Jump to content
Hash, Inc. Forums

Recommended Posts

Well, since everyone seems to be starting a thread for their own short films, I might as well throw my hat in the ring. I don't have much that's ready to post just yet, so instead, here's a poster I made back in 2000 when I first came up with the idea:

teaserposter_01.jpg

 

And a similar poster I made a few days ago:

ClayFaceCUPoster.jpg

 

Boy... things have come a long way!

 

The final film is going to be about 10 minutes in length and I hope to have a trailer finished by the end of this year and the final film completed by the end of 2005.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Are there any other characters in the short?  Prop/backdrops?  Just curious

Yep, there's one other character who's basically a heftier version of Clay... haven't figured out a good name for him though. As soon as I'm happy with Clay I'll make the number two guy. Oh... and there's a few hundred Clay look-a-likes but they'll only be seen from a distance, and only for a few seconds, so they'll probably be done in post.

 

There are two main locations: Clay's "cave" that he lives in and what he sees of his surrounding environment after he gets out of his cave. For the most part, his environment will be shrouded in fog. The grand finale will remove the fog and expose his entire world... :D

 

I've got some WIPs of the environments... as soon as I can figure out why my machine is crashing (just got a "dumping physical memory" screen... eesh) I'll do some quick renders and post them.

 

Later,

Link to post
Share on other sites

Awwright! I've been waiting for you to fire up that project again. I remember you originally posting your demo reel stuff and being interested in that short film project.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing it develop

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! Thanks Shaun!

 

All the work I've done up until now, I've written off as "proof of concept" work. I learned a ton and I think I'm finally at a point where I can produce this film with a high level of quality. Thanks for the kind words, and I'm looking forward to seeing this thing develop too. :D

 

BTW - I finally checked out the rest of your site (not just the cuckoo stuff) ... I love ultimate frisbee! I used to play in college - not anything like you do though - just casually with whoever would show up at the field. Mmmm... good memories. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Parlo! It's cool that there are people who actually remember when I started this thing.

 

You like me! You really like me! :lol:

 

Anyway... My PC is still all crash-crazy so no new WIPs yet, but I started working on Clay's environment as part of the CG Talk Alienware Challenge and you can see my WIPs there for now. Of course, things have changed a bit since the Alienware thingy, so the latest scenes are going to be a little different, but the WIPs on CG Talk can still give a pretty good idea of what I'm going for.

 

Hopefully I'll have time tomorrow to figure out what's causing my PC problems.

 

Until next time!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Turns out my machine was crashing due to some bad scanner software... Hash is running great now that it's gone. So, as promised here's a WIP of Clay's world. Nothing is final at this point so any crits are welcome.

 

CavernTest01.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's gorgeous. You couldn't give us a better idea of scale by putting Clay in there could you? It would help to get a better idea of the environment. It's beautiful render though, and a very interesting style.

 

:)

Link to post
Share on other sites
You couldn't give us a better idea of scale by putting Clay in there could you? It would help to get a better idea of the environment.
Well... If Clay were to lay down on one of those pedestal-pod-cell thingies, it would be about three or four Clays wide.

 

t is gorgeous.  I remember seeing this entry a while ago.  Did you finish it up in time?

Nope. <_< After seeing all of the final entries I think I would've had a good shot. Unfortunately I had to work on some paying gigs and I just ran out of time. I thought about entering the MachineFlesh challenge but this short is more important. Besides, Zach is representin' pretty well in the MF challenge.

 

Thanks for the kind words guys! I'll be posting more ASAP.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on the start of your WIP!

Looking forward to seeing more as your hints and peeks are most interesting!

 

Bravo! Keep it up.

Take good notes for the "making of.... " ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

CaveWIP01.jpg

A very rough WIP of Clay's cave... Not so much a cave I suppose, just a big notch in a cavern wall.

