Pipeline of Dreamworks Animation

F

Story (Story board)

Storyboards are a hand-drawn of the movie and serve as the blueprint for the action and dialogue. Each storyboard artist receives script pages or a “beat outline”, a map of the character’s emotional changes that need to be seen through actions. Using these as guidelines, the artists envision their assigned sequences, draw them out and then “pitch” their work to the director. Over four-thousand storyboard drawings are created as the blueprints for the action and dialog of a feature-length Pixar animated film. They are revised many times during the creative development process.

Picture

Storyboards are used to create story. A storyboard originates from written word; for example from a script. A storyboard artist takes the written word and draws it into pictures. The picture are then taken and pinned on a board, a storyboard. After all the pictures are pinned to a storyboard, the artist then pitches it to the director. The artist wants to give a sense of what this movie could be like and tries to bring it to life. The aim of a storyboard is to get a feeling of what the story could be like as a final film. The storyboard artist attempts to convey what it would feel like to watch the film in a cinema.

Picture

The following video explains what a storyboard is and the process of storyboard by a storyboard artist. It also shows us a storyboard pitch, where an artist is pitching his storyboards to a group of Pixar employees. The video then compares a storyboard to the finished product; demonstrating the influence and importance a storyboard has on a final product.

John Lasseter on Storyboarding

The following quote from John Lasseter, the Chief Creative Officer at Pixar, illuminates the importance of storyboarding to creating a successful.

“In animation, it is so expensive the footage, that unlike live action we cannot have coverage. We can’t do multiple takes of a scene. We don’t have extra handles, we don’t have B-roll, we don’t have any of that stuff. We have one chance to every scene. So how can you possibly know you’re choosing the right thing?

What we do is we edit the movie before we start production. And we use storyboard drawings to do that. We quickly get away from the written page and the script, and we really develop the movie in storyboards. A comic book version of the story. And we do it the way Walt Disney did it. We have 4×8 sheets of bulletin board material, and we pin drawings and we pitch them to each other. To see how things flow.

And when something seems to be working great then we’ll go on to the editing system and we will make a version of the movie using the still storyboard drawings. And we’ll put our own voices in it as scratch voices, we’ll get temporary music from some soundtrack album that has the right emotion we want, and put sound effects in there. And we can literally sit back in a screening room, press a button — no excuses, no caveats — and we just watch the movie with still drawings.

I will never let something go into production unless it is working fantastic in that version with the still drawings. Because no matter all the great animation you can do will never save a bad story. We will work and rework and rework and rework these reels — sometimes thirty times before we let it go into production. We’re really adamant. We’ll even slow the production down or stop production to get the story right because we believe that it’s the story that entertains audiences. It’s not the technology. It’s not the way something looks. It’s the story.”

– John Lasseter

Here are some storyboards from a number of different Pixar films:

Toy story storyboard

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Brave storyboard

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Up storyboard

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Picture

Picture

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Editorial

I put this together pretty quickly for the internal project wiki at work as a basic overview of what goes in and out of my remit as editor on a 52×11 min animated series, where within the process sequence reviews typically happen, and where things come from go to.

It’s not as entirely linear as this in practice (locks happen before all of the animation is done, for example-so that any extensions can be accommodated), a lot of things end up happening as simultaneously, and I’m typically working on anywhere between 5-26 episodes at a time…but this is the basic system.

I’m sharing it here because I get asked a lot where the editing happens in animation (“surely the work’s all done by the time you arrive on the scene?”). Answer: everywhere. I haven’t even included the script changes and pickups/ ADR here. They basically get added throughout, ideally less frequently as time goes on – the further we are in an episode; the more people are affected if something needs to be changed.

 

 

Art

Animation art is one of those industries forever changed by technology, as handcrafted production celluloid (cels) and backgrounds were replaced by digital inks in the later 20th century. The collector’s markets existing as a result can be categorised in two areas: original and reproduction.

Film animation has existed since the turn of the 20th century, but archiving and selling its production artwork was practiced minimally until the 1970s. It’s noted that some early Disney artists actually threw their artwork away after filming, or gave pieces away to friends and family. Some work was even wiped off the cel and reused for a new drawings. By the 1970s, dealers began offering film art to fans, and a lucrative market ensued, peaking in the 2990s, bottoming and then rising again in the 2000s.

When collecting animation grew, vendors responded to demand by producing new and reproduced artwork in lots, manufacturing items like limited edition cels, sericel is actually a silk-screened print on acetate or plastic, and essentially duplicates an original  film cel. Sericel values can vary widely, and it’s best to research the printing before purchasing art. Signed, limited-edition lithographs have become common to collecting as well, and understanding a piece’s background is essential to achieving a good value.

