Friday, 5 March 2010

Final Piece

For the final piece i have added some sound effects to try and make my sheep more convincing. When the music is meant to cut out, i have added a electrical sound to try and convince people that either there speakers had blown or that there has been a electrical fault, which is why they could not carry on with the song. I also added a sound for when the guitar hits the ground but to be honest it does not sound all that great. I forgot to lower the sound effects so they are a little louder to the initial background piece. As the timing had gone all wrong i had to cut out some of the background scene. Also, something that i did not notice to the very end is that my tracking has a little fault to it. After the tracking had been done, there is a split second where the sheep moves out of place.

As an overall piece i am quite disappointed with my work. I put in to much devotion to my group project and this has suffered because of it. There are many things that i think need to change in order for this to become a good piece of animation. The rig is very simple so i had lack of movement which has made this hard to make interesting for the audience. He is unable to do much and i really wish that i had used a different character in order for this to be a success. The timing is wrong so now Daniel does not interact with the sheep, so i shall just say that Daniel is a very bad mimer.

The one and only thing i can say that i really like in my work is the secondary action. The ears move lovely and i am very pleased with how i have captured this. When i showed a few people in my class they all said the same thing. "Awww he looks so cute, i love the movement on the ears". At least i got something right. I wanted the secondary action to take away some on the non movement in my piece, which has clearly worked. I was hoping this to be a success as other people do not notice as much that he is not doing all that much. I also quite like how he throws the guitar. Again, this distracts the sheep and shows a different pace to everything else.

The things i would change if i were to do this over again. Well, i would first have a different character such the moom, as he has a lot more handles which i can animate with. Then i would have been able to have smoother movements as well as having extra movement, for example in this body and legs, as they very much lack in that department. I would also have had my sheep in the same scene as the tracking so that i know i would not have the timing wrong.
For the actual tracking scene, i should have done more research on places where they had stages, as the ones i knew were very stubborn about me being able to use them. I do not know if it was for security reasons but i thought it was a little hard on me, as i did explain that i only wanted it for a piece of work at my university.

Doing this project was interesting but it just showed to me that i am not very interested in editing films at all. So i would not want to add special effects to a action film. That field does not really interest me what so ever, but as i go through this course i am learning the things i do and no not enjoy.

There is a spread sheet of how long each step took me along the way

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

Intial Ideas

Story Boarding

Recording Footage


Key ?

Clean Up


Special Effects

Exporting Footage

Hand In


Well after i knew i would not be able to place my drummer in with my bassiest, i was happy to put everything together. I done my animation sepretly from my tracking scene as Steve said that this would be easiler and that i could just place the sheep into my tracking afterwards. I mainly done this as my video clap is so small, i wanted to have a bigger scene for more movement. I thought this would be the best way to go but i was sadly mistaken. I have somehow messed up and am really annoyed. The tracking scene is a different timing to the seprate scene that i animated to, which means that it does not all fit together. Well the sheep to the music does but Daniel now looks like he is out of scenk.. At first i thought i had placed my scene in wrong to premiere but i slowly worked out that it was fine. I am rather confused on how i had my background scenes but they were both different timings. This is something i did not even think i needed to do and just got carried away animating until it was too late.

I spoke to Steve about this and at first he was puzzled too but after a while he understood what i was trying to say. Steve calmed me down a little as he said that the audience will be looking at the sheep not Daniel, so it should be something not to worry to much about. I have the most important element which is the timing with the sheep and the music, and the tracking. I am still annoyed at this though because i wanted Daniel and the sheep to interact with one another but now this does not really happen. This is rather a shame as i thought that this would be a nice touch to my animation piece.


Okay, so i have now finished my guitar animation and i know need to think about the lighting. Now i have not really done much work on lighting and as my piece is quite dark i am thinking that i do not need all that much on my sheep.

As you can see the overall image is quite dark. this is not how the room originally was but this is how the video camera has caught it. There are three little blue spot lights behind Daniel. Now my sheep is going to be on the other side of the stage. Daniels left arm shows very slight lighting to him, there is a line of light and the left of him is in the shade if you will. So in order to try and capture this right i am thinking that i will be placing a light to the left hand side, and maybe have it slightly behind him. I do not think i will have a hint of blue in my lighting as you can not see this on Daniel. I may also need to place another light on the floor but i shall experiment where i shall place this. I need to remember to have the intensity low or my sheep may become too bright to the overall piece.

Here is my sheep in this first position, if you look closely you will be able to see a slight bit of lighting to him on his left hand side, this mainly shows on his arm and body. I do not really want the body to have so much light but as he has quite a round stomach i am not sure how much i can deduce this. I would like a little reflection on the guitar if possible too. You can not see this on Daniel guitar but i think it could be a quite nice effect on my prop.

Saturday, 27 February 2010


So my progress is coming along quite well after all the problems i have lately had. I have almost finished the bass guitarist. The main issue i am having is the lack of movement that he has. The rig of the sheep is very simple so i am not able to do much with him, which i never realised until now. My sheep has no movement in his body or legs due to only having one part of a rig for them all which i can not work with. The only movement i could have him doing is going up and down, or his waste can move forward or backwards. All this is not really the type of movement you would do during a stage performance. In the actual video, Daniel does not do a lot of movement his self, so the rest of the band staying in the same type of pace could work better as an overall piece.

