Thursday, June 4, 2009

polished shots

okay, okay. so i haven't posted in a while. but i have been working! i've got three shots polished and ready to render out for my demo reel (i think...). here they are! i've slaved over these shots for the last 3 weeks. it's fun...but tedious!

shot 03 polish from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

shot 13 polish from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

shot 18 polish from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Monday, May 11, 2009

dun dun dun DUUUUN!

here it is! the rough cut for the whole film! there's still lots of stuff that needs fixin' and tweekin'. shot 19 is still missing the fish, which are fixed now but i haven't put them in yet (thanks to jacob), and none of the critiques that i've received over the last 3 weeks have been implemented, because of time (gotta keep moving forward for now). plus, there are a lot of places where i need to smooth out the actions between cuts to keep consistency, and many shots aren't long enough to get to full feeling across. but that will all be done later. for now i need to focus on getting at least 3 shots polished up and put on my demo reel.

rough cut from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

shot 22 blocking

i sorta rushed this one because i really want to get the blocking for all the shots out of the way so i can focus on the shots i'm going to polish. i only have a little more time before the portfolio show, which i need to graduate, so it is really a priority right now. this will work for now

blocking 22 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

shot 21 blocking

i'm doing something a little different from the animatic (i hiss). i wasn't happy with the way the camera was turning out for this shot. it looks different on paper than in 3d, so i'm just going to cut this shot short, and make shot 22 the close in of her shivering, because the original shot 22 in the animatic seems pointless to me. so same number of shots, slight time difference because of shortening 21.

blocking 21 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

shot 20 blocking

this one is a little bumpy, but it works for now. i just need to add some breakdowns and switch it to tangents to fix it.

blocking 20 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

shot 19 blocking

okay, this shot is looking really cool! however, i've got a hiccup with the stupid fish. i'm getting really strange, erratic rotations on the mesh whenever i rotate the controller past a certain point. i'll have to come back to this shot later.

blocking 19 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

shot 18 blocking

here's the actual blocking for shot 18. played with the camera slightly more, so slightly different than the previous post. feels pretty good to me! i'm excited about this shot, it's one of three that i get to take to polish, hooray!

blocking 18 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the missing shot 18

here is shot 18, which was missing from the original 3d animatic because i didn't know how i was going to do the camera. well, i figured it out, and it turned out to be really easy. granted, it looks really shakey and bumpy right now, but i've got the general movement down. and suprisingly easier than shot 17! in case you're wondering, i created a spline path, parented it to the dragon, and then constrained the camera to the spline as a motion path, so i am free to animated the camera while it is moving along a set path. brilliant! not really, but anyway, here it is. i know taylor (my modeler besides myself) has really been looking forward to this scene, since half her models are in it, hehe. this shot should be finished in the next couple days. 6 more!

shot 18 animatic from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

shot 17 blocking

ok, this shot is giving me more trouble than any other shot so far. i can't get the damn camera to work. i know it has to do with all the nesting i have for tracking purposes, i just don't know how i'm going to get it to work right. i'll figure it out, but for now i'm going to leave this shot alone because it is pissing me off the most. and i need to get working on the rest of my shots. i'm hoping the next shot (shot 18, the big mutha) isn't going to give me as much trouble. it shouldn't, because the camera is going to be on a path, and i'm going to try and set it up so i don't have to do anything to it except tell it where to be on the path at a given time. wish me luck!

blocking 17 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

shot 13 blocking

this shot took a really long time, because i needed to figure out the mechanics of how the dragon was going to start running, how long he would run, how far, and how he would take off into the air. i did a lot of experimenting. i think i started this shot on tuesday and i've been working on it all week. well, i think it's at a good place to leave it alone for now and start blocking in more shots. i need to finish blocking in one week from tomorrow, and i have 10 shots worries! i have a strong feeling that the rest of the scenes aren't going to be nearly as hard as this shot because the dragon is already in the air flying around. i hope i'm right!

blocking 13 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saturday, April 25, 2009

shot 10 blocking

blocking 10 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

adjustments day!

here are a couple shots which needed some variance from the original boards because it didnt work when i finally saw it moving in 3d. for shot 3 specifically i decided to add a little stumble in order to break up the boring run across the screen.

shot 03 pass 2 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

shot 09 pass 2 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

shot 02 blocking

blocking 02 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Shot 01

shot 01. stage: blocking

blocking 01 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Monday, April 20, 2009

rough animatic

here is the rough animatic. its missing one shot (shot18), because i need to create a track for the camera and attach the track to the character, so as i animate the character i will work with the camera. as a result the actual film should be about 13 seconds longer.

rough animatic minus shot 18 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The New Quarter Has Begun!

