Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Snazzies: Reverse Theatre Set/Video

Hey Catherine,

Another significant update for you to peruse today... it took a day or so longer then I wanted it to but I think I have gotten it to where I am kind of happy. In other good news Ross is getting on the Storyboards for this animation while I wrap up a few things then me and him are going to sit down and crack out your animation in a big shot. I had a feeling this part would be the nightmare and it wasn't easy but it works now so that's good.

The image above shows where I see the fixed camera from behind them sitting... I also sat down and added a normal map to the chair arms (they were quite smooth and shiny on the earlier renditions... something I have addressed now... it was just too shiny. I want to keep this camera still otherwise I have to add tracking which is another thing I didn't factor into our costs. I think its perfect at this angle though.

This image shows the Slinkies in the cinema seats from behind. The Slinky animation will work outside of the video which will be embedded in post. The television has no screen or background so it is essentially an alpha which means I can transpose anything through it. Best way I can explain it is its more like a window then a television. We can see what's going on through the scene because the area has no background.

This is a partial video (animated gif) of our animation running on its own. Notice the white space around it which is where our Slinkies are going to sit over the top of this screen. They can animate over the top because they are independent of what's going on in the background. In terms of layers the video sits at the bottom so everything can happen in front of it. This also has the advantage of allowing us to lay whatever video we want.

Last but not least here is the video again but with our Slinky still over-layed on top. Obviously our Slinkies will be moving but the point is this screen will always have a blank spot so we can put anything in there for them to discuss. This is how I see us handling the back end shots anyway. The reason I want to keep the camera movement still is because this changes the perspective of the whole in the screen...

Anyway I hope you like how it looks. Not long to go now.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Snazzies: Thredz Band Wall Art Design

Hey Catherine,

This is the third and final wall art design for the Theatre set, I hope its what you had in mind. I decided to let go a little on this one and make it a little more whacky hence the punchy text but I think you will agree that it compliments the other two. I also decided to keep it simple although I did recreate your band in silhouette it gives more of a party vibe I find. The muted red sinks the flyer into the back but also works well with the other two.

Ta-da! The final flyer in all its glory, probably my most favourite because I just kept it simple. The deep red and gold compliment nicely and with a nice punchy cream to knock out key elements of the text. The music notes were a later addition but they look right in the void above the bands head. Most of the font also has a nice drop shadow of black to punch them from the background even more... its fun and quirkly... Good stuff!

And once again the demonstration of the poster opened out in UV map form... I think the heavy border is probably what I like best it looks quirky but old school a good combination. I also moved away from the fabric patterns on this design... Just wanted to go back to what worked on the original "who lets the pets out" poster. I don't know why but I get a only fools and horses vibe not sure why lol. Anyway lets move on to the final image.

Last but not least you have all 3 of our posters in the scene lit by our basic light setup. They all compliment each other perfectly and will keep things interesting especially when we come to multiple viewings of this animation. What I love about it is you are advertising other brands which when it comes to this animation no one has seen. It expands the Snazzies universe virally and that will make the whole thing more interesting.

Anyway that's me I hope you like everything!

The Snazzies: Killer Heels Wall Art Design

Hey Catherine,

This is the first of the two posters you commissioned me to make extra this is the one with the words "Killer Heels are on the March". I went more towards a muted green feel with the core colour on this one just to make the background more interesting. I think you will find this one more colourful. I also copied the design of the shoe more closely based on the concept art you gave me. The only thing missing is the eyelashes but this works without.

Voila this is the design in full I hope you like it. Originally I had only one heel there but I felt I should add more because its Killer Heel"S". The font is understated but it I think you will agree that it works in the context of this image. I added the "Beware" graphic as an extra I cant put my finger on it... it just felt more right with some kind of warning. This is also more in-keeping with the pop art style we have had on the environment outside.

This is the UV layout of the design render to be thrown in to Maya as a texture on our wall frame. It is missing its double border but the UV didn't really work well with it in the scene so like the original one I kept it out for now. You cant really tell but there is a fabric texture to this image. It has an underline cotton finish and the background has a stretched texture... It makes it less shiny and more grounded in reality.

This is how it looks in the scene next to the other poster design... I hope you like it! I think they compliment each other quite nicely I think the next one I make will have a kind of muted red background kind of in the same vein as these two. I will do my best to implement some elements of your characters but they have to be kept understated which means not too many bright colours and we keep to vectors/minimal colour pallet.

