeing more...

Al

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This all looks excellent, Mark, and I'm really enjoying watching your progress. How long do you expect this short to be?

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Thanks, guys!

 

Al, Stian did those renders, so he'd be the one to answer that question.

 

Paul, it's looking like it's going to be longer than I first intended. I won't know for sure until I get the storyboards done and time it, but the script ran 21 (or so) pages long, which leads me to think I may be looking at up to 20 minutes.

 

I'm definitely going to try to slim it down as much as possible, but I'm okay with it being that long if it does end up that way.

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You're up and running, Great!

 

Very nice, everything looks fantastic!

 

On a side note, I like the idea of having the RRS feed.

 

Bob

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I went back and started dropping the specular intensity out of the models and seeing how they looked. Gave me a chance to put together a sort of where I'm at so far graphic that I printed out at work and put up for inspiration.

 

Very interesting and nice character design. I like them all. And I also prefer them without the specularity.

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Thanks, Bob!

 

I stayed up late to post that first strip. :-) It will be fun seeing them add up. I'd love it if we could do a daily strip, but McCrary is only able to work in 2 a week. Maybe down the road, he'll get to the point where we can up the number.

 

The RSS feed is actually a freebee. I'm using WordPress for the site and a webcomics-specific theme called ComicPress. My CSS skills are pretty limited, so right now I'm just customizing it as I go. It's really an incredible resource. Especially since it's free!

 

Thanks, Yves! I claim temporary insanity for the specularity. :-)

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Cool drawings... expertly translated into 3D. So many great characters! Love the ship too. Sorry, I can't think of any advice to give because it all looks great to me. I'd pay for a ticket to see this in a theater. I'm not kidding! :D

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What can I say, this is looking great and I love the ship. But what are the yellow things on either side of the prow? Solid objects, or banners of some kind? Still, it's all looking good.

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Thanks, guys!

 

But what are the yellow things on either side of the prow? Solid objects, or banners of some kind? Still, it's all looking good.

 

They are just decorative wings. I would presume they are made of wood, although I've gone ahead and given them the brass treatment.

 

It's still a work in progress, but I've been giving her the decal treatment and surface baking the various materials. It's working as a set as well as a ship, so I've got some more set-dressing to do. I'm saving the individual parts as separate models so that I can build it as an action object using just the parts I'll need for a shot.

 

Still, I couldn't resist rendering out an image for my desktop picture this morning...

 

bigtest0.jpg

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Started working on the body for Mr. Sneeze!

 

sneezebody0.jpg

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Nice updates. I'm loving how you keep us interested by showing a little more of your work each time. Its addictive!

You are living proof that the journey is just as important as the destination. Thanks for posting your WIPs here online.

 

BTW - Mr. Sneeze has a hook? (I haven't been keeping up and missed that)

You are just full of surprises.

 

Edit: Your website is looking great too!

Interestingly enough... your webcomic on the site right now answers my question about Mr. Sneeze's hook. ;)

Great timing.

WannabePiratesWebsite.jpg

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Thanks, Rodney! Nothing planned behind the showing a little bit of work at a time. I'm just showing it as I get things done. :-)

 

This is definitely a journey! A loooong journey. :-)

 

And yes, Sneeze was always supposed to have a hook (see the original designs in the first post). The only real changes in his character design from the original are that he lost the bandana around his neck (I thought that would cause too many problems with his chin passing through it), gained the belt on his torso and his shirt changed slightly.

 

Haha, I guess it was good timing with the strip, although it's in the next strip that Sneeze actually gets the hook.

 

I do have to consider what I show on the site, though, since McCrary is working the story up to the point that the cartoon takes place and many of the characters and situations won't be introduced for awhile. At this early point in the strip, Sneeze doesn't have his hook and Flemm doesn't have his eyepatch. McCrary has finished about 25 strips and there are still several characters yet to be introduced. It's going to make doing the movie blog on the page difficult.

 

But, by the time the movie is ready to be shown, the webcomic will have caught up, so it works out in the end.

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A productive weekend!

 

Here's the body for the villain, Cutthroat Jacques!

 

cutthroat_turn0.jpg

 

His design changed from the original, too. The most obvious change is the addition of the big pirate hat.

 

Here's a side-by-side with Flemm to show scale.

 

cutt_flemm0.jpg

 

 

And *still* I have a ton more to do. :-)

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