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.

Specialisation Project-Timing

While talking about weighting, timing was mentioned, but what’s timing? first is one of the 12 principals of animation. Also it could be the weight of an object, as it was mentioned on the weighting entry, the different timing used in the same object would give different illusion of the weight of that object.

Timing as it is the speed of the action, refers as how long the action will take, would affect the personality and nature of the animation. It’s going to be affect by the number of frames between the two main poses on the animation. In simple, more frames it would made it slower, and less would result in a fast action.

That’s one on the main reason to also be the weight on an object, as how it was explained on my last entry. It could also work as scaling properties, as for example a tiny character would move faster than a large one therefor, a tiny one would have less frames. And lately, it could also use as to determining emotion; its different to show relaxing from nervous.

To apply a good timing, in the end would be hardly recommend to have a real time reference; because timing would help us to create something believable and realistic movements based off the real-world. A good real life reference would always help specially to have the correct timing on a animation piece.

Timing correctly something in an animation, would work correctly for any of the previous ways mentioned (such as weight, scaling and emotions) and will have positive results. As animators use the correct timing in the emotions for example would also give the though behind those actions.

In conclusion a correct timing would help to have a better understanding in things as weight (or the illusion of it), scaling (different velocities in the actions could varied in the size of the character) and emotions (it’s no the same show a relaxing movement rather than a nervous one). Timing is most common to be related to a real life action, so having good references always helps to give the believable and realistic need it.



Specialisation Project-Weight

The specialisation project, varied from 2D to 3D options, including VFX. In my case, I working on a 3D character animation and as part of the tasks that we have to do to complete this project is have to some research. This entry will focus on weighting, and all related to moving weight. In my project the character that I had choice, will be lifting a heavy bag, for that reason I’m going to research for it and find all about for the project.

Now, to talk about weighting is necessary to understand about timing and spacing. That’s because weight nor force doesn’t really exist in animation, everything is part of the illusion of animation.

For an animator, weight is a visual presentation of opposing forces. When a character jumps up, it is actually driving down against the ground. The faster it can drive down the higher it will jump. The character can enhance the power of the jump by thrusting shoulders and arms in the direction of the jump. Study a high jumper or long jumper.
-Weight in Animation, Posted by Wayne

Animating a believable sense of weight and power is probably one of the most challenging tasks an animator will have. It takes a keen understanding of Timing and Spacing (one of 12 Animation Principles) to animate anything that should appear to be affected by a gravitational pull.
-Emphasizing Animation Timing to Convey Weight and Force, By Pluralsight on August 8, 2014,

I just quote two bits of different websites that certainly are saying the same with different approaches; there is also the constant mention of timing, that’s because the timing is what would give the impression of weight in the animated object.

Part of the research that I have done, also shows an example of how to animated weight correctly. As mentioned before, that would include has the correct timing in the movement of such asset.

For example, if someone animated the same object two times but give it different timing in each; the illusion of how heavy that object will varied. To be more specific, just let’s say that such object is a ball, if the animation has a fast timing the audience will conclude that it’s light, but if that has a slow timing, then the audience will conclude that it’s heavy.

That’s how weighting in animation works, or better say how the illusion of weight is created on an animation. So therefore having a great understanding of timing is the best way to make weighting works on the animation.



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.

Specialization Project – Post Mortem

The specialization project, it’s a personal project, where the individual had to work in their own, choosing one of the many options that they could specialization, I had chose long ago that I wanted to do an animation project. Considering that the other options were VFX and modeling, I opted for the animation one.

The animation option, did had two options, games animation function or dialogue animation, I decided that I wanted to do dialogue sequence animation. To even start this project, I was required to find a dialogue, no longer than 10 seconds between 2 or more characters. Back then it was february and I decided to go to with the dialogue from the now closed competition, from the 11secondclub website.

Although, the final result, didn’t go to the competition, I didn’t intent in participating in first place, it was a great experience. I had to made some research, in basis staff in Maya, more as refreshment because I’m not that used to work on it, and never that it more. Then I had to actually do some more serious research in the steps of the animation process.

And so, the project, also was required to find and work with a free to use rig that we can easily download and use, and that’s why I was refreshing myself with basis of Maya, most of the best rigs, in my opinion, works on Maya and only Maya, the other research done, did help me in the process of the animation itself.

Of course, as anything in life there were some issues, part of my fishing for the rig, I was forcing some incredible and ridiculous problems with those rigs that I had to be discarding. Like for example, showing some things that are not part of it and there is no way of hiding or eliminate it, as well as the simple fact that the rig was too small in comparison to anything else in the scene; and that rig not able to be resized correctly.

In the end I used the classic Norman rig that I tried to avoid and a new rig, the Mery rig, those rigs, came handley and help to succeed in the project. Most of the problems were mostly caused because those are actually old rigs, and with the new versions of the program, it caused conflicts, so, the best option was actually discarding those for the project, and not waste more time trying to fix something that probably it won’t be online as an online solution forum or similar.

For a future projects, I would probably stick with the Mery rig and if I can avoid the old good Norman, I will probably try harder to find a good as well as Norman to work with it, because I definitely like to animated in Maya, rather than in 3D Max. Although, in this project I did created the simple scene on Max and imported to Maya, as I said, Maya is better for animation.

This brings me to the conclusion, that actually knowing your rigs could save you some time, as well have the correct knowledge to do it right, that’s why I investigate, analysed and applied what was learned from it. Using everything that I found doing my research processed helped me even more than just assuming things, as well, having in mind that any kind of project should be save every once in time to avoid any lost work, that any program including Maya could caused for unknown sources.