Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nem Gate Work Update


Still have some ways to go.

Hope you're all having a great day.

Dan

Friday, April 11, 2014

Commercial Work from back in 2012


Commercial work for an ad agency I was sub contracted under to make a CG sequence for a commercial.  This was made in Blender.  The client was reportedly pleased with the result.

Dan

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nem Gate Work

More work on the indie film Nem Gate.  This has been an extremely challenging set.  It needs to fit inside an existing building, and it has a large number of components.  It is seen both from the perspective of a small control room (previously modelled) and from outside, as well and must connect to the outside of the building for a couple of shots.

Add to all this the usual challenges of designing the aesthetics of the concept, and you get an interesting challenge, that's for sure.  We're finally getting somewhere, but it is still very much in a messy work-in-progress state, I'm afraid.  So please keep that in mind.

It's unlikely that the exterior will be so brightly lit, but I figured I'd load in some detail just in case we've got some close-up shots here and there that'll need something in the background.

From the perspective of the control room built earlier



And this the control room set built earlier that connects to this hangar.





Hope you're all having a good day.

Dan

Monday, March 31, 2014

Adamant Fly-By Test and The 20 Palatine Cruisers




Just a basic fly-by of the star cruiser Adamant.  Minimal post-processing.

Testing out the engine sound design for the starship Adamant, as well as working on lighting and fixing up various technical details on the model.  Probably nearing the end for this project. I've got a few more details to hammer out, as well as simplify some of the invisible geometry.  Basically, just the fine details, now.

Sounds are a mix of several sound effects released under Creative Commons from www.freesound.org.  

Attribution credits:

Matt G - Huge Spaceship Pass (30346)
Melissa Pons - Whoosh Motron Very Low (171588)
Hykenfreak - Deep Space Ship Effect (214663)




Size comparison of main sub-light engine:



 Dan

Monday, March 24, 2014

Logo Design

For his help on Plagarus Part II, I used all my graphic skills to produce a proper logo for MacDanny's cool start-up sound company.  Let's see how this goes. 

But now there is a problem.  The problem, of course, is that this is the logo for my company at the start of the movie:


And, directly after, appears this:



It doesn't make much sense for the graphic artist to have a lesser logo than the sound design person!

This will not stand.  Now begins the Great Logo War of 2014!


To battle!  To war!  To logo greatness!

Dan

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nem Gate Sets Dressed and Painted

I just got some images back from my client, Tom, of one of the Nem Gate sets I made for him textured and prepared for appearance in the movie.  Interesting to see how different the lounge set looks like from what it appeared as without materials.






Still a WIP, of course, but it's getting there.  I did not render these out, or do the materials.  I only modelled the room geometry.

Dan

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Redux Misanthropic Retreat

For another part of Plagarus, the interior of Lethgoshis' ship, the Misanthropic Retreat will need to be built.  So, I've decided to just build the entire interior set, which will likely be available online after I finish it.  The set will include the following rooms:
  • Cockpit
  • Captain's Cabin
  • Engine Compartment
  • Crew Common Area
  • Crew Cabins
  • Galley
  • Cargo Bay

     





The habitable areas of the Misanthropic Retreat

The cargo bay.  The tube-like area to the left is where the lift to the second and third levels will eventually be located
I used a previous design motif to greatly speed up the process.  I'm assigning this particular style to an alien race in the universe I made.

Still a great deal of work to be done, obviously.  The majority of the scene in question will be located in the cargo bay.

Here is the fictional lore on the Misanthropic Retreat:


  XD-202a


THE XD-202A spaceship is a light-duty spaceship in operation in the Lathkos Sector since 1,962 M.E. A variant of the Cenathlori designed XF series space freighter, it is considerably lighter and more versatile. It is capable of almost any light-duty assignment required of it, and its modular design was considered revolutionary in its day.

It is deemed a commercial failure by most market experts.  Only 2,508 XD-202a spaceships were built, with the last one rolling off the assembly line on Canthlor in 1,979 M.E.  By the year 2,010 M.E., only about 500 remained in space.

