This week was all about the trailer. I worked on finalizing the textures for the airplane for the teaser shots. I also finished positioning the mountain pass scenes before passing them off to Josh as well as positioning cameras and experimenting with the lighting. I also recut the trailer, worked with our composer to nail the sound and theme of our score. Lastly, I roughed in our motion graphics sequence and created a few samples of Shoggoth Sound Design.
I had to fix a lot of problems with the model, but after redoing, re-uving and retexturing twice, I’m happy with the state of both the models and it’s textures.
Pros- Looks good enough for the teaser shots
Cons- Need to add more fidelity for close up shots
Hours Spent – 9
Between positioning, experimenting with lighting and iterating I brought the mountain scenes to a passable state before handing them off to Josh for final cleanup.
Pros- Was able to experiment with camera movements and lighting
Hours Spent – 6
Recut the teaser, redid the audio and sound-scape, and worked with our composer to implement our own score as well as experimenting with Shoggoth sounds.
Pros- Teaser is going to be sexy as hell.
Hours Spent -10
Teaser Score – http://dreamscapemusic.com/clients/Ethan/Mountains_Of_Madness/Teaser_Stuff/MM_Teaser_Score_with_leveling.wav
What I said I’d do:
-Finish Blocking Plane Interior
-Rough Motion Graphics
What I Did
So this week my plans hit a slight snag when I had to go back and retopo a great deal of the airplane and make revisions to the model as per requests from the team. However I still finished blocking in Lake’s tent exterior, lake’s tent interior, and plane interior, finished modeling on the airplane UV’d it and began texturing it.
So during the UV and texture process I hit a few major snags that culminated in the discovery of a hidden edge fold that going back and spending a few hours ironing out the model and re-uving it.
Positives- Everything is working properly, the plane looks great and textures are functioning (placeholders for the mean time to make sure the UVs are functional)
Cons- Having to double back on this model and UV process set me farther back than I’d like and I’ll be double timing these next two days to spruce up the interiors
Hours Spent: 10
modified canopy shape to fit revised plane exterior, added extra gears and gauges
Hours Spent: 2
Lake’s Tent Interior
I reconstructed Lake’s tent with more detail and a different floor plan to fit the new boards and to add additional detail.
Hours spent- 5
Lake’s Camp Exterior
I also rebuilt Lake’s camp this week to better fit new storyboards, incorporated Mountain Sculpt for added detailing in scene and for shot placement.
Hours Spent: 3
WALL OF SPROJ
Lastly, I met with Josh and Val to go over concepts for the wall of sproj and we’ve settled on a concept that we’re all happy with!
-finish texturing airplane
-keep filling in environmental detail in Lake’s Tent, Camp and Airplane
-pop through mountain pass
Note- I’ll be updating this tomorrow with stills and the HD video
What I did- This week I focused primarily on modeling. I rebuilt the airplane from more or less scratch based off of new reference of Fokker Engines and to get better topology. I’m also in the progress of renovating the plane interior, I’ll have updates on that tomorrow! I also spoke with our composer on the phone and discussed musical themes and cues.
Good- Plane is modeled and looking good!
Bad- Still have to texture it, but I should be getting that done before it’s assigned for week 7.
Hours spent- 9
Airplane TurnTable- https://vimeo.com/119099207
What I’m going to do- I’m going ham on environmental design this week and focusing primarily on UVing and texturing the Airplane and finishing the Airplane interior. I will also get a first cut of the new motion graphics together.
This week revolved around finalizing the animatic template so I can move onto environmental modeling for the next sprint.
What I did- Finished brute forcing all of the shot ID’s in place using free-floating tiles smart-linked to the weekly updated shot files. Organized four panel animatic to properly fit shot counters and IDs. Adjusted audio, retimed pivotal moments for maximum impact.
Pros- Animatic can now be updated simply by dragging it to the desktop, dropping in the new files and rendering.
Hours spent- 5
What I did- Restructured shot list to contain revised lake’s tent and filled in all of the new frame counts and shot IDs.
Pros- We now have a comprehensive list of all the shots and how long they need to be. Good reference for animators
Cons- We need to reintegrate thumbnails as our previous way of combining thumbnails within google drive fell apart when additional shots were added.
