Thursday, 27 May 2010

DVD Case Design

From looking at many reference images whilst gathering the overall concept for this project, i always noticed how the posters/DVD cases were always very simple but at the same time looked very cluttered. My plan was to achieve this in my design for the slime molds DVD case.

Project Update

I feel as though its going to be a long but exciting day. I have finally started rendering now (only about 4 days late) but it is rendering surprisingly fast baring in mind every scene is rendering twice due to it being in 3D. This is the day that i have most been looking forward to, piecing the puzzle together and seeing everything come together in a hopefully wonderful way will be really interesting. I'm also looking forward to setting up the compositions in After Effects where i will apply all the finishing aesthetics to the animation and make it look, old fashioned but incredibly modern for the 1950's :)

A few posts which should have been up a while back...

Here's a page of initial sketches that i drew on the train home from briefing, its features the more character side of my ideas and the whole debate on whether to give the slime mold human/character features...

...and some primary research in which i undertook, in the awesome way which is silly putty. Not only to gain some visual compositions but also good fun to de-stress with on a project such as this.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


Heres the most basic PreVis shot of all all the scenes involving the slime mold, minus the spore one. There not all finished yet, which will need to to be sorted out within the next few hours. I still need to animate the sporangia opening and releasing spores, texture and light all the scenes (due to a horrible file path error) animte a few cameras within the scenes and finish of the 3D text. This all needs to be done asap due to render time.

There are all in order but and the spore scene will play last.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sliiiiiime Moooold PreVis

I have now put some life into the limp of slime now so it looks as if it is alive. I am really pleased with the results of this one, for the first time i believe i have animated a piece of slime which actually looks like it pulsating. I created this using the simplest of tools, which is probably why i over looked it, the sculpt geometry tool. I believe i created about 10 different blendshapes, each one with a minor difference in shape and then plugged them all into the original shape and animated one after the other.

Sliiiiiime Moooold Update

A few images on the entrance shot for the slime mold. Initially i planned one having the slime mold jump out at the camera, but i felt as though this was taking away from the essence of the slime mold and moving further into the blob territory. I also really liked the look of the concept image i created for the formation of the slime mold and decided to re-create that image as closely as possible.

This shape started life as a sphere, i then flattened out the bottom and extruded some faces to create the formation lines, then some lattice and sculpt deformers to create the final shape.

Fruting Body Update

Once i created the basic movement of the fruiting body growing i was then able to add some non-linear deformers which allowed me to add a slight curve to its spine and move the 'head' further into the camera, which will be rendered in 3D giving the appearance that it is growing towards the viewer. I have also added a ground plane which will be an extremely high res bark texture, and the environment will be lit with a spotlight .

Fruiting Body PreVis

This is the formation of how my fruiting body will grow, I'm not entirely happy with it so i do believe there will be some changes to it. I thought this part of the animation would be the easiest to animate, but i was drastically wrong. Its nice and simple to model with the out come being the most interesting of the stages, but animating it to grow was quite tricky indeed.

I animated this using blendshapes, starting with the fished model and worked backwards through some stages. Any suggestions on other ways of doing so???

Monday, 24 May 2010

Slug Movement/Composition

Okay, a more positive post than the last. Today has been a great improvement project wise, after some help from both Simon and Alan i feel as though i am getting much closer to completing an animation that i myself am happy with. Here's a quick previs of the slug shot, this shot will also have floating bacteria which the slug will ingest and will also be shot in 3D, hence the slugs movement towards the camera.

**Its cut short in this clip but the slug does move much closer the the camera.**

Project update

Thought it was worth an update post on how my project is going so far, and suffice to say, its not good :( it has been a very counter productive weekend and am now far behind on the project than planned. Ill start with the good news, non-project wise since Saturday i am a another year further into my life and i went and saw Jimmy Carr today which was awesome, project wise i have finally got my head around what needs modelling and animating, i have textured and created the lighting for my opening scene, apart from the backdrop its ready to render and have successfully animated some cool 3D text which with some nice lighting will be ready to render.