 

Modeling

Three-dimensional (3D) models represent a physical body using a collection of points in 3D space, connected by various geometric entities such as triangle, line, curved surfaces. Being a collection of data, 3D models can be created by hand, algorithmically (procedural modeling), or scanned. Their surfaces may be further defined with texture mapping.

3D models are widely used anywhere in 3D graphics and CAD. Their use predates the widespread use of 3D graphics on personal computers. Many computer games used pre-randered images of 3D models as sprites before computer could render them in real-time. The designer can then see the model in various directions and views, this can help the designer see if the object is created as intended to compared to their original vision. Seeing the design this way can help the designer/company figure out changes or improvements needed to the product.

Today 3D models are used in a wide variety of fields. The medical industry uses detailed models of organs; these may be created with multiple 2-D images slices from an MRI or CT scan. The movie industry uses them as characters and objects for animated and real-life motion pictures. The video game industry uses them as assets for computer and video games. The science sector uses them as highly detailed models of chemical compounds. The architecture industry uses them to demonstrate proposed buildings and landscape in lieu of traditional, physical architectural models. The engineering community uses them as designs of new devices, vehicles and structures as well as a host of other uses. In recent decades the earth science community has started to construct 3D geological models as a standard practice. 3D printers or CNC machines.

 

Rigging

In it’s simplest form, 3D rigging is the process of creating a skeleton for a 3D model so it can move. Most commonly, characters are rigged before they are animated because if a character model doesn’t have a rig, they can’t be deformed and moved around. They are stuck in whichever pose the modeler decided to put them in. The rigging process can become very technical and seem overwhelming at times, but after a little practice you’ll be creating great rigs in no time

Key 3D rigging terms you need to know:

  •  Joints: Sometimes called bones, you can think of joints for rigging in the same way you think of joints in a human body. They basically work in the same way. Joints are the points of articulation you create to control the model. For instance, if you were to rig a character’s arm you would want to place a joint for the upper arm, another joint for the elbow and another joint for the wrist, which allows the animator to rotate the arm in a realistic way. Joints

 

  • Driven Keys: To speed up the animation process for the animators, a rigging artist can utilize driven keys when rigging a character. Driven keys allow you to use one control or object to drive multiple different objects and attributes. In the example above we can use a driven key to control the fist position for the hand, with just one single control. A driven key contains two parts: the driver and the driven. The driver is the object in control of the animation. The driven is the objects and attributed that are being controlled by the driver. Typically for regular key, keyframes an attribute has values keyed to time in the time slider. For a driven key, the attribute has values keyed to the value of the driving attributes. The driver can be another object, or in the case of the example image above it is a control slider. Driven_Key

 

  • Blend Shapes: A blend shape, or morph depending on your 3D application, allow you to change the shape of one object into the shape of another object. When rigging a common use for blend shapes is to set up poses for facial animation. This might be lip sync poses or more complex expressions like a smile or frown. You can tie all these new poses into the original face mesh and have it operate all on one control slider. Blend_Shape For example, if you want to raise an eyebrow you can model a face pose with one eyebrow raised, connect it to a blend shape and using the slider with a value of 0 to 100 to either raise or lower the eyebrow. This is a great way for the animator to be able to quickly make face poses without having to move individual facial poses controls around. There are some downsides to using blend shapes for facial poses, because the edit ability can be limited. Riggers often will give the often will give the animator both blend shape options and traditional control points to use them in conjunction. Blend_shape_01

 

  • FK (Forward Kinematics): Forward Kinematics means your character rig will follow the hierarchal chain. This means more control over your chain, but also means you’d need to position each joint in your chain independently of each other. For example, with FK if you positioned the character’s hand the rest of the arm wouldn’t follow like it does with IK. Instead you would need to position each joint independently, starting with the upper arm, the elbow and then the wrist. This obviously takes more time than IK, but can give the animator much more control of the poses. Most times riggers will incorporate both FK and IK into the rig to meet the animator’s needs. Learn more about IK and FK in a post on Demystifying IK and FK for Animators. FK

 

  • Control Curves: Control curves are created by the rigger to assist the animator in manipulating joints within the rig. Typically a rig consists of many components that need to be manipulated to move the character in the desired pose. This can be very difficult to do without control curves because the animator would need to hide the mesh to see the skeleton within the character and try to determine which joint manipulates the elbow, for example. Control curves are typically simple NURBS curves placed outside of the character so the animator can easily select the curve to position the character instead of the actual joint. Control_Curves

 

Surfacing

Duties: Surfacing artist are master digital painters. They enhance the appearance of characters , props and environments in an animated feature film according to the visual style set forth by the art director, production and director of the film. The surfacing artist is responsible for technically demanding and complex surfacing setups. They work closely with the modeling and lighting departments to ensure that surfacing needs are met alongside the needs of other department. These artists use computer rendering environments such as Body paint, Maya, Renderman, Zbrush, Mudbox, or Photoshop to develop the needed surface materials, texture and UV maps that overlay 3D models. They must produce consistent, high-quality work while maintaining a steady flow of assignments into the pipeline and meeting rigid deadlines.

