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Wannabe Pirates Commercial

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QUOTE

 

>

 

Well, you could always experiment yourself.

 

 

 

Don`t take me wrong, my remark was not meant as a kind critic or demand from you to add these things.

We are all very gratefull, you gave us that fantastic rig as it is for free!

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You will be appalled at the state of this but I've got the core concept working now and i think I can get it finished.

 

WeSail.mov

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Wow! This is why I gave you the last shot, Robert. I didn't want to raise people's expectations early on. :-)

 

I am concerned that it's too much like a "dance" move for Flemm, though.

 

Flemm's a big galoot and this is his "Independence Day" speech.

 

I like the idea of him doing a slashing motion, but have that with the line "No matter the horrors that lie before us, men..." instead ...as if he's dismissing the danger. Then raise the index finger three times to punctuate the words "sail," "Greyhawk" and "Island" ...getting a little higher each time. I like the cower at the end.

 

I get the impression that maybe you had something similar in mind, but clipped the audio?

 

I can't remember if I mentioned it, but the last two lines ("unless it's raining. It's far too dangerous to sail in the rain.") don't need to be animated. I think they are funnier coming after the shot has ended. :-)

 

I've made a start on the sword-fighting monkeys sequence. I'm going to be doing lots of quick shots and go for more stylized to make up for my animating shortcomings.

 

This first shot is just the introduction of the three monkeys. Obviously, the 2-sworded monkey is the boss. In the comic, I did the fight with blue boxes in the background and I'm going to do that here, too, except they'll be in motion.

 

monkeytest76s.jpg

 

Here's a shaded render. I'm doing all the actions on every 8th frame, so that I can adjust the timing, but I'm also thinking I'm going to play with time-remapping in After Effects to see if I can pull off "ramping" in the shots.

 

monkeytest_001.mp4

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Another sequence. This one with an exploding chicken. :-)

 

Funny stuff Mark.

I almost cringed in anticipation of what I was about to see. ;)

 

Very nicely executed. (and for some reason I think the kids should especially love it... chicken nuggets are so primal)

 

This'll be one of those odd observations but I submit it for your considered consideration.

Could you perhaps have Flemm paint an 'X'?

That is if you aren't saving that master stroke for something greater?

 

Perhaps you could even extend the hat's tracking/reading capabity even further (in the novel if necessary... it might be too much work in the comic book or animation!)

- 1 Mark - slash mark (separate)

- 2 Marks - X shape (disintegrate) or (if Xs painted on many unconnected objects... reintegrate)

- 3 Marks - M shape (microwave)

- 4 Marks - Two X shapes (Mark Largento and Mark Skodecek appear to rig the rigging, build ships 'n bottles, animate skeletons guarding treasure and otherwise save the day)

- 5 Marks - (insert standardized gag here: um... Flemm runs out of paint)

etc.

 

But seriously... it's that tried and true symbology thing.

Oh how I yearn for the visual of more pirate Xs!

 

Regardless, you are really hitting your stride here.

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

Nice breakdown Robert!

Looking forward to your next update.

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

Edit: You posted again while I was typing.

Love the evil monkeys! :)

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I can't remember if I mentioned it, but the last two lines ("unless it's raining. It's far too dangerous to sail in the rain.") don't need to be animated. I think they are funnier coming after the shot has ended. :-)

 

No, I dont' think that was mentioned. :rolleyes: You mean he's not on camera then? That would dramatically simplify things.

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I can't remember if I mentioned it, but the last two lines ("unless it's raining. It's far too dangerous to sail in the rain.") don't need to be animated. I think they are funnier coming after the shot has ended. :-)

 

No, I dont' think that was mentioned. :rolleyes: You mean he's not on camera then? That would dramatically simplify things.

 

Yes, originally I had just the "it's far too dangerous" line un-animated, but then when I assembled the animatic, I realized it was better with both of those lines going over the book card. I know I sent you a link to that, but couldn't remember if I'd pointed it out.

