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Been doing a few things with Max's bedroom today, the room now has base boards and crown molding, a radiator, bedside chair (that he uses as a bedside table), a mirror and the bed is now a bed as opposed to 2 big white oblongs.

 

Max's room update30.png

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Many thanks to Rodney for showing me how to use the Treeez plugin (and where to find it). Below is an updated pic of the South Block's overgrown quadrangle.

 

Quadrangle0 copy.png

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I haven't looked in here in a while. Lots of good looking sets and buildings you have there!

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Nice use of the Treeez plugin!

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Nice and spooky just needs the sound of the wind blowing through the branch's and a rusty old gate swinging open inviting you in.

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Nice and spooky just needs the sound of the wind blowing through the branch's and a rusty old gate swinging open inviting you in.

 

Thank Steve! There'll be plenty of spooky sounds in the trailer I can promise you that.

 

On a different note I had an idea to use materials to decorate the rooms in the sealed corridor and then using decals to burn the living hell out of it. I've overlaid a test of some floor damage to the floor (obviously) but the idea was to render a camera sweep across the room flashing between the room being fine and the room being burned. I'd hoped to achieve this by switching off the damage decals at certain points. But I can't find a setting to make them invisible. I've got extra options enabled but there isn't an active option for the decal just things like application method. Is there a way to do this or do I need to rethink?

 

Thanks guys

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Figured out a way to do it. Need to make the decals an animation with 2 frames, one frame with damage and one transparent. Then just have to switch between between the frames as needed, essentially on and off.

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I'd hoped to achieve this by switching off the damage decals at certain points. But I can't find a setting to make them invisible. I've got extra options enabled but there isn't an active option for the decal just things like application method. Is there a way to do this or do I need to rethink?

 

 

 

After you've turned on "show more drivers" in the chor for the model, and have expanded the decal container, you should be seeing a percentage setting - make that 0

 

I see you found a method - but not sure about switching FRAMES? - just need to manipulate the percentage of the "damage" decal and "NOT damaged" decal

Edited by NancyGormezano

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Cheers Nancy, that'll save a lot of faffing about making those transparent frames. I was looking for something that specifically said transparency. Didn't realise that the percentage thing was actually how visable it was. Cheers though.

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like that idea, switching between views of the room. Nice idea doing it with the decals on/off, save's building two sets and doing it in the edit. What Nancy said "show more drivers" then everything is adjustable over time. Be nice to have a layer of smoke hanging down from the ceiling. Render the smoke layer with an alpha channel and drop on the camera as a rotoscope or a layer in front and do the same thing turn it on/off as needed. Not sure if the camera rotoscope is animatable but the layer is.

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Thanks for the feedback Steve, sorry I didn't answer sooner. I like the smoke idea, although that would be a 3rd state of the room. Original, Burned and actually on fire. I'd deffo do something with smoke if I did a flashback to the night of the fire as one of the teaser clips.

 

On a different topic, I was thinking about what style of art would most fit the story and also be most marketable. If it was just me it'd be anime all the way. I love me some anime. But I decided that a more realistic style would be the most readily accepted by a general audience. I didn't want Joe Public to take one look and judge it based solely on the anime or cartoon style.

 

As such I spent the last couple of days doing a realistic Annie. First by using a head generation package to make a base head, importing it into A:M and tidying up the mesh and then making her geometry based hair. Much as I love the particle hair it takes forever to render whereas this method only takes about 30 seconds and is just as good in my opinion. Now I just need to rig it with some dynamic bones. Should be fun.

 

Realistic Annie prog 0.png

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Wow! That hair got better!

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Nicely done Dan!

 

I've tended to prefer image based hair over particle hair although I use hair/particles a lot these days (mostly for cartoony hair) and I now tend to run a test first to see if it'll be the best approach for that situation. I absolutely need to be using 64bit to get at that extra memory though if I even entertain the idea of particle hair. Each has it's place and this (Dan's example) is a great one for image based hair.

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Thanks guys, I'm really chuffed about how this turned out. Still lots to do on her but this is easily the best hair I've ever managed.

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Hey guys,

 

The more realistic Annie is now complete. I successfully transplanted her new head onto her body yesterday (with some of the proportions tweaked to make it less cartoony). Just did a quick render of her standing in the sealed corridor (circa 1952, before it was burned and sealed up).

