Building a Website

When it came to building my website i decided to go with Squarespace, for the simple reason that they had a basic theme i liked, and it was cheaper to buy a domain name i liked with them.

I ended up becoming…   emccdesign.net

I wanted to go with a very plain theme, as i knew my portfolio would be full of colour, and didn’t want to take away from that. When you first go onto my site it opens directly on my Portfolio as you can see in the Screenshot below…

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My Portfolio is categorised into folders such as ‘Renders’, ‘Character Design’, ‘Watercolour Work’ etc. This is makes it easier for anyone who wants to browse my work, but specifically one part of it.

Once a folder within the portfolio is clicked into, it will display them  in a scrolling system, as can be seen below…

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What i found most difficult about my website was writing my Bio. I am not a good writer, especially when having to talk about myself, but i did my best. I also inserted the same image of myself that has been used in my CV.

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The next page of my site is my CV. Writing a CV is not something ive ever been the best at, but after one of the talks we had with Greg, i had a fair idea of how i wanted to display it. I will discuss it further in the next blog post.

To Display my CV, i simply placed a jpeg image of it to take up most of the page, then at the right hand side i placed 3 buttons, so that the viewer can download my CV in either PSD, PDF or Word Doc format.

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The last two pages of my site are my ‘Showreel’ and my ‘Contact’ page. Which is pretty self explanatory. One simple has my video of my Showreel for the viewer to watch, and the other has a contact form to fill out along with my contact information.  This can be seen below…

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Animating Hank

YES… I, EMMA, AM ANIMATING!

When deadlines are 3 days away and there is still a small amount of shots to have animation fixes, there is no other option but to let the girl who can’t animate, get stuck in too.

Since first year, i have known i am not animator. I do not have the skill, patience or acting ability. My strengths lie within things like Concept art, character design, modelling and texturing.  In fact, other than making a camera move, i don’t think i have done any 3D animation since 2nd year. But nonetheless, duties call.

Luckily, my group also know and understand that animation is not one of my strengths. So Niamh sent me a basic walk cycle of Hank walking towards a tennis ball. My task was to give his face some emotion and expression. So that is what i have attempted to do.

In this piece of animation we wanted Hank to be moving so slowly that he actually looks down at his foot to watch as it lifts and drops back to the ground, and i feel that i managed to make him glance down and slowly move his head to the foot and back up to his natural pose quite successfully. (as successfully as a basic movement by a novice can be anyway) However, after this is where i struggled.

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Once he goes back to his natural pose, i wanted to show his expression change to explain that he has noticed the ball. I made his eyelids lift extremely wide, this gave the impression that his eyes actually enlarged. His mouth then slowly opens in a comical manner. I think this is…ok. But its the best i could achieve.

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Where i really struggled, came next. I wanted to show Hank look at the camera, and have his eyes quickly dart back and forth to the ball, to give the audience an idea of what he wants to do. However, my issue here was that because our turtle is in fact a turtle, thus PAINFULLY slow.  Do you animate the eyes moving as slow as his body moves? or animate them as normal?  Even when i animated it both ways, neither looked right to me.

 

After this part of the walk cycle it was back to basic walking, so i simply added it a few mouth movements and blinks. I also gave a slight rotation to the shell as his feet lift and drop. I am not happy with my animation, but i know its the best i can do under my time limit and limited practice.

Hank Walking

End Credits

We have discussed for a while that we want our end credits to tie in with our Movie Poster. The movie poster can be seen below…

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We aim to have this same white background in our end credits, the text will roll down the screen whilst Hank is moving about the screen dancing, trying to get a bone etc. We have took inspiration from the end credits of (one of my all time favourite shows) Bobs Burgers.

Bobs Burgers “Boyz 4 Life” End Credits

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Although we have not made our end credits yet, i took some rendered images that Shelley made and used them to create a false end credits image, so that we could see what it looked like, and understand the look we want to achieve.

Look 1.  This was my original idea, i liked the idea of the credits running down the centre of the screen as credits traditionally do. Whilst Hank appears from both sides of the a screen doing different things, such as fetching a bone etc.

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Look 2. This looks inspiration was directly pulled from ‘Bobs Burgers’ as can be seen in the beginning of this post.  The image (or piece of animation) is to the left of the screen, whilst the credits roll down the right hand side.

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Look 3. After showing the first two looks to Shelley and Niamh, they suggested that it may look nicer to move the text to the left, and have Hank come slowly creeping onto the screen from the right. A few weeks ago when we first got our Hank rig, Shelley decided to make a comical small piece of animation with Hank dancing, we are considering fixing up this piece of animation and having it play whilst the credits roll.

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I enjoy each of these credit ideas and am pleased that we have kept with a clean and simple idea. I feel it reflects Hanks intentions and the simplicity of our story.

 

Finding a Soundtrack

One of the main worries we have all had in the back of our minds,  was our film’s soundtrack. In our original animatics we had used the song ‘Best Friend” by Harry Nilsson.  However, we were told this song could not be used unless we got the rights.

I did some research and contacted the production company explaining we wished to use it for a non profit, non commercial, student project, and they got back to me telling me we could use the song…for £250. So that was a hard pass.

Over the past weeks i have spent a little time researching free music and sounds, which is hard when a lot of them just don’t suit. In the end i stumbled across a fantastic website, http://www.bensound.com. At ‘Bensound’ i ended up finding 3-4 options that could have worked and in the end we all knew that the song “Jazz Comedy” was the winner.

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The Final Animatic

Today we presented our final animatic, as in just two more weeks, we will be handing in our final film.

At this moment in time we have a lot of animation done, but no animation is completely final, and most still needs a lot of work. However, within the next week of hard work i don’t see this as being our biggest worry, i know we can do it and achieve it.

Our biggest worry at the moment is our scene has a lot of noise (which has finally been fixed in the past 24 hours)  and it takes a lot of time to render. Whilst Niamh and Shelley focus on animation, i will be focusing on researching baking lights, shadows and ambient occlusion.

Once i understand what i am doing, i will implement this research and add in our ‘god lights’ through the window from After Effects. This will effectively give us a much shorter render time.

Hank Animatic

The difference “Denoise” makes

After doing some research into how to apply ‘denoiser’ i decided to render a few frames to see how it reacted to our scene, as you can see below it has definitely made a difference.

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After…

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As you can see, the top image has a lot more ‘graininess’ and harshness that gives the impression that the room is foggy or dusty. However, once ‘denoiser’ is applied like in the bottom image, it has a much more smooth and clean appearance.

Overall i think this is a success and will definitely give our final film a lovely finish.

Denoising

To turn on Denoise go to…

render settings> renderman> denoise> choose frame or cross frame

Choosing Frame

Frame will automatically apply the settings needed. Since it is applied as a processing tool, you are required to batch render. It does not support interactive rendering.

Choosing Cross Frame

Cross Frame is better suited for animation sequences. Filtering takes into account the pixels from frames before and after the frame currently being rendered.

In the image below you can clearly see the difference denoising can make. Left being before, and right before after it has been applied.

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