Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Extras = Body Count ++

It sucks to be an extra in one of my films. Extras don't survive long on the screen. Some barely manage to live through 2 or three shots before meeting their ultimate demise in cruel, amusing, and creative ways. Take this group for example: They don't even get the dignity of fashion before they get put through the meat grinder (note: not an actual meat grinder...)

Actually, these atrociously colored outfits aren't the final color. I haven't quite decided what that will be, though the "color replace" filter in After Effects will let me change the color to whatever I want when I comp the next set of shots. I just needed outfits that weren't red >:D

Extras live a kind of life in limbo, always coming back
in different outfits with different props, only to be
killed off in ever increasingly tormenting ways.

Monday, April 28, 2008

3D Made easy #9: Endorphin to 3D Max

Several people have emailed me asking how I managed to get data from endorphin into 3D Max. A very good question, since it wasn't easy, and my method isn't the 'official' way as described in the endorphin docs (oddly enough, for an app that'll set you back 5 digits at least, importing data into 3d max doesn't seem to actually work)

Start with the default endorphin character, inflict whatever tortures your twisted imagination can conjure.

1) File > Export
2) save as type .BVH
3) pick a filename to save and hit "save"

The export window parameters will pop up

4) check 'reference character'
5) hit the dots button to pick the reference character
6) pick the 'eyesjapan' character
7) hit ok, and leave all settings as default
8) click ok to save the motion file


Now in 3Dmax, set up a default biped.

(This is where it's handy to save a version of your biped as a .fig figure pose file in 3d max because when we import the .bvh motion file from endorphin, it's going to mess up the scale of your biped.)

1) Under motion capture click on the 'open motion capture file' button
2) Pick file type .bvh
3) Find and open your .bvh file that you saved from endorphin
4) This will pop up another import filter popup, leave all as default and hit ok

3D max will think for a bit (and maybe crash) but when it's done you'll notice your biped has been f*@&ed up. To bring back your biped:

5) click on the 'figure mode' button
6) click on the 'open file' button

The button right to the right is the save file button, clicking on this button in figure mode will let you save a figure file of your biped, as I mentioned above...

7) Pick your saved biped figure file and hit ok

Now play with the time slider, and your biped will act out the motion from your endorphin file.


You may have to fine tune your 3d max biped, it's not uncommon to end up with hands moving though other body parts, etc. So use the 'layers' feature of biped to fine tune the motion, collapse everything to one layer, and save the motion as .bip files that you can use in the motion mixer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

hmm :|

ok so why is my main blog url not working but I can still get in to al l the page links :(

update:
hmm oic

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Blogger will be unavailable Wednesday (4/23) at 4:00PM PDT for about 10 minutes for maintenance.

nm.

here's a picture of chickens:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Allow myself to introduce... ...myself.

I was busy today setting up an account over at IndieGoGo, part of my nefraious scheme to take all of your money while I'm driven away in a rolls royce, smoking cuban cigars lit with a burning $1,000 dollar bill, while the rest of you lie in the gutter shivering in the cold rain wishing you were me.

So one of the things they want you to do is 'describe yourself', which (if you're anything like me) is more arduous than writing a cover letter and resume. Or like taking one of those 'personality tests' where they end up wanting you to join some crazy religion or something.

So without further adios, I interview myself:

Canadian filmmaker and animator David T. Krupicz, who goes by the nick 'nodelete', has been creating 3D animated films since 2001, starting with his groundbreaking entry "Rocketmen vs Robots" and three subsequent sequels, which have played to great reception at festivals, but focused primarily to an online audience. "It's the online audience where the future is. Digital distribution is the future, it's here now, and the film festivals are getting left behind'

Nodelete is one of many emerging artists who wield technology to create cinematic works that would have been impossible just a decade or two ago. "We are part of an unstoppable revolution in filmmaking, where a single individual can master all aspects of production without constraints of time, money, or what I call 'creation by committee'. The internet and computer technology make it inevitable that more artists like me will continue to emerge."

Nodelete has roots in the electronic music scene, and the oldskool amiga mod music scene. "This kind of thing has been around for ages. Back in the day, we would all swap music files made in soundtracker, octamed, or impulse tracker over dialup bbs's or floppy disks. Then it was the internet and mp3.com. Nowadays film is just catching up to where music was 15 years ago."

