Sunday, 27 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Shot 42 Alpha Version

This particular playblast is missing the 2D character on the back bench but this will be added just not playblasted as we are full on rendering tomorrow. The character is static though so it shouldn't make too much on an impact to the animation itself.  We hope this allows you a bit more scope into the short.

For the alpha version of shot 42 a lot of the rigid mechanical motion has been fixed for both characters. There is now a sigh incorporated into Barnabas aswell as a better executed shifty face from Benjamin at the end... There is also idle motion so things are not too still.

The light and texture settings have also been set so the renders look a lot better, we are sure by now that you all get the drill of how these look without light or occlusion depth. There is a subtle spot light on Barnabas to stop him from falling into the dark... It only affects his shaders.

Catcha Later!

Post-Production: "& Son" ND Minor Renders

Hello Everyone,

A couple of weeks back (prior to April 14th) Phil asked us to provide a number of images from our respective Minor and Major projects to promote us at New Designers. Stitch was placed in charge of sending 2-5 respective images from our Minor project with Sammy handling the Major. These were the images Stitch chose to send just to give people an idea (in a single image) of the characters personalities. He also rendered out some environment and 2D prop renders which fall within the purview of the minor project. 
The first image was Benjamin Badgersworth pulling his "Tah-Dah" pose technically this is a major project pose but we figured why not. This is where the lighting was experimented with and its more or less how we found an effective balance of shaders vs. light. This is actually where Stitch decided to base our feature renders on a more washed out skin tone like the Benjamin render above.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Lighting & Shader Tweaks

Hello Everyone,

This post was meant to come sooner as it talks about the settings of the light and shaders for our scenes. We thought in hindsight that we should make sure the shaders worked effectively in each scene before "popping the hood" as it were. Now that most of the scenes are lit quite nicely by our textures we figured it was time to sit down and hammer out this post for those that are curious.

The image above shows a partial render of an unlit relatively flat Benjamin Badgersworth before fixes were applied to the shaders and the lighting in the scene. This is of Shot 51 where Benjamin denies that he is plotting a new prank. Light linking also played a role by allowing light to come through the windows of the interior church. This creates a kind of natural light.

Post-Production: 365 Day Project Shirt

Hello Everyone,

Another minor update but I am just getting these out of the way so the final posts can be in tune to the final production developments for "& Son" and some post effects. For those of you that do not know the "365 Day Project" is our companion project which ran alongside the third and final year of our degree recording all of the developments from our Technical Director David "Stitch" Vandepeer. To celebrate the near completion of the final year Stitch is creating yet another shirt.

The image above shows the designs used for the front and back of the T-shirt. People in our course have come to expect a T-Shirt design from Stitch at the end of each Unit as its more or less become his ritual. These particular designs combine the Polydoodle Pictures "Barnabas" character with the labels and logos from the 365 Day Project. There is also a personal favourite quote of Stitch's on the front of the T-shirt.

Post-Production: Polydoodle Easel Cards

Hello Everyone,

A minor update and it may be coming a little early but we thought we would get it out of the way. Basically we had been toying with the idea of having whoopee cushions as business cards but there were so many limitations we decided to make our business cards a little more "standard". That being said we wanted something that would stand out and would somewhat reflect our short... When googling Stitch found the perfect reflection of one of Benjamin's gags...
It is one of Benjamin's more controversial gags of the short but we found it kind of poetic that we are Polydoodle "Pictures". We will probably be knocking them over in accordance with the short... Just kidding. Anyway on the front is the picture frame from our short with Benjamin standing in front of it. The scene in the picture is the interior church which is where its knocked over. On the back are all of our details with the blog address... Pretty simplistic really but it looks cool.

Post-Production: "& Son" When Your Smiling

Hello Everyone,

This post is about Polydoodles day out at Sunlight Studios where they recorded the "& Son" theme tune "When Your Smiling" previously recorded by Louis Armstrong and countless others. The track will be used in key segments of our short to reflect Glady's Badgersworth's desire for her son Benjamin and husband Barnabas. Singing the vocals is Polydoodle Sammy's sister Lisa Butler so special thanks for that.

The video above is actually a behind the scenes look at our day out over at Sunlight, there was not a lot of recording time in the studio as Lisa seemed to have nailed the song within 2 takes. Never the less Polydoodle Stitch was there with his trusty camera to get the pre, prod and post play banter of the day. The music track itself was recorded by a contact of Polydoodle Chrissie's and she got us into the studio for the day so thanks to Chrissie for that too.

