Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Uploaded Model

Well it's been a bit of time since my last update.  I've been extremely busy with commissions, and haven't been able to share much of it since I'm under NDAs.   But, a little bit of a respite this week, so I decided to finally finish the ship interior I was working on earlier this year and upload it to the various storefronts.

I give you the Spaceship Interior C HD!



















Dan

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Commission Project: WIP, and New Workstation

Finally, a commission I can actually share WIPs on.  Here's a set I've been working on, and is nearing completion.





This is a digital set for an indie film currently in production.  The challenge lies in the fact that there are several parts of the set which must be interacted with by live action actors.  Two actors will be placed in this scene using green screen.  Both are interacting with consoles which are very specifically placed.

In addition to the actors, there will also be three monitors which will be present on the practical set.  This requires close coordination with the client to make sure our camera angles and placement of the practical (real life) assets coordinates seamlessly with the location of place holders on the digital set.

Thankfully, there are no moving shots in this scene.  All shots are from a stationary camera.  There are four vantage points.  Camera information must be shared between the digital artist and the director so that he knows how to shoot the live action parts in a way that seamlessly mesh with the digital elements.  The information involves exact coordinates of the camera, rotation in degrees, lens angle, focal length, even what brand of camera was used.

Without this careful sharing of information between digital artist and director, it could lead to discrepancies between the digital and live action aspects of the finished shot, even the slightest of which having the distinct probability of destroying the credibility of the shot.

To conserve system resources, only what is absolutely necessary is actually modeled.  The set itself is simply this:


High resolution videos are used as the textures for some of the screens.  These are 600 frames long and are looping.  A render at full resolution for background plates will take about a day to complete.

And now, the new workstation I built.  It was time for a serious upgrade.  Ever since my other current client had to order me a new workstation from Boxx (which, by the way, I highly recommend that company), because the previous machine was no longer making it, I've been wanting to upgrade.  This was my chance.

New Workstation Stats:

Intel Core i7 4790k 4.0 GHZ quad-core processor
Nvidia GTX 980 ACX 2.0 4GB GDDR5
ASUS Z97-A motherboard
16 GB DDR3 dual-channel RAM
240 GB SSD
Antec P-100 Case

Some nifty unboxing/construction pics:

Everything arrived apparently undamaged
The CPU - Intel Core i7 4790k 4-core CPU 4.0 GHZ

CPU seated on motherboard.  Yes,  I accidentally touched the surface of the CPU and had to clean it using 91% alcohol
CPU cooling and RAM banks added

Motherboard, with power supply and graphics card installed in case.  Ready for wiring

Fully wired up...scarey moment of first power up approaching...

It worked despite the extremely unprofessional, untidy construction environment!
I apologize for the extremely unprofessional photography...as well as my equally unprofessional temporary testing set-up in my parents' living room.

And testing:

Nova Bench Score.  It was really hurt by the small size of the SSD partition which I have Windows installed on

Windows Experience Rating

BMW27 Benchmark test.  Time: 1:31.24 (GPU). (Benchmark Download Here)
So, not too shabby, I guess.  It's a good upgrade and should last a good while.

Hope everyone is doing great.

Dan

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Plagarus Part 3 Update

I decided to take a day just to give the old baby some love.

Environment creation began for the two areas in this part.  One is the exterior establishing shot telling everyone it's night time, now, but that we're where we left off--Padoen Titus's apartment complex.  Astute astronomers may wonder why a spiral barred galaxy appears so close in the sky.  That is the Milky Way.  All of the action in Plagarus (and, indeed, every movie I make in my personal universe) happens in a globular cluster in the galactic halo of our home galaxy.


And, of course, Padoen's apartment itself.  This set is available online, but it's far more generic than this fully furnished and decorated version.  I may update the online version with the textures, at least.  We'll see.


