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 Post subject: [ARCHIVED]CAP - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2009, 17:40 
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So I had a few thoughts about the community project:-

I think it would be best structured like a real production.

We start at the beginning with quite a bit of planning and work towards the goal, only going into detail when we are sure its what we want. This may sound obvious but its pretty easy to start in the middle in 3d and work both backwards and forwards, retreading ground over and over: http://www.pigeonimpossible.com/podcast ... st-014.m4v

The production could consist of the following stages:-

0. Create a new section to the forum perhaps with sub-forums as below (called “SI Community Project 1” – yes, I am so optimistic about this I added a “1” to the forum title just so you might believe there could be a “2” or even.... a “3”...)

1. Concept
2. Story/Script
3. Storyboarding
4. Previz/Pre-Production
5. Production
6. Finishing


1. CONCEPT
The concept could clarify the main objectives, hone in on the scope of the script, what will be in it and what the story will be about:-

1. How long will it be? I suggest it lasts no more than 2 minutes. Preferably, just 60 seconds. (We’d want to finish it! And in less than a year.)
2. It has to lead up to a punchline; but it doesn’t have to be a funny punchline, it could be an epiphany/revelation, for example.
3. It is in english if there is to be dialogue. However, doing it without dialogue may be preferable.
4. It is stylised to reduce time taken on art and finishing.
5. There are no more than 3 characters. A Protagonist, an antagonist and another character (eg: the protagonists sidekick, a neutral third character, the focus of the conflict between the two characters, etc.)
6. There are no more than 5 different environments (beginning, middle and end?).
7. The things that happen could display all aspects of the SI toolset, ICE, Facerobot, although this could result in a load of contrived scenes slapped together at the expense of a decent story. (Like a hollywood blockbuster. :P )
8. We could try brainstorming for inspiring words on the forum for a week and then pick 3-5 words that the story must address.
9. The technical achievement for this won’t be the 10,000 orcs screaming across a bleak, stormswept landscape in full battledress, but that we finished it, ontime and it’s actually entertaining.
10. We get things running here on 15th September – when Softimage 2010 comes out.

2. STORY/SCRIPT/SHOOTING SCRIPT
Some References:-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BolgBSXjxeE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCP9f0VicBE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_nTlsTK7qo (not that funny but only 1 environment, 1 character – then again, perhaps too small for a community project.)
http://pigeonimpossible.com/wordpress/ Pigeon impossible (podcast)

We could also go for a longer, broader scope (and duration) for a story but corners would have to be cut in terms of work and style. Such as many of the backgrounds being hand drawn/photoshopped/tightly cropped, still renders, etc. Close ups on characters to avoid having to do full body animations or animating more than one character per shot, having speaking characters offscreen while we see the emotions of the listener.

Further references for good approaches to “cost”(time) cutting:
http://features.cgsociety.org/story_cus ... ry_id=5239 - 2d and 3d student film
http://www.the-area.com/inhouse/videos/ ... _animation - the making of ‘9’ the movie (extensive 2d work)

If we use these limitations as tight - but not completely immovable - guidelines it should make establishing a workable script faster. The story/script would be open to everyone to contribute ideas too. A brainstorming ideas thread could get this going (with the limitations outlined as above). The best suggestions could be compiled into a single thread and into a basic structure for someone to write up as an outline script. We could open it up as a script-writing competition. (We could also extend our reach for a writer beyond the XSI/CG community).

After the script is done, we break it down into shots and compile the shooting script.

3. STORYBOARDING
If it has dialogue, we’d record it at this stage (possibly with facial capture as well) – or at least a first draft of the dialogue to accompany the storyboarding/previz; to help with timing and getting it “right”.

The storyboard would be structured around the script (obviously) and people could contribute their sketches, they don’t even have to be SI users. Once we have a storyboard movie, we can then spend a little while trying to iron out the glitches during the previz stage.

4. PREVIZ/PRE-PRODUCTION
Pre-production design and then modelling/texturing of props, sets/environments and character design occurs throughout the previz stages and can feed into the previz scenes but will spill over into the production stage. If character models get done at this early stage then they can go some way in helping the previz be more significant.
Again, we have many other communities to tap into in regards to concept art.

