Weekly #30: March 13, 2015

16 March, 2015 |  2 Comments | by Elysia Brenner

We had a Friday the 13th for the second month in a row, but the Gooseberry project team was feeling lucky. (Or happy, at least!) Watch the weekly livecast and scroll through the highlights below to find out why!

The Highlights


A Very Special Anniversary

The Cloud is officially one year old. A big thanks to all the subscribers!!! It’s thanks to you guys that it’s possible to make this movie at all! However, to make the film as originally planned, we’re still going to need a lot more support, so please renew your subscriptions and convince all your friends that they should join as well! (What does the Cloud offer, besides good karma, you ask? Your answer here.) In addition to all the extras you’ll already find there, more and more the Cloud is where you will be able to see all the story, shots, and details from the project as it unfolds.

Aside from one uplifting video, Francesco and Pablo also made another little birthday present for the Cloud, and all its users. A new dashboard tracking your personal subscription and contributions! Check out the blog post from last Friday for more details, where to find it, and what’s coming next.


Welcome to the Studio

This weekly’s guests came courtesy of Sarah’s mini-reunion with some fellow animators: Blender user and founder of Costa Rica’s Bunker Animation Studios Lázaro Hernández (originally from El Salvador) and French-born, Albany, NY-based freelance 3D animator Jean Delaunay (who attended with his wife, Dr. Andrea Ida Elise Matho).

This week, all week, Gooseberry also has a very special guest many of you will recognize: Dalai Felinto is here wrapping up the MultiView/stereoscopic 3D pipeline project!


From the Director

In Mathieu’s weekly folder on the Cloud, you’ll find the latest version of the animatic, with more and more of the 3D layout gradually being replaced by the early animations. The length of the pilot is currently 9 minutes. We will need more funding for additional animators in order to complete the full 15-minute pilot as originally planned (and meet Tara). Fingers crossed the funding from the Netherlands Film Fund comes through — and you can also help with your Cloud subscription (see above)!

As a bonus, you’ll find a high-res HDR environment map Matthieu shot outside the Blender Institute (in .jpg and .exr formats) in his cloud folder.


Tornado Time

Andy’s tornado adventures continued this week. In the video below you can see his work with the central water vortex (getting the spin right, etc.) as well as the menacing clouds (and washing machine drum!) that herald its arrival.

Andy's work coloring the tornado is getting closer and closer to the original concept art by David Revoy. (Find an additional color-tornado image as well as in Andy's folder on the Cloud.)

Andy’s work coloring the tornado is getting closer and closer to the original concept art by David Revoy. (Find an additional color-tornado image as well as in Andy’s folder on the Cloud.)


More and Better Animations and Renders

Beorn has continued his animation work on the sequence where Franck reaches the cliff with his big branch, which you can watch in his folder on the Cloud. Did you notice the little rope problem he’s having? An additional video (also on the Cloud) illustrates the glitch, but here is a glimpse:

A little rope problem

Beorn will work with Juan Pablo to solve this problem this week, as well as moving into splining the shot he’s been working on!

Pablo has also been working on the lighting, etc., for the first portion of this sequence, using the environment map you’ve seen in previous weeklies. Find his render in his weekly Cloud folder. You’ll also find stills of this scene there, like this one:

Pablo's still render

Meanwhile, Sarah has continued her work on the shot that immediately follows Beorn’s, where Franck pushes the branch with his head. Her latest version is (you guessed it) in her weekly folder on the Cloud.

Manu has been working on rendering Sarah shot and a couple completed shots by Hjalti in glorious detail. See how it is going in his folder on the Cloud. One of his challenges is to tame Franck’s super-fluffy fur. All that fabulous hair! It can sometime get in his face…

Wild furry face

(Bonus: Like Manu’s awesome attention to detail in all his modeling work? Watch him work on a collection of tasks from February and March in timelapse here.)

Hjalti has continued his work on Victor’s walk and Walkman, working out the details of the scene where Victor leaves Franck for the tornado to pick up, puts on his headphones, and pops a cassette into his cassette player. This sequence, found in Hjalti’s weekly Cloud folder, has a few tricky elements, from getting the walk and (at Mathieu’s request) “model turnaround” right, to sliding on the headphones over Victor’s hair, to fumbling with the cassette player itself. Next week he will focus more on the timing of the facial expressions, and the hands fumbling with the cassette player. Speaking of which…

To help him get the last part right, Hjalti built is own fake cassette player — since it turns out the local thrift store throws any they receive away assuming no one will buy them! Luckily he’s a pretty crafty guy. Again in his folder on the Cloud, you’ll find photos by Andy of the building process, plus the reference footage he made using it:

Cassette player reference footage still


Every Computer’s a Render Farm

In case you missed it, Flamenco, Blender’s new render farm, has an alpha release! This week Gabriel worked with Aditia Pratama in Indonesia to perform some long-distance testing. See his demo of this process at 39:50 in the weekly video.


Caterpillar: Fully Rigged

Daniel has put the final touches on Franck’s caterpillar rig, as he explains in detail in his latest video here. (See also his video from the February 28th weekly for more details on the rig’s functionality.) Then head to the Cloud Repository (in libs > chars > frank_caterpillar) to play with the rig yourself, and grab everything else you need to recreate this character.


Glitches & Fixes

  • All part of an artist’s job: figuring out what’s going wrong. In this case, Andy spent an evening figuring out why these cliff renders are flickering, analyzing 5 frames at a time over and over. The answer: it was due to a glitch with the randomness of the rotation of the particles (which is needed to create a more natural, less uniform look). This has since been fixed by Lukas, but you can see the problem for yourself here:

  • It was bug-fixing week! Antonis spent last week fighting with some bugs in the tracker. And Lukas also focused on particle bug fixes.
  • Lukas has also been working on the cache system, changing the way Alembic stores caches to the dupli system. Expect to hear more about this at the next weekly.
  • Finally, Francesco and Gabriel have been working on new project-management software. More info about this coming soon!

2 Responses

  1. Jacob says:

    The tornado is looking really good! I wish you would reveal a little more… I understand the need for funding, but as a fan who can’t afford to support the project, this weekly still felt a little bit disappointing. Nevertheless, as always, I’m very excited by this week’s progress and look forward to watching the movie come together. (Sorry I swear I’m not usually such a downer)

  2. As much as I want the initial short to be as long as possible, the ending I saw in the cloud for this week actually had more impact for me, ending right after Franck appears as a caterpillar. Just suddenly, “WTF I’m a caterpillar”. If this were a series, I’d end the first episode there.
    I know it’s important to reveal Tara in the pilot to get everything established, BUT if you have to cut it short, it would be good to allude to there being a second adventurer in the laundromat scene at the end, like another machine buzzing. Maybe Victor mentioning “her”, though wordless scenes often work best(if done right). Also, maybe hearing her giggle(already recorded, after all) or say something at the end of the credits, if she had to be cut out of the pilot.
    I’m really enjoying seeing this film take shape and hope to see lots more funding for it.

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