Hours Spent- 4
This week I dedicated the majority of my time to tasks that will help streamline the process moving forward as well as converting the three panel animatic to a four panel one. Additionally I found a new solution for our shot counters and IDS and met/brainstormed with the illustrator to come up with solutions to several of our 2D elements.
-What I did: I converted the three panel animatic to a four panel animatic to include facial reference for the animators. I also cleaned up the audio and remastered the levels.
-Good: Audio sounds much better, foot steps sit in the background where needed and voices come to the fore front. The four panels also really show off just how much we’ve done and should make critiques more efficient once dialogue starts to roll in.
-Bad: Need to finish brute forcing the shot IDs and titles into place. Will be wrapped up by Tuesday.
Hours Spent: 5
-What I did: Met with the illustrator, brain stormed look and feel for rest of unfinished motion graphics shots, the sigil in lake’s notebook, statue concepts and final monster design.
-Good: We actually have a solid and terrifying base for the mountain monster and the sigil now, look will be developed over the week
Hours Spent: 3
-What I did: Organized reference audio footage for animators before moving into dialogue. Partially filled in shot ID and frame numbers in project spreadsheet
-Good: Audio reference should prove useful
-bad: Still more to go in regards to shot IDS
Hours Spent: 3
More progress! I was hampered last week by a lack of files to work with, this week I haven’t had that problem. Most of my time was spent working on the animatic and building the template for the three panel display. Additionally I met with our Illustrator and moved forward with the motion graphics sequence as well.
What I did: I updated the timeline with new footage and worked on cutting together an edit of our animation out of purely reference footage. Established pipeline for quickly iterating animatics moving forward.
Pros: The new footage is looking great and having some splined playblasts really helps with timing.
Cons: Now that I have moving animation we need to lock down the audio ASAP. I’m meeting with the animators tomorrow to solidify which lines run into which shots.
Hours Spent: 10
What I did: I met with our illustrator to solidify our plans for moving forward as well as worked on creating assets. Additionally he’s going to be helping with conceptualizing few visuals such as final mountain monster and Lake’s notebook
Pros: Ink is on the paper and assets are in production
cons: Wasn’t able to connect until later in the week
Hours Spent: 3
What I did: Joined in on group discussion about changes to Lake’s camp and tent
Pros: We have a seriously solid solution that saves on animation
Cons: From a purely cinematic standpoint some of the shot re-arrangements are slightly weaker but the benefits in saved animation vastly outweighs the negative.
Hours Spent: 2
Total Hours: 15
Most of my time this week was spent planning the next stage of the motion graphics sequence, contacting an illustrator for additional 2D assets and putting together the first 3D Animatic. I’m still waiting on a fair amount of footage but this first cut has already been helpful in its current state. Additionally, I wrote a few minor script revisions to address feedback from our end of term critique.
- What I did- gathered playblasts from several animators and began to fill them into the current Animatic cut. Tweaked audio and overall timing to match footage where needed and updated new footage with shot names and frame numbers. Changed overall FPS from 30 to 24 across the board. Cleaned up shot titles and labels.
- Good – Now that I can see some things in motion I’m able to get a much clearer view on the actions of each shot and have been able to hone in on our timing. Moving forward into next week I’ll have additional feedback for the animators about shot length that I wouldn’t have been able to glean from storyboards.
- Bad- the current effect I’m using for shot name and counter isn’t too friendly on scaling which has been going haywire due to the different qualities of playblasts. Moving forward I’ll have to institute new standards for playblasts to prevent the discrepancies in picture quality and format between animators.
- Hours Spent – 7
- What I did – Minor Script Revisions
- Good- lake’s camp has been squared away pending minor dialogue tweaks. Scene builds much more effectively.
- Bad- Airplane still needs to be tackled, city reveal needs more punch. Will experiment with editing the Animatic.
- Hours Spent- 2
Coordinating with Illustrator
- What I did- Recruited an illustrator to assist with notebook, motion graphics and mountain-monster design.
- Good- Freeing up David from further 2D work allows him to focus more on animating and will help give the motion graphics sequence an extra bump.
