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Carrara Community Movie Project Year 1— Story Ideas Welcomed
Posted: 04 January 2013 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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A quick start is to use a comic book story, since you get a head start with the story, script, concept art and even the story-board for easy project management.

An example are these 23 royalty free manga comic book stories, not sure if they are any good, just showing an example of how to quickly and legally move forward:
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/08/shuho-sato-royalty-free/
http://www.mangareader.net/476-29007-1/say-hello-to-black-jack/chapter-1.html

/Edit, 10 million sold, not bad.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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From a strictly logistical standpoint, I’d advise that your short be about robots. If you’re doing robots you don’t have to worry about cloth or hair, and some stiffness in the movements/animation might be overlooked.

My $.02

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Posted: 05 January 2013 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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3drendero - 04 January 2013 05:27 AM

A quick start is to use a comic book story, since you get a head start with the story, script, concept art and even the story-board for easy project management.

An example are these 23 royalty free manga comic book stories, not sure if they are any good, just showing an example of how to quickly and legally move forward:
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/08/shuho-sato-royalty-free/
http://www.mangareader.net/476-29007-1/say-hello-to-black-jack/chapter-1.html

/Edit, 10 million sold, not bad.

Excellent information. Thank you!

BC Rice - 05 January 2013 01:45 AM

From a strictly logistical standpoint, I’d advise that your short be about robots. If you’re doing robots you don’t have to worry about cloth or hair, and some stiffness in the movements/animation might be overlooked.

My $.02

Clever observation. It can be a little tougher to get audiences to “care” about the goings on of a soul-less robot. However, allowing that robot to experience a proper “loss” early in the piece will give audiences a chance to identify with him, and route for his later triumphs. A robot that behaves and feels in the way humans do is a super smart idea.

Yummy!

In fact I can almost envision a story for this.

 


Two highly detailed robots are battling on the deck of what appears to be a super futuristic Space Station. We can see a bright sun, and distant nebulas in the background, even other moons and planets nearby. There are many vertical columns and other structural physical details on this surface allowing the robots to hide behind and maneuver around things. Each of the robots is a fierce destroyer, “Transformers” type awesomeness. I envision laser fire, force fields, flames, freezing rays, you name it these guys have got it.

One robot appears to gain the upper hand on the other, pinning him down. Just before finishing him off we hear a scream from outside the frame. It is the voice of a child screaming “Stop!” This voice comes from a small child sized robot. The robot with the upper hand is momentarily distracted, just long enough for the pinned robot to escape. The pinned robot (say robot A) seems to head directly toward the little child sized robot, while the other robot (robot B) aims his weapon at Robot A opening fire. At this point we realize that a deadly blow has been dealt to robot A, as the child robot begins to vocally indicate some sort of great concern for robot A. Robot A screams to the kid robot to “get away from the situation!” Robot B then fires in the direction of the child robot and barely misses. Robot A returns fire on robot B and injures him slightly, but Robot B easily resumes firing toward the kid again just a moment later. Robot A realizes that he cannot protect the kid bot anymore so he throws a sort of “amulet” into the air. This amulet is in some way highly mechanical looking (like a letter C), and it changes shape once it is airborne starting to glow around the edges, and surrounds itself with a force field. The amulet can navigate in open space, it can fly. Robot A yells to the kid bot “Go!” Robot B clearly has been seeking this amulet, as the moment it becomes visible and airborne robot B starts running toward it. The amulet flies swiftly and directly toward the kid bot as if pre-programmed, but kid bot is hesitant to grab it from the air. Robot A is distraught seeing Robot B only yards away and approaching the kid fast…GO!

Kid bot:  Can’t leave you here…

Bot A:  Go now!

Bot B:  Leave and I will destroy your master, and you too

Kid bot:  No please!! My Carrara is yours!

Bot A:  Go now!

Kid bot: ...but…

Bot A: ...NOW!!!!