Video Logs: "& Son" Tutorials - Week 29

Hello Everyone,

As we gradually wind down I can probably mention that this is likely to be one of our last audio logs mainly because we are coming to the end of this unit and the birth of the final short. Its been a long journey and its actually quite nice to know that we are nearly there. There is a lot of stuff to be updated over on our companion site so you may wish check there on occasion after we have posted the final short.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Scene 6 Mark 2

Hello Everyone,

This post is fundamentally about Shot 57 which is the dancing segment of Scene 6 for the "& Son" short. Earlier today we finalized the animation so the pacing when mainly in time with the music, there were some frames slightly moved and the camera was ever so slightly adjusted not to move without Benjamin. This post also marks the use of our own music "When your smiling".

The video above shows the playblasted shot 57 with 58, 59, 60, 61 & 62. 62 is the only shot remaining in this sequence for revision so that will be the next adjustment for this particular Scene. There are a couple of versions of our adaptation of "When your smiling" and we will get those up shortly. For this the only version used was the one without any lyrics.

Last but not least we thought we would show some renders from the scene so people could get a little look at how this will look when it is rendered. The lighting is always a bit of a trial and error process. The images above are spaced across the animation to make sure there are no obvious issues with textures or reflections. This scene was probably the hardest and most fun to animate, it was a love hate thing.

Catcha later!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Scene 6 Fun Pass (Featuring MJ)

We did this video mainly because Stitch couldn't hold back this scene any longer but didn't want it to be taken too seriously just yet. Now to everyone out there this is to show musical timing as well as a nice dance animation (Shot 57). I originally animated this to Michael Jacksons "Black or white" (before we had our music recordings). Anyway don't read into it just enjoy and laugh :) If the video is removed for copyright reasons it don't matter... the damage is already done!

Production: "& Son" Scene 5 Mark 3 (with 2D)

Hello Everyone,

This post is about Scene 5 and the inclusion of 2D as it is the most 2D infested shot that Stitcheroo has. In this particular scene they are the crowds of people in the cues, the individual frogs and one 2D animated frog on planes. Towards the end a bit of animation was applied to static characters to make them move crudely in reaction to the frog parade. Its actually quite a funny sequence all together.

The video above shows the playblasted shots 50, 51, 52, 53 & 54. 51 is the only shot not to have any 2D as it involves Benjamin playing puppy eyes to his sceptical father. For clarity we placed in same scene twice with and without reference to show its influence as well as its "clean" state as windows all about the screen kind of take away from the experience within the playblasts.

Last but not least are clean renders from shots 50, 52, 53 & 54 to show how the 2D looks in the same lit scene with the 3D. Some elements had to be adjusted to not react to occlusion to avoid plane cutting in Maya... Others were kept in to ground certain 2D elements. Its a love hate relationship, maybe there will be another way to deal with this in future renditions.

Over & Out,

Monday, 21 April 2014

Scene 5 - 2D/3D playblasts

Shot 52

Shot 53

Shot 54

Texture Maps

My pc won't load all the textures or render anything so these are going over to Stitch for some visual TLC!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Shot 54 Alpha Version

Another key missing item of each of these playblasts is the transitions which involve the Church moving about allowing unique scene transitions. This is being provided by the talented Sammy Butler so hopefully any following versions will have this in to make the experience "amazing".

In this video we see the run of the gag which Benjamin has finally managed to unleash on his unsuspecting dad. There are going to be lots of 2D frogs jumping about this scene so we really hope that you don't mind a few slimy friends haha... Its going to be awesome!

In this shot you can see the quality of the lighting in the final render, its just missing the audience which will be provided by Chrissie Peters in another render... In the meantime we just hope you can visualise how cool this will look when everything is complete and rendered.


Production: "& Son" Shot 53 Alpha Version

This shot in particular is missing certain 2D characters which our artist Chrissie Peters has drawn, in some instances these characters do crudely animate. This is where our influence to Paddington Bear really shines through. We hope you enjoy this when it is finally here!

The video above is Shot 53 showing Benjamin and Barnabas standing patiently at the back of the church why the priest reads his sermon. This scene is probably one of our most populated for the short, the version that comes after this will be something to look at!

