Thursday, 24 May 2012

Animation Flicker Test

For my animation I wanted to create a flicker effect like old film to really make my animation seem authentic to its stylisation. To do this I had to create a little script in the brightness & contrast settings of my comp which I then adjusted so that it wasn't too frequent or bright/dark.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Rendering Passes Test

When it came to figuring out which render pass layers I needed for my animation to make it look its most presentable I used one scene to test do test renders of these render passes.
I already knew that certain render passes wouldn't apply to my type of animation such as a shadows render pass as this would take away the aesthetic of my animation. So these not applicable passes were not tested.
Some passes didn't even appear when rendered, instead faced with a black screen so I won't be showing them.

Beauty Pass
This is the effect I was really happy with yet when applying the render passes below it went downhill from there.

Z-Depth/Luminance Depth
 This is the depth pass that come out from this scene, it doesn't look anything like other depth passes I've seen and when applied on top of the beauty pass it didn't really do anything so I felt this was unnecessary to include.

Flat Colour
 The flat colour did make a little difference to my beauty pass, lightening it a bit but I preferred the stronger colours but not as bright/light because I felt it added to the vintage/retro feel.

Ambient Occlusion
 This is what my ambient occlusion turned out like. I tried adjusting the settings to make it have more effect on the final image but all it seemed to do was dirty it up. After a chat with Tom it now makes sense why this render pass didn't have a good effect on my scene, because the objects are not very close together. 

'The Cell Cycle' Animation Full Playblast

Here is my complete animation playblasted so now it's all about adding the text and really getting the art direction and cell division process across to the target audience.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Playblast Act 1 & 2 Complete

Finally my act 2 is complete! I've put it alongside my act 1 in premiere pro to show the progress and now I have a few bits to do for act 3.

Monday, 21 May 2012

After Effects Week 4

For after effects this week we looked at tracking which was really useful and could even come in handy with my animation's text. We also made paths using the pen tool to have an object move along it.

Act 1 Completed Playblast

An update on my act 1 which I have completed the last scene and then gone back and changed things I didn't like as well as sorting out some timing such as the titles. Have been working on act 2 all day so that will be up soon alongside act 1.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Act 1 Playblast with Titles and Full Scene 3

An update on my act 1, I've playblasted the cell moving across the titles part and added the rest of scene 3. I may make the passing cell on the titles slow down because sometimes it looks a bit too quick but other times it doesn't.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Act 1 Playblast So Far

Just thought I would post my act 1 as it stands animated , one more scene and it will be complete! Really happy with it so far especially as a bit of pure luck has made the animation match up with the soundtrack quite well! Hopefully I have left enough time/space for the text to be inserted in after effects when it is complete so we shall see.

Animation Matte Paintings/ Background Textures

During my animation the action goes through numerous background changes through camera tracks/pans. These background changes act to serve as transitions between the different phases of the cell cycle.
These backgrounds also serve to express the stylisation of a world that would otherwise be unable to film due to the artificiality of it.
I have produced my background environments fully in photoshop and these will be fixed to planes in my animation to simulate the cells moving through this graphic design based human body.

G1 Phase & ending

G1 Checkpoint




S Phase, Prometaphase, Metaphase & Telophase
Photobucket  PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

Unit 6: Submission Disc Artwork

While I'm test rendering I thought I'd tick off a couple of other things that need doing so here is my disc artwork. I've tried to keep it linked into my theme by using one of my concept pieces in the background, this piece will also follow and compliment as it will be featured predominately in my 'art of' presentation.


DVD Disc Artwork

Disc Case Artwork

Friday, 18 May 2012

Adding the dashes

I would have put up a video of this but they only show up as black squares during playblast so here are some rendered stills instead.






Thursday, 17 May 2012

Act 1 Animation Process

Well this took me most of the day and originally had been meant as just a test but a few tweaks and I was able to continue using it. Even though this has taken up a considerable amount of time it has been worth it for both the result and the techniques I picked up on the way. This should (hopefully) mean I will be able to flow through the animating process of the rest of my animation, especially as I have got the basis of the cell's movement sorted.

The only thing I noticed I had forgotten about was my dashed line cell wall/membrane so I'll get onto sorting that out before I move on as it will be needed for the rest.
The transition onto the blank dark blue background may just be a place hold for a softer transition that I could add while working through post-production. I know this will mean I will have to render out separate layers for my animation then.

Spinning Cells Test

I've re-animated the movement of my cells through the tunnel to be cleaner and include a spin which I think has quickened them up. They may need to be a little bit faster but I think they are getting there!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

'The Cell Cycle' Storyboard

Finally here is my complete storyboard for my animation! I've sorted out all the colours for each component including the backgrounds, but not all the backgrounds are necessarily going to be plain like the later ones. This is something I will have to test out.






Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Cell Movement with Music

This time I animated a bunch of cells moving through my tunnel and put it to the music that I intend to use for my final animation. I have placed the play blast at 3 places around the beginning of the soundtrack to see if the cells fit a particular bit better than others. This would help me also figure out how it could suit the other bits of the track easier if those are the bits that they run through in the final piece.

Cell Movement Test (3)

I've taken down the squash on the nucleus in the test below and I think it works better alongside the rest of the cell.

Cell Movement Test (2)

Another experiment with the movement of my cell, trying to take away some of the exaggerated movements. I thought that perhaps it would be best to move at a beat that simulated the instruments in the Glenn Miller soundtrack I will be using.
Maybe the nucleus is still too exaggerated though.

