Reducing Noise in Renderman

Now that we are finalising scenes and completing animation, we need to make sure that the scenes are at the best render quality they can be. We have realised that some of our shots have quite a bit of noise, so i have done some research to try and solve the issue.

To help reduce noise in Renderman use tools like…

  • AOV’s
  • Sampling and Integrator Choices
  • Statistics Output

After doing some research i have discovered that our main noise issue is Uniform Monte- Carlo (MC) Noise and High Variance Noise. 

We can reduce the render time by….

  • Reducing the number of Pixels: either render at a lower res or by using crop regions
  • Keeping polycount as low as possible
  • Reducing the number of samples: improve areas hard to sample or lower the target quality
  • Spend time choosing Pixel Variance . Rendertime increases with decreasing Pixel Variance. Find one that is of acceptable quality without blowing up your rendertime. Have at roughly 0.01 or larger.
  • Set minSamples and maxSamples to 16
  • Can help to change sub surface scattering to a Diffuse as this should give less noise

Denoiser

Applying denoiser to a very noisy area can result in blurred details. This is why it is best to only apply denoiser once all these previous steps have already been taken.

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Character Movement

As previously mentioned, our character is a turtle, and his goal and dream is to be a dog. This does not change the fact he is a turtle. Therefore, even though he going to be attempt dog actions and poses, it is still a very slow, clunky turtle.

This is were our gags come into play, we want to show the turtle doing many different activities such as…

  • peeing against a flower pot, the joke being that he will begin peeing before he leg is even fully off the ground, and by the time his leg is fully elevated, he will have long finished peeing, then lose his balance and full fall onto his back/shell.

 

  • Waiting at the front door for the postman, waiting on the post to fall through the letterbox, onto for it to be a small parcel that completely knocks down the turtle

 

  • Going to play fetch, with very VERY slow movements in ‘running poses’, he will move maybe 1 inch, only for the ball to go flying past him in a split second.

All these gags will be played out whilst we can still hear the voice of the TV Advert saying things like “A dog will get your mail for you….a dog loves nothing more than to play fetch….No need to worry about the dog leaving a mess, they can easily do their business outside!”

We took inspiration for this from one of the first scenes in Disney Pixar’s “Up” When young Carl is pretending to be Charles Muntz, as you can see in the film linked below…

“He goes around Mount Everest”

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-13-56-19

Due to the fact our turtle is not a dog, and is in fact, a turtle, we need him to have very slow comical actions, the first thing that came to mine and Niamh’s minds is the Sloths from “Zootopia/Zooptropolis” , they are exaggerated in slowness to the point that it is so ridiculous that it is funny, this something we hope to achieve if the timing is thought out and planned correctly.

Zootopia Sloth Scene

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-14-02-24

Interview with Disney Legend, Joanna Romersa

A skype call interview i did with Joanna Romersa about Women in the Animation Pipeline and what has changed over the years. I later typed up for anyone who is interested.

  1. You started your career in the inking and painting department of Disney, despite the obvious sexism of the job, was it an enjoyable experience? Did you always yearn to do more?

Well it really wasn’t very enjoyable in the beginning because it was really, pretty boring. They made me draw circles and loops and ovals and landing of a plane and taking off and gliding with the pen. It was really boring, and I almost quit, because I thought I can’t just do this. A dear friend of mine later said “Just sit down, shut up and learn it, and you’ll have a job for the rest of your life” and little did I know, just how true It was.

 

  1. Was it after sneaking into the animation building (and being caught my Walt) that your desire to animate grew, or was it always there?

No, I had no intention of animating when I started, it was just all kind of a fluke, but as I progressed as an inker and it was no longer a challenge, I realised that I needed to do something else. I actually asked the production manager if I could indeed train as an inbetweener and he said “no, because you are a woman you are going to go away and get married and have babies and never come back, and we invest too much time and money into your training and it would be for nothing, therefore you are delegated to the ink and paint department, or you could be a checker if you choose.” But that really was not interesting at all to me, and so shortly after that I left.

 

 

  1. What was it that made you decide to finally leave Disney and move to Hanna Barbara whilst studying?

Well, I didn’t go directly to Hanna Barbara, I took time off to have my son and I worked for a independent ink and paint company that inked commercials. We did the very successful commercials of the day, like ‘The Bank of America’, ‘The Western Airline’ and things, and it was a good entering job for me because I could work at home a lot of the time. Then as Joe (her son) grew, and was able to go to nursery school and kindergarten and what have you, that was when I went to Hanna Barbara.

 

  1. In relation to a man, were your wages equal? In recent years has this changed? Do you feel that the wage you were paid fairly represented the amount of work produced? Do you feel that it was enough money to live off.