Skills and Education: Being a surfacing artist requires creativity and an eye for design elements such as detail, scale, composition, colour and form. The artist must be able to learn new programs and create in different visual styles as required; an understanding of polygonal and NURBS texturing and UV mapping and layout is necessary. Knowledge of modeling and lighting/shading is a plus, since surfacing artists work in tandem with these departments Educational requirement are not as important to landing the job as relevant industry experience and a killer demo reel, but a bachelor’s degree in computer animation will give you a competitive edge.

What to expect: You may have been a talented artist in your childhood; now you are painting with complex equations and specialised software. Expect to work “alone in a crowd” you may be part of a large team, but you’ll probably be interacting more with your mouse and screen than anyone who can talk back to you. Expect eyestrain, incipient carpel tunnel syndrome, and the satisfaction of shouting “that’s mine!” when the most lifelike fur, scales or lava ever animated pops up on the cineplex screen.

 

Rough Layout

Generally when people think of animation studios, they tend to refer to everyone who works there as an “Animator”. However especially in larger studios, only a fraction of the workforce holds the title “Animator”, as there are many departments doing their part to help bring the vision to the big screen, such as Character Effects, Lighting, Story, Editorial and Modeling. In this article, lets take a closer look at my current home department, layout and look at what they do to help bring the vision to life.

Layout: Bringing it all together 

The most straight forward answer is exactly as the name suggests; they lay-out the movie. More specifically, layout takes all the upstream assets such as backgrounds and props from art department, characters from character designers, storyboards from story department, and they put them together and lay them out according to what the sequence and shots call for, according to the script and storyboard.

Laying out the shot, incorporating all these elements together, inherently means composing everything appropriately, as well as planning out camera moves and ground planes for animation, with guidance coming from the storyboards. This essentially makes layout the cinematographers of the movie. Layout artists in traditional animation will draw each background with a suggestion of lens and focal length, depending on what the story beat calls for, just as a live action production would. In CG Animation it is even lengths, aperture and shutter speeds.

Below you can observe and example of traditional layout, where a camera move has been planned out over the expanse of environment. The warped, somewhat fish-eye perspective suggests focal length as the camera pans over the artwork following the action (Illustration taken from Fraser MacLean’s book setting the scene, Layout artwork by Fraser Maclean, final cleanup by Scott Caple)

In CG pipeline at large animation studios, Layout is often split into two departments: Rough and Final Layout.  Rough Layout, also referred to as previsualization, tend to focus on entire sequences, vs Final Layout, who tends to work on individual shots.  As mentioned before, layout artists act as the cinematographers for the movie, which effectively makes the Head of Layout the Director of Photography for the animated film.  The Head of Layout will go through a process not unlike a live action D.P.  This includes working with the Director to establish a cinematic language for the movie, planning out how sequences will be shot to help support the tone of the story or environment, and even creating a lens kit for the production, and technical aspects like cinemascope vs widescreen.
Previz artists will then work with the Head of Layout and Director to help take the work that was done in story department, and visualise an entire sequence using rough sets and characters, as well as staging rough animation blocking and even creating rough lighting rigs, all to help create what is essentially a low-resolution version of the final look of the movie.  Once that look is established, the rough layout version of the film acts as a visual guideline for downstream departments such as Animation, Lighting, Effects, and of course Final Layout.

If you are working on either a traditional or tradigital (digitally hand-drawn animation) animation project in a team environment, or if you are working with other people, it is important to communicate information clearly and keep your work well organized. In this artist, you will learn how to make a smooth transition from the story board to an animation by making use of a production step known as a layout and posing. To find out more about the steps described in this article, please refer to the animate user guide.

The Layout and Posing process comes from traditional animation where it is done on paper and then passed on to the animator. The Layout and Posing step translates the storyboard information to a format which the animators can use. Since the storyboard is not always accurate, the layout artist will reproduce the storyboard scene to the correct scale, draw the animation poses on the model (posing), plan the camera moves and create the black and white background (background layout).

The background is a section from the location design, also called key background. Background layout is different than the location design. The background artist will refer to the storyboard and the location design to draw the appropriate background for the scene.

For tradigital animation projects the Layout and Posing is done in the animation software, since the main purpose of this technique is to save paper and transfer most of the work to digital.

With Animate you do your layouts and posing digitally there is no need to use paper or scan elements in. Simply open your Drawing or Camera view and draw your background and posing as well as camera move references.