 

Realistic Annie corridor prog0.png

 

Her school sweater is currently red because I was playing around with the colours and will be made grey again before I make the promo. My plan is to recreate the Audiobook intro with the new models. Just as an excuse to see how far the project has come since then.

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Wow nice hair, your really on a roll here Dan, this last image screams scary. I think the semi-realistic style of your character fits the style, look of the world you've created.

Check out the heater under the window sill, it's these complicated bit's n pieces that take time to model but help sell the finished image. It almost looks like it's a panel from a comic page :) keep up the building of little details we notice and appreciate them :) Good job on the new Annie

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Looking very scary indeed :)

Well Done Dan!

 

See you

*Fuchur*

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You've done a great job on that last one Dan. At a quick glance it looked like you might have used a photo for the background. As Steve mentions much of that can be attributed to the details and I'd say the lighting is a major part as well. And the glass on the windows... oh, yeah, that's looking good. Nice job!

 

Annie is the one part of the image that lacks something but I"d say only in that her pose is completely symmetrical and it's really hard to get complete symmetry in reality even with things we consider symmetrical. Annie herself looks realistic enough though!

 

I really like the textures you've used (the brick on the left wall makes me wonder if you've used the brick textures that Pixar recently released.

If you are interested in endless tweaking I'd say the ceiling tiles could be a bit more dense (i.e. more of them). I don't know what the size of ceiling tile might have been in that time period but I'd guess at least two thirds of their present size? With some noticeable trim to hold them up in place.

 

I suppose it goes without saying, the closer you get to realism the more you'll get folks suggesting endless preferences for minute details. ;)

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Thanks for the feedback and suggestions guys.

 

Steve - The devil is in the details as they say. I've found during my studies (read watching animations and playing videogames) that one of the keys to realism is 'stuff'. The world is full of stuff and little details and I've realised that when there isn't enough 'stuff' an environment starts looking unrealistic. It's weird because you don't notice the stuff when it's there. But you immediately notice when it isn't.

 

Rodney - You know me, I'm always tweaking things. I shall take your suggestion about the ceiling tiles under advisement and have a tinker with the sizes.

 

The bricks are just a photo of a wall I found on a google image search that I edited for colour and then made a greyscale copy with the brightness and contrast tweaked for the bump map.

 

Thank you for bringing the Pixar free texture pack to my attention. It is now sitting in my resources folder. If they're good enough for Pixar they're good enough for me and yeah I just put Annie's arms down by her sides from the standard T-pose and plonked her into the corridor. I haven't rigged her head yet so I didn't want to move her around too much.

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While they are a bit dated the Pixar textures are still very useful.. I've converted some of the Pixar textures from TIF to PNG and since they are under creative commons license plan to upload them. I just have to do my due diligence to include the licensing info. What's particularly nice is that they have bump and normal maps that come with them.

 

I know what you are talking about with regard to rigging. I recently was all excited to rig a character only to be reminded that I still had a lot of work to do with smartskinning etc. before it could actually be animated. The last rig I installed was Holmes Bryant's Lite Rig and I hope to run through all the various rigs in the not too far flung future as I really need to get a good handle on rigging.

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Your on to it Dan, it's subliminal like you say if it's not there then the image just looks not quite right. Ceiling tile's are 600mm squared normally, so your one's look pretty close maybe two full tiles and a half tile for the width :) Is the skirting board missing from the door side of the hallway? sorry I know this is not finished yet just grabs my eye, I work in the building trade so maybe I'm too picky :)

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Is the skirting board missing from the door side of the hallway? sorry I know this is not finished yet just grabs my eye, I work in the building trade so maybe I'm too picky :)

 

No Steve you're totally correct about the skirting board. It needs adding in. The issue I'm having is that the school model became so complicated with so many parts that it now takes forever for A:M to respond when I ask it to do anything. So I've started making separate models that match the dimensions of the area I'm working on, building the interiors and then assembling it all within the choreography. So at some point I'll be making a model that's the corridor details and that will include skirting boards.

 

Doug - thanks for the support. Do you mind Doug or prefer Douglas? Same with all the forum guys. We all have User names but we tend to use our real names when talking to each other. But I for instance hate Danny (personal) as an abbreviation of my name. So what does everyone prefer? Rodney or Rod? Robert or Rob etc.

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Man you can use my name. I have no problem.