In the last few days i have really wanted to change the whole character to the mooom rig as he has a lot more handles to be able to animate. I have done as much movement that i can without messing up the weight of him. Another thing that bothers me is that as he has no hands i have had to use his whole arm to show that he is actually meant to be playing. He also has, head, ear and foot movement.

The thing i am most happy with at this moment in time, is the secondary action i have in the ears, i think this really helps to make the animation more realistic. Even though i do not have much movement, this helps as you give more focus to the head.

The timing has been fairly hard to get when you have all the instruments playing at the same time but i took a lot of time to just focus on this to get the best timing i could. The thing i am most worried about in this is the lack of movement due to the rig and if i had a few more weeks i would change the whole character! Maybe this is something i could work on after this project to see the difference between the two characters.

I am unsure i will have the time to complete my drummer as i only have a week to complete him and i need to think about the lighting as well as, rendering and editing in final cut pro. But the one thing i need to keep in mind is that we were only meant to do a 30 second piece and mine is one minute 10 seconds, so already i have doubled the work, let along doing this with two characters. I have given myself far to much work and i need to set myself future goals because i seem to give myself to much do to which i do not seem to realise until it is to late.
I have still done alot of work and i shall do as much of the drummer as i can, and if i do not complete this i shall post up a playblast from maya of what i had done to give you an idea on what it would have looked like.

For the ending of my piece when the music stops due to a electrical fault. I have decided to have the bassist throw his guitar with anger. This gives other movement and pace to my animation. I am going to have the drummer throw his drum sticks and Daniel walks off stage. With a range of different things at the ending, it creates a different pase and the audience may even think about what could have happened afterwards, like a type of cliff hanger if you like.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Machine Head concert

Last night i went to see Machine Head live at Brixton academy. There were two support acts before the main band came on so i was not playing attention to how they were playing, i was mainly just dancing around with excitement. After them two acts i was pretty beaten and tired so i went upstairs where i could sit down to watch the main set.

I am really glad i done this, not just for my health if you will, but i was able to see the whole stage and actually look at how they move whilst playing.
I must say though that this band is heavy metal, so the movement was pretty intense. One thing i really took into account was the drummer, even though he was playing he pretty much was head banging throughout the show, this head was pretty close to the drum set, so i am guessing that he was not sitting all that close to the actual drum set but leaned over so that he could get better movement.
My song is fairly soft rock so i now mine will not be quite as mad as what a heavy metal band would be, but this has definitely made me want to play around with my sheep more, so that he actually looks like he is really enjoying his music.

As for the guitarist there were more swaying movements then anything else, which could be quite a nice effect for my sheep as i was worried that he would look a little dull. My last project featuring the sheep looked a little stiff, so i want to insure that i improve on this.

Overall i think this had opened my eyes to what movements i can do and it was great seeing it at first hand. My scene is meant to be on a stage too, so this is pretty much the best type of research i could do. I recorded a few videos too, but one, this website doesn't want me to upload any and the sound was pretty bad anyway, but there are a few images i was able to capture, whilst during the show.

I do have others but the quilty or lighting ruin them


My animation is on its way but i am having a few problems which seem to be fairly hard to fix, unless i had a key frame on each gap. Steve said that if i was to work on FK mode instead of IK then i would have a much smoother movement. I thought i had this but it turns out that i do not. So, my animation is not going to look a smooth as what i hoped which could be quite damaging to my grade. If the quilty of my footage was not bad enough i now have this to add to it. All i can do at this moment in time is keep my head done, get on with my work, and hope for the best.

I have started working on my drummer first, as this is more complex and i want to insure that i will get this finished in time. My main issue at the moment is when my sheep puts his arms up with the drum sticks, the drum sticks do the same 90 degree movement which is rather off putting and something that real drummers so not do. I am able to fix most of my little problems with the graph editor but i am still learning how to use it properly but it is definitely something that helps my animation.
As i have done a beginning, middle and end for my work, i think i have given myself more work to do as i have a solid minute animation to do with two characters, where we only had to do 30 seconds with one character or prop. I have given myself to much work to do but i am hoping that i will be able to complete this to a decent standard. It is to early days to say if i think my animation will be successful or not. Next week is going to be a solid week on this project so i shall be able to see how things are going then.

Monday, 15 February 2010


So can you believe after all the trouble i had with my footage, i was able to complete my tracking in one lesson. Everything finally paid back as i know tracking your scene can be a tricky thing to do. I was able to do ten tracking points which were mainly on the ground as i had some nice black points from the style of the wooden flooring. I had a couple of complications but that is to be expected. Out of the ten ten tracking points i had around two problems.

Tracking is actually a hell of a lot easier that what i thought, when we were shown the tutorial from our teacher Steve, for some reason i thought i would have the world of trouble trying to get the right sort of tracking points, but luckily for me, they were pretty much set up for me.

even though i had a lot of issues getting to this stage i am still glad i done my own footage and i can happily animate. I did look for film scenes from films such as School of Rock and even the latest E4 programme Glee, but every time i ever saw the stage it was always accompanied by people, and i did not want to interact with others with was not the type of music i wanted to do.

The only worries i have at this stage is that as my footage is such a small file, i will have to scale my sheep rather small and this could take away a lot of detail from my scene. I am hoping that there is a way around this as this could really effect my grade.