 

Animation

Manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation the images were drawn (or painted) by hand on cels to be photographed and exhibited are made with computer-generated are made with imagery (CGI). Computer animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cut-outs, puppets or clay figures. The stop motion technique where live actors are used as a frame-by-frame subject is known  as pixilation.

Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion- as in motion picture in general-is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phenakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, prazinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and flash animation were developed.

Apart from short films, feature films, animated gifs and other media dedicated to the display moving images, animation is also heavily used for video games, motion graphics and special effects. The physical movement of images parts through simple mechanics in for instance the moving images in magic lantern shows can also be considered animation. Mechanical animation of actual robotic devices is known as animatronics. Animators are artists who specialize in creating animation.

 

 

Crowds

Crowds simulation is the process of simulating the movement (or dynamics) of a large number of entities or characters. It is commonly used to create virtual scenes for visual media like films and video games, and is also used in crisis training, architecture and urban planning, and evacuation simulation.

Crowd simulation may focus on aspects that target different application. For realistic and fast rendering of a crowd for visual cinematography, reduction of the complexity of the 3D scene and image-based rendering are used, while variations in appearance help present a realistic population.

In games and application intended to replicate real-life human crowd movement, like in a evacuation simulations, simulated agents may need to navigate towards a goal, avoid collisions and exhibit other human-like behaviour. Many crowd steering algorithms have been developed to lead simulated crowds to their goal realistically. Some more general systems are researched that can support different kinds of agent(like cars and pedestrians), different levels of abstraction (like individual and continuum) agents interacting with smart objects, and more complex physical and social dynamics.

 

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Three film trailers

What did I learn from the trailer?

I learned that there trying to point out on people who have invaded or living in other people homes.

Genre?

Horror and Thriller

Who is the main character/protagonist?

The family

What do you learn about the mise-en-scene?

There showing a happy family moving into a house but they seem to be afraid of something or someone in their house and are trying to use security home to keep whatever their afraid of getting in.

Character representation?

a family starting a new life

Classification?

What is it about (story in the trailer)?

the story is about a family moving into a house only to find that there is something or someone roaming in their house, their using security home to project themselves but it seams it’s already in the house.

 

What did I learn from the trailer?

that is a 60 monster classic in a fantasy style movie

Genre?

horror and romance

Who is the main character/protagonist?

Elisa who is the deaf girl and what seams to be a creature from the black lagoon

What do you learn about the mise-en-scene?

They showing Elisa life and that she was deaf in which she encounters the creature

Character representation?

falling in love with a creature

Classification?

What is it about (story in the trailer)?

It’s about a deaf girl named Elisa, who works in a lab when she is asked to clean the lab only to discover a creature, she teachers him sigh language  and they start falling in love.

 

What did I learn from the trailer?

that even oddest kind of team can work together

Genre?

action and comedy

Who is the main character/protagonist?

A guy who searches for people who go missing and a guy who hunts guys downs

What do you learn about the mise-en-scene?

showing their life and how they end up working together

Character representation?

team work

Classification?

What is it about (story in the trailer)?

It’s about two guys who go on a search to find someone who gone missing and are hunted down by another group of men who are looking for this person and they work together to find this person

Live action game film idea

Idea one: Visage

A horror themed game in a haunted house, a house that seems normal but at night is haunted by a spirit. This was inspired by Visage (video game)

Visage is an independent survival horror game in development by SadSquare Studio. Similar to Allison Road, the game is a spiritual successor to P.T. The game ran Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight campaigns.

 

Gameplay:

Visage will be set inside a huge house in which terrible things have happened. Players will relive fragments of the house’s history, each of them dragging them closer to what’s behind the dark history of the place. Players will witness firsthand how people died in the terrifying house. Each death has it’s visage.

Plot:

The game takes place in a secluded town in the 1980s. The origin of the house the characters are in has been there for centuries, and it’s foundations never seem to decay. Dozens of families have lived here. Many of them died brutally, while others lived their lives placidly in their beloved home.

Development:

Visage is being developed since January 2015 and was announced in September 2015. The game has been successfully financed by a Kickstarter campagn running from January through March 2016. The release is set for 2018.

Similar to Allison Road, Visage core gameplay is to capture the spirit of the cancelled Silent Hill project, and is inspired by P.T SadSquare Studio has been inspired by other survival horror video games.

 

Idea two: Firewatch

Firewatch is a first-person mystery adventure game developed by Campo Santo and published by Campo Santo and Panic. The game was released in February 2016 for Microsoft Windows, OS X Linux and PlayStation 4, and for Xbox One in September 2016.