Bot B opens fire on Bot A, literally blasting him into nothingness. Part of the facial area of Bot A lands at the feet of the kid Bot. The kid bot screams! Bot B then turns his head and weapon toward the kid bot opening fire. The kid bot then grabs the piece of facial metal from at his feet. The kid bot also grabs the amulet suspended in the air and presses a small button which enlarges the force field to be large enough to surround the kid bot’s entire form. Bot B’s weapon is now firing rapidly at the kid bot, but the phases cannot penetrate the shield. Kid bot then presses another button on the amulet and the amulet again changes shape into a sort of dialing mechanism. The kid bot then sets what appears to be a destination of some sort. All the while Bot B continues to fire upon the force field, but the kid remains protected. Bot B even tries to punch the force field with his fists but as soon as he makes contact with the field he is blasted backward onto his butt with a bright flash or discharge. Kid bot smiles momentarily. Within a moment of inputting the instruction the amulet starts to glow more brightly than before, and behind the kid bot’s back we see what looks like some sort of portal opening in empty space. The kid bot exchanges a look of hatred with Bot B, then goes through the portal. Bot B tries to follow but the portal closes almost instantly. Bot B displays some sort of grand dissatisfaction with having failed to apprehend the device and to destroy the kid bot. Bot B then reaches into a chamber within this own body and removes an amulet that looks similar to the other one, but not quite the same. It glows, but with a different color. IT too changes into a sort of dialing mechanism, and a destination is set. Another portal opens, but it too looks different than the portal opened by the other amulet. Bot B steps into the portal and it closes behind him.

Fast forward several years. Scene opens on the surface of a beautiful planet, one that looks like Earth in that it has vast vegetation, but it doesnt have to be Earth exactly. Anyhow, we watch what appears to be a shuttle craft entering the atmosphere. Within the Shuttle craft we can see a robot that looks a lot like a grown up version of the kid bot we saw before, a lot like Bots A and B to be exact so we will call him Robot C for now.  Anyhow,  the ship interior is sweet, and within it are various other robots less sporty looking than Robot C that take on other duties. Robot C appears to be in charge. The shuttle flies over at least one full minute of dense vegetation and cool atmospherics, then giving way to what looks like an infinite cityscape. The cityscape has towers, flying cars and all that. There are still sporadic areas of vegetation. This shuttle lands at some sort of shuttle port, Robot C exits the ship and is escorted toward a beautiful structure by some super cool exotic pseudo sexy sort of Robot, we will call her Robot D or better yet, “Holly Wetcircuit.” Holly Wetcircuit leads Robot C into a grand hall, a Sydney Opera House kind of place. There are all sorts of robots filling the many seats.. random robot chatter…Robot C is lead to a stage where he is confronted with a series of three other Robots, appearing as judges.

Judge A: Are you Zad-D3?

Zad-D3 (aka Robot C):  Affirmative

Judge B: Are you a descendant of the original Ray Dream?

Zad: Affirmative.

Judge C: Where is your assigned Master?

Zad: My Master was destroyed on the Bryce Endeavor WorldBase by my Uncle some time ago I was still a Zygote then.

Judge C: How was this possible.

Zad: My Master was not a descendant of the original Ray Dream, and therefore could not access the full Power of my Carrara. He trained me well before I lost him. But I and only I can defeat my Uncle.

(The judges whisper among themselves)

Judge A,B and C: Where is your Carrara?

Zad: My Carrara is with me always. It is with me now.

(The three judges gasp)

Judge A: You have been called here today because your Carrara has been deemed a danger to our society.

Judge B: Your Carrara gives you the ability to alter reality in any way you desire, and that is too much power for any individual.

Judge C: Worse, without a living Master, it is likely that your Uncle will eventually locate you, and when he does he will destroy all of us. You are not ready to face him. You have not been properly trained.

Judge A: You must relinquish your Carrara.

Zad: Never!!

(The three judges gasp)

Judge A: Show it to us.

Judge B: Yes let us see it.

Judge C: Show us your Carrara.

Zad: As you wish. (Zad produces his glowing amulet (aka Carrara. The Carrara floats suspended near Zad’s torso).

(The three judges gasp)

Judge B: Do you know how to use it, unleash it’s power?

