Weeklies

Weekly #25: February 6, 2015

9 February, 2015 |  17 Comments | by Elysia Brenner

Another week, another weekly look at the progress on Cosmos Laundromat! Check out the full video below, full of Gooseberry personality, and then move on to the highlights to revel in the images and details.


 

The Highlights

 

The Latest Take

To start the weekly, we watched the second half of the full movie — and only the second half, because the cut is still a longer-than-final 17.5 minutes. But, you can watch the full cut to date all the way through in Mathieu’s weekly folder on the Blender Cloud! In this version you’ll find 3D animatics interspersed with live cuts of the actors doing their thing (which will be used as reference material). In this folder you’ll also find a test intro for the film and several versions of the feature image above (rendered by Andy) with different color gradings as Mathieu tries to capture a dim early-morning light (the “gloom filter”).

More in this early (full-fur) render by Andy of Beorn’s lipsync animation:

 

The Island

Manu has turned to modeling the rocks and foliage of sheep Franck’s island, this week testing out a series of mossy rocks and spindly plants. Here are two examples — but you’ll find seven more in his weekly folder on the Cloud!

Manu's mossy rock render
Planting grass

Meanwhile, Hjalti began working on animations for the opening shot of the film, where sheep Franck is dragging a branch through the high grass from the neck. In the video here you can see the reference footage he shot, using himself as a model and pillows partially trapped behind a couch as the heavy branch, plus two tests of the animation.

He also worked on “normal” walkcycles for sheep Franck, which Andy rendered with full fur. That feeling of being trapped in his own wool really starts to translate, as you can see for yourself here:

You’ll also find new versions of Victor crawling out of the washing machine and the full render of Victor’s lipsync in Hjalti’s folder on the Cloud.

Speaking of Victor, Juan Pablo has put together a fancy new UI for the Victor rig. Watch him walk you through what he’s done.

And Andy has continued his grooming frenzy, this week focusing on Franck’s fur and accessories (that would be the noose he begins with and the timer that replaces it). Check out two of his renders below, and then head to his folder on the Cloud to see (literally) 20 more.

Franck's got dreads
Franck with noose

 

Tara’s New Face

After some feedback that Tara's face was looking a little too duck-like, Sarah spent some time remodeling to get the look you see on the right. (You can see two more views of this in Sarah's folder on the Cloud.)

After some feedback that Tara’s face was looking a little too duck-like, Sarah spent some time remodeling to get the look you see on the right. (You can see two more views of this in Sarah’s folder on the Cloud.)


 
Pablo has resumed his Tara grooming with this model, making clay models of her from every angle and new textures (with almost no hair). Check out the two samples below, and find many, many more in Pablo’s folder on the Cloud.

Tara's clay model
Tara full render

Finally, Daniel’s been doing a lot of work on Tara’s rig…but he can explain that for himself in the video he made:

 

Jungle love

Sarah rendered two animations this weekend. An almost fully textured version of her render from last week:

And two takes with Tara (and her new face)…again trying to make Tara more insecty:

Next up: Working on Franck’s eyes and interior mouth and pasting Tara’s wings on (which will add much more movement).
 

Fun with Software

  • Nicholas spent the week working on the Ptex intergration rather than adding any more new features. You’ll find the updated documentation under his username on the Blender wiki.
  • Gabriel has been working more on the render farm, adding handy features like path tracking and time remaining. And you can now click on preview images to get more information about files. Plus the render farm now accepts all types of shots, from simulations to files from other programs. Watch his demo of the latest changes at 27:35 in the weekly video.
  • Antonis spent his week optimizing performance in the editing tool as well as coming up with some handy new features: you can now press Ctrl while painting to create straight lines, there’s now a button to sync editors and focus on the current frame, you can now use numerical input for the sliding tool, plus you can now tab into scene strips in the Sequencer. Watch him demo all this at 42:19 in the video above.
  • Lukas has been applying his hair stuff to plant stuff, making an add-on to use duplis and particle systems together, which allows for faster render times for the level of detail. (He and Pablo are working an add-on that will allow you to export geometry, work with groups, make duplicates faster and easier without sacrificing style.)

Lukas's grassy field

Lukas’s grassy field


 
And waving (goodbye) in the wind!

And that’s all she wrote (for now). Until the next post!


17 Responses

  1. David Fenner says:

    Looking good, love the look of the hair. Still, the hair dynamics are clearly too tided up to the geometry normals and movement, it doesn’t feel natural. Many of the hairs move “automaticly” when the skin moves, in a predictable, digital way, instead of being really physical movement, where the skin only “pulls” the root of the hair, instead of acting all over it and doing some digital interpolation.

    • matray says:

      Hey David, if you refer to the walk cycle of Franck, it’s normal that you get this feeling, because there is no hair dynamics in this tests, it’s only the base geomtry of the hairs that are deformed by the armature, so only skinning deformation going on, no hair simulation yet !

