Community project

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  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    1,113,106... Geez man. :D
    it seems that 100 samples is enough. :) it might be ok even with less. Animation samples like 50 are widely used. Don't be afraid of the polycount people. If you have to render your RAM, GPU and CPU will melt in no-time. That's okay.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Id love to take this from blender to 3ds when its good to go.
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    I like the new Sip, but what I find equally important, does the way it looks have a function? Not that we have to uber-analyze this, but it would be a great story to tell if we can say something other than: "yeah the wings look like that because, well it was simply the first sketch on paper and we sticked with it"  ;) 
    Hopefully I don't sound too harsh but you get my point. Its the very first community project and the perfect opportunity for each and all of us to up our levels of storytelling, aside from the technical production.
  • RedHat
    RedHat Posts: 75
    edited August 2013
    Yes, are going to need skin as thick as thieves when critiquing each other.  I want everyone to know I respect them greatly.  My first observation is that Sip has turned from a fun futurama ship to more of a battle star galatica ship.  Since it is our main character I wish it would be more of a character like it was & less of a spaceship.  However, I am easy, & I can go with either.  Plus, the present Sip can have character added to it.
    My 2nd observation is the moon has too many polys.  Do we want the moon to have more polys than the spaceship? 
    I could be completely wrong here on both accounts so please forgive me if I sound accusatory or worse.
    I also think we should not be doing other people's work.  If you want something different ask the person who is doing it.  Don't fix after the fact.  If denied by the person, it is the director's call, so ask the director to tell the person the request.
    As animator I do not want to waste time animating objects over & over again because they keep changing.   I know we can scale, but in past projects too much scaling can cause all sort of problems from shadow glitches to perceived speed, acceleration & all the inbetweens.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Yea practicality adds to realism or style adds to visual beauty, which would also give it some beauty when its being lit and set.    Ships have wings for travel in a planet so they are angled at least...
    serenity.jpg
    They would either tow cargo or store it inside because gravity would not allow for things to just sit on top... just a suggestion :(
  • RedHat
    RedHat Posts: 75
    Poetic license & a good electromagnetic gravity generator should take care of any worry about cargo on top of the ship.
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Technically space doesn't have air, or at least not sufficient to be of influence to any object, unless the object is near an another object like a planet, which have a gravity pull.
    Aircrafts have wings to aid them in the space between an object with an atmosphere, and deep space. Once in space, it can maneuver with thrusters. (reference: soljoez rockets; spaceshuttle have wings but only because they have to properly steer when leaving from and landing on earth)
    Sip technically doesn't need wings, but...we can use the wings to convey certain emotions, like a tail of a dog moving certain ways when its sad, happy, angry, scared, etc. Sip can also for example has two front lights, which also can be used to act like eyes, again for conveying emotions like facial expressions.
    When Sip is drilling, maybe its fun to see something from his cargo bay to vibrate loose into space, and then he has to recover it because, well its something important of his "body"(???). It could give the viewer the extra curiosity of how broken Sip exactly is. 
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    By the way, if any of you can and like to get a copy of 3D World, its very worth it because of the Pixar special. The special consist of two parts: 1. How to create a story like Pixar, 2. How to light your characters like Pixar.
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Hey guys, I created a xls file in the dropbox documents. Its a simple team roster thingy where you can put what your working on, anything that you like a consult on, general notes, etc.
    You are free to enhance the file yourself so keep it clean, clear. The first column states the date and version, let's do this like weekly or so to see where we all at, what is open/in progress, etc. Also, if you like, use color codes. I am a big fan and user of color codes, but I leave it up to you if you want to use it.  :)
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    edited August 2013
    What, we have some heavy brainstorming happening here! Great to see such activity. :)
    At first I'll post a pic.
    SAMPLE4.png
    some detail! Sip's drill as you talked about function. That's true, and I've been thinking of it. Wings are needed on the planets where there's air etc. I actually thought about that elektromagnetic system for the cargo also, or something else like a cage on top of SIP's cargodump. It's developing.
    Then, two questions:
    1. I'd like to ask people's opinion. Is it ok if Chatham Baldwin here takes a position of co-producer? It's clearly needed, and Chatham has experience on this field.
    2. What do you think of what is the target audience for the project? ;) That's not clearly stated, but how do you feel?
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    A2:
    Although both the moon and Sip are looking pretty fierce, the target of age 12+ is still possible by using a nice set of bright colors and textures (think of Despicable Me's space objects). This might affect the decision for the grading color-scheme but anything that can be achieved pre-post in the right direction, is highly valuable. If you like it to become age 16+, it can be much darker, more thriller-ish, more philosophical (why is he damaged, what caused it, what is he drilling for).
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    Yes, are going to need skin as thick as thieves when critiquing each other.  I want everyone to know I respect them greatly.  My first observation is that Sip has turned from a fun futurama ship to more of a battle star galatica ship.  Since it is our main character I wish it would be more of a character like it was & less of a spaceship.  However, I am easy, & I can go with either.  Plus, the present Sip can have character added to it.
    My 2nd observation is the moon has too many polys.  Do we want the moon to have more polys than the spaceship? 
    I could be completely wrong here on both accounts so please forgive me if I sound accusatory or worse.
    I also think we should not be doing other people's work.  If you want something different ask the person who is doing it.  Don't fix after the fact.  If denied by the person, it is the director's call, so ask the director to tell the person the request.
    As animator I do not want to waste time animating objects over & over again because they keep changing.   I know we can scale, but in past projects too much scaling can cause all sort of problems from shadow glitches to perceived speed, acceleration & all the inbetweens.


