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After seeing Kent Trammell’s rundown on PBR in Blender, I got inspired to try putting some nicer viewport materials onto Gronky so that my playblasts will look nicer. I converted Gronky’s materials from Cycles to Blender Internal and had a play.

This is a viewport render from GLSL using AMITS’s usual sky and sun lighting. It’s missing a bit of fine detail but it’s way nicer than what I used to have for playblasting, definitely.

More on the rewrite in progress on Sunday, as usual. 🙂

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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 😀