A heavily modified XD-202a spaceship, landed on planet Plagarus

Characteristics 


The XD-202a spaceship was designed to be as versatile as possible, able to serve as a freighter, an asteroid miner, a gunboat, a bomber, or even a family yacht. It was built with the ability to attach different lower sections, which would connect to the ship directly behind the main cabin. These sections would be mission specific, and were originally designed to be as easy as possible to remove and replace.

Consumers who bought the ships, however, quickly discovered that these modules were anything but easy to remove and replace, often times requiring hours of painstaking effort to finally fit them together. Also, the ships became notorious for dropping these modules in mid-flight as the connecting supports which would tether the modules to the ship would, in cold temperatures, simply detach without warning.  At least 200 such documented incidents resulted in fatalities, with 42 of them resulting in the complete destruction of the victim's ship during the accident. 

As such, most XD-202a ships which are seen today have mission specific modules simply welded permanently to the ship, with the owners of the vessels abandoning the modular abilities of the ship altogether.



The Misanthropic Retreat, Lethgoshis' personal XD-202a. Note the missing loading struts and the addition of weapons, making it a gunship
The remaining XD-202a ships which still fly in space have almost all been bought up by hot-rod and space-racer enthusiasts due to the abnormally large engines for the relatively light ship, due to the ship's original intention of hauling additional weight of cargo containers under its main fuselage.

Misanthropic Retreat


Sometime after his leaving New Isus the second time on his way to search for Padoen Titus, Lethgoshis came into possession of the Misanthropic Retreat, an XD-202a whose container module had been removed permanently.  The ship had been fitted with small blast cannons, re-classifying it as a light gunship under Thrassi maritime law. Although offensive weaponry on private spaceships was outlawed in the Thrassi Republic in 1,992 M.E., Lethgoshis, who was still technically an Isus guardsman, had clearance to possess weapons on his ship.

The Retreat later served as Padoen Titus' and Lethgoshis' personal starship and home as they started up their business together, travelling long distances across the Lathkos Sector. 


Upon being asked by Padoen why he chose the Cenathlori designed XD-202a, Lethgoshis responded, "Because I can fit through the doors."

Dan

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Part II Scene I

Work continuing.  Animation is going along about at the anticipated speed.  Shot construction and completion is about half of that of Part I, mostly because of the complexity of the second part.  Several sets, this time, and about five characters to animate.

As I did in Part I, I'm using noise modifiers in certain bones on the character rigs to give the illusion of random movement.  Struggling with keeping the characters out of uncanny valley.  The problem will be greatly exacerbated by the very human-like characters in Part III.  Danny and I are starting to look around for a more talented character animator, and I'm looking into re-rigging the character models for the next part.  The current rig isn't sufficient (it's very old, now) for what I'm looking for in performance in the next few parts of the movie.


 Raw Render:


Color Corrected Render:


Sent off the raw cut of Scene I of Part II to Danny this morning, so he can start mixing the sound.  Looking forward to seeing what he's got up his sleeve.

Dan

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blocking and Animating Plagarus


By far the most complicated part of making Plagarus is the character animation process.  Creating shots and ideas is extremely time-consuming and difficult.

The first step is always writing out the script.  The second part is recording the dialogue.  Both of those steps have been done for Part II.  Now we're onto the process of actually animating each scene one shot at a time.  This is the most complicated and difficult part.  It requires absolute quiet in the house and absolute concentration.  This is rare when you've got a family.  Patience is a must.  Frustration is your enemy.  Tempers can flare.  Feelings can get hurt.

Typically, the process involves listening to the recorded dialogue and laying it out in Blender's non-linear video editor.  Then I take the sound, and start blocking out shots and camera angles as I think they'd appear.  Character animation involves taking key-frames and refining them down, adding more and more frames until the final product is able to be animated.  See the 11 Second Club blog site for a good trainer on character animation.

Then comes the final render, and inevitably, a few re-rendered shots to correct any problems, such as fireflies and whatnot in the final render.

This could take days, or weeks.  The more time you spend on it, the better it looks, to an extent.

Dan

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Contest Entry Posted

Uploaded the contest entry.  Let's see how we do.  We win by how many likes and +'s we get, I suppose.  Not entirely clear on that one.

The product page.








 


 Dan

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