    You are right about SIP turning into a ship. That's artistic choice that I have to consider abit now. I want to keep something "humane" with it but still develop that into a more realistic.
    Also, critique is the only way to develop. I'm used to direct feedback @ it's wanted! I hope everyone else also has this ability to understand that the critique is only to make things better, when used properly. At the same time I want that everyone enjoys doing this project, so feedback should be friendly! :)
    the Moon has really alot of polys. But I don't think that will be an issue. It can be remeshed to be lower-quality if needed. It also can be rendered as a billboard.
    The SIP won't change it's scale, that's for certain. Even if we make completely new model, it's easy to preserve the scale. I will do a proxy Agro also, so that can be used. 
    Let's decide now; don't change the scale of object even if its completely redone. Planets are easy, just use primitive ball before you get the actual model. :)
    You're right on jobs, you do only what you're assigned to do. BUT there's always possibility to help others. Just consult me, and we will sort it out! Just no doing without asking. :)

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    I think people worry about conveying emotions with the ship still and the thing is you really set the tone for the film with the lighting... the scenery... the music and the edit.  What makes something scary or evokes an emotion in a movie?  If you break it down what makes things look scary, or upset, or nervous or all those emotions which we on film are less of what we are use to in real life...  Controlling the elements in the scene will set the tone. 
    Long Sweeping  up close shots to build time, hard shadows to creep people out, with a sound track that builds tension... that's how we gotta start thinking.  Watch any good movie and look for the elements used to create and control the tone.  Watch David FIncher or Orson Wells works and you can see the masters of tone at work. great examples of contrasting and affinity of tone are China Town, Empire strikes back and Minority Report.  Contrast increases visual intensity.  By worrying about just some of the 7 visual components of filmmaking we can have something more cinematic that creates the feelings we want.

    Space, Line, Shape, Color, Tone, Movement, Rhythm.
    So what that means for this community project is what is the visual components which are important for this project?  With it being a short project there does not need to be a mad grab for all or even half of those elements.  In space movies tense shots are closer but its not all up close because that would lose any tension.  I don't think lines could apply here... shapes might take a redesign unless it played a little further from the ships... maybe how the light is hitting the ship.    I think Tone and Rhythm would be the best elements to try to control in this.
  • Hey quick question. what exactly is the Tone we are going for with this? comedy, thriller, action, romance? lol ok maybe not the last one... but still after reading the script and seeing the storyboard, I'm still not quite clear on the genre/targeted audience.   Only reason I ask is the sfx (sound effects) and such (other audio related things) are going to be different between say, a kids show and a action/thriller, just so I don't make a ton for the wrong genre. 
     
