Animation Club for Carrara , Week #2 - Spooky Hollow. Ready To watch..

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    mmoir said:

    wgdjohn, yes you are correct. The last panel should be #8

    Mike,  May I ask what program you used to create the Storyboard?  No need for an answer right away.

     

    mmoir said:

    Hey Dart, 

       Yes,you can start with whatever ones you feel comfortable doing. I would probably start with the easier ones first (1 &3) but that is just me.

    mmoir said:

    Hey DesertDude,  I will see what I can do with the cat when I am working on Panel #6 of the storyboard.  Again,  the cat looks great.

    With you doing #6, would it be wrong for me to start on 2 and 4? Since they kind of tie in with 6, did you want those, and have me start with 1, 3 and 5, then onto 7 if nobody else wants to do these things? Or am I jumping the gun a bit?

    Next on my agenda was going to be to start palying with the witch. See how well she works with the hat and cape. I want to try some dynamics to flow in the wind.

    Cool storyboard, by the way!

    Okay, I'm going to do both 1 and 3. Does anyone mind if I make it like a first-person, where some of the branches move as if the camera is seeing through the eyes of someone walking through the woods? I was also thinking of doing a bit of hand-held camera effect too.... (?)

    Sounds like cool idea.  I had thought about a 2nd title subtitle, like Part 2 like "Spooky Night - Don't Go Into the Woods at Night" or instead of at Night "After Dark".  I didn't mention it before since it was a bit long everyone seemed busy. No loss to me. Oooh a shorter one could be "Enter at Own Risk". Excuse my busy little mind.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    Excuse my busy little mind

    Keep coming up with ideas - it's healthy

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821

    Hey Dart, I will update the first post and add your name to animate panel 1 & 3.   Wow, dart you are ambitous.  

    DesertDude, just do your best .  I will play with the cat last on my scene 6 animation.

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821

    wgdjohn,  I used photopaint to create the storyboard . Far from ideal but it worked . I should create a blank story board with all the panels there but blank.  Maybe I will upload a blank storyboard for our next animation clubs animation.enlightened

    wgdjohn said:

    Mike,  May I ask what program you used to create the Storyboard?  No need for an answer right away.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2016

    Mike,  Darn... I would have used PageStream, I have Pro, for DTP... it can do text boxes and load graphics... I think that it will save as both .jpeg and .png. I could have imported an Illustrator or Postscript file. I've been thinking to create a page with preset boxes on it for text and places above them for the images. When/if I get it done I'll upload it to the Animation Club thread.

    Folks,  I just updated my welcome page at my website with a Halloween theme... go to Nevendöre Greetings page to see it... wasn't done in Carrara this year... currently I used a digital pic of our farm darkened in PSP, another digital pic for the sky, some clip art and then Javascript for the animation.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821

    wgdjohn,  cool opening page for your site.  Well done. 

    wgdjohn said:

    Mike,  Darn... I would have used PageStream, I have Pro, for DTP... it can do text boxes and load graphics... I think that it will save as both .jpeg and .png. I could have imported an Illustrator or Postscript file. I've been thinking to create a page with preset boxes on it for text and places above them for the images. When/if I get it done I'll upload it to the Animation Club thread.

    Folks,  I just updated my welcome page at my website with a Halloween theme... go to Nevendöre Greetings page to see it... wasn't done in Carrara this year... currently I used a digital pic of our farm darkened in PSP, another digital pic for the sky, some clip art and then Javascript for the animation.

     

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821

    I am waiting for a preliminary rendering of the scene 6 animation to finish and was thinking about the filesizes of the finished animation clilps at 1280x720,30fps.  These files are going to be huge and I don't know the best way to deal with uploading these movie clips for the person putting together the final video to use. (Dart.)

     I am thinking uploading compressed final videos(3-4mb) or the person who puts the final video together would have to render them all out .  (not ideal at all)  . If we use compressed finals for each  scene will the final finished video look okay?  I use Handbrake to reduce the final video down to a very useable filesize but from what I recall compressing a compressed file can make filesizes go up. 

    If anyone has any thoughts on this please let us know. 

