Making Of,Tools,Weeklies

Weekly #24: January 30, 2015

2 February, 2015 |  7 Comments | by Elysia Brenner

The weekly livecast closing out the first month of 2015 was packed with both people and work…lasting a full hour and 14 minutes without showing a new version of the film. As always, you can catch up on the full livecast below, or you can continue on to the highlights and skip to the parts that interest you most.


The Highlights

 

Visiting Sheep Island

Though there wasn’t a new version of the film to view this week, Cosmos Laundromat director Mathieu says the first half of the movie (sheep island) is 99% blocked and edited and juuuuuust about ready for full animation. His attention is now on the jungle sequence…and fighting with the Sequencer. (See Antony’s updates on that below.) Once these issues have been ironed out, expect another video from Mathieu with some more advanced Sequencer editing techniques.

Andy has continued grooming Victor...or rather, in this case, dissheveling him, actually. In this full-body update you can see dirt smudged into the collar and socks, some wrinkles in his clothes, etc. See more details, from hands to his hair at different levels of transparency, in Andy's weekly folder on the Cloud.

Andy has continued grooming Victor…or rather, in this case, disheveling him actually. In this full-body update you can see dirt smudged into his collar and socks, some wrinkles in his clothes, etc. See more details, from hands to his hair at different levels of transparency, in Andy’s weekly folder on the Cloud.


 
The island work so far comes together in this test render by Andy, with Mathieu's "gloomy morning" test filter (as he decided the fog he'd considered earlier might be too "heavenly").

The island work so far comes together in this test render by Andy, with Mathieu’s “gloomy morning” test filter (as he decided the fog he’d considered earlier might be too “heavenly”).


 
Beorn Leonard, filling in for Hjalti for the week due to a family emergency, continued the lipsync animation testing, working on sheep Franck. Manu then took his tests a step further by adding the fur he’s been working on to the animation — and the team learned that said fur can really change the outcome! Much more work to come, obviously, but check out Beorn’s lipsyncs in two shots, both with and without fur from Manu, in the video below.

Manu also added fur to all the Franck poses Juan Pablo prepared last week. Check out the result in Manu’s weekly folder on the Cloud. (Note there was no tuning done here, so be prepared for peeks of hair in unexpected places. :-P) You’ll also find his early grooming work on Franck’s feet there.

(Interested in Manu’s working methodology? Check out his blog post from last week with his tips on node management!)

 

Tara in Development

Tara’s rig is getting more and more elaborate, thanks to Daniel. Watch the video below for a tour of its capabilities to date, and then head to his weekly folder on the Cloud to play with it yourself and check out some sample poses.

Pablo devoted his week to Tara. First, the hair (deemed too "ostrichy") was cut back drastically. It was also time to start developing her wings. Check out Pablo's folder on the Cloud for several more shots and some insight into how these wings were made.

Pablo also devoted his week to Tara. First, the hair (deemed too “ostrichy”) was cut back drastically and made more insecty. It was also time to start developing her wings. Check out Pablo’s folder on the Cloud for several more shots and some insight into how these wings were made.

 

Franck’s Caterpillar Fever

Sarah has been seeing Franck’s caterpillar form through from concept to completion. Check out her test pose render plus a lipsync animation test of her own here, and then head to her weekly folder on the Cloud for more funny faces and full and facial views of Caterpillar Franck (with Andy’s lighting set-up and less eyelashes, as requested by Mathieu).

Franck's caterpillar shock


See the love in his eyes…

 

Solving Sequencer Problems

Just back from his trip home to Crete, Antony immediately got to work solving sequencer problems – from lagging HD loading (see this comparison video and Antony’s demo at 19:13 in the weekly video above) to tools to make the proxy process easier (see screenshot below).

See xxx for Antony's walkthrough of these new proxy settings.

Proxy settings are easier to find, and unchecking the override setting prevents the program from overrriding any proxy settings for existing strips. See 22:00 in the weekly for Antony’s walkthrough of these new proxy tools.


 
Anthony also added support for dithering (color-transition smoothing). See his demo at 23:29 in the video above.

Finally, Antony worked on better support for Cycles in texture painting (see 24:33).

 

Ptex Progress

Nicholas has managed to make Ptex do even more cool things in Blender. You can now add multiple Ptex layers, controlling the resolution of each independently, and nodes. Which means you can now paint directly on the models, no UV mapping needed. See his demo at 50:26 in the weekly video.

Ptex in action

You’ll find full documentation on the Blender wiki, with instructions on how to get a build currently supporting this. Once you have that, you can head to Nicholas’s weekly folder on the Cloud to play with these features yourself in 3 provided test files. Next up: using Ptex textures as modifiers.

 

Hair System Updates

Lukas’s hair system gets ever better, this week with…

  • A bug fix that prevents particles from randomly disappearing when a file is reloaded in the particle system.
  • Somewhat improved shapekeys (still in progress) to prevent the hair from intersecting with the body.
  • You can now add single hairs one at a time in the add tool (as requested by Manu).

 

Prepping the Pipeline

Francesco spent much of the week helping the studio use BAM to prepare shots for animation…basically indoctrinating all the artists into the BAM way of life. (And, btw, if you haven’t seen this video, you really should.) This week he will work on putting together a feasible plan to get the system working properly on the Cloud.

Gabriel spent his week working on the next steps for the render farm, with Francesco’s support. See his GitHub commits to stay up to date. Naturally, more helpful tools and details to come this week!



7 Responses

  1. pawelstarz says:

    I love caterpillar’s face expressions. I watched this about 20 times.

  2. Ville says:

    Ptex looks great! But does it fit into normal map baking workflow at all? Some kind of larger feature/workflow overview of Blender Ptex would be interesting read.

  3. joostbouwer says:

    Official feedback my 1,5 year old daughter gave after watching all the short animation tests:
    Big smile while saying “Beeeeh Beeeeh”!

    Good job guys and girls!

  4. Mr Bleu says:

    I thought I already link to mathieu but
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AvWV6Mk374
    some inspiration about fog smoke and also pinky nature.

    And if you are looking for a nice way to promote grease pencil animation, the tear at the end looks badass.

  5. Owldude says:

    I’m loving the renders that y’all are making, especially of Victor and Tara. Hey, when are you going to start working on the “sheepnado?” I think it would be really epic to see a fully-fledged render of that.

  6. Roger Sexton says:

    Hello everyone,
    I was wondering if you would be interested in creating a major movie, using Blender. I have an idea but am willing to brainstorm with your team. I am looking for a complete story that would be used as the basis for the movie. I would like this animated movie to be as realistic as possible, using a different stoy-line as its basis.

    As part of the production I would like to create a new company logo, to be printed on hats, T-shirts, and other clothing to promote the production (as Hollywood does). There would also be the creation of 3D figurines or 3D characters (toys), to promote the production.

    I am in the United States. I first purchased 3D Studio release 2 and created 16 insects in 1992, creating the first real “Bug Story”. I have been using Blender since 2009, and before. I have completed training at the CAD Institute for Architecture, in 1995. I have also completed a two year course for Electronics Technician and have built my own computer for 3D modeling, rendering, and animation and animation editing, I am majoring in Architectural Drafting using AutoCAD and Revit, and using the structural steel software Tekla. I am sitting in on an Interior Design class at the college I attend. I own two 3D printers and plan to purchase more and/or build my own. My brother is a machinist and works with 3D objects and the programming of CNC machines as his profession. He has been a machinist for twenty eight years.

    • Hi Roger,

      We are too busy already with our own projects – which includes making major movies. I’m not looking for ideas or pitches for new projects.

      -Ton-

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