    This is the first film where I haven't actually seen footage before creating audio tracks for it.
    Unless we (I use "we" as this team of awesome artists) are still in PreProd. in which case disregard the question and I will just twiddle my thumbs till called upon again lol. :D/
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    edited August 2013
    As Michael mentioned there are loads of opportunities to convey emotions and effectively steer in a chosen direction, but you are right, there haven't been a direction chosen yet. Hence Masqutti's question (see earlier post on this page): what do you think about the target-group we can go for?
    For me personally, I would keep it a bit simple: either 12+ like Wall-E, Despicable Me or 16+ like Prometheus, Oblivion
    Once everyone has shared their choice/preference, Masqutti can make the final pick and then we can focus on that.
  • That's what I was thinking too! Not gonna lie, when I first saw the story board, my mind went straight to a "violent Cars in space" for some reason.  Then I saw the models... and don't get me wrong they look AWESOME, I just got a tad bit confused. Honestly what ever the Bossman says I'm game with!
    Mr. Masqutti/Bossman, I don't want to be a thorn in your side, I got MAD respect for everyone here, but if we could get a definite "path" to follow, so to speak, in the next, week or so?  Maybe its just me, But that would be AWESOME! :D     
    When I said "path" I meant genre or age group or w/e.
    Let the artistic bonds form and we can light speed this project into... infinity and beyond?!? @-)
  • RedHat
    RedHat Posts: 75
    The ship is our main character.  We need to be aware of that.  Its design sets an unconscious tone & feeling within the audience. 
    I agree.  We need to agree on genre, so we can all be on the same page.  I don't care about age.  Real art transcends age.  So lets talk genre.  What I am getting currently is this in an ultra realistic stylistic  suspense piece.  What do you all think?
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Ok let's get the terminology clear as well  :D 
    In my personal perception (so don't bite me for it..haha), Genre or style is the film classification like horror, thriller, steampunk, romance.
    While tone-of-voice or mood focus on things like emotions, dialog (verbal/non-verbal), shapes, colors, movement.
    So Sip can be in a thriller environment but still child-friendly sort of speak because of bright colors, human-like expressions. Or thriller and adult-focused with dark colors, sharp edgy wings, hostile looking moon.
    Many things can be attributed to both genre and mood, and some even overlap, but the direction has to be made. 
  • Har
    Har Posts: 401 Enthusiast
    edited August 2013
    This is the first film where I haven't actually seen footage before creating audio tracks for it.
    I've done that before myself, and was never happy with the results - hence while I plan to start working up rough  potential theme ideas for music and ambient soundscaping based on what we have to see and read so far, I'll be keeping it in a very rough state until I at least start having something to look at with a degree of actual motion so as to better think in terms of pacing and theme development.  :) 
    The exception being: per my offline discussions with Masqutti, I'll likely work completely backwards and kick things off by tackling the music for what might at first sound like a very insignificant part - the final credits.
    I know that sounds a lot like putting the cart before the horse  :)) ....but there's method to my madness, and I've had a degree of success doing it this way in previous projects I've been involved with.
    My rationale is mainly: in doing so, I'll be scoring possibly the one part of this project that will be least likely to change a lot over time - a set of text.  ;)  But in doing so, I'm hoping it'll also allow me to have something to present to everyone that'll a) give everyone an initial idea of what I might be able to achieve, b) in doing so, perhaps give everyone a bit of a "sonic seed" that might cause other ideas to flow, and could then help you guys give me more solid ideas to aim in, as well.
    In other words - it's one thing to say "OK, on this part I'll have about 15 seconds worth of dark, ominous musical atmosphere that builds in tension, after which it breaks into a fast, chase-paced industrial sounding segment with thundering orchestral percussion and a choir blended in to make it sound kinda mystical for another 6.28 seconds, yadda yadda yadda".......and it's an entirely different thing to simply have something to listen to, that'll can hopefully make you go "Aha....OK, I see what's going on here!"
    It's the old "A picture can paint a thousand words" thing....except it's painted with sound.  :) After which, that in and of itself might help develop ideas for the visual flow and pacing going forward as well!
  • Thanks for correcting me Cath and Red! :)  Lapse in sanity on my part... Direction is a good word, just replace what I said with that! it should make a tad more sense?
    Har, you're a smart man! I too am just making concepts sounds and what have you for starters.
    I just misunderstood something about a deadline that apparently doesn't exist yet lol! Whoops :huh: , so sorry for the confusion on my part! that's all cleared up now :D  thanks to you guys.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    edited August 2013
    I think over all genre should be a serious sci fi action film with elements of drama.  The target audience is already built in when you say that... meaning men.  Suspense does not really fit into the story because while there is suspenseful moments its not about scaring or thrilling people. 
    I like how the underside of the ship is looking... but the drill has some sort of look to it that's really making it stand out unnecessarily.  Is that just a lighting thing?
    The goal is to make showroom community piece and showroom usually means beautiful and flashy.  You can always knock stuff for the story but its hard to argue things being visually impressive.  When you look at the Hitfilm "whats your idea?" trailer you don't really question why the girls being chased by a helicopter... the fanatic pacing pushes you into watching and saying wow that's cool. 
    One of the things a teacher told me was the hardest part for filmmakers to do is to trim their content down.  Every scene filmed is a gem and you'll fight to keep from cutting your favorite scene even if it does not work in your film.  Or you came up with 1 way to do things and you'll fight like hell to do it that way because its your vision.  Does it make sense without the scene or idea?  Usually yes.  Often the scene won't add enough to the story to be warranted.
    For this first project I've been championing keeping it basic because there's going to be a lot of work that needs to be done.  Instead of a bunch of programs I thought it was best to keep it to hitfilm mainly because its easy to distribute the work.  Like having someone handle the background scenery while someone who a has a sturdy system handles lighting.  That way if someone is lagging on their work its easier to bolster their work with support.  Like I feel bad sitting here idling on this project because I don't have blender.  I was going to convert the blender model to 3ds so I could bring it in to Hitfilm and start roughing out the basics but not having or knowing blender already put a hold on my plans.  Theres going to be a lot of fine touches needed to help really this be stunning.  I wish I had kept the first version of this blood cell project I had worked on and the final version.
  • At the risk of sounding like a suck up or w/e, I thoroughly am Impressed by this community! Im pretty stoked to work with all of you. 
  • spydurhank
    spydurhank Posts: 3,193 Expert
    Just finished these. 
    i6vc.jpg