The previz stage involves everyone mucking in setting up some very basic takes on every shot, following the storyboard structure. Saving each one as an individual Softimage scene file. Each scene file can be saved as a “take”. So multiple versions by different individuals could be created. The ones that fit the pacing and mood the best would be accepted as the basis for the final scene creation.

5. PRODUCTION
As we progress, we begin to copy the approved previz scenes, near or finalised model files, into a new XSI project and begin full production. Character modellers, animators, texture artists, everyone contributes.

So that's my thoughts. (Sorry for the long ramble!) :)

Lets discuss this!!


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2009, 18:22 
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I find it quiet interssant. I would like to join depending on the project as commented and I would also suggesto two more categories:
6.- Post-Production...
7.- Audio

_________________
Sergio Gardella
BloomPix Studio and School of 3D Animation
Softimage|XSI Certified Instructor
sergio@bloompixstudios.com
www.bloompixstudios.com
Barcelona, SPAIN


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2009, 19:14 
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Jason I like the idea of 10'000 battle dressed orks...running across a bleak landscape.

why...
a) everyone can then try modeling, texturing, rigging + automation.
b) face robot for facial expressions
c) windswept land scape = less modeling
d) ice for motion (or behaviour)

So whats the concept...

Windswept barren landscape... long shot you see group of orks. (barren slow music plays - classical - royalty free)

closeup orks... murmuring amongst themselves...
Ork's look at sundial... (slow build up of music)
Ork battle scream (music kicks in.. )
Orks running.. (more dramatic) _ cool camera moves
Ork while looking at camera - ugly smile, hits and gets taken out by tree
Orks running....

Orks...stopping... there is a zebra crossing with an animal crossing ( = road crossing = pedestrians get right of way...)
Orks huming and ha'ing as animal takes it time

Animal gone....
Orks screaming and running...

Orks stopped by train barrier...
Orks humming and ha'ing as train takes it time


Train gone...
Orks screaming and running...


Orks arrive at pub...sign = happy hour 5-7... landlord points at watch they are too late.
Orks dejected walk back home.



Cheers
Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2009, 20:00 
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Great to see some strong initiative in this respect! :-bd
And now maybe we need a new dedicated home for the project,
a "CAP subforum" so to speak... (owei??? ;;) :ympray: :-ss )


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2009, 20:44 
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Joined: 09 Jun 2009, 18:38
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Location: London
Letterbox wrote:
Jason I like the idea of 10'000 battle dressed orks...running across a bleak landscape.

why...
a) everyone can then try modeling, texturing, rigging + automation.
b) face robot for facial expressions
c) windswept land scape = less modeling
d) ice for motion (or behaviour)

So whats the concept...

Windswept barren landscape... long shot you see group of orks. (barren slow music plays - classical - royalty free)

closeup orks... murmuring amongst themselves...
Ork's look at sundial... (slow build up of music)
Ork battle scream (music kicks in.. )
Orks running.. (more dramatic) _ cool camera moves
Ork while looking at camera - ugly smile, hits and gets taken out by tree
Orks running....

Orks...stopping... there is a zebra crossing with an animal crossing ( = road crossing = pedestrians get right of way...)
Orks huming and ha'ing as animal takes it time

Animal gone....
Orks screaming and running...

Orks stopped by train barrier...
Orks humming and ha'ing as train takes it time


Train gone...
Orks screaming and running...


Orks arrive at pub...sign = happy hour 5-7... landlord points at watch they are too late.
Orks dejected walk back home.



Cheers
Terry


Haha! You know what....

... I think thats a pretty good idea! It's actually very flexible because even if we only get 4 orcs finished, it would still work. BTW I think the orcs should be wearing digital watches.


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2009, 20:46 
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Or we could let the Orcs roam on a glacier as a workaround to get the obligatory ICE stuff in there... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2009, 00:44 
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Posts: 35
I, personally..... I'm a little bit tired of the normal "bigger, badder, more kickass" that everyone tries to make these days. And in my personal opinion, SI has always been the software of choice when one wants to make something more "serious".

