Aesthetic style

“What makes art beautiful is a complicated concept, since beauty is subjective and can change based on context. But, there is a basic human instinct, an internal appreciation, for harmony, balance, and rhythm — this can be defined as beauty. Beauty in terms of art usually refers to an interaction between line, color, texture, sound, shape, motion, and size that is pleasing to the senses.” (Boundlesscom, 2015)

Aesthetics is a rather important aspect of any animated production, and this means making sure the aesthetics of it all work. working out what style the finished product will be in and keeping it all the same, making sure everything flows well, and insuring that nothing looks stupid or really does not fit the style.

For our project we where going for a really simple origami sort of look. This means that everything had to have a basic look to it, but be stylized so that it looked good in the correct style, not just lazy.
For the most part this worked, but it was rather interesting getting it to that point. Our background had a papery effect done to it so it would fit in well. All our 2D characters where done with sharp lines and animated to look like they where made of paper, though this effect was not accurate 100%. However I do think it turned out well for the time that was put in, though next time I think a bit more research could go into it depending on the time we have.
The text was made to look like paper folding out, and the effect worked fairly well, it was time consuming to get done, but it turned out rather well. It also increased the paper effect of other aspects due to its look and the feel it gave.

NotLD_PNG_249

This image is a still taken from the reboot project, it shows one of the main scenes and that it is using the rule of thirds. for the mail focus points. With the text coming into the scene at the top of the view.
The colours used where to help enhance the idea of the location, which was ancient egypt. So we used more sandy colours to convey the desert, with some darker colours to help to keep a overall toned down mood.

So many places I have looked at say that aesthetics are based on the beholder, much like beauty. just because one person finds something aesthetically pleasing does not mean anyone else will. “…the concept of the aesthetic is inherently problematic and it is only recently that we have managed to see that it is…”(Stanfordedu, 2015)

References:

Boundlesscom. (2015). Boundless. Retrieved 30 November, 2015, from https://www.boundless.com/art-history/textbooks/boundless-art-history-textbook/thinking-and-talking-about-art-1/what-is-art-38/what-makes-art-beautiful-244-4297/

Stanfordedu. (2015). Stanfordedu. Retrieved 30 November, 2015, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aesthetic-concept/

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Management methodology

The Management Methodology is an important part of managing a project and how well it does overall. For out Reboot project we used a Gant chart with a breakdown of tasks and the time they needed to be done by. And had weekly scrums to see how things where going, what needed to be done next and who would work on what. Gant_ChartThis is our gant chart, which was made early on and though not always stuck to 100% was a big help.
We had a task schedule, though it was not based on time it did have the ability to be changed as things where being worked on or where finished. I felt so good watching it go from red (needs to be done) or orange (being worked on) to green as tasks where completed. Task_Schedule

Presentation

Slide1 Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5 Slide6So I presented a presentation today. Because that is what you do with them.
I must say its the first time I have been disappointed in my presentations.
I said some things I wanted to, but I forgot some other key points and made a few statements that where just wildly random and inacurate.

Workflow

Data management was something we struggled with a bit sadly. most of our assets and data where stored on and transferred using google drive. That was okay in itself, but it was the naming conventions where we fell down. Either our workers did not read them, did not understand them or just did not use them out of laziness, though I do not think it was the last one.
to the end of making sure this is done better next time, I have looked into some data management methods, strategies and resources to see what people suggest who have done it before.

There are a lot of websites dedicated to helping work out better data management, but not so much offering resources to help as much as helping people understand the reason good data management is important, useful and how it can help a business do much better in the short and long term.
“…a formal enterprise data management program addresses: data management strategies. A strategy like this must be collaborative; involving IT and business leadership, and it is one of the main activities of a data governance program. ” (Eiminstituteorg, 2015)
Which is the general feel of everything I have come across so far, they tell of how important it is, and give some good advice if you are a company or business of any kind. Not so useful for a small studio of students, so I will keep looking.

Some resources give a more in depth and simplistic steps to help with data management, they do not give resources in the way of things such as actual data sharing, but I think before the next project I do I will make sure everyone has gone through something like this so they understand the importance of a proper naming convention and the likes.
http://ands.org.au/resource/data-management-planning.html
This website has some useful looking guidelines on it, but is slightly more in depth then I may need to go any time soon.
There is another website I found with a much better breakdown of Data management and how it should be done.
DataLifeCycle.jpg
From all i have read, the data sharing can be done in many ways, from a server computer based on site, to using the cloud.
But this system seems to look really useful to me, and so I will incorporate parts of this and some others to make sure it works better next time.

