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Thought it was a good idea to test the models before starting on the bigger project.

It was a very good idea as it has proved to be a very bad model !!!

 

The pajama's need redoing, as does the rest of the figure really. The idea was to set up the choreography of the dance, then use it to test the model when its redone ( hope that makes sense .

Have been plugging away at it for about two weeks and this was the result so far. I now think the beginning needs to be speeded up...

Any critical feedback very welcome.

simon

 

Take One.mov

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Fun dancing!

 

I'll note that for someone to lean backwards they have to shift their hips forward to compensate or they would fall backwards.

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Fun dancing!

 

I'll note that for someone to lean backwards they have to shift their hips forward to compensate or they would fall backwards.

Robert

Thank you for your reply.

I'm fretting over it too much I think. I thought it would take a week to block out the moves, it took three. Thought the first part was done, until I saw this. I think I'm going to try and get the rest of it ( 60 seconds ), tweened then go back and start trying to finesse it with hand, and face and a lot of work with the curves.

I have tried to use guidelines to get the weight properly positioned but still some work to do, as you suggest. Charlies right arm doesn't appear to roll enough at 14 but, having spotted that, went back in and made sure it did. Only for it still to appear static. so there is a lot of work still to go.

Haven't paid any real attention to the lighting and staging yet...

regards

simon

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This was the basic blocking with rudimentary lighting and camera work.

Its not a method I'd used before but, went through the whole piece and keyed all the positions, but hit 7 to put holds on them all, by way of checking the timing. Then 6 to get some rough playthrough, before setting any tween positions and adjusting the curves. You do get bogged down in a lot of detail this way but, learning a lot in the process.

simon

 

Sequence 1.mov

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Still plugging away at it.
Only thinking about the movement at this point. Lighting and camerawork later.
Think the spinning transitions may be too quick, and it needs some holds ?
Any critical feedback welcome

simon

 

TakeTwo.mov

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I think the thing to remember in a big body move like a spin is that you need a pretty obvious anticipation movement.

 

It's like winding up a spring before you let it loose.

 

You're sort of getting into that concept with the arms but I think you need the whole torso getting into the act.

 

I did a big spin with the rabbit in the last episode of my "It can't be done" series. You could take a look at that and step through it as an example.

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Robert.

Thank you, as ever, for your help. I shall have a look later. I was worried that the last spins were too fast. I may try to put a hold in so the unwind is more apparent. Trying to get a variety of speeds but it is taking a long time. Only getting about 4 seconds a day done and thats before going back to add the 'finer' points.

regards

simon

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Next stage in the process.

Any critical feedback regarding timing or posing greatly appreciated.

Much detail to be resolved later.

simon

 

Ps

VGA convert from DV file

TakeThree.mov

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Today was the deadline in sight. Unfortunately its only 2/3's done

This is the 'story' so far.

Think the first bit after the moon walk needs adjusting for timing and movement.

Lots of detail still to be resolved, lighting and set for example.

Any critical feedback regarding Timing and posing very welcome.

simon

 

PS

VGA convert from DV filesSka Lake.mov

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That's a huge chunk of animation! To do that with a rigorous observation of body mechanics would be a very time-consuming undertaking, so i can't really fault you for the many short cuts.

 

I find it amusing to watch and I think you've communicated the essentials that you are trying to get across.

 

-When someone is doing the "moonwalk" I think there needs to be some very stationary feature in the background or on the ground for them to move in relation to. If the kleig light didn't follow them backwards, but stayed fixed, that might help in the absence of more ground detail.

 

- some of the camera angle changes are making it harder to follow what is going on.

 

-jumping off the ground without extending the legs to push off from it is nearly impossible. Leaving the ground while the legs are still bent doesn't look right. It makes the characters appear to lack weight.

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Take Four

Had to take a week off when I awoke at 5:00, dreaming of setting keyframes in the PWS and correcting foot slides with the f curves,

Back in the fray now., this is the past two days worth.

No facial animation or finger movements yet, lighting still to be set properly.

Tried to incorporate Robert's suggestions re jumps in this and future sections.

Any critical feedback regarding movement appreciated.

simon

 

Take Four.mov

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That is pretty freaky, haha. I don't know a lot about animation, but the dancing looks pretty good to me. The arms seen a little stiff though.

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Jeff

Thank you for your reply and observations.

I had tried to off set the arm keys to make them less stiff. Need to do that further.

Here is today's bit. Lighting and camera still to be set.