 

Is the skirting board missing from the door side of the hallway? sorry I know this is not finished yet just grabs my eye, I work in the building trade so maybe I'm too picky :)

 

No Steve you're totally correct about the skirting board. It needs adding in. The issue I'm having is that the school model became so complicated with so many parts that it now takes forever for A:M to respond when I ask it to do anything. So I've started making separate models that match the dimensions of the area I'm working on, building the interiors and then assembling it all within the choreography. So at some point I'll be making a model that's the corridor details and that will include skirting boards.

 

Doug - thanks for the support. Do you mind Doug or prefer Douglas? Same with all the forum guys. We all have User names but we tend to use our real names when talking to each other. But I for instance hate Danny (personal) as an abbreviation of my name. So what does everyone prefer? Rodney or Rod? Robert or Rob etc.

 

Funny thing is I was thinking about Daniel Bryan the wrestler, I was like I am going to type Dan but I guess my WWE mind took over.

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Names are a fascinating subject... so personal and yet... not.

 

If anyone calls me anything other than Rodney I automatically assume they don't know me and a little warning signal goes off in my brain that suggests I should pay closer attention to who is addressing me. Shhhh... this is a secret so don't tell anyone. On the other hand, if someone addresses me as Rodney I just assume they know my name, are addressing me specifically and press on. ;)

 

As for addressing other folks in the forum I'll generally use what is directly seen in a profile (under the avatar) unless they are routinely addressed by another name which has been used by others or appears to be preferred. The example here would suggest that Dan prefers to be called Dan and Douglas prefers Douglas because those are the name they provided in their profile. I figure it's hard to take someone to task for addressing someone by a name you've adopted yourself. I have to chuckle a little every time someone calls Matt (Campbell) by the name John due to the association with his forum username (John Bigboote). He takes it all in stride and hasn't ever corrected anyone so I must assume he is fine with being called John. ;)

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Evening all,

 

I've been doing a bit of work on Max recently and as his head is just about done I thought I'd post a little something, something.

 

 

Max and annie0.png

 

A tender moment between Annie and Max's head. Max's hair is particle as I tried doing it the same way as Annie's but couldn't get it to look how I wanted.

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Looking good.

 

I'll note something I've observed in other human models... her arms seems to have a rather unnatural concave curve on the forearm that makes it look stick-like.

 

An arm will typically have a slight outward curve (blue line) in that pose...

 

danArm copy.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for pointing that out Robert. I'll make sure to fix it with smart skin when I get to the next phase of the advert. Want to get all the characters at least built to some extent before I start neatening everything up for when I make the advert.

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Wasn't in the mood to start writing when I got up this morning so I fired up A:M and made a Breckridge render.

 

Annie laying on Max's bed and reaching towards the camera.

 

annie on bed0.png

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How do, all.

 

Some of you may have noticed I haven't been around for a while. I've been busy working on the most important part of the Breckridge Project, that being the book itself. I'm happy to say that I finished it a few days ago and while I still have to go through and edit it, I'll also have some more time to dedicate to making a trailer for the story. This will mean more modelling and animating obviously so expect me to be posting some new material soon.

 

Thanks

 

Dan

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Looking forward to it Dan. :)

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As promised I've been working on the trailer for the past couple of days. Rendered out a frame from the part I'm working on. It's a slow pan across the old gym at Breckridge. The shadow on the wall reveals a gently swaying pair legs before the actually hanged girl passes through the frame. The caption that will appear before this clip is "Some things are better off forgotten"

 

hanging girl173.png

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Been working hard on getting the trailer ready for Breckridge. I've rendered out a couple of clips from it. Will have to post them in separate posts because of 10mb file limit. Likewise the quality is low coz of the size limit. Could upload it to youtube and link it I guess but this will do for now.

 

show forum.mov

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Here's the other bit. I've left out the smoky text reveal coz it's not done in A:M so won't be of interest to the majority of forum users. If you wondered it said "Some spirits will never rest in peace".

 

show forum2.mov

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Very Cool on the smoke. I will get back with you on this as it is an effect I would like to have in our next project

 

Excellent

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Okay... that's scary.

 

If you moved her just a little... every so subtley in the neck, face, eyes, mouth, hair.... anywhere right there at the last that'd freak me out.

 

Also, it's not clear what lights up the scene at the very end. Is it a flash light? Or perhaps it doesn't particularly matter.

If it was a flash light that'd mean that it was me (in the audience) that was turning on said flashlight which would transport me even closer into the scene.

 

With regard to the court scene...

