1-26-PPJ Valentina Feldman

Task #1: Project Management Whatnots

(See Team Summary for images)

I spent a lot of time this week updating our gantt chart and trello boards

  • Positive Stuff:  The new gantt site automatically converts every card in our board into a gantt timeline and updates in real time. It’s so convenient! I still think that the gantt chart is redundant with our trello workflow, so I’m really glad there’s an easy way to meet that requirement now without sacrificing my time.
  • Problems / issues: Right now everything is in order, but i’ll need to remember to add a definite start and end date to every trello card I make from here on out.

Hours: 8

Task #2: Meetings (editing, illustration, general) 

In addition to our usual faculty meeting and my one-on-one check up conversations, I met with the team twice this week. First I met with Dave and Ethan to go over editing the new storyboards, and then I met with Ethan, Josh and Isaias to divvy up the 2D illustration work. Meeting with Isaias was awesome, he has a lot of talent and drive and is very excited about being part of the team!

  • Positive Stuff: We now have a schedule for illustration to be delivered, the animatic is up to date with our latest storyboards, and all is well.
  • Problems / issues: None at all! I’m lucky to have such a passionate and hardworking team.

Hours: 6

Task #3: Stone Texturing

I probably spent more time on this than I should have (because I kept revising my work over and over, but this week I started on the textures for the Interior Tower stone. The stone is a repeating tile texture based loosely on granite. Josh said he wanted a hand-painted quality, so I painted the bump maps by hand and set the diffuse to a high-noise rock texture. The result is pretty nice!

  • Positive Stuff: We now have a finished story for ELC and ILT, a 3-panel animatic in the works, a plan to use marvelous designer for our clothing, a potential solution for Dyer’s face weight problem, and more!
  • Problems / issues: Still needs a few more variations, plus green soapstone inlays for the hieroglyphic tiles.

Hours: 4


Before my next PPJ, I’d like to have the following completed:

  1. Redone Shot List
  2. New Clothing Solution
  3. Finished IT Textures
  4. Textured Shoggoth

1-26-15 – Ethan Miller – PPJ

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

-Bad: none

Hours Spent: 3

Auxiliary Tasks

-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


1-26-PPJ Josh Hollander

This week, I finished modeling the detailed temple interior and begun to set up and optimize our lighting.  It turns out that VRay, our chosen render engine, doesn’t like rooms that are half a kilometer tall…. More on that later!

Temple Detail Modeling


  • Summary: I finished modeling out the detail for the interior of the temple.  I’ve made heavy use of instancing wherever possible to cut down on the filesize, and optimized all meshes as much as possible while retaining detail.  Some minor additions to the scene are left, like small bits of debris scattered around, but they’ll be easy to implement.
  • Positives: This is the first environment that we’ve fully detailed.  It’s a huge milestone for us.
  • Negatives: Still got a lot of ground to cover, but we’re making great progress.
  • Hours: 20

Temple Lighting / Rendering

[see above image]

  • Summary: I’ve got a nice first-pass at the lighting implemented.  It took a lot longer than I thought it would due to some problems with VRay, but now it’s working like a charm!  I’m really excited to add shader and texture detail to this scene.
  • Positives: I got the troubleshooting out of the way today, so it should be smooth sailing from here on out.
  • Negatives: Oh my god, the troubleshooting.  So VRay doesn’t work with environments of this scale very well, at least not with default settings.  When I first tried rendering lighting tests, any amount of raytracing would cause VRay to lock up.  After tweaking some clipping values and dialing in a few other fancy sounding settings, I was able to coax VRay into rendering full-quality images with surprisingly low render times!
  • Hours: 6


  1. Continue rendering, detailing, texturing, and generally working on the Temple.

1/26 PPJ Gabriel Valdivia

So I did a lot of animating this week, but there isn’t much to actually talk about so I apologize for my short post!  I’ve got about 30 seconds of animation to do for this sprint and I got about 10 seconds of that done this weekend.  I’m not going to call it “done done” but its at the level where’d I’d be happy with calling it done if I don’t have time to give it one more level of polish.  I did spent all my time polishing it from the body to the face and while I’d like to spend as much time as I spent this weekend, again, tweaking it in the graph editor I need to call it done for now and continue with my next shots.  My plan is to get all my stuff to the quality of the shot I did this week and then use whatever time is left to really polish the most important shots (ex: Danforth going crazy.)

