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Old 18-01-2017, 07:28 PM   #1
majortom
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Showreel Animation Piece

I'm making a piece of showreel animation and this looks like the right part of the forum to put it. My goals are:

- Improve my character performance
- Improve overall story and story telling
- Get it finished !
- Demonstrate capability as a 3D generalist

As part of my research for better story telling I was watching the TED talk on the hero's journey:



Link: https://youtu.be/Hhk4N9A0oCA


So I've got to make sure to have the:

- Call to Adventure
- Entering Special World
- Trial
- Crisis
- Treasure
- Return from the special world

I had a look a lots of different short animations to see different ways as to how they applied these story. I've watched lots but ones like:



Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUvk38Lu3l8

Animation like this establish the stakes really clearly at the beginning with montage and voice over and then many of the Heros' Journey plot points are covered in the second and third acts. I saw a lot of animations had this montage introduction to establish the world and the stakes which was usually in a different animation style to the main movement of the animation. Like in this, the bit where the camera moves over the drawing of the guy turning into the wolf first. But I don't really want to have to get voice actors and organise recording as it's more work, that has to be a good performance by them; and that doesn't help me satisfy the goal of "Demonstrate capability as a 3D generalist". In my experience is to make the solution the most elegant and simple it can be while still meeting the goals of the work.

An example of ones that didn't have a voice over beginning were ones like:


Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pty_ykLB5t0

There were many other like this but in all of them the characters were always related or had some familial connection so you understood what the characters wanted and what the conflict was.

To try and reduce the amount of stuff in it so that it's a manageable amount of work. I was looking again at the overwatch trailer where they do the ordinary and special worlds all in the same place at the location of museum. The ordinary world of the boys after they watch the orientation video, transitions into the special world where the overwatch characters appears and then it returns to the ordinary world when the boy in blue is saying "wow" and the overwatch members have left.



Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqnKB22pOC0

So I guess it's going to be something like this below where there's no voice over, the performance is a lot about physicality cos there's no dialog, some progression of characters through their performance and three acts.


Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUwnVA6GNXo

But even in films like "The Artist" they were able to show the progression of a character's emotion through a good set up and then subverting expectations I'll have to try and work and do that.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agYeNNDnlMk
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Old 18-01-2017, 07:47 PM   #2
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So I guess my research means that the animation showreel piece will:-

- Be a lot about physicality or there's got be a familial connection between the the characters because there's not going to be any dialog
- The ordinary world and the special world from the hero's journey will be in the same place to make the amount work more manageable
- Still try allow time for showing progression in the character's emotion like in "The artist"

well I can try...

Last edited by majortom; 18-01-2017 at 07:54 PM..
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Old 19-01-2017, 08:18 AM   #3
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I've deciding on doing something like the mac n' cheese animation from the research, something that's short and a lot about physicality to progress the story.

I was thinking about doing something where there were some family members and one of them got kidnapped by monsters who wanted to eat them and the other family members wanted to get them back but there was too many story beats that had to be paid off for it to work, when I storyboarded it. I guess that story was going to be a bit like monsters inc and the labyrinth rolled into one thing and told in 5:00. Instead, I settled on something simpler where:

- A hero with a sword runs down a trapeze wire into a castle through a window, startling the guards inside.
-hero beats the guards
-alarm goes off
-hero has to escape by sliding down a stair case rail like a skateboarder using a dinner tray
-hero ends up in the magasine of the castle
-hero is gets wounded (low point of the story)
-hero escapes to a relative safety and a higher floor after cutting and holding on to a counter weighted rope
- hero pushes a guard down some stairs on to pursuing guards
-hero uses opportunity to escape out of window to safety

And here are some "naive" storyboards ...






I was thinking to book ending the animation with a film clapper boards and microphone boom coming into the picture as the transition between the ordinary world and the special world of the story; to make out as though this is something that's being filmed.
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Old 19-01-2017, 08:19 AM   #4
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So in order of production of got to make next :

- Environments
- Characters
- Animation
- Editing
- Sound
- Music
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Old 20-01-2017, 04:17 PM   #5
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Artstyle

I'm going to make the animation in a game engine so I don't have to render it. I was watching presentation on the art style of Diablo 3 and they said that they made the backgrounds all have low contrast and all the characters and picks up had a high contrast to allow for easier visual communication.

I was thinking about making the castle, a castle but modern. I was look at modern fortresses like at verdun and przemyƛl and looked at fortresses in films like Laputa: Castle in the sky.



I tried to do a paint over of modern museum exhibit of a fortress to work in the art style choices from diablo 3 that allowed for easier visual communication of the scene items.



I've also looked at games like Chronos which is a third person VR action adventure which has a fixed camera point in each room. To help the player see the action they always seem to have large rooms with a large light source over head, then narrower corridors with multiple small warm light sources. They always seem to choose a warm light colour to show where the path is leading next if the room is cool coloured, or a cool colour if the room is warmly lit. So I think these are effective notions to follow

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Old 21-01-2017, 11:01 AM   #6
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Castle dining room

This is the first of the internal environments for the animation. I'm going to complete the three internal environments of the dining room, stair case and castle magasine and then do the external castle and then do some rounds of improvements.






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Old 22-01-2017, 09:13 AM   #7
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Created the second environment that'll be used in the second storyboard page


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Old 23-01-2017, 01:33 PM   #8
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Completed the third internal environment

Last edited by majortom; 04-06-2017 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 24-01-2017, 08:21 AM   #9
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The external environment for the castle

Last edited by majortom; 04-06-2017 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 24-01-2017, 10:40 PM   #10
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A couple of paint overs for improvements to the environments

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Old 26-01-2017, 08:54 AM   #11
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Okay I've applied some of the changes from the paint overs



Details from the external environment



Details from the shell magasine final internal environment



Details from the first internal environment


Last edited by majortom; 26-01-2017 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 27-01-2017, 11:42 PM   #12
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Starting in on the protagonistic character

Testing the skin shader



I beefed up the skin detail in the sculpt and improved the skin texture and then tried a few hair style paint overs

These paint overs below were not very clear so I stuck a reference photo next to them


Last edited by majortom; 27-01-2017 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 30-01-2017, 04:05 PM   #13
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I've been trying to make progress on the main character bust. I've been working on the hair and I've had a few challenges to get up and over.



I've placed the hair planes too far apart in places and it lead to some bad shading.



Also I found that I was having some poor shading problems. I found out that I should have imported the models into unreal engine 4 without letting unreal recalculate the polygon normals but instead bring in the normals from 3DS max.

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Old 31-01-2017, 08:08 PM   #14
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I've had a go at improving the short comings of the heros bust. The hair shader gives a good impression but it was really difficult to make the hair planes appear in a naturalistic looking way. Even the though there might be no shadows formed by the hair planes or even if the hair planes were really close in in 3DS max, the impression of the hair planes was often really visible.



I'll have to go back at some time and try and improve them again.
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:50 PM   #15
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Finishing up the high polygon model for the hero character.



I made the chest and lower arm armour. The chest looks massive but in 3DS max it looked okay, perhaps it's the lack of perspective in Zbrush screenshot ?

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