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Simon Edmondson

The Learning Curve

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A revisit of an old idea/project done to test the working method. The old one was a bit of a mess too but liked the idea.

The scenario is that, the Mum is starting to learn to play the piano,

 and the baby has yet to walk.

But will by the end of Day Three.

This is a rough pass at  Day One.

 

Any Critical feedback very welcome.

It was animated and rendered in AM, the notes hand coloured in TVP and the composite done in After Effects. The composite will need some work as I have very little knowledge or experience of AE

Simon

 

BEWARE of Sound !!!

 

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For some reason i can't get the sound to play at all here, but it did play when I saw the clip on Facebook.

My first feedback would be that the lighting on the child is excessively harsh. It looks like too many lights are being used and they are not set right for a pleasing effect.

Did you get the previous alpha channel problem resolved?

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Robert

Thanks for the feedback.. Much appreciated.

There are only two lights in the scene, one  Bulb light inside the room and a Sun light  outside aiming at a null where the baby is sitting.. Both are using Raytracing ( with shadows set to 20% darkness ), because I couldn't get a decent image using shadow maps. I too thought it was a bit harsh but will have another look.

regards

simon

 

Don't know what happened to the sound on this posting. It was there when I pressed enter?

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Hey Simon, just a suggestion for layout. It would look more appealing and read easier if there was more of a focal point. If you set up the shot so that the infant was more prominent, I think the viewer would cast their attention to the baby. Having him in color does help, but when everything is relatively small, it's hard for the viewer to know what he should be paying attention to. Also, you can emphasize that his back is to the piano playing, which sends a stronger message that he has a barrier up. Just one option. There is, of course, more than one way to skin a cat.  :-)

layout.jpg

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This blackface look isn't really what you are trying to get, is it?

 

face.JPG

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Is that using 'thermo' shading, Simon? Or is it the lights?

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Mark, Robert, Dan

Thank you very much for the feed back, much appreciated. I will try some variations  on the composition of the shot. I was trying to get it so that you could see the mum in the background and the notes  being generated.  Originally there was more camera movement but  that got edited out. Time for a rethink.

I've tried some different setting, moving over to z buffered shadows.This was  just done using a standard render, no toon settings, but it  does seem to have affected the  result.

Definitely not going for the blackface or thermo settings. I liked the expressionist ( pardon pretensions ) shadows but not intended.

LC Baby 000.png was  done in V17.  Using AO and z buffered shadows for the interior and exterior lights

The png output was not corrupted in V17

TLC S1 V18 was rendered  with Z buffered shadows but no AO.

V18 on the Mac mini  seems to corrupt the png format for some reason. I've also had a lot of crashes with it this evening.

Possibly something to sleep on  before going for revisions tomorrow..

Thank you all again.

regards

simon

 

LC  Baby 000.png

TLC S1 V18 0539.tga

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Something must be set wrong, I don't see any AO effect. Is this unnatural lighting what you really want?

If you want to bring this to Live Answer Time today we could look at it.

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Robert

Apologies if I've seemed rude in not replying. I did, but it seems to have got lost.  As you know I have had a few problems recently accessing the forum. This is the first day  its been possible to get here.

 

Here are two updates on the scenes so far.

Rendered in AM, notes hand coloured in TVPaint, composited in After Effects.

Any critical feedback very welcome.

The originals are much bigger in file size, these are H264 conversions.

No sound as yet.

regards

simon

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I have to believe that something is drastically mis-adjusted to be creating that very severe and unnatural lighting and shading effect. Is this look really what you are seeking?

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6 hours ago, robcat2075 said:

I have to believe that something is drastically mis-adjusted to be creating that very severe and unnatural lighting and shading effect. Is this look really what you are seeking?

Robert

Thank you for your reply and feedback. Much appreciated.

I'm not sure its the look I was after, so much as the look I was able to get. I had previously  ( several iterations ago )  set up a limited  tone  toon shading but, that was not used in the render settings and the toon option not selected. For this render there was no ambient settings, it was all done with shadow maps (4096 ), there are two lights casting shadows, one exterior, one interior, and one spotlight not casting shadows, shining on the baby. What I wanted  was  quite bright outside, darker inside but with the baby standing out. Tried to do that with the BW background and the baby in colour.

One anomaly that did catch my eye when playing it back, was what appeared to be a thunderstorm outside, just before the camera move in S1. The sky is a single frame mapped onto a layer and the lighting doesn;t change over time. Normally I use multiple master to have four renders going through at the same time but, for some reason,  the Macmini was not happy with that this time so had to use three instead.  Used embedded projects and the same render settings.

It has not been a happy couple of months tech wise.

regards

simon

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I think we could improve this if we looked at it.

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I'll see if I can get Hangouts sorted out on the laptop, otherwise, I can't use AM on the Imac because of Mojave and the mini  has no useable sound or microphone connection at this time.

regards

simon

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Following Robert's help during Live Answers ( for which thank you once again ), a reworked scene.

This is a more compressed version as the original weighed in at 132Mb, it has  lost some of the  darkness and shifted the colour balance, all things to be addressed this afternoon.

Any feedback welcome.

simon

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I like the softer, rounder look!

