Sunday, 30 January 2011

Transcription - Developed Idea's

Okay, as you can probably tell at the end of my last post I was slightly confused up on which direction I want to take this project, but one thing for sure is that I want to create an animation based on environments. I also lacked any influence from a piece of material that I could transcribe. Originally I would have liked to transcribe a passage from a piece of text, or a painting to gain a highly descriptive understanding of the environment.

Instead I have found a piece of music which answers the majority of my problems influence wise. As mentioned in the previous post, my mind is still not clear up on which environment choice I should make; should I create a pre/post war environment, or should I create a crime scene influenced scene based in an outdoor city environment. I do know that what ever environment I choose to create, the setting for such environment will be the 40's and 50's.

The song which is one of the more influential examples which I have found is 'We'll Meet Again'. A song made famous by artist Vera Lynn during World War II. As Wikipedia Says...'During the Cold War, Vera Lynn's recording was included in the package of music and programmes held in 20 underground radio stations of the BBC's Wartime Broadcasting Service, designed to provide public information and morale-boosting broadcasts for 100 days after a nuclear attack.' Maybe the perfect song to provoke such a war-torn and emotional environment.

Another version of this song that I have found is Johnny Cash's cover of 'We'll Meet Again' in 2002. Johnny Cash's version of the song seemed to some what match the 50's based city environment idea which I have had, although his deep bass voice (and the Narrative project) pushes me more to create an environment which is not just a 50's inspired city, but a 50's inspired 'retro-futuristic' (possibly Steampunk like) city.

From this song and some thought development I have came up with an idea in which involves creating an environment based project, as well as adding an animated twist to it, to allow the animation to be more interesting compared to a basic fly through camera moving through the environment. The animation would be set in the 1940's-50's and mentioned before, and it would take place in a city such as New York in America. The animation would start with the music 'We'll Meet Again' by Johnny Cash fading in, with a Camera panning backwards out of a smashed/looted TV and Radio shop. The camera would then move round the surrounding environment of the TV and Radio shop to reveal a deserted and slightly derelict town, then as the song fades out to reveal a more atmospheric sound, the camera turns around to face downtown and reveal an over whelming space ship.

This may be an idea well over done, but it is an idea which would really match the physical appearance of the song. For example Vera Lynn's version of the song is a perfect example of music to capture the emotion of World War II. Cash's deep country voice some how manages to match that of a derelict city, and the songs relation to war and nuclear paranoia some how ties together nicely to create an environment which could be retro-futuristic, not just within the appearance of the environment, but the space ship as well.

I think im starting to achieve a more solid idea for this project now, however as always any adice would be welcome.

Friday, 28 January 2011


The beginning of a new project. Narrative was a fun and interesting learning curve, but towards the end of the project the deadline just seemed daunting and the idea that a new project will begin after a short break seemed heavenly, not to say that Retro Fest was not fun, of course it was, Transcription will be a breathe of fresh air. My work load within the Narrative project focused more around the design ideas and the modelling of the environments, a subject which I find to be more interesting as a whole compared to other subject areas within the CG realms.

So for my Transcription project, the chances are I will be focusing on creating an environment of some kind, animated with a camera fly through depending on the situation that has been set up. Some loose idea's which I thought of at the time of briefing included; creating environment's which revolved around chaos, such as war torn town set in ww2 or a historical event which took place during ww2. Then moving on from war themed environments and focusing more onto crime scenes. I thought of creating an environment which would be set up for a police examination. I'm not sure how drastic the crime scene would be, for example how horror the environment would go, but I think some great possibilities' are there. Another small idea which is a possibility included creating an animation set up around a children's poem, nursery rhyme, or spooky/bed time story. An idea which would take a great amount of work and also an idea which I do not think I am quite suited to create yet.

Taking in mind the idea of creating an environment for a crime scene, initially the idea which struck me first was to create a camera fly through of a crime scene which has taken place possibly in a first person point of view. The camera would move about the crime scene as a conversation takes place between two inspectors, one of which is telling the story to another. Not only does this mean that I would be primarily creating the environment, but secondly it would add a certain edge over a simple camera movement through out the scene. However the only problems which stand in front of me include which style direction I should go with this project, for example a digital set for an stylized cartoon animation, or a digital set based on realism, and a piece of material which I can transcribe.