     

    vduh.jpg

     

  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Those actually look like real rocks, I love it! Can't wait to see them in animation with one passing Sip very closely.
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    edited August 2013

    Hey guys, in case you missed it in my earlier post. I created a excel sheet and put it in the dropbox docs that all of us can maintain ourselves, you are free to enhance it, split content on multiple tabs/sheets, etc etc. Also fill in [country code] like mine would be [NL], would be cool to know how international this team exactly is. 
    B-)

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Hey chaps - love all the activity here. I've seen various attempts to get community projects up and running over the years and this is doing marvellously well so far. :)
    A couple of things:
    - Loved the idea of Sip 'losing' something whilst mining, and having to go off to retrieve it. Whether it's a part of the ship, or just some of the material she's been mining, it's a nice moment for the audience to engage with the character.
    - SHIP DESIGN IDEA: There was some discussion of Sip's wings, and how they're unnecessary in space. Of course, if we get time to do the in-atmosphere final sequence they'll make more sense (and I really hope we get to that, as it's what turns the short into something with a definite story hook). BUT, how about this: when in space and during a mining operation, Sip uses the wings almost like 'arms', using them to grip onto an asteroid's surface during drilling. So the wings could be moveable, and actually fold forwards a bit, slightly articulated (only a little bit), grasping at a surface in front/below the ship, a little like bat's wings. So in space they're not wings at all, they're used instead to provide a firm attachment to mining resources.
    Obviously that might require more work on the model, but it'd make the ship more interesting, and provide the animators with some more potential - and, crucially, subtly makes Sip seem more animal-like, and thus more sympathetic, without going cutesy.
    Thoughts?
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    Whoah. Somehow my "follow this topic" turned itself off and there's been alot of debate & discussion and I had no clue about it! There's alot of stuff going on and I'll address most in this post:

     

    About the tone & feeling, genre, style:

     

    Tho it's necessary to now beforehand what do we want, we're getting abit head of ourselves. When we get the animations done and models pretty much, we start to see how it's all coming together. At that point it's great to tweak things as needed.

     

    - Genre is Drama / action. Dramatic aspects are diminishing the shorter we do this so, the action is inevitably more "seen". Tho there's some great insights and ideas how to bring the character out, so we'll actually start to concentrate that more! Now that people have spoken, the target audience is 16+. Still, I liked the idea of using color with SIP. He's a mining vessel after all, not a battleship, so he should have some bright color like yellow as a "notification". It also adds to the character. I feel that it's a good way to have this kind of humane and even naive-like character in a dark, dangerous space. So there's a clear conflict.

