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Artwork => Finished Works and Works in Progress => Topic started by: thecolclough on August 18, 2008, 04:13:28 pm

Title: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: thecolclough on August 18, 2008, 04:13:28 pm
hi all
i've just started work on a new CGI short film called The Machine And I - it's going to be a bit more arty and metaphorical, and maybe more soul-baring, than any of my previous Anim8or output, and i'm expecting it to take at least a year to produce.  i plan to do at least 90% of the modelling and animation in anim8or, but i might end up using a different modelling program for the small bits of organic stuff which will appear towards the end of the film, and i might end up picking a different program to render the scenes.  i'll see how things go before finalising any non-anim8or software choices.

anyway, it begins with a sequence called 'The Factory', where we see the final stages of construction and activation of the utilitarian vehicles, one of which is the focus of the movie.  unlike some previous projects, i've decided to start at the beginning on this one, and so far, i've nearly finished modelling and animating the first two shots, except for the vehicles themselves, which are still represented by simple green stand-ins in the attached renders.

the second still took about 16 minutes to render with scanline, using a single local light casting non-soft raytraced shadows, so i'm not sure if i'll be able to get away with using shadows, as the movie should be several minutes long, and the shadows would just make the render times an absolute killer.  if anybody knows a good rendering program which can handle animations from anim8or (not just stills), and is significantly faster than the anim8or scanline renderer, then i'd love to hear about it!

well, that's all for now, i think.  i'll be posting more WIP renders on this thread, maybe also wireframes, and perhaps the odd question, as the project progresses.

also hoping to release my previous CGI short on youtube sometime later this week.

- colclough
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: Tanzim on August 19, 2008, 12:35:23 am
Detailed and looks awesome!
Though those cart things could do with some detail.

Good luck though.
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: spicy on August 19, 2008, 02:26:14 pm
Sounds ace and good luck, love the modelling!
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: almost cool on August 21, 2008, 07:26:07 pm
lovely,cant wait!
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: 3D Joe Wiltshire on August 21, 2008, 09:48:07 pm
Those scenes look very professional.
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: thecolclough on September 04, 2008, 11:29:41 pm
thanks for the comments, guys :)

tanzim - the 'cart things' are just placeholders, and will eventually be replaced with much more detailed vehicle models.  the weird greeny colour is to make them stand out, so it's obvious when i look at the scene what's placeholder and what's final.

anyways, an update!  i've started work on the third shot.  the modelling and animation for it are nowhere near done, but i made this test render anyway, and i thought it looked quite atmospheric, so i decided to share it with y'all, even though the finished version will probably look a lot different.

- colclough
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: ENSONIQ5 on September 06, 2008, 12:53:45 am
This is really excellent work colclough.  I love the industrial feel, and the "accuracy" of the fabrication, as well as the apparent sensitivity to mechanical principles.  The dark moody lighting works particularly well, as do the dramatic camera angles which show off the receding geometric perspective and transport the viewer directly into the scene.  I don't have any crits yet, just a gentle warning that these sort of complex models can reach a very high poly count, and if rendering with shadows and anti-aliasing the render time can get astoundingly long.

I love the fact that you are willing to take on a project that you know will take at least a year, and from your previous efforts I have no doubt that you will stick at it.  My only disappointment is that I will have to wait that long to see the finished piece!
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: onespirit5777 on September 06, 2008, 04:01:33 pm
Render one with shadows just to see how it looks - For us I mean. I bet it will take a long time with all that detail.

That is some really good work and I can't wait to see the finished work.

Using a local light gives it a mysterious look and keeps your attention.
Title: Re: The Machine And I - title shot update
Post by: thecolclough on September 08, 2008, 08:31:28 pm
ensoniq - thank you for your kind words.  very encouraging.  i have experimented with shadow renders, and the frames are taking about 15 minutes each, with a single light casting hard raytrace shadows.  i did try, once or twice, to render with volume shadows, and it only took about 42 seconds to render one of the same frames that took 15 minutes with raytrace shadows... but it had that all-too-familiar old glitch, with the render looking like somebody had scraped a handful of nails across it, so i can't use it.  i have to say, if i could pick just one thing which i would most want to see in the next anim8or update, i'd say "fix the volume shadows!!" without a moment's hesitation.  *hint hint, if you're reading this, Steve...*

onespirit - i've done a still render with soft shadows, mainly because you asked nicely ;)  it took 77 minutes, so there's no way i'll be using soft shadows in the actual film!  it'd take a few years to do the rendering :P

anyway, latest news: as you can see from the attached render, i've been making some more progress with that title shot.  there's still quite a bit more to go, however.  i need to build the bits of machinery which will perform the final touches in the vehicle's construction process, and of course build the vehicle itself, before i can say this shot is done.

in case anybody's wondering: the chicken wire panels are each a single quad poly, with the same bitmap (made in Paint) used as both Bump and Trans maps.  I can post it on the forum for free download if anyone wants it :)

- colclough
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: Tanzim on September 10, 2008, 11:58:18 am
Steve released 0.97c today so that line problem might go away, you might want to try it.

Anyways, OMG, that is awesome, one of the best, if not the best works I have seen done with Anim8or!
How long did this take you to make?