Pros: I made good progress and I’m really proud of my work.

Cons: It still doesn’t look like I’ve even made a dent in my pile of animation.

Hours: 20

1-25-PPJ Patrick Stelmach

This week was mostly about the animation. I was sadly very busy this week with non-school things, and that slowed me down. I still spent a large chunk of time working on the animation and smoothing out what I already have. I also finished the shoggoth model including UVs and got it on the server.


Summary: I put the bottom of the shoggoth on, which included making the mouth, and I also unwrapped it so now it is ready for both textures and UVs.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.31.59 PM

Pros: The model is now ready to be rigged, and Anthony has agreed to take the lead on rigging this monster.

Cons: The shoggoth still has a ways to go until he is done.

Hours: 6


Summary: I was only able to spline out 5 shots this week, and I didn’t get to faces. I should still be able to get what’s expected done on time though, and I’m confident that the quality will be high enough for first pass renders.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.15.23 AM

Pros: Several shots are ready for faces, and the ones that are left to spline have very little in the way of acting in them.

Cons: There are still several shots that I need to get into, and I haven’t even started with faces yet.

Hours: 9

Moving forward

1. Finish first pass animations for the tower scene

1-25-PPJ David Maguire

Good, solid week of animating. Was able to take some feedback from Nick and the team regarding some of the acting decisions in two of my shots, and they’re looking sweet! Also met with Ethan, Pat, and Val to hash out the minutiae of shot timing and some editing things.


  • Summary: Animated a lot. Got two scenes through splining (the two most acting heavy) including one whole round of revisions, and got tight blocking on the other shots. I’m currently working on the facial animation.
  • Positives: Everything’s going well and the new facial rigs are awesome!
  • Negatives: OH MY GOSH TIME CRUNCH (but I’m confident we’re fine)
  • Hours: 28

Editing Meeting

  • Summary: Figured out some editing things with Ethan, Pat, and Val regarding the the timing of specific shots, so we now have our shot lengths locked down permanently! With this comes locked down audio tracks for lip-syncing, so yay! Also tweaked the storyboards to reflect some edits.
  • Positives: Animatic looked nice and I think Nick liked everything!
  • Negatives: Nah
  • Hours: 1.5

1-25-2015 Anthony Meyers -PPJ

Rigging Dyers FacedyerFace

This week I finished up rigging dyers face.  I ran into no errors when rigging his face. His face was straight forward to rig but very time consuming and tedious. Gabe did come across an issue with danforths rig, luckily I was able to fix the issue fast.

Pros: Finished facial rigging! ( until an issue appears)

Cons: none

Hours: 22


I decided to help create a first draft of the clothing in marvelous designer . Compared to modeling in Maya, it did not take too long to create the clothing.  This week I am going to work with val and whoever else in creating the clothing.

Pros: Marvelous designer is awesome

Cons:  A lot needs to be done to finish the clothing.

Hours: 6

For next week:

: Rigging the shoggoth

: Help with clothing

Team Progress Summary: 1/19/15



The first official week back was a very productive one! We worked together to solve a few of our outstanding issues from break, including the storyboards and shot planning for the Exterior Lake’s Camp and Interior Lake’s Tent scenes. This version allows for more breathing room between highly emotional moments.

The new version of our animatic has three panels, to show our progression from Storyboards to Reference Footage and Animation. We’re focusing on the Interior Tower scene for this sprint, so our animators are working hard to finish blocking and splining all the shots. Anthony has just about solved the issue with Dyer’s face weights and Val finished the mustache, so the facial rigs are almost done too! All in all, we’re well on our way to completing this sprint on time.

Val textured the first pass of clothing for Dyer and Danforth, but we afterwards decided that the models needed higher fidelity modeling and details. Val and Ethan will be testing clothing design in Marvelous Designer this week. Josh has also made progress with the modeling for the Interior Tower scene, redoing the floors and adding additional detail.

