Post Mortem- World builders project

The world builders project had reached an end. It have been 7 and half weeks of hard work to have it done.

That’s the end result, presented on week 8. Now its the time to do some reflexion about the progress during the project and about the project in general.

Let’s start analysing the process choose to do the project. First, was documentation phrase to say so, when as a team by meetings agreement decided on what kind of final product we wanted to produce.

I remember when the project was explained and give the different options for it, I immediately knew that I was going to work in 3D, because that’s what I consider one of my stronger skills. Although the class being so big, the groups technically already determine, I ended working in a effects group; or that was the idea.

To do the project was necessary to have good methods of communication, we did had our slack channel as well as any other team. We also have a drive share folder on our google drives. I remember the communication was solid at the beginning of it, when we were working together as a team.

Once it was decided, approved by our facilitators what scene each individual is working on, the communication lowered. We did consulted for feedback to the others members of the team as well as the facilitators every week, but mostly it was delivered just by them rather than the team.

The project felt a bit more like an individual project rather than a group one. The only part that seems to still group choice is the style that we had agreed. We did share some basic knowledge of how to do the chosen style but anything further went in our own.

I believe that because one it was clear we were working individually, the communication dropped to only when it’s necessary. As a team we should try a bit harder to actual communicate what were our avance and how we were dealing with it, to see the progress as a group rather than individually.

As part of the team, and part of my responsibilities was also to keep insisting on it and/or just communicate my part more frequently even when it wasn’t any real communicating (responses) frequently. Asking is also another factor that is was a bit weak, but not as weak as general communication. Sometimes, asking was the only way to know is what we were doing was the correct process and so and that’s was what seems to actual worked, specially with replies from our facilitators.

To do the project, we did some research, concepts arts, animatic, previs and implemented everything in order to obtain the last result in each scene. Like I said before, one the team had agreed and once the shot were approved, based on the concept arts, it was more individual work that later on will be put together as one solid piece.

For my part of it, I learned about Falloff Maps, that allows us to have different colour effect on a select asset or assets depending on the light on the scene. Using that process, it made it easy to texture without really unwrapping it, and that helps us to actually save a lot of time.

Apart of that technique, I learn a similar way to use a map texture to say so, for the river and give it a realist colour and effect. I did learned how to use a ripple to apply to a plane or box that later on will be the river in this case. Using the ripple and giving it an animation sequence, it gives the realism movement needed to the water effect.

I could just conclude that this project did have the main three steps on an animation project in general, the pre-production, production and post production. We did have on the pre-production all the documentation needed, agreements and more; on the production each of us individually work the best, the get the scene as much as possible similar to the animatic, created the assets, animation and effects needed; to finally on the post production, we did collect all the individual shots and put it all together adding some sounds effects and effects on the title and credits.

I like to believe that even it was seem it as a individual project while doing all the shots, it really shows how a team can work separately and at the same time together having a unique result, mostly because of the define concepts at the beginning and good stable communication at the start when all the main decisions were made.

World Builders Project

One of the projects that I had been working on since the beginning of this term, is this one that consist in simple words to create a fake teaser based on a book. This is a group project, my group is formed by 4 members including myself. To do this project we do had only 6 weeks, considering that is due on week 7. The firsts 2-3 weeks had been used as pre production, documentation, while the rest of the time is required to do the production and left the post production for the last days, no even a week but days.

Up to now, as part of the documentation each student had to do some to some concept arts, as well some thumbnails and others to helps visualize the result of our individuals shots, that each of us had been assigned. In simple words, one the teams had been formed each of them had assigned to each member a shot that they are going to be responsible for it and it would depend on each student to made it posible to in the end create the teaser with all the shot edited and render together as one main masterpiece.

For the moment I can show my concepts, that I had already post online on my deviantart account. Normally most of my visuals end been post there, some of my WIP videos end post on my tumblr.







I remember that when I was working on this concepts I was more thinking that I should try to focus more in the environment that is describe on the book that the team had choice, rather than the characters that also appear there. My team and I are working on the “Zarkora” project, planning on doing our individual shots as a “VFX” shot – Matte Painting/Virtual Environment, which might use camera mapping techniques. It’s going to be based on the second book of the “Zarkora” series, “The lost Kingdom”.

