Monday, 19 May 2014

Castle Sinister: Deluxe Screening Edition

I've tinkered with it, and this version will be screened on the 23rd May. Cleaner edges. More Foley. New opening scene showing off the castle itself.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Castle Sinister: Submission edition

Here is my film, as submitted for hand-in.

I'm incredibly happy with my work, but I've noticed a few small errors I wish to resolve for the screening on the 23rd of May. A flash-frame before the sorcerer's transformation, a bit of unusual movement when one of the creatures get shot. One scene was coloured in a hurry, and could be cleaner. Expect an improved version within a week, with the added bonus of the spooky castle exteriour shown at the beginning.


Here is my showreel, as submitted for hand-in. It's made up of what little concept sketches, stop-motion, and after-effects work I had availible. I wanted to put more new stop-motion and two-dimensional work in there, and will try to produce some for an improved showreel over the next few weeks.

The music is by The Presidents of the United States of America

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Still here

Well. I've been keeping quiet, but I'm still working on it. I'm now working faster than I used to, either because of experience or sheer blind panic making me focused. I'm working on about three or four shots a day. Cleaning, compositing, rendering. I still need to clean about twenty shots, about four of those aren't animated at all yet. Colourists are working well, but I'm still staying up late with bits of colouring I want to do, either because I'm not sure how I want them to be coloured yet, or because I want creative control on the complicated bits with lots of layers. I'm not sure if I'm on track for submission. It's looking like it could go easily either way, and I'm seriously considering the possibility it being late... I don't want to take the 10% hit on my grade, but I do want this thing to be finished before I hand it in. It has been suggested that some of us wait until next year to submit. It seems like that would be a big commitment, but it's oddly tempting... My arm hurts. My little finger on my right hand is developing a distinct sheen and pinkness where the knuckles rub against the paper. There was a fire drill today. I'm not waking up as early as I want to be. I haven't got anywhere near enough supporting work ready for submission. The next four days I will be locked out of the building for Easter bank-holidays. I'm not sure I'll get any work done at home in that time. I can colour. I have the same software at home. My hard-drive doesn't work with the uni computers, so I can't bring my project home very easily, or back it up properly. I've done the best I can with a large memory stick.

Anyway. Lots of little gripes, brain and body are suffering a lot. Going mad. Seems to be the usual thing about now. Watch this space, the the first of May is approaching!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Showing Progress

We had another screening yesterday morning to see how we'd gotten on so far, these past eight weeks. This is what I had to show.

I've animated the majority of the first sequence, and a fair bit of the middle, but there's still a lot to do, including about half the shots, a lot of cleanup work, and I managed to misspell Russell Brown's name in the credits. My tutors say I won't have time to finish this unless I stop colouring, and choose a simpler aesthetic. But I've got a plan, I have two family members who have volunteered to do some of the colour work for me.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Making Progress

I've managed to get several shots done since the last update, this still is from one of them. My tutor warned me early on that he felt that shading the characters would be near impossible to get finished in time. Until I have everything else finished and coloured, the only things I will shade are the skeletons, and the sorcerer's emerald. The skeletons would be a totally flat colour otherwise, and the emerald needs to appear shiny and translucent.

He was unsure about my pipeline; that with photoshop I would have to render the colour separately from the line, use track mattes or clipping masks, and that rendering as png sequence wouldn't quite work. I did a little research. Since then I'm using a black solid under the line-art layer set to Luma Inverted.

The colour layer problem had me stumped for a while. I rendered as pngs, to test the theory. Black rectangles appeared behind every frame. Saving frames as pngs individually worked, but was time-consuming and I'd have to re-time it all in After Effects. Rendering it with a bright green background, and keying it out again was a pain. It worked, but was needlessly difficult to fine-tune the edges. I considered colouring in vectors to avoid the colour-blending of pixels, but decided instead to investigate the rendering panel. I found setting the Alpha Channel to Straight - Unmatted got rid of the black boxes. By that point I already had a few shots done, and had to fix them all to get rid of the mess of the green-screening. But that was a couple weeks back. I've got nine shots that I am happy with, and eight that are line-tested.

My tutor told me last week to have twenty finished by Thursday, to give me some breathing space in the next few weeks. Our deadline has been revealed as May first, and there's three weeks of Easter Holiday right before it, which will include my birthday and a trip to see distant relatives. I hope to get a few days worth of work done in that time.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Showreel 2013-2014

Music by Ok Go. I chose the track because I enjoy it, it's unusual, and it makes me think of the sorcerer in my film.