As a jack of all trades, Nodelete's years as a techno / electronic artist come in handy for filmmaking. "Compared to movies, music is dead easy, just slap some beats together with a DX7 bassline and a ring modulator. But I'm able to do the sound effects and the score to my films which gives me more creative control over my films."

Nodelete's latest project is well under way. "It's titled Archon Defender, and it's going to be a lot different than my rocketmen films were. A lot darker and more emotional, I wanted to create a film that reflects the modern realities that we've had to face since 9/11. The film deals with issues of loss, purpose, tyranny and injustice, sacrifice and honour, and standing up
to defend your freedoms from being eroded away. It's a film that's been percolating on the back burner of my mind for a while, and it finally coalesced into a kernel of inspiration. It's a lot more intricate and involved than that, but I'll be explaining it as I go along on my production blog."

Nodelete's previous works, and previews of the upcoming Archon Defender, can be viewed at his youtube channel, as well as on his blog.


Two squirrels were injured during the course of this interview.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Storeybored Time Again

Now that I'm done the last few shots that now tie together all of my scenes into a single film of 40 minutes, it's time to get to work on the next bunch of shots. The script is almost all done now, and this means it's also time to get some storyboreds done.

Following the advice of M dot Strange, I went out to the dollar store and grabbed a couple 10 packs of recipe cards. These are the ideal size for storyboreding, plus you can rearrange them as you see fit, insert cards etc. Just make sure to follow the numbering scheme of the old Commodore 64 Basic programming days: number your cards in increments of 10 20 30 40... etc so you can easily add frames in later (15...17 etc...) Numbering your cards is advised, lest you spill them all on the floor at some point.

You'll notice how fancy and colorful these cards are. Normally I wouldn't go to such effort, except that being bored at work in a call centre lends itself perfectly to coloring in storybored cards. That's why I call them story_boreds. The coloring actually makes the panels easier to follow. Bad guys get red, good guys get blue, certain effects get their own colors, and main characters get their own colors as well. Backgrounds are done in representative colors, with an eye to establish some of the visual elements that I'll create in detail when it comes time to model and animate.

Action sequences are impossible to plan out any other way than with storyboreds. I typically start out by drawing a few action sequences, as above, splitting each card into 3 frames to get an idea of the action, but still enabling me to insert and rearrange cards as I want.

After I get a bunch of totally unrelated, uncontinuitous (?) cards done, I'll go back and fill in the gaps, linking the action so that a story starts to emerge. Now, based on the script I have a general idea of the things that need to happen, and I fill in the gaps until I figure it shows enough of the story to convey what I'm attempting to say through the story.

I don't always go to such great extents with my storyboreds.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Other movie projects to watch

Archon Defender isn't the only film being made in the entire world. In fact, each year, on average, over 50,000 movies are made worldwide (rough estimate)

Apparently, the Ayn Rand movie adaptation of atlas shrugged is back in production. Whether or not it will star any ninjas is doubtful, though I hear Sylvester Stallone is going to be involved:




Update:
Wow, the untiring army of ants (also know as Ayn Rand supporters) sure are a busy bunch, devouring any mention of Ayn Rand that pops up on the web:

behold!

Hmm.

Well, there's no such thing as bad publicity, and mr. Flibbertigibbet is pretty close to the mark:

"the metaphysical premises behind the universe in the film involve some pseudo-scientific-quasi-religious mystical based super powers... and some other junk."

Yup. Well, Archon Defender does have deeper meaning than all that (which I'll get into in future posts) but I did distill a lot of different things together to create the world of Archon Defender: Conspiracy theories, Quantum Mechanics, Religious beliefs, Reincarnation, anything that you would typically hear on Coast to Coast am (excluding UFO's or Bigfoot)

Now as for what I think of Ayn Rand (and in particular, Atlas Shrugged):

It's one of the books I've ever read in my entire life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Musical selection of the day part 7

It's easy to rip on Moby, cuz' he's had his fifteen minutes of fame like twice already, and still seems to pop his head up every now and then. But from time to time he does manage to make some good music, as such:



Now he's announced that he's offering a bunch of tracks for indie filmmakers to use in their own productions over here, which is cool if you're a filmmaker and you have no musical talent of your own. Or you dont know any other musicians. Or you are not insane and doing your whole movie yourself... liek ev4rything... in which case you might want this.