Edit: remembered the heroes project by pscheunemann.
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: headwax on September 14, 2008, 10:56:23 am
Professional work as always thecolclough


You really make the best of this wonderful programe.
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: falloffalot on September 14, 2008, 02:17:55 pm
Out of curiosity what size did you start modeling at?
I started "get tanked" comp on AnimAnon apart from my laptop going bang I made the model so big it wouldn't scale down without my computer crashing.
Looks great BTW
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: thecolclough on September 15, 2008, 01:10:10 pm
once again, thanks for the positive feedback, guys :)

Steve released 0.97c today so that line problem might go away, you might want to try it.
i did try it, but it looks like steve's disabled volumetric shadows altogether in 0.97c... ::)

Out of curiosity what size did you start modeling at?
the first thing i made was the green boxes, which were the same size as i planned to make the vehicles, 100 Anim8or Units long front-to-back, 50 AU wide, and 30 high.  i wanted to make the tunnels and cages first, but i needed a reference object the same size as the vehicles, so i could build the cages and things to fit around it; that's why i've got the green blocks.  if you look at the second render on the original post, you can see that the girder tunnel is in sections, each of those is 300 AU.  so far, i haven't had any issues with Z-far limits, although that might start happening when i build stuff for the later scenes in the film...

anyway, i've developed the three scenes quite a bit more now, although they're all still incomplete.  i've attached an unlit (figure mode, perspective view) render of the developing vehicle model.  i'll probably post some updated versions of the scene-mode stills later on.

- colclough
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: thecolclough on February 03, 2009, 09:45:55 pm
wow, that was an epic thread bump!  i rediscovered this at the bottom of page 11...  anyway, i have a good reason for bumping, so please don't bite my head off ;D

and the reason is... i've been making progress!  albeit very slowly.  i'm going to revise my completion time estimate from 'a year' to 'a few years', but on the bright side, the project is still alive.  i've nearly finished all the sets and props modelling for the opening scene (just one more bit of equipment and a section of roadway and wall left to go), i've pretty much finished animating the first 3 shots, and the vehicle now looks a lot more respectable.

the attached still is the latest render of the main title shot (i temporarily hid the title text to show off the modelling better), and if you compare it to the previous posts, you can see a major advance in the set modelling and in the state of the vehicle.  i basically just need to get the aforementioned bit of equipment modelled, and then this shot will be complete, and i can move on to the fourth!  woohoo!

anyways, there you go.

maybe we should have one of those signs up, like the ones that say "warning: slow-moving traffic", except in this case it should say "warning: slow-moving colclough"!  :P  ::)

- c
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: 3D Joe Wiltshire on February 04, 2009, 02:27:00 am
Waow! That makes a great render on it's own!
How did you get that sign to look lit up like that?
Loving the progress so far, and masterpieces do take a lot of time to produce, can't wait to see the end product, but i'm gonna have to.   ;D
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: Tanzim on February 04, 2009, 07:30:37 am
That looks cool, but I can't tell whats going on (like with most art).

Could you show me more of the scene from different views (rendered or printscreen, doesn't matter).
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: Boywonda1 on February 04, 2009, 11:47:35 am
Wow! nice ida and renders keep at it!!:) And as i always say(sometimes) the longer it takes the better it is so don't give up on this great project(not that i think you would ;D :) )
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: 3D Joe Wiltshire on February 04, 2009, 03:30:39 pm
One question, and you don't have to answer if you want to keep your ideas under your hat, but does the intro bit (with all the 'a ____ production' credits) follow a single cart on it's journey to wherever it's going?
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: thecolclough on February 05, 2009, 11:07:26 am
thanks for the comments, guys :)

How did you get that sign to look lit up like that?
it's a single quad poly with two different textures applied, one coloured version on diffuse and emissive, and a different greyscale one as a transmap.  the background is basically a solid pastel colour on the diff/emis map, and the glowiness is caused by gradients in the transmap.  i've attached a set of images showing how it works.

That looks cool, but I can't tell whats going on (like with most art).
Could you show me more of the scene from different views (rendered or printscreen, doesn't matter).
i agree, this is quite a 'busy' shot.  should hopefully make a bit more sense in the finished video though.  what's happening is that one of the carts (since you guys keep calling them that, i've decided i will too) is lowered out of the gantry/tunnel thing from the second shot, into a room with various machinery in it which will apply the finishing touches.  stills progression below.  the remaining shots in the scene will show the machinery in action, and finally the cart driving out of the finishing room and into another tunnel leading to the wider world.

Wow! nice ida and renders keep at it!!:) And as i always say(sometimes) the longer it takes the better it is so don't give up on this great project(not that i think you would ;D :) )
thanks ;)  it's going to be a very long wait, but i'm hoping it'll pay off.

One question, and you don't have to answer if you want to keep your ideas under your hat, but does the intro bit (with all the 'a ____ production' credits) follow a single cart on it's journey to wherever it's going?
sort of.  the idea is that the opening shows a scene in the factory, years and years before the events of the rest of the film.  in the first two shots, you can't really tell which cart is which, because they haven't had their numbers applied yet.  in the rest of the scene, cart no. 6023593 (i think you can see the number on the display in the last render i posted) is put in a finishing room and has last details applied (eg. the number gets painted on, which will be in shot 4), and it has its activation signal in shot 6, before leaving the room to start its new life/job in shot 7 (the end of the scene).

thanks again :D

- c
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: captaindrewi on March 02, 2009, 03:25:45 pm
All in all quite wonderous and a fine lesson in patience, organisation and quality.
thanks.
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: spicy on March 02, 2009, 04:35:45 pm
Its looking good! I cant wait to watch this. I've watched some of your other shorts and they are quite funny :)
Title: Re: The Machine And I (WIP CGI short)
Post by: 3D Joe Wiltshire on March 02, 2009, 08:09:16 pm
Agree with the above, though I sense that you are going for a more morbid epic sorta theme with this.
And I love epic. Can't wait.