    Thanks

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821

    Okay guys, here is a low res animation done at 6fps at 640X480.   I think I may reduce the number of leaves blowing and somehow light the cat a little more but other than that it is okay..  Once the howling wind sound and rustling leaves sounds get added I think it will look pretty good.   I also have to find a way to make it render a little quicker.  frown

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    Nice! Why don't you just put the file up and I'll render it! ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249
    edited October 2016

    Also, Antara put up some storyboard forms for the CCMP way back then Here

    I really don't see why we'd need to make our little club buy stroyboarding software - but that's my opinion.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    Nice! Why don't you just put the file up and I'll render it! ;)

    What I meant is that you could set the render room up how you'r like the final render to be, save it, and pass along the CAR file.I'll have to look into Handbrake some time. I save all of my animations to Full Frames, so they get quite large. Does Handbrake work on those as well?

  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 1,235
    edited October 2016
    mmoir said:

    Okay guys, here is a low res animation done at 6fps at 640X480.   I think I may reduce the number of leaves blowing and somehow light the cat a little more but other than that it is okay..  Once the howling wind sound and rustling leaves sounds get added I think it will look pretty good.   I also have to find a way to make it render a little quicker.  frown

    Looks great mmoir!

    I am just emerging from my Carrara cave here. I think I saw the cat in the foreground, so don't know if you need any more cat animation. After about 36 hours I managed to create a walk cycle that looks pretty awful...really stiff and like he's stepping over hot stones at the same time.  Well, anyway, a massive horizon to improve it , the model, how its articulated, the rig, argh, what have you all got me into now?  smiley

     

    Post edited by DesertDude on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    I had a cat that walked just like that!!! :D

    Nice job Man, stuff isn't easy, you know. There's a good reason I stick with purchased content - but I'm consistently impressed with what this community puts out! You guys amaze the heck out of me - always!!!

    I spent some time a while back (broke artist that I am) searching around for free quadruped animation files. I found a few... not sure where anymore. I don't usually use them as they are, but more as an assistant to get me started.

    Other times, like you're doing, I just start from scratch and go for it. When I do that, I always start off with Linear tweeners, so I get a clear representation of what really happens between major poses. Only then will I change some of them to Bezier, if that tweener helps me get what I want.

    GoFigure got me to start using Linear for their aniBlocks. I have a wonderful collection of those for my people. In my AniMating in Carrara I talk about using bits and pieces of aniBlocks, deleting the rest, and making NLA clips to store the results. Using Linear tweeners to tweak out my own actions between where I've deleted a bunch of frames has proven to work (for me) much better than constantly trying to counter the behavior of a Bezier curved interpolation. 

    Okay, now I'm getting too deep! Your animation is fine! It really is!

    Animation is something I can ramble on and on about without actually ever saying anything that anyone else can understand in the end! LOL   But I can say that I've learnt a LOT from loading other animated pose files and aniBlocks, and looking closely at Everything going on all over the figure - which led me to write Carranimation Part 1 - Rotation of the Hip

    Endeavoring to make semi realistic movies can be maddening ad rewarding at the same time!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    In case I've babbled too much... I just always like to help anyone looking for ideas in animating.

    But I'd really like to point out that I really do like the animation you've made for that cat!!! Very nice job on the whole thing!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    Would you be willing to share the animated cat file?

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Mike, Looks very good so far.  Would 1024x768 make the size more manageable?  Below are a few suggestions... I've no idea if they are doable or how good they might work.

    IMO... there are too many leaves blowing over entire screen... they need to be lower blowing leaves which do not cover the moon/cat or witch... probably ankle or thigh height would be better. I barely made out the scene. Also perhaps the branches/trees moving/swaying could be cut down which should also make the file size smaller. I'd not pictured such a strong wind...could trees not move but only a "few" branches slightly?  Regarding lighting... I would add 1 or 2 lights, spot?, for the cat, one behind and a bit above to make moonlight glisten off of cat outline, top of head/back/tale... possibly one in front at "very" low setting to bring up a tad but no light in front will likely work. Only time that I noticed the witch was near end... walking across corridor opening of trees... might add another spot light, from above/behind, for witch like for cat for highlight. For each light cat/witch I would have them only shine on each only... perhaps broom also... whatever works. Regarding "render time"... I'm sure you know this but turn off any render settings which don't effect the render. I do turn on gamma correction set at 2.2... "Compatibility Shadows" mode I leave off since it does take a long time... I've never seen any positive results that having it on creates.