 

There's just some very basic bump maps right now and I'll probably be adding some details to the geometry before painting the final textures.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. I like your new poster. Really professional and classy looking. Set it as my new desktop background :D

 

This sounds like a really ambitious project. Hope it works out for you!

 

-Andrew

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Andrew... I'm flattered! I've had lots of other people's work on my desktop over the years but I never thought mine would end up on someone else's... My ego thanks you. :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh hey, meant to ask you. How did you do the eyes? They almost seem layered, like you actually put a cornea over the iris. I keep trying to do that and it never works right. Can you help me out? Maybe a wireframe...? ;)

 

-Andrew

Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh hey, meant to ask you. How did you do the eyes? They almost seem layered, like you actually put a cornea over the iris. I keep trying to do that and it never works right. Can you help me out? Maybe a wireframe...? ;)

 

-Andrew

Andew,

 

Yep, the eyes are built like real eyes, with a separate cornea and iris. A wireframe would probably help you out some... but a model would be even better. :) So here's one of Clay's eyes! This is the absolute simplest eye I could build so it may not fit your needs exactly, but it will at least give you a good starting point.

Eyeball_simple.zip

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew,

 

Nope, the whole eyeball, iris and all, rotate together. I've setup poses to expand and contract the iris/pupil. What "textured part" are you referring to? The only thing that's textured is the iris. :huh:

 

--edit--

 

BTW, the eyeball is not built to normal human proportions. In humans, the iris/cornea takes up about 1/3 of the front surface... This one is more like 1/8th or so because of the look I wanted when re-building Clay.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Good Lord! Has it really been five months since I posted to this thread? :blink: I guess I have been pretty busy... Freelancing has been going very well lately and I've been learning a ton. Oh, and I got married last week. Maybe I have had other things to do. :lol:

 

Anyway, I've been working hard on the introductory shot these last few days but today I got tired of the whole thing and decided to work on finishing Clay instead. Surprisingly, it only took me a few hours of experimenting and tweaking to get a look I was happy with. A 1500x1500 version of the image is available here for those who are interested.

 

I used a similar render-pass scheme as laid out by the wunderkinds at Soul Cage. The layers were then composited and tweaked in Photoshop. I plan on duplicating the compositing process in AfterEffects when the time comes.

 

Critiques anyone?

post-7-1097695666.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks TC and Matricks...

 

I've just gotten a three-week paying gig (good for me, bad for the short film) so it will be a while before the next update. Hopefully, I'll have part of the trailer ready for viewing by then. Finally some movement and not just a bunch of stills.

 

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, and I got married last week.

 

Congrats to you and your wife! Glad to hear freelancing has been going so well for you too.

 

Looking forward to more updates on Dysthymia but we'll wait as long as it takes!

-Rodney

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, that sooo looks like one of those microscopic photos. I don't know if that's what you're going for but it looks sweet, nonetheless.

 

(I wish my renderings were half this nice....)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude this is looking awesome. I hope you're having as much fun working on this as the results are looking.

 

I know sometimes things don't seem to work as easy as they should be, but when the end results are good, the heavens open up, a bright light shines down and we hear the chorus "Aaaaaaaaaaaaa . . . " :lol:

 

Can't wait for more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Middlekid.

 

I have only just found this thread and I have enjoyed flicking through the past six months of your progress on this project.

 

Your descriptions of the environments and the images that you have posted are already very moody so I look forward with anticipation to seeing them with textures applied. I agree with Smudge on that last cavern-like render. I instantly thought of magnified mites.

 

Keep at it and please post more when you get the chance.

 

May I just congratulate you and you wife on your recent marriage. May you have a long and happy life together.

 

All the best. :)

 

Paul Forwood

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments guys! I think the coolest thing about the last image is that it was so freakin' simple to make. It's a bunch of twisted and warped cylinders, a simple gradient material, one displacement map and one bump map. Of course I'm going to be adding some more detail and a bit of grunge, but I'm really happy with how things are going.

