Monday, 30 May 2011

The Deep - Shot 39 - Refinement

After showing Andy the original pass of animation for this scene and mentioning I was having problems with the camera sway from side to side during the keyframes he said I should try using 'Camera and Aim' in maya as I can individually control the positioning and center of focus. I said sure, and was interested to see if it would make a difference in any way as I have not had much experience with the camera and aim. After testing it out, I was amazed to see the difference and superior control, it really helps and gives great control as both elements can be keyframed separately. I have found it so much more useful I think I will use just the cam and aim for any animated camera movement in the future.

I think the new camera movement has been animated better, and I tried to give enough time between zooming out of the sub and switching focus to the iceberg. The focus was the easing in and out, which I think I nailed.

Heroes - Sho 13 - Refinement

Taking on board the crits I got from both Dan and Clym I have tweaked the animation, working on the timing more. I have kept his head down longer now and bring it slowly up, when his eyes give away that he has just spotted something and a light bulb went on in his head. I also added some movement to his back and foot. This is because Dan said, as he would raise his head other parts move too, so I tried to show that. I am not the best animator in the world but I think its ok, whether its gna be used or not will be seen.

Heroes - Shot 01 - Refinement

I have tweaked the animation here, adding more blinks to show a surprised/alerted reaction to being woken up. I worked on adding blinks and a slight drop in his eyes at the end to show his tiredness. I am not too happy with this shot but I really struggled with it, so I will just show Clym and see what he thinks. Some feedback is going to be needed for me to progress forward.

Unhatched - Bird Beak

I was asked by Tom (director of 'Unhatched') if I could make a beak texture for his character model as he was having trouble with it. I said sure and would be glad to help. When I opened up Maya and Photoshop, and having everything set up I began painting an initial area for the mouth but found this to be quite troublesome. This is down to the fact there is stretching occurring in the UVs which is causing some serious problem. I suspect this is why Tom asked me as he was having trouble. I will get this done but it is quite tedious getting this right.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Polaroid Textures - Done

I was asked by Andy to create textures for the polaroids. He told me they had to be blurry and out of focus as at the end of the film he has a panic when looking through his photos and not finding any that are clear. I used the storyboard to guide me in setting up these shots because I tried to see where the camera would be facing and what kind of shots would be taken during the chase sequence. I made these in Photoshop, using a few blur filters and paint overs to get the desired out of focus look. I think they work well.


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Deep_ Shot 39

Heres the animation of the camera I have done for shot 39. I am having some serious problems with the camera swaying inbetween keyframes and I was unable to find a solution. I tried controlling the swaying by adding more frames but that just made it worse, im gna ask Andy what he thinks would be best and see what he thinks of camera placement too. I followed the storyboards and tried to keep to it as best I could.

Heroes 1.0- Kid Textures

Here is my first attempt at the texture for the kid. It might be a little bright but I simply followed the colours Kofi had showed me through facebook. He wanted a sky blue/white combo and I tried to get that. I made the textures in Photoshop, creating the pattern and then using the warp tool to place them. It was fairly straightforward and easy, I think the pattern works well although the sky blue maybe too much. I will show Kofi and see what he thinks.

*Update* After posting this on the facebook group, the response I got from Kofi was that its too bright, looking like candy and he said to tone it down, perhaps try a darker variation. Looking at it now, I see what he means and it could definitely do with being darker.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011


Shot 28. This is the kid showing his dismay at nothing happening after he tries to destroy the factory. I tried to show this by having him looking and then dropping his head down and shoulders, creating an arch in his back. I think it is ok but could perhaps be pushed more.


This shot is another camera move. It is a simple zoom in of the posters to show the kid has just found inspiration from his heroes and is about to take action. I think my timing is right and allows enough time to focus on the posters.

Heroes_Shot 13

Shot 13. This is the shot with the kid being quite sad and feeling like theres nothing he can do, until inspiration strikes and he gets an idea. I tried to show this through his head down and shoulders dropping. His head then quickly tilts up and through his eyes we see he has thought of something. I think his head perhaps is a little fast and that may need to be tweaked. I will show this to the rest of the group and see what they think.


This shot was fairly simple, just the camera slowly zooming in on the window. I kept the window central and I think the timing is spot on.


So this is my first bit of animation for Heroes. It is shot 01, where the kid is waking up. I animated him sleeping and then slowly opening his eyes, but after getting feedback from Clym and Kofi, he needs to be surprised and alert as if something as woken him up. I will work on this and try to improve, I am still struggling with the graph editor and I find animation quite hard.



Monday, 16 May 2011

Bed_Uv mapped

Here is a snapshot of the child's bed in 'Heroes 1.0'. Kofi, the director had asked on the facebook group if someone could do this as soon as possible, so I decided to help out. This was fairly simple in terms of mapping because of the simple nature of the models. I did this as quick as I could and handed it back to Kofi. He was impressed with the speed, and I just felt glad I could help.

Shot_30 - Hands_SSS

Here is a quick step by step of how I handled the animated scene for lighting. Since Kofi had asked me to use a SSS shader for the hands, I had to create a specific light setup to make sure it was correctly illuminated. I used 3 spot lights and after a lot of tweakin on the SSS shader (subdermal, epidermal, back scatter layers) I got to a decent result. I could only go so far, as Kofi wanted to light the environment, so once I set that all up I passed the files to him. I also textured the TNT box, making sure the 'TNT' was clear and visible for the shot, so the viewer could quickly identify the scenario. I UV mapped in maya, then went into Photoshop and quickly created the texture. After showing it to my director, I got the greenlight and received good feedback.


