End of day result with the hills. They don’t feel particularly outbacky but at least I know now that the haze colour wants to be grey-blue, not saturated blue.


Welcome to 9 to 15 March 2015.

This week I finished off the first draft of the story planning in comic form. I’ve been drawing it in a little A5-size watercolour pad.

Drawing ideas visibly as a comic is less frustrating than hammering away on invisible ideas at a word processor – I’ve got the ideas in front of me as images and I can supplement them with captions and word balloons from which I can get lines of dialogue. Once the different comic pages are scanned and pasted together it’s very obvious where the humour can be pushed or where things aren’t working. I like this way of working a lot.

It’s not technically a storyboard though; the framing is inexact and the detail is very low to keep things quick. It’s visual writing. Maybe the visual ideas are strong enough that I can jump straight into layout/blocking and discover the framing and other things there, or maybe I need to do more detailed layout breakdowns to pin things down before moving on. I’ll find out soon enough. 🙂

I’ve also been polishing up my procedural texturing/surface knowledge, which meant swotting up on linear algebra and seeing how other people do it. I made a preliminary procedural road texture for the final scene of the film and did a couple of other experiments. I can do another pass on the materials when it comes time to do lighting.

Yesterday I finally did some animation to test out the readiness of Pointy’s rig. It needed pole targets on the legs and there’s a glitch in one corner of the mouth but aside from that, it’s looking good. 🙂

Today I’m working on some distant scenery. So far I have one set of hills turned into a mountain range using lattice deformations and scaling. It’s just going to sit in the background and cast shadows against itself so it doesn’t have to look particularly pretty from any angle aside from directly ahead.

So the short is in pretty good shape and progressing nicely on multiple fronts. The dayjob on the other hand is going a little bit crazy so I want to back off on the creative stuff after hours until I’m up to speed with the new tech stack we’re using. So it goes.

Edit: Thanks to snapai for this comment:

It’s thumbnailing, though west coast US studios sometimes call it storyboarding (particularly for animated movies). Soup provided the storyboarders with thumbnails to make their boards from, so don’t worry, it’s a standard part of the process 😀


Hello and welcome to 2 to 8 March.

This week I started sketching out the story from end to beginning using crude comics. The final scene takes place at a bus stop. I’ve photographed a few crappy concrete bus shelters around my neighbourhood and done a recognisable model of one, complete with daggy bright orange bus stop marker. I also finished the numbers for the project font. Alas, kerning is still not very exciting.

Today is Sunday, usually my make-movie-stuff day. It got munched by a family gathering. It was also one of those days where I set out to make a node-based procedural hexagon shader in Cycles and ended up creating a nifty halftone shader instead. It’s been known to happen.

Not a hugely eventful week then but things are progressing. 🙂


A couple of WIP models of a bus shelter with normals vs displacement. Liking displacement version a lot better even though it’s much higher poly. The texture is kind of like the real thing but needs more displacement to really work.

Does anyone else have these crappy concrete bus shelters? They’re all over the place where I live.


So. 26 January to 1 Feburary. Mainly this week I played Far Cry 4. A lot of Far Cry 4. There’s not actually much to report because of all that Far Cry 4.

I did a bit more modelling on the quoll during Australia Day.

On Saturday evening, I finally sat down to chart out the rest of pre-production. I now have a diagram of the tasks left to do (stuff like music, sound effects, dialogue, character voice dev, thumbnail, animatic)

with dependency relationships indicated (e.g. I need both scratch and thumbnails before I can do a rough animatic pass).

What came out of creating the dependency diagram is that I’m way behind on the art direction side of things. Art direction in pre-pro covers everything from from gathering reference to producing concept art. It’s something I can do whenever, much like Pointy’s voice development.

It’s way better having a plan of attack laid out in front of me instead of a series of doables with vague connections looming amorphously in my head. Even once I’d finished the rough version, I felt dim for not having made it sooner.

Perhaps I’ll smarten up the diagram and make it something I post weekly. At any rate, that’s it for now. I’m off to go bouncing around Kyrat again with a grenade launcher again liberating radio towers until I get so bored with it that I don’t want to do it anymore.