Some new pictures

I’ve been learning to use z-brush over the holidays. Here is the outcome :)

Trailers

And nearly at the same time, 3 trailer from the films I’ve been working on recently have been released.
Enjoy

Layout-sets for Torerego

Layout-sets are NOT the final background. They just serve as a template for the camera-work. The final sets will be built around these.
As you can see, I’ve fallen in love with Maya’s viewport 2.0 which is very fast and has a great quality. It might even get better in a month when Autodesk release their directX 11-ubershader

I’ve found that for texture-work for layout, nothing really beats the substance-materials that comes with maya. Super fast, super flexibleThis will allow me to rely on playblasting as opposed to rendering the layout. Nice :)   (sorry lightbox plugin not working..just posting without gallery-function)
Layout05

 

Layout01

 

 

Layout03

 

 

Layout04

 

Layout02

Finally, Orange o Despoir is released on the net

Digital Banana finally released their awesome little short on the net!
I contributed with the body-rigs of the girl and the fruits (facial-setup by Anders Ehrenborg, I think?)

Well done Digitals Banana! Very inspirational!

CONTE DE QUARTIER 1 : ORANGE Ô DESESPOIR from John Banana on Vimeo.

Facial-rig-test

Here is a quick test of the facial rig. Its based on blendshapes and has about a 100 shapes that gets triggered. Its been real fun to do this setup and I can hardly wait to get to do some animation with it.

faces

 

Here is the GUI that I use to run the system

FaceControl-setup

 

 

 

Some old zbrush-tryouts

These are some rough head-sculpts from when I was learning Zbrush last year!

Torerego Application-”artwork”

I am working on an application for funding of my short-film Torerego (A shortfilm that just NEVER seems to get made).  And in that occasion I had to make a couple of illustration-ish stuff….And here’s the result.

If you want to read more about that shortfilm head over to http://torerego.blogspot.com

Crowd-tutorial

Just thought I’d write about animating shots with very many characters.

Usually it’s not so cool with crowd-shots. It’s a lot of work, little screen time and it’s rare that you can use it in the showreel
But this scene was a challenge since it is very much action, and all the birds was to be animated more or less from scratch.

 

The thing with crowd-shots is that you do not represent the individual character but rather the mental-ambience of the group as a whole. George Miller very clear about what he wanted. “This is the first time we see them in the film, and we really need to show how rambunctious they are.”
“They are like scavengers”
That means noisy, mischievous,squabbly and rude scavengers etc.

So shot-direction was: all 20 + birds was to fly, land and begin to squabble about the fish on the ground.

If we break up the action, Flying and landing are the elements it is possible a copy and use cycles etc. I had previously made some and put them to good use. Fighting had to be made from scratch.

 

First thing I did was to divide the 20 + birds in groups of 2-5. And that’s where the creative process is in crowds-shots. You can really challenge yourself with the animation within the groups, no one will see it, but everyone will feel it.

 

Here are the groups:

RED. One picks up a fish as another pick on, breaks out in fight

GREEN Two birds having a“tug of wars” over a fish, whilst standing on the head of a third bird.
BLUE A bird lands … Another land upon the first and jumps up and down, rolling on the ground, etc.
YELLOW In the background two lands and chases away a third that comes flying
PINK Two birds lands and eats fish, a third comes and chases them away.

Of course you’ll have to  see the scene several times over before you notice all this. You can catch the two or three first birds landing before it gets too noisy visually. At the very end I also try to make them all move as a group upwards to form a pyramidal shape as the last bird swoops in.

 

When I plan I usually just close my eyes and try to imagine anything that could be interesting. I probably spend a good couple of  minutes on this, but I’m not a planning-maniac so I’m rarely bothered to plan poses, only actions.
I drew some rough sketches for action and arranged the groups these groups downThen came the quite time consuming process to put all the characters into the Maya. The Skua rig was pretty heavy. It is much my fault, as I asked for lots of features, but I think it was worth it. The wings were very complicated, but had some good features such as auto-folding and several different parent-space combinations.

To place them in the scene I first used a boxes to determine more or less where they would land. Then I loaded the bird-rigs into maya and placed them on the box that I had made ​​earlier.
Nevertheless, just to get the bird “in place” took three to four days due to the amount of data my poor workstation had to shuffle around.

This animation was pretty fun to make. This is a pipe-line test for the Skua-character within Dr.D.I’ve never animated landing before, so I spent a lot of time studying gulls coming in for landing (great beaches down here in Sydney. Lots of seagulls). And what happens all the time when the gulls lands is the characteristic forward-and-back wing-strokes(as opposed to up and down). This is enough for both to stop the forward-progress while keeping the wings from smashing into the ground.I got a lot of feedback from animators from Legend of the Guardians on this stage. We were probably 10-15 people from LOG team at Happy Feet 2, so there was always plenty people around to ask about flying animation.

 

 

I contributed to the skua-character earlier in production. I was involved in the rigging and the interaction between the animation department and the other departments and made ​​some tests of the bird before it went into production, Of course not spending time on shots make your reel suffer a bit in the end, but it was a very funny part-take in some more administrative-work, for once.

Then did I first pass on all the birds and referred to animation-director who approved the block. And I could quietly spend the next four weeks finishing the shot.

 

Showreel

And here is the Current Showreel!

Head over to my vimeo-page for a complete breakdown.
Unless otherwise stated, animation is by me :)

Do enjoy!

Test Post

Test post!!