     

    I won't say this is 100% realism that we're looking for. We don't have any human characters that would point to definite realism. Still the quality we're looking for is pretty close to realistic. It's a risk. I know. We're getting to it. :)

     

    about emotions: Sip is lonely. Space is a wide and lonely place, and even dangerous. It's like a child that's lost it's parents and has to face the cold world on its own. Will the Sip make it and manage to find a way to live in this place? You could read from this that it's a children animation. Does a ship have feelings in adults movie? no? yes? I believe that we can give that kind of feeling without ever pointing out that this kind of is normally a children tale. If it awokes such feelings with adults and they may be even abit confused, that would be great. This is an artistic choice. a Fine line between ultrarealism and a children tale. Try to achieve sympathetic Ship, that's humane, but still just a metal piece. Starting to sound hard to accomplish? ;)

     

    an adults tale, would that describe anything??? :)

     

    Do everything with this in mind.

     

    About sounds: a dark gloomy doomy sounds etc... that "seek realism". Also, as someone mentioned the "dialogue". Ok, ships should have some personal soundsets. bleebs and fuzz and well, what do machines do? Wall-E is an incredible example on this. But, difference being, try to keep the sounds a bit less humane that Wall-E does. They should still sound like machines. Some more work for the soundguy that is... :)

     

     

    - Next, some minor details:
    to MJ, the drill, it's superglossy to give a feel of superhard polished metal. It maybe abit too hard, I'll change that a bit.

     
    For this first project I've been championing keeping it basic because there's going to be a lot of work that needs to be done.  Instead of a bunch of programs I thought it was best to keep it to hitfilm mainly because its easy to distribute the work.  Like having someone handle the background scenery while someone who a has a sturdy system handles lighting.  That way if someone is lagging on their work its easier to bolster their work with support.  Like I feel bad sitting here idling on this project because I don't have blender.  I was going to convert the blender model to 3ds so I could bring it in to Hitfilm and start roughing out the basics but not having or knowing blender already put a hold on my plans.  Theres going to be a lot of fine touches needed to help really this be stunning.  I wish I had kept the first version of this blood cell project I had worked on and the final version.

    - My first thought about workflow was to stay mainly inside hitfilm.
    But, that ascended as we managed to pull that camera export & also animation curves into hitfilm from blender. It would be a foolish thing not to take advantage of it, even if it presents some more work; the quality of blender rendering is way beyond of HF ofc. So, we'll be animating and rendering 3D models straight from blender and compositing into HF.
    If you want to help on other aspects than editing, just PM me and we'll see how to approach things.. For example, scenery will be made in hitfilm all the way, and we need a scenery artist yet. :)
    - Simon K Jones, you have great ideas about SIP, thanks! :)

  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    @Simon
    Exactly my thoughts as well when I suggested the wings and front lights act as limbs and eyes. I love the idea of the wings behaving a bit like batwings to grab or at least Sip's attempt to hold something with it (similar like an otter or beaver), bit of playfulness but serious as well.
    ---
    Drama/action is proper for what we have so far so that might be a good direction. Moodwise, we can use color but not really bright because that would convey happiness. Probably more saturated as Sip has gone a long way of labor and actually still is with the drilling. His/Her colors have weared off through time.
    For those who like to Pixar, check out their newest short Blue Umbrella. Its nothing near our short in terms of genre, but its the first short from Pixar that is photoreaistic (according to their director in an interview). So it might be nice to see how they combine real footage with animation and still have that strong storytelling.
    Masqutti, we should try to develop the script and screenplay and storyboard a bit more. It will be much easier to the music and audio fx artists to start dabbling with sounds, instead of having them wait till the first raw animations are done. If you like I can try to use Illustrator to make a version 2.0 for the storyboard adding color and creating extra frames based on the script.
  • Masqutti
    Masqutti Posts: 340
    Yes so we can give SIP a weary desaturated yellow touch. :) Like an old bulldozer.
    I'm happy to develop those things! I don't know if our animator will be as he's started already animating things.... So major changes might become a nuisance. :o)
    If you mean just keeping those happenings as they are now, but adding more information to the script and storyboard, that's easier and great to have! Basicly the "rough animations" are being done, and more "subtle" animations like actual rigging of characters await, so they can be changed easily.
    RedHat, how much have you accomplished for now?
  • Ambiroa
    Ambiroa Posts: 180 Just Starting Out
    Yes that is eaxactly what I mean. The "red" line of the story and the storyboard based on that are done. We can now enhance it by adding info, frames in between, newer versions of the storyboard visuals, alternative visuals for the storyboard to see what can work.
    Doing all these extra's is also nice to have at the end as an archive.
    8-|