    Silly me... all the above is easily said for someone who does so little animation.  Wish I could help in that aspect... perhaps one day. For that matter I've only recently, last winter, been learning Carrara render settings and much more. I thank Phil Wilkes, mmoir, Dartanbeck and many many more for what I do know.

    Thanks for the compliment about my website's "welcome" page.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    For that, I suppose I could diminish the leaves as we get further into the scene... but with the wind gust sound, I like the leaves blowing heavily at the beginning. Heck, I like the whole thing!

    The witch comes in around 17:00, where we might want to have her a little closer - and either extend the scene to show a bit more of an entrance, or just have her come in a little earlier. 

    It's tough. We need to see those leaves at the beginning - or even start blowing around just shortly after the beginning of this cut... 

    we also need to be able to get a good focus on the skeleton and the cauldron - which I think we have already... but if we calm the leaves - at least for a second or two, we might get a better look at the cauldron.

    So we could:

    • Halt the blowing leaves at the start of this 20 second shot
    • Start them blowing around at second 02:00 - just as they are now
    • Get the camera into the clearing a second or two earlier
    • Halt the blowing leaves upon reaching the clearing - to be picked back up at the very end
    • As we get a good view of the scene in the clearing, a mighty witch's cackle draws our attention the the incoming witch foreshadowing the moon
    • Perhaps lower the moon in the sky to the top third of the screen to make the witch's approach easier to catch our eye
    • Perhaps also hold the camera for another second or two to allow the witch to draw even closer than she currently does

    If (if) we wish to make these (or other) changes to the scene, I'd be happy to perform the tweaks if you wanted to go ahead and start on Panel 8?

    Just an offer ;)

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311

    Updated cat rig

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7907045/Cat_G6_rigged.car

    rescaled the model to "roughly" cat size

    Re-rigged,. with contraints,. (probably not correct limits)

    Rebuilt morphs for the Eyes closed,. and individual Left / Right eyeclose / wink/blink.

    changed the default model with the mouth open, and added a morph for Mouth open. and a slightly more open screamy mouth

    Added morphs for eyes (look left / right / Up / Down)

     

    catrig.jpg
    1625 x 944 - 247K
  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 1,235

    I had a cat that walked just like that!!! :D

    Nice job Man, stuff isn't easy, you know. There's a good reason I stick with purchased content - but I'm consistently impressed with what this community puts out! You guys amaze the heck out of me - always!!!

    I spent some time a while back (broke artist that I am) searching around for free quadruped animation files. I found a few... not sure where anymore. I don't usually use them as they are, but more as an assistant to get me started.

    Other times, like you're doing, I just start from scratch and go for it. When I do that, I always start off with Linear tweeners, so I get a clear representation of what really happens between major poses. Only then will I change some of them to Bezier, if that tweener helps me get what I want.

    GoFigure got me to start using Linear for their aniBlocks. I have a wonderful collection of those for my people. In my AniMating in Carrara I talk about using bits and pieces of aniBlocks, deleting the rest, and making NLA clips to store the results. Using Linear tweeners to tweak out my own actions between where I've deleted a bunch of frames has proven to work (for me) much better than constantly trying to counter the behavior of a Bezier curved interpolation. 

    Okay, now I'm getting too deep! Your animation is fine! It really is!

    Animation is something I can ramble on and on about without actually ever saying anything that anyone else can understand in the end! LOL   But I can say that I've learnt a LOT from loading other animated pose files and aniBlocks, and looking closely at Everything going on all over the figure - which led me to write Carranimation Part 1 - Rotation of the Hip

    Endeavoring to make semi realistic movies can be maddening ad rewarding at the same time!

    Thanks Dartanbeck for the kind words of encouragement. I have very little experience animating, especially figures and living things. Seems like another art that requires a near lifetime to study. I will check out your threads, I know I have seen references to them sprinkled throughout the forums, so, thanks! You can never babble too much or get in too deep, any and all info and references are appreciated.  smiley

     

    Would you be willing to share the animated cat file?