Any critical feedback re movement very welcome.

regards

simonTake Five.mov

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Looking good from here.

I'd missed your last few takes and it has been far too long since I checked in to see what you've been up to, so had to go back and catch up.

Seeing Take 5 out of context was more than a bit disorienting! (the plus being that seeing it in isolation I immediately knew I was missing something important)

 

Taken all together you've got quite a performance going on.

I'm looking forward to seeing everything put together.

 

I don't know the impetus for the whole presentation so I assume this to be a performance where the camera is motivated to move similarly to shows like 'Dancing with the Stars' etc.

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...

Seeing Take 5 out of context was more than a bit disorienting! (the plus being that seeing it in isolation I immediately knew I was missing something important)

...

I don't know the impetus for the whole presentation so I assume this to be a performance where the camera is motivated to move similarly to shows like 'Dancing with the Stars' etc.

Rodney.

Thank you for your reply and encouragement. It was initially to be a test of the models to be used for the project under development for some time ( "Charlie's Birthday" ). A friend recorded the music for me and the intention had been to use it for a stop frame sequence using clothes pegs but, in the end it seemed more appropriate for this. The scenario for this is that the young man ( 10-11 ) is on his way to bed. He lives with his grandparents and is quite lonely. The character is based partly on my nephew ( who lived with his parents and has an older brother so very 'partly' ) who used to take his teddy bear with him when he went Kart racing all around the country and even when he became a proffessional driver racing in Italy. The camera moves were just to stop it being too static, which was something learnt from a previous project involving a figure playing "air guitar" on his broom. The design for his bedroom is done but the model imcomplete, likewise the house its taking place in. Hoping to complete that after the first real pass at the dancing.

 

On the air guitar project it was mainly straight ahead animation. Tried a different approach this time by working out the poses throughout first, putting them on hold to make sure the timing was there, then releasing the holds and adjusting the positions and f curves to try to avoid problems. Hope to get that done by the end of next week, resume on the set models, then go back to add the details on the figures, eye movements, facial gestures, fingers and so on. Should add that it is running way over 'budget' on time, I thought it would take a week to set up the moves, it took three, and this phase is taking a lot of time too, only getting through about 4-5 seconds every two days and there is still a lot to be added to that. Still, lots being learned, especially with the curves.

regards

simon

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Having spent days trying to avoid the feet slipping, was actually trying for a heel slide in this one. Instead, it looks like he almost has an accident, and quite like that, as he is on his way to bed. Only another 15 seconds to go before starting on the sets, lighting and camerawork.
Critical feedback welcome.

simon

 

VGA conversion from DV file

 

Take SixB .mov

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Having spent days trying to avoid the feet slipping, was actually trying for a heel slide in this one. Instead, it looks like he almost has an accident, and quite like that, as he is on his way to bed. Only another 15 seconds to go before starting on the sets, lighting and camerawork.

Critical feedback welcome.

simon

 

VGA conversion from DV file

 

attachicon.gifTake SixB .mov

 

Slow hops are hard to do. It isn't possible to stay inthe air longer just because the tempo is slow so you have to absorb some of the time in preparing to jump and the landing after the jump.

 

I like the bear's hops a bit more than the man's

 

The man isn't really launching his mass into the air enough to account for the time he is off the ground. The second hop is the more floaty. Watch his hips as he hops, there's quite a bit of horizontal movement but not much vertical movemetn to carry him through that time off the ground.

 

Think of kids playing hopscotch. They are hopping at about the same speed as your characters. Their feet are off the ground for just an instant, long enough to get them to the next square and then they land again.

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Revised in the light of Robert and Tore's suggestions.

Bert ( the Bear ) is supposed to be sliding his foot forward after the turnaround.

Charlie's heel slide, is a 'happy accident'

simon

Take SixB.mov

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Had a lot of "fun" trying to correct a bone heirachy glitch fpr the last few days.

Got it sorted today and used the chance to reviseB.

Hope to get the first pass finished by the end of the weekend.

Critical feedback very welcome

simonTake SixC.mov

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Tore

Thank you.

I'm hoping to get the first animation pass done this weekend, then a break from animating, while I get the sets, lighting and camera done, before finalising the animation with the detail parts.

 

Thanks to Robert's tutorial, I've learnt how to correct the bone heirachy problem but, its taken several attempts to do so.

regards

simon

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Animation note: a character is doing a "twist" maneuver is another example of when it's better to not have everything start and stop at the same time. If you can lag something that will loosen the figure up.