The story follows a Shoshone National Forest fire lookout named Henry in 1989, following the Yellowstone fires of 1988. A month after his first day at work, strange things begin happening to both him and his supervisor Delilah, which connects to a conspired mystery that happened years ago. Henry interacts with Delilah using a walkie-talkie, with the player choosing from dialog options to communicate. His exchanges with Delilah inform the process by which their relationship is developed. The game was directed by Olly Moss and Sean Vanaman, written by Chris Remo, Jake Rodkin, Moss and Vanaman, and produced by Gabe McGill and artist Jane Ng, based on a single painting by Moss. The design draws inspiration from New Deal advertisements by the National Park Service and field research conducted Yosemite National Park.

The game received generally positive reviews, earning praise for its story, characters, dialogue, and visual style. However the presence of technical issues and the game’s ending were both subjects of criticism. Firewatch won the award for the Best 3D Visual Experience at the Unity Awards 2016, Best Indie Game at the 2016 Golden Joystick Awards, Best Narrative at the 2017 Game Developers Choice Awards. By the end of 2016, the game had sold over a million copies. A film based on the game is being developed.

 

Gameplay:

Firewatch is a first-person adventure game that takes place in the American state of Wyoming in 1989. Players take on the role of Henry, a fire lookout who is assigned to his own tower in Shoshone National Forest. Through exploration of the surrounding area, Henry uncovers clues about mysterious occurrences in the vicinity that are related to the ransacking of his tower while out on a routine patrol and a shadowy figure that occasionally appears watching him from afar.

Henry’s only means of communication is a walkie-talkie connecting him to his supervisor, Delilah. Players may choose from a number of dialog options to speak with her upon the discovery of new interactive objects or environments, or can refrain from communicating. The players may choose from a number of dialog options to speak with her upon the discovery of new interactive objects or environments, or can refrain from communicating. The players choices will influence the tone of Henry’s relationship, new areas will opened up for players. The game also features a day-night cycle. Objects found in the wilderness can be kept in the inventory for later use.

Plot:

Following the Yellowstone fires of 1988, Henry (Rich Sommer) takes job as a fire lookout in Wyoming after his wife developed advanced early-onset Alzheimers. On his first day, Delilah (Cissy Jones), a lookout in another watchtower, contacts him via walkie-talkie and asks him to investigate illegal fireworks by the lake. Henry discovers a pair of leering. On his way home he comes across a locked cave and spots a shadowy figure. He returns to his watchtower to find it ransacked.

Later, Henry finds an old backpack and a disposable camera belonging to a boy named Brain, who Delilah explains was a lookout with his father Ned. Ned was an outdoorsman who drank heavily due to his traumatic experiences in the Vietnam War, while his son, Brian, enjoyed fantasy novels and role-playing games. Though it is against the rules for employees to bring their children to the towers, Delilah was fond of Brian and lied about his presence. He and Ned left abruptly and never returned.

The teenage girls are reported missing. Fearing an inquiry, Delilah falsifies reports to say that neither she nor Henry encountered the girls. By the lake the next day, Henry discovers a radio and a clipboard with notes including transcripts of his conversations with Delilah. He is then knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant. He wakes to find the clipboard and radio gone. In a meadow referred to on the clipboard letterhead he finds a fenced-off government research area. He breaks in and discovers surveillance equipment and typewritten reports detailing his and Delilah’s conversations and private lives. He also discovers a tracking device which he takes with him.

Henry and Delilah discuss destroying the government camp, but decide against it. As Henry hikes home, someone sets fire to the camp. He uses the tracking device to find a backpack with a key to the cave. Delilah reports a figure in Henry’s tower; when Henry arrives, he finds a Walkman taped to the door with an incriminating recording of Henry and Delilah’s discussion about destroying the government camp.

When Henry enters the cave, someone locks the gate behind him. He escapes through another exit and discovers Brian’s old hiding spot, where he went to escape his father when he tried to teach him how to climb. He goes deeper into the cave using climbing equipment left at Brian’s camp, and discovers Brian’s decomposed body at the bottom of a cavern. Delilah is upset by the news, blaming herself for allowing Brian to stay.

The next day, the fire at the government camp has grown out of control and an evacuation order is given for all the lookouts. As Henry prepares to leave, the tracking device begins beeping. He follows the signal and discovers a tape with a recording from Ned. Ned claims in the tape that Brian’s death was accidental, and that the boy fell due to climbing inexperience. Unwilling to return to society after Brian’s death, Ned admits he has been living in secret in the wilderness ever since. Henry finds Ned’s camp, along with items stolen from the government camp, the lookout towers, and the teenage girls, who Delilah confirms have been found safe. The government camp was simply studying wildlife; Ned had been using its radio equipment to ensure no one was looking for him and to create transcripts to scare Henry away. Delilah blames Ned for Brian’s death and leaves on the helicopter, telling Henry to return to his wife. He goes to her tower, where the rescue helicopter is waiting for him, and he and Delilah say their goodbyes via radio.

