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Operation : Sphinx

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Hello to all -

I have been working on my first short short film for a couple months now and finally decided to consolidate my posting regarding it in this thread.

 

Operation:Sphinx is code for my yet unnamed toon. It follows the story of a creature as it lands on a planet unknown to it, and we witness a surprising discovery.

 

As of today, the shot sequence is done and I am currently working on props and finishing the storyboards. And of course, i'm doing a slew of animation tests with the main character.

 

I'm new to all aspects of filmmaking so this project is going to take me a while. I'll be halting production for tutorials and other collaborations as they happen. I tend to learn better by jumping in and that's why I've started this project.

 

note - in case you are interested in the earlier stuff you can go to this thread. OP:Sphinx - The early days.

 

Thanks,

Doug

BldgSet2.jpg

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Hello followers (are you there) :P

 

I've completed the storyboards and have begun actual production(Friday 10/22/04). Thus revealing that I had forgotten something that should have been done in pre-production.

 

The start of the short has a rocket landing. Attached is my experiment with creating smoke for the landing. Then last nite I thought to myself, would a landing vehicle actually have smoke? Hmm. Opinions on that?

 

If I do decide to have smoke in the landing, does anyone have any recommended settings? Better than what I've come up with as per the attached that is. Oh and I realize that the fog is a bit heavy.

 

Rocket Landing (test)

 

Thanks for any thoughts.

 

Doug

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Hello followers (are you there).......

 

.......Then last nite I thought to myself, would a landing vehicle actually have smoke?  Hmm.  Opinions on that?

Doug

Hi Doug! :D

 

I think the reason you didn't get a response was that there must have been many WIP submissions posted and you got pushed to the back of the line. I find that if I leave the forum and return all the threads which I hadn't yet read show up as read, so I miss some.

 

Nice animation Doug. As to the smoke, it's not important if there would be any in reality, rather does smoke look right? I think it does.

 

If we tried to be realistic then spaceships in deep space would not be illuminated (unless self illuminating), so we couldn't see them. As they would also be in vacuum we wouldn't hear them either.

 

I'd go for what looks and sound right everytime. ;)

 

Next thread........The meaning of life..??!!?? :(

 

Keep posting Doug, I've subscribed to this thread so I won't miss you next time! :D

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Thanks fellas for the support!

 

Mike, I think you're right and you confirmed what I was thinking. I think I'll keep the smoke. Though I am gonna still play with the settings.

 

Next thread........The meaning of life..??!!??

I think i'd better bow out of that discussion. Unless you wish to talk Monty Python? hehe

 

Cya,

Doug

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Good work Doug. Like the 2d rendering.

 

In regards the landing, I like the way you have the ship "slow in" to touch down. But I would add more smoke as the ship gets closer to the ground, and decrease it's death rate. So let the smoke continue until the ship is fully resting on the ground, and maybe even a second after that til you 'shut the engine off' sort of speak. It would actually take more thrust to slow the ship down like that, so showing more thrust may enhance the animation of the ship.

 

Peace,

dingo

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It would kick up dust as it landed even if there is no actual smoke produced.

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But I would add more smoke as the ship gets closer to the ground, and decrease it's death rate. So let the smoke continue until the ship is fully resting on the ground, and maybe even a second after that til you 'shut the engine off' sort of speak.

Right ! Thanks for the thoughts ya'll. I'll work on just that and posts results as I get them.

 

I was thinking of using fog in the landing phase to add 'particulate'. Maybe I can keyframe the fog somehow. That would be neat to have it dissolve as the craft has landed.

 

Great help guys. Thanks.

 

Doug

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T'is Friday, the day for updates. Attached is a test of the rocket landing. Actually this will precede the landing and will eventually be the first shot. Minor texturing changes on the rocket, and some changes to the sky, but other than that - one shot complete ! Check it out.

 

Seq1Sc1a Test 11/12/04

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Looks good! I think if you added some camera shake from the engines or something similar it would spice it up a bit...just a suggestion.

 

EDIT: What are you planning on doing with the sky. I'd like to see it with a few more shades of color instead of being flat. I imagine some dim clouds (of the same color) to break it up a bit.

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Hello all -

Moving ahead ever so slowly but progress is progress. Here is a walk cycle for my main character (still very much a WIP). Feel free to offer your suggestions re: the animation side.

 

Thanks to Sonofpat for the help with the mesh. And thanks again to Dagoos for hosting these files.

 

Onion Head WalkA (wip)

 

Cya,

Doug

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Hi Doug,

 

I missed this thread before somehow. The rocket landing looks great.

 

I like the character walk too. The feet maybe lift a little high if you were attempting a realistic walk cycle but it`s a very stylised character so I think it works fine.

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I'm afraid I can't see the last test you've posted :(

The second landing test is very good, and visually promising! I like the colors and the toon adjustments.

 

I'll try to see the last test tomorrow!

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Thanks for the comments Dale. Yes, you're right on regarding the feet lifting high. I'm going for a bit of a bird-like quality so that's why I decided to push that motion.

 

Hey Mendi - please try again sometime. And thanks for your comments and encourgement. One of these days I'll post my tweaked rocket landing with the addition of the sky too.

 

Doug

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Hi Doug,

 

This all looks great! It's good to see all your hard work coming together.

 

I like the first image you posted. For some reason it reminds me of the Beatles/Peter Max/late 60's style of animation, which is cool.