So the idea of a horde of Orcs raging across the battlefeild doesn't get my vote, unless we can twist it up for a little bit of sadistic humor... or something.

No, i'd love to be a part of something more serious... perhaps more personal. It doesn't have to be "realistic" but it would be nice to pull at peoples heartstrings. I realize of course that requires some excellent writing.

Just a thought. I was recently listening to some of my favorite music, and a track came on titled "Beautiful Disaster"... i dunno, something about the concept rings potential in my mind.

Me, being a sci-fi nut... in my mind i can see a world being destroyed by an exploding star. Perhaps as a precursor this event, the entire short is spent showing all the efforts that people on Earth go through to "save" or "preserve" their planet, only to be destroyed helplessly by a supernova.

Or perhaps its much closer to home. We could have a lead character, that try as they might, are left unable to save someone they love from certain destruction. Perhaps its ironic, like an overprotective parent safeguarding their child against all the dangers in the world, but then some random event takes that loved one away.

My 2 cents.

Though i'd support any ideas people pose here.


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2009, 01:16 
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Posts: 3
my apologies for every micro or macro grammar/English-language mistake, English isn't my native language
redmotion wrote:
1. CONCEPT
The concept could clarify the main objectives, hone in on the scope of the script, what will be in it and what the story will be about:-
OK, I'm just throwing some of my thoughts, weather it should be considered I don't really care. But I wish u best luck off all, and maybe I could add some kind of support if this thing kicks off, of practical nature (modeling animating etc...)

haven't read other posts (didn't have time, but i will read them), so sry for any kind of similarity or duplicity if any
redmotion wrote:
1. How long will it be? I suggest it lasts no more than 2 minutes. Preferably, just 60 seconds. (We’d want to finish it! And in less than a year.)
yes... 2 to 3:30 max; maybe some kind of movie (animated movie?) trailer of some sort, if it is too complicated to develop whole story and finish it with 2 min, then why not create trailer for something longer if this succeeds.
redmotion wrote:
2. It has to lead up to a punchline; but it doesn’t have to be a funny punchline, it could be an epiphany/revelation, for example.
Well this would be in consideration if trailer was not an option, but then again, even trailer can have a whole story that asks questions but does not answer them. IMHO maybe this would be even better (to create questions with "community" film) instead of creating some funny/sympathetic pixar-like-rip-off character/s
redmotion wrote:
3. It is in english if there is to be dialogue. However, doing it without dialogue may be preferable.
Indeed doing it without language makes it (maybe?) more universal, and artistic; then again, depending on plot, technical realization could and could not be easier. Still depends on the story, but i would rather see without conversation (done well can be more powerful, few times on scale, creation)
redmotion wrote:
4. It is stylised to reduce time taken on art and finishing.
don't understand very well, but using slower pacing and steady or slow camera, can create more depth then some action/blockbuster rip off. Beauty is simplicity (or is it another way around?:)).
redmotion wrote:
5. There are no more than 3 characters. A Protagonist, an antagonist and another character (eg: the protagonists sidekick, a neutral third character, the focus of the conflict between the two characters, etc.)
I agree, as less characters as possible. With only one, good movie can be created. The less characters u have, the greater the likelihood of audience attachment to them.
redmotion wrote:
6. There are no more than 5 different environments (beginning, middle and end?).
Good point. Simplicity, and audience does not like when u toss and turn them, having more then 5 (maybe even 3 enviroments) in 3 minutes of a movie, is upper limit
redmotion wrote:
7. The things that happen could display all aspects of the SI toolset, ICE, Facerobot, although this could result in a load of contrived scenes slapped together at the expense of a decent story. (Like a hollywood blockbuster. :P )
You got to ask yourselves... Are you creating "community" softimage reel or r u trying to create beautiful short using only xsi (softimage)
If first is the case, then half what i said goes to water, and I really really doubt that audience (what audience? softimage community only, audience, or wider ?) and, I as a subject, would not be thrilled to see hollywood and/or blockbuster 2-3 min rip-off. I get long ones every year, and starting to hate them.
redmotion wrote:
8. We could try brainstorming for inspiring words on the forum for a week and then pick 3-5 words that the story must address.
one of many good possible starts
redmotion wrote:
9. The technical achievement for this won’t be the 10,000 orcs screaming across a bleak, stormswept landscape in full battledress, but that we finished it, ontime and it’s actually entertaining.
this is contradicting with point 7, but that's ok since this is only talking about whole thing
redmotion wrote:
10. We get things running here on 15th September – when Softimage 2010 comes out.


