FRESHLY SQUEEZED-UPDATED

Two weeks and we’re back with an updated version, which hasn’t been as simple as I may have thought to get to.

Firstly you can notice the lighting has changed, we added more lights to the scene as well as Michael sorted out Light-linking and attached a green one to each astronaut.

We smoothed out the terrain and Leanna got a bump map for the texture which looks really great now, a slight issue that came from the smoothing out though is on of the characters now slightly floating which we hadn’t realised till after it was re-rendered.

We changed some of the camera viewpoints as Conánn mentioned that hey were from the wrong angle.

Final shot we again changed the design of the Billboard which was Leanna’s work which makes it look so much better now, I re-animated the lights on it flashing on as the timing was off in our old version, I also added a glow effect in after effects to give the impression of the lights turning on, which I hope makes it more understandable. Jack made sure the first astronaut was included in the shot and even raised his arms so it looks like he’s celebrating.

Conánn had also talked about out title sequence and end credits, admitted we hadn’t put a lot of thought into it before but now with more time Leanna got this great font that reminded us of the Guardians of the Galaxy font and she made a 3d title in maya. The end credits I added in after effects.

There’s more we could do to this but I think it’s a good summation of our work and I’m proud to have made it at the end of just our first year  of animation.

Freshly Squeezed

This is our animation, it seems like it’s taken forever to get it to this point but here we are. The last few days have been fixing textures and rendering a re-rendering where problems have been spotted, we should have done a thorough check before rendering really.

I brought all the frames together using After effects which I’m new to, so I’ve been quickly going through some basic tutorials on how to use it and how best to colour correct a video, our colours are nice but I don’t they came out as bright as they could have to make the character stand our more. I also tried to dim the brightness of the red lights as they were slightly too jarring, which was complicated and involved masks and tracking masks, which I’ve been told After effects isn’t great for but I must make do.

Michael put together our sounds and Jack designed our title and Leanna helped with getting the timing right, and I think we’re all pretty happy with the final outcome here, we know we need to fix some things already.

Feedback from Presentation

Over all I think it went pretty, they seemed happy with how we’d worked as a team.

Corrections for us to work on,

The first astronaut isn’t in the last shot when he was expected to be there.

Generally colours need to stand our more, Yuan mentioned that the characters should be more prominent than the background, which we could maybe also do with Lighting as well.

For lighting Conánn talked about using light-linking to attach a light singularly to the character so it doesn’t illuminate anything else which I think we can do.

There was some animation issues, just with how things were animated like the lander having more swivel and the characters being more weighted though I’m not sure how much of that we can edit before final hand in.

We also need to look at our Logo design as they felt the Uranus Juice didn’t read too well and since the other logo is based of CokaCola that it is the better looking logo.

In general we’re also going to change the terrain texture since it didn’t turn out how we liked and the colour of the stars in the background along with the Billboard at the end, I want it to pop more.

 

 

Billboard

The final shot of our animation has a giant billboard that’s illuminated, I’m slightly excited about making this because I’ve really wanted to try making some Neon lights and this seems like the best opportunity to.

neon_sign

I’d already tried creating a neon sign before so I was using that same technique.  Though I added in some more pieces and tried to animate the intensity of the glow so it looks like it’s moving. Based of a load of Neon signs like this one below.

For building the main structure of the Billboard I wanted to have a big screen and lined with light bulbs taking inspiration from the Las Vegas sign.

neon_sign1

I had to give more luminosity to the bulbs, because if I had one transparent sphere it wouldn’t stand out so I needed to have two sphere’s one inside the other with the outside on being more translucent. These colours are place holders since I’m not sure what our final colour scheme for it is going the be, it’ll be easy to change later, I also left a space because we’re not decided on whether we want to add a slogan as well.

Here’s a basic test of how it’ll work.

w

This is what the final Billboard ended up looking like. I think I’m going to look at adding in extra glow in after effects as it’d take less time than rendering out lights in Maya. The sign could be better formatted possibly but the colours Leanna has used work better together.

Doing some Animating

These are the animations that I’ve done for our astronaut, the flag plant was the most fun and interesting one to do, as well as hard. With blocking out the key poses I think tried to key in the camera, I felt I needed the camera movement there to determine how the arm movement should look as I didn’t want it to be too hidden. I tried to keep in mind the principles of animation  like anticipation and follow through it took a while to get the timing right so it feels like that flag is coming done in a swift movement.