This week we’ll also be getting the first round of assets from our new illustrator, Isaias. We’re excited to plug them into our WIP intro motion graphics scene!

For more information on our schedule and tasks for this quarter, please refer to our Trello board!


1-19-2015 Anthony Meyers -PPJ

Rigging Dyer and Danforths Face.

This week I continued on rigging both of the faces. I spent a lot of time battling dyers weights because mirroring was not working correctly. Luckily I was able to fix the issue today. Now all I need to do is race to finish up dyers face rig. I finished Danforths face rig. I added a lot of controls to his face because he expresses a lot of emotion in the story.

Positives: Danforth`s face is finished and I was able to fix the issue with Dyer.

Negative:  Dyers weighting issue took up a lot of time.

Hours: 25-30Capture


1-19-15 Valentina Feldman – PPJ

Task #1: Character Texturing v01

This week I finished texturing version one of Danforth’s textures! I rendered out a turntable for review, and next week I’ll continue with it.

  • Positive Stuff:  It’s a good starting point! I like the materials and
  • Problems / issues: Whelp, a bunch of things…
    • We determined after I textured Danforth’s clothes that we’re going to need more detailed models. Next week I’ll be testing them in Marvelous Designer, but then I’ll have to redo the textures. Oh well!
    • I’m noticing some texture warping on his sides; that’ll be fixed in the next version though.
    • Josh is going to help with the fluffy shaders for his hat and the top of the aviator jacket.
    • The specular hits are too hot — probably needs a fresnel node and lower gloss.

Hours: 10

Task #2: Mustache Mania 

I re-made mustache and got it to actually fit on his head! This involved a decent bit of troubleshooting, because (for some reason) the pfx hair stopped updating with my dynamic curve adjustments.  Now Anthony has all the hair elements he needs to finish Dyer’s facial rig. I did the same for Danforth’s hair (now he doesn’t have a massive bald spot).

  • Positive Stuff: It appears to be working so far!
  • Problems / issues: None at the moment!

Hours: 5

Task #3: Various meetings and troubleshooting

This week involved a lot of planning and troubleshooting — for character clothing design, rigging issues, environment design, storyboard revisions, animatic planning, etc. While it wasn’t a task in its own right, it took up a large chunk of time and we reached consensus on a lot of pressing topics.

  • Positive Stuff: We now have a finished story for ELC and ILT, a 3-panel animatic in the works, a plan to use marvelous designer for our clothing, a potential solution for Dyer’s face weight problem, and more!
  • Problems / issues: Nada!

Hours: 4


Before the end of the term, I’d like to have the following completed:

  1. MD jacket test
  2. Textures for Interior Tower
  3. Render Prep

1-19-15 – Ethan Miller – PPJ

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.

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 2.31.02 AM


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


Motion Graphics

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

Editing Meeting

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

1-18-PPJ Josh Hollander

I’ve begun detailing the temple interior for our first sprint, focusing on the floor first so our animators can correct any clipping issues.  I’ll be modeling the rest of the scene during the day off tomorrow.

Temple Interior


  • Summary: I’ve started detailing the Temple interior.  First thing to do was update the floors, which proved surprisingly painless.  Simple extrusions and bevels, with Randomness set between .5 and 1, gave me the look I was going for and allowed easy adjustment.  I ran into a few odd problems, but nothing that proved un-fixable.  I also spent a while prepping the walls and domed ceiling for detailing, and worked out how to tackle those.
  • Positives: Everything went better than expected; I learned a lot about how to model stones or tiles from a plane quickly and modularly, which will make detailing the walls and ceiling much easier.
  • Negatives: For some reason, the floor mesh doesn’t load properly for one of our animators (I’m lookin’ at you, Pat).  We’ve figured out a work-around, but we need to get to the bottom of this so it doesn’t come back to bite us.
  • Hours: 10


  1. Finish modeling temple interior (Monday)
  2. Confirm that the Renderfarm is working properly, and if so finally finalize our project hierarchy
  3. Lighting and Shaders and stuff

1-18 Gabriel Valdivia PPJ

This week was crazy productive!


