Sunday, 28 October 2007

Day296 Animating Away & War of the Worlds

Ep51 Animating Away
I took on Shot7/8 in earnest today building the sequence with all three characters a piece at a time. After getting the basic animatic styling more in place, I moved slowly from the highest level to the details for each bit of each character. This doesnt have the purest pose-2-pose workflow, but did let me build a basic walk process for Bimbo before lining up the walk path and then adjusting the arms etc.

Because I built 2D's rig and model, he is somehow much easier for me to animate. His bits I am more familiar with and his internal structure and components are all named and organised my way. It could also be because he doesnt get to move as much either :-)

[WIP screen capture of shot7/8 under construction]

I am learning a fair bit about the failings or awkward parts of rigs now that we are into detailed animating. Having a rig that works intuitively or that deforms things sensibly means fewer keys and allows more time for refinements. I would like to play with something like MotionBuilder which would let me set 'lag' rather than having to manually key in what leads and what falls behind. We also have more to learn about effective constraints, parenting and groups. There are too many pieces of our models that decide to wander off on their own and escape from their neighbours or right positions just when you dont want them to.

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War of the Worlds
We got Spielberg's 2005 movie adaptation of War of the Worlds on DVD today. The digital effects are stunning, and there are LOTS of them, even more than I remember from the cinema. The whole thing does hold together pretty well, Spielberg, Fanning, Williams, Kaminski, Kahn and even Cruise make for a great ride. The website for the film has movie clips and a host of images to admire. Movies do go to plenty of trouble on their websites these days, as they do their trailers!

[trailer showing off the effects-fest that is War of the Worlds]

I have very fond memories of Jeff Wayne's musical version from my youth. The site for the new play here in Oz has the audio for us, I might see if I can find the full thing for my iPod. I havent even mentioned HG Wells, he did write the book after all [tips hat]. The technovelgy site has a page on the tripods with a beautiful excerpt from Wells' book.

So I thought I would include a little anthology of some of the tripod versions that have come about. What they show is how critical the creative process is in creating something from the awesome words on the page. In order these images are from the following sites, though the originals were from movies, books and album covers etc. pic1 pic2 pic3 pic4 pic5 pic6


[images of various Martian tripod designs]

One of the things the movie reminds me of is Half Life 2 - I cant wait to get into Episode 2 after the session is finished...

The Special Features DVD, was fun to watch, showing the process evolve through the writers, concept artists, pre-vis (so much was pre-vised out) and onto ILM for their 3D and effects work after shooting. Quite inspiring - so much talent involved in bringing it all to life.

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