 

Lagging his arms would be a easy choice here since they are sticking out. Have their swing always a few frames behind the torso and he won't look so stiff. Overlapping motion is what that is.

 

Animators are always looking for ways to loosen things up with overlapping motion so their characters do not look like sticks being waved around.

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Robert

Thank you for your reply and help. I've gone back and introduced some lag in the movements by off setting the frames as you suggest. I had done that quite extensively earlier in the sequence but have been a bit preoccupoed with the text editing this week so overlooked it in this part.

regards

simon

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it really shows great progress... while the first once have been quite unnatural the later once improve greatly with every step :) good work!

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Gerald

Thank you very much for the encouragement. Its taking a lot longer than anticipated, and there is still a lot to go.

regards

simon

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Still much to go ( such as getting the mattress to bend ) but, this is the last part of the first pass animation ( if that makes sense ?).
Next week will be concentrating on models, sets, lighting and camera, before returning to the animation.
So, any critical feedback very welcome...

Simon

 

Take Seven.mov

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Complete version of the first animation pass.
working on sets, lighting and camera this week before resuming animation.

Think the quality of movement changes over the duration ? So will try to redress that when revising later.

First and last scenes still to be done.
Any critical feedback, very welcome.

simon

 

vga conversion from DV render

Ska Lake.mov

 

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Lotta work! Interesting choreography of the dance, nice to see it all together. Congrats on completing first pass animation.

 

It looks a bit stiff to me. Next pass, you could introduce some head, hand, finger movement to loosen it up.

 

For example, (for both characters) the head looks like it turns/moves in sync with the torso. One could make it move as if it were the end of the upper body torso chain (like a "tail", if you get my drift) by introducing some side to side angled movement, lagging behind the turning of the torso.

 

Or, alternately, one could make the head lead the torso turn, as dancers tend to look first to the direction they are turning, prior to making the turn. As it is now, the head and torso for the most part look like they operate as one unit.

 

I would also suggest that you animate the hands (lagging behind the forearm), and also introduce some finger poses, for looser, more fluid motion.

 

If you have the time, to demonstrate to yourself what lagging, tail like movement might look like, you could quickly experiment with creating a model with 3 bones in a chain, and then apply a dynamic constraint to the last bone on frame 0. Then move the base bone (translate and rotate base bone to another position in a later frame), and watch how the A:M dynamic constraint automatically creates lagging motion for all the bones in a chain, that don't settle until even sometime after the last frame. Note that the bones don't move all together. And based on how loose you want it, the lag can be set differently (by tweaking properties of the dynamic constraint) to make it stiffer or looser.

 

You've come a long way! Congrats again.

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Dancy.

Thank you very much for your feedback, much appreciated.There is some lag in places but not all the while. Have tended to set the poses and then offset the forearms and hands by moving the keys in the timeline. The forearm is usually one behind the bicep and the hand one behind that. I shall try a larger variation next week. Haven't done any finger or face work on this pass as I wanted to try and get the basics down first. Trying a different way of doing it ( for me anyway ). Set all the poses first, and put them all on hold to check the timing, then came back and tried the inbetweens and prevent foot slippage. Had to change the routine and timing in place to keep the overall pace working and the movements acceptable, I was worried it was too fast in places, and too slow in others.

 

Going to take an animation break until next, week while working on the set models, lighting and camera setups. Hope to approach it then with a fresher view and the constructive criticisms you and others have kindly offered.

regards

simon

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First pass at opening scene for the dance sequence ( the dark rectangle in the top right is an error ( since corrected ). He's going to walk into the bedroom, turn on the light and close the door.
Any critical feedback welcome

SimonSL Two.mov

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Hi Simon,
Always difficult commenting on shots out of context and in isolation so, as always, feel free to ignore me!
As is, there are few visual clues at the start to orientate the viewer.
Slight changes in lighting and camera angle could help offset this a bit.

Camera angle:
If the camera were to be moved up slightly, say a virtual foot or so, the treads of the stairs would be more visible as we look down. As it is you only really see a line going across the screen separating the bottom of the stairs from the top.
Being able to see more of the steps will do two things;
Improve the sense of perspective, as the treads will narrow as they recede from the viewer
Second, the viewer will get more of a sense of the boy's forward motion as he climbs up if we can see his feet touching each tread.
Currently it's almost like he were remaining in the same apparent space just getting bigger as his feet go up and down. Our brains of course know what's really going on but that little extra visual push might just help.