Summary:  This was probably the first week I really sat down and created a lot of animation.  I finished blocking a few shots for the tower and jumped right into smoothing it out.  I was able to rough in about 5 shots which was about 23ish seconds of animation.  I also shot some reference for a couple shots with Pat and Dave and then cut my references so they could be added to the animatic.

Pros: I didn’t expect to be able to start splining this week so that was great!

Cons: Facial rigs were still being polished so I couldn’t start facial animation, but they will be done within the next day or two!

Hours: 17

animation01 animation02

Misc (rigs, meetings, and storyboards)

Summary:  On top of animation we have figured out a solution to the problems with the first part of our story.  Dave and I figured out storyboards before calling the group together for the final decision.  I’ve also been in contact with Anthony all week so we can make sure the facial rigs get done soon.

Pros: The restructuring we did of our story really works well and will cut out some animation work which will definitely help us!  Rigs are almost finished.

Cons: n/a

Hours: 5

11-18-PPJ Patrick Stelmach

This week, was a week of gathering and planning. We went over multiple changes to our animatic and got everything organized so things should go more smoothly in the future.


Summary: We got together and talked about some changes to the animatic and some camera movements. We also met on a different day and recorded some new reference to fill in the gaps of what we already had.

Pros: We now are happy with the tent scene and the reference we have.

Cons: This took away from the time that could have been spent working on the animation.

Hours: 3


Summary: I have replayblasted all my shots so now they fit cohesively in the animatic. I also trimmed all the reference so it will play well with my shots. I had an odd issue with one of the environments in that the floor was all messed up upon import, so I had to address that, which caused me to lose several hours. I also got the reference for some shots I had been missing and I blocked in the basics of those shots.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.06.56 PM

Pros: I am starting to spline some shots into a more smoothed look.

Cons: The floor of the tower caused me to lose a chunk of time, and a large portion of the last few days was just setting the scenes up to playblast well.

Hours: 14

Moving forward

1. Begin smoothing out the animations in the tower scene

2. Finish the shoggoth base mesh

1-18-PPJ David Maguire

Had a crazy productive week! Managed to work a lot, and I think with a little better time management I can get even more done this upcoming week! really excited by the progress we’re making.


  • Summary: Created storyboards for the reworked exterior of Lake’s camp, and additionally adjusted the interior tent scene. Gabe helped brainstorm how to make everything work without increasing our animation load and together we worked out ways to actually SAVE on time and animation.
  • Positives: Turned out really well, and the whole team is on board with essentially no disagreements!
  • Negatives: Was frustrating to put a hold on animation for a while and felt like we were going backwards, but it’ll serve the piece much better now.
  • Hours: 7



  • Summary: Worked more on the tower shots, was able to get a lot of blocking done. I’m hoping to finalize blocking on most of the shots in the next few days and begin splining.
  • Positives: Everything’s looking great!
  • Negatives: Wish I had been more on my game before, I’d love to be splining by now, but I think I can be there in a day or two.
  • Hours: 23



Reference Work

  • Summary: We had to compile all of our reference for Ethan to put together in a live-action cut of our short, so that required sorting through lots of footage and filming some additional footage as well. I spliced together all of my reference for each shot (sometimes I used different parts of multiple takes) and synced them up with my pop-throughs for easy reference. Spent one hour filming new stuff, about 3 hours editing it all and matching it with audio.
  • Positives: My references are much more organized!
  • Negatives: Took time away from animating
  • Hours: 4


  • Summary: Had a meeting to discuss the storyboards and other issues that have come up in production. Agreed on boards, some changes to be made.
  • Positives: Cleared up some issues and are moving ahead together more organized than before
  • Negatives: None
  • Hours: 2


  1. Animate interior tower shots
  2. Work with Val/Anthony/Whoever on costumes

1-12 -15 Valentina Feldman – PPJ

Task #1: Quarter Scheduling

I met with the team earlier this week to discuss how we’re going to tackle this quarter. Now that we’re in full blown production, we need to really be conscious of our due dates and workload, to ensure that the project is completed on time. We decided to split the remaining animation and environment detailing into 4-week sprints, after which we will continuously polish, re-render, and composite everything. Our current sprint ends on February 1st, and includes all animation and environment work for the Interior Tower scenes. After the meetings I spent several hours putting together task lists, schedules, and plans for the next five weeks. Please refer to our trello board for details!