Hope you like it!

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Snazzies: Theatre Set Lighting Tests

Hey Catherine,

Last but not least a few lighting tests I did for this scene. I ranged them from REV A - D I just thought id clear up a few last minute lighting queries should they arise. Each test has 3 ranges of light intensity (from 0.5 - 1) which strengthens light and resulting shadows. I moved the light for some and changed the colour of it just to see it if it was blue. I know you don't want it this way but I did the last light passes for me really lol.

You will have to click these to enlarge them I wanted to keep the amount of images down so I put 3 in a line. The first shot of REV A has an 0.5 light intensity REV A is also our standard white light directly in front of the set. The second shot is the same light position but with an 0.75 (default light value). Lastly the strongest light value of the 3 with an intensity of 1.0 is the third image along... Just look at them and let me know.

REV_B is the light on the right side of the set looking down at them (look at the shadows). It has the same intensity values the shot before I just moved the light to the right hand side looking down at them. I thought I would let you pick this hence why I did quite a few renders. When it comes to lighting we kind of disagree so I'm just willing to go along with whatever shot you prefer... Ask people and just see which you prefer too :)

REV_C is over the left hand side looking down at them... I did this originally and its nice to be able to see the shadows from the angle of the camera. Then again if you look at it from the other side you are potentially losing them again. It might be safer to save switching lights around based on the camera angle to keep the lighting face on. Again though that is completely up to you just let me know which of all these tests you prefer.

REV_D is based on the settings I used before... I kept the colour light in the Slinkies and dark in the background so it falls back. Regardless I just did these 3 for me so it feels like they are in a dark room watching television. I get your motivations but I always say things are more believable the more grounded in logic they are. This is my last look into the topic so whatever you decide here I will go along with. Just let me know your preferred setup.

Well that's me 4 for 4 posts... Now to send you an email.


The Snazzies: Theatre Set Complete

Hey Catherine,

I'm back with yet another post (3 of 4 if you can believe that). This one is about bringing everything together all the models/assets/characters into one scene for your viewing pleasure. Everything is lit from the light you helped me make from a front on shot (notice the shadows). I have seated our slinkies in their places and the artwork is on the wall. I just hope it doesn't disappoint whoever you are showing this too lol... Anyway onto business.

This is more of a distant render. You have to realise that our camera cannot go outside of the boundaries of the wall (with the exception of the back doors). Otherwise it just looks odd like they are actually sitting in a set. The camera will have to be close to them mostly (as I suspected we would). This is why there will not be much viewing of the side walls its just front and back shots mostly. If I recall its this simple in the script.

This is a shot looking up at them from a slightly lower position it brings their heads into the centre of the shot and also allows us to appreciate our lovely wall art. Its little flourishes like this that make the scene feel alive that were not just floating around in the dark with no substance. If I'm honest I saw us seeing much of this animation close to their faces not this far back... Except obviously when you have a shot of all 3.

This shot is a close up of rose at a slight lower angle. As you can see the wall art is still present in most of the shots as clear as day. In an animation you could appreciate it but the point is that the Slinkies are the primary focus... Little decorations can sometimes inspire multiple views of animations. The colours of the images in the background are muted so they do not distract from the strong pinks on the Slinkies its a nice range.

Next we have Sparkle at a slightly raised angle which I did similarly before... I kept these poses generic for now. No point in working your ass off on test shots. The lighting is quite nice here you cant even see the flaws in the geometry. If we had more time we could have done normal maps to give the chairs more depth and the walls but again that's more time on this and if I'm honest I wasn't supposed to go this far with the set.

Last but not least we have flame I moved her hand out to get rid of the shadow but just so you know a front on light will cast shadows of their faces should they put their arm infront of their faces etc. so you'd best keep that in mind for the next post (lighting). Flames angle is less central here more off to the side. I figured you may want a bit of range in the camera angle as they discuss things... I don't mind going with my gut however.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this journey so far.


The Snazzies: Poster/Wall Art Designs

Hey Catherine,

Long time no speak (joke lol). From our discussion I get what you are saying about the poster designs but stylistically the poster I made is meant to be kept "low key"... I didn't want it taking attention from the Slinkies and putting bright wall art behind them will not only merge colour with their bodices it will potentially distract from the animation. From a style point of view these posters shouldn't have fine detail they should be quirky.

