Right. 15 to 21 May 2016. Let’s do this. Sorry for today’s delay but I’ve been waiting for a storm to die down. 🙂
Last week was quiet. On Sunday, I tore through my to-do list for the 2D animatic like a thing possessed and knocked it on the head. This gave me a draft soundtrack and shot list which I was happy with, so it was time to kick off layout again. This means I get to play with the 3D versions of Gronky and.Pointy again too. Yaay!
The layout stage is for figuring out where to put the camera and where
the characters, props and scenery go in front of the camera. Basically I’m composing individual shots and making sure they flow nicely from one to the next while telling the story effectively.
Before I started working on shots, I created a template file to serve as a starting point for the majority of the shots. The screen is set up how I want it, there’s a render of the 2D animatic set as a background image with the soundtrack set up in the VSE, and all the assets are rigged and constrained and ready to animate.
In the template file, I’ve split up the assets like so:
- Cameras and light on their own layer
- Terrain on its own layer
- Pointy and Gronky on their own respective layers with empties following Pointy’s head and Gronky’s hand
- Pointy’s hat on its own layer parented to an empty which tracks Pointy’s head using location and rotation constraints
- Gronky’s walkie talkie on its own layers parented to an empty which tracks Gronky’s hand through constraints
- The plastic kangaroo on its own layer parented to an empty which doesn’t currently track anything
any given layout shot, I can just turn off any layers I don’t need and
get to work. Setting up the template took me a couple of hours but it’ll
save me a lot of repetition.
To start work on a shot, I set the start and end frames to the start and end of the shot in the 2D animatic – the animatic is visible as an overlay through the camera. I place the camera and assets to match the sketch, then I remake the 2D frames in 3D with a few extra bits like you can see above. The 2D version is of course just a starting point.
Once the shot is finished in rough, I boomsmash (playblast) it using OpenGL render, then drop it into the master edit over the 2D version.
I’ve got eighty shots to draft up and eleven of those are roughed and
in. The beginning has been slow going –
mainly fixing the assets and working around the usual health problems.
The current objective right now though is to have a first draft for
every single shot, then fix the problems in a refining pass.
So the movie’s pottering along. Not racing and not dead still or going backwards, but definitely moving forward! The more shots I do, the more I get back into the flow of it. I’m hoping to have layout all done by the end of June in time for a short winter break before I push ahead into animation. We’ll see!
Thanks for reading and I hope I’ll see you again next week!