  • Positive Stuff:  We are all comfortable with this schedule — luckily, several members of our team are part-time this quarter and can dedicate a lot of time to the project!
  • Problems / issues: It’s gonna be tough, but we’ll survive.

Hours: 5

Task #2: Hair & Fur Attempts

This task was hampered by the fact that I spent half of the time trying to troubleshoot it on my cell phone during a family Christmas dinner. I imported the hair into Anthony’s rigs, but he ran into some issues because the eyebrow geo-caps didn’t completely match the face mesh. He ended up generating his own eyebrows on duplicated faces from the model. The geo-cap for Dyer’s mustache also mysteriously disappeared, and Danforth’s hair has a large bald spot, so I’ll have to fix those. as well.

  • Positive Stuff: He got some fur working with the rigs eventually! Just have to fix up the visuals and we’re good to go.
  • Problems / issues: Dyer’s hair also ended up slowing the rigs down a lot, but it’s really dense so that makes sense. It probably just needs some proxy geometry so the viewport doesn’t crash.

Hours: 5

Task #2: Clothes Texturing

I began texturing Dave’s new clothing models today, but I wasn’t able to finish them before heading home. They’ll absolutely be done for our Wednesday meeting with Nick!

  • Positive Stuff: They’re starting to look pretty swanky! Plus, I’ll be done with them right when Anthony’s done rigging the faces.
  • Problems / issues: The UVs are a little compressed, but that’s not hard to fix at all. 🙂

Hours: 6


Before the end of the term, I’d like to have the following completed:

  1. Finished Clothing (to anthony)
  2. Fix hair / mustache (to anthony)
  3. sketch silhouettes for city (to josh)

1-12 -15 Ethan Miller – PPJ

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

Script Revisions

  • 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

1-11-PPJ Anthony Meyers

Rigging the FaceCapture

  • Summary: Over the break and the first week of class I worked on rigging the face of dyer and danforth. I was able to get pretty far on both. Right now I am in the middle of rigging the mouth for danforth and dyer.
  • Negatives. Over the break me and Val had issues trying to get the eyebrows to follow the geo deformation. Luckily we figured out a solution. As well dyers weights got weird and would mirror correctly. Me and gabe tried to fix it but had no luck.
  • Positives: A lot of the facial rigging was finished. If things go smooth this week I might have an extra day to fit in finer controls into the rig.

Hours ( including break) . 40 + hours


Team Progress Summary: 1/12/15


Click to view Trello boards!

Click to view Trello boards!

Over the break, we were moderately successful — we were able to get a decent amount of work done, but not to the extent that we predicted. That being said, we’re still on track to finish on time, even leaving room to re-render!  We agreed on a new schedule for this term that breaks our 3 acts into 4-week animation sprints. By the end of Sprint 1 (Week 04 of this term), we will have completed all polished animation of the Interior Tower sequence (31 shots), sans shoggoth. We plan to have a finished animation by the first week of next quarter!

The first thing we we did over break was go through all the faculty feedback, then determine what we needed to revisit in our story, We tweaked the script and storyboards, addressed emotional points of the story that required more screen time, and re-edited our animatic.

Dave was able to model the clothes for Dyer and Danforth, and Val began painting their textures. Anthony nearly completed the face rigging for Danforth, which the animators approved of. Dyer’s face weights didn’t mirror correctly and caused several errors, so that’s going to take a bit longer. Anthony also attached VRayFur eyebrows to both characters, and they respond fluidly with the rigs.

Most of the shots were blocked in by the animators, and we are now switching to a 3D animatic. This will be updated weekly by Ethan to show constant animation and edit progress throughout the term. Pat worked on the Shoggoth model, and Josh optimized the city scatter in XGen (now it scatters different buildings of varying sizes, instead of just scaling cubes). Josh also talked to Jay and coordinated mounting digm_anfx on the render farm, finally solving most of our render issues (hopefully!!!).

