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Started a project to test a working process. The narrative premise is a bit corny but, it was the working process I wanted to find out about.The basic idea is that the ingredients of a cake mix, indulge in a dance off before jumping in the bowl ready for mixing. What I wanted to do was to animate and render it in AM, but then work over the top in TVpaint so it looked hand drawn, in a cg setting, so as to get a mix of visual styles in the same piece of work.

I've encountered some problems along the way but will cover them later.

 

This was the first test, hand drawn, no references.

decided it changed volume too much so needed to use AM to avoid that,

Line Test 001.mov

 

This was the second test

Animated in AM, then roto'd in TVP

Sack Test 001.mov

 

Different style of move using the 'Butter model'

Butter A.mov

 

That was then redone in a 'stage' setting trying to get the shadows on the work surfaces and walls, and the reflections in the mixing bowl

Butter B.mov

 

Made a bigger set, with lots of kitchen type fittings and tried to set up a simple lighting using only one light but with possible AO to be added later.

Scene One.png

 

Setup a series of actions to use on the background 'characters' while the other solo'd.

Actions Test.mov

 

Then animated the solo's and worked out some camera moves to get some variety.

Shaded Mix 001.mov

 

The moves were animated at 25fps and rendered out on two's for the roto work, (not even I am daft enough to try drawing it at 25fps).

 

When it came to rendering it out properly I encountered a lot of trouble which Robert very kindly helped me with.

I'll explain those more fully later. Part of it stemmed from rendering at UHD ( 3840 x 2160 ), which was chosen because I thought it would help with the drawing process post rendering, and because a lot of festivals prefer UHD with their applications. This probably won't get into a festival but hope the one its leading up to will.

Still have 20 seconds of animation to go, hoping to get most of that done in the next two weeks.

Any feedback greatly appreciated.

simon

 

PS

the soundtrack comes from Appleloops

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great premise and nice animation!

 

Tom

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Thank you Tom

Its been a bit more exasperating than expected, but getting there slowly.

regards

simon

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I watched 3 of videos shaded mix 001, sack test 001 and line test 001.

 

I get an Apple mov error message for line test 001 and I couldn't get it to work.

The sack test 001 was ok but not very interesting because it had some pretty basic actions.

However, the shaded mix 001 was very funny and it is long enough to get a sense of the

competition between the characters. Good job on that one, it made me laugh.

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RS3D

Thanks for the feedback. Nor sure what the problem with the line test was, it worked fine at this end.

Hoping to get the rest done in the next 10-14 days.

regards

simon

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Here are two VGA convewrsions from the original UHD files ( they were too big to post ).

 

They both come from the same chor, using the same models. The only difference is that one used AO as part of the render set up, the other didn't.

 

This is the one from the render using AO

Notice the flickering from about 4 seconds in ( Scene one after the intro, and then throughout )

AO.mov

 

This is the one without AO, notice that there is no flickering in the shadows.

Non AO VGA.mov

 

The flickering results from the AO renders inserting 'strange' shadows into the scene, sometimes on the walls, others on the worktop. The AO renders were taking up to 10 hours per frame to render so they were going through unnoticed, while I got on with something else.

When I did notice, I'd stop it and redo and, very frustratingly, it would not repeat.

 

There are few things more irritating than an intermittent problem.

 

The frames rendered without AO took about 10 mins or so, and had no rogue shadows.

I have no real idea why that might happen? My brother suggested a memory leak (?)

 

Rendered in V18 under OSX 10.11.4 on an Imac with 8Gb RAM

and OSX 10.10 on a Mac mini with 4Gb of RAM.

 

Both machines used multiple master to do four renders each.

I probably need to have another go at getting network render to work.

simon

 

 

 

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First pass at Scene Five,need to adjust curves and poses.

Any feedback greatly appreciated, thank you.

simon

 

Ps

Four seconds to go, when they all jump in the mixing bowl

 

Mix Scene Five.mov

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Hi Simon,

 

Steve Shelton and Chris Daley and I took a look at this while we were meeting about a project we're doing and one thing we all noted was the cartwheel maneuver. There's something about it that seems too slow.

 

I think he's in the air too long for the small amount of upward motion he gave himself at the start. If his jumping motion were stronger and his upward motion carried him higher he'd more plausibly have time in the air to do the cartwheel.

 

 

I'm glad we got your render times down. I still need to write up the changes we made as I said I would.

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Hi Simon, first off very cool! I like the dance and everything and the objects are moving to the rhythm very well. As Robert's stated the round off portion needs a little more body weight and then snap. Overall very convincing

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Robert, Steve

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.