 

So, the only animated part is "No matter the horrors that lie before us, men ...we Sail for Greyhawk Island!" and the thunderclap and reaction. Basically, up until the point he starts the "unless...".

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Thanks, Rodney! The idea of inflating the chicken prior to the "pop" was inspired by the sound effects Scott had already done. In the comic strip, you do see the chicken turning red, but I thought it needed something more, so I created a pose that inflated the chicken's proportions. To me, what really sells it is his eyes bulging out and how he throws his head back right before he bursts. To explode him out of frame, he is scaled up an enormous amount in one frame and then the explosion's opacity is immediately brought down to zero. If you could see the choreography, you'd see that there's a giant red chicken standing over them like Godzilla. :-) The chicken bits I animated in an action for the bucket. It is turned off in the choreography until the flash of the explosion. The only things added in AE were the lens flare from the ship's cannon and the beam itself.

 

I had worried that this shot was going to require all kinds of multiple layers and all sorts of complicated things, but in the end, it was really easy.

 

I think doing anything complex with the paint would be one of those things that took people out of it while they tried to figure out what the significance was. The graphic novel is finished and available for purchase, btw. :-)

 

Another sequence. This one with an exploding chicken. :-)

 

Funny stuff Mark.

I almost cringed in anticipation of what I was about to see. ;)

 

Very nicely executed. (and for some reason I think the kids should especially love it... chicken nuggets are so primal)

 

This'll be one of those odd observations but I submit it for your considered consideration.

Could you perhaps have Flemm paint an 'X'?

That is if you aren't saving that master stroke for something greater?

 

Perhaps you could even extend the hat's tracking/reading capabity even further (in the novel if necessary... it might be too much work in the comic book or animation!)

- 1 Mark - slash mark (separate)

- 2 Marks - X shape (disintegrate) or (if Xs painted on many unconnected objects... reintegrate)

- 3 Marks - M shape (microwave)

- 4 Marks - Two X shapes (Mark Largento and Mark Skodecek appear to rig the rigging, build ships 'n bottles, animate skeletons guarding treasure and otherwise save the day)

- 5 Marks - (insert standardized gag here: um... Flemm runs out of paint)

etc.

 

But seriously... it's that tried and true symbology thing.

Oh how I yearn for the visual of more pirate Xs!

 

Regardless, you are really hitting your stride here.

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

Nice breakdown Robert!

Looking forward to your next update.

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

Edit: You posted again while I was typing.

Love the evil monkeys! :)

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Yes, originally I had just the "it's far too dangerous" line un-animated, but then when I assembled the animatic, I realized it was better with both of those lines going over the book card. I know I sent you a link to that, but couldn't remember if I'd pointed it out.

 

Yup, I should have studied that more closely. The good news is that was the part I was most dreading trying to animate... and now I dont' have to!

 

You may get a finished shot yet.

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Here's basically the whole performance. I'm not proud of the fist pump, I might find something less to do. Still need to do the actual lip motions and some facial expression and overall polishing.

 

NoMatter_600.mov

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Cool, Robert!

 

I'm getting closer and closer to finishing my last sequence. It feels like this has taken a really long time, but looking back I guess it's not really been all that long considering. This is definitely the longest animation project I've done so far.

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Will the lighting be brighter on my shot? Right now it's so dark I can't see anything unless I turn on the wireframe.

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No. It's a dark, ominous scene with a giant lightning strike that will strobe Flemm for a second. This is a pronouncement that they are going to a scary island from which no one has ever gone and survived. Flemm will be dark in front of a stormy sky. I'll need to lock the camera, too, since the vfx I'll be doing will be 2D.

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I was trying to find a good image, but this is the only one I could find:

raiders_of_the_lost_ark.jpg

 

Remember when Indy and Sallah are digging for the Ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark and they have the clouds swirling around them in and they are dark in the foreground? That's the kind of look I have in mind.

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How about putting the sky on a plate behind him so the camera can still move in?

