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detbear

ANOTHER ANIMATION! LEGO Style!

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Nice.

 

That made me thirsty!

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;) very cool and unexpected ;). Very well done :).

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Fuchur said:

 

nd unexpected ;)

 

 

Most definitely. I wasn't expecting to see another episode of these guys for quite awhile.

Kevin, it looks like you've got the workflow and production scheduling thing down.

I'm hoping you'll reveal some big secret to your process besides hard work! :)

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Hey Guys. Thanks so much.

 

I will reveal my ULTRA, CLANDESTINE, TOP SECRET in my next post below this one.........

 

................

 

.............................

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The Big secret is NO SLEEP. Working long hours. Hee Hee.

 

Just a bunch of sleep loss. :)

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Hey Everyone.

 

Checkin' back in here. Thanks for all your support.

 

Rodney asked about my process in a previous post here.

There are some practical steps to get a short animation done with decent quality.

 

ANIMATION:

Animation itself is an art that you never perfect, but force yourself forward and improve. In many cases time impacts the quality.

just a few seconds of animation can take a week if you place high quality time on it. But many times, getting things finished, keeps you

from polishing everything at that level. Thus, animation is an individual endeavor and limited to a person's experience and skill.

 

THINKING AHEAD:

I always think about a shot in terms of what will look great and take the least amount of time. Often, I envision certain things that take more

time.....but decide that it is worth it to do in order to make it better.

QUICK ADVICE: MOVING CAMERAS will increase the post production time dramatically. This is because backgrounds and effects will need to be

rendered on every frame instead of having a single image. So unless the camera move is absolutely necessary, figure out a good angle composite

and keep it still.

QUICK composite tip: Make your camera focus slightly wider and then in a composite program you will have enough rendered area outside the frame to

move the image to get some slight, fake camera motions. This works great for shakes during explosions also.

 

COMPOSITE RENDERS: I always render in layers. This requires a strategy in A:M because it doesn't happen automatically. You need to choose a way to get

your desired layers rendered. HERE are the things I render on layers:

 

1.Characters only render

2.props

3.background

4.shadows(Sometimes for each character separately)

5.Ambiant occlusion(Most of the time I capture this along with the shadows)

 

HOW I GET SHADOWS ONLY without using EXR format:

 

1.I convert every model, prop, and background to white(no textures, groups, colors).

2.I set their falloff to 0%...

3.VERY IMPORTANT.....Set all the lights to white color so that they don't colorshade things.

4. For each model that is not receiving shadows, I set the options to this:

Front Projection=ON

Flat Shaded=ON

Recieve Shadows=OFF

Cast Shadows=ON

Shadows Only=OFF

Cast Occlusion=ON

 

For the surface receiving the shadows:

Front Projection=ON

Flat Shaded=ON

Recieve Shadows=ON

Cast Shadows=OFF

Shadows Only=OFF

Cast Occlusion=OFF

 

IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT: This will result in a "White render with Black shadows" most of the time.

You must bring that into a program like After Effects and set the layer mode to "Multiply." Make sure the shadow layer is on

top of the character layers. This will make the white areas transparent and the shadows and occlusion will remain.

SHADOW LIGHTS:

Use Z-buffered lights if you can and only have one light casting shadows.

 

AMBIANT OCCLUSION:

Use the SBAO all you can. HOWEVER....This will increase anomallys if you have heavy motion blur OR Depth of Field on your camera.

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Great toon- great advice!

 

I taught my nieces to call it 'shiver-brains' instead of 'brain-freeze'. The payoff came one day when they were with their mother in public drinking cold slushies... 'I've got shiver-brains, I've got SHIVER BRAINS!' 'WHO told you to call it that?' she demanded... 'Uncle Matt did, why?'...

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That looks real good, Kevin. I especially like the running slide.

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Thanks for the follow up on your process, Kevin.

It's always illuminating to see how folks work in production.

Not to cherry pick just one of your highlights but the bit about the moving camera is likely one I need to watch for in my own efforts.

As with most things in life, I either have too little or too much.

 

That element of defining the extreme parameters of productivity easily eludes me (particularly in finishing a work)... of finding just the right amount of detail/polish to say, "enough".

That's where that 'Thinking Ahead' and having/sticking to a plan certainly can pay off.

Many have said it before and I know it has been repeated by some our highly productive forum members that a work isn't so much finished as it is abandoned at some given point.

I may have taken that concept of abandoning project a bit too literal. ;)

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Mr detbear, How much time it took you to complete this GREAT animation short?

 

I really would like to have a living doing animation shorts, one after another one, it would be plausible to monetize this kind of work, and time spent, to make a living of this... and be like a "little Pixar" making little "productions", one after another one, and making money from it, at least for a "simple living" not a "celebrity one"?

 

--- That really would be my ideal work in life... (Of course with a very "optimized" Workflow, to have a living apart of this... :))

 

Great work again!!! Great Animation!!! Mr detbear.

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Thanks guys. Means a bunch to hear your feedback.

 

MANUEL.......That production which runs a little over one minute, took me almost two weeks to complete from story to finish. But the characters

and some elements had already been finished on a previous video.

 

The lighting and re-arranging took a decent amount of time because I light every shot individually. Animation is always difficult and I find myself

working in a "Straight Ahead" animated style rather than a "Pose to Pose". But that is because of the fast nature of getting things finished.

 

The snow had to be done in post and separately for every shot. The backgrounds for much of it is a still image doctored up and animated in After Effects.

I pull out a bunch of tricks from my many years of producing animation, so it's hard to recall everything at once. I have a real unorthodoxed method in a way.

 

MANUEL.....Don't give up, and don't be afraid to make a bad animation. You have to just Do it!!! And then try it again. Sometimes things work well, and sometimes

they don't work at all.

 

ALSO.....The most important part is the final render. So post production and editing are very important. Sound, Color overlays, brightness, music, effects, ........they all

play an important role. Just do it.

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Great job, Kevin! Kudos!

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Thank you Mr detbear, for take your time to share your tips, tricks, advices and workflow... it is really valuable for people who is learning like me, and thank you for encourage me to advance in this wonderful art.

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Manuel......No problem. I'm happy to help. Keep at it. This is a great forum with a bunch of good artists. Very helpful.

A:M is amazing software that can get a project produced by an individual.

 

You should work on a short story/ film. Even if it's under a minute. Start a you Tube channel and post it. Then build from there.

Keep it as simple as possible with simple props and backgrounds. Focus on the story.

 

Kevin

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