At the start I found it hard to come up with stories, I could come up with characters but not stories so I guess this is something I need to have a read about I did read the Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories book last year, but I think I should have reread it this year to help me so I’m more useful to my teams. I also need to learn how to do animatics again, I was meant to do it but I didn’t have the software Kerry did so she done it instead.
I’m quite happy with my background I made and I tried my best to follow the feedback I was given for it when my team asked for advice on it. I think if I planned it out more it could have been a bit better but I still like it anyway. I learnt from this that I need to really research things more and try to not copy others too much.
I didn’t get to do much animating because we were animating on one computer so the characters would always stay in the same place instead of us animating and the characters being in all different places. I hope I can maybe work on animating more because I find it ok to do compared to some of the other things we do in maya.
Overall this project went better for me than the one last year. I feel like this group was much easier for me to get on with and get some more things done. I was able to do things I liked and I had a go at some new things, UV mapping and texturing. I still feel like I haven’t worked hard enough though which is my fault for feeling a bit unmotivated at times. I didn’t get to read the books and I never got round to trying out all of the fixed versions of the Maya problems we done but I think i’ll be looking over those later in the semester so I can learn how to do things like lighting because I still don’t really know how to it that well.
Kerry and Aisling worked on the adjustments for our animation based on the feedback we were given last week. They added in the leaf at the end and fixed up some parts of the giraffe’s movements. I think if we had more time we would fix the giraffe’s animations because this was something they commented on last week. I would probably redo the background and the tree’s leaves so they look a bit better.
I think I presented well today much better than what I used to be like. We did have a bit of a problem with the internet not working well for us to show our animation but the feedback for our Animation mainly consisted of the actual animating side to it, Conann said that the movements were coming from the feet rather from the neck and he told us about a rig that could be used for them. Another thing for our animation is to add in the leaf during the credits like we originally planned to do. Other than that I think we done well since we got everything done on time for once.
Rest of the day was just being told about the next part of this semester which I’m excited for because I get to draw more. So hopefully I can get more motivated by this and get more work done.
Kerry and Aisling worked hard over the weekend to animate the parts that weren’t done, during the week they put together the animation with the sounds that Matthew found online.
Aisling created the opening and end credits for the animation which you can see below:
Matthew’s Dropbox links:
Kerry asked the Animation Belfast group for more feedback on the Animation so far based on this rendered still. She also got some more advice from Mike.
Mike’s Advice for the background:
- Lower left bush not needed
- Middle tree not needed
- Lower focus on on mountain (blur)
- Place distant grouping of trees in front of mountain
- Fix Converging lines
So based on this advice I was given I fixed up the background. I didn’t worry about the bottom of the image too much because you don’t see it in our animation. Kerry also asked for me to add in some grassy stuff in the background too so I copied the stuff from the front and changed the size of it, put it at the back.
The one below is adjusted again so that the mountain is lighter and I fixed up the blur at the back so the mountain isn’t a weird shape.
As well as fixing up the background I done a little bit of animation which Kerry helped me with. I animated a bit and she fixed it up so it looked better. Below is the 3 playblasts I got for the bit I animated;
Kerry added in the ears moving as Maurice moved forward and eyes the blinking. I had a go at adding in the blinking too. I made his head follow Carlos jumping up for the leaf because I thought it would be good to have him move with Carlos.
While I was animating, Matthew was working on the panning down the necks for the credits which you can see here:
Today we had to do lighting problems. Alec talked to us about the different types of lighting in maya and also about the types of lighting that some of the class had used last year. (I have notes on this in my sketchbook)
I didn’t mind this one much but it was still kind of hard to do since I’ve never had the chance to proper look at lighting. I was able to do the first one ok since it was kind of easy, I looked up on google the layout of 3 point lighting and had a go at doing it myself.
Rendered Still from the Animation with my background and the tree.
We didn’t really like how the tree was different from the background so we decided to take away that piece and replace it with image planes instead. We used parts from the background I made and I made them into png so that they would be clear.
New rendered still with the image planes for the tree’s leaves.
This is the fixed up background after the feedback from the Animation group on the 23rd. I think I need to fix up the mountain it looks a bit weird because I adjusted it. For this background I added in more trees around the sides and more grass stuff at the front.
So I really didn’t like how I basically copied the background from Rollin Safari as I previously mentioned so i’m doing more research into Savannah backgrounds and similar areas to try and make mine more original. I started to cut and paste parts I already had to change up the scene and make it different. They aren’t cleaned up, they’re still quite messy but it’s just to get an idea of what to do with the background, which one will suit it best. So below is just a few examples of what I came up with, with the original background;
I made a pinterest board to get together a bunch of African Savanna images that I think might help me create a better background. I’m a bit late to doing this research, I probably should have done this a while ago and it was silly of me not to think of this. I’ll continue to update it with any more inspiration.
Link to my board: https://www.pinterest.com/jenniemcwhirter/african-savanna/
While searching around I found this really nice piece of 3D work by Stephen Ross on Vimeo;
I also done some super quick sketches in my sketchbook to get out any ideas I have before I start to make some cleaned up sketches:
On the 23rd Aisling posted this into the Animation Belfast group for us to get some more feedback on the background for our animation so we can fix it and make it better. Below is the feedback given by everyone:
While we were waiting for the feedback I actually drew on top of the rendered image Aisling sent me to sort of give her an idea of what I thought might help make the background a bit better;
It’s still not overly good but I just suggested to maybe add in a few more bits and pieces. I also tried out the blurred background in photoshop by using the motion blur option, i’m not really sure if this is the right kind of blur to use but i’ll continue to work with my team and see what’s best for our background. Below is screenshots showing the different distance of motion blurs I tried out;