Saturday, June 26, 2010

I have no puns, only storyboards

So I don't have a clever title for this post. But what I lack in wit, I make up for with content! Specifically, storyboard comment! Over 70 masterly-crafted images by the talented Miss Gale. She is a college from another one of NYU's animation departments, and she is very talented!

Her sketch blog is fun to go through, so I figured she would be a natural choice for help with storyboards while I busy myself with building all the 3D assets. And, well, the results speak for themselves.

The full boards can be found here. Below is a snippet of the awesomeness:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What a novel conept

The storyboards just came in, and I think they're just awesome. Along with the script, the storyboard artist was given some light notes on shot preference and a few concept sketches of what the characters will look like. See those below! Tomorrow we will unveil the boards to the world (wide web) and the animatic will soon follow.

On another note, my schedule has each night this week budgeted for three props being modeled. I'm not quite sure which magical fairytale universe I picked that rate from, because at my best after working all day at my day job, I can do no more than two, usually one and a half. Here is a lesson learned: When working with new tech, do a few dry runs of each step before setting up a schedule.

But the good news is that the props are working, and are functional in both maya/mentalRay and source.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Modelling Commences!

Concept sketches and the storyboard will be posted soon, but in the meanwhile you might notice that the schdule mentions today is the start of prop modelling. Well, I'm sticking to this schedule as best I can, so today it starts! The first prop was mostly an exercise to make sure I could convert an object between Maya/MentalRay and Source. I've already gone through the process before, but today served as a refresher, since there was a couple steps I forgot to write down last time!

Anyway, after a few more educational moments, we have our first movie prop, a wooden spoon! It's got an attachment for the character to grab on to, levels of detail to save on rendering time when it's far away from the camera, a physics mesh for in-engine dynamics, and a shiny lacquer polish to keep all your meals freshly stirred and delicious.

It's being held by a character from one of Valve Software's Games for size reference

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Barrels Collapsing in the Unreal Engine

I'm about to post some concept sketches for my project, but before that let me point out this video. It's a small physics test that user "Elude" made to demonstrate a 25,000 barrel stack collapsing on itself.

I couldn't think of a better way to illustrate the benefits of a game engine over a 3d production tool. Running a physics simulation for that many objects at the same time would bring Maya to a screaming halt on the best of days. And splitting it up into smaller bits using the same program would be a time-consuming process. Using the engine's phsyics and rendering capabilities, not only is this feasible, but the creator is able to interactively control his camera as well.

He gives a brief summary of his method here: [epic games blog] but the short of it is that he recorded his computer's output using a program called FRAPS to capture the video as the game engine crunches away. All in all, it took about two and a half seconds to render a full frame. I have very strong doubts that this could be accomplished with both simulation and rendering in that time frame using maya/mental ray.

Score another point for hardware rendering!