Plate cleanup

We got an artifact from the RED camera with a black or discolored line down the middle of almost all our shots. I struggled quite a bit, trying out different methods to remove the lines. I tried a few edgebleed tricks (none giving me pleasing results), I tried nukes furnace rig removal (it had problems with highlights), I tried cloning (too time consuming), I tried moving the right side of the image 4 pixels, to cover the lines (it created a noticeable edge between left and right side. The thing that finally gave me a result I was happy with (and was extremely easy to set up) was after effects “simple wire removal”. I’m quite surprised that a function named “simple” beat the optical-flow based furnace rig removal.

I also suppressed the colors on a blue patch on our actors back that we thought was irritating. Here is the before and after:

cleanup

Milestone 2

Today we presented Milestone 2 “Proof of Concept”.

We showed our edit with a proxy creature, and the result of the past two weeks work. Everything is going as planned and we won’t need to do any rework of our planning.

Here is our wip-edit. The images are unedited, so there is no grading and there are some artifacts that we will have to fix.

Creature look development meeting

On Wednesday we had a look development meeting where we reviewed the creature design. We asked students both from our class and the second year to give us some critique on the creature sculpt.
Eventually we got a list of changes that we tried out, some didn’t work but most of them made the design better.
We are having these meetings every Monday so we can get some fresh perspectives and ideas of our work.

lookDev before and after

Filming

On location shooting the footageOn Tuesday this week we filmed our footage. We got a hired cameraman, Mattias Sjöstedt with a rented RED camera which gave us some great footage with great quality. Also thanks to our actors, Mikael Eriksson (the man in behind the mask) and Jonas Malm (a dead professor).

We won’t show you any of our footage yet, but at Milestone 2 (11/2) we will post the whole sequence with a proxy-animated creature for the creature-shots.

Ready for production

Today we finished up the set. Kim managed to build a awesome cage that will add to the look and story of the sequence. We’ve also fixed all the clothing for our actors and we feel ready to shoot the footage tomorrow.

Micke in his costume Kim adding fake blood to our scenBloody cage

Creature proportions and anatomy

This is the creature sculpt I’m been working on this week.
There’s still some work to do before I can say that the proportions and anatomy is 100% done. So tomorrow we will have a look development meeting where we go over the design and list the changes that needs to be done. As soon as that’s finished I will start to work on the details, such as scars, skin folds and other nasty stuff.

It was a fun challenge to figure out how the skeleton and muscles would work and I’m pretty happy how it turned out in the end.

Rigging setup

For the past few days I’ve been working on the rig, trying to figure out the best solutions for our rig setup. We are aiming for a simple rig, without complete freedom because it would not make sense to build to advanced for only three shots. We want the rig to be built for the performance the shots require, and skip the rest.

Here is my favorite part of the rig. Its a dynamically driven ik spline which can switch and blend between simulation and keyframe animation. It’s an easy setup but very effective. These splines will be used to animate the tentacles-things on the head of our creature. In this video, the spline is set to 100% dynamic and only the top control is animated.

Meanwhile, Robin has been working on the anatomy of the sculpture. There will probably be a post of his progress tomorrow, with a turntable.

RED workflow

Today we had a presentation on how to work with RED material. It seems pretty straight forward, except a detour into one of REDs own software for conversion.

The lecture was presented by  Simon Tingell, who is working for his own post-production company Trickfabriken here in Skellefteå. His presentation will most certainly  prove helpful.

This is the workflow he recommended:

red_workflow

Arash has rented a RED camera (not sure which model yet) to use for our projects and we will be filming our footage on Tuesday next week.

3D sculpt coming along nicely

So I’ve started sculpting the creature and it is starting to shape up. Once I got the main proportions in I gave the model to Kim so he could start working on the rig.
Right now I’m working on the anatomy of the creature, trying to make sense of it all. Even though it’s a completely made up animal it still have to make sense and have a natural look to be able to fit into the world of our short film.

Speaking of fitting into the world, here’s a size comparison to a human. I wouldn’t like to confront it in real life!
Scale of our creature compared to a human