Continued Production

Posted by Sam Hayes On Friday, November 25, 2011 0 comments
Now that the dissertation draft has been handed in, It has been a bit more of a productive week. I've started work on another building, which is taking quite a while to get right. This is the Blacksmith, which will be focused on in a long pan-down shot, meaning it has to be high quality. It still needs some added modelling and some texture tweaking, along with a large Chinese lettered sign, but hopefully it will be completed today. One challenge of this project is optimisation - knowing when to use large textures and when to use heavy meshes, this building has each plank modelled opposed to textured on with normal maps, which is the method we'll probably use for some other, less important buildings. There is also a crate below, another prop that we'll use to scatter around our environment, to make it cluttered.

1024 Texture

512 Texture

Next up are some terrain tests, trying to get some good looking rocks and ground for our town's surroundings.

Production Begins

Posted by Sam Hayes On Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2 comments
I haven't posted much on my personal blog recently, focusing mainly on the Green Octopus group blog to show the progress, but now that final production is beginning, I'll be updating this much more. At some point I will redesign this blog using some content from this current project.

It's been a long road of pre-production and pre-visualisation but we are finally in the position to start creating final set-pieces and models for our short. We have quite a large selection of buildings, props and clutter to create  but hopefully the amount of variation and challenges ahead will keep the next weeks quite fresh and our work should evolve. After the hurdle of our dissertation draft is completed, we'll be in a good position to start filling up our town and make our designs come to life.

I've began a little prop modelling to go towards figuring out our style and texturing methods, following on from some production tests done by Richard last week. Below is a cart which every Western influenced town would need. I've tried to make it a little less generic by adding curved geometry and a rope-basket on the back. Knowing that the cart will be used more than once, a few variations will be needed to save from repetition. I'm sure the texturing could be improved, and I think that something that will be built on throughout the project.

Cart 01 Render

Cart 02 Render

Cart Wireframe

I've also began on a building, the Convenience Store, following a concept painted a few weeks ago. After looking at the pre-viz shots featuring this building, it seemed that it wasnt in any close shots, so I've aimed to keep it all on a 1024 texture map to try and save some resources. This was a bit challenging and some parts might need to be changed. This is a work-in-progress, it needs more clutter and a few improvements.

Original Concept

WIP Model


Lots more to come over the future weeks.

Pre-viz'in the Environment

Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, November 01, 2011 3 comments
Over the past week our project has been gradually moving out of Pre-production into the early stages of production. The next goal is to have pre-viz completed for the length of our animation and in the process hopefully portray more closely how we want our world to eventually look. Below are the two areas I've been working on.

First, is the alleyway, a tight-knitted cluttered byway through our town. The alley is comprised of buildings with different uses; a Convenience store (Silhouetted at the back), butcher shop, medicine shop (which doubles up as a makeshift shanty greenhouse) and a laundrette, which is nestled at the end of the street leading onto the main courtyard. Below are some shots of the alleyway.

This is a quick mock-up of the inside of the Medicine shop's growing room. The pre-viz might be a bit redundant here, but Richard's design portrayed rows of plants being watered through a pipe system connecting to the water-tower on top of the building.

More recently, I have been mocking up the courtyard, a more airy, open and spacial environment. The courtyard is the very back of the town, pushed up against the cliff wall which features the gigantic religious Buddha statue. The temple sits next to the statue, with wooden buildings also pushed up against the wall.
The pre-viz is still work-in-progress, the square will be more cluttered with posts, a well in the middle and some hanging lanterns.The statue is also so rough it might be mistaken for a blob...

As an idea for a 'money shot' we've been thinking about the entrance to the courtyard being cinematic and quite an epic shot. Below is a quick camera playblast showing the laundrette at the end of a street, the idea of a camera 'forcing' it's way through blowing sheets to suddenly reveal the huge statue seems like a good way to do this. Rough video/ animation but hopefully it helps to show the point. There would need to be more sheets blocking the view for this to work though.


The lighting in the pre-viz is a bit brighter for this, as I imagined it would be more open and less shadowed.

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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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