Monday, April 14, 2008

40 minutes +++

woot. :D

I finally reached the 40 minute mark, not to mention that the film is finally (almost.. except for 1 shot...that I have to build a huge exterior model for...) in one piece as well. =D

To celebrate this momentous occasion, here are some stills from the latest comp:

Lucia and Sky Marshal Orobous oversee their attack on Archon

They don't build 'em like they used to.

The glass floor turned out good (and it's totally fake btw.. fake as in
not raytraced, but comped in with after effects for 1/10 the rendering time.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This is what it's all about...

Nothing exciting to see here: move along...

I'm busy rendering the next sequence of shots, 540 frames (36 seconds.. that's right I'm doing this at 15 fps due to lazyness :P and other reasons... 15 fps looks better for animation than 30 fps, go compare rocketmen 1 to the other 3 films...) Here's a cel with Lucia and Sky Marshal Orobous. Lucia is one of the main characters in the film (more on characters later... when I'm not ridiculously up past my bedtime) Orobous, however, didn't fare too well in the script rewrites. He only gets one line, and he's not going to survive the film :O onoes


The final comp will have several layers, though not too complicated but with a really HUGE scale set. Lip syncing, animating, rendering, and comping is really exciting stuff. Lots to report. hmm... I should have some more stills to post tomorrow after comping....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rocketmen vs Robots

Archon Defender isn't my first and only film, I've done three other films in the Rocketmen vs Robots series, which you can find here.


I've submitted all four rocketmen films (80 mins, so it's like one big movie with 4 chapters...) to the From Here to Awesome film festival. So if you want to see rocketmen on a big screen type festival, (or if you just want to see the rocketmen films totally own another film festival the way I totally pwn3d renderfest in Toronto a few years ago...) go here and vote for rocketmen vs robots. *o ys apparently you have to register at their site in order to vote :\ that seems kinda dumb to me, but film festivals always seem to have one stupid rule or another, like "we don't accept films that have already been online' or 'we dont take films on dvd that you can burn at home, we only accept some obscure film format that you've never heard of and will cost you $10,000 to get your film transfered onto'

Time to build some new sets...

Now that I'm ready to move on to the next scene, it's time to build some sets. Luckily I've sketched out some ideas beforehand so I'm not just going blind into it as usual. Hell, I almost have the whole script written now too. Above is Lucia's command chamber, which will be used a couple times in the film, including the final climatic showdown, so there has to be lots of stuff to break, and there has to be room for all the parties involved to really go at it... (check out the excerpt from the film I posted a while back to see what I mean ;) This one is almost ready for the interior shots, of course this set has to be a 360 degree environment, and that means a few more details have to be figured out.

So the next couple of weeks are going to be short on the actual getting film done, but these 3d models don't build themselves.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April 4: +17s

+17 s today ( and +52 s for the week :)

The 'old picture' effect is a good way to show the passage of time.

I've played down the whole drill Sargent thing in my film
Why bother, when Full Metal Jacket has it down perfectly.

The final comp for the dojo scene.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Character Designs part 1

Here's some final renders of a few of the characters in Archon Defender:

"lazy co worker"

He's more of an extra, and so far you only see him
from behind the left shoulder, for one shot.
(heh.. he doesn't even qualify for a real name >:P
so I'll probably recycle him if I need a crowd / civilian scene
or if I need to bump up the 'body count' a bit



Merelle. Poor Merelle... onoes :(
Her scenes didn't even make it into the first 'draft'
let alone into the storyboards. She is still in a couple
shots, but doesn't say anything. Another candidate
for recycling with different color hair / clothes.

I had to make a character to fit the name though... I think
'Merelle' is a city down in south virginia or somewhere
(I get a lot of good names from city and street names
when I'm otherwise bored at work...)

Mary.
Mary is an important, although peripheral character in the film.

Alan. Alan is one of the main characters in the film
and I also had to design 3 separate outfits for him.
This means 3 different 3d models: civilian, dress uniform and pilot uniform

If you're a main character in one of my films, you get your own name tag.
It's one of the few perks, but barely compensates for the rough ride you're going to get >:D

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It's Finally Finished!!!

=D

After 1 and a half years of work, Archon Defender is finally done!

Click here to download the full HD divx version!!!!

;D april fools