Shot 30 - Hands

Here is a step by step of how I created the posed hands for Shot 30. I spoke to Kofi about this shot, and since the hands are simply pushing down onto the detonator we both agreed that I would build the hands, pose them in Zbrush and then animate them simply in Maya. In the end however I decided it would be better to create a quick rig for the hands in maya, as I felt quite confident and also decided I could utilise the skills I learnt in term one during Dan's unit. So I simply created a decent enough model of a hand, created the skeleton, bound it to the skin, and painted the weights for the fingers. I found this quite fun and, out of all the rigging I have done, painting weights definitely has to be something I have quickly learnt well.

Once that was in place, I then proceeded to bend the fingers in the desired position and lastly duplicated it over (remembering to cleanly delete history, unbind the rig and freeze transformations).

Shot 30 - Demolition

So here is a playblast of my first shot for Heroes 1.0 (shot 30). I was speaking to Kofi, and he basically asked if I could set up the SSS shader as well as light the scene, the two go hand in hand really, so I told him I would take care of it. Here is what my animation looks like, I tried to incorporate a bit of anticipation with a slow ease in. I think it works well, and I also added some follow through with the up and down bob at the end. I showed it to both Kofi and Clym and they said it was good.

Assigned Shots for Heroes 1.0

I have been assigned shots that require animation for 'Heroes 1.0'. I spoke to Clym and Kofi who were deciding who gets what shots and said I would be happy to do some, although bearing in mind my skills are not the best I should be given some of the easier ones. This is only because I personally do no want to let the group down with bad animation in some of the key scenes.

My shots are : 1, 5, 7, 11, 13, 14, 28, 30. These shots are not as demanding and so hopefully I will be able to deal with them efficiently. After browsing the shots, I saw Shot 30 was the shot of the builder pushing down onto the detonator and decided I would deal with that first as I had to model the hands too. Kofi also asked me if I could perhaps set up SSS for the hands, which I said I would do as I have dealt with it before.

Iceberg Displacement Test

So Carlos said he was having problems getting the displacement map for the iceberg working properly. I helped him set up the correct process in class, but the result was not what we wanted, as there were seams showing through and it did not look good. I said I would give it a try myself at home, as I thought there were a few things I could try. So I UV mapped the low res iceberg properly to ensure that it would not give any bad seams or cuts through the displacement. I then created the map using maya, using the transfer maps method.

I tried twice but each time the results were not good, I had to go back and check the search envelope to make sure it was not the reason for the displacement looking like it got cut off, the second time I made sure it was big enough but still it came out badly. I referred to my displacement map notes I had made whilst watching tutorials before, I set up the approximation for the mesh and then started tweaking the settings but alas...I could not get a better result. So it looks like the high res maybe the only option for the final shots...I will inform the group and see what Andy, the director says about this.

I personally feel annoyed as I have had lots of experience with displacement maps and it seems there are always issues. I tried the best method and settings but still not joy..Guess this is all part of the learning process.

Polaroids - The Deep

I was asked by Andy to create and texture the ploaroid photographs that the child rummages through in one of the later scenes in the film. I made a quick model with enough res incase they were to be rigged with deformers for some kind of bend, etc. I then uv mapped and texture them really quickly, all that is left to do is get the individual pictures mocked up and applied to the different snaps. I used Photoshop for the texture creation.


I was asked by my director on 'The Deep' if it was possible to create a shader network within Maya and then be able to export and import it into a completely different scene. I thought about this for a moment, then realised it should work, as the nodes will be saved and stored for the shader even though the scene will be completely blank. I carried out a quick test to ensure it would work, and encountered no problems. This is going to save the group a lot of time because it means one scene is created with the final shaders and settings in place, then they can simply be exported into the other shots and just require the textures to be relinked. Fast, efficient and easy.


This is the finished animation for Shot 4. I slowed down the movement of the submarine and tweaked the submerging of the sub. The initial feedback I got was that it was too fast so this version should be better and hopefull Andy will think its ok.

Shot 18 Finished

The finished animation for Shot 18, I added some movement of the jaw at the end to give a stunned feel and make it seem like the eel is dazed. I think this is one of my best shots so far and works well, down to the subtle movement from his breathing and then stunned movement once he gets flashed.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


Here I have emphasised the breathing a little more, by making it more prominent. I also added some head movement after he gets stunned to show the eel becomes dazed and loses his sense of stability. Next up will be to add the mouth movement which should be the last piece of the puzzle, oh and I will tweak the eye to make it open slightly more.

Shot_18 Started

This is my first pass of animation for shot 18. It is basically through the view of the camera as the kid is preparing to take a photo and then flashes the eel stunning it for a brief moment. I have animated the eel gently bobbing to give that underwater feel, I also added some breathing and when the eel is flashed his eyes open and brows raised. I think this is a good start and I will continue tweaking it.

First animated shot underway

This is my first attempt at shot 04/5. It consists of the submarine taking off and submerging underwater. I think this is a little fast and I get a feeling Andy will give me that feedback too, so i will go in and tweak this making the submarine submerge slower.