 

The second rocket ship landing clip is really good, too. And your main character is pretty funny.

 

I'll keep an eye on this thread from now on.

 

Jim

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Guest mrsl13

You've got something nice going here, I'll be looking for updates of your animation...keep it going..

 

Mike C

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Thanks alot Jim ! After I read your post I went and googled Peter Max. Your comment really flatters me. Funny too as I was just coveting the Yellow Submarine dvd I saw in Barnes and Noble the other day. So charming and hip.

 

Motivating comments for sure! And now back to work.

 

Doug

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Hi again -

Been a long time off this project but I'm returning with an update. Changed the building to go for a more "ruinous" effect. Still more texturing work to be done to dirty it up. Comments welcome.

 

..doug

BldgD.jpg

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Welcome back, it's been a while.

 

Well, I like the stucco texture of the outside walls, I can't tell what the inside wall is made of. The roof; is it suppused to be corrigated metal? I can't tell - it's too thick and wavy to what I'm familiar with.

 

Other than that, it's one broken empty room :)

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The roof; is it suppused to be corrigated metal? I can't tell - it's too thick and wavy

 

Thanks Dhar. Yeah it is sposed to be corrugated metal and I think you're right, t'is too thick. I'll work on it.

 

..doug

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Back again trying to resolve some model/rig problems once and for all. The attached model is rigged using the 2001 skeleton. Questions and problems are as follows :

1) When I drop the model into an action/chor he hovers above the ground. He does not do this at the model level.

2) The models' knees are turned in when first dropped into an action (they have been rotated in the pic below). Why? I have investigated all I can and am crying 'uncle'.

3) What is causing the horrible creasing above the thighs? Is this a rig problem or do I need to smartskin in these areas?

4) Should I have the 'basic setup' option in the rig turned on or off?

 

Thanks for any help, i need to get these problems ironed out and frankly have spent an eternity and several attempts trying to fix them on my own.

 

Cheers.

..doug

RigProblems011705.jpg

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Some thoughts on your problems:

 

1- in the modeling window in bones mode, where are the feet relative to the Model Bone? I believe the model bone is what decides at what level from the ground the model starts at by default.

 

3- I can't really tell from the pic, but if you would post a side shot in wires it might clear things up (for me ; ) I would probably change the layout of the spline running up the back of the leg (or is that the front? ). I think that reducing the number of splines in the body would also help, unless the body has a lot of distortion to do, 16 splines seems a little heavy and joining to 4 spline legs leaves a lot of splines that don't appear to really contribute to the shape.

 

Just my 2 cents

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Thanks for chiming in Ganthofer. I appreciate it.

 

Regarding the splinage .... funny that I thought i was being light. Exactly where do you think I should eliminate splines - in the hip region or overall? I'm open to anything to get this fella rigged properly.

 

Attached is a side view, and Bones view.

 

 

 

Thanks again.

..doug

RigProblems011705_Side.jpg

RigProblems011705_Bones.jpg

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In the bones view, the bottom ring of the body looks like it's the only one attached to a RED (Pelvis) bone. If that is true, I would add the next ring up to it also. Maybe use CP weights and split 50/50 with the LightBlue (Back) bone. The CP's in the crotch would also attach to the Red (Pelvis) bone. I would use CP weighting with each hip where it joins the Red (Pelvis) area.

 

 

I'm working on a slight re-splining of the hip and reducing the body rings to 8. Unless you have a lot of detail in the crotch/hip area, the less splines you use to get the basic shape the less CP's you have to try to deal with when CP weighting or Smart skinning IMHO.

 

The model float when dropped into the Action/Chor window. I think it's your foot targets. In your modeling window, they need to be lined up on the ankle joint. The rig is setup to make the ankle joint follow the null. :) (edited)

 

I've got a little free time, as I'm a bit under the weather and they sent me home to do some mandatory online training. That's obviously not the only thing I'm doing online :D

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Phew! Went back to square one and rerigged this guy following David Roger's steps in the A:M 2002 Handbook. I'm so glad I did. Not only did I learn a ton but I've made significant progress. Next up rigging his eyes and lids. Thanks for all the help and suggestions Ganthofer.

 

..doug

wip_020606.jpg

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Still at it ... attached is a test utilizing the new rig (rendered in QT Sorenson 3).

 

..doug

 

whats up doug

 

looks like you are taking it easy on that rig. I would like to see that thing freak out (thats an industry term) :P

 

David

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Hmmm ... well it's not quite a freak out but I wanted to keep on with the testing. :) Attached is another test, and though not perfect in any sense, I think the rig is going to work with what I have planned for this character. Looks like I'll be off this project for a while so here is the last post unless it's "fit in" time.

 

..doug

Rig_Test_7.mov

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Hmmm ... well it's not quite a freak out but I wanted to keep on with the testing. :) Attached is another test, and though not perfect in any sense, I think the rig is going to work with what I have planned for this character. Looks like I'll be off this project for a while so here is the last post unless it's "fit in" time.

 

..doug

 

Doug,

It looks good.

Nice jump!

 

David

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do you got any joints in that neck? I suggest having some then you'll feel much more flexibility in animating the guy.

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Jamagica - Actually no I don't. I'll have to think on that (whether or not it's necessary for the short). Thanks for the suggestion.

 

..doug

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