Through Ethan’s connections, we also recruited an illustrator named Isaias, who will be helping with the intro motion graphics segment, ancient symbols, building designs, and various illustrations for this project. Ethan will be meeting with him on Monday to determine the scope of his involvement.

For more information on our schedule and tasks for this quarter, please refer to our Trello board!


1-11-PPJ David Maguire

Break Summary: Didn’t spend nearly as much time as anticipated on the project over break, but I was able to continue blocking in some more animation. Not much to report on, really. I also worked on grabbing the audio and working into the animation that I had, but ran into some difficulties there that Ethan has since helped me sort out.

Clothing Models

  • Summary: Finished the boots for the characters, which meant more research, design-work, modeling and UV-ing. Unfortunately, this was one of those things that we hadn’t thought through, figuring “boots are boots.” Turns out, boots form the period are quite different than snow boots today, and required quite a bit more design than sticking the characters in UGGs and calling it done. After this was all done, the pants needed to be modified to fit the boots and each individual character.
  • Positives: Really like how the meshes turned out, and they should make for some easy sims
  • Negatives: Took far longer than anticipated, and some of the UV work is a little distorted. Hopefully Val can make it work with her texture wizardry
  • Hours: 8


  • Summary: Worked on bringing the interior tower shots to a more polished stage. We’re hoping to have this entire scene done in a few weeks (animation-wise) so we’re really cranking hard on it. Because of the unexpected time spent on the clothing and the general lack of productivity due to being back from break this week, I wasn’t able to get much done but I fully expect that to change this upcoming week.
  • Positives: It’s moving along nicely
  • Negatives: Didn’t get to spend as much time as I wanted to, also spent too much time moving files to my desktop computer (from my laptop that I was using over break)
  • Hours: 5


  1. Animate interior tower shots
  2. Storyboard Lake’s Camp Scene
  3. Design hieroglyphics

1-11 PPJ Gabriel Valdivia

This week wasn’t a production heavy week but it was productive in the planning and organizing department.  We started the week off with a team meeting to see where everyone was sitting after the long winter break. There we decided upon a new production cycle where we will break up our production into smaller chunks but this will allow us to start rendering sooner.  I then spent a few hours organizing all my files from last term, setting up a more workable file structure, and compiling playblasts for Ethan to implement into the animatic. I also took one of my shots to the point where I am ready to begin splining. (minus facial animation).  My ppj will be of more detail next week because the next couple will be full of productivity!  Go team!

1-11-PPJ Josh Hollander

Break Summary: I kept tweaking the city scatter, and also added some code to make it scatter pre-defined buildings instead of just scaling a cylinder mesh.  I also worked on our rendering setup, getting in touch with IT to make sure the farm is working as well as it needs to.

City Scatter


  • Summary: I further refined the city scatter in xGen, and wrote an expression for it to choose from pre-defined building models based on the desired size.  This means that it’s all ready to go, technically speaking, and we just need to make some building models for it.
  • Positives: The hardest part of making the city is done, and now we just need to make a few building variations for it to use.
  • Negatives: None
  • Hours: 6

Rendering Logistics

  • Summary: I spent a little bit of time checking up on the render farm, making sure it’s good to go in the coming term.  It’s not yet, but it should be totally operational within a few days and we can begin rendering our project this term.
  • Positives: We’re on track to begin rendering early in the term.
  • Negatives: I still can’t work out a finalized project hierarchy without the farm working, and even though it should be fixed soon, it should’ve been fixed quite a while ago.
  • Hours: 2


  1. Model detailed temple interior
  2. Make a few building models

1-11-PPJ Patrick Stelmach

Break Summary: Over break I went back and gave a second layer of polish to most of my assigned shots. We now have our final dialogue, so I grabbed the audio clips and adjusted the shots with temporary dialogue to match the new ones.

This week, I spent some more time working on some animations. I also worked on setting up the base mesh for the shoggoth, which is still ongoing. As a group, we have decided to pay the most attention to the interior tower ending sequence for this month, so this section has received the brunt of my attention this week.


