Making Of,Weeklies

More Weekly Fun: January 16, 2015

19 January, 2015 |  13 Comments | by Elysia Brenner

This week brought with it a new pilot intro, footage of the voice actors bringing the characters to life, increasingly polished models and animations, and more. Watch the full weekly show-and-tell in the video right here, or just skip to the highlights below!

This Week’s Highlights


A Whole New Opening

Not only has the script changed dramatically since 2014, but the actual actors’ voices have been worked in. No placeholder recordings anymore.

In Mathieu’s new cut of the opening island sequence (up to just after the moment Franck finds himself in a caterpillar’s body) there’s a new (brutal but funny) opening scene, new jokes, and a lot of actor footage that will be used by the animators as reference. Watch this new version in the weekly video above, or watch the clean version on the Cloud (without running commentary from the Gooseberry rabble).

Fuzzy, Freckle-Faced Victor

Andy’s been a busy guy this week getting Victor camera ready with some bumpmapping and additional detailing. Check out his work here…and find the other 8 Victor renders (with different angles), 4 early shots of Victor in his textured jacket, a lipsync screenshot, plus some UV mapping of his clothing on the Cloud!

Victor's eyes

Of course he started with the windows to Victor’s soul…and this stunning render.

Victor's ginger man mane

Putting Lukas’s new hair-curling feature to work, Andy has been adding extra texture to Victor’s ginger man mane (plus more veins, wrinkles, and freckles).

The back of Victor's head

And here you can see Victor’s lifelike red locks from the back. Check out that ruby sheen! (Note: More tweaks likely to come before this model is finalized.)

Andy continued his rendering fun with some animation as well! Here’s a before and after of his first render of Hjalti’s lipsyncing test (without sound here guys, sorry) where squiggly cartoon hair becomes quite human hair. (BTW, look out for a separate post with a longer video of the multiple phases behind this 2.5-day test animation, including actor references, this week!)

In addition to the lipsyncing tests (again, more on that this week), Hjalti toyed some more with the final scene, where Victor crawls out of the washing machine. As last week, the positioning is still more important than the fluidity of the motion at this point — and that positioning continues to be tricky with those super-long limbs!

Feeling Sheepish

Manu’s also been busy grooming…Franck the Sheep! Starting with the head, he’s been adding texture and plenty of fuzziness, working on the entire face from the eyes to the inside of Franck’s mouth. In his folder on the Cloud you’ll see some renders and all his UV mapping, but here’s a peek at his progress, turntable style:


Bringing the Jungle Characters to Life

After her caterpillar paint job, which you should watch in timelapse if you haven’t yet, Sarah turned to making her painting a 3D-modeled “reality”.

Here's a peek at Franck's new face. For a full-body view, additional concepts, and UV mapping, check out Sarah's folder for this weekly on the Cloud!

Here’s a peek at Franck’s new face. For a full-body view, additional concepts, and UV mapping, check out Sarah’s folder for this weekly on the Cloud!

Here’s another preview: a partial turntable render of the finished (for the week) product:

Tara's final face model

Sarah also started detail work on Tara’s model, based on this final model delivered by Angela.

Tara's face, painted

…On which she painted this concept for further development. (Tara is also getting fur!)

Subtle changes to the model include pulling the lower jaw slightly forward so that Tara’s expressions can be better seen from various angles and grading the edges of the pupil for a softer look. Next up: the body. (Expect more fur!)

Pablo, just back from more than a month back home in Argentina, jumped right on this. You’ll find his shading experiments and UV maps in his folder for this weekly on the Cloud, but here you can already see how he translated this concept to 3D:

Tara's new model

Here’s where Tara stood at the end of the week, wings and all. (This will of course change — remember that fur!)

Tara with Victor's eyes

Just for fun… Here’s what Tara would look with Victor’s eyes! (Look at Sarah’s concept above to see what they’re supposed to look like.)

What Pablo learned this week: If UVs have the same name, they will likely be automatically merged in Blender instead of creating a new layer. This can be handy…or very frustrating! Either way, it’s good to know.

Developers in Action

  • Lukas has been working on a system that allows you to directly copy hair from one character to another, which Pablo has already put to work grooming Tara!
  • Lukas has also created a feature that allows you to spiral the hair for more natural coarseness and texture. See Andy’s work this week for examples of this feature in action.
  • Nicholas has continued his Ptex testing, first testing the difference between OpenAL and SDL sequencer editing — spoiler alert: SDL wins. After another week of work, Ptex is rendering in Cycles without OSL and Ptex will now automatically pack texturing data. It’s now filtering correctly across edges, but not where corners meet (so, still a to do). Once this is working well in Viewport, the artists can start painting directly on the 3D models. (No more UV mapping!) If this interests you, glory in all the details in Nicholas’s words in his demo from the weekly at 51:04.
  • Francesco teases, “I BAMed all the things.” Well, kinda. But BAM is definitely progressing quickly now: since this week, SVN logs are available on the Cloud so that users can see the complete history of a file in Cloud Repository. AND now when you download a file, it comes automatically packed with all dependencies (textures, etc.) without you needing to do a thing. You can help by testing this out yourself — no special reporting needed as reports are automatically generated with you download!
  • Francesco also spent time working on the render farm, which is now at 99%.


Also on the Blog Last Week

It was a busy week for the blog! After Monday’s recap of the previous Friday’s weekly

13 Responses

  1. Braeden says:

    Victor is looking so awesome.

  2. Tobias Johansson says:

    Awesome work so far!! Do you have any plans to use new enhanced grease pencil tool in the final movie? I think that it could be a great artistic choice to use it to set the mood of the film by making a short intro where the viewer get to know Frank, his island and his previous suicide attempts. Just music and grease pencil sketches.

    • matray says:

      Hey Tobias ! That’s an interesting idea. Maybe for the end credit instead ? We have to think of it…

  3. raul abonitalla jr says:

    that is amazing. how do you go about the noise in cycles? its so clean. im having troubles with my render in cycles partly because i dont quite understand the settings. if i may, would you like to share your techniques in rendering with less noise?

    • matray says:

      Hey Raul, maybe Andy will do a quick tutorial on his settings, Youtube compression helps also to get rid of the noise we still have (very few but still), average settings on samples is between 800 and 1200 per frame. But due to motion blur and hair transparency, to keep acceptable render times we dropped down to 250 average with branched path tracing… But again, maybe Andy will do a detailed explanation of his settings (or I would advise you to watch his Creature Factory tutorial on the Cloud ;))
      Cheers !

    • the simple answer to that question is: use only 2 bounces for everything, no complicated shader setups and more than 800 samples. :)

  4. Jakub says:

    Awesome work !!!

  5. Always great to see the updates, a great project to learn from.

  6. Amazing work and amazing team!! I think the strength of Blender is its community.

  7. Luke Parry says:


    It’s such a shame that these weren’t around on the first round round of fund raising the film.

  8. paweł starz says:

    It’s beautiful, sooo… keep working :)

  9. paweł starz says:

    Are you sure that Victors eyes aren’t rotated too close to nose? It looks fine on some renders, perspective distortion may be the reason of that. There’s no big problem when Victor’s eyes are pointed straight, but looking on side may be unnatural. Like I’ve said I’m not completely sure.

  10. Adam says:

    I think this guy is to ginger you need to break up the color in his hear to make him more appealing.

    Also are his eyes meant to be that close? Was that done on purpose? Loving what you have done so far.

Comments are closed.