    Sure, with a thousand apologetic explanations. I did consult the almighty Google and looked at various cat rigs and YouTube videos to get started. Right off the bat my model wasn't properly modeled to bend or walk naturally like a cat without breaking it. And the Target Helpers I think turned out to be an unnecessary added layer of complexity, but mid disaster I recalled reading somewhere they can help keep feet pinned to the ground or something, so I had the IK goals track target helpers but in retrospect I don't think that was needed. Yeah, I used linear tweeners - I didn't even get into any refinement with the graph editor. And pay no attention to the mislabeled bone names - they were pretty arbitrary just looking at illustrations of cat skeletons...

    I'll consult some of your threads and topics and probably start a new model now that I have some idea of where I went wrong. Also experiment with rigs and IK with just bones to start. Also Constraints confuse me. Heck it all confuses me! Lol!

    zip
    zip
    cat_animation_002.car.zip
    153K
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 21,249

    Those are offered according to John's coments, however.

    IMHO, the scene looks fantastic as it is - knowing that the above "Better View" of everything will come in Panel 8, just before the Witch attacks us! :D

    The only thing for me is that the scene we're being drawn to is so far to the bottom of the screen, then the moon is high to the top of the screen, with the far away witch just starting to show in the final three seconds - far away from where our eyes are being trained to look.

    However, as the scene is progressing, according to the storyboard, we'll still be 'hearing' the witch's approach so we'll kind of already be knwoing of her coming. Sound will make a HUGE difference.

    So with all of that said - and this being an incredibly short, fun project... I'm delighted with the panel scene as is.

  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 1,235
    wgdjohn said:

     Regarding lighting... I would add 1 or 2 lights, spot?, for the cat, one behind and a bit above to make moonlight glisten off of cat outline, top of head/back/tale... possibly one in front at "very" low setting to bring up a tad but no light in front will likely work. Only time that I noticed the witch was near end... walking across corridor opening of trees... might add another spot light, from above/behind, for witch like for cat for highlight. For each light cat/witch I would have them only shine on each only... perhaps broom also... whatever works.

    I think these are good suggestions, also knowing these are just tests at the moment. I tried a few things to lighten the scene while keeping it dark. But first, I apologize for the weird render artifacts, I didn't even notice the first few times I opened the scene, but strangely some elements are rendering invisible and cutting and clipping out objects in the scene. I tried turning everything off one by one, but to no avail, so, maybe it's because I'm still using Carara 8.1? I don't  know what I am missing, but anyway, aside from that, I turned off the realistic sky and added a bi gradient to the background. I then turned the moonlight into a regular distant light, and added a light dome of 30 replicated distant lights, bluish color (R=69 G=11 B=240), no cast shadows, value 12% with a point modifier to the middle of the scene and excluded some objects from that light dome.

    gradient_sky.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 55K
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311

    Mike,. that quick pre-vis looks fine,. the camera motion is perhaps a little bit slow right now

    Motion blur on the leaves,. should help too,.

    John,. if you model a little leaf (or load one from the browser) add that to a particle system, set to emit particles from the ground object,. then set up a flow force to make the leaves move around in the wind.

     

    I've been playing around with the title idea , with metaball particles.

    titles4_020.png
    1280 x 720 - 182K
    titles1_070.png
    1280 x 720 - 197K
    titles2_070.png
    1280 x 720 - 275K
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311

    For compression,. H264 Mp4 for the final youtube  , and wherever possible,.keep uncompressed working images,. Zip them as sequences, or something like quicktime .Mov files with alpha,.  

    I can upload any sequences or clips I make to my Dropbox account, then Dart, or whoever is compositing/editing can download from there. 

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821
    edited October 2016

     It is a little robotic but the timing of the feet look great and the tail is nice too. I am sue you learned lots doing this ,nice work.  For scene 6 what I have is fine I think . 

    mmoir said:

    Okay guys, here is a low res animation done at 6fps at 640X480.   I think I may reduce the number of leaves blowing and somehow light the cat a little more but other than that it is okay..  Once the howling wind sound and rustling leaves sounds get added I think it will look pretty good.   I also have to find a way to make it render a little quicker.  frown

    Looks great mmoir!