Enter my design, now I get what you are saying people might get confused as to what it is in this style but I think it proves the right amount of intrigue. The style lends itself to classic golden age of film making when posters were crude. You said to me the other day that we are not Pixar and to me they are all about the bright colours and the "norm" of creativity. This breaks it from the present and takes us to a time before them.

This is the poster laid out ready for distribution onto the model in the scene... I love it. The thing I love most is probably the fact that it nods to something that to this point no one knows about (other then a select few). The only thing that bugs me about it is that I couldn't put on it "Featuring Croc the Lethal Pet". Just forgot I guess but regardless It still works. Anyway enough rattle about this one lets move on to yours.

To be fair this could be a good film poster if you put a slogan with it. It could just be a standard run of the mil advertisement reminding people to wrap up warm for winter or something. These are just pie in the sky ideas but still its a very valid route. The white light in the models ambient occlusion may need to be adjusted a bit for this shot because of the white but I think I have a way round it... watch this space in a sec.

Second not up yet (patience) this is the third poster layout you wanted... This is probably the only one which to me doesn't really work. If it were me I would have made a band poster about a gig on the 30th or march or something. Its what I was going to work on next as a poster design. Regardless you are probably right these posters do take time to make I just wanted this set from our close angles to look as lively as possible.

The drum roll has finally ended VOILA. With the front on white light which you picked when we met a few weeks back... that's how the frames look lit. As you can see they light quite nicely. Do you see what I mean about the potential slogan for the white jacket one. It could have a kitchy font underneath or overlapping the picture with a drop shadow... Either way send these to whomever you wish and I hope it helps you make a decision.

That's another post down, I'm on a roll!


The Snazzies: Texturing Theatre Set

Hey Catherine,

Quite a bit to cover but I thought it was better dealt with all at once really just so you can think about it over the next day or so and show it to whoever you wish. This first post is about our set to be honest your not going to be seeing much of it cuz I always planned for us to be mostly in the Slinkies faces... I know you mentioned grunging on the phone but I have spent more time on this then I should have so I think we should leave it.

Well here is the standard checker map to see how the textures have gone on.... You should know what this is by now. Basically even spacing for each checker means there's no distortion on the faces of the geometry which means when we lay textures they lay EXACT... Without bumps or any nasty tearing anywhere... The other side doesn't matter because we don't see it hence why its got no opposite side... It looks pretty good to me.

Enter our set UV maps which from this angle look pretty basic (because they are)... I didn't account costings for a set because I wasn't originally going to make one. I was just going to make a very crude box but I wanted it to look nice for the animation... hence why there is not much room for tweaking. If we had added a proper environment to your costing it would have been easily another £500.00 either way you have done good here.

As you can see it laid out really nice on the basic geometry made for the set. I ask that you ignore the side walls... They are there to box the light in the room not so much for decoration... The focal point of this animation is in front of and behind the Slinkies as they chat. The floor is a standard theatre carpet and for walls I made wood because this setting felt more like a shed in a dump... I hope I got that right anyway.

Enter our blue chairs (your choice :) they set off quite nice against the yellows of the wood and the reds of the carpet... its making me yearn for a bit of green in the scene but now I'm just getting a little carried away. Its a really basic setup... to do it properly we would have made everything in great detail from scratch... Its quite a costly exercise but when you see the end result its usually an amazing sight.

Anyway that's one post down, I hope this gives you something to show people/think about.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Snazzies: Crude Theatre Set

Hey Catherine, Another quite substantial update... I thought this was going to take longer but I had a good wind tonight so its more or less there... Its perfect for all front end shots (the shots of their faces). I will add a screen and develop the front more (deleting the back wall for the back end (silhouette screen) shots. Ill probably get stuck on that tomorrow... You can probably tell from my email that this has been another late one...

Having not heard back from you about your preferable colour I just dumped in the green ones for now until you have made a decision on the seat colours. Anyway I bunched them together (pictured) the back 3 elevated a little higher then the front (for obvious reasons). I don't think you should need more then 6 chairs we can just pretend this is a home cinema or something... Render times as I said for a big cinema would be longer.

Next I thought id add a little wall art... One of the things you don't want is a bare set. You cant just put these characters in a box if we are to have them quite well lit so we have to consider how the cinema looks around them... I'm not saying we add a loads of things but stuff like skirting boards are so commonly overlooked by people looking to knock together a quick environment... It makes a difference.

