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fae_alba

Christmas Project 2017

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This past halloween I on a whim did a display in my office window using a back projection screen (I never do anything for halloween, but this was fun!). We had crowds of people stopping on the sidewalk to watch a series of 4 videos (purchased from amazon).

 

Capture.PNG

 

It got me to thinking that Christmas. My front porch wraps around the side, and would be the perfect place to do this, with the screen between the pillars

 

0516160852.jpg

 

Instead of shelling out hard earned dollars for someone else's animations, I thought I'd put A:M to work and do my own. This is a first pass of a christmas tree being unveiled by a flying spark. My goal is to match the opening from DIsney of Tinker Bell flying.

 

test_A.avi

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Very cool, Paul! Your own Christmas theater! Going off the witch, making an animation that showed Santa or snowmen or something waving like they are standing on your front porch would be cool.

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Trying to find some stock models. At one,point I thought there was a Santa and sleigh kicking around, but can't seem to pin them down. If I can bang Out two or three couple minute animations it ought to make a good show. I'd really love to synchronize a couple of projectors and screens, but I don't have a show controller so maybe next year.

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I put a nice Christmas tree in the Contributors Cue... I think. Nice animation- you could slow that way-way down. Quicktime movies seem to have much lower file sizes that the archaic avi format... and lastly- BEAUTIFUL HOUSE!

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Paul, I saw them advertising on Macbreak Weekly this week. If you do want to supplement with some existing footage, there's this site called Storybloks.

 

https://www.videoblocks.com/macbreak

 

That link gives you the option for 84% off of the monthly price, meaning you get a whole year's subscription for $149. Unlimited downloads and royalty free.

 

Don't have any personal experience with them, but when I heard the ad, I thought of your post.

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John, Thanks! The house was built in 1902, and shows every year of its age, But it's home.

 

I need to come up with a story line before I find this project spiraling out of control and never getting done. I have to keep reminding myself that the reason why the halloween one worked is that it was composed specifically to be viewed through a window, adding a sense of "realism" .

 

So the challenge is to do something that looks like it belongs on a porch.

 

Mark: thanks for the link, I'll check them out for future reference, but I really really want this to be an A:M project.

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So I've come up with a basic plan . I want to break this up into four small clips, each building on each other. Play one each week until the whole story is told on Christmas Eve. The first is a simple outdoors scene of the north pole, with a blizzard brewing. A couple of challenges already encountered;

 

1) the look I'm going for is the big storm scenes from Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. With gusts of wind making swirls of snow. I've got a sprite snow storm, with a force making a wind, which works to a point. But I'm lacking those gusts and swirls that I am looking for.

 

2) Also, in the clip below the workshop has two candy cane pillars. I wanted to decal them to have the swirling stripe like the north pole, but every time I add the same decal to them the stripes end up being horizontal. Annoying to say the least!

 

blizzard_test.mov

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Maybe try doing the texture as a bitmap+ material and then you can rotate the material in the settings to the angle you need?

 

And you might be able to send the sprite producer along a path that you made swirls in to force a swirl?

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In watching a clip of Rudolph the rednosed reindeer, I realized that the storm scene has snow of course, but also they simply scent what I think of as smoke in puffs across the screen. I'm thinking that I may cut this out and take it in a different direction.

 

It's already time to start layering Christmas unto the house and I don't have all of the pieces of the,puzzle built yet. I spent all week stealing minutes from work to build an elf, and not liking the results. So last night I made the director's decision to fire the elf, and hire shaggy. He will do for what I have in mind.

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So here's a conundrum I have. When I render this scene part of it (the candy cane pillars) disappears .... an I can't figure it out.

 

the chor window

chor_window.PNG

 

the render

 

Inkedtest15_LI.jpg

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My first guess would be that the elements that are not rendering where dropped into the Chor at some other frame than the one you are rendering.

To test that theory you could:

 

- Check to see what frame(s) you are rendering

- Check to see if that (missing) model isn't present/active on those frames.

 

My second guess is that the model is present but (accidentally) animated in such a way that it has moved out of position on the desired frame(s).

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Rodney, the issue isn't that the candy cane pillars aren't there. They are, but only the tops are rendering.

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found it!

 

The problem was with a bone. Some background..when I wanted to create a candy cane pillar, I modeled a tube, then grouped alternating rings and set the surface color to red for the stripe. Then I distorted the mesh to create a simulated swirl.

 

Capture.PNG

 

I then added bones that I used in the chor to bend the model to form the cane

 

Capture2.PNG

 

The main bone somehow got set to boolean cutter = on. Mystery solved...onto rendering the first clip!