The first time through I missed the shadow on the wall because I was trying to read the text.

I therefore saw the legs before the pass of the second shadow.

I'm not sure what to do about that because you definitely want the text to lead into seeing the shadow.

In your previous version/still (without the text) it was easy to see the shadow first.

It may be that I was just having a hard time reading the text due to it's size and placement and so as I tried harder to read it I missed the shadow.

 

Anyway... thaz my impression. ;)

 

I don't care for scary movies ('cause they are usually more funny than scary) but you'be piqued my interest.

I"m really enjoying your work here.

 

P.S. I like the smoke too!

P.P.S. I hope your next project is all happy and stuff. That Breckenridge stuff is scary!

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I agree on that text being too small and hard to read. It's supposed to be two characters talking to one another. The next line which shows up from the bottom left says "is that such a bad thing?" I've made it bigger and more legible since then.

 

The 'jump scare' with Annie at the end of the second shot was awkward to do. The original plan was to have her glow and it look like she was producing her own light. But it looked awful in practice. So in the end I opted for a pale green bulb to just flash on and fade out. I'll probably play with it some more before I call it done. I like your point regarding moving her a bit. I might make her smile as the camera fades out.

 

As for the next project. I guess that all depends on how well the book performs. If it does well then I have a sequel in the planning stages called Breckridge: Ghost Train (which gives me an excuse to model a train). It's set to deal with Max and Annie's relationship following the climax of the first book. But if it tanks then it might be time for me to call it a day. I haven't made any real money since 2011 by pursuing these dreams and while it might not be about the money for me. It's not fair to let my wife keep supporting me. So as the saying goes, this is the last roll of the dice. I'll still make stuff but it will only be in my spare time when I'm not working and who knows maybe it will be something happy.

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The trailer is finished (for a few day actually). I'll render it small enough to post shortly. Also nearly finished the first round of editing. Should have an actual book at some point soon.

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Hey, I noticed my upload allowance has gone up. Thanks whoever did that. I've rendered the video out to half 720p. But if you want to see it at a higher resolution you can over at the new author page I'm setting up on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/DanielFSkeltonauthor/?ref=hl

 

Trailer.mov

 

Also here's the cover artwork that has been accepted by the publisher.

 

Cover.png

 

I'm waiting on the delivery of a proof copy of the completed book and if that's all good then the book might even be available before Christmas.

 

 

 

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Hey, Dan, I liked your trailer!

 

I look forward to hearing reports of your book's success.

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Hi everyone.

If you're interested, the finished book is now available on Amazon.Com in both physical and ebook form. Just search Breckridge from the home page. (or LINK)

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Congratulations Dan! :)

 

 

Aside: I find it interesting that other parties are already selling your book (at a slight markup) via Amazon's link to 'new and used'.

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Thanks, guys!

 

Aside: I find it interesting that other parties are already selling your book (at a slight markup) via Amazon's link to 'new and used'.

 

 

You're not the only one Rodney!

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Wow, it's been months since I posted anything. I have been busy working on the second volume and haven't had a whole lot of time to be modelling since I finished the trailer.

 

But I have been keeping an eye on the forums, lurking around, spying on what everybody's up to. Over the last couple of days, I figured out a major plot point for the sequel and made a teaser image for my facebook author page. Thought I'd post it here too for you guys to see, prove I can still throw a model together.

 

well teaser.png

 

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Glad to see you alive and kickin'... and writing... and modeling... )

 

I thought of your grocery store-y the other day because it fits so well into my away fom the forum life.

Oh, the stories that could be told there. Craziness ensues daily.

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Glad to see you alive and kickin'... and writing... and modeling... )

 

I thought of your grocery store-y the other day because it fits so well into my away fom the forum life.

Oh, the stories that could be told there. Craziness ensues daily.

 

Good to hear from you too Rodney.

 

Yeah, quality-mart came about originally because of my own job in a grocery store. All the stories in the original comic came from events that happened in the store. With all the management, staff, and customers, the plot pretty much writes itself.

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More Breckridge related stuff, Here's a head I've been working on for one of the main characters in the lore of Breckridge. In story terms he's been involved with events since his first days as a young detective constable in 1984, the books take place in about 2002-2003

 

Detective Inspector Martin Nye. The first pic is the head so far, the second is after I photoshopped it a bit to show I'd be ageing him using textures.

 

Nye head test0.png Nye head test2.png

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