Updated Padoen Titus' and Lethgoshis' meshes, textures, materials, and skeletons, as both characters were looking pretty dated due to huge advancements in Blender and the Cycles Render Engine.


The guide track for the dialogue has already been completed.  This track is comprised of the unfiltered original recordings (well, except for equalizing and compression, thanks to my sound buddy Danny), and is used strictly for animation purposes.


Another reason that Plagarus took a back seat is rather personal.  My good friend Dale, who helped me work on it suddenly died late last year. He was only 28. He provided the inspiration for Ackla, the snake alien in Part 2.  He did the initial voice recording on my old set-up.  I then copied his performance in the recording that is in the actual movie.


With a lot of work, the main character's alien species being called "Isus" (a name which could be controversial, given the events in Iraq last year), and Dale's untimely departure, an impenetrable wall of resistance was created which I'm still struggling to get through.  Here's hoping I can get Part 3 out anyway.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Thanks,
Dan

Friday, January 9, 2015

Freighter Update

Well, working on clients' projects has really taken a lot of time away from personal stuff, but it's okay, as I'm eating and that's important. :) 

But I haven't given up on the spaceship stuff.  Doing more texturing.  The texturing and materials are almost done on the freighter.  All that's left is modelling the landing gear and putting in the hatches and ramps.








Dan

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Freighter Update






Started texturing phase on the freighter. It's looking a bit worse for wear.




Have to fix the center parts of the hull plating where there are mirror artefacts in the texture mapping, as well as finish the landing gear and the texturing on some parts, like the wings and greeble sections, but otherwise, it's looking pretty far along, now, I think.

Dan

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vocal Recording Session


So, this is a behind-the-scenes video of the vocal session which happened on Saturday afternoon.  The equipment and engineering expertise came from my friend Danny from EarShock.com.  Many thanks for your help, Danny.

The video is not professionally done, but at least it gives an idea what the sessions are like for recording the dialogue for these things, and how we do it.  Sometimes it does get silly, and it almost always feels weird doing these characters and acting like this, especially when playing a scene where the characters are supposed to be in horribly perilous situations and you're standing in your bedroom.

Hope everyone is doing awesome.

Dan

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Worst Storyboard Ever




This is the kind of storyboard I use.  Perhaps I may have a future as a doctor... or some kind of cryptologist somewhere forging secrets... if the only person you need to unlock said secrets is myself, I suppose.

The little sticky note on my monitor should be an indication why this is so rushed.  With four concurrent projects, all getting behind, it is unlikely I'll have a lot of time to work on this animation project.  But I'd really like to try my hand at effects and explosions and stuff instead of just static spaceship designs, so I decided to start with the first 3 shots of the animation and storyboard them out (roughly, obviously).  Perhaps something will get done.

Hope everyone is doing awesome.

Dan


Monday, October 20, 2014

New Personal Project

With work for one client almost finished, I might have some time to work on something I've had in mind for a few weeks, now.  An attempt at doing a massive effects piece, 1 minute long.



Requirements: Better computer.  I'm hoping I'll be able to do a modest upgrade to my personal workstation shortly.  Also, I will need to build the following items: the bridge of the Retreat.  The drone mentioned.  The interior room of the unnamed crew member, and the observatory.

The drone and the interior room will be easy for the most part.  The observatory and the bridge will be difficult.  The most challenging aspects will be the character animation and the simulations, which will involve a lot of bullet physics for the debris and smoke simulation for the explosions.

It'd be grand if I could do it, though.  We'll see.

Dan

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Too Much Work

Hey all,

So, just a sending out a message to all the friends who follow me on this site.

I haven't updated this page in a while because I have been inundated with work for customers who have requested privacy.  As such, I have not had time to produce any of my own work and so have had no content to put on my website.  I'll try to get some stuff up soon, including another tutorial on CGCookie.com, this time a 3 part series on how to create science fiction interiors quickly in Blender.

Hopefully everyone is doing okay.

Thanks,
Dan

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