Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Projects 350 - Week 2 Progress Journal

This is the last of the old journal entries I need to update to get the journal up to date. I'll have another entry tomorrow documenting this week's progress so far, but this will get the blog fully updated.

Not the most productive week so far, due to considerations for other classes – both CG215 and ANI350 hit very hard with their demands for work due this week, so much of my time was spent on those classes.

Prof. Johnson expressed his concern about the story, in that the technical requirements for the animation were substantial – showing weight and transference of weight is very, very difficult stuff, and he felt that ending the story at the point where the goblin gets the sword was a good “if all else fails” plan.

In a way, I agree that it would be a good failsafe, but I'm confident in my ability to take on this challenge, providing I don't run into major disastrous issues on the technical side as I did last semester. I am really trying to put this piece together to showcase my ability to portray both acting skill through animation as well as raw, technical animation skill, using the techniques learned in ANI300 and those I will be aquiring in ANI350. Additionally, having gone through the process of early vid ref, I think that the needed poses aren't horrendous, and the entire scene plays out in approximately 30 seconds, which is a manageable goal, in my opinion.

Having looked at the technical requirements for what I need to do, I have planned for the following:

I will need to have IK hands, as they will need to be planted in a single location while the body acts independently a number of times, and doing this with FK simply won't do. It was a major issue last semester, and would affect my ability to animate drastically. If I can, I'd like to set up an IK/FK slider system, and I have resources to assist that process, but it is technically demanding, and may be above my ability. It is currently at a “nice to have” feature, while IK is a “must have” feature.
Planning out and doing my thumbnails of the acting is going to be crucial.
I want a chance to explore shaders, including Subsurface Scattering for the skin. Lighting and appearance of the character itself is going to be a lot of fun, but it is crucial that both work well for the scene for the appeal to be there and support the character.
Making sure that the technical aspect works early is the biggest key, so that I can spend at least half of the semester focusing on the animation, the real centerpoint of the entire scene.
I need to get a model sheet and actual 3d models of the two hero props, the anvil and the sword, very soon. The anvil need not be particularly outstanding looking, and shouldn't draw too much attention, but getting the look of the sword right is important. It should be something to be lusted after, and look appropriately regal.

I also received feedback from other students and faculty about my general topology. For the most part, I'm in good shape, but I need to revise the belly a little to provide the most flexibility, and I will need to reconfigure some of the topology of the shoulders by re-routing the edge loops, always a tricky process. So far the goblin is modeled completely in quads, resulting in great subdivision. I'd like to keep it that way.

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