My shot is specify based on the chapter VIII of the book named as “Gorkin Chase”; in which the main environment is the forest where the main characters are.

Cross-Discipline Project – Post Mortem

A cross-discipline project, as it said it should work between disciplines, in this case, I use the world builders project for that to be archive.  While us did all the animation part of it we team up with an audio student, Ash Ball, as its is mentioned on the credits and every else that need to be mentioned. That student, was contacted by discord and/or person during or after/before classes.

Like the WB project, it was also need a drive folder that it was share with him for the sake of the project, and to allow us easily know what was the progress on the music designed by him for the project. Once we did had some, we discussed as a group and decided what would work better with what did we had up to that moment before giving him some feedback to improve the audio.

One of the problems that we had, was the fact that most of the communication was by discord, and actually delivery by just one of our side of the team members, with all the notes taken by the whole team. This feedbacks notes were expressing in probably what it wasn’t the most clever way for the audio student to work with because of the different terms used in the different disciplines. Although, that was true, we did managed to get through it by finding general works for what we need to communicated and it was a success.

For future references, I would use the same general words use to communicate with an audio student. Also, in the future I would like to not just work with audio students to develop an excellent project but many with other disciplines as well as the games one; but that’s a topic for another day.

The project was a success, and we saw it, and that’s mostly because we did learn to communicate well with the audio student and were trustful enough to know that our main way to get in contact with was our team member. A good communication is always the key in any kind of project. And always remember to keep in contact with those who help you in the past, as well keep crediting  them for their hard work, because as much as we did a lot, they also did.

World Builders Project – Post Mortem

The world builders project, basically was requiring a creating a World Concept Teaser that is based on a description from a Novel, where there should be at least one shot for team member and the teams can be between 4-5 members. It can be made in 3 different options, a environment in a Real Time Engine, a “VFX” shot – Matte Painting/Virtual Environment, which might use camera mapping techniques, or, a 2D Animation, in 2.5D.

Considering that the whole class consist of 5 members including me, it was a class decision that we were going to work all together, and for default and majority, it was decided that we were going to do in Unreal Engine 4 (UE4); once it was decided the style, we all discussed about the book or well novel that we wanted to work with it, in the end was decided to use  “20 000 leagues under the sea” by Jules Verne and the description to use was from the chapter: “The lost continent” making referring to the mystical lost city of Atlantis.

The project as any other project start it with the pre production phase, follow by the production and of course the post production phases. This was managed as a team in different ways depending on what phase we were up to, but in general speaking the result of this project was well done thanks to the constant effort for each of us individually and grupal as part of a team member that we all were.

There were moments on the project that we couldn’t help but disagree with something, but that never stop us as a team, we always manage to find a solution to whatever was happening as for example when it was a communication issue going on with one of us or many of us, that technically was meaning pushing us or the project backwards or behind schedule, that it was done since almost day one of this project.

It had been some cases where in the end someone else had to have the initiative and take over a task from someone that obviously for ende problems, technical or personal, was pushing the project behind or a big part of it. While in the majority of time for the project I was a 3D generalist, I was also in “charge” to say so, well more like as part of a team member that I was, I was always collaboration with important decisions as well giving feedback to those in the team that need it.

Although one of the main issues going on was communication, reporting in time as we had agree with, we did that the main solution was that even when it was nothing done by that day, we should say it, and didn’t need a whole full explanation as why it was that, just let us know that at least you were planning to probably reschedule some tasks and finish in time as it was previously agree it and planned on the gantt chart created almost immediately when the project did.

This project, was divided, like any other project in pre-production, production and post-production. In each part of it, had their key creative processes that had helps us to do the right thing in the right time. For example, in the pre-production phrase, it was important to focus in some research as well as amount of proposes that would help the ideal image to say so, for the result. Each of us, were focus in main assets that were decided as team as an unit. So, like that each of us, had the responsibility of researching references (as always good references will lead a success on the project) and share it with the rest.

One of the main process steps that we did as a team, was also create a drive folder share it open for all of us, and in that way whatever that we find or do individually, it was incorporate. So, as well as in the pre-production it was used to register any kind of documentation, in the production phrase was used in an specific order, to save and share anything that we did, even if wasn’t include in the end.

