Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Working From Home Tuesday

take a look at this when you get a chance and we can talk.

It's all the scenes, minus the first and last 1-2. So, really, it's not "all" of the scenes, but it's several.

I'm @ home all day today but available via IM or phone.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

A couple days with no posts...

...and with not much work getting done.

Regardless, I was able to start animating the animatic and have strung together a few shots. Based on the storyboard we first worked out, these are shots 2, 3, 7 and 8, in that order. Clearly some shots are missing. Nevertheless, it's a good first exercise for seeing how we can move through the world.

So, what's wrong with it? Well, the timing is rather weak and does nothing to set the mood of this open. Moving into final animation, I want the girl to feel small and tentative. She's exploring a part of the city she's not spent time in and she's looking for something. And, probably, as she moves through the world, it starts to crowd her, to loom up around her and, eventually, she gets pulled inside - not literally.

I think that the few shots that have a moving camera need to fit together better as well, here and in the shots as we move forwards.

What I do like about some of these is the framing, where there are fore, medium and back ground elements that all block together a nice shot.

And RE how much sky is visible, I'm not sure how exactly we're gonna handle that yet.

I'll get a few more shots up tomorrow and recut the animatic. I think I'll probably make it too long at first, and then we'll cut it back together.

And one odd thing rendering out this movie, After Effects wouldn't render to H.264. After Effects instead of FCP? Yeah, whatever. I use AE every damned day of my life, it's just too easy to open it up and cut a little sequence together in it than it is to open a real editing program. At one point I thought I should devote some serious time to FCP but really, come on. The last thing this world needs is one more editor.

Back to the point, I could Export to H.264, but not Render to it. Apparently it's an issue related to the source of your footage. These are Playblasts outta Maya, saved as .mov's. What that means in this context, I have no idea.

James - comments welcome.

(Man, I need to get faster "up" speeds. Or I've got to start UL'ing when I start typing. I'm only getting 43kbps UL'ing to Google video. Is that slow? It sure feels slow.)

Monday, April 2, 2007

More gray buildings and...Cylons?!?!?!?

The real big news is nothing at all to do with this scene. It's that I just watched the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica. Holy crap! I was freakin' blown away.

Well, my heart rate has slowed somewhat and I've stopped repeating "oh my god" over and over again...but oh my god! That was some dramatic tv.

Attached is a tiny update, a screen grab of the alleyway shot where I've been adding geometry and trying to plus out just enough to work for the animatic. I'm modeling in a very poly-inefficient way, knowing that the vast majority of these buildings will be rebuilt for final. Still, it irks me to pump out such crap-tastic shots. The rationale, of course, is that if I polish these things, then we look at the animatic and hate them, well, then I'll have wasted my time.

Top shot is camera view, bottom is perspective camera.

So here ya go. Cheers.

The end of the weekend

Screens posted, as promised.

I had nearly no time at all to get work done on this thing today.

The biggest part of my day was spent at the rock gym, setting in the bouldering section. I climbed pretty well, better at least than I've climbed lately. After a couple rather large falls, though, my back is utterly pretzeled. Ugh.

So all that was fun, but it wasn't the film. I forced myself to open up the file and start painting up geometry. I only worked on one shot, which crashed the hell out of Maya when I first started. Ultimately I figured out that I had to turn everything off before subdividing my mesh. Polycount on the scene has gotta be out of hand, but for some reason it doesn't show in my HUD, so I don't really know what it is.

Anyway, I painted in a hill and lattice-transformed the appropriate buildings. The reference shot for this scene is:

which isn't mine, but something I found on Flickr. Flickr = the best photo-reference site in the world. I'm browsing Flickr nearly every day looking for shots for either the film or for work.

So, yeah, the geometry in the scene is pretty crap-tastic, but that's kind of the point. Everything that we determine to be in-camera, once the animatic is finished, will be rebuilt much more cleanly. A keen eye will note that every window and door is identical, that'll change too.

...So, bummer that I didn't get more done, but I'm happy with what there is.

More to come.