Lighting:
An additional light source in the stairway might be useful so that we know from the very start that we are looking down some stairs to a door.
This extra light just needs to be strong enough to let us see, even if dimly, the treads going down and away from us.
It could be light from an un-curtained window say. The outside world is seldom absolutely dark.
Another possible "cheat" might be to add a 'Light List' to the stairs which would allow you to put a light in there that only illuminates just the actual steps, so they are slightly more visible.
When the boy opens the door to enter the hallway the light from the room he is leaving should illuminate all the area at the bottom of the stairs. At the moment it hardly wants to leave the room he is exiting!
Also in illuminating the wall opposite where the light switch is, the viewer will almost subconsciously register the switch there and join it up with the boys movement, anticipating what is about to happen. Him turning the light on!

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I must say... your animation and timing is getting smoother and smoother.

I am impressed by your progress on all levels. :)

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I must say... your animation and timing is getting smoother and smoother.

I am impressed by your progress on all levels. :)

Rodney.

Thank you for your encouragement, much appreciated. I've had aconsiderable amount of help her on the forum the past three years for which I'm very grateful.

regards

simon

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Mark

 

Thank you very much for your helpful feedback. I'm having a bit of trouble with the lighting as it seems a bit wayward. At the first attempt, it worked as you suggest, with the light from the downstairs room splaying across the whole of the hall and casting a shadow on the opposite wall ( that was what I was after ). But, when I added another light the first effect changed, even without altering the settings and I couldn't get it back afterwards.

 

So I started again with a fresh chor and tested the effect, then another fresh chor and added a light at a time. Part of the problem was the light penetrating the mesh. The cast shadow would be there but the light would go through the walls too. Double skinned the walls and adjusted the materials to minimum transparency and maximun density but, if I used a bulb, it came through the ceiling into the bedroom above. Went back to spot lights and changed to raytraced lights which was much better, also built a box around the light to prevent spillage that way and kept tight control of the cone of illumination and position so light came out the door but not through the walls.

 

Today I've put the light on in the bedroom but it seems to have cancelled the one in the landing. I wonder if its a toon render problem ? I'm going to try some things in a while and see if they work. Will post an update later. I might try redering it non toon first then doing a toon render of the figure and compositing that in over the other.

regards

simon

 

ps

on a positive note, While chewing it over I did come up with a new tune on the guitar, so not completely frusrating day !

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Is it possible that you have the Diffuse setting set to 'OFF' in that light.

That would cause it not to light the model.

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Today I've put the light on in the bedroom but it seems to have cancelled the one in the landing. I wonder if its a toon render problem ? I'm going to try some things in a while and see if they work. Will post an update later. I might try redering it non toon first then doing a toon render of the figure and compositing that in over the other.

What are your toon render settings? Show us what you are using, and would be better able to help.

 

If you set your toon render = ON, and then set override shading =ON, then choose method = STANDARD, you wouldn't have to composite. You would still have the lines. If you don't like the "dimensionality" look of standard shading, you can play with diffuse falloff in the surface properties, as well as ambiance intensity and blend for the models.

 

Another possible "cheat" might be to add a 'Light List' to the stairs which would allow you to put a light in there that only illuminates just the actual steps, so they are slightly more visible.

 

Light lists work (but not sure how well they work with toon method render for shading).

 

Another possibility (easier) is to turn up the ambiance intensity in just the stair group surface properties (to 20-100%, depending on what looks good) - easier to isolate elements without having to futz with light lists.

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Rodney, Mark, Nancy

Thank you for your replies and help.

Here is the scren shot of it with Hall light and no bedroom light.

Theroom light is turned off.

Hall1Room0.png

 

This is the very next frame,

The only difference in settings is that the room light is turned on.

The hall light appears to be cancelled and the light is coming through the stairwell wall.

Hall0room1.png

 

 

These are the toon settings.

The diffuse option is turned on for the spot.

Settings.png

 

I just got a subscription to 18F today so this was done in that.

regards

simon

 

 

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I had a hard time looking at your images and understanding what the layout is. However - I ran some simple tests. All are with 1 light = sun type (7' x7'). No multipass. I also tried with klieg (ray trace only, z buffer was yuck) and bulb types. results here are just with sun type. 17g/64 PC.

 

first image is rendered with override toon shading = off, and the diffuse falloff of the green box = 100% (default) (orange box diffuse falloff = 0%) - bleckoo result. I think these toon settings are similar to what you are using (except you are using klieg light).