Then we create our set... I built this around the other objects it just made it easier to visualise. As you can see borders around the entrance ways (there are usually 2 in cinemas) I put an upper and lower skirting board just to make the wall a little interesting. I also added a protruding wall feature I imagined its where cables would go but anyway it just makes the scene look less empty. You also have the step that raises the back chairs.

Next we bring it all together (pictured above). We can use the lack of a front screen to look back at the Slinkies as they natter. The roof and doorways can be kept empty unless you want them to be closed but id recommend keeping an open roof... We want as much range as we can get from the front camera. Please also bear in mind that I have yet to texture the set... its lit by occlusion at the moment... Textures will make it better.

Next I brought in the Slinkies just to see how they rendered with the lighting situated above at an angle... I wanted to try a few shots just to get a feel. I moved the camera to the opposite side of the light so we could appreciate that lovely shadow. It looks really good from more distant shots so maybe that's something to bear in mind. It will look 20 times better once the set is decorated and the wall art has posters in it...

I did a close up render using the same light setting but I wanted to get closer and get my "album cover shot"... Seriously it looks like they are on a bands album cover lol. I think you will agree that its all coming along nicely here. Having those minor details in the background keeps the shot interesting. It will look miles better when we add textures the shot will suddenly come alive. It just doesn't look boring and that's key here.

I did a few renders to play briefly with camera angles... The shot above with Rose is on a low angle creating a kind of superior prescience... It also has the awesome feature of kind of showing the pictures behind the Slinkies which is just a nice bonus. I did these just so you can look at the Slinkies one on one really... See if it helps you visualise anymore how you want things to go down. You can think about it while I'm texturing.

The shot with Sparkle is a bit higher not so low more of a close mid angle. Its less superior. If you can be thinking about these things Catherine in case there are any shots you want specifically for certain sections let me know... I know you told me to go with my gut and I intend to but just in case there is anything you were thinking about. The set pretty much allows us to look anywhere because we have nothing to hide.

Last but not least we have Flame which due to the angle of per pose I did a mid angle shot across the chairs as opposed to face on like the other two. This again is just to give you an idea of the camera range. It will save on render times to keep it shoulder height but we could probably get away with the odd shot or two. I know you also may want a few of them together and we wont find that out until we kick off a render.

Anyway sorry for the mouthful post but I wanted to keep you apprised...


The Snazzies: Theatre Chair Textured

Hey Catherine, Sorry for the delay on this the UV mapping took a little longer because I wanted to minimalize the stretching of the textures... Happy to say this chair is probably one of the best UV mapped items I have done so It certainly should compliment the Slinkies well... I was going to do a normal map but then I thought it was a little overkill, cant spend too long fine tweaking anyway. I did however managed to make a few variants for your viewing pleasure.

Started with the standard checker map it allows you to see if there is any distortion in the UV and if there is obviously you have to spend longer ironing it out. The fact that this was an object made it a little easier however. Anything that has a curve is a little more of a nightmare to unwrap mainly because the goal of a uv map is to keep things ironed out and even... A curve needs to stretch outwards and isn't very logical.

I then threw it in ZBrush just to give it a coat of colour really. I really liked the Green and the wood finish under the arms... I wanted the base to be kind of like a black metal (they are usually oily). I don't know to me it just looks the part... I actually like the green too but I know we talked above looking at a few variants so I have done that below too. Just let me know which one you would prefer to see... I still like the green.

The image above shows the green mapped onto the chair with a bit of basic lighting and ambient occlusion within the texture node. I am actually chuffed with how its turned out considering the painting side was pretty quick... The thing that took the time was the UV mapping which is no surprise the technical shit usually takes 20x the creative shit. I did a group render with the green too just so you could see how it works with them.

I think it looks pretty good but again its completely up to you I know colour is an important thing to this concept (you love your wackiness) the blue version I did (below) is also quite nice but I thought id leave it to you to throw your verdict. The wood finish for me is a very nice touch everything is plastic nowadays and I don't like it... It breaks. Anyway if you don't like the green check out the 4 other colour variants below.

Click the images to enlarge (as you should know by now anyway) I didn't render with all 3 you just need one of them really to get a feel. Just get back to me with which one you prefer I could have gone crazy and done loads but this is a fairly low priority thing... The key here is the animation. Anyway as always I hope this post has been a little informative and if I'm doing it right a little entertaining too lol..