It's been a while since i posted, so this might include a lot of stuff. Let's see, where did i leave off. Oh yea, i was working on my dragons flight cycle. it's looking okay, nothing to brag about, but i sorta got the mechanics of how he is going to fly down, which was the whole point of it in the first place. i corrected a few mistakes with saias walk cycle, so now she is ready to go. also, i got my environment models from my free-lancers (i put a dash because they did it as a favor), so the last thing that's holding me up is the clouds and the lighting. i, with the expert advice of one of my teachers, have decided that i will simply put spheres together and call them clouds for the purpose of my project. if, after i graduate, i feel they are inadequate, then i will replace them with more proper clouds, but for now since i don't have time to do that, these will have to suffice. i will get those done by friday at the latest, so that i can finish putting together my scenes and be ready for full animation by the end of next week. my plan for next week is to do any last touch ups that i don't want to have to take care of during animation, including my rough lighting. so what i have to show right now is the first scene (the scene on the ground leading up to the flight), working out camera angles, compositions, and more importantly speed. take a look, tell me what you think, and let me know if i need to make any changes because i need to take care of it before next week.

scene 1 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

ps. the end of the video cuts off about 1 second too early. the dragon flies out of frame

coming next week: scene 2 and scene 3, camera blocking etc...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Done with the rigs!

both the dragon and the girl are being called DONE! finally... i know, i know, it should have been done 4 weeks ago, but that's the joy of production/pre-production; you never know what he f*k's gunna happen. i'd post a picture of saia, but i'm too tired and worn out from today (inspire days event at disney animation studio) to do that right now, so maybe tomorrow. next step is doing some animation tests with the rigs to make certain they are in tip-top shape. after that i need to finish building my scenes (ground plane, could plane, set dress), and then i should be good to go into full production for the next 3 months! this is getting pretty exciting. and it really helped going to that event at disney, to kick myself in the head and say "yea this project is gunna be totally worth it, don't slack off and give it all your effort!"

wish me luck!

Friday, March 20, 2009

tedious, but worth it

okay, i had an epiphany last week when i was rigging the dragons eyelids and nostrils. i realized that i could have been doing the wings with clusters the whole time instead of stupid bone chains that are hard to control and dont deform nicely. the other thing i realized was that i had set the number of influences on the joints too low to get anything to bend smoothly, which was really aggravating me. so i decided to redo the dragon rig...again. i started out by increasing the amount of joints that could influence a given vertex to seven. basically it means that up to seven nearby joints could have a percentage of pull on the vertex when i rotate a joint, making the mesh deform in the direction the joint is bending. this fixed a lot of the problems i was having in the neck, legs, and tail (especially). secondly, i deleted all the bone chains that were within the webbing of the wings. instead what i did was create vertex clusters. a cluster is basically a selection of vertecies that you can move as a group, but can also have a relative value between 0 and 1 which represents the amount of influence the center of the cluster can move and deform. so basically it's like skinning without bones, and can be done on top of an already skinned mesh! i used the same idea for the nostrils and muzzle of the dragon, which is why i came to the conclusion that i could have done that for the wings too. it also allowed me to set the weights for the wing to only 2 bone chains rather than 5, so essentially when ever the two bone chains move closer together the webbing deforms accordingly. then i made the clusters on top of that, which cause the webbing to flare up or down (as if wind is passing beneath it creating drag and lift). i know, lots of technical talk which may or may not mean anything to you, but heres a picture so you can see the difference. compare it with the picture immediately below.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

together at last?

heres a pic of the girl on the dragon. some people said the scale of the girl looked a little wrong. any comments? (if people even look at my site)

Friday, March 13, 2009


here he is.

the dragon.

the complete, fully rigged, ready to animate dragon.

i'm happier than i sound.

he ain't the most beautiful rig in the world, but he works, and dammit, i made him! hehe

Thursday, March 12, 2009


ok, now it's getting frustrating.

i just lost a whole day's worth of work. why? yup, i saved over my doesn't help that i've had a very pissy week. but this blog's not about my personal problems, it's about my project. so, i'll just have to make it up tomorrow.

the good news is that the dragon rig is just about finished. the last thing i need to do is the wings and the eyelids (the wings is what i did today which got lost). now that i worked out how to do them though it should go by pretty smoothly.

after i wrap up the dragon, and i collect my environments from my super secret modeler (not named Stephanie) then alls i gots left to dos is the actual ground plane and the hundreds of clouds! oh, and then the lighting and scene dressing, but basically thats it. oh, and the background plate. but then i swear its ready for animation!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


okay, paying absolutely no attention to the way they mesh is deforming, here is the wingspan of the dragon. its wider than i expected, which is a good thing hehe

Saturday, February 28, 2009

progress package 2.28.09

ok, lets take a look at what i've done this last week. it's been slow, but i've gotten some significant progress. unfortunately i dont have any videos or animation tests to show at the moment, because i'm not finished skinning the rigs, but here are a few images that basically shows where i'm at.

the dragon's controls are finished. next step: skinning.

here is Saia's father. all i need him for is a quick 2 or 3 second shot, and all you see is silhouette. he doesn't need to be any more complicated than this (although now that i see it i forgot his ears!)

same deal with Saia's mother here. no ears, but you probably wont see them anyway. they are pretty far away from the camera.

here is the flying fish. it's not rigged yet. once it's done it will just be duplicated about 20 times for the few shots that it appears. i can probably copy the animation from one to another as well and just offset them.

last but not least, here is the star, fully rigged and ready to animate! (except for one last critique i recieved about 5 minutes before this post which suggested adding smoe eyelashes to help define her eyes more. (also i need to create the blink blendshape)

as far as the environments go, so far the castle is the only thing that is finished. the boat is a work in progress, and the house should be done next week. I'm going to talk to another student to see if i can borrow their tree for the final shot, otherwise i'll have to make it this week as well.

that's it for now!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


"Gflaargah! Beast want cookies!"