In conclusion, I would say, that getting set a good communication method and good saving process of each part of it, it’s fundamental for any kind of project. Responsibilities has to be consider as serious as anything in our day by day live; and can be edited depending on what phrase of the project we were up to. My personal roles, when from generalys searcher to analyst and reporting feedback in the post-production but the main one, was to be part of the 3D generalist and create assets. Some of the assets that I did, didn’t end on the project, but that should bother any one, considering that we were talking and working mostly on feedback gain.

World Builders Project – Shot Deconstruction

Shot 1, introduction shot, introduction to Atlantis city, that’s the main idea in the design of the shot that I was working on for the project. Part of the project, the world builders project the one that’s explain later on, asks to deconstruct a shot from an existing film for inspiration, and for that I’m using the first shot from a movie that actually shows Atlantis which is: “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”.The introduction shot is pretty similar to what we as team have in mind for our own introductory shot.

The whole project consists on create a fake trailer base on a scene from a book, the chosen book is “20 000 leagues under the sea” by Jules Verne. The scene that we are focusing on is the one where Atlantis is discovered. The shot that I’m in charge on is actually the opening one, the one that introduce to this lost city.

The actually video reference to that is the next one that can be easy find on YouTube:

The shot that I’m focusing on is the first one from this sequence and it’s about 5 seconds in length. That is the same length of our own opening shot.That movie that I have chosen to analyse is also based on a novel by Jules Verne, “The Mysterious Island”.

That movie was released on February 2012 and it belongs to the action, adventure, family and Science Fiction & Fantasy film genres. In simple words that movie basically tells the story of the young man who goes with a small group to the adventure in search and rescue a member of the family after receiving a letter with instructions of how to find this mysterious island that results to be the Atlantis lost city.

In the shot that I have chosen is an introduction shot, it starts by showing the forest where the characters came from to the full view of the lost city. The characters were in the top of area, standing up and the shot goes with constant movement of the camera than in the end stops slowly to just focus in the whole scene and that’s one of the things that I like more from it.

From there I could also point out that it’s important shot because not only maintain focus on the main asset that is the whole city in that movie, but also it shows a good composition on it. It also shows what is before it, doesn’t go direct to the main location but instead goes from behind/before to showing that it’s not all only about that place, that city but also allow us to know that there is something else going on. Through interesting camera movement the shot also gives us more information about the general environment and location of where the city is.

Now, talking in a technical terms I would say that in that the shot has a nice camera movement, camera angle and framing; those are the points that I mostly like form that and actually can be use to complete and do my own shot; or well try to imitate a bit, because the propose of my shot in the project doesn’t really need to main focus that much our main city, that’s why I thinking that the best thing that could work nicely in the project is actually leave the camera a bit behind.

Week 4: 27/02-05/03

As soon as it was possible, it was time to start modelling the hero assets and for that I start and followed the tutorial previous mentioned, although the tutorial was teaching a new (for me at least) modifier to create the tree branches in a very easy, fast and practical way. It did came with the idea of making the top part of those in point and that could work normally with I was planning to do a normal tree with leaves that will end cover those, but when it’s going to be dead trees, the results are not exactly as what I was expecting.

Tree_1_1Tree_2_1Those were two views of the same main tree already unwrapped and texture it with a simple 2D texture, do with autodesk sketchbook pro.

UVW_render_Tree_1As you can see, the unwrap map and the texture were indeed very simple for a fossil tree, good that in the end that was modificate, although the modification of the texture for this tree was made by Macauley Bell after I did have some troubles with mudbox and quixel.

On the other hand, in this week was also reintroduce the Specialization project that it was initially mentioned on week 2, but not really touched as much as it should, I had decided since then that I’m going to do a dialogue sequence animation again, I had considering using an dialogue from the 11secondclub website, and this time use the dialogue from the february month competition, although it had already passed.

Also for that reason, I start looking for some free rigs that I could use for the project, thanks to a suggestion in class, I look into the “MERY PROJECT” that offers the Mery rig for Maya to use for free (please read terms and conditions before download it), it’s now question on try it on and see how much I could do for the project specially with the dialogue that I’m planning to use.