I hadn't spotted the timing on the cartwheel so went ahead and rendered it out, I will need to redo that part again.

Had a real curious glitch when one frame,1200, just would not render without crashing.

It was using 5 passes and crashed everytime, about 7 attempts.

So, I cut the passes down to 3 and it worked, with no crash

Regards

simon

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Reworked the animation in the light of Robert and Steve's feedback. Will try to post it later when rendered.

In the meantime,

This is a possibility for the opening Titles

Any feedback very welcome.

simon

Mix Titles.mov

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Revised animation in the light of feedback from Robert and Steve.

I tried to have a small pause in the first cartwheel but have added some weight ( at least thats the hope ) wen the blue sack lands afterwards, with a bit of overlapping flaps. Wonder if the jump that follows is too quick ?

Any critical feedback greatly appreciated.

simon

 

Mix Scene Five.mov

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Hi Simon,

 

We took a look at your revision tonight. One thing we noted was that the rolling (somersault?) that happens from about frame 260 thru 300 doesn't seem to have traction with the floor. He's rotating faster than the ground is moving under him.

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Robert

Thank you for you feedback. as much appreciated as ever.

I shall try to slow it down a bit more.

Hoping to get tje animation done by the end of this week.

regards

simon

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Hi Simon

 

As Robert stated, we scrubbed through your latest upload. Very nice change on the round off. The somersaults need to slow down a bit or give them traction or forward movement. But overall nice job!!

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Steve

Thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated.

I think the problem arose because I animated the model bone to get it to end up in a position that wouldn't obscure the Butter in the background.

It was originally done so that it covered the ground to scale ( or nearly ), but when it stood up at the end, it blocked the view.

Taking the easy ( but erroneous) way out, I animated the model bone to get a position change but keep the movement,

Clearly I overdid it. My mistake.

I will try to correct it later.

Regards

simon

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First pass at the final scene. Must admit to finding it awkward.

I haven't put the ingredients in yet, preferring to get the movements done first.

Any critical feedback very gratefully received.

simon

 

Mix Scene Six.mov

 

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Here's a "staging" problem that strikes me...

 

The blue box get sour attention the most because it is in the center, but the side angle we see it at is the least useful for the sideways motion it is trying to show us.

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Robert

Thanks for the critique. I shall try a different camera angle later.

In the meantime, this is the full animation , with the titles and credits to be added after the drawing.

regards

simon

 

Non AO Mix.mov

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Nice one simon, 'dem boxes got da moves.

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Thank You Dan. The daunting bit comes now with the drawn parts. It might take some time.

regards

simon

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Here's a "staging" problem that strikes me...

 

The blue box get sour attention the most because it is in the center, but the side angle we see it at is the least useful for the sideways motion it is trying to show us.

Robert

I tried a different camera anggle on the setting as you suggested.

Is this the sort of thing you meant ?

regards

simon

Scene 6B.mov

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720 version of UHD original.

Any critical feedback very welcome indeed.

This is the hand drawn version of the intro scene. QT seems to make the  mov file a lot lighter than the original.

There a sudden flicker about halfway through, caused by the render inserting a shadow which shouldn't be there. I don't know why it happened (?) it seems to happen at random. It doesn't happen at HD1080 but did at UHD. It happened particularly when using AO, so I stopped using that, this  has no AO and it only happened on one frame.

A bit of a puzzle?

simon

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I'm sure there's a reason for that shadow but hard to tell just looking at it.

 

When the character jump from on foot to the other they seem to have just barely pushed themselves off the floor rather than really jumped.

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Hi Simon,

Have you tried isolating that frame and looking at the shape of the shadow? If you have an object in the chor that is a similar shape see if it's somehow got keyed to be in a position that could cast that shadow. I had a similar issue once where I'd unknowingly slightly moved a light and it was causing a shadow to move when as far as I knew it wasn't supposed to be. It might be that you moved an object at some point and it generated a keyframe you weren't aware of. 

Just a thought

There's also a slight shift in the camera position at around 1.5 secs.

 

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Robert, Dan

Thanks for your replies and feedback, much appreciated.

I've attached a few screen shots to show the setup for this sequence. As you can see the camera is the only thing between the  light and the objects and there are no keyframes set at that point, The animation in this sequence is all done with one action file. Its a bit of a mystery as to what the cause is.The really annoying thing is that the 'fault' is intermittent. Sometimes it happens, other times not.

For now, I've decided to live with it and get on with the drawing part or I'll just end up chasing myself around, rather than get  on with it.

Thank you for your help.

regards

simon

Screenshots.jpg

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