 

And yes, it's supposed to look a bit like those cool electron-microscope photos... I'm not trying to re-create the effect exactly, but just enough to suggest the microscopic point of view.

 

Oh... to smudge... if you want great looking renders, learn how to use materials. There are a few simple tricks you can do with materials to give your objects a great deal more depth and realism. Check out Yves' website, he's got a great overview of materials (among other things).

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Holy Crap! Finally, I've got some video to show! It's a preliminary render (480x270, 4 passes) but it gives a really good idea of where I'm headed:

 

http://www.jgriffin.org/dysthymia/HashPics/FlyThruFour_A.mov

 

Sorry for the crappy quality but I've got to keep the size down for all my dial-up brothas out there!

 

This is the first chunk of the teaser I was hoping to release by the end of this year (yeah, right)... I'm shooting for the end of January now... :D It's our first peek into Clay's world and this particular section has been dubbed "The Bone Forest". It's a fairly graceful and, hopefully, dramatic fly-thru before we descend into the canyons and then down into the abyss where Clay resides.

 

As far as I'm concerned, nothing is final until I hit 'render' so, if there are any suggestions, comments or critiques on anything at all... Let 'em fly! (and feel free to be brutal if you must... I got no problems handling other's opinions)

 

I'll post the other two sections, "Canyons" and "Abyss" as soon as they're done rendering... looks like I've got about 36 hours left.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite a lot of progress since my first glimpse of Clay at one of the early Atlanta AM User Group meetings (it may have been the first one!). Love the fly-through. Looks to be a very imaginative world. Very like some of the microscopic worlds I've explored over the years with my microscope (one of a myriad of hobbies).

 

Glad to see what you've got cooking.

 

Bill Gaylord

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great so far MiddleKid ....

Only thing that gets to me is the cracks from the displacement on the 5 point patchs, but hopefully that'll get fixed before you hit the final render. Otherwise you might get a better image use two planes and a stack of disconnected cylinders where you match the bases, ie no 5 point patches.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you put so much life into the eyes, they looks so real! It reminds me of the eyes on i-robot. I really look forward to your updates and I cant wait til the next! By the way, does that huge scene take a ton of time to render?? Its amazing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an interesting environ. The camera move looks way "too smooth". Maybe music will help. The camera doesn't always seem to be banking in relation to it's turn.

 

Right now the environment is all the same. Is it possible these root things could gradually change in appearance as we get closer to the hole? Darker, lighter... more moss... itchy scalp particles? A lot of your audience will need a reason to keep watching if they all look the same.

 

I remember a "making of" thing on one of the Indiana Jones movies. When they were animating the 1st person POV of the coalcart ride through the coal mine they found that is was way more effective for the camera to anticipate turns than to always point straight ahead on the cart.

 

You don't have a cart here to provide visual cues, but turning the camera more might be something to look into.

 

But I'm eager to see where this is all going!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, how did I miss this thread? Looks like a really interesting concept you have going. From the posters and still stuff you've shared, it looks like you may have an intriguing story to tell.

 

Keep the faith and see it through! It may take awhile... :)

 

d/ling the video now...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Middlekid,

 

this film is getting me excited for the future! You inspire me a lot...the only thing I have to say about your one video you posted so far is this (I'm a movie maker myself):

 

As the camera pans forward, I suggest throughout the whole time, the camera very slowly tilts and tilts and tilts, until when it gets to the hole it's finally done a 180 degree turn..or what you can do is just right when you get to the hole, stop the tilting and dive into the hole in the same degree position

Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful work!

 

I second the comment that the camera move looks too smooth. Perhaps a *tiny* amount of expression based noise to give it that hint of imperfection that really helps to fool the eye. It's hard to explain but the move feels too effortless. This might be the intention but it's very much a "CG-camera move". Are you just using the camera on it's own or have you got it rigged in such a way that it'll give you parallax? This might be one of the things that is missing. With a shot like this, with abundance of strong verticals at various distances from the camera, parallax would be another minor visual cue that you could exploit.

