Behind the scenes

After I was done with my part of this project, I put all my videos and photos from the shooting day, together and created this montage.

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Animation and Rendering

Animation
After rigging came animation. Rob and I divided the animations so we both had to work on three animations of 24 fps. We created these animations following the storyboard and montage.

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The monster was easy to animate thanks to the rig. I never really liked animation before, but working with your own model and with a smooth rig was really fun. I don’t mind animating that much anymore and I’ve gotten better at it.

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The most important parts of the body were controlled with FK and IK handles.
The other small things like the toes and fingers were controlled directly with the joints.
Animating was quite easy and the rig worked really well, but the jaw was a different thing. the jaw didn’t have his own joint and was fixed to the head for small movements i had to select the faces and animate it by hand. for the screaming scene Rob created the needed joints to animate it properly.

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After the animations were done we were going on to Rendering and Lighting.
The lighting and Rendering went pretty well, the lighting was almost perfect from the beginning. we just used the Arnold skydome light with a picture of our forest and a 3 point lighting setup on the monster.
We had to put of the shadows on the front light and put a green image plane behind the monster to put it in our video.

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We rendered the animation to a tif format and used the render sequence to render all the frames after each other. It took some time to figure all the settings out and the first few renders were way to light because we accidentally put the gamma setting up.

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I’m very happy how this turned out and it was a great experience. I’ve learned allot and feel motivated create more animations and renders.

360 video editing

For the 360 video part, we used the Samsung Gear 360. In addition to our main video, we wanted to introduce the 360 video as a prologue that builds up the tensions with foreshadowing sounds.

Spatial audio

In order to simulate a realistic 3D sound, we used the H2N zoom, this device has a spacial audio recording mode that simulates the direction of the sound.

Stitching

After the video was shot, the footage needed to be converted “Stitched” to an equirectangular layout to be able to edit in premiere and after effects. This was automatically done from the Gear 360 software on my Galaxy S6.

VFX elements

As not much is happening in the video, we decided to put more atmosphere in the scene. The setting is a rocky forest, and as there are no large rocks to be found in the Netherlands we had to improvise.

Process

I Opened the video in Photoshop as a reference, to create layers with rocks and adjust them to the lighting and color of the scene.

Furthermore, a stock footage from mist was added in After Effects and final color grading was done in Premiere pro.

 

On spot

On the day 30th of march we went to Buurserzand for shooting the footages.

My Job today is the camera man. I filmed all the footages we need for the editing according to the storyboard. There are several things we did that are worth mention.

  1. we used umbrella to create a nature shadow
  2. we used green screen out door
  3. we tested the green screen footage on spot
  4. we found a nice location

 

 

Rigging the character

Making the skeleton
For the rigging I used tutorials from youtube and a course of Lynda.com. I’ve rigged twice in my life but never with a fully constructed model.
First thing to do was creating a skeleton using the joint tool.

I quickly ran into problems at the hands. I wanted to rotate the fingers on the Y axis but the joints were pointing the wrong way. i followed multiple steps shown on forums and youtube but i could never change the rotation axis of the joints.
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Creating the IK and FK handles
I created 2 seperate joints for the left leg and created a IK handle on one and a FK handle on the other. I followed the Lynda course to create a IK/FK switching system but i ran into the same problems ass i did with the hands. I could not change the rotation axis of the joints and the 3 joints i had created had different rotaions.
In the end i created the IK and FK handles right onto the deformation joints.
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Weighing down the vertices
After creating the rig i had to weigh down vertices using the Paint Skin Weights Tool. This tool will let you anchor vertices to a selected joint.
this would let you controll how much parts would move when animating the creature.
I weighed down the backscale to the pelvis so it wouldn’t bent while animating the legs and i weighed down the head to the headjoint so everything would move with it and not stretch.

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Sources
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah-Jk7d30ks&t=938s
https://www.lynda.com/Maya-tutorials/Rigging-Cartoon-Character-Maya/191956-2.html

Finished 3D model

Creating the legs
The last step of the 3D model was creating the legs, reworking the shoulders and putting everything together. i’ve started with the legs, creating them very much like i created the hands.

The feet were easy to create and I am quite pleased by how they got together. forming the leg and the hip was the hardest part, to make it look plump but not fat was quite a trick.

 

Miroring the model
After the legs i put everything in position, i remodelled the shoulders making the create more broad and intimidating and adjusting the spikes. i added some scales on the knees and finnaly i mirrored the whole model over.

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The finished model
I’m really happy with what I’ve created, it’s probably my best work till now.
I learned allot and found the joy of working with a good and original reference.