Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Caravan Fall09 Semester Progress

I have my end-of-the-semester review of my film's progress tomorrow afternoon, and as per usual with any student review, I've cobbled together a quick reel of a healthy portion of the work I've done throughout the semester (although this is hardly all of it - I could only fit in so much!) It's a little difficult to make out some of the rough animation in such a tiny dimension, I do apologize for that. Hopefully, however, it gets the point across well enough - The film's truckin' right along!

Put together in about 3 hours, throughout today, amidst my Maya and Sound Design classes.

Caravan Fall09 Semester Progress Reel


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OMG TREES! (Part 1)

Here's 5 of 6 backgrounds I colored via Livestream the other night - only just now had the time to post them! (Ah, finals.) These cover shots 004, and 006-011, of Mia discovering in and consequently following Kelsey through the woods. I have, for a long while, imagined diffused oddly stage-spotlight esque lighting for these shots, in hopes of giving them a slightly dream-like, surreal quality, while still being fairly solidified in the reality that is established in the film as a whole.

Epic thanks to Kat for her help in flat-coloring some of these!


Sound Design In Progress

This semester, I had the opportunity to finally take Sound Design. I'd saved it for my senior year specifically in the hopes to be able to apply what learned directly to my thesis film. My professor, Aaron Gelman, was kind enough to allow me to use my final project for the class to begin to build a Foley database for Caravan's eventual final sound mix. The sound I've edited to parts of the animatic below is not by any means finalized, but it's a good, rough start for certain, and is beginning to establish the audio mood and feel I'm looking to project in the film.

Of note: The humme dtune in the backdrop of both of these clips is, in fact, myself. The tune itself is "Mia's Song," - a lullaby of sorts I've had invading my thoughts routinely while working on this film. Also, the guitar/harmonica tune of The Edmond Fitzgerald in the second clip is by the awesome mister Larry Larson, who has been kind enough to agree to work with me on the final musical score for the film in January.

Clip 1:

Clip 2:


Friday, December 11, 2009

Mia's Path to School

Two more backgrounds completed, and I may LiveStream the coloration of more this evening. I'm working on a number of the films' opening shots at the moment, taking place in the span of early spring, on Mia's long, rural path to school. Here are the backgrounds from shots 002 & 003.

The Talbert Farmhouse, as it will first appear in the film.

I've had this shot, with this particular lighting, in my mind for a while now. It was really nice to finally be able to sit and render it out.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Opening Shot Completed Background

S001 - The Talberts' Front Lawn in Spring

Here's the background from the very first shot of Caravan! The shot is a multi-plane one, each tier of the roof and the ground being separate elements, so that we will better be able to force a feeling of depth when we pull this whole thing into After Effects.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Finals Week Game Plan

It's that time of the semester - I'm officially battening down the hatches and rushing headlong into Finals. That said, here are my official plans for Caravan's production over the course of the next 9 days:

Mel's Wacky Finals Week Caravan Game Plan

Shots to rough animate before presentation:

- Shot 21, just over 4 seconds - girls react to seeing Kavenaughs in camp
- Shot 26, 3 and a half seconds - Mia looks back then smiles at Charlie's acceptance
- Shot 50, 2 1/4 seconds - Ethan charges Mia
- Shot 51, 1 second and 4 frames - Ethan grabs Mia
- Shot 52, 1 1/2 seconds - Kelsey looks shocked
- Shot 55, 4 1/2 seconds - Kelsey pounds on door, pants (Mostly looped animation, & 3-frame hold still)
- Shot 56, 3 seconds 6 frames - Kelsey runs up walk

Complete and FTP the following for Niles by this weekend.

- FTP completed S019 and S013 backgrounds (Campground Pan and Fireside Rest)
- FTP the exact timing needed for both shots in WordPad Document.
- Do clean-up for still character shots in S019 and S013
- Scan S019 and S013 and have Niles overview the color process to flat-texture the clean-up shots.
- FTP cleaned-up, colored S019 and S013 characters to go with backgrounds.

The goal in doing so will be to have two completed shots to show for Final reviews.

Background Rendering: (to be completed during AVC Shifts, including Thursday's 24-hour extra shift)

- S001: Background for opening shot of Mia skittering up her front path from overhead.
- S002: The Establishing Shot of the Talbert Farmhouse
- S003: Opening Woods Shot Mia walking sulkily to school, looking very tiny next to towering, barren trees.

- Use Portions of Friday and Saturday evenings to complete first full draft of thesis paper (which is already 1\3 complete)

Percentage calculator: (So I can keep track of where I'm at!)

Of Note:
  • If I getup to 50 shots completed in rough for the semester, I'll be 61% completed with rough animation.
  • To reach 50 shots, I only have to complete 7 more pencil tests in 9 days.
  • I'm 62% completed with backgrounds, without completing the one listed above.
  • I've also begun recording sound effects for the film's final sound design.
You can watch my progress on this to-do list as I tick them off on its recently published GoogleDOC. And bare in mind that the above workload is in addition to 11 seconds worth of computer animation for my Character 1 Maya class, as well as my Sound Design final (Although, said Sound Design final is allowing me to collect sound for Caravan's soundtrack, so hooray for that!)

Wish me luck!

5 New, Completed Backgrounds

Here are some of the latest completed backgrounds for Caravan. I've also completed 4 simple textured wash backgrounds, though those are hardly interesting without characters in them as accompaniment!


Production Photos (Pt 1)

For a chuckle, I thought I'd post couple of photos I've taken of life amidst film production. I'm a complete shutter bug by nature - I absolutely love to capture life in still frames - so, my time so far working on Caravan has hardly fared much differently. I'll post ore photos as I go undoubtedly. Here's a few to start:

A small portion of Senior Studio, as well as some of my awesome classmates The two fellows in the middle were visiting underclassman, the folks on either end, Christina and Matt, are fellow seniors, and wonderfully talented ones to boot.

Myself, at my light table, working on a perspective run shot that was rather giving me a bit of hell last Monday.

Patrick, working on shadow model for his film, My Dad the Giant.

There are SO MANY amazing games coming out in the past few months and I haven't had time to play a one of them. A fix to this deprivation, however? watching my lovely boyfriend Niles play them whilst I work - the proverbial two birds with one stone! Thus far, I've seen him through through Brutal Legend, Dragon Age, Assassins Creed 2, Condemned 2, and replays of Bioshock.

More soon,

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whew! The Doozie!

EDIT: Oh, the perils of saving and uploading files in the wee hours of the morning, on absolutely minimal sleep. It just dawned on me that two of my lighting/shadow layers were invisible on the file I uploaded earlier. So, here's the proper image, complete with lighting on the river, and shading on Nana's pop-up camper in the middle of the scene there. I have also left up the improper upload for comparison, and to giggle at what a silly tit I am when tired.

Shot 019 - the establishing shot of the Caravan.

The "Oops" Upload, by comparison:
I knew, out of all my backgrounds, this one would be the most consuming to color, so I decided to get its final render out of the way up front. Not only and I pleased with the result, I can rest assured that, compared to this doozie, the rest of the final background renders will be a piece of cake!

More again soon,