Summary: The top of the shoggoth is now closed in a way that I think will work well with the rig. It still needs some smoothing, but other than that, all I need to do is close the bottom and then I can start rigging it.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 6.02.44 PM

Pros: The model is still coming along well, and it’s now closed up.

Cons: The bottom still needs to be closed, and I am unsure of how the model will react to the rig. Also, the shoggoth looks like it has a really dweeby haircut right now.

Hours: 3


Summary: I have gone and retimed and refined all the interior of the tower shots so now they work with the current audio. I also redid the base posing in two shots because I felt that the action wasn’t reading well.

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 5.12.51 PM

Pros: I feel as the interior tower shots are ready to go into rough animation state out of the pop through.

Cons: The amount of work coming this way is impressive, and it will take some strong dedication to stay on track.

Hours: 8

Moving forward

2. Begin smoothing out the animations in the tower scene

3. Finish the shoggoth base mesh

Week 10: Team Progress Summary


We made it to our final presentation! Hoorah!

Instead of the usual screenshot of our Trello board, I made this little screencapture video (embedded) to highlight our progress from the beginning of the term to the end. As you can see, our “done” column stretches aaaall the way to the bottom, and only a few cards were put on the backburner. Two of them, the Shoggoth model and facial rigging, will be done over winter break. The other two, prop modeling and environment detail work, are ongoing projects that will stretch through the next term while the animators finish animating. Overall, I’d call our progress successful!

Looking forward to presenting to the faculty tomorrow!

12-1-PPJ Valentina Feldman

Task #1: Character Turntables

For our presentation this week, I wanted to make sure our characters were presented in the best way possible, so I created turntables of both the close-up facial details and full body wireframes. When I started animating the characters, however, I soon realized that a lot of the dynamic properties I tweaked to sculpt the hair did not translate well into animation. After fighting with the hair and fur systems for a while (the characters’ eyebrows kept flying away and Dyer’s hair completely exploded), I realized I had to backtrack a LOT and redo most of the hair. Sigh.

This is what I started with, and when I began to animate it only got worse from there. :(

This is what I started with, and when I began to animate it only got worse from there. 😦

The good news: It all works, and is completely animatable! This took muuuuch longer than I budgeted though, so I had to table a few of my smaller deliverables. I was originally intending to texture the clothing modeled by Dave Maguire, but I decided it would be better to have some REALLY polished head turntables instead of half-assed clothing. I tweaked Dyer’s model to give him more pronounced eyelids, modeled eyelashes, painted additional texture maps (for more detail), and rendered it all out.

  • Positive Stuff:  I got some really positive feedback! Everybody seemed to love my changes, and the turntables rendered without any SSS flickering. And, perhaps most importantly, even the extreme close-ups rendered at only 3 minutes per frame.
  • Problems / issues:
    • Danforth’s fluffy hat texture took too long to render, so it was left out of the renders. It’ll be added in when it’s optimized a tad better.
    • I didn’t re-UV Dyer after modifying his model, so his wireframes have seams down the center axis. I’ve already fixed this problem, but I didn’t fix the renders.
    • Mustache could be a little fuller.
    • No clothes… yet!

Hours: 15 😦 😦 😦

Task #2: The Presentation


I created the Keynote for our end-of-fall progress report presentation. I used the same template as our pitch, so thankfully putting everything together didn’t take too long. The assets themselves took a while, though — because so many of our deliverables include motion, I edited together a few videos from everyone’s assets and embedded them in the presentation.

  • Positive Stuff: I’m really, really happy with all the progress everyone has made! Looking forward to showing it all off tomorrow. 🙂
  • Problems / issues: None so far, but I suppose we’ll find out tomorrow what the faculty thinks.