 

References:

Eiminstituteorg. (2015). Eiminstituteorg. Retrieved 2 December, 2015, from http://www.eiminstitute.org/library/eimi-archives/volume-2-issue-7-november-2008-edition/data-strategies-2013-data-management-strategies

Arizonaedu. (2015). Arizonaedu. Retrieved 2 December, 2015, from http://data.library.arizona.edu/research-data-life-cycle

 

Reboot Pipeline, The Goods and the Bads

Our Reboot project is officially finished, which is awesome. I am, on the whole, happy with the finished product.
So our main idea was already worked out before we met our workers, who on the whole seemed decent. However one harsh lesson learned this time is that work needs to be seen before task delegation begins. so some sort of portfolio of what people have done so that leads can have a better idea of what they are capable of and to what level.
The basic idea behind this project was that we would make a start sequence for a TV series that is a reboot of an old movie, but done to the style of a different movie. We got given ‘night of the living dead’ done to the style of ‘Bunraku’ which is a very styalized film with sets made from cardboard and origami looking things.
When we first received the project, the leads had to work out the details of an animation sequences, the basic style, an art bible and all the other fun documentation. we then went to meet our animators and so forth, and had to convey our wants to them for the project.
I found that the workers where willing to try new things for the most part and have a go at what we asked, but it was also not completely done to the standards I would have liked. Though I do take blame for a fair bit of this as I failed to explain properly what I wanted. Partially because it was in either the project brief or art bible, but also because I see it as common practice now and do not really think to make sure others will do it.
Even though there was a lot of willingness to do things, myself and the other lead had to do a huge amount of work to end up with a finished product, to the point of having to stop other things projects. We had 1 person who should have been a lead never show up and never talk on any communication channels which set a terrible precedence for the workers as they did not see all the people they assumed where leads doing so.

Our production pipeline was fairy standard. We had people on concepting and designing characters and environments for the first week (it was a 6 week project in total) The second week was revising the project, making sure the concept and designs where good. the leads had the animatic done and we started to get our 3D modellers and 2D artists to work on asset creation.
After this a large part was creation of assets and making sure they looked good, fit the style and worked as we needed them too. The last week was dedicated to making sure everything was composited properly in Adobe After effects, and then rendering it out.

I have learned so many good things from this, and not all of them from negative experiences. People love to see the finished product and the things they have worked on come together, and it leaves them with a big smile to know they have done well. Encouraging others to do better makes them happier to do as you ask, and giving them positive feedback makes them work harder to do better. Going the extra mile to help others has also meant they want to work with me again, because they know I will put in effort and help them to learn more and do better themselves.

All in all, I would say that this project was a success, and while it was hard and had stressful moments, I really enjoyed it overall.
Would I do it again? for sure, if I could swap a few people out.

I have added in a link to the final product for your evaluation.

3D Modelling Pipeline Test 1

So I am going to test out some pipelines for modeling 3D objects.
The first model I will be making is a character, which I will also take to skinning, rigging and animating.

Concept the Character (hopefully do not have to do this too often)
Model it in 3ds Max (Aiming for lower polly but still good detail)
Unwrap for texturing and then texture (I will skip normals for this model and try them out on the next one)
Rig and skin (part of the same process to my mind)
And after this it is on to animation…Which I will do a different set of posts on later

For now, the work I have got done is minimal with only the character concept being finished…ish. I am not the best at drawing and digital painting and what not so the design is minimal, which is one reason I hope I do not have to concept or design characters, creatures or whatever, too often.Render_001
So this is the character I killed and put into 3ds Max to start modelling. I was hoping to have this done over a week ago but some other projects got out of hand.

UV mapping

So I totally forgot to do this earlier, but I can’t sleep now so I guess its okay.
I have to research into UV mapping and any alternatives there might be.

so far, my basic understanding of UV mapping is that it is has a few ways to be done. UV mapping is putting 2D texture onto a 3D model.
One way to do it is by unwrapping the model into UV maps and then having a texture created in something like Photoshop. This allows the user to create UV co-ordinates more manually and gives more control over positioning of seams and some control over stretching and squashing.
Though it is almost impossible to stop stretching and squashing, it is important to keep it as minimal as possible. If it can not be avoided, then its a good idea to squash it tighter into places that will need more detail such as around the nose on a face.

The UV mapping below is an example of good unwrapping and bad, the left is not using tools such a peel and pelt, the right is the same character done with peel and pelt

UVW_BadUVW_Good

depending on the use of the model, and its amount of detail or polly count there are some tools that can help to make unwrapping easier.
Pelt and Peel are amazingly good tools that helps with unwrapping circular or irregular objects, such as faces or hands in organic objects, but also things like balls, trees, anything else that has interesting shapes that are hard to do manually.
To do this one needs to use the seems tool to create seems in decent places, on the face again under the hair, or down the side of hands. Trees or things with grains and seems to them such as clothing are easier to do as they have built in seems where one can place the unwrap seems. Once the seems are placed it is a simple step to pelt and relax or peel the objects UV to a good flat image.
There are some brilliant tutorials online at Digital Tutors to help learn to use those tools. They also explain stretch and squash in them and the better places to put them in your UVs.

One alternative to UV unwrapping is to use standard projections, which apparently gives the user node based control over the texture, though I am not sure how this works as I have never used it and I can not find much info on it online. Though I am sure it would be out there if one looked in the right place.