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Maybe just a slow push-in on Flemm. I could then pre-compose the sky and possibly scale it to match. I haven't used the animated part of this sky plug-in I use for my skies yet, so I'll have to see what my options are. Obviously, the simpler the better. :-)

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Nicely done, sir!

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Looks great, Robert! Go ahead and pack up the files and send them over.

 

Much thanks for the help!

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Sent. Thanks for letting me do a shot!

 

This turned out to be quite a challenge as i have never worked with a character with such short proportions before. It also took me a long time to come up with a performance. But now it's done! :yay:

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Sent. Thanks for letting me do a shot!

 

This turned out to be quite a challenge as i have never worked with a character with such short proportions before. It also took me a long time to come up with a performance. But now it's done! :yay:

 

 

It's a great bit of animation and a nice high point for the ending!

 

I rendered it out with a "placeholder" of sorts for the sky and lightning. Turns out my "Aurora" plugin is only for Photoshop and the animatable one is "Aurora Sky" and is for After Effects, so I'm going to have to see what I can do about making a bigger sky and moving it in the background.

 

For this, I just brought it in as a layer and set it up so that it was aimed at the camera. The layer with the lightning is set up the same way, but by accident, I forgot to set it to flat shaded and turn off receive shadows. It turned out to be partly a happy accident since I did the strobing by keying the global ambience. That lit up the layer with the lightning, brightening it. I'll have to do some experimenting, but I think it's going to very cool!

 

Here's a compressed version of it:

 

sail4island_s.mp4

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robcat, if you have the time,

i'd be curious to hear a little bit about your general workflow here.

just broad strokes, planning, and how the shortness/bulk played out?

good work!

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The first draft is finished!

 

Whew! It's coming in just under 4 minutes.

 

Unfortunately, I have a laundry list of changes I have to do before I can turn it over to Scott for the final sound. Still, it feels like a major accomplishment! I did the first shot on April 30th, so less than two months!

 

I have the whole place to myself this week, which means no interruptions, so I'm really hoping I can make all the changes and have it off my plate before the end of the week.

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I just caught the clip with the clouds, that looks cool!

 

Were you wanting sort of a boiling sky effect?

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Boiling would be great.

 

My thought really was just to have some movement in it. Thinking either of just having an image large enough that I can move it in the bg or maybe even do a couple of layers and make them transparent and move them around.

 

The still images worked surprisingly well, so I might just be thinking too much.

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I'll see if I can make a boiling sky.

 

One thing that baffled me was how the realtime view of him was dark brown but if I preview rendered part of the screen all the colors would change. Why is that?

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It would be cool if his puffy shirt could be flapping in the stormy wind.

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I think what I've got in mind will work for me, Robert. I'm wanting to finish this in the next few days.

 

I've got another project I'm itching to work on that I can't start until I'm done with this one, which is turning out to be a great motivator. :-)

 

I noticed that colorless thing, too! Somehow the key and fill lights had been rotated down and the rim turned off. I used the original cho I sent you to set them all right again before rendering. I can only guess that the model was only getting some spill from the light blue fill light and maybe the cho realtime view was starting off with the model's actual colors (as if it wasn't being influenced by the lighting) and only displaying the effect of the lighting after a quick render? It stopped happening when I set the lights right.

 

[EDIT] Just saw your last post, Robert. Shirt flapping is way past the level of this. :-)

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That's certainly nifty, Robert.

 

I'm not sure it would work for a shot like this, though. Maybe composited with other elements?

 

I do like the idea of the sky having some kind of movement, but not so much that it competes with the foreground.

 

My plan is too see if the sky plug-in I'm using ("Aurora") will let me pull out layered 3D clouds with alpha channels. Animating them over the rest of the sky should work to allow for some variation in the movement. I'm thinking more of a horizontal, "dark weather moving in" feel rather than clouds being created.

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Maybe with some heavy blurring, Robert. The small spherical clouds don't sell it very well.