 

2nd image is with override toon shading = ON, shading method = standard, diffuse falloff of green box =100% (orange box = 0%)

 

3rd image is with override toon shading = ON, shading method = standard, diffuse falloff of green box =0% (orange box = 0%) - I'm guessing that this would suit the style closest to that which you are aiming?

 

I also found out that light leaks would show up if I rendered at 640 x 480 but not at 1280 x 960. Sooooo....test at different res?

 

hope this helps some.

Toonwithdiffusefalloffdiff100NOoverride.jpg

Toonwithdiffusefalloffdiff100.jpg

Toonwithdiffusefalloffdiff0.jpg

7x7suntoon5pass640x480VGA0lightleak.jpg

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Nancy.

Thank you very much indeed for your help.

I have been trying to follow it through this afternoon but getting some very inconsistent results. I am obviously doing something wrong but can't spot it yet so off to exercise and come back to attack it afresh. I will post the test projct later.

regards

simon

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Here is the test project.

It has two lifghts and a very simple model.

 

In the first shot, only one light is on

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 18.37.53.png

 

 

In the second the added light is on, nothing else has changed,

notice the absence of the first !

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 18.38.14.png

 

 

Here is the project fileLight Test.prj

 

Any help appreciated. Thank you.

simon

 

off to burn the calories...

 

 

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Hi Simon,
OK so I downloaded your .prj you just posted and opened it in 18b as well.
I set the Toon line thickness to 0.5 (initially it said 1.5) and then did a screen render. That's ALL I did to the .prj.
My Render Options are set to use "The Camera".
Mine looks very different to yours :huh:
I'm confused too :blink: Am I missing some other Toon render settings that you have going on some place ells? (I've never realy used Toon much so I may have missed something)

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 20.54.18.png

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I set the Toon line thickness to 0.5 (initially it said 1.5) and then did a screen render. That's ALL I did to the .prj.

My Render Options are set to use "The Camera".

Mine looks very different to yours :huh:

 

Simon: I get same results as Mark (also changed line width=.5, and resolution =1280 x960) and my render options are also set to "use camera". 18a/64 pc. I suspect yours is not? because it looks like the toon shading override is not applying in your images even when only 1 light is on.

 

EDIT: just tried with toon shading override turned off - and I get same bad results as Simon gets.

simonpoint5lines1spots0.jpg

simonpoint5lines2spots0.jpg

useCamerasettings.jpg

Edited by NancyGormezano

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Ah, right thanks for your Edit update Nancy.
I think I'v found the culprit!
Toon With Multiple Lights needs to be selected for it to work properly.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 22.25.56.png

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Mark, Nancy.

Thank you for your help. Much appreciated.

Normally I sett he toon lines to 0.2 in the PWS within the model surface properties and that sets it within the chor. I had done that several times with the model in the test chor to no avail.

If you turn the model around in the chor, so the back is showing in the camera view you also get mesh penetration from the second light within the model space.

I will try it in V15 and see if the problem recurs in that ? It is very frustrating when it changes then won't go back even when you revert to previous settings.

regards

simon

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Ah, right thanks for your Edit update Nancy.

I think I'v found the culprit!

Toon With Multiple Lights needs to be selected for it to work properly.

 

 

Mark thank you for that. It does help with getting rid of the blocked shadows but the light penetration at the back is still there

regards

simon

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Well we're getting there Simon!
Looking at your sample model I see a lot of patch normals facing the wrong way (plus internal patches within the walls).
You could try setting all wall normals to face outwards that might help with the light leaks.
When modelling if you have 'Show Back Facing Polys' set to OFF in the Render Dialog Options window, any patches with wrong facing normals will appear see-through, so much easier to catch early on.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 23.26.45.png

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Mark

Thank you very much. That was not something I had thought about. I will try it now. It has been an exasperating day.

regards

simon

 

Edit

 

Mark.

Lame remark here, apologies for that,

I know I have seen the Back facing poly option ,

but where ?

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Not to worry Simon, it hides sometimes!
Tools > Options… > Rendering Tab. Set 'Quality' to Realtime' and the 'Show Back Facing Polys' option will become available. Once set to 'OFF' you can put 'Quality ' back to what ever you want and then press 'OK'

Can't help but think this option would be better accessed from the Modelling tab…

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Mark

Thank you. I will look into that properly this morning.

I was faffing about with the options yesterday before going to bed and tried "Toon with Fall off"

 

This was the result.

regards

simon

 

SL2F.mov

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