Thought this was hilarious. This is why you never stick with automatic skinning!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm back online! and rigging

okay, I have successfully moved back into my parents house, and I am reconnected to the internet! (finally...) I will be able to post a lot more now that I have more time to.

ok, so this week I've been focusing on attaching controls to the rigs. I have Saia done (unless something else comes up), and I'm currently working on the dragons controls. I don't really have any pictures to show this week because it looks the same, the only different is that the controls move the bones now. Once I have all the controls finished (for both Saia and Dragon) I will begin the skinning process. Then I will have something to show, because you will be able to see what the controls do.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dragon with Controls v2

Ha! suck on that demoralizing-problems-i-was-reluctant-to-deal-with-but-did-it-anyways-feelings!

i remodeled the wings and the hind legs so that i can get a more accurate X,Y,Z rotation on the controls.

Dragon with Controls

Here's the dragon with all his controls that I will need on him (not connected).

There is however two major flaws that i discovered while I was putting the controls in place. His hind legs and his wings are going to need to be moved because they are not in a world-neutral position at the moment. This is a problem because when I need to connect the controls the 0-rotations for X, Y, and Z are not going to line up with the angle of the pose they are in now. For example, if i wanted to rotate the wing elbow in the Y direction it will bend the wing in a way that isn't believe and you'd swear he broke it. So far the solution I've come up with is quickly remodeling the wings in an upright and straight back position, rebuild the wing skeleton, and reposition the controls in the new configuration. How else I can do this i don't know and I don't have time to experiment.

Dragon with Controls

Saia Face Controls

Here's Saia with her facial controls in place (not connected yet)
it's hard to see because of the color of the controls and the resolution of the image, but they are there, hehe

Saturday, February 7, 2009


here is my progress on Saia's controls. i need to figure out how i'm going to work the face, whether i will add bones to move different points of her mouth and eyebrows, or if i should do it all with blend shapes. i will experiment this week and decide. i know for the dragon i am just going to do bones, because he doesn't use his mouth very much.

(note: nothing is bound or constrained yet, just laid out)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Models done with color!

okay, some good development this week. I finalized the models for saia and her dragon, and i've done my first pass coloring! for the pictures i added some lights to see how it would appear when rendered.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

new color developments

here is the final color comp for saia. thanks anita!

i fixed the full shots with the new saia colors as well

Saia model WIP

here is my progress so far on Saia. she should have been done by now, but I've had to tend to my friend who some of you know is in the hospital.

She kind of looks like an alien right now, because she doesnt have any hair, but she will look much better once i give her a wig, hehe.

Dragon Teefus

Here is the dragon with the teef. i finished it actually earlier this week, but i still dont have internet at my apartment, so i had to upload it at school.

he's a nice dragon, so i designed him to be more like a cow or a horse, very docile and eats mostly grass and flowers, so i gave him some from incisors to scrape bark off trees or to pull flowers out by the roots, but the rest of his teeth are molars to grind the grass, flowers, and barks into digestible mulch.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Colors Colors Colors!

I did my color comps today, and two fully painted concepts to show the environment colors i'm gunna go with.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saia's Friend Animatic 1

Here is the first pass of the animatic for my project. I think the timing feels pretty good right now (maybe a few minor tweaks a little later in the week). There's no music yet because my friend hasn't started writing it yet. He was waiting for my lazy ass to finish this first, hehe.

Saia's Friend Animatic 1 from Drifting Eddy on Vimeo.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dragon model

here is the model for the dragon. i originally started it last quarter for my character modeling class, and did the finishing touches this quarter. it gave me a well-needed head start for this quarter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Character Designs

Here are the two leading characters: Saia and her Dragon!
The dragon is already being built in 3d (just a few more steps to go!), and i will begin saia probably after i get the storyboards tightened up and ready to shoot.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Saia's Friend - Day 1

Okay, this is it. This is the beginning of the end. My senior project. I will be posting here weekly, and as I make every significant progress on my project (as well as any follies I encounter) as a diary of how it went and what I learn. This is really exciting, but I'm also nervous. I hope it turns out well!

Pitch - Saia's Friend
No one wants to be around when your parents are arguing, especially when it's all the time. That's how it was for Saia one night when she decided she'd rather wander in the field outside her house than dodge the crossfire inside. On this particular night, however, Saia got more than a fresh breath of air, she got a dragon for a friend.

You can view my original animatic from a year ago which I am basing this project on. I will be redoing the animatic with the updated character designs and retiming some of the scenes, but you can expect it to be about the same.

Next post - character designs
Next next post - Environment concepts