That kid has knobby knees! He had a lot of creases on him that could probably be remedied.

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Robert. Thank you.

I  Adapted the model from one either on the extra's DVD or a collection that was sold some years ago ( Al's models ?) but can't remember exactly which as it was quite some time ago. I've only really just started looking very closely at the model and, as you say, there are a lot of creases in it which  don't really match a face of tender years. The face is not symmetrical either, the left eye is offset compared to the right. Should have paid more attention originally.

I only did this revision to test a working process ( and because  I liked the idea ) and thought it would only take a short time to do. How wrong I was!

Having noticed some of the problems,  now wrestling with my conscience as to whether to spend lots of time ironing out the creases, and then have to redo all the  muscle mode poses, or just get on with as is ?

On a more positive note; reworked the lighting, including animating the darkness setting of the lights in the chor,  and the skin colour of the child and will post the results tomorrow.

regards

simon

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Redone lighting, a lot of  model tweeks on the child, spotted some more things  needing changes ( Drat !!! )

Kick up the backside will be more visible in final version.

Any feedback on things you've spotted that need attention, very welcome.

simon

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That is a substantial improvement!

i think a big reason the old lighting looked bad was that those creases were forcing hard contours which shaded as sudden color changes on the surface, exacerbated by the flatness caused by the lights.

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Need some work on the compression but, hoping this might be the final version of scene One.

Its a QT conversion  of an After Effects file ( 122mb) to get it down to this size.

Any critical feedback very welcome.

simon

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Is this the very first shot we see?

Is not going to have sound?

I think it would be helpful if the notes appeared undistorted at first, like if they were drifting out of the piano, so we can know they are notes, and then they came to life a moment later.

 

Also...

It might look sunnier if the light on the carpet were stronger, but instead of increasing the actual light which would probably max out on the character, you might try slightly reducing the diffuse falloff setting for just the carpet and see if that makes the light appear  brighter.

 

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Robert.

Thank you for you feedback. Much appreciated.

It will have sound. I'm not sure what the tune is called ( "Heart and Soul" ?) but its the one that gets inflicted on many people starting to learn the piano. Tom Hanks plays it on the  giant  keyboard in "Big". Here is a version I was using before, but I will re record it to make it 'clang' even more. Have you ever seen the late UK comedian, Les Dawson ?  He was a highly skilled piano player but, as a part of his act he would play the piano so out of tune that even the most tone deaf member of the audience could recognise the comedy of it. I'm not a keyboard player but make a racket on guitar, my understanding is that it is actually really difficult to play that badly, deliberately ? he was a master at it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nNGlaiVypU

 The intention with the visual notes  is to make visual the awful sound of the playing( if that doesn't sound too pretentious ? ). So, the first day they are really very rough, the second will be really rough, the third day rough. The  playing acts as an incentive for the baby to start walking. The final scene will reverse the saturation shift , returning to full colour, as the baby starts to walk.

I'll have a luck at the lighting again this evening.

Regards

simon

Day One.wav

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Revised version of scene Two.

Cleaner notes, colour changes..

Stray note at approx 16:9 but need to get that next.

Any critical feedback on things I've missed  very welcome indeed.

Hope to animate scene three and final scene over next few days. Then the sound.

simon

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With a very BIG thank you to Robert for all his help.

Here is a version of scene thrree, or at least the action part of it.

As always, any critical feedback very welcome.

simon

 

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I think with one more spline we could get rid of the Hitler moustache that keeps showing up on him. 😀

I'll look into that.

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Penultimate  shot of the Learning  Curve.

The fingers go through the piano  lid slightly in places, which I will try to ease out later. At the moment, its the  overall animation  I'm concerned about but, any critical feedback very welcome indeed.

When I get this bit right will go for a full render, with the rest of the piano and the room included.

simon

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Hi Simon,

It's not clear to me why the piano lid shuts.

Was it the boy doing that?The boy seems to have not quite  touched it

I think she is reacting too quickly to the lid. it is almost as if she did something to make it come down.

I also think she is reacting too much.

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Robert.

Thank you  for the feedback.

He bobs up and down twice, but  only gets to it the second time.

I could change the camera angle to show it more readily, I liked that one because it was markedly different from the others and, the photos on the top of the piano  give a wider context to the scene. (Although, they are not of course visible in  this clip).

I'll try a version with a reduced reaction and a different camera angle.

regards

Simon

TLC S4  0000.png

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Version B.

Same file, different camera  angle.

Which revealed that...

I need to address some problems with the splines around the arms on the Mum's back, and  some follow through  animation on the baby after he's moved the piano lid.

Simon

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With apologies for file size.

This is first assembly edit of project. Any critical feedback very welcome indeed. I've spotted somethings  that will need to be  altered but would be very keen to hear  about any  you may have noticed ?

regards

simon

BEWARE !!!

The sound is very grating

 

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Is there a reason to not put these on Youtube so people could watch them easier? The load time is quite extended before anything can be seen. On Youtube people could click and start watching right away. I'm sure you'd get more feedback.

I did watch it. I'm a little confused. He seems to not like the music at first, but appears less annoyed as the days go on, but then moves to stop her at the end.

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