    I am just emerging from my Carrara cave here. I think I saw the cat in the foreground, so don't know if you need any more cat animation. After about 36 hours I managed to create a walk cycle that looks pretty awful...really stiff and like he's stepping over hot stones at the same time.  Well, anyway, a massive horizon to improve it , the model, how its articulated, the rig, argh, what have you all got me into now?  smiley

     

     

    Post edited by mmoir on
  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821
    edited October 2016

    3dage,  I did the leaves as you described and I will look at blurring the leaves.  I am always thinking of render times so I am leary of adding complexity to the leaves.    Your title looks awesome.yes The third one looks really nice. 

    3DAGE said:

    Mike,. that quick pre-vis looks fine,. the camera motion is perhaps a little bit slow right now

    Motion blur on the leaves,. should help too,.

    John,. if you model a little leaf (or load one from the browser) add that to a particle system, set to emit particles from the ground object,. then set up a flow force to make the leaves move around in the wind.

     

    I've been playing around with the title idea , with metaball particles.

     

    Post edited by mmoir on
  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821

    Hey Dart,   The changes you suggest to make do make sense but I think we have to speed up the creation of the scenes. I will see how quick this renders out at the larger size but I think I will move on to the next panel, not sure which yet.   I will upload the scene 6 carrara file shortly. 

    For that, I suppose I could diminish the leaves as we get further into the scene... but with the wind gust sound, I like the leaves blowing heavily at the beginning. Heck, I like the whole thing!

    The witch comes in around 17:00, where we might want to have her a little closer - and either extend the scene to show a bit more of an entrance, or just have her come in a little earlier. 

    It's tough. We need to see those leaves at the beginning - or even start blowing around just shortly after the beginning of this cut... 

    we also need to be able to get a good focus on the skeleton and the cauldron - which I think we have already... but if we calm the leaves - at least for a second or two, we might get a better look at the cauldron.

    So we could:

    • Halt the blowing leaves at the start of this 20 second shot
    • Start them blowing around at second 02:00 - just as they are now
    • Get the camera into the clearing a second or two earlier
    • Halt the blowing leaves upon reaching the clearing - to be picked back up at the very end
    • As we get a good view of the scene in the clearing, a mighty witch's cackle draws our attention the the incoming witch foreshadowing the moon
    • Perhaps lower the moon in the sky to the top third of the screen to make the witch's approach easier to catch our eye
    • Perhaps also hold the camera for another second or two to allow the witch to draw even closer than she currently does

    If (if) we wish to make these (or other) changes to the scene, I'd be happy to perform the tweaks if you wanted to go ahead and start on Panel 8?

    Just an offer ;)

     

  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821
    edited October 2016

    Okay , here is the carrara file for the Scene 6 panel .  Hopefully the forums here allow a fairly large zip file (30mb),  no go . I guess I will upload a link  shortly.

    Here is the Scene6 carrara file.  I may condense the animation a bit like 3dage suggested which would make the camera movement a little faster, right now it runs from 0-20seconds.

     

    I just did a test render using "blur" on the leaves and it was 44seconds a frame with the leaves blowing around. This time is not bad but still works out to 7.33 hours to render out the animation at 1280x720 at 30fps.  The beginning frames should render quicker. 

    Post edited by mmoir on
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,311

    Desert Dude :)

    maybe it's because I'm still using Carara 8.1

    They added "fast mip map" as the default for Texture map setting,.  

    it looks like some of the tree's may have texture maps which aren't loading correctly in 8.1

    have a look in the shader room ,. see if it's using a texture and try changing the setting to "sampling"

    Nice work on the Cat walk cycle animation, .. try using bezier tweeners,  it may help, but it's a matter of adjusting keyfames until it looks right.

    the bad news is that I've changed your rig,. sorry :)

    but,. they say,.. the more you do it, the easier it gets.

    they also say,... you'll go blind if you do it too much.

    I'm not sure which to believe,. but it's getting blurry and dark

     

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2016

    Oh... noooo.... for me to attempt Panel 8 I'd hold the project up until late Nov or Dec.  Judging from how well The Final Gesture worked out, very well, I'm sure this one will look even better... after all Dart's animations are always fun to watch.  Ignore my crazy suggestions.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • mmoirmmoir Posts: 821

    Dart,  have you started rendering any of the final animation you were working on?   I just started rendering out the scene 6 final and switched to 24 fps but kept the size of1280x720.  Let me know if you are okay with rendering at 24fps for the final animations. 

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