Hours: 4


Before the end of the term, I’d like to have the following completed:

  1. Textured clothing
  2. Tweaked Dyer model (his eyes are slightly too feminine for my tastes)
  3. All textures, shaders, and character details DONE and ready to be imported into the rig

12-1-PPJ Josh Hollander

This week, I mostly worked with xGen to procedurally generate our cityscape in Maya.  I also worked with Val to create the fur shader for Danforth’s hat.

xGen Cityscape


  • Summary: I set up the foundation for our city in Maya’s procedural generation plugin, xGen.  It builds the city based off of a few input maps and some scripted rules; right now, it’s only scattering 5-sided cylinders but these can easily be swapped out for proper building models!
  • Positives: The hardest parts of this are done.  I’ve gotten xGen stable, all values are in the right ballpark, and I’ve figured out how to export the resulting scatter as instances so we don’t need to worry about getting xGen to work on the farm.  What’s next is tweaking values and creating proper buildings to be scattered around the city.
  • Negatives: xGen is possibly the least stable program I’ve ever worked with.  I averaged a crash every 20 minutes working with it, which is why I’m so keen on exporting as instances ASAP.  The sooner we’re not reliant on xGen, the better.
  • Hours: 10

Fur Shader


  • Summary: I’ve been working on creating the shader for Danforth’s Hat’s lining, which is supposed to be a dense fluffy fur.  I got it looking pretty good with displacements and a light coating of VRayFur, but it needs a lot of optimization to be viable for production.
  • Positives: Got the look down pat, just need to make it faster now!
  • Negatives: It’s slow.  Super-slow.
  • Hours: 6


  1. Continue working with xGen to create the cityscape.
  2. Optimize the fur shader
  3. Start detailing  environments!

11-30-PPJ David Maguire

Not a whole lot to report this week, just continuing to pump out some more shots that need to be blocked.


  • Summary: Got some more shots blocked
  • Positive Stuff: Continuing to move forward
  • Problems / issues: Not nearly as much work got done over break as I would have liked, but I managed to crank another 5 shots
  • Hours: 8.5


  1. Continue blocking, hopefully will have every shot done by the end of the week

11/30/14 PPJ Gabriel Valdivia

Animation (cont)

Summary:  This week was not the most productive weeks due to the holiday.  I lost 5 of the days this week due to my father visiting Philly for the Thanksgiving holiday.


I continued to work on blocking out my shots and I’ve got all but 4-5 of them initially roughed in.  This was the first week with our character body rigs done (we have hands and eyes now and Anthony did a great job working out all the kinks) so that made the couple shots I blocked in this week just look so much better.  I worked on part of the final sequence where Danforth goes crazy at the end.  I also began to go back through my previous shots and update the rig references with the newest version.  I wish I had more to say but all I did was work on animation

.11-30_01 11-30_02 11-30_03 11-30_04

Pros: I’ve got most of my initial blocking done so I’m going to have time to go back through and refine my blocking before the end of term.

Cons: Lost a lot of days but luckily I planned ahead so I’m not behind.

Hours: ~4.5

Upcoming:  Finish the shots left that need initial blocking, go back through updating rigs and refining blocking.  I also haven’t gotten to finishing weight painting so I’m going to try and get to that this week but worst case it will be done by the end of term.

12-1-PPJ Patrick Stelmach

This week, I spent some more time working on some animations. I also worked on setting up the base mesh for the shoggoth, which is progressing nicely. Unfortunately, I have been having some crippling computer issues, and that has slowed me down.


Summary: After all the positive feedback from last week, I have moved forwards with the shoggoth and started making the body. The eyes and mouths are pretty dense around the body, but I feel that this is necessary to give us the amount of control and crazy shifting shapes that we are looking for


Pros: The model is coming together exactly how I pictured it, and I feel that it will fit our needs well.

Cons: As it is now, the poly count is very high, and it will be pretty dull and repetitive to have to rig all the eyes and mouths.

Hours: 4


Summary: More blocking has been done, but again, I wasn’t able to do as much as I wanted, as my computer has been having issues and I have been slowed down due to that.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 3.43.54 PM

Pros: Progress is still being made, and I worked in an extra few days into my schedule when I planned it to account for this exact thing happening.

Cons: Again, my work has been slowed down, but I feel as though I’ll be able to keep the original pace yet.

Hours: 6

Moving forward

1. Model any props as needed

2. Continue Animating

3. Finish the shoggoth base mesh

12-1-2014 – Ethan Miller – PPJ

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