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Awesome. I have been watching this closely. I will try a project like this next year

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One more piece of the puzzle. All I need now is to finish the final few seconds, render it all off then presto, a Christmas short is born.

 

scene_one.mpg

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Fun stuff.

 

This falls into that category of... now why didn't I think of that!

You've been making good progress on this and it looks like you are right on schedule. :)

 

If you need to get some extra footage out of this you could have a second... third... fourth...runthrough where the camera zooms in closer to specific areas.

Assuming that would fit into the over all experience the onlookers could then experience the show over and over again but with subtle differences and emphasis.

 

I have a tiny projector that I've barely used since I bought it and it might work well for something like this.

What type of screen are you projecting onto? An actual back projection screen or some form of stand in?

 

 

.

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Fun stuff.

 

This falls into that category of... now why didn't I think of that!

You've been making good progress on this and it looks like you are right on schedule. :)

 

If you need to get some extra footage out of this you could have a second... third... fourth...runthrough where the camera zooms in closer to specific areas.

Assuming that would fit into the over all experience the onlookers could then experience the show over and over again but with subtle differences and emphasis.

 

I have a tiny projector that I've barely used since I bought it and it might work well for something like this.

What type of screen are you projecting onto? An actual back projection screen or some form of stand in?

 

 

.

Rodney, for the Halloween screen I used a white bed sheet. For this one I splurged and bought a formal back projection screen. One last detail I have to work out is the projector. I have two, one is a small led projector. It has a small image size, so I need to experiment with bouncing it off of a mirror to increase the final image size.

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Ok, well when it rains it snows....spent the weekend doing a final render (to an avi) yeah I know don't say "always render to an image file!". Averaging just over nine minutes per frame and was at just about 98% done when windows decided to reboot and through the whole damn thing out the window. Now I am back to square one. I think part of the long renders is my usage (heavy in this section) of Sprite snow flakes. Is there a way to render just the snowflakes off, then reapply that render to the animation for a final pass? The goal is to show this Christmas Eve so time is running out.

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Is there a way to render just the snowflakes off, then reapply that render to the animation for a final pass?

 

The issue there may be intersections/pass throughs if you have the particles dieing on impact.

If that is the case you *could* set all your objects to transparent (perhaps not an easy task) and then render the particles pass that way.

If you aren't concerned with passthroughs you could save two copies of your Project file. One with everything but the particles turned off. The other with only the particles turned off.

 

There are a lot of different ways you can do this... but since time is of the essence I won't suggest things that have a higher learning curve.

Okay, I lie. You could render the scene (to image sequence!) and generate the snow in a program like Blackmagic Fusion.

Import the sequence into Fusion and your scene will appear to be in front or behind the snow depending on where you place your images.

Render different parts of the scene and place those images where you want them.

 

Or... do the same thing in A:M!

Render out as many elements as separate passes (will significantly lower the hit on memory)... then bring all the images back into A:M as Layers.

You could run a pass of the particles separately and bring that in too or render the particles live along with the Layers.

 

Too much info right?

 

Or...

Email me the project file as I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment and I'll render and composite it together for you. ;)

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Rodney, thanks for the offer, might take you up on it but I am going to try a few things first. I took off the collisions on sprites for the snowflakes and it did speed things up bit. I was able to get another 700 frames rendered today. Working on another 160 frames now, then we will see about the last 900.

 

We'll see what the morning brings.

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Almost there. Rendering off the last bit (3 minutes worth of Santa snoozing in a chair in front of the fire). This segment is more of a filler to stretch out the overall video. Might just get it set up outside on Christmas eve, which is what the (modified) goal is.

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well, I finished the movie clip. But mother nature conspired against me and I couldn't get the screen up to show it outside. Winds were gusting up to 30 mph all Christmas day, and I wasn't about to put up a $175 rear projection screen only to have it blow away.

 

Here's the youtube link

 

https://youtu.be/FKtQwLk3YV4

 

A lot of issues became apparent after I had rendered out the bulk of the video. One thing I truly hate is seeing "floaty" movements, and this clip had a lot of that. But, all in all, it's in the can, which for me is a milestone, so I'm taking it.

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Hooray for finished projects! That's cute, Paul.

Since you didn't get to premiere it this Christmas you can use it next year!

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Hooray for finished projects! That's cute, Paul.

 

Since you didn't get to premiere it this Christmas you can use it next year!

All too true...

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You made me think I might want to try something like that for next year. Great job

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