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Old 10-01-2010, 04:59 AM   #1
huntaer
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Default Senior thesis

It's my senior year, and it's time to choose what I want to do for my thesis. After talks with my professor and the department head, I've decided to do a short 3D horror rather than a live action short or a 90 page script as per tradition in the film department. Thus, I got a lot of pressure to get this done right (only guy doing a 3D short) and I can use some feed back as I progress in my thesis.

Currently, I have two test scenes rendered out that's in semi-final production.

An exterior shot of a hotel of sorts, where the thesis takes place. I actually have updated the lighting since I last uploaded this (ambient light for general purposes, and a directional light to mimic the sun's position). What I wanna do though, is somehow get a better sky than what I got, either added in After Effects or in Maya. Don't ask why I used Galactica music for the render test, I don't even remember why.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9JH9yuwcYY


The other scene takes place near the end of the thesis. I did this first because it was the most intriguing scene, where the character thinks he sees his mother's hands appear out of a mist, but to his horror they slowly transform into a pair of demon hands (character yet to be included). For the fog effect, I decided to use a Simple Fog and modified from there. If anyone knows of a way that might make it look freakier, I'd appreciate it. Also, the damn fog moves too fast for some reason when it switched to the "side view" of the hands moving. The hand speed itself though is fine (I think). Is there any way I can control the fog's animation so that it appears to be moving more smoothly?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_i6dHCl17YI
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:59 AM   #2
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First video

in fact... you should try to add dead trees around, maybe a graveyard... and a forest... or more houses... because we can see that this is a single plane.

If you are in maya you also should try the fur system to get a nice grass without loosing your time. But if you don't come close to the ground... a bump map with a nice texture can do the job.

And the sky is hard to make a realistic one... you have to find a good HDR image of a sky and do a sphere with the texture in (in the mental ray indirect lights settings there's a way to create it and it also give a kind of.. light)

Second video
the arms are supposed to be flying or attached to somebody? if they are supposed to be flying its a nice shot but you should try to make something like... fog coming out of the arms like if it was a ghost (personal idea) with particles or something like that



hope my comments help!
and I have one question
Are you studying in 3D or in cinema?
I can't wait to see more of your project =)
have fun
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:06 PM   #3
huntaer
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Originally posted by mikeyduf
First video

in fact... you should try to add dead trees around, maybe a graveyard... and a forest... or more houses... because we can see that this is a single plane.

If you are in maya you also should try the fur system to get a nice grass without loosing your time. But if you don't come close to the ground... a bump map with a nice texture can do the job.

And the sky is hard to make a realistic one... you have to find a good HDR image of a sky and do a sphere with the texture in (in the mental ray indirect lights settings there's a way to create it and it also give a kind of.. light)
1) Trees would be good, I was thinking of using the stuff provided in VISOR so that I don't have to build my own. I already tested it in a separate file and it looks like that might be the simplest way to go for me.

2) Graveyard wouldn't be necessary, as it is supposed to look like an ordinary renovated hotel and (to me at least) the graveyard would give it away. I've considered adding in more houses, a couple hills, driveway, gravel, ect.

3) The fur system sounds like a great idea. I'll have to keep that in mind.

4) Hmm. I'll have to keep searching for a sky I guess. I do believe I have downloaded a sky texture a while ago I might wanna import into the file.

Second video
the arms are supposed to be flying or attached to somebody? if they are supposed to be flying its a nice shot but you should try to make something like... fog coming out of the arms like if it was a ghost (personal idea) with particles or something like that
They're kinda supposed to be a combination of flying and attached. Originally the mist was supposed to follow the arms to add a more of a spooky feel, but I have been unsuccessful in trying to duplicate that so right now they're just flying. I was considering on messing around with particles to make it appear as though the hands were pushing through the fog, but I haven't gotten around to it yet or know of a simple way to do it. As it is, I'm still doing research on the simplest and most realistic method. I might just in the end change the camera position to give the illusion that the mist is either following it, or the body is simply hidden in the fog.

hope my comments help!
and I have one question
Are you studying in 3D or in cinema?
I can't wait to see more of your project =)
have fun
Cinema, with a focus on 3D. Only one in the film department doing such a thing.

Thanks for the comments, they were helpful.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
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well its a good thing to be different
I know that Peter Jackson and a couple of people started Weta digital few years ago for his VFX...
and today its the biggest 3D studio for movies (I think... well they did the best movies)
maybe you'll be the next Peter Jackson
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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Mikeyduf already mentioned adding more to the environment and I agree.

::Vid 1::

- The green for the grass plane thingy is really saturated and dark, I've never seen grass that color. I think the same goes for the blue in the sky.

- The sky texture doesn't do much in creating an illusion of a horizon as the clouds just keep going until the ground plane clips them off.

- Well you already said you updated the lighting, I don't know what it looks like now but surfaces opposite the sun's direction shouldn't be so dark as the planet itself reflects light.

- The camera seems wobbly and I'm not sure about the pacing.


::Vid 2::

Are the hands going to be animated? The hands themselves seem a bit boxy from the wrist on back. If you have access to fluids you can use that for the fog or maybe even add the fog in post.
___________


I'd be interested in seeing a couple updated shots and of course the final result. Good luck with it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:17 AM   #6
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Originally posted by GecT
Mikeyduf already mentioned adding more to the environment and I agree.

::Vid 1::

- The green for the grass plane thingy is really saturated and dark, I've never seen grass that color. I think the same goes for the blue in the sky.

- The sky texture doesn't do much in creating an illusion of a horizon as the clouds just keep going until the ground plane clips them off.

- Well you already said you updated the lighting, I don't know what it looks like now but surfaces opposite the sun's direction shouldn't be so dark as the planet itself reflects light.

- The camera seems wobbly and I'm not sure about the pacing.
1) Agreed. I'm working on that one sometime this week.

2) Is there a way I can make the plane seem like it goes on forever instead of just stretching it out in maya?

3) I'm aware, and have already manipulated it so that it looks more "realistic." Expect an update on that video soon.

4) Hmm... I think I see where it seems wobbly. It was probably how I animated the camera panning around. I'll see about fixing that, if possible. Though that sequence isn't actually in the thesis, so I'm not going to fret over it very much but it is something I should look out for in future projects.

::Vid 2::

Are the hands going to be animated? The hands themselves seem a bit boxy from the wrist on back. If you have access to fluids you can use that for the fog or maybe even add the fog in post.
1) Yes, the hands will be animated in the end as they "reach" outwards, grab the walls and yank them into the fog.

2) I never noticed that they were boxy, I'll smooth them out again and see if it fixes it.

3) I'm thinking about adding the fog in post production. I'll also mess around s'more in fluids, just got a couple of tutorial books that show me how to do that stuff IIRC. If they don't, I'll talk to my proff.

I'd be interested in seeing a couple updated shots and of course the final result. Good luck with it.
Thanks, I'm working on an interior "inspection" of the hotel as well. Picture something similar to the flyby of the hotel. It will give us the grand picture of the place and the amount of detail in it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #7
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I'm not sure about making the ground plane seem infinite without scaling. I think the issue is with the sky texture, the clouds don't go off in the distance, they're all in your face and then they just drop below the ground plane, so the sky seems flat.

Also, I think the contours of the hands are whats making them appear boxy, I don't think its a smoothing issue. I see it in the wrists and forearms.
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Old 13-01-2010, 09:53 PM   #8
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Working on lighting the interior, so that when I re-render the first video, I can include the interior flyby as well. I'm currently trying to capture the classic "horror" kinda lighting. Also, the hallway hasn't yet been textured so I have yet to get to that.

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