- Bad- Need to make sure we’re not putting anything essential at risk by relying on outside help, have to make sure we have backups just in case
- Illustrator pulls out for whatever reason
- Hours Spent- 1
- SAMPLES – shoggoths
Total Hours – 10
This week I’ve been focusing on taking our animatic to the next level for the presentation and I took several steps to achieve this. I legally obtained a copy of the Hollywood Edge Premier sound FX package and with it I’ve been able to sling in all of the sound effects needed to give our animatic that extra air of believability. In addition, I met with Special FX Editor Brian Baker of Dive over lunch to get a last round of comments and crits on our shot order and timing.
Summary- This week I went through our animation and began filling in all of the sound effects and sound scapes to round out the score for our latest version of the animatic as well as balancing all of the sound levels. Further work will include remastering individual sounds to fit the environment they’re in as well as simulating radio transmissions
Pros- The Sound scape really rounds out the animation and gives it that extra air of believability.
Cons- Still need to simulate environmental effects on voices and certain sound FX.
Hours Spent – 8
Summary- I retooled the timing of and shot order of our Animatic after meeting with Brian Baker and getting his feedback. I redrew several storyboards to fit the changes and went through several rounds of revisions
Pros- This cut is muuuuch tighter and with the audio I’ve been able to really get maximum punch from our Animatic
Cons- I’d like to animate the boards a bit more, so I may play around with more After Effects before calling it finished
Hours Spent- 4
Total Hours- 12
This week was yet another spent refining the Animatic. We finally have reached a place where we’re comfortable taking it to the editing faculty and getting feedback. Pending their commentary on the timing and one or two more versions we should have a completely finished animatic by the end of this week (assuming we meet with the faculty).
I continued to focus on the animatic this week as we’re quite close to finalizing our timing. One of my main goals for the end of this week was to apply several changes that would let us get the most out of our Animatic. These features include a running shot timer for the entire animation, a shot timer for each individual shot and the shot’s scene title clearly displayed. In addition I’ve also been experimenting with Shoggoth sounds and have been steadily building a sound-scape to assist in blocking in folly later on.
Pros- A lot of progress has been made and the video is slowly becoming a more and more useful tool for moving forward.
Cons- Still waiting on a response from the editing faculty.
Hours Spent- 8
I’ve began work on the motion graphics portion of our animation by assembling rough comps and experimenting with camera angles. I’ve also been conceptualizing the ending credits as well and have been in contact with a third party 2D artist to discuss procuring art for different solutions.
Pros – Good for figuring out placement
Cons– A lot more to do especially with ending credits
Hours Spent – 2
This was quite the productive week! Pre-production is in full swing and as such I’ve been busy this week. In addition to wrapping up layout and finishing the first draft of the Animatic, the stars aligned and I was able to record final audio from all three of my actors including all grunts and sighs and ooh and ahhs.
Final Audio – https://vimeo.com/111811854
Summary– I brought all three of my actors into the studio and ran through the entirety of the script, making adjustments where needed. Additionally, I hauled an EX camera into the studio to gather reference for our animators.
Pros- The audio came out great and the reference should be super handy especially for some of the more intensely acted portions of the script
Cons- I brought two cameras to capture with but one was missing the micro SD card so I had to make due with one (which was still more than sufficient for my goals).
Hours Spent- 8 hours
Summary- I finished the rough draft of the latest Animatic and integrated the place holder audio. For Tuesday I will be integrating the final audio as well as additional motion graphics to give more life to the storyboards.
Pros- Stronger visual direction, good length, good sense of timing.
Cons– Could be more highly animated, a problem which I hope to solve by Tuesday.
Hours Spent – 5
Summary- revised scene layout based on critiques and comments from animators.
Pros- Better space for animating, clear channels of communication
Hours Spent- 4
Total Time Spent – 17 hours
It’s been a busy week! Ever since we locked down our script my pipeline has opened up completely. I’ve moved forward on the Animatic and should have a finished first draft by the end of Monday. Additionally I’ve taken it on myself to film motion capture reference for our animators for several pivotal scenes while wrapping up the last stages of camera layout.
Motion Capture Argument
I brought in our Danforth actor to hop into the motion capture suit and perform his scene in 3D space. Connor Behm is a professional stage actor and his training really shows when given the opportunity to flourish. In addition to gathering the 3D data, we also recreated the argument scene shot for shot to be used as additional reference by the animators.