This opening scene will have a painted backdrop which is very basic, it will be slight gradient with some silhouette trees fading into the distance. As you can see in the playblast, i have sorted out the textures on my trees which originally had hideous uv layouts (which was more time consuming than expected)

I created this basic 3D text animation which will take place as the title piece for 'SLIIIIIME MOOOOOULD'. Simple to create; i created some text which then was converted to polygons with deleted history and combined to create one object, which was then animated using just two blendshapes, one consisting of a slightly extruded text, with the other being extruded to the necessary length. It will be rendered out in 3D so those on the front row watch out :)

Some stills of the opening sequence, there are still some minor changes to be made, for example the bump mapping and some extra detail including grass patches mushrooms etc... at the moment the scene is 640x480 to replicate that of the old fashioned trailers, i want to keep this ratio but up the pixel size allowing a higher resolution animation. Also i do need to apply a nice ambient occlusion to create the more refined shading within the scene.

Now the bad news, as mentioned before it has not been a very productive weekend, my many attempts to animate some slime (the main part of the animation!!!) have all failed, not in a terrible way, just a way which does not replicate slime, I'm struggling to create some nice compositions which bring across a sense of vulnerability as the enormous slime mold attacks, and fear that i will not be able to make the deadline :(

Here are two attempts at animating some slime mold, both of which using blendshapes.

I feel as though with some guidance from Alan this animation has great potential, but it is just the slime mold movement which is holding me back. Possibly some non-linear deformers would help.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Sound Edit #01

This is the first edit of the sound i will be using for my animation. I have used the main title soundtrack for 'The Revenge of the Creature' as my backing music and the voice over provided by voice actor Joey Pepin. I cut the voice over file down into separate sound files for each sentence, cut the sound track into some key sections and reused some parts to create a more dramatic score of music where needed, hopefully none of which will be too noticeable.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Layout/Opening Scene Update

An update on the opening scene and overall environment of the animation, i have laid out the uv's on the trees and log (not to an amazing standard, but there okay), i have changed around the composition of the trees completely and added some in the foreground so the camera can pan past them. I still need to model a nice ground plane, and some extra details.

Scene Layout

Here's am update on my scene so far. As the majority of the animation will be low to the ground i have been applying more detail to the lower part of the scene. So far i have modelled 4 different trees to avoid repetition, the log in which the slime mold lives and just applied a ground plane.

This is a rough pre vis of my opening scene, which will be the establishing shot of the animation slowly panning in onto the log. I still need to lay the uv's out on the models and of course texture them. In the shot there will also be some extra detail including mushroom, grass, a matte painted background plane etc...

Phil, i have decided to shoot the animation in a 640 x 480 frame size. I feel as though this replicates the 1950's trailer more, is this okay or does it need to be widescreen?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

3D Text Test

3D glasses at the ready. Just a quick test on working out the process of creating a 3D animation. I'm not sure how well i have done it, but you can slightly see how 3D it is. I created a simple piece of text in maya and animated it to zoom towards the screen, then rendered it out in 3D and exported it out in After Affects. Perhaps it would have worked better moving out of the frame

Voice Over Test - Joey Pepin

Here's the first of my voice over tests, its just the raw file which Joey Pepin sent out to me via email. Which might i say was a very speedy professional process. If any one would need an American sounding voice over, Joeys the man i would highly recommend him for use in later projects.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Voice Over - Phil

Got a speedy reply, and i quote...

I would be happy to help out. I can send you a few takes soon. As far as rate, I will gladly donate my services to your grade, just make sure you remember me when you are working as a big-shot in some animation studio.


All sounds well, for anyone else interested his name is Joey Pepin, i found him on the website posted by Leanne.

Script draft #03

This draft of the script will hopefully be the final one, it is a much more shortened down and straight to the point edit and is ready to be sent to the voice actor. Hopefully i will be able to get this script back and finished quickly with a high level of quality.

Slime mold draft script #03:

It grows!

It pulses!

It creeps!

And it crawls!

Somewhere out there lurks a creature…

It could be in the forest, in the woods - it could even be in your garden!

What is this creature you cry?

Well science can tell you

The life cycle of...

Slime Mold!

Look out...

As a bizarre single cell organism reproduces on decaying vegetation near you.

Be amazed as amoeboid cells aggregate!

Thrill as they form into migrating colonies named pseudoplasmodium!

You won’t believe your eyes as they swarm along chemical paths left by dead amoebas!

Recoil in horror as the migrating colonies form into a slug!

Observe this creature crawling and ingesting bacteria!

Be astonished as it forms into a sporangia!

Witness its own cells sacrificed in bizarre unworldly birth!

Be afraid as spores are released to spread strange new life!

Be warned: nothing can stop the slime mold as it dominates our world!

The Life-cycle of slime mold – a UCA motion picture produced and directed by Richard Vosper-Carey.