For the time it was enough money to live on, and yes I was paid the same proportion to a man, because it was ‘union’. There were stipulations as to what your salary would be. You had automatic pay raises in the beginning, an inbetweener would be paid so much and an apprentice or whatever, And then you would skip to a different place in the system and you would be at the bottom of the barrel again. And you would have to go through the progression of pay raises, eventually, by the time I had gone through all of the stages of assistance animation, they made me an animator. So then I started at the bottom again, but it was quite a bit more money at that time. It was very comfortable.

 

  1. In more recent years of your long career, it appears that you have had the role of ‘timing director’ what exactly does that role entail and what led you to that job?

 

When the animation was being shipped over seas to Australia and Taiwan and the Philippines, there was no longer a job for Animators, so timing directing came in as a way to fill in the jobs for the animators that were still there at Hanna Barbara. And a timing director charts how on the timing sheet how many drawings it will take for a given action. We work with the storyboard. In the old days we didn’t have what they call ‘quicktime’ that they use now. We just used the storyboard and a thing we called ‘slug’ and each of the panels of the storyboard were designated an amount of feet and frames, footage written onto the exposure sheet, and that exposure sheet then followed the storyboard and the soundtrack too the animator. Also the dialogue was written on the exposure sheet and Bill Hannah was the one that invented the idea of mouth charts, and mouth charts were A, B, C, D, E, F and that indicated a closed mouth, a slightly open mouth, a wide open mouth and ‘Ooo’ sound. And because we spoke English, many of the places that the animation was sent too had absolutely no idea what that dialogue represented, so these letters would phonetically explain the sounds so that they would animate that the picture of the mouth witch would then of course bond to the soundtrack.

 

  1. In an industry swarming with men, what made you decide that this was what you wanted to do, and in fact something you as a woman COULD do?

Because it paid well, and all of the directors and producers were men and again the pay scale went up the higher you went up on the totem pole, so to speak. And since I was going to be spending all my time there, I just assumed make more money, and more interesting jobs, because the director does direct but he or she may influence the actors to annunciate certain dialogues, certain expressions and It was basically just more interesting. The industry swarming with men…well they kind of nice men, haha. I didn’t really suffer from being one of the only women in the building, but some people were real jerks, but for the most part they were friends of mine, and they helped me. It was hard wok, and that’s what it took, I think for any struggling artist or someone who is trying to get into the business, don’t think its going to be easy, because its not. Its going to take a lot of patience and a lot of hard work and I think one of the reasons I did succeed was that I was just very stubborn and I wouldn’t accept ‘no’. Many times I had to go around it because I was a woman. You can’t really confront somebody who is your boss, I did that once and I realised it really didn’t work. If your determined and you want to do it, you can do it. You just have to be smart about it and go for it, and if it doesn’t work for you do something else.

 

  1. Do you feel that being a woman has ever been a factor that has held you back or slowed you down in progressing through your career?

Oh yeah, in the beginning. They really didn’t want me in there because it really was like an ‘old boys club’ and I couldn’t talk about guns and cowboys and whatever else, haha…fishing gear etc. But it didn’t bother me, if the conversation turned to something I wasn’t interested in I just either left the room or shut up. In the beginning they just said “no, you can’t” but because technically the business changed because inkers were women but when the Xerox machine came in, that left room for us to excel or go back into Xerox or go ahead into animation. It was a good opportunity and they did accept women as assistant animators so when you became an assistant animator, that meant you eventually became an animator. So that was a door that opened naturally.

 

 

  1. What advice would you give to young women trying to get into the industry?

First of all, most of the studios nowadays demand a college education, and education is going to make you a broader person, through the years do better without, but initially if you want to get into a major studio they are going to look for that degree. So go to college, get your degree, major in film, or art or literature that will aid you. Always remember no matter how pretty the picture, if you don’t have a good story you don’t have anything.

 

  1. When starting your family, did you find it was difficult to remain in the industry?

I worked from home and It was no problem as long as I did my job and met my deadlines it was fine. I have to tell you, sometimes I worked very late at night because I was taking care of kids during the day, but because I could work at home, I had a salary, you just do it. I think it would have been easier if I didn’t have my children but that would not have worked, haha. I am glad I did have them.

 

  1. Discussing the topic of sexism and inequality, is there anything you would like to add?

Well, nowadays…I don’t know. The role between men and women is pretty much equal. I don’t really think, well…yeah if you get an old guy that’s just hard nosed about it then you might have a little bit of trouble. But for the most part the world is changing and its changing for the good as far as equality is concerned. I think just to be smart, considerate, to go for the opportunity when you see it. If you see something isn’t working don’t just sit there, and don’t become obnoxious about it, you back up and you find another avenue. Be persistent and go for it, pursue your dreams whatever they are.

