After a long wait, I finally had the chance to build my own animation stand. Thank you to the nice guys at Kin Design, I sed their workshop, their tools and an old tripod I bought ages ago at a charit shop, specifically for this moment.
We’ve had two weeks to prepare and next week we start production. To add to the excitement I will have two great animators working with me at my studio next week: Coline Brun Naujalis and Matt Partridge.
I can’t wait to show you what we are cooking, but I guess I have to. And so do you. Stay tuned!
Here’s a character turnaround to whet your apetite. This is one of the main characters of the story. As I said before, it’s one of the reject characters I had proposed to a client a could of years back. The leg rigs are in fact meant for arms, so it will be very odd looking but in an interesting way. A bit monkey-like.
It’s so satisfying to be able to spend at least half an hour a day to painting these background, I’m really enjoying myself… maybe a bit too much! I think my brain missed it.
I might start keeping an open bottle of ink or a tub of acrylic to add that nice smell to the experience.
I’ve always found this kind of thing mesmerizing. I’ve spent a good few hours last night tweaking the intro scene (again!) just trying to make it look more “paintery”, which is always great fun, hence I lose track of time.
I also decided to leave the depth of field to After Effects. Yesterday I got the latest version of Frischluft’s Lenscare plugin and the difference is very noticeable, not only in render times but also te final look, it’s so much better!
So this is the depth pass I used for it.
I’ve been quite snowed under lately with a new project, which is good for the mortgage people but not for my projects. Luckily I managed to sneak in a couple of late sessions this weekend, and today to finish the background painting I started about a month ago.
I’m determined to follow Jason and David’s advice on their book ‘Rework’ and do at least half an hour every day, or even 10 minutes work every day. Like the horse mongers say ‘Every little helps!’ right?
So here’s a nice little progression of the painting. I started out of a quick render in Cinema 4D and proceeded to paint in Photoshop. To be honest I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to transfer this to the scene yet. I might try projection man, or perhaps some good old After Effects compositing. We’ll see. It’s kind of nice not to know just yet. I’m having too much fun painting.
Here’s a little motion test I just rendered for the opening sequence. It was originally a butterfly but I thought a dragonfly would work better. Like a wise man once said: ‘if in doubt, always choose the dragon over the butter.’ True story!
I should also explain that the floating spheres at the back are a guide for the tree, in case you’re wondering why is there a mother ship in the background.
Have you ever designed something for a client that you thought was the best thing ever but they didn’t go ahead with it? Well this projects stems out of that situation. A couple of years ago I sketched a handful of characters for a client and I was very keen that they chose this one.
Obviously they didn’t.
So I kept them all to myself and picked this one first to bring to life. Her’s an early drawing I used for the storyboard and later for the animatic:
So, as an excuse to flex my Cinema 4D muscles I modelled the character and ironed out the UV’s so I could play around with different textures, which I have to say, was a lot of fun in itself.
It’s taken me a long time to learn not to stress out when work is quiet, bu I think I finally managed and towards Christmas last year I started doing some research for the backgrounds and a nice final look. I even asked Coline Brun-Naujalis to spend a day looking for reference and doodling around, which was massively useful. Here are some background tests:
I have finished an animatic and I even started on the opening scene.
I just need another quiet patch to give it a another push. The name is a working title by the way, what do you reckon?