Zad: Admittedly, it’s power is nearly limitless. It would be frightening if I could say I’d tapped all of its power, but I have not.

Judge A: What types of things can you do with it?

Zad: I can create entire worlds. Transport you instantly to any place you desire. Where would you like to go?

Judge C: Take me to the frozen peaks of the moons of Uranus.

Judge B: Take me to the deserts of Mars, where water never falls.

Judge A: Take me to the surface of the sun.

Judge B+C: The Sun?!

Judge A: Why not, if Carrara can do it?

Zad: As you wish. (Zad takes hold of his Carrara, which changes form slightly in his hands to create the dialing mechanism again, and he enters a destination. The three judges and Zad are suddenly transported to a frozen moon.)

Judge C: Wow.

(Zad enters another address) ( The four of them arrive in a bleak desert)

Judge B: Wow.

(Zad enters another address) (The four of them arrive at the surface of the Sun)

Judge A: Seriously….Wow! Please take us back now.

Zad enters another address, and the four are again in the courtroom)

Judge A: Now more than ever the danger of your Carrara is evident.

Judge B: The possibilities are frightening.

Judge C: And worse,  you do it all with such ease. This cannot be right. Something must be wrong here!

(Just then there is a blast of phaser fire in the courtroom. Perhaps one of the judges is destroyed. Zad realizes his Uncle has found him and opened fire on innocent victims. Zad and his Uncle fight it out with all sorts of cool displays. Uncle makes some comments about how impressed he is with is nephew, and how destroying his father was really nothing personal. Zad recalls his anger with is Uncle and how he misses his step father aka Master who stepped in for his real father who his Uncle also destroyed trying to get to the kid. The kid is the last descendant of the original Ray Dream. Uncle seeks to control all of the Carraras in the Universe so that he can become a God. A Carrara is a type of device with infinite power. But to unlock this power both parties must be trained, both the artist and the device, it learns how to do what it;s owner desires.

In the end, Zad defeats his Uncle barely, they jump through portals into all different sorts of locations chasing each other, until, in the end, Zad has the opportunity to kill him.

Does Zad destroy him, or does he show mercy?

I say we cut it off right there and never answer the question.

 

I know, I really did just write that whole thing off the top of my head. Sad right?

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Posted: 05 January 2013 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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From a Story point of view and taking into account the huge logistical challenge this en-devour is going to need why not start with a
short story people already know, it could be based on a fable or something that would be now copyright free, some links below.

Otherwise it could be in the style of a game trailer here I’m thinking of the amazing Dead Island one, the LAST thing that Carrara needs is another short movie based on space aliens as there are thousands, to get a wider audience it has to be universal (the short story idea) or has to hit them emotionally (dead island, you forget the zombies and think only of the little girl)

http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Aesop/Aesops_Fables/

http://aesopfables.com/aesophca.html

http://www.nursery-rhymes.co.nr/  (to short but could be a basis for a re-telling of the rhyme)

http://bygosh.com/

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Category:Children’s_Bookshelf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_352844&feature=iv&src_vid=Bwtr_-4vz6g&v=lZqrG1bdGtg  DEAD ISLAND TRAILER FWIW I really enjoyed the game as well, I’m 43 and killing zombies NEVER gets old…. grin

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Posted: 05 January 2013 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Petef,

                I think one of the most difficult things is getting a story to work upon within a community. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. In the professional world its simple. A studio has a property want to make a movie and it is thrust upon the minions to make it. No opinions asked. Your paid to do what your directed to - no cares if you like the story or not.

                That said I think some of your ideas warrant some consideration. The video game trailer ie Dead Island or the like is indeed something to shoot for although I think toned down a tad to achieve a bigger welcoming audience.

                Storyline is important though and so I think it would be good for folks to keep coming up with story ideas.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Hi 3dview,

The Dead island idea was not to do a zombie type movie but to show one with a good story and empathy with
the character in this case the little girl, its amazingly sad really and it gets your attention, no words just haunting
music and and dam clever idea (done in reverse).

