I’ve been doing some rough animations, rough renders, and final renders to get a better idea on how our main protagonist, George, and the secondary characters should move. And I can’t forget the movements of the environment (interior and exterior).
I also referenced my rough animation file for timing purposes. Because the rough animation was literally single rendered shots elongated to X amount of frames, I counted how long each frame was to adjust the frames in 3dsMax. A very timely task, but definitely helped me stay consistent.
I’ll go through the first couple of scenes and share the various trials I went through to achieve the overall look of the animation and where I want it be.
This scene was pretty simple. It’s a basic camera panning across the sky box/dome. I kept in mind that the main title sequence will be placed on top of this as a background, so I’ll probably add a blur effect when the title comes in.
Basic panning downwards to view the house. I didn’t quite notice until I rendered out the final animation, but 3dsMax slightly glitched and rendered the grass without the UVW map I applied to it. (And I also forgot to apply the moving plant animations…) So re-rendering is required!
In the previous meeting with my advisor, Todd Fechter, I originally had the camera panning across the three windows to view the interior of the house. But in the rough animation, there was so much panning that did make sense, so I adjusted it to where we would pan upwards to see George laying on the couch. Which works a lot better because we are focusing more the protagonist than the house, because you know… the house is just there.
Originally had the camera slightly off center of George when we pan towards him. But by good suggestion from my advisor, I centered the target of the camera and had it pan around George. This was a great improvement because we are officially introducing our protagonist without having to play with too many camera tricks. Simple is usually better in this case!
Here is the second shot of Scene 04. George perks up, looks over, and jumps off the couch. I liked how this short animation came out because in the previous shot, he’s very stagnant because he’s just waking up. But when he awakes, he’s his bouncy self, how I wanted to portray him.
This scene was a bit tricky. I had to have George jump/hop onto the edge of window sill, and because his rig isn’t the best, I had to really play with the controls to make it work. It could use a bit more adjusting, but I’ll make it work. I also slightly adjusted the camera, just from framing purposes. (And I remembered to animate the plants!)
Here is the second shot of Scene 05. Because of the previous shot of his back, I wanted to view him from the window to show his face and how excited he is to be awake, to be part of the world, and how simple life can be. (Something I personally tend to forget.) I love animating his face, so this scene was fun to do.
In this shot, we focus on the exterior of the house where we see the neighbor and his dog taking a normal walk down the sidewalk. It was a little weird animating the neighbor and the dog due to the fact that the sidewalk in not even/flat. But I liked how this shot came out. The shot still seems a little stagnant, even with the subtle plant animations, so I’m probably going to add a few particles flying in the air to give it more of an environment that is believable.
We go back to the same camera from Scene 05 and have George jump off the window sill. While I was rendering the final animation, 3dsMax glitched again and rendered without one of my lights from the living room, that’s why it seems so dark. So I have to re-render this scene as well.
Cut to a shot of a few items hanging, and we see George jump across the screen grabbing onto the leash. The motion blur I applied to render really helped because while I was doing the test renders, it just didn’t look right with out it. I have to adjust the piece of cloth those, it seems a bit too heavy when it moves.
Here was have George landing with the leash in his mouth. I feel that this scene needs a lot of adjustment because of the leash. The leash is rigged on a spline, so I animated the spline vertices for movement, but it still looks a bit messy. But George came out pretty well. I had to adjust a bit of his movement because he was bouncing like he had too much sugar in his bowl of food this morning. The owners footing was a bit awkward at first, but I’ll more than likely adjust that as well.
The door opens to have George look outside and his mouth drops in disbelief. He was a bit too bouncy in this shot as well, so I referenced the timing in the previous scene to match the frames. Not too much trouble with this shot though, it’s actually one of my favorites.
In the rough animation, there was some mad turbulence when the canoe was floating above the water. This was due to the values in the Flex Modifier on the geometric plane. I adjusted them, and now the canoe floats normally. I animated the Canoe Man paddling and the neighbor’s dog, I was wondering if it was going to break or crash 3dsMax because of the huge amount of memory it was taking (water takes up a huge amount of memory), but luckily my computer could handle it. Rain effects and additional water effects will be added in After Effects.
Cut back to the camera from Scene 10, and we see George’s reaction to the fact that he can’t walk outside even though it was literally shining brightly outside two seconds ago. The door slowly closes on him, and he slowly accepts that his walk will have to be delayed. I had to play with the camera here due to placement of the characters, but it came out well!
Scene 13 was actually omitted from the animation. I felt that this shot wasn’t really necessary and it kind of broke the flow that I originally wanted. So onto the next scene!
With another good suggestions from my advisor, I changed the camera angle for this shot. I tried to place the camera from Scene 04-01, but with the placement where George was on the couch, it didn’t quite fit. So I played a bit and found a medium shot of George’s back, and the view of the rain outside really showed in the simplest way why he was upset. I also had the camera pan upwards so we could see him walking sadly toward the couch.
A regular pan around the house. I plan to add the rain effects and additional water effects in After Effects. (AND I FORGOT TO APPLY THE PLANT ANIMATIONS IN THIS SCENE TOO.)
Here we have a Close/Medium Shot of George walking; he looks really happy as he finally get his walk outside. I tried to play a lot with his bounciness when he walks and I like how he came out. I have to check the lights in this scene as well, I think 3dsMax likes to glitch while rendering at times.
Final Scene! With another good camera adjustment suggestion from my advisor, I move the camera bit so when the quick zoom from the previous scene happens, the viewer doesn’t feel uncomfortable because the camera moved downwards. So this works out very well!
Apologies for not updating as much, but the final stretch is in full effect! I will be updating on the various trial and errors such as re-renders, editing, and effects.
Until next time!