Cell Movement Test

I've been considering how my cells could move around as I don't want them to just track along looking the same as to me this is quite boring and doesn't fit the style I'm going for. Also, the spinning that my cell does at the beginning of my animatic was starting to show character but then the spinning doesn't really make sense either because it is still the same shape.

To add a bit of fun to my vibrant cell and some proper movement but not necessarily realistic cell movement I have been testing out the squash deformer on it. I think for a first go its better than the static movement there was before, a lot more character too. It also adds to the elasticity/plasticine and rubber feel that myself and some friends have got the sense from in the actual model I created.

Model Lighting Experiments

For my art direction to come across well in my animation I have to get the lighting right so that it doesn't leave shadows, or do things such as make the models too 3D or 2D.
To figure out how my lighting could look I rendered out the model practise I have been doing with changes to the lighting's intensity and ambient shade.


Monday, 14 May 2012

Cell Model Experiments 2

Taking my cell experiments further I have tried to replicate the first piece of my concept art in Maya by adding block colours in Maya to each sub division of the curved cylinder.
The only problem with doing this is that I don't get my dashed pattern and the lines are very straight unlike the nice graphical quality to my concept, so it might be best to UV map these and make a texture.


Cell Model Experiments

Some more experiments but this time with the actual cell. After a discussion with Simon last Friday he said I didn't neccessarily have to use toon shaders to get the best result. I was well up for trying to not use them as well because there was something about them that wasn't getting the right effect/mood about my work and I couldn't put my finger on it.

But now I have had a go at applying colours straight onto the cell model and using an ambient light and mental ray to get a flat but also 3D sense about the cell. There is something that makes this pop much more effectively than the previous toon shader experiments!


Cell Tunnel Experiments

To try and figure out which way would best suit both my art direction and the 3D of maya I am undergoing lots of tests before starting my final modelling.

In this experiment I have applied block colours with transparent middles from photoshop onto planes in maya to try and simulate the patterned tunnel that I had in my concept art.
I have also played around with the placing of the camera to create the illusion of this tunnel.

The only thing I have noticed is that if I use this technique with the planes I won't be able to have a camera go through and track the cells without the gaps between each plane showing up.




'The Cell Cycle' Pre-Viz

As I didn't have my pre-viz done for the pitch I thought it best to get on with it before starting the proper animation because it can really be of use. I am aware that my pre-viz looks nothing like my animatic with the art direction but considering that that is going to take up a lot of my animating time as it is I used this pre-viz opportunity to focus on the movements and the camera action alone. As well as to test out the new introductory titles to each phase.

These pre-viz sections are just of the short amount of footage in my animatic but these are key parts in the division of a cell so it was important to visualise them.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Non-Linear Deformers: Shape Control

These were pretty cool to learn especially as I can now make a curved cylinder the proper and easier way!


After Effects: Week 3

For this week in after effects we learned how to apply scripts and ended up with a squash and stretch effect. Learning this will definitely be useful when it comes to my animation!

Jiggle Deformer: Part 1 (Flesh)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Maya Toon Shader Experiments (2)

Here are some more experiments with toon shaders in Maya trying to make the cells look more like my concept art. I also put an image plane on the camera of one of my concepts without the cells in to see if it worked better.






Maya Toon Shader Experiments

To effectively achieve the Saul Bass art direction for my animation I need to somehow get the same 2D graphic design effect that my concept art achieved. I was told that the way forward with this was with Maya's toon shaders.

Below are some of my experiments so far in trying to create that 2D stylisation that I want to bring forward. They are pretty cool but I'm not too keen on the harshness of the different colour tones and I need to somehow get a nucleus into the image as well so that will be my next experiment.






Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Starting to integrate text more effectively

This time with thinking how to integrate the text of key stages of the cell cycle into my animation better I have put together a new step outline ect.
This has really helped me separate out the parts where the main textual headings and the action would be. It has also allowed me to see where I need to change things a bit to incorporate this new headings system.
Here is also one of my quick doodles to figure out the panning and transitions between these heading and action sequences... It's probably jibberish to everyone but me but thought I'ld put it up anyway.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Typography Animations Inspiration

After the feedback I received from the pitch I have been thinking about possible ways to include more text in my animation if this is what needs to be done to convey the science a bit more.

Because Saul Bass' classic title sequences do not feature lengthy amounts of texts but rather the odd couple of words I have been delving deeper to find something that I could perhaps bounce ideas from. There was an advertisement for a TV show I saw a couple of years ago which was stuck in my head in regards to this and after looking it up I saw a whole genre of this typography styled animations.

I wouldn't neccessarily make my text appear like this as this could take away the great Saul Bass vibe but it was something I found interesting, especially how the text appears on the screen and intertwines to really work.

Unit 6 Commission: Pitch Presentation 08/05/2012

Pitch Presentation 08-05-2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

'The Cell Cycle' Storyboard- Act 1

Here is my storyboard so far, all of act 1 so one down two to go! This is the first time I've done my storyboard in photoshop, normally getting the old pencil out but I'm glad I decided otherwise because it's a lot clearer and more striking. Great for showing the style I'm going for! :)




Concept 4- S Phase

Concept 4 revolves around the second part of interphase where the cell's DNA duplicates ready for mitosis. In this part of my animation the DNA strand comes out of the cell's nucleus and splits in half, it then continues down the screen as two pieces and the word 'duplication' bounces on and then changes into the extra bases for the DNA.
As I cannot show this all in one image I have focused on the change of background the G1 checkpoint leads to and the actual simplifying of the DNA and how it can come apart.

Concept Steps