My idea of using an already established story keeps it simple, no re-writes or someone saying why not try this or that or
why is the character saying or doing that, etc etc.

If the short story idea works then the community could aim for its own movie at a later date with an established and experienced pipeline of
Carrara users.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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My thinking is that the story needs originality, and also needs to draw the viewer into the story.
IE: Little Red Plane (2001)    http://vimeo.com/19178933

It also needs to show the potential customers that Carrara can do all of this neat stuff.
Look at yourself as someone wanting to purchase the software…..what would you like to know it can do.

Pre-made characters can be imported & used in animation
It does landscapes, water & atmospheres
You can model your own characters, props, etc…
It has cool particle effects
trees
Soft body effects
Physics
Great plugins

etc….
Just my thoughts. red face

EDIT: Heres another good one that draws you into the story..( Warning ..graphic comedy)
Daz & Baz   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8dDXb0cBXM

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Posted: 05 January 2013 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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McGuiver-
                I am in total agreement with your thoughts.

petef-         
            I do agree with that level of quality those game trailers bring and certainly following those ways to emulate within a good storyline would make an awesome effort.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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A lot of good discussion in this thread and you all have done a good job of pointing out some of the big challenges.

I feel the most important thing in a movie is a story. We’ve have seen some low budget films which were great because they had excellent stories. There have also been huge budget productions which have flopped because the story was weak.

One thing to keep in mind is that most stories are ambiguous as to settings or genre when you break them down to their base story. Just as a really rough example, Star Wars could have been set thousands of years ago with small towns fighting against the Roman Empire and the story would have been basically the same.

In my opinion it would be best to give story writers open licence. They shouldn’t approach it by what 3d models to use or render settings but rather what is a great story.

Once you have a great story then you could have a “Render your favorite still image from the story” thread. You would likely get dozens of radically different looks and settings. Some may look toonish, others very dark and dramatic. At that point you may want to see which looks the most interesting take/style and have that person be the art director.

Once you have the story and art director then you should probably storyboard the whole thing and edit the stills into a movie. The writer, director and art director can then refine the story and scenes and maybe even do a few still render/concept art to re-edit into the story board movie. It might be a good time to get a director of photography/lighting/cinematographer person at that time also.

After the storyboard movie is pretty much finished you could start doing voiceovers and music. Once you have the storyboards with sound then you pretty much have your movie. Now you just go through and replace each storyboard frame with animated renders as each is completed.

Now that the storyboard movie is finished you should have a very good idea of what models, settings, shaders and such will be need. Community members can watch it and know the story, see the style of the movie and volunteer to work on things they are comfortable with and are good at.

This is the point to discuss what versions of Carrara to use, whether or not to use pre-made DAZ content or not etc. Until you have your story and visual style you honestly don’t even know if you need Genesis or any humans for that matter. My suggestion is to use content if there is already something available that fits what you need.

If you need a realistic human then use Genesis or whatnot. If you need a country road use Wowie’s. If Stonemason’s castle ruins looks really close to what you needed for a scene then use it. There is no sence in doing all the extra work of remaking a model if there is already something excellent that fits the bill. Now almost everything will need adjustment for your movie like Carrara shaders for the castle or custom characters for Genesis, V4 or whatnot.

Compile a list of each and every thing you need and have people volunteer for select aspects. Someone may be super skilled at making caricature morphs but have no interest or skill in making skin textures or setting up the shaders for them. There will most likely be others who would enjoy doing those things.

Strange as it may sound, breaking the tasks down like this can help give a consistent look. If one person does ALL the character morphs, another person does ALL the skin textures while another does all the metal shaders and yet another does all the plastic shaders then the project should have one consistent amalgamated style throughout the scenes. Of course the art director will need to coordinate the different people to make sure they all have a similar feel.

The base motion animators can work with base figures. they don’t need fancy lights, shaders, giant forest scenes or anything. They just need the story boards and a rough layout of things in the scene which the characters will interact with. They can save these animations as NLA clips to be applied to the finished characters later. Other animators may want to step in later and add facial animation and subtle finger motion, breathing etc.

