Friday, March 30, 2012

Final Render and Composite

Rendering the final shot now!  Things are shaping up.

Now I am passing most of the shots through the make-look-good-erator, which is basically a node setup that adds bloom effects and other nifty, sneaky techniques to make the video look more... uh, more... more good! =D

 As you can see, the images are very similar to each other, but the lower one has passed through the make-look-good-erator and therefore looks more good. =)

Rendering final shot, will be done by Sunday.  Final composite and uploading Part One probably Sunday or Monday! =D



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Part One Nearly Finished

Getting there.  Nearly done rendering Part One.  Probably will be able to upload it to Vimeo by Saturday or Sunday night, depending on how busy the weekend turns out to be!

While the render is going on, started work on the characters for Part Two.

Started final editing of the film.  Again, using Blender 3D's sequence editor to do the work.

Final sound mix will happen sometime this week, once the final dialogue is recorded.  All the blue strips are the sound effects.  As you can see, it can get a bit complicated! =D

Hope everyone is doing great!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Amotz Plessner

The movie is starting to come together faster, now, as character animation is almost done for the first part of the film. =D

I've settled on a soundtrack for the picture, but I'm still wondering if I should include some kind of musical cue for the opening of the film, or leave it as effects only.

I got the music from  The song is called War and Hope and can be listened to here.  It was composed by a guy named Amotz Plessner, who has done some impressive music in some pretty high end material.  I can select parts of the song that I want to hear and toss other parts, and even set the lead instrument to be used, in this case, favoring the violin lead instead of the voice.

Needless to say, things are looking good for the movie to be done by this time next week. =D

I changed the opening title, and am still not happy with it. =(

 Title sequences are hard to do, because they have to be visually compelling, but also easy to read for the audience. It's a real struggle!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Walk Cycle Blues

Still struggling with the character animation aspect of the project.  Here is a rough walk cycle.  It's extremely choppy and not very fluid at all.

I'm tempted to simply call the walk cycle done and be on my merry way, as, at this rate, I'm not reaching the self-imposed deadline as it is!  I've got very little done this week so far, except this walk cycle.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3D Film Challenges!

Making an indie film is a very strange experience, I found.  Especially when doing it in CGI.

Animation, especially character animation, is extremely frustrating and time consuming.  I've reached two shots that I can't avoid, as they make the scene work, and both of them involve some form of character movement that's more than just standing there. 

One problem shot is of the character walking down a ramp.  The results thus far have been, sadly, a nightmare!  Open GL Render!  What looks fine in still image can be very awful looking when animated.  The character walks as though he had just dropped a load in his breaches.

The second shot is, hopefully, going to involve a lot less frustration.  So far, it LOOKS great, but the animation is of the character stepping in front of the camera, unfocused in shot.


Needless to say, most of this day's efforts have been largely in vain, unfortunately.

Hopefully tomorrow works better.  I've got to get these two shots done before Friday.

Fun fun fun!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Music Choices for an Independent Film

Choosing music for indie films can be very time consuming, but it's one of the most interesting factors in film making.

The main character, Leth.

One of the spaceships in the movie.  The gunship Leth rides into Plagarus on.

Things are shaping up.  I've got a voice actor for Leth, one of my best friends will do it for it me.

Another best friend is offering his voice, too.  Let's see this thing get done.

Part One should be out by next week, I hope.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Hover Bike

The main character needs to have a ride for those long strolls through the desert wastes of Plagarus. =)

It needs some more detail, I think, but I like it. =)


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Learning Cycles Nodes

So, learning nodes in Cycles is a very interesting and challenging quest.  In short: I'm really enjoying it, and the results from the Cycles engine are really impressive, especially considering we're completing one or two shots per day. =)

It starts with this:

A simple animatic to get a general idea of what the action will look like.  The animatic is animated at full resolution and frame rate, but is rendered in what's called OpenGL, which is a very fast render (on my computer, about 1 frame a second, depending on scene complexity).  Obviously, it's not very pretty, but it gives the initial idea that we want.

Then it goes to this:

The video is rendered with full lighting and texturing.  This can take a while. Again, this is depending on scene complexity, but it can take days to render a 120 frame shot.

Then we take this:

We need to do several passes for each render.  This is the z-depth pass.  Basically, it's an image that tells the compositor exactly how far away from the camera each object in the scene is.  Lighter objects are closer.  This is necessary for the fog pass, which is next.

Fog pass:

We take both images and pass them through a special node system inside Blender Compositor which makes the distant objects fade into the background.

Final composite:

Now we have the final composite.  These noodles can get very long and convoluted.  Final details include dirt on the camera lens. Vignetting to center the eyes on the subjects in the scene, and other stuff.  Some of this stuff doesn't go into every shot, especially vignetting and dirt on the lens.  But in the desert plains of the planet Plagarus, camera lenses tend to get a bit dirty. =)

Hopefully, if you didn't know anything about 3D art or compositing with Blender 3D, this little jaunt into the world of 3D art has given you greater appreciation for the awesome coolness that is Blender 3D. =D

Hope you're all having a great week.  It's Friday tomorrow! =D


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Movie Project!

Well, I've started a new project.  I'm tired of doing still images, so now I'm doing a movie. =D

Without further ado, I give you, PLAGARUS!

 It's a movie that's modeled (mostly), composited, rendered and edited in Blender 3D!  I will be trying to use the Cycles renderer for the entire shebang!

Probably going to release the film in short, two minute segments as episodes, and then will release the whole thing once completed.

I hope you're all doing awesome. =D


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ice Base Finished

So I'm calling it done. =)

Render Time: 89 hours. =O

Passes: ~6000

Resolution: 3840 x 2160


Friday, March 9, 2012

The Ice Base Almost Done

I've since added a railing for the hole in the ground, as someone wisely pointed out it needed that.  Safety first on our imaginary ice planet. =D

Huge render over the weekend.  Hopefully I'm almost done. =)


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ice Base Still Going

Still going on with the ice base.  I'm getting closer to completion, but there's still a lot to do.

Not happy with the lights around the access hole in the floor.  So I'm planning on using one of my nice pre-made lamp models to replace the look.  They come in a variety of shapes. =)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ice Base Again

Still needs work on the turrets and fleshing out the minor details.  But we are getting there!


Monday, March 5, 2012


Something that's not a spaceship! =O 2012 must be the year after all. =D


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Gunship Ice Base

Still working on the scene.  Getting there.  Have great weekend everyone! =)

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