Development

Firewatch is the first video game for Campo Santo and was created by Jake Rodin and Sean Vanaman, who were the creative leads on the walking dead; Nels Anderson, the lead designer of mark of the ninja; and artist Olly Moss. Chris Remo was involved in many aspects of the design and also composed the score.

Development for Firewatch began with a single by Moss. Jane Ng, lead environmental artist at Campo Santo, was tasked with translating Moss’ work into 3D environments while maintaining his stylised artistic vision. Moss, who had previously been known primarily for his graphic design work, had joined Vanaman and Rodkin to found Campo Santo after spending many years working on the periphery of game development. In creating the painting, Moss emulated National Park Service posters from the New Deal era in both colour palette and iconography. The development team went on a camping trip to Yosemite National Park for inspiration for the game, where they visited a lookout tower built with the same design as its video game came from Vanaman and Anderson’s experiences growing up in rural Wyoming.

 

Final idea: assassin’s creed 3

Assassin’s creed 3 is a 2012 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and Microsoft Windows. It is the fifth major instillment in the Assassin’s Creed series and a direct sequel to 2011’s Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. The game was released worldwide for playStation 3 and Xbox 360, beginning in North American on October 30, 2012 with a Wii U and Microsoft release following in November 2012.

The plot is set in a fictional history of real world events and follows the centuries-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace will free will, and the Templars, who desire peace through control. The framing story is set in the 21st century and features series protagonist Desmond Miles who, with the aid of a machine known as the Animus, relives the memories of his ancestors to find a way to avert the 2012 apocalypse. The story is set in the 18th century, before during and after the American Revolution from 1754 to 1783 and follows Desmond’s half-English, half-Mohawk ancestor, Ratonhnhake ton also known as Connor, as he fights the Templars in the colonies.

Video diary:

 

Layout:

 

 

Jobs:

Director and production manager me and Indre

Camera mainly me and Indre

Art director me and Indre

sound-person Indre

Editor me and Indre

 

Main character Ben, Indre and me (assassin and british army)

How you intend making this trailer

Real location Richmond park

Real actors Ben, Indre and me

Real props archery kit and knife, make up, clothing

what equipment you will need

 

 

 

 

 

Designing myself-Maya

So I had to design my own 3D character to animate with maya. making a character wasn’t easy as you had to use photos of your own face, so I used some photos of myself in different angles to use every feature on my face to make sure the character looks like me, the face was hard to make it look like me. Honestly having to looks at every feature on my face was annoying due to making sure I can get it right. With the eyes I don’t think I got them correctly cause what I keep forgetting is one of my eye is slightly different from the other, sometimes you cant see it but I tend not to make it obvious because if I were to recreate it, it wouldn’t look normal. It would actually look like one eye in lined and the other lowered, I didn’t want my character to look 100% cause there are various details about the human face that wouldn’t look good with creating  characters.

After managing so much of the facial features, I moved on to the body. Now the body was so much easy to do, since I know my body shape much better then my own facial features, simply using the tools to change the body shape, mostly thighs and chest since the arms and legs were on point, upper arms did give it a little more muscle tone and similar to the thighs but more toned since my legs are pretty muscly. But enough about that, the tools I was using was to help me re design the character original body shape to what my shape looks like.

Highlights are pointed around depending on what area you click on what area, lets say cheeks for example, the tools will set only the cheeks and in which you only do the cheeks tools giving setting like moving cheeks either left or right, make them in or out, in depth or sticking out, lower or higher on the cheek and either make them puffy or a bit chubby. These kinds of tool uses are so that changing the character to look like yourself, although editing every part of the character does take time and to pay attention to the details on my features so that it almost exact to what I look like. Even when there aren’t parts that match one another so.

So I gave it pretty much a go and the results were fairly good, I wouldn’t myself that it looks like me but then again I tried it came out okay.

Once it was finished, I used a website called Mixamo that has pre made video that my character can do, for example walking, dancing and many more. I chose a zombie pack with had different zombie mode running, biting, shot to the head, crawling and attacking.

This gives an example of how the skeleton of the character movement and how the skeleton reacts to each movement that is in the Mixamo list of the various option of what the character can do or what pose it can do.

 

 

Pixar short research-Presto 2008

Directed by

  • Doug Sweetland

Produced by

  • Richard Hollander

Written by Doug Sweetland

Story by

  • Ted Mathot
  • Valerie Lapointe
  • Justin Wright
  • Starring Doug Sweetland

Music by

  • Scot Stafford

Edited by

  • Katherine Ringgold

Production company

  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Walt Disney Pictures

Distributed by

  • Walt Disney Studios
  • Motion Pictures

 

Presto is a 2008 American Pixar computer animated short film short shown in theaters animated short film shown in theaters before their feature length film WALL-E. The short is about a magician trying to perform a show with his uncooperative rabbit and is a gag-filled homage to classic cartoons such as Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes. Presto was directed by veteran Pixar animator Doug Sweetland, in his directorial debut.