 

These are very small niggles. I'm really excited to see more of this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

William:

This is indeed a microscopic world. I'm not trying to mimic the look of an electron-microscope but I am trying to give that impression. Any suggestions? Oh... I wonder if there's enough of us in Atlanta to warrant another meeting. The two that I made it to were great!

 

John:

Good eye! Actually, there aren't any five-pointers in the whole scene. In the process of copying, pasting and deforming the structures, some of the textures have gotten spun around, so they no longer tile properly. I've got to go through manually and fix them. :angry: Of course, there are other little things to fix too... Some of the things penetrate the floor, etc... Why, oh why, do I have to be such a perfectionist?

 

MATrickz:

The eyes in I-Robot? Thanks! Though I don't think the movie itself is all that great, it's totally amazing when in comes to the robot's facial animation. The "Bone Forest" scene is actually one of the smaller scenes. :blink: At full resolution (1280x720) and 25 passes for smooth mo-blur... I'm getting about 20 minutes per frame on my 1.8 GHz Athlon.

 

robcat:

Very, very good points! You're right, the camera isn't banking much at all. I've got the camera roll constrained to a null so I can animate it manually, but I'm still hoping I can figure out a way to automate it.... Though that comment about Indiana Jones gives me a great idea... maybe I should just animate it manually. Hmmm....

 

Hey... you just gave me another great idea! You mentioned that the root thingies should change as we get closer to the hole... Well, I was going to a bit of that anyway, with texturing and whatnot, but... The should get more and more twisted and gnarled the closer we get too.... Ooooh... that would be good! :) Thanks robcat!

 

Dearmad:

The faith is alive my man! This is one of those I-Can't-Not-Make-It projects. If I let it die I'll never be able to live with myself. Dysthymia is now in it's fifth year of production! I actually got a good bit of it done (about 15% or so) several years ago, but it just wasn't good enough. So, I scrapped it all and chalked it up as "proof of concept".

 

jamagica:

Good idea with the camera tilt. I think it would work if I did an extreme tilt just before it shoots through the hole. There's a thick layer of clouds to go through after that, so spinning around a couple of times could done easily and might add some drama.

 

Parlo:

Parallax.... hmmm... I think I might try that out. In these establishing shots, I'm treating the camera as if it were on some sort of theme park ride since I don't want it to exhibit too much 'character' of its own. Since parallax would involve the camera looking left or right during its travels, I wonder if that might break the feel I'm looking for. I'll give it a try though...

 

 

Thank you all for your comments! You've given me some great ideas on improving my work! The second section is uploading as I type!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Drat... and here I am sitting behind a cursed firewall.

 

Love what you've been showing thus far!  :)

Huh... would uploading to the Hash Forums server help?

 

--edit--

 

nevermind... I forgot about the 1MB limit... sorry Rodney.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks... I, uh, modeled them... :huh: Also, learning to use materials well is a huge help.

 

Getting the numbers up top is easy. Just open your libraries, go to the Post Effects tab and drag "Frame Burn" on to the camera you'd like add the numbers to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... I tried using a couple of different terrain generators (the kind that build a terrain based on a grayscale image) but I couldn't get the smooth, organic contours I wanted. So, I took the image I created for the terrain generators, placed it as a rotoscope, and just modeled it by hand. The modeling is quite ugly really... Lots of five-points and hooks in the areas that the camera doesn't get close to.

 

The rippling in the crevasses is a big bump map I painted in photoshop (about 1300x800, I think) and there are a couple of procedural textures for more bumpiness and color. Oh, and an edge gradient to help define those hilltops. Since I plan on rendering this at a pretty high resolution, I'll be adding a bit more detail soon.

 

Didn't mean to come across too sarcastic before.... It's way past my bedtime. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...