Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting close to being done... ...this scene

I'm getting close to being done this scene, except for a few shots at the beginning (about a minute or two) of dialog shots that don't have a lot of action (and only 3 actors vs a whole crowd.)

These two images show what a shot looks like before (straight out of 3d max) and after adding in effects, camera motion, shaking and motion blur in After Effects.

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Now I'm going to have to storyboard my next scene, which will probably be the final climatic scene, since it is similar in action elements to this one. Luckily, it's all starting to come together, and without (m)any loose ends to worry about.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Archon Defender director's cut Secret Ending revealed!!!

Archon Defender builds to this climactic scene:
The argument over who caught the bigger fish

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

After Effects Camera Shake Tutorial

A quick demonstration of my method of creating camera shake with motion blur in After Effects for my film Archon Defender

Music in the background:
area - doesnt matter d

from the compilation wires5

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Busy rendering action scene

I've been busy lately working on the action sequence previously mentioned. Action shots are always labour intensive, especially when a shot contains over 20 actors (at least.. I haven't actually counted) and numerous background effect elements to keep track of.

It's important to always make a dramatic entrance.

The continuity from one shot to the next is important. When things get destroyed, and bodies pile up, they have to show up in subsequent shots. That means that I have to do the shots in more or less a linear order, and the 3D max file quickly gets cluttered up with 'frozen' effect elements and object layers that I have to remember to comp in later.

The good news is that, while it's taking some time to get the shots right and get the timing tight, it's starting to look good. And by good, I mean the dizzzzzope mad hella sick straight up yo.

Some of the shots are blurry by intention, that's the layer motion blur setting in after effects which gives a motion blur effect to the layer on top of the camera shake and motion.

They don't typically teach this in yoga class

I should post another how to video describing how I get the camera shake, motion, and blur effect. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rocketmen vs Robots episode 3

My third film, and also the 3rd in the Rocketmen vs Robots series: Rocketmen Timecube

My favourite of all 4 rocketmen films. In this episode, Captain Green and Crewman Red pursue the escaped Dr. Monacle to the garbage planet, where he is busy building a new cyborg army.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Using the ol' thinker...

If you plan things out right, it's easy to make an animated film even if you have a full time job or other such bad habits that otherwise monopolize and occupy your free time. Work nights are perfect for doing these small interstitial shots that have minimal action involved in them. Lip syncing is the most work involved, and if you plan things out well enough (and don't fall into a beer induced stupor too early in the evening), you can crank out 10 to 12 seconds in a single 4 hour evening.

Keep in mind, 4 seconds per day average is the rate to keep up. That's what I've found over the years of doing the Rocketmen vs Robots series, and Archon Defender. So on my days off I work on modeling new sets or characters as the shots come up, or animating the shots that have 20 people getting blown up with explosions everywhere and 30 different particle effects to tweak, and 80 layers in After Effects to deal with.

Days like this are easy: 2 layers, 4 second shot, 2 seconds of lip sync. No big deal... time for a beer ;D

Thursday, May 8, 2008

More action shots

I'm slowly getting these action shots done.

Slowly, because there are lots of characters to animate and the timing has to be done well or else it will suck. And there are lots of layers, and effects to do.

Here's some stills from the main layers for this shot, which will be put together with effects in After Effects, and adjusted for timing. I already have the camera movement done from these animatics. These frames are rendered at a ridiculous overscan from the final 1280 x 640 frame, so that I can do the camera move separately in after effects.

I also have to do these shots kinda in order, because the level of debris, destruction, and bodies carries forward as the scene progresses. I've also thought up a couple 'embellishment' shots that extend the scene, without taking away from the flow of the action. This whole scene is probably too short as it is, so I'll have to add shots and actions until I'm satisfied.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Compositing from 3D Max to After Effects

Here's a short vid I put together while I was comping today's shot (the fight shot I posted about a couple days ago) showing the different elements that I take from 3d max and bring into After Effects to put a typical shot together.

Music in the background:
Ellinad - droplets
Bruno C - better days
The Mysterious Contributor - Intro

from the compilation wires5

(which I'm also on, with some music from the Archon Defender soundtrack, so check it out)

Affinity Point

This project looks interesting:

They don't seem to have much of a web presence yet (web page or production blog, google came up empty) but based on the director's live journal, he's been busy finishing of his 2 hour and 40 minute epic. And somehow managed to only spend $800 on it. The shots look moody and dramatic, and there are some good elements in the trailer that I'll be pinching in the future for my own films:

The weakness of amateur films tends to always be the action or fight scenes (hollywood can barely pull it off sometimes) so the jury's out on that one until I actually see the film. But mad hella props to anyone with the balls to make their epic film.. 2h40m crikey! Hopefully it'll see a release on youtube or somewhere.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Let's fight >:O Them's Fightin' words.. D:

Working on some fight scenes. I went for the copious "monty python" level of blood, more as kind of a comedic offset to the more sober and dramatic tone of the rest of the film. And to emphasize just how unpleasant the black shard is.

It'll look better animated (actually, it'll look awesome animated, based on my test scene that I did a few months ago) and of course, once I add effects and fake debris, camera shake, sound etc

These kind of shots are more labour intensive than straight dialog shots, lots of effects and actions that have to come together, lots of tweaking and test rendering. But once you've done a couple of shots, the next bunch of shots gets easier to do.