      • David Fenner says:

        Oh well… that makes sense!! You guys really need to end up doing simulations to every shot in very high quality. Consider it a render in terms of time!! this things really increase the quality. Good job on the personality of the film!! Best one yet in this aspect.

        David.

        • Andy says:

          The current plan is, before rendering we bake all the character models into mesh cache files which will enable us to tweak deformations and fur frame by frame using shapekeys. the physics simulation is also going to be cached from these files. I’m hoping that there’s going to be a unified way of accessing this, but currently mesh cache and physics cache are a separate thing.

          but yeah. detailed simulations are planned.
          cheers,
          .andy

  2. Aclariel says:

    Amazing work as usual!
    Looking good.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Charlie Ringström says:

    Which characters are considered as “finished”?

    • matray says:

      Hey Charlie,
      The two Franck and Victor are very close to final, we have to see them in real shot conditions to make the final tweaks if they are needed. Tara still need more focus even though the direction is more clear now. But female characters are also tricky, because she needs subtle things not to be cliché, so fine tuning, is longer on her. And also because she condense a lot of things : being an insect, being a life experience addict, being feminine… Lots of different aspect to include into her !

  4. manuel says:

    It all looks really great and I am really following the whole project with great enthusiam, there’s so much incredible detail in characters, look and story, development of the whole story that I am blown away already. This is an exiting project and I seriously admire the progress and appreciate the hard efforts (there’s much to learn and gain from it).

    I’ve seen that there’s a version of brender online (supposedly it’s the software that the gooseberry renderfarm gets build upon) and was wondering, what the plans are for this. I read, heard, saw that it’s all part of the the BAM or plan to integrate it into the whole BAM Studio Pipeline for the Goosebery Proejct. But will it be also released as standalone rendermanager solution for e.g. freelancers and artists or just be integrated into the ‘BAM’ solution? Or is it just meant to be basically the blenderinstitutes renderfarm solution as it seems tightly integrated right now (which is propably also the plan since it’s a great way to test it and use it in production).
    I am very interested to find out more about it as it looks really interesting.

    • matray says:

      Hey Manuel,

      Thank you very much for your kind words ! That’s very conforting to hear :) I hope we’ll keep blowing you away :)
      Regarding the render farm solution I don’t know what is the plan here but the BAM tools are free and open for everyone to use. So it’s not designed to work only for us, but for everyone willing to take it and use it. We do have production constraints to make it work here first but it’s whole development relies on openness, as everything here. There was an article about it here on the blog written by Francesco if you didn’t read it yet, and I know there is more to come.

      Cheers !

    • Eibriel says:

      Hi Manuel!
      Francesco has designed Brender to be an standalone application, soon we will be making an official release so everyone can use it.
      Brender and BAM are independent, but combined they are just too much powerful!

      • manuel says:

        Hey again,

        thanks for the replies. I read the article but just didn’t catch infos on the renderfarm solution specifically. Great to here though.
        Happy blending

        Manuel

  5. warren says:

    Hi, Looks great!
    A couple of questions concerning continuing the film :

    1- how will Tara’s face extrapolate across multiple worlds/characters? it’s a beautiful character but I cant’ imagine the face and eyes working well in a wide range of characters

    2- are you going to do any concepting for frank as the fish at the end ? It would interesting to have a peak into a future world – really teaserish :)

    • matray says:

      Hey Warren,
      about your questions :
      1- that’s a very good question, you do have a few appearances in mind for Tara coming from the early design research we did during the august month from the creative workshop. So she’s an albinos female character, and we still question her original form. She’s on the cosmos laundromat tour for a long time and pretends she doesn’t remember who she originally were. And for the eyes, we’ll see depending on her next form. She might be a fish too or a sea horse (they do have big eyes too ;))
      2-it’s still onpen for the final design of Franck as a fish, we talked about it but nothing serious has been done yet.But we do want him to feel “teaserish” for sure !

      • Warren says:

        ah, so we wonder until the end if tara will make it back to the same world as franck, that’s a great plot thread…

  6. Warren says:

    Hey, looking awsome.
    Just a couple of questions:
    1. how will Tara’s face extrapolate across multiple characters/worlds? I love the design but it’s hard to imagine that nose and those eye’s working with a wide range of characters

    2.How far will you take the character design for franck as a fish in the washing mashine? – I think a quick peek into a future world would be very teaserish!

  7. Warren says:

    as far as that dupli particle addon, doesn’t the particle system already us duplis?
    if not, sure looking forward to trying it, if it really renders that fast.

  8. Dani says:

    I like simplify the script in terms of characters and as the story remains interesting and entertaining, definitely, screenwriting is an art.

    The only thing I dislike is to see Victor “smoking” is a bad habit.

    A Question: Do you have plans to use PTEX for this short?

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