The original for the short was a magician who incorporated a rabbit into his act who suffered from stage fright. This was considered to be too long and complicated , and the idea was reworked. To design the theater featured in Presto, the filmmakers visited several opera houses and theaters for set design idea. Problems arose when trying to animate the theater’s audience of 2,500 patrons; this was solved by showing the back of the audience.

Reaction to the shot was positive, and reviewers of WALL-E’s home media release considered it to be an enjoyable special feature. Presto was nominated for a Annie Award and Academy Award. It was included in the Animation Show of Shows in 2008.

Dignity. Poise. Mystery. We expect nothing less from the great turn-of-the century magician Presto. But when Presto neglects to feed his rabbit one too many times, the magician finds he isn’t the only one with a few tricks up his sleeves

Alec is a simple bunny. He doesn’t want fame or fortune; he just wants a humble dinner. Presto the magician, however, lives for fame and fortune and is spiteful to anyone-or any rabbit-that stands in his way. Is there anything that could make Presto appreciate his poor, suffering bunny and give him the carrot he deserves?

“Presto” is a blend of old and new: a classic cartoon’s arch style in a gorgeous Pixar environment. Using cartoon logic and a quick-paced story within a real-time narrative director Doug Sweetland worked with master animation designers Harley Jessup and Teddy Newton to bring an old cartoon tradition to life with brand-new Pixar characters.

The world of 3D jobs

Here are some of the list of types of 3D jobs:

  • Animator
  • Character Modeler
  • Concept Artist
  • Compositor
  • Game Companies
  • Visual FX Companies
  •  Media Companies

 

Animator

An animator is an artist who creates multiple images, known as frames, which give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television and video games. Animation is closely related to filmmaking and like filmmaking is extremely labor-intensive, which means that most significant works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depends on the animators styles and their field.

Animation is the art making images that appear to come to life on screen. It features in all kinds of media, from films to commercials, pop videos, computers games and websites.

 

 

Job Description, Salaries and Benefits

Animators produce images that appear to come to life on screen. Their work is found in feature films, commercials, pop video, computers games, websites and other media. They may work with drawings, specialist software or models and puppets, capturing separate images of each stage of a movement. when the images are viewed at speed the character appears to move.

Animators usually work normal office hours, although they may work additional hours to meet deadlines. Many animators work freelance ad part-time and temporary contracts are common. Animators usually work in well-lit offices or studios. Working on stop frame animation may involve standing for long periods under hot studio lights. Other types of animation demand long hours sitting at a drawing board or computer.

Salaries usually may range from around £19,440 to upwards of £26,120 a year. Freelance animators may not always be in full-time employment so their income may vary.

An Animator should:

  • be creative and artistic
  • have drawing skills (and sculpting skills for stop frame animation using clay)
  • have excellent IT skills
  • be patient and able to concentrate for long periods
  • be interested in art and design.

Around 3,000 people work in animation in the UK and about 300 companies employ animators. The main centres for this work are London, Bristol, Manchester and Dundee. Although there are some permanent jobs, many animator work on a freelance basis. Competition for jobs is keen and they are not always advertised, so networking is an important way of finding work.

Most animators have a degree or an HNC/HND. Animation courses are offered at universities and colleges throughout the UK. Admissions tutors usually expect to see a strong portfolio of work and, if possible examples of animation projects. A show-reel of previous work is essential to dhow to potential clients and employers.

Animator normally train on the job, working with more experienced colleagues to learn and develop new techniques and skills. It is essential for animators to keep up to date with new developments in the industry, and there are many relevant short courses.

As many animators are self-employed, career progression depends on their skills, versatility and ability to promote themselves. With experiences, animators may become lead animators or animation directors. They may also move into specialist areas such as animation special effects. There may be opportunities to work overseas or to teach animation.

 

 

Character Modeler

Character modelers use their artistic ability and computer savvy to create or modify characters for video gamed, animations and simulations. To enter the field, you need a eye-catching portfolio and knowledge of animation techniques and 3D design software. Additionally a bachelor’s degree and a strong foundation in traditional art may open the door to more opportunities.

Character modelers use their artistic ability and computer savvy to create or modify characters for video games, animations and simulations. To enter the field, you need a eye-catching portfolio and knowledge of animation techniques and 3-D design software. Additionally, a bachelor’s degree and a strong foundation in traditional art may open the door to more opportunities.

3D Modeler Salaries

Glass door reports that 3D modelers average around $68,645 per year. Salaries may vary greatly by company, geographic location, experience, education, and more. For example, a 3D modeler working at California-based DreamWorks Animation may earn as much as $100,000 per year, while a modeler working at a smaller company, such as Georgia-based Kiz  Toys may earn as little as $40,000 per year.

