Thursday, 31 October 2013

Nanny and Grandad's Song: 2D and 3D Animation Test

In my animation as I am planning to use a variety of 2D and 3D animation techniques, I have therefore begun experimenting within Maya and After Effects to create the following tests. The first clip is an example of 2D animation. I wanted it to appear as if elements are being drawn on the photograph - hence in my final animated short this could be used in reference with creating a stronger memory/complimenting the audio. The second clip is a combination of two dimensional and three dimensional techniques, using Maya to create the background render and particle falling effects and After Effects to overlay the sequence. 


The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Throughout the animation there is a 'softness' both within the lighting and texturing, which I hope to incorporate within my animated short. As my animation is to do with memories I want a haziness or 'blurriness' to the everything in the scene apart from the object/element that the sequence is focusing on - as if the audio is building an image within someones mind/memory.

Dad's Dead by Chris Shepherd

This animation's influence comes from a small segment, where the camera pans across a mantle piece revealing animated 2D elements upon occasion cards;1 minute 46 seconds to 1 minute 56 seconds (1.46-1.56). Within my animation there will be several moments when I'll animate memorabilia, photographs, postcards etc and this method will come in most handy! 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Pencil Sketches and Colour Concepts

A few quick pencil sketches, focusing on the individual objects found in my Nan's living room. I experimented in one of the concepts using colour and pattern with the sketchiness of the pencil markings on to top to keep its form. At the moment I was working towards a soft/fluid texture, yet after creating the colour concept I found the outcome intriguing - possibly something to consider when it comes to Maya later on in the project!?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Thumbnails: Watercolour + Inks and Rough Floor Plan

I've been getting back to grips with drawing again! As you can see from previous projects I use Maya as a way to create concepts, yet this time it wasn't allowing me to design the world from its 'roots' - back to the drawing board - literally! Below are a few concepts I've been working on.  

Watercolour and Ink concepts

Photograph To Thumbnail

Floor Plan (rough)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Maya Tutorials: Matchmover 1: Intro to Matchmover

Mental Ray Production Shaders: Static Match

Part 1: Auto Tracking
Axis Set-up and Maya Layout

Part 2: Target Tracking
Maya Layout and Camera Tracking

Part 3: Target Tracking and Scene Building

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Maya Tutorials: Lighting & Rendering 3: Intro to Mental Ray Cont.

Lighting Profiles: IES Lighting Information Files

Mental Ray: Using Maya Layered Shaders with Mental Ray Nodes

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Maya Thumbnails: Testing Textures 2

These are the second batch of texturing experiments. I tried to subtly add a 'pencil sketching' texture over the colour on the texture maps. The bump maps were all carpet texture to give a softness/textural feel to the objects. Problem: the 'pencil sketching' texture is too subtle! For my next batch of Maya thumbnails I will print off the texture maps and colour by hand - hence a more direct and prominent application of 'pencil sketchiness'. I also continued to experiment with lighting within the last selection of images.  

Maya Thumbnails: Testing Textures

This isn't what I had in mind at the start of the day ...
I wanted to experiment with styles in Maya and built a basic set to test various textures on. I used a ramp shader and projection maps to get the effect. I was aiming for a 'pencil sketch' texture, yet with the reflectivity it ended up like the render above. I continued to edit within Photoshop, trying to convey the scene as an old photograph/sketchy image. I still have a lot more experimenting to do in order to create the desired style, yet I thought these renders were interesting, hence decided to share them!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Maya Tutorials: Lighting & Rendering 3: Intro to Mental Ray Cont.

Sub Surface Scattering Part 1: Grapes

Sub Surface Scattering Part 2: Cartoon Shader

Using Ambient Occlusion with Displacment Maps

Ambient Occlusion Lighting & Light Decay

Mental Ray: Round Corners Node

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Style Ideas: Influence Maps and Old Pencil Sketches

In terms of style ideas I continued to keep the project personal and think of the childhood books I used to read. Two in particular came to mind; Jane Hissey's Old Bear and His Friends and Mary Ann Hoberman's The Cozy Book (illustrated by Betty Fraser). I feel it's very important that the style conveys a family warmth and the fact I'm using illustrations I loved as child - once again - keeps it sentimental. The style I'm drawn to most is Jane Hissey's, as there's something textural, three dimensional about her illustrations - sketchy colour pencil lines. I like the idea of making the style have a stop-motion feel, something about it that you physically want to hold.    

Below are a few examples of my own colour pencil illustrations. In terms of texturing I think it may be beneficial to hand colour the UV maps with colour pencils - so it's more authentic. I will be creating various Maya experimentations, hence will produce a few tests to see if this idea is worth carrying through to the final animation. 

Animated Shorts That Will Have You In Tears: Video Influences

The selection of videos below have become very inspirational to me and my project. Each animation is based upon a recording from either an individual, multiple family members or a husband and wife sharing stories from their lives. The 2D animated concepts brings to life their memories and emotions. It's amazing that within 5 minutes you can be crying about someone you've never met before just by the honesty of the recordings. This is what has inspired me to make my own recordings to play along slide my animated short - I feel it will allow others to understand how important this whole project is to me and bring to life my visual ideas. The plan is to record my Mum and my Aunt reminiscing about my Nan and Grandad and their home together. I feel it's important that it's not scripted as I want the same honestly as the animations below have.