I mistake I know realise is that our staging is off, in our animatics they look right, but I need them to be turning left since the rest of the scene is now staged to be happening over there, the scene has flipped is what I mean.

The second shot is very short in our animatic but I still animated the character turning, it’s very fast but I didn’t want it to be a still frame establishing it.

I think I’ll still be tweaking these and the camera movements, and when I have time I need to learn more about rigging a character because for this it did take a while to figure out how the controls work and how the model will stretch, which lead to starting from scratch a few times.

Updated Animatic

I updated our animatic, I wanted to change some of the drawings of the astronaut jumping to give him more personality and try and shape the jump movements. We’ve taken out some shots like the over the shoulder flag plant and are making the feet plant and flag plant happen right after each other (there isn’t a cut there it’s just hard to show a zoom).

We were told to try and come up with a more dynamic ending and Mike had given us the suggestion of the billboard turning on and the light blaring everything out and the second astronaut is then blinded. I made this version with that ending in mind, I’m not too happy with how it look on this so I’m not sure how it’ll look in maya and using the maya lights.

 

Retro Promtional Posters

Whilst researching Space artist references as a group we found different variations of vintage space propaganda posters

(BBC News, 2015)

These are some USSR posters, they made posters so that they could celebrate the technological advances made during the space race whilst not revealing them in case they were stolen by Americans, which is why the images are technologically accurate.

The posters came from an important time where space travel was new and exciting, the imagery of space travel is quite triumphant and idealistic, the artists didn’t have the same tropes we have now to work of so it’s like looking at space from a fresh perspective.

(News.nationalgeographic.com, 2017)

We also fond that NASA had recently released these promotional posters for the Journey To Mars, again taking on a romantic view of space travel where the everyday person may one day travel to Mars. These posters make good use of composition and silhouettes as well as being a good source of how to use a colour scheme to make the barren landscape look non-earth, of course aided by the space suits and technology.

(OMG Posters!, 2017)

4.(ln, 2017) 5.(Simpson, 2014)

So this led to an exploration of how different artists have then made their own interpretations of  promotional posters, this has given us an idea of the icon imagery associated with space travel, the suit is very important but also the rocket/lander, blasters, things we could have in the environment to sell it as space.

I feel that with more modernistic versions of space and space travel can be very technological and cold, the future is often depicted as clean,white and flawless which makes it harder to create a fun characters that comes from that environment.

picture references

  1. BBC News. (2015). Posters of the golden age of Soviet cosmonauts – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34281621.
  2. News.nationalgeographic.com. (2017). Retro Posters Show NASA’s Vision for Our Future on Mars. [online] Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/mars-retro-travel-posters-space-science.
  3. Roger Wilkerson, The Suburban Legend!. (2017). [online] Available at: http://rogerwilkerson.tumblr.com/post/17610735262/out-of-this-world-squirt-1963.
  4. ln, J. (2017). Space Funk Canvas Print by Josh Ln. [online] Society6. Available at: https://society6.com/product/space-funk_stretched-canvas#s6-536958p16a6v28.
  5. Simpson, S. (2014). Behance. [online] Behance.net. Available at: https://www.behance.net/gallery/18919019/Space-Dogs-book.

 

 

David Correa

We found this artist David Correa who has done this concept art and animation of a Spaceman. His model is more stylised that what we might aim towards but it’s good to see how he’s animated this character and brought in that movement to make them fun and lovable, though you can kinda see because of the proportions that some of the movements look oddly stretched. I like how the character looks it’s appealing but to get the movement working easier like holding and planting the flag we may need longer limbs.

The different variations of characters look less human and more alien or robotic which we could explore but I think they would work better with a different story, to me the idea of landing on a planet with a flag is a very human thing and would that element involved.

Character Designing Pixlpit

I like this animators modelling style the rigging and all seems quite simple but it’s effective for the comedic wittiness of his videos with basing it more off audio comedy than visual comedy.

This was an animator we’d been looking at when trying to decide on the style for our Astronaut’s the breakdown works well.

A few issue’s that would come up for us would be being able to use the arms in a practical sense of holding and moving the flag. These models are made to emphasis the head and facial expressions which our character doesn’t have so that wouldn’t be as effective in story-telling, although having the head proportionally larger than the body to an extent I think would still be appealing as it immediately tell you that this isn’t an overly serious animation, it helps build the sense of silliness of our story.

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