Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jul 27 2008; 2 years 2D

Jul 27 marks the 2 year anniversary of the first 2D animated shot. I was originally going to do all the character animation in 2D, but quickly decided against it for several reasons:
  1. My drawing skills really aren't up to it
  2. Animating in 2D is actually more difficult than it looks
  3. I would only be 5 minutes done instead of 47 mins by now
So I quickly realized that I would have to actually learn how to do character modeling and animation in 3D max, and luckily only had about 2 mins of shots to re-do:

Now, by my calculations I should be done by the end of Jan 2009 sometime... "should..." ;)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

3d modeling war ravaged city...

I've been busy modeling the set for my ground battle sequence. I'm going to need several sets, actually, but it gets easier the more I build. The mirror command in 3D max is very useful for recycling objects, and when it comes to burnt out, bombed and ruined buildings, one pile of debris pretty much looks like another.

There goes the neighbourhood...

I just have to build enough unique buildings and then I can rearrange them as I need. I'm also going to need a number of intact buildings, these are a lot easier to make, of course. Also, buildings in the background can be less detailed (plus I intend to hide a lot of the background with fire, smoke, and dust...)

Couple more days of modeling and I should be ready to go. This shot is almost ready, just needs some low poly BG buildings, and a sky / clouds layer then I can animate the actions for this shot.

I spent a lot of time adding details that are meant to show that this was once a vibrant place where people lived: the art deco detailing on the windows, the destroyed rain gutter, the electrical wires hanging on the side of the mid building, the wide pedestrian area with the traffic bumpers and burnt out tree. (Which reminds me, I have to model more of those type of items and put them in...)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2 days modeling: Archon Zpl Soldier model done...

A couple of days modeling in 3dmax to finish this character. Most of the time was spent on modeling the zone plate rifle, plus some modification of my existing Archon field soldier character to add the resonator backpack, and the strap rigging that holds the backback on.

Yup, might have gone a bit overboard on the weapon. ;) Wouldn't want to be the poor jarhead who has to carry this kit around...

It'll make it an interesting challenge to animate these guys to make in LOOK heavy.

Of course, I've been itching for a while to do something like this for my film:

Now, on to modeling the first ground battle set...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ground war concept sketches

A few concept sketches I did (bored) at work a while a go for the ground war sequence which I'm going to be modeling and animating over the next little while.

Each of these took a couple of days to sketch and color. Ordinarily I couldn't be arsed to do as much previs, but being bored at the call center has it's advantages.

Level up +2

My render slave P4 2.0 GHz died the other day. Well not died, but the win2k partition on the HD decided to have a seizure, so I had to reinstall onto a different drive to get it back up and running. So, being in the middle of another annoying windows / apps reinstall I thought "hey, if I'm already at it, I might as well go to the computer store and get another cheapo off lease to add as another render slave." Turns out they have a shit pile of p4 2.6's for $200 each so I grabbed one (and of course paid instead of shoplifting... I do have to be able to show my face in that store cuz it is the shizzzzzzzz) (Oddly enough, these computers look a lot like the ones they were carting away last month out of my work office when they did thier big upgrade.)

So I now have 3 computers for rendering:

p4 1.4 gig
p4 2.0 gig
p4 2.6 gig

And I'm so tempted to go nab another one of those off lease boxes from the store... Big time render fest coming up for the next couple sequences...

A little quick calculation, vs the old p3 500 that I started with (and still have) = 12 x the computing power that I had just 5 years ago when I made Rocketmen vs Robots ep.1

Which means that Archon Defender has to be 12 times as awesome as Rocketmen 1.

I also got a scanner today:
Just to make life easier for converting my storybored recipe cards into animatics, scanning in porno mags, etc.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I should post something on my blog...

It's been a bit since I've posted an entry. Not ridiculously long, mind you, but I have been busy lately getting this latest sequence done.

Notice the technological* on the left hand side, a fine example of my top secret 'airports make cool tech / metal / industrial models' technique I discussed earlier.

It's 2 mins long, and one of those 'character development' sequences that ties together the different threads of the film so far, to move onto the next couple of sequences, which are really heavy on the action.

So keep one eye half open on this page, I'll be working on my ground battle war scenes next, and it's going to be hella mad intense! ;D

*Technological: Any model or prop that looks high tech or complicated, but with no apparent or explained mechanism of operation having any basis in our real world.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Modeling the next set of... sets...

I've been modeling the next couple of sets I'll need to fill in some upcoming shots.

This time it's a new revision of the Archon air base set:

I still have to add in the far background in after effects, the foreground of this shot is going to be from a raised guard platform that I have yet to model. Plus I need to make an air raid siren, which I haven't quite designed yet.

My current scene requires a few shots from the ground level of the flight staging area. These shots are another example of a lot of work going into a shot that lasts maybe 20 seconds of the whole film.

Once this shot is done, it's on to the super massive epic war scene ;D (where I plan to cheat a lot and save a lot of modeling time by using smoke and explosions to cover the background ;) ... stay tuned for updates ;)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

45:00 mins done :D

woot yayz 45:00 ftw

Right. So I finally made it to the epic 45:00 minute mark, which means that I'm 3/4 of the way to my goal of a final running time of 60 mins. This means I should be just about done shooting sometime in Jan 2009, then with reworks, music and sound effects which should take far less time than animating/comping, the 1st installment of Unity, Archon Defender, should be done.

Yup. that's right, at some point I came up with two more movie ideas that should just about round out what it is I'm trying to convey with these films:

Archon Defender deals with the motivating circumstances of betrayal, loss, and isolation, and how this drives some people to act out of hatred, while others are strengthened by their ordeals.

The Secret of Sound will deal with our perceptions of space and time, and how we are simultaneously limited and liberated by our own consciousness' interface with the world.

A Call to Minds will be a manifesto of individual achievement against naysayers and denegrators who will never amount to any achievement of significance in their own lives.