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Inspiration From Animated Films

Since we are planning to create a world from foods, we thought it would be best to start taking inspiration from films that give off the general style we are aiming for, take for example the ‘bread and butterflies’ from Alice in Wonderland, obviously we won’t be using them, but something really nice like this would be great to think of, not only is it a cool creature but it’s a play on words.

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For the city/town world/scenes id like to create i have took inspiration from the architecture of the buildings in ToonTown in Disney World which are heavily inspired from 2d animations where they over exaggerated shapes, lines and curves to create the worlds we know and love, below is Micky Mouses house.

5436150387_e3ec304e1a22Mickey's-Toontown-FairIMG_2561

As a child i loved Dr Seuss Books and when i first saw The Grinch (2000) it amazed me that there actually was people and buildings in the same style that was illustrated in the books i loved as a child, looking at images from Seuss Landing in Universal Studio shows this style well.

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ToonTown also has many buildings and streets created, It isn’t that we want to create a world thats wacky like this, but incorporate and the shapes and styles used when creating things from sweets and food things.

Disneyland2009_pano04_ToonTown.1200??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? more-toon-town-you-just-cant-get-enough-disneyland-resort-14094078-1280-1024Seuss_Landing  Toontown-sign

Looking at scenes from ‘The Lorax’ A Dr Seuss book that got turned into the 2012 film of the same name, really inspires me, looking at the image below, imagine those fluffy trees were made from candy floss or hard candy lollipops, imagine all those little leaves of the ground are made from shiney sweetie wrappers and imagine those rolling hill’s where made from cakes, ice cream and other delicious mountains of goodies, it would be an amazing scene to see and is something i really want to capture withen this project.truffula-trees-lorax

Sugar Rush

Once we decided to focus on creating a world from food one of the first thing’s we thought of for inspiration was ‘Sugar Rush’ the fictional game world from ‘Wreck It Ralph’ (2012).

It is a world made entirely of sweets, mainly american based sweets, such as oreos and laffy taffies.

Sugar-rush

Sugar Rush kept to a colour scheme of mainly pink’s with some browns, the world was depicted to be mainly made of chocolate, candy floss, strawberry milkshakes etc.

There is a volcano in the world shaped like a coke bottle and they even state that it is coke, and when Mento’s fall in that’s what causes the eruption.

Sugar_Rush_Diet_Cola_Mountain

Using straws as tree stumps, gum drops as  stepping stones, the lake, the ground it could be anything which really add’s to the open idea of creating our own idea of making worlds from food.

sugar-rush-background

Essay Plan

Title: Comparing the Female Lead in Western and Eastern Animation

 Introduction

 

  • Explaining title
  • Why I feel passionately about this
  • Why I feel it is important to write this essay
  • What I plan to discuss and why

Discussing Walt Disney Studio’s

 

  • Begin with ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’ (1937): Discuss plot and what purpose Snow White actually had to her own story, who was the hero and who was the villain. What message does this send to women?
  • Move on to the next Disney Princess film, ‘Cinderella’ (1950: Came over a decade later, was there much difference? Did she have more importance to her own film?
  • Skip ahead to the 80’s and 90’s and discuss ‘The Little Mermaid’ (1989) and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1991)- discuss what has changed in this films, if anything.
  • Fast forward to 2010 onwards with films such as ‘Brave’ (2012) and ‘Frozen’ (2013) where we see a much more drastic change in the female lead.
  • Discuss why I think this has changed looking at time period, culture and how gender equality has changed most drastically in the last twenty years.

 

Discussing Studio Ghibli

 

  • Discuss ‘Castle in the Sky’ (1986), Studio Ghibli’s first film, discuss what purpose Princess Sheeta to her own story, possibly compare this to Snow White?
  • Discuss ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ (1988), and the two main characters, children, Satsuki and Mei.
  • Discuss ‘Spirited Away’ (2001) and the main character Chihiro and what purpose she has to her own story.
  • Fast forward to 2013 and compare Frozen and/or Brave to ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’ (2013)

 

Compare both Studio’s

 

  • Compare both studio’s first off looking at the female characters and their looks, body image and age’. Then discuss the importance they have to the story plot they are involved in.
  • Look at cultural movements of that time and discuss if this reflects in the movies.
  • Discuss why western films characters are usually between the ages of 16 and 18 and why Eastern film usually have children between the ages of 4 and 12.

 

What Message Does this Send?

 

  • What do young children say these films messages send?
  • What do grown women feel the message is that these films send?
  • What do men think?
  • What do the directors and writers of the films say the message is?
  • What do I think?

 

Conclusion

 

  • What message have I gotten across?
  • Do I think film has changed through time?
  • Will it?
  • Does there need to be change?
  • What can we take away from this?