DIALOGUE, ACTION AND INTERACTION – project III

EVALUATION

I can’t believe I am finally done with this.

This project was definitely the hardest out of all and now I feel that I am ready for the next one and I will nail it. It was a long time of real hard work but the outcome is satisfying (although I am unhappy as always…)

Time Management

I am pretty happy with my time management for this project. I spent about 3 weeks on building and rigging while creating animatic and then the rest of the time I spent on actual animating. It turned out that I went a little bit of the top with the story and it took me a really long time to animate it because it’s long… Plus I had quite a long break in the middle of the project due to the health problems.

Final Outcome

Although I am not 100% happy with it I think it’s my best work yet. Of course I am not going to stop trying to get better now, I am not even close to what I am expecting of myself.

I believe my animation for this project is convincing enough and it fulfils the brief. One character makes the other do something in order to overcome an obstacle, so there is an interaction and a little bit of action and even some dialogue (lip syncing is annoying). It shows that I worked very hard and that I understand what I am doing as well as what is expected from me. Of course If I had more time I could make it perfect but right now this is all I got. I wanted my story to be more complex than the others and prove myself that I’ve gotten better with story telling. It’s not perfect but its definitely better. I have raised the crossbar and achieved all that I could at the moment, now it’s time to raise it even higher. I really am glad that it turned out to be such a complicated piece, because I managed to handle it and I didn’t get lost in it. I have also learned many new things not only in just animating but also at using software which I believe will save me a lot of time in the future.

My goal for the next project is to make it shorter so I could put more work in to making the animation better.

Things I’d like to change

I’d love it if this animation was less static. For example in the first scene when Pearl says “NO” she is not moving at all. I am going to try to make the next animation more alive.

In my opinion everything is not smooth enough. I know it would require twice as much work as this but I will try to achieve next time.

I am not happy with the way cat is walking. I did it due to the lack of time but lets face it – SAUSAGE LEGS.

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I am not pleased that while the “glimpses” of the freezing heart you can’t notice that it’s freezing, even thought that was the point of it being there… Maybe if the colour had more contrast in them it would be more visible. Unfortunately I had no time to fix it.

I really don’t like the voices. In my head I sound like the best voice actor ever but it’s worse in real life… I need some good voice person for the next project.

Maybe there could be more acting on the characters faces in 2D. I mean, there definitely could have been more acting in there, but please ignore it, the whole thing is pretty complex.

I think that some scenes are to short, ex.

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And I’d like to ad some more scenes, for example the one when the monster kicks the Kat (scene just before the picture above) and the scene when he hits the ground, just before this one….

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… as well as the scene when Pearl is turning around on the bed and goes back to sleep. All those cuts happened due to the lack of time.

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I also believe that there should be a bigger contrast between Kat’s colour and the environment in 3D.

As the last thing I’d like to notice that I still don’t know why some things have sharp glimpses of light appearing on them out of nowhere.

Feedback

After publishing the animation online it met with a real worm reactions. What surprised me is that everyone got the story and there was no major misunderstandings although there was a few people saying that the “heart creaks” were confusing them but then others said that they don’t agree with that (so I don’t know where to stand with it, I personally think they should be in there). I was worrying understanding the story would be difficult since it’s like one episode out of the bigger picture, but it really worked. The designs were particularly appreciated both in 2D and 3D. People said that Pearl and Kat are very likeable and they would like me to make more episodes of it. Someone even suggested that I should pitch it for FREDERATOR STUDIOS….. maybe one day

Here are a few of the comments

“I love the design, the colours and characters look amazing. Both the 3d and 2d aspects of the film are endgame as in they could be considered to be professional rather than student work.”
“I really loved it! Please make more!”
“It’s very pretty, the heart monster stole my heart x D”
“The sound, however isn’t right. It’s very low during dialog yet very high with the explosion. (…) Well it is an animation course not an audio course or editing course.”

“I think sound quality meaning your voice and the cats voice isn’t very good, I was struggling to understand some parts.”

“Cat’s voice is really funny! Is it you? And the monsters “grunting” is just lovely.”
“The way that monster grows his legs is some top animation skill. Keep going!”

I do agree with all the critic I received. The sound could have been better as well as the editing and it would be, If there only was more time. But that’s like with everything.

Thank you for your time, I hope you enjoyed the animation.

Happy Easter!

Referencess:

GIPHY. (2017). Excited GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at: https://media.giphy.com/media/lHYzVpeRKul5C/giphy.gif [Accessed 07 Apr. 2017].