tnx for reading (u didn't did ya ?:D) my mile-long post, and like i said sry if I'm duplicating some thoughts posted here, didn't have time to read the rest. These were some of my thoughts and I hope u read this and maybe even consider some of this, so this writing time isn't spent in vain :).

p.s. I am lobbying for SF story, and if set in space, I do not wish to see much of artificial Gravity; I would want to see people floating around :) and fire that acts physically correct in zero-gravity environment. SF movie screen is crying for something like this for decades... and still is...


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2009, 03:56 
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The following is literally me thinking out of my ass,
so please forgive the mindless ambition...
and please let this serve as a basic idea only, because that's all I see it as.


Central Concept: "Beautiful Disaster"

Summary: Protagonist (m/f?) watches helplessly from orbit as their home-world is destroyed by a man-made catastrophe.

Media References:
"Earth" novel by David Brin
"Accelerando" novel by Charles Stross
"Gladiator" film by Ridley Scott
"Defcon" video-game by Introversion Software
"Fallout" video-game by Interplay

The Setup:
-Earth is developing technology at an alarming rate, but the planet is dying for lack of care. Major powers have finally started making significant pro-active moves in preserving the planet. Organizations that refuse to cooperate are being violently forced to shut down operations. Technological acceleration has only served to increase the rate at which conflicts are presented and resolved, but conflict never goes away. Events cascade out of control when a few major powers try to shut down labs running Quantum level experiments. Communication fails, a brief but decisive war is waged over the issue. A Quantum Singularity is accidentally formed and released into the Earth, and begins to tear the world apart from the inside out, before imploding.

Story Blocking:
-The Protagonist watches from orbit while various countries around the world launch tactical missile strikes at each other over nameless conflicts. He(or She?) holds a picture of his Spouse and Child in his hand.
-Child back on Earth is running home to Parent as counter missiles launch somewhere in the distance.
-Counter missiles fail to block the entire attack, one Ballistic missile hits Quantum Research Lab.
-Quantum Singularity is released into the Earth.
-Earth begins to exploded/implode which all kinds of seismic distortions.
-Protagonist watches from space, helpless to do anything. A single tear.

Environments/Sets:
-Orbital Space Station -
-Quantum Research Lab -
-Peaceful Country Home -
-News Stand (or something equivalent) -
-Planet Earth (viewed from space) -

Characters:
-Lead Protagonist (in space) -
-Spouse/Parent (back home) -
-Child (back home) -

Key Props/Items:
-Counter Offensive Missile -
-Ballistic Missile -
-Quantum Singularity -

So I realize this looks like a LOT of work. Initially my idea was to focus on:
A) The Protagonist in the Orbital Space Station
B) The Spouse and Child at home on Earth
C) The view of Earth being destroyed as viewed from space (plenty of ICE opportunity here)

Frankly the only reason i documented as much as i did this early into it was so we would have something to talk about... just a little bit of story to consider/improve/replace. I don't really think we would need to present most of this story within the scope of the short, but perhaps we can successfully allude to it by what we do show.


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 Post subject: Re: Community Animation Project - getting things rolling!
PostPosted: 04 Sep 2009, 08:02 
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While I agree, some "story-based" animation might be very interesting, I think that should be considered as a possible follow-up to an initial "Orc-based" (or similar) animation project, as "story-based" increases the stress placed upon the project, especially the first one, considerably... That said: I really like your idea!!! ;)


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