Pros- It was really interesting working with a seasoned actor in the mocap lab. It was a much more cerebral take on acting than I’ve done before, and I feel it really showed in the final footage
Cons- I would have liked to get our Dyer in the lab as well but unfortunately he was unalienable
Hours Spent – 7
I’ve been wrapping up Layout this week as Gabe Dave and pat move to start animating. At the moment these scenes only have basic geometry, but I look forward to populating them with more detailed topology.
Pros-Moving into the final stages, meetings with animators went well and proved fruitful.
Cons- Still a tad bit more to do.
Hours Spent – 5
It feels good to be making progress on the Animatic. As the last of the storyboards have been trickling in I’ve been syncing up boards and audio. I still have a bit more polishing to do, but I’m pleased to report that I should have a finished first cut by the end of tomorrow.
Pros- Progress! Very nearly there, just one more push.
Cons- I would like to have finalized audio at this stage, but co-coordinating three professional freelancers can be tough.
Hours Spent – 4
We’ve made a lot of progress this week! After locking in our script I’ve been moving onto the Animatic and blocking in the camera shots with Josh. I’ve also finished roughing in the exterior of Lake’s camp which still has a bit of work to go on the terrain front but is more than ready for laying out shots.
Gabe and I went through the script and narrated it in it’s entirety. This audio will be used for timing purposes on the Animatic once the rest of the boards are filled in.
Pros – Got a good feeling for the new timing of our script .
Cons– Audio quality isn’t the best, but it’s a place holder so it will do for the time being.
Hours Spent- 1
I’ve been replacing boards on the timeline as well as deleting old stills. Tomorrow I’ll be spending the whole day wrapping up the second draft
Pros- The new boards are gorgeous and are looking great back to back. Gives a much stronger sense of shots and what’s going on in the scenes
Cons- I do wish I had more musical cues to play around with, but you can’t always get what you want
Hours Spent – 5
Roughed in rest of Lake’s Camp exterior, will begin laying out camera shots tomorrow.
Pros- Exterior is looking good, definite sense of where everything is.
Cons- Terrain still needs polishing.
Hours Spent – 4
We did it! We finally nailed down the script after another large meeting. This is great news and it means that I can finally dig my teeth into the animatic again, especially now that storyboards are rolling out This next week is going to be a busy one in terms of redoing the animatic and recording audio treatments with Gabe. I spent most of my time working on the script and talking to the actors. I’ve been going over the script revisions and motivation changes with the actors and with this next audio treatment I’ll be able to iron out the performance before we meet.
- Summary- Worked with Val to write another draft of script, met with group to iron out dialogue and finalize lines.
- Pros- Script is locked down, now the real work can begin
- Cons- I‘m going to have to re-record the audio, which I’m actually looking forward to
Hours Spent – 5
- Summary – Skyped and met with actors, discussed next round of revisions and character adjustments
- Pros- Actors understand new motivations and will have time to prepare new performances.
- Cons- I’m slightly worried that some actors may have trouble adjusting their performances, but at the same time they’re both capable performers and I’m comfortable in the director’s seat.
Hours Spent- 2
Total Hours Spent- 7
- Discuss audio with Gabe, record treatment
- Recut Animatic
- Implement Audio
- Begin blocking in more detailed layout with cameras
- Finalize recording date
Note- I had an off week as I was hit with a nasty stomach bug on tuesday that ran throughout the week and knocked me out of combination. That in combination with my current primary focus (the animatic) suffering from the script chokehold has brought down my numbers this week. I plan on spending a great deal more time next week and will have a first rough cut of the animatic with as many storyboards are completed by the end of the week and thumbnails of the rest including a rough audio treatment.
This week was another round of script revision and scheduling with some layout in between. We’re so close to locking down our script again, we have one last meeting that should finally do it scheduled for tomorrow. Dave, Gabe and I have been bouncing script versions back and forth this week and tomorrow should be the end of it. At that point I can move forward on re-recording the audio and redoing the animatic.
Summary- Met several times during the week to discuss changes and the new direction. Wrote two iterations of script during idea bouncing sessions with Dave and Gabe.
Positive- Coming to cohesion, stronger direction, stronger character conflict
Negative- Still not locked down and we have to get this thing wrapped up as it’s causing a choke hold in production.
