Storyboard of the first part of this project. Essentially the keyframes. The actual character rig will be really simple this time, I plan to make it up only from flat planes – perhaps not completely flat, just a hint of cylinder. Anyway, showing the movement in a storyboard first lets me know exactly what will move and where; helps me build specifically for each camera shot.
Pro Tip: Use your arrow keys to cycle through the drawings to see some rough motion.
Because the imgur album won’t embed here is the 1st image (to encourage clicking of link etc)
Filed under Drawing, Masters
Fixed the background so it actually works now. It turns out it was waaaay too big (file size/video dimensions). I wish .gifs worked, that would be so simple.
Scanline renderer worked this time! that was nice as it meant I could go back to my old ways of getting a render done in a super quick time. It also made everything whiter, removing most lighting and shadows and reducing the depth that the 3d render (mental ray) gave; which is nice and all, but not for this scene – there are too many solid objects and things built to a relatively realistic perspective. It also highlighted all of the problems with the textures even more…
The first render had such a distinct contrast between foreground and background. I thought that if I replaced the flat background with some 3d objects (from an older project) then I could get the two to blend together a little better. Admittedly the wrong thing to do, I want everything to be a bit ‘flatter’. Some technical issues have made those buildings look just as flat as the previous one. I just need to sort out the lighting to sort that out.
The contrast between 3d and 2d can certainly produce some interesting results, not just visually but also if used as some sort of narrative tool.
One more render with a bit of shadows around the buildings, maybe a higher resolution one too, just to compare.
Updated album of images - http://imgur.com/a/teAUo#0
Weird! It moves really really fast, I should probably slow it down a little. There aren’t the full 100 frames because 3dsMax crashed at 77 so it doesn’t loop properly. No idea why. Although, I suppose it could be to do with the background avi. This is the same settings as the outlines around the characters yet it behaves differently; flickering on and off every couple of frames.
Here is a Gif of the background moving normally. It doesn’t loop very well and the scale changes a lot, but nevermind.
Overall though I feel the scene is improved while in motion. The way the floating outlines move against the objects helps to diminish their 3d solidity, makes everything blend together and not look as harsh as the still images. Also it being a a really low resolution helps… probably. It might be worth putting outlines around more parts, such as the window frames, roof and possibly even the poles. But I do want to finish this and move onto something a lot more interesting and ‘sketchy’ – and focused on character animation. That is what I need to be doing really.
I was really disappointed with the way this was turning out, most of the objects appear too solid and straight edged. For some reason I have working all wrong, I should have been using the same techniques I was the last two years – lots of planes with drawings pasted on instead of unwrapped 3d objects. This makes everything feel much more like a drawing.
I made a few changes to this scene rather then scrapping it (just because the experiment is still worth it, and problem solving skills blah blah blah). It is looking much better already, not perfect, but better. Hopefully once in motion and with the addition of a floating outline around the characters and chairs it will appear more ‘sketchy’.
There isn’t that much left to do in this piece, I have decided to make the animation much shorter and loop it (just like the squid). This means no bus stopping and starting, just continuous driving. Also much more simple character movement. I just need to get back to achieving the ‘feel’ of my older work, when I was doing it for the first time and basically just dicking around. Just take a cool sketch, get into 3d and move it. Nothing overly complicated, just keep it simple and as organic as possible. No more straight lines!
I am slightly overdue an update on this really.
I have modeled and textured the environment for this project, except for the outlines that will float around the edges of every object. That will be pretty simple to complete, I can even mock up an example if I print a current render and draw over it (similar to the old man character)
Album of renders: http://imgur.com/a/teAUo#0
There are a few bits that I should fix within this scene, but they aren’t completely necessary to achieve what I originally intended. Quite a few of the textures are not brilliant, this is down to some pretty poor unwrapping and most importantly, not drawing them all to scale. The pencil lines are all varying sizes, they’ve been squashed or stretched due to to original size of the image used. UVW maps are 1024 x 1024, others are all different etc. This is something that I need to consider at the start of a project. I could also look into using Mudbox, because it will fix this sort of thing for me automatically – but may also change the whole “hand drawn” aesthetic. Dilemma.