GIPHY. (2017). Cute GIF – Find & Share on GIPHY. [online] Available at: https://media.giphy.com/media/HT27emhJlQ6aI/giphy.gif [Accessed 07 Apr. 2017].

DIALOGUE, ACTION AND INTERACTION – project III

RENDERING & POST-PRODUCTION

Rendering

I tried to simplify my scene by putting in it only necessary low mesh things, and using simple textures my render time was pretty horrifying. Because the whole scene is pretty dark I had to adjust the Arnold render settings in order to get rid of the grains and so rendering out one frame took from 25 minutes up… Fortunately my 3D part isn’t very long and I had a possibility of farm rendering, otherwise I would be still waiting for it to finish.

Even thought my first render happened about 3 weeks ago I just managed to get it all done on monday. I had to re-render the scenes multiple times for various reasons ex. some things were unnoticeable in the playblast, nCloth refused to do what it supposed to or I accidentally moved the camera in the middle of the shot… Al this was very annoying and easy to fix but took soo much time…

Post-production

Editing this video took me 3 days in total, 2 days to actually edit it and a day to render it out because I had tons of problems with it (again).

While editing in Adobe Premiere it was easy to put everything in the right order but it was quite a hustle to synchronise audio with the video. While doing it I discovered that there is an option to export your Adobe Premiere scene to Adobe Audition in order to adjust the sounds and then export it back to Adobe Premiere.  Which I find one of my favourite discoveries while this project. HERE is the tutorial on how to do it.

Now lets get to the part why exporting took me a whole day. After I finished putting the stuff together in Adobe Premiere I exported the video with the sound and imported it in to After Effects because I wanted to add the mask like this

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When I made it and tried to export the video it would be corrupt, so I tried exporting png’s and importing them to the original scene in Adobe Premiere and replacing old png’s with the new ones. When I tried to export it like this Adobe Premiere came up with an error (I didn’t take a screen shoot and I don’t remember what it said) I had the same thing happening with one of the previous projects so I knew that its because Adobe Premiere doesn’t like the After Effects png’s. I had to use automate>batch in Adobe Photoshop to re-save the 4000 files. And this took a real long time (no idea why really). After all this I exported the video and the sound was corrupt but the 2nd attempt was perfectly fine.

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I have also decided not to use ambient occlusion png’s I’ve rendered out since they made the scene look really dark and I found them not necessary.

TITLES

The Title

9 LIVES

This title is just logical. It’s a story about a cat who has nine of his lives drawn on his back and we see him loosing a couple of them.

The Start

I always leave the start title to do after the animation is finished. It just feels natural because at the point you just know what will be the best to introduce the animation because you  can already see the whole picture.

The title is 9 LIVES and it felt pretty obvious that the best thing to do is to have them hearts right next to the title and have one of them vanish or so. In my opinion this also helps to tell the story.

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The End

I chose to make a simple ending in the same colours as the start.

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SOUNDS

Both voices in the video are mine and I used

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I didn’t get a proper microphone with it this time and I am not going to do that again. The sound which I recorded has a lot of noise in it and I had troubles getting rid of it, I did what I could…

The rest of the sounds I got from https://www.freesound.org/

DIALOGUE, ACTION AND INTERACTION – project III

nCLOTH STRUGGLE, THE MOON & DISCOVERING LIGHT LINKING

nCloth is not as scary as they make it.

In this project I found myself in need of using nCloth simulation. I only used nCloth once before and it was just one still shape which I chose from the nCloth simulation and then froze the transformation. This time, I needed the whole simulation and I needed it to go exactly how I wanted.

Setting up nCloth to do what I wanted wasn’t difficult at all. (all thought I had a problem with my cloth not working after I brought it from home to uni, IF YOUR NCLOTH IS ”HALF” INTERACTING WITH THE PASSIVE COLLIDER RIGHT CLICK ON THE TIMELINE AND CHANGE PLAYBACK SPEED TO ”PLAY EVERY FRAME”)  n1

The problems started when the time has come to key the whole thing. I asked internet how to do it and everyone said ”you gotta bake it”, and so I did. And it didn’t work. And so I did again, and I tried deleting the history, freezing, deleting ncloth, everything. It just didn’t work. After hours of digging I came across ”ncaches” and it turned out this was the thing! And just when I thought I’m all done with the nCloth and I decided to farm render the shot, it turned out that this awesome nCloth I made works only on the computer I made it on.Because of this I decided to render it all on this one pc. Unfortunately after 12h I had only 21 frames rendered out and 129 to go… I had to do the whole nCloth thing all over again (what took a surprising short amount of time – about 30 minutes). The advise for the future nCloth explorers DON’T MESS AROUND WITH CACHES.