Last but not least is the rendered still of this particular shot, probably one of our favourites as the interior church can be seen in its entirety. The lighting of this scene is a little heavy but it really adds much needed depth to the world... We want it flat but not "too" flat.

Take it easy!

Production: "& Son" Shot 52 Alpha Version

For those of you that do not know Stitch's scenes were created separately so there was the added difficulty of accurately bringing across the shaders and lighting to each scene. Never the less everything still got there in the end including the continuity of the animation.

The video above is Shot 52 in playblast form devoid of light effects, at this level people should only be looking at the animation of the characters. Keeping everything at a low grade within the viewport is fundamental to being able to animate within a 3D program... If its too laggy how can you animate?

Above is a still shot from the scene, this is to communicate the quality of the render to the Polydoodle team. We want everyone to feel comfortable with the grade of quality and light the short uses to finally come together. Interiors can be difficult for external lights, its why you have to adjust light links.

Catcha later!

Production: "& Son" Shot 51 Alpha Version

There are still a number of things to add to these scenes including animated 2D characters for certain shots. This is one of the many reasons that these are branded "Alpha". These essentially mark the finalization of the lighting tests and 3D animation. We hope you enjoy them!

Above is shot 51 with little Benjamin denying that he is up to his usual tricks to his father Barnabas. There have been many work in progress versions of this but from discussions with Alan the hand gestures were altered as was the head movement to copy the Sammy reference more.

Above is a still render from the shot showing how his skin looks lit in the actual scene. There is an additional spot light keeping various areas of him from falling too dark. The amber look is coming from the light pouring in through the windows of the church.

Catcha later!

Production: "& Son" Shot 50 Alpha Version

This is the alpha version of shot 50 for Polydoodle Pictures "& Son". These posts are marked "Alpha" as they are still not final and may still be changed after the hand in of our short on May 4th. These alphas are just to mark the first "approved for render" versions.

Above is Shot 50 all on its own as we have previously established continuity with the previous works in progress. The main reason for these posts is to show the Alpha versions animated in play blasts, this is also to show a single frame of the rendered scene. Please check out the still below!

This is essentially how the scene looks with lighting and occlusion textures. We knocked up these stills to show each other how the scene looks rendered prior to initiating a batch render. It helps to see the scene before waiting for an entire scene to be rendered.

Over & Out,

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Scene 6 Development

Hello Everyone!

This little post is about further developments within our & Son feature coming very soon. We thought we should demonstrate the inclusion of 2D assets into 3D by making a little post showing the components in and out of the 3D Maya workspace. However, this is not to say that we do not have a slice of animation to show. Please check out the video below, comments appreciated!

These shots are primarily following the integration of 2D characters into our 3D playblasts. There have been a couple of camera adjustments to shots 58 and 59. Shots 60 & 61 are solely based on 2D planes within Maya, one camera moving one not.

Production: "& Son" Shot 58 Mark 2 WIP (with 57 & 59)

This shot has the end of 57 with 59 to show continuity. Shot 58 now has Benjamin with a decent run cycle, liken to the Sammy reference. Added some shocked frames prior to delay Benjamin reaching the portrait before the end of the shot. Everything seems to flow a little better now.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Scene 5 Mark 2

Hello Everyone,

Okay this is a bit more of a calling all update as it concerns all of the scene 5 shots which Stitch was delegated for our short. From his end there is still elements from Scenes 4 and 6. These are all taken from the interior church scene and concern a couple of Benjamin's little pranks. Please if you could provide feedback on the video in this post it would be much appreciated for us as we go deeper into production.

The image above is a little film reel showing some of the highlights from Stitch's selection of Scene 5 on the "& Son" Short. The following play blast reel took a little time to connect together as after effects had to have its frames adjusted for each comp. Anyway, these particular shots are branded "Final" but are still possibly subject to change pending the feedback from Polydoodles Sammy and Chrissie.

Production: "& Son" Shot 54 Mark 3 WIP

In this shot the adjustments include moving some of the key frames so Barnabas actions made more sense. He is now angled more towards Benjamin at one point to be aware of his sons actions. This is followed by the embarrassed hand to head gesture to shield his eyes from the embarrassment.