 

I've been crazily working on going scene-by-scene prepping this for the end. As such, I've also been re-rendering scenes and trying things in Photoshop and After Effects to improve them. Truth be told, I could probably do everything in After Effects, but I've been using Photoshop since '93 and I feel more in control when I experiment with it.

 

Here's some side by sides of the scenes I've finished so far. The left is the original render and the right is the "improved." I realize this is something of a subjective nature.

 

1st_b_a.jpg

 

This is a new shot I did. It's part of a transition from the Endeavor Comics logo to the Earth spinning on the alien viewscreen and then backing up and over to a console with the message from Greyhawk coming in. I purposely went darker with this to make it moodier. I also think it focuses your attention more on the monitor.

 

smw_b_a.jpg

 

A lot of what I've been doing is thinking about contrast. I really like how much more dramatic the new shot feels.

 

lad_b_a.jpg

 

I've also been using a gaussian blur on the topmost layer to give the shots a softer "glow." I think it almost gives an SSS feel to the skin.

 

lad2_b_a.jpg

 

I split this scene into two shots because I didn't have time for the zoom that I tried. I'm using depth of field now and the contrast on the characters (plus the adjusted lighting) really makes them pop off of the background.

 

pir_b_a.jpg

 

Originally, I had stuck with the lighting I used in the comic strip, but felt it needed more color.

 

pir2_b_a.jpg

 

Same with this shot. I also adjusted the fog to allow the secondary characters to be more visible.

 

I hadn't planned on doing so much re-rendering, but I'm liking how they are coming out and think it will be better for having made the effort.

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I most definitely prefer the enhanced versions with more contrast.

 

I've a preference for adding some post effects to any rendering that comes straight out of a renderer because inevitably the images have a computer-rendered feeling to them. It's the subtle blurring, smudging, tinting or otherwise 'degrading' of the image that seems to sell the image for me. It

s perhaps an odd thing to say but images straight out of a renderer often seem too perfect and that detracts from our ability to suspend our belief enough to get past the artificiality and enter into the scene.

 

The enhanced images you are showing here seem to have a much better sense of depth.

Your color correcting (as in the last image) really helps us see the characters.

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This is really cool stuff! Great work going on here.

 

What is that ocean rig? There must have been a thread I missed somewhere... Would someone point it out to me?

 

How'd you do those clouds robert. Were they done with sprites or particles?

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How'd you do those clouds robert. Were they done with sprites or particles?

 

sprites

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Robert thats some really cool clouds!

Largento I am truly a fan and love all your work.

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Thanks, guys!

 

A couple of more shots down!

 

myst_b_a.jpg

 

I amped up the color for the characters and made the fog gray.

 

indy_b_a.jpg

 

This is my favorite one yet. I re-framed it and most of the look here is in the lighting.

 

That's looking better, Robert. It should be slower to give the clouds scale. My sense of mise en scene would want it moving right-to-left since it's an ominous thing.

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A vast improvement!

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Thanks, Ken! It may be a low bar, but that's definitely what I'm trying for. :-)

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I must say, now with your postproduction improvements you are really making a big leap from

an average (sorry, don`t take it wrong, just lighting) 3D look to a really profesional 3 d short film look.

 

So it will add a lot to a potential succsess of your promo-clip.

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That's looking better, Robert. It should be slower to give the clouds scale. My sense of mise en scene would want it moving right-to-left since it's an ominous thing.

 

Can you show me a reference of what you are really hoping for and I can try to match that look closer. Slower, faster, lefter, righter... that's the easy part.

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Thanks, Jake! (No offense taken.) :-)

 

I haven't found a reference, Robert, but I can show you the basic idea.

 

Using this Aurora plugin, I'm going to create a background like this:

 

Screen_shot_2011_06_29_at_1.48.58_PM.png

 

Then I can generate individual clouds like this one:

 

Screen_shot_2011_06_29_at_1.49.30_PM.png

 

That I can screen over the background. Setting them at different opacity levels and having them move at different speeds, I can simulate a convincing 3D sky in a short amount of time. (I'm working my way shot-thru-shot through the project, so this will be done last.)

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