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The Moon

In one of my 3D shots we have a pleasure seeing what’s behind the bedroom window, where we can see a night sky with a silver moon, which is supposed to be the only source of light in the whole scene (except the pig lamp but this one is there just to show of really). To create the outside window background I used a piece of the pipe and the night sky with moon texture which I found online. Getting closer to the end of my 3D animating it occurred to me that even thought I placed the area light right in front of the moon it doesn’t really looks like the moon is the source.

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I decided to create a sphere, apply aiStandard to it and increase emission (the same thing I did with the pig lamp) unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to make it transparent (so i just had white glowing sphere in the place of the moon ).3

After that I thought about making a mesh light but for some reason I couldn’t make it to work and Andy said that I should try something else because my scene already takes a lot of time to render and mesh light will add much more to it. I ended up creating a sphere, applying moon texture on to it, placing it in front of the moon background and setting a spot light shining on to the new moon sphere. It might not look perfect, but I had no time to play with it any more (I might tweak it in the post production).

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Light Linking

While making test renders I’ve noticed that my characters faces are not lighted up enough. I thought that the environment is set up correctly so I started wondering if there is a way of setting up the light to interact only with the chosen objects. AND THERE IS!

Light linking made my day. Its easy and worth playing with it.

As an example please look at the difference in the colour under the desk, and Kat’s colour in general.

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Last problem> I really don’t know where did these two white and blue dots came from. I don’t have time to try to fix it so ill see if I can do anything about it in post production.

DIALOGUE, ACTION AND INTERACTION – project III

SOME CHANGES & TVPaint Colour & Texture Layer

Debra suggested changing the camera in the first and second 3D scene and I think it looks better now.

In the first scene camera is positioned above earls head but when she gets up it moves further away from her and changes the angle.

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And in the second scene I changed the camera angle so now we can see Pearls face better (I think it makes it more readable)

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Due to the time I have left I had to change a few more things

I decided to cut out the scene when Pearl is dragged of the screen

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and replace it with this one.

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I had to do this because both scenes turned out to be too short and the looked very laggy on twos. Therefore there was too much chaos and I got rid of one of them.

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I have also resigned of the scene where the heart monster kicks away Kat and I replaced it with the Kat falling . To be true I did this because I didn’t have time to animate the kicking scene. But I believe the story still makes sense.

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Next change I made is that I decided to add the things Pearl is thinking about in order to destroy the hear, floating on the screen. I just thought it would make it more interesting since Pearl is very still in this shot and only her eyes are spinning.

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The last change I made is deleting piece of dialogue. I decided it isn’t necessary and it makes the scene “drag”.

I deleted the part where Pearl asks Kat where are they going and his reply.

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TVPaint Colour & Texture Layer

With a little help from my friend I’ve discovered this amazing thing called CTG Layer.

Colouring the animation with this tool is so unbelievably fast I can’t get over it. Please try it out

DIALOGUE, ACTION AND INTERACTION – project III

 FIRST RENDER & MORE TVPAINT

 

This is my first 3D render for this project. It’s the last shot of the video.

I am planning on swap the first slow breathing (which is also very snappy, it’s probably something to do with graph editor) to the faster one at the end, plus I will stretch the moment of the wink (and add breathing to it – at the moment I just stretched one frame  that’s why it’s all froze).

 

TVPaint

 

Shot 1

After she opens her eyes 2nd time there is a change of the shot which then goes back to the last ”no”.

Shot 4

This still need a lot of work. I’m getting there.

DIALOGUE, ACTION AND INTERACTION – project III

KAT’s re-rig

My Kat’s rig was wrong. I mean it was totally fine in general it just wasn’t right for what I needed it to do (but at least I had a little more rigging practise).

My 1st rig was made as if he was suppose to move like a person and that is correct but the only 3D scene in which we can see him is Kat sleeping on the bed like a cat, curled up in a ball. And it was impossible to do this with the 1st rig. At first I tried setting up the rig in the closes position to the one needed and then adding blend shapes but it didn’t worked out well (at one point the whole rig refused to cooperate at all….).  That’s when I decided to re-rig the Kat. In order to do that I had to unbind skin and change the build of the model to this one.

Then I partially reused the controllers I made for the previous fig and put the new bones in.

Once more I had to paint the shin weights but it went smooth, and then I had to add a few blend shape adjusting the neck when he twisted his head.

I know it’s not perfect, but it looks fine in the camera, and that’s what matters the most at this point.

I personally think its a GOOD PROBLEM SOLVING.