Once all the animation, characters and sets are done then the director, cinematographer and lighting person can start assembling all the bits together into the final scenes and make sure everything is consistent. I would render out everything at this point with draft settings, replace the storyboard movie clips with these renders and fine tune it.  Watch the draft render about 1000 times and see if anything needs to be tweaked or redone.

Now you have a very fine tuned, low rez movie you can re-render at high quality but knowing EXACTLY what needs to be rendered down to the frame. Scenes can be simplified, removing items behind the camera or tweaking lights to fake indirect lighting etc. No use rendering frames that aren’t needed int he final movie.

Do a few, single frame tests and see how long the renders are going to take. Some scenes may go fast, others might take forever.  Then you can have people with fast computers take the heavy scenes and those with more modest computers render out the simple ones. Of course you have to make sure you aren’t passing around copyright meshes or textures to people who don’t own them and such.

Doing it this way allows you to re render should you decide to go from 720-24p to 1080-30p later on. Hell, even render 4k-48p 3d later if you have the free processor time. The only thing really important to decide early on is aspect ratio so the cinematographer, lighting person and set builders know what is going to be in frame. I would go with 16x9 by default… unless the cinematographer thinks a different format would be visually more interesting.

Just my 2 cents.

William

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Posted: 05 January 2013 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Age of Armour - 05 January 2013 02:52 PM

I feel the most important thing in a movie is a story. We’ve have seen some low budget films which were great because they had excellent stories. There have also been huge budget productions which have flopped because the story was weak.

Absolutely true. No question.

However, in this case, I don’t think anyone has agreed yet upon the PURPOSE of this production. Is it a short, or a commercial, or a movie for kids, or a cool space flick for general audiences, or something to WOW prospective Carrara/DAZ customers and showcase what Carrara has? That still seems very unclear.

Some think its purpose is to showcase Carrara and attract new interested buyers. Others think it’s a fun exercise with no rules and you just do what’s fun. Others have their own ideas of plots that they want to pursue.

If the goal is to produce a movie that the audience will love, but NOT to produce what is, in effect, a commercial for Carrara, then the two approaches are vastly different. Or if the goal is to just do what’s fun, then that approach is also vastly different.

Yes, you always need a story to keep viewers interested. But a 30 second commercial ‘story’ is vastly different from a Dreamworks feature ‘story’, which is very different from a Pixar short ‘story’.

IMO, until a basic purpose, goals, and audience can be agreed upon, all other discussion is going to be scattered and directionless.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Age of Armour - 05 January 2013 02:52 PM

Just my 2 cents.

William

Two?
Wow you are a very affordable genius, if you ask me!
Thanks AoA
(Glad to see you back!)

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Posted: 05 January 2013 09:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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William—very constructive and helpful 2 cents. Many things in your comments make a lot of sense and lots of this should actually be a a template of things to do.

Joe- Indeed the discussion seems scattered and directionless but that’s not such a bad thing in the very very early steps of a community project. It would be different if JoeMamma2000 came here and said “guys I want you to make me my movie, here is the story , here are my goals , this is the audience. Everyone who works on it gets $50.00 -Thanks and I need it by tuesday”  indeed that would be focused and fully directed but not so much a community orientated project.

Out of this seemingly chaotic start————things will slowly grow to certain consensus. Many folks will have to bend a little or a lot on their ideas for sure and some folks may not participate for a myriad of reasons but hopefully enough folks want to do something special and a project is born.

I think there are going to be some polls set-up soon to help organize the flow a little and gain ground on finding our purpose , goals etc.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 09:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 05 January 2013 03:20 PM

~ snip snip ~
IMO, until a basic purpose, goals, and audience can be agreed upon, all other discussion is going to be scattered and directionless.

Absolutely.
I agree with both you and 3d view.
It really IS good to just have a free-flow hash-it-out with ideas discussion like this, but SOON is the best time to make the decisions that JM2k illustrates in his above post.

... the earlier thread on this topic had another great piece of experienced insight from JM2k, and I feel that this whole project will be best to pay attention to this stuff.