So far I feel as though my ideas could fall either into the line of stylized environments for an animation or an environment based on realism and fact, a fine line which needs to be worked out to successfully progress on this project. So far my research has fallen into the line of fact as I have been looking at the notorious east end gangsters 'The Kray Twins'. Recreating an environment which is an historical event not too long ago seems to be quite interesting. However up on further research an animation which documents the life and work of the Kray's could be even more interesting, although quite a bit of work for a 10 week project. I found some in depth information within a documentary based on the life of the Kray Twins which someone has kindly uploaded on YouTube.

As you can probably tell, at this moment in time im slightly confused up on which direction i want to take this project, but one thing's for sure, i want to create an environment which has depth and a reason. I think some more research and a choice is going to be needed soon, ill post up a definitve answer to the direction in which i want to take and some research for it soon.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Maya Tutorial's

Unfortunatly i have not managed to finish all of the tutorials in time, however i have started all of them and do plan to finish them. I have finished the first Generi Guy lipsync featuring Jim Carey, but have not finished the 11 second club lipsync (which i believe i left on the uni pc's). For the cartoon character tutorials i have only managed to model the character, and for the mustang tutorials i have modelled the basic shell but need to add in the detailing such as windows, bumpers, grill, etc...

My apologies to you Alan for not completing them all on time.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Making Of

The Making Of 'Attack of the Cheerleaders from Beyond the Stars', a document where you can see a more detailed pipeline of our production.

The Making of Attack of the Cheerleaders Beyond the Stars

The Animation

Here's the animation which was presented on thursdays crit, its not finished to the quality that my group had have hoped for, but some of the basics are there. I worked on creating the environments, some of the props (mainly the car), and some animation which included the opening scene car movement and some camera movements through out the trailer. To finish the animation with 100% satisfaction, to start with need to cut the trailer so it looks like a trailer, add in the sound (which went terribly wrong) and add text inbetween the shots.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

DVD Case and Image

Here's the DVD case and two variations of the image which will be printed onto the disc. I decided to keep the case as simple as possible and let the visuals speak for them selves and with the disc i was not sure whether to go with a straight to the point disc image stating the name, or have an intersting visual. I think the basketball visual on the disc works more as it is far more interesting and will add a sense of fun to the disc.

Alien Corridor Scene

Here's the alien corridor scene for our animation. Its the final scene where the alien will slowly jump towards to camera and the ceiling light flickers on and off. Out of the scenes created so far, visually this scene is not much texture wise as it is just a corridor, but once the lighting animation will be applied to the scene I'm sure it will really help the scene pop. I have not added any bump to this scene as it will not be very visible as the lighting will be flashing and the camera will never be close enough the pick up detailing.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Locker Room Scene

Here's the locker room scene in where the alien will be first revealed to the audience. This scene has taken far longer than i expected due to some minor set backs but i have got there in the end. I still think the lighting needs a bit of tweaking here and there but other than that its another satisfied scene. I applied some bump to the bench in this shot which i think works really well, a nice touch which might need to be added to wooden objects in other scenes.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Gym Scene

Here's the gym scene which will host our trailers first alien attack. It will include some shots of the cheerleader stalking her prey, the jock shooting hoops, and a rolling ball with blood. Below is a print screen of the scene in maya, a rendered colour pass, ambient occlusion, and a final render of the environment.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Gym Door Scene

Our first finished scene (render wise) of the project, it may only be 6 seconds but it counts : ) This is certainly the lightest scene render wise, and possibly the most boring, but with some nice post blood effects in sure it will spruce the scene up. Below is a print screen of the scene in maya, a rendered colour pass, ambient occlusion, camera movement, and a final render minus the blood.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Opening Scene

Here is the updated render and camera movement of our opening scene. We wanted to start the trailer with a slow peaceful pace, then as the trailer plays out the pace will begin to gather speed. To create a sence of peace a slow camera movement has been used which will then cut to a close up shot of the rear windscreen and pan to the side down inot a woodland area towards a strange glowing object.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Opening Scene Render

Here is the first final render for our animation. Its the establishing shot for our opening scene which includes; Matt's terrain, my car, Sam's environment props, moon, back drop, and a combined lighting effort. In the end i applied simple mental ray car shaders and metallic shaders instead of laying out the UV's and texturing in Photoshop.