Coming Soon!

Grading Test

A quick grading test i done with Pete (well mainly what he done and showed me), this is literally some different default effects which he layered into the composition and already you can see the great difference and improvement. Even a such a basic state it would easily replicate old footage and with some minor adjustments and tweaks I'm sure i could get this looking great. Once some of the layer applied are animated it will then bring across a sense of the animation being played on an old projector.

Maya: Arm Rig/Skinning Tutorial 02

The second of the arm skinning tutorials, much more fun and easy to complete compared to the first and also completed in a much faster time. I'm sure this is due to a knowledge from the first one and instead we were painting, rather than inputting numbers via the component editor.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Maya: Head Wire Deformer Tutorial

Head wire deformer, a good tutorial teaching us the many ways to create nice facial expressions, this time using cv curves following the eye line. Combined with the mirroring blenshape tutorial this could be very interesting in creating facial expressions as a whole on the face.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Maya: 3D Camera Tutorial

Just a quick tutorial on how to create the classic 1950's 3d visual effects for cinema. A nice interesting tutorial to complete and should help me out a fair amount due to my animation including 3D scenes.

Maya: BlendShape/Positive & Negative Correction Tutorial

The positive & negative tutorial allows the jaw on this character to move more realistically giving some natural squash and stretch within the muscles. Good tutorial, simple and with prior knowledge on blendshape deformers quite easy to follow.

Maya: BlendShape/Operation Order Tutorial

The basic operation order tutorial, not so much a tutorial but more a piece of information in which order to do things. Probably should have done this before the mirroring perhaps this would have made it a tad easier. I did have some fun playing around with different facial expressions though :)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Maya: BlendShape/Mirroring Tutorial

The blend shape tutorial on mirroring the geometry, in this case a face to gain symmetrical facial expressions. Simple tutorial once you get the first mirror out the way, but also a tad confusing if you do not select geometry in the right order and in my case, the move tool axis is set wrong.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Maya: Arm Rig/Skinning Tutorial 01

Not too difficult tutorial, much more simpler than i thought it skinning and rigging a character would be, other than the binding and the component editor of course. A few problems along the way, for example a fatal error (hows that possible following a tutorial) and a whole lot of distractions due to the tutorial being on skinning. But none the less a nice learning curve and I'm pleased with the results.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Script draft #02

I have made some minor adjustments to the script for the voice over who supplies the animation with character and information. I have added in some more snazzy starting phrases to really give the animation a sense of age and time relation and changed around some of the text so the life cycle makes more sense.

Slime mold daft script #02:

It grows!

It pulses!

It creeps!

And it crawls!

Some where out there lurks a creature

It could be in the forest, in the woods, it could even be in you garden.

What is this creature you say?

Well science can tell you

The life cycle of...

The Slime Mold (Big Title Entrance)

Look out...

As a bizarre single cell organism reproduces on decaying vegetation near you

Be amazed as amoeboid cells aggregate

Amoeboid cells


Thrill as they form into migrating colonies named pseudoplasmodium

Migrating colonies


You wont believe your eyes as they aggregate by following chemical paths produced by dead amoebas.

Recoil in horror as these migrating colonies form into a shape resembling a slug

Slug like creature

Observe this slug like creature crawling and ingesting bacteria in its path

Feeds on bacteria

Astonish as it settles to form into a sporangia


By doing so sacrificing its own cells to create life producing spores


Spores which devour bacteria and in turn restart the life cycle

It grows within days and could be anywhere

There's no stopping the slime mold as it dominates its environment

So be aware!

Created by Richard Vosper-Carey

A student studying CG Arts & Animation at UCA Rochester

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Slime Mold Animatic Draft #01

Draft #01 of my animatic, in my opinion was not really an animatic but rather a slide show of images and some music. Saying this i do believe the music really showed the potential and overall feel of the animation, and the slides also give a slight knowledge of what happens and when. There are bags of negative critiques i have gave myself about this daft, but rather than moan about them im just going to fix them, which will be shown in draft #02.