AoA, man… you really nailed it. Thanks.
Some of your outline will totally help me get more efficiency with my own movie series.
And I thought I already had all of my ‘t’s’ crossed! Damn you! lol

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Posted: 06 January 2013 12:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Hmm, yummy. This discussion is great food for thought. Age of Armor, I think you have given us some great ideas, thanks
so much for this incredible insight. Obviously, with a post like that, I dont care how far you try to run… YOU ARE IN THIS PROJECT. If you’ve got this many good ideas already, I cant imagine not having you around to advise us down the road.

I think we will do it exactly as you have described. Brilliant.

I really am getting excited for this. In just a few days we’ve gone from hopeless to quite hopeful, amazing what some occupation can do.
Yes, polls are coming, and now with the added considerations from AOA I expect some movement soon.

We are still waiting for some acknowledgement from Daz, so I want to keep our minds very open until we hear what they think. Thanks to Chohole and the moderation team for stepping in a little bit already, very much appreciated.

JoeMamma,
Yes, your observations are consistent with my own. I am assuming that for a few days lets just toss out all kinds iof crazy stuff, and take out pick fro the best idea from there.

Ideally, I would like to tell an engaging story, and to do so showing off the abilities of Carrara and of the community as animators. The reason why the story needs to appeal is because for a film to truly get attention it has to have a story that “transcends.” any one target audience. As AOA explained, the details of setting are essential, but what is more essential is the action that takes place, the “what.” Savvy CG artists will always be in editor mode when watching a film, appreciating all the technical stuff going on that novices and noin cg people wouldn’t even recognize.

I would like to think we could produce a Blender Sintel type animation, but alas, it remains to be seen iof we have the resources. This is the first year of the project, hopefully the process will be streamlined a bit next year.

Also, I should mention that Siggraph 2013 is in LA, around September or something. If we can get this thing more or less rendered by July, we can have it edited in time for siggraph. So there we have it. Let’s aim for completion about a month before siggraph.

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Posted: 06 January 2013 01:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Rashad Carter - 06 January 2013 12:24 AM

Hmm, yummy. This discussion is great food for thought. Age of Armor, I think you have given us some great ideas, thanks
so much for this incredible insight. Obviously, with a post like that, I dont care how far you try to run… YOU ARE IN THIS PROJECT. If you’ve got this many good ideas already, I cant imagine not having you around to advise us down the road.

I think we will do it exactly as you have described. Brilliant.

I really am getting excited for this. In just a few days we’ve gone from hopeless to quite hopeful, amazing what some occupation can do.
Yes, polls are coming, and now with the added considerations from AOA I expect some movement soon.

We are still waiting for some acknowledgement from Daz, so I want to keep our minds very open until we hear what they think. Thanks to Chohole and the moderation team for stepping in a little bit already, very much appreciated.

JoeMamma,
Yes, your observations are consistent with my own. I am assuming that for a few days lets just toss out all kinds iof crazy stuff, and take out pick fro the best idea from there.

Ideally, I would like to tell an engaging story, and to do so showing off the abilities of Carrara and of the community as animators. The reason why the story needs to appeal is because for a film to truly get attention it has to have a story that “transcends.” any one target audience. As AOA explained, the details of setting are essential, but what is more essential is the action that takes place, the “what.” Savvy CG artists will always be in editor mode when watching a film, appreciating all the technical stuff going on that novices and noin cg people wouldn’t even recognize.

I would like to think we could produce a Blender Sintel type animation, but alas, it remains to be seen iof we have the resources. This is the first year of the project, hopefully the process will be streamlined a bit next year.

Also, I should mention that Siggraph 2013 is in LA, around September or something. If we can get this thing more or less rendered by July, we can have it edited in time for siggraph. So there we have it. Let’s aim for completion about a month before siggraph.

Not to pop your bubble - but I think - Holly should be running THIS PROJECT .
She does this kind of thing - you don’t .
You know next to nothing about Carrara - don’t use it .
She does - and has been very helpful to many of us .

 

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