Summary- Laid out exterior of Lake’s Tent, meeting with Josh tomorrow to integrate Mountain model into scene for scaling
Positive- Good sense of space, clearly defined destination
Negative- Integrating mountains tomorrow
-Schedule V.A. session
-Skype with actors to discuss changes
-Start Re-editing Animatic
-Record audio treatment for Animatic
-Finish Lake’s Tent Exterior
This week I spent most of my time working on the script as my main focus at the moment (the animatic) is on hold permanent hold until the script is in a semi-finalized state. Gabe and I met with one of the script writing faculty members and discussed possible script revisions. With this in mind I also spent a great deal of time working with Valentina on our presentation and laying out the airplane interior.
- Met with faculty members to discuss different solutions to motivation and overall theming (1-2 hours)
- Met with group at various points in the week to tackle latest rounds of script revisions (3 hours)
- Pros- New solutions found to motivating our characters and to the overall flow of our story
- Cons- Still a lot of rewriting that needs to be done
- Total time spent – 4-5 hours
- Modeled basic plane interior, comped in mood boards.
- Pros- Solid start, with this sense of space we can start testing out camera angles.
- Cons- Very basic geometry, needs to be filled in.
- Total Time Spent- 3 hours
- Rewrote several segments of presentation, assisted in layout of slides
- Total Time Spent- 1 hour
TOTAL TIME SPENT- 9-10 hours
FOR NEXT WEEK- Script rewrites, model scenes, schedule VA session.
Moving the Animatic forward along side the revised script was my primary concern this week, and will continue to be my focus as the next week draws to a close. My previous draft of the Animatic was extremely helpful in showing us what our story looks and sounds like when played over it’s intended length. It also revealed a couple of problems with the script that we ironed out over the week and will be finalizing pending our meeting with the Screenwriting Faculty on Thursday. We’ve reached a point with our script that we’re comfortable with focusing primarily on cutting down dialogue in favor of more visual storytelling (an aspect that we found lacking after first viewings of the Animatic). As such, the Animatic has been constantly shifting to match
- Recut the audio and animatic to adjust to the removed dialogue.
- Integrated motion graphics storyboards into timeline
- pros- stronger sense of timing, better visual storytelling
- cons- motion graphics segment not fully integrated, will be resolved in upcoming week
- Total Time: 2 Hours
- finalized motion graphics script
- polished animatic storyboards, final revisions pending art assets from Gabe and Dave
- imported PSD files into After Effects, organized composition
- Pros- Off to an extremely solid start on Motion Graphics, good coordination with team
- Cons- Still needs audio, though this will be taken care of in the upcoming week.
- Total Time: 6 Hours
- I met with Gabe and Dave several times over the course of the week to discuss script revisions. We noticed several glaring issues in our script after drafting the Animatic and worked to resolved them throughout the week. Gabe and I went through the premier project together to test different solutions.
- pros- we’ve reached a much stronger solution for maintaining ambiance and motivation through our animation.
- cons- have not finalized script. Though I do want to get a screen writer’s perspective I’m a little nervous leaving it open ended this close to the deadline.
- Total Time: 3 Hours
For the next week: I’ll be animating and recording audio for our motion graphics and moving the animatic to completion with additional storyboards from Dave and art assets from Gabe. We’ll also be meeting with a screenwriting professor and VFX editor in the upcoming week, both of which will give us a unique perspective on both the editing, timing and structure of our animation.
Overall Time: 11 hours
- Summary: Labeled Storyboards, retimed and re-edited entirety of animatic, added VFX and adjusted shot list.
- Positive Stuff: Latest Edit looks great, has helped us establish the pacing in a much more significant manner
- Problems / issues: Timing issues, script issues revealed through timing.
Shoggoth Call and Sound Design
- Summary: Roughed in sound design and folly for Animatic and Shoggoth
- Positive Stuff: The chance to work in Audition again is pretty exciting, plus it’s a fun challenge.
- Problems / issues: It’s a challenge, albeit fun. The shoggoth is a unique creature, going to be interesting trying to nail down it’s sound.
Lake’s tent Layout
- Summary: Laid out the interior of Lake’s tent, created multiple versions for team reviews.
- Positive Stuff: Macabre as hell
- Problems / issues: None
LIST OF UPCOMING TASKS:
- Animatic revision
- Script Revision
- Rough Motion Graphics Treatment
- Plane layout