Production: "& Son" Shot 54 Mark 2 WIP

For this shot the Benjamin frog jump has been slightly increased in distance and height to look more exaggerated. Added some additional curious looks on the Barnabas facial controls. Moved the head slap moment down in the timeline... it is still a bit too slow.

Production: "& Son" Shot 50, 51 & 52 Mark 7/6/5 WIP

Okay this shot is possibly the final for 50, 51 and 52 unless told otherwise by the Polydoodle crew. For this shot I refined the Barnabas motion which included incorporating a turn and basic walk cycle motion. This completes the refinement of these particular shots... I think.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

General Round-Up of unposted 2D stuff - Scene 4

I'm increasingly aware that while my hard drive is filling up, my blogposting is looking empty so I'm catching up whilst rendering.

SCENE 4 - shots 44,45
The hats (modelled by Stitch) are now textured to match the close-up guest 2D characters. These characters now have animated tiff sequences that play on planes in Maya.

SCENE 4 - shots 42 and 47
These scenes have 1 2D character still on a plane within Maya.

SCENE 4 - shot43
The 2D characters have their own planes and are integrated into the 3D maya set.

SCENE 4 - shot 46

Production: "& Son" Shot 50, 51 & 52 Mark 6/5/4 WIP

This will probably be my final pass for Benjamin as I have added in additional coat tail functionality for this particular shot so it moves correctly with the leg. I also added some time at the end for the frog entrance which exceeds the allotted 200 frame allowance to 250 frames (2 additional seconds).

Scene 3 Part 1: Second Pass Animation

We're working through scene 3 at the moment. There's been some difficulties with timing and arms but they've been resolved as best they can at this stage.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Shot 50, 51 & 52 Mark 5/4/3 WIP

Made a number of corrections following discussions with Sammy and Phil as of last Friday. Removed frames from 51 adding them to 50 so the motions follow each other seamlessly. Fixed shot 52 for Benjamin's leg motion. The camera is also more subtle within 52 when moving to Benjis legs.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Scene 1 (rendered) and 2 (playblasts)

Opening Sequence (scene 1) Rendered
Having trouble with the textures on 2 scenes so they will be added as soon as the issue is fixed.

Second Pass Animation for Scene 2 (in Playblasts)
Again, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Shot 52 Mark 2 (w. Shots 50 & 51)

Mainly focused on getting the Benjamin character to flow across the 3 shots. Adjusted the foot that pushes the box of frogs to act more like the reference. Just generally refined the Benjamin character animation. Barnabas has not been touched.

shot 43 - 2D still

scene 4 - shots 44-46 2D

Some more 2D cutout animation ready to project onto maya planes.

guest 1

guest 2

guest 3

guests 1-3 hat sequences

old lady hat sequence

Production: "& Son" Shot 50 & 51 Mark 4/3 WIP

Adjusted camera focal depth on shot 51 making it more from Barnabas POV. Added blink functionality, Benjamin has quick (nervous) blinks Barnabas regular blinks. Check out this guide I found on animated blinking!

Production: "& Son" Shot 50 & 51 Mark 3/2 WIP

Providing motion continuity for Benjamin into the next shot (51), refined some of the motion for 51 brought in 52 to see the flow of all 3 shots it is yet to be retouched. Just fixing as I go right now.

Production: "& Son" Shot 50 Mark 2 WIP

Gave Barnabas more curious animation then the more obvious tell tale finger. Benjamin responds in kind which follows through to shot 51 (yet to be retouched).

First Pass Animation Mark 3

Another editing update. Now with all 3D character scenes included and opening sequence. Exciting stuff! Again, any feedback is always appreciated.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Production: "& Son" Shot 59 Mark 2 WIP

Adjusted the camera angle of this shot making it lower so the frame is more imposing (more to Benjamin's POV). Adjusted the focal depth to help fit objects in the frame.

Production: "& Son" Shot 53 Mark 4 WIP

Just slowed down the motion of the foot roll to make it more casual. It now rolls a little smoother at a more decent rate. Erm I guess I hope this is better :)

Production: "& Son" Shot 53 Mark 3 WIP

Just refined the quirk a little added in my reference video... please do not laugh at my pyjamas it was a bit of a late one...

Production: "& Son" Shot 53 Mark 2 WIP

This is a little quirk I thought an idle Benjamin could do... Rolling his feet back and forth. Not sure but thought it looked cute I guess..