The Pitch

Today for me i felt went quite well, my presentation wasn't as organised and as professional as i was hoping for but i think i done okay. After the presentation i gained some positive and negative feed back, which was all useful and leaves me in the position for a stronger animation, but also means its back on the story board. I'm not sure whether i mentioned earlier or not, but the animatic shown was not the animatic to its fullest potential, i will produce another draft which includes camera movement, the text needed with transitions and music which will be in time with the slides. There also has been a slight story change in the sense of the slime mold feeling to small and too realistic, whereas in B-Movies every type of threat is to its fullest potential and usually massive. Now its just the task of getting on with the animation, good luck to everyone :)

Storyboard Draft #01

This is the first most basic draft of my storyboard. My animation does not follow a 3 act story so the storyboard may look a bit jumpy. On screen the animation will be built up of fast cuts and small snippets of animation. There will also be some on screen text as you can see in the script which is not on the storyboard. This story board features; establishing shot of environment/situation, the formation/aggregation of the amoebas, the pseudoplasmodium/slug looking for food, the fruiting body growing and the spores being released.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Need Music - Phil

Okay so i have recently been tying to locate some music to go with my trailer, i want the music to be very dramatic and very classic horror. I would very much like to have something similar to the music playing in the trailer for the blob. I have done some research into this subject area and found some possiblities, but nothing which really has that nice classic horror edge. The closest soundtrack i have found is the actual soundtrack for The Blob, but as you will see if differs drastically from the one used in the trailer. Have you any suggestions on any music which might be a possibility for me.

Pseudoplasmodium Concept #01

Here's my first concept piece for the pseudoplasmodium, or better known as the slug. I don't feel as though it has as much charm as my formation concept, but i followed the same principles and adjusted the slime to look like a slug. It doesn't look too different but i suppose slime looks like slime what ever shape it takes :)


Script draft #01

This is the first draft script for this project. The bold italic text will be written on screen and the rest will be spoken using a voice over. I have tried to replicate a script used in 1950's trailer which will hopefully be noticed. As mentioned before the voice will replicate that of a 1950's stereotypical American.

Draft Script #01:

It grows!

It pulses!

It creeps!

And it crawls!

Some where out there lurks a creature

It could be in the forest, in the woods, it could even be in your garden.

What is this creature you say?

Well science can tell you

The life cycle of...

The Slime Mold (Big Title Entrance)

Look out...

As one of the most horrifying single cell organism ever conceived reproduces on decaying vegetation near you.

Watch as amoeboid cells aggregate

Amoeboid cells aggregate

Forming into migrating colonies named pseudoplasmodium

Migrating colonies


See how they aggregate by following a chemical path produced by dead amoebas.

Watch how these migrating colonies form into a shape resembling a slug

Slug like creature

Observe this slug like creature crawling and ingesting bacteria in its path

Feeds on bacteria

Once settled this slug like creature then forms into a fruiting body

Fruiting body

It Sacrifices its own cells to create life producing spores


Spores which feed on bacteria starting the life cycle over again.

It grows within days and could be anywhere

There's no stopping the slime mold as it dominates its environment.

So be aware!

Created by Richard Vosper-Carey

A student studying CG Arts & Animation at UCA Rochester

This is due for some changes, as time goes by i can only assume some more information on the life cycle will be added. Plus a quick question for Phil, from an expert in this era of films ;) are there any other obviously old fashioned lines which come to mind which might be useful. Instead of the 'Watch how' 'Observe how' etc...

Writing the Script

Here's a few videos from the archive which i feel are worth another post, The Blob 1958 trailer and a short video from YouTube named slithersucker. As you will know for my animation i am creating a short trailer for the life of the slime mold, which will in fact be the entire life but in a 1950's trailer form. I am now at the stage of writing a short script for the animation, and the stage of gathering an overall feel of how the animation will be edited.

Seeing as i am creating a trailer for the life cycle of slime mold, the animation will be very filmic and dramatic. There will be a strong use of voice overs, music, on screen text including wipe transitions and a lot of cut to cut editing. So this is the reason for the re-post, i am using the trailer to work out what will happen and when it will happen, and the short slithersucker video for its use of editing.

I am in the process of writing the script so there should be a post on that soon, as well as the concept art and story board. Which i do feel quite down about due to it should have been completed at the beginning of this week. None the less it will be there and some positive thinking is needed :)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Poster Concept #02

Unless i can think of any more changes, or if anyone suggests any. I believe this is the final concept for my poster, i was not sure whether to go with the orange background of my formation concept, but then it seemed to replicate that too much. Also there might be a different concept image on the front, possibly a fruiting body.

As you can see i have not differed too much from my original concept, there have been many changes to the poster but whilst working i saved over them. I have attempted to keep it as simple as possible and replicate the 1950's movie posters as closely as possible.


Reference Images:

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Title Font Development

Quite literally a page of fonts all of which are based around horror movies. Im having some trouble trying to pick a font which will represent the slime mold. Im not sure whether to go for a font which looks quite slime like or a more simple comic book/b-movie style font. Some help would be appreicated, so what do people think??? (1 being the top and 18 being the bottom)

Formation Concept #02

Here's the third or maybe fourth but classed as the second formation concept i have drawn. Had what i can only assume to be a corrupt usb stick when transferring data and lost both my back up and the original of this piece. All is well now though seeing as i managed to finish it. I have tried to capture the essence of the 1950's concept art as much as possible without actually painting them with real life paint and paper :O I feel as though it has been quite successful and a great improvement on my previous piece which was more microscopic real life. Some possible changes in my next piece woould feature a more woodland environment.


Reference Images:

Friday, 7 May 2010

Poster Concept #01

Just a quick post to show the development in the poster concept, i haven't worked on this one much. Ive attempted to keep it very simple clean and tidy, and also put a quick slime formation concept which i was not happy with on there to show some style. Hopefully you will be able to gather a sense of style within the concept image, I'm trying to recreate an old fashioned piece of painted concept.

The changes to be made feature a new font for the title, possibly one which represents slime a bit more, I'm happy with the colour scheme but need a new concept image for the front, and possibly a change of layout for my name.

Development for Formation draft #02. It's not quite what i was aiming to create but is slowly getting there.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Formation Concept #01

This is the first piece of concept art for this project which i have created, it features the formation of the mold. I feel as though something is missing but i cant quite put my finger on it. Im debating whether to colourise this image, im keeping it black an white to keep with the 1950's theme, but perhaps some colour would serve the image some use. Also the environment is quite a problem for me, im not sure what i want to create yet. Feed back welcome and preferred :)


Reference Images:

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

B-Movie Trailer/Research

As mentioned before, i have now decided to create an animation which dynamically recreates the life cycle of the slime mold in the form of a 1950 B-Movie trailer. The reason for this being, with the whole concept for this project it would be difficult to create a decent animation which fully tells the story of the life cycle as an animation short. I feel as though it would be okay but not great, whereas if i was to create the animation in the form of a trailer i can cut from scene to scene explaining the life cycle in small snippets and keep the animation interesting and fast paced. This would also give me all the great bonuses which a 1950's horror movie has i.e. the voice over, the text based theme using wipe in and out transitions, the short space of time and the overall aesthetic. All of which you can note in the following trailers.

Now with that classic old fashioned American voice over in mind, instead of using text to explain the process of the life cycle, i can now use voice overs which keeps the animation interesting and gives the animation a nice edge. As well as this voice over, some trailers at the time used 3D glasses to create horror movie that truly jumped out into the audience. I will attempt to create my animation life cycle in 3D, there for needing the use of classic red and blue glasses. With this great input from Phil, this will truly help to create a interesting animation to learn from.

As you can see, all of these trailers share similar concepts; the music is very 'dun dun dunnnnn' with a high use of trumpets, the text is all similar which uses similar placement, timing and transitions, and a voice over to explain the film in the trailer. All of which i will try my best to replicate.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

To Character or Not to Character

Initially for the project i set on developing the slime mold into a character, i felt as though out of all of the scenarios this one had the most potential to enhance a character. By doing this it would allow my animation to have a short story based on the life cycle of the slime mold, but also about a character, for example a martian from out of space which would attack civilisation.

To give the slime mold a character it was as simple as locating a head shape on the slime mold slug and giving it an eye. I have experimented with this through some quick concept sketches (which will be scanned in soon) but after some further research into the slime like character, mainly a blob, they all seem to look the same and lack a sense of originality. You can see this in Dreamwork's Monsters vs Aliens featuring the character B.O.B, as you will see my concepts resemble this character a fair amount.

Giving the slime mold a character has its positives and negatives. The positives being, the animation would be interesting and character based, which allows space for a short story and would allow the animation to be very cute and target a specific audience. The negatives being, the animation theme and target audience would change drastically, it would take away from the idea of the animation being a trailer (which will be discussed soon) and the animation would lack originality within a character, unless i spent a considerable amount of time developing it. It would also take the concentration away from the life cycle of the slime mold, which is the reason for the animation.

I have now decided not to give the slime mold a character (i think) and focus more on the life cycle based as a 1950 B-Movie trailer.