Many 3D modelers are self-employed, so salaries for these individuals vary greatly. Well-established freelancers can earn more than salaried artists, while others who are just starting out may only charge a nominal fee while gaining experience. This means, earnings for entry-level self-employed modelers may be much less than other designers, but this is only temporary as talented artists tend to advance on the pay scale quickly.

 

 

 

Becoming a 3D Modeler

3D modelers must have advanced math and computer skills. Other skills may be required depending on where the 3D modeler works. For example, 3D modelers in the film or video game industry must have above average creative and design skills, while 3D modelers in scientific fields may have a strong background in any given area of science.

The major and concentration area you choose will depend entirely on the field you wish to enter. For example, if you are interested in becoming a 3D modeler in the game industry, consider majoring in game design. If you are interested in becoming a 3D modeler in a science-related field, consider majoring in physics with a modeling focus. There are literally dozens of majors and minors to choose from, so there is no need to limit yourself. Just a few options include:

  • Computer Games Development
  • Computer Graphics and Motion Picture Technology
  • Computer Graphics Software Development
  • Computer Science
  • Data Visualization and Development
  • Game Design
  • Game Programming
  • Interactive Media
  • Visual Computing
  • Media and Cinema Studies

Speak with a career counselor at the college you are considering to make sure you are enrolling in the right program for your career path. If you do not know which colleges are best for your career path, look into art and design schools, technical colleges, career colleges, or traditional colleges with popular art & design, technology, and mathematics programs.

Job Trends for 3D Modelers

3D modeling is a highly specializes field. As such, there is a high demand for 3D modelers in all industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, depending on the specialization, employment in this field is expected to grow anywhere from eight to 14 percent through 2018. For example, 3D artists/modelers working in the entertainment industry can expect employment growth of 14 percent, while those working in illustration can expect an increase of nine percent.

According to a number of career websites, the demand for 3D modelers to create models for research and development purposes is high. So, career opportunities in the medical, architecture, engineering, chemistry and geology fields are plentiful.

 

 

Concept Artist

Concept artists or “conceptual artists” create visual images of ideas for use in areas such as animation, comic book illustration, gaming, advertising, print, and many others. Concept artists work with other art departments to ensure that the right visual style is reflected in each part of the project.

Concept Artist Jobs

Concept artists have a unique skill set. They have mastered the art of using paint, pencils, software programs, or whatever it takes to draw weapons, vehicles, environments, graphics, or the characters needed for any given project. Concept artists create these visuals for animation studios, film and video production companies, gaming companies, advertising agencies, graphic design firms, print publications, web design firms, interior design or decorating firms, and even architecture firms.

Concept Artist Salaries 

Concept artist salaries vary by location, company, experience, education, benefits, and many other factors. While individual salaries vary, the average yearly salary for concept artists is in the same range as fine artists such as illustrators and painters. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, illustrators and painters average $44,850 per year. The lowest 10 percent average $18,450 per year and the highest 10 percent average $91,200 per year.

Becoming a Concept Artist

While talent and passion can go a long way, many top employers prefer candidates with a degree in fine art, illustration, painting, animation, visual arts and communications or other related field. An associate degree may help get your foot in the door, but for positions higher than entry-level, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school will likely be the minimum requirement. No matter which degree program you choose, there are a number of essential courses to take such as drawing, painting, illustration, anatomy, computer graphics, and photography. Be sure to check the curriculum of your intended program and confirm that the school is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition to a degree, most employers prefer candidates with at least three years’ experience in the industry. Students should consider interning for as long as possible during the college years and/or working part-time in the industry in a support position or whatever comes your way. This experience in the industry will be invaluable once you have completed your program and are ready to enter the competitive world of concept art.

 

 

Compositor

  • Constructing the final image by combining layers of previously-created material, including rendered computer animation, special effects, graphics, 2D animation, live action and static background plates

To do this role, you will need to:

  • have the talent to make artistic judgements
  • have the technical skills to make practical decisions
  • be able to analyse and solve problems
  • possess extensive knowledge of current compositing software such as after effects
  • have knowledge of various other programmes including Photoshop
  • understand the 3D animation process, particularly lighting
  • have a good eye for composition, colour, light and shadow
  • have good knowledge of the keying process
  • have a methodical and thorough approach to work
  • pay close attention to detail
  • have good communication skills
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be able to take direction and be willing to address constructive feedback
  • be able to work with a minimum of supervision
  • be able to deliver on schedule, working calmly and efficiently under pressure, if required
  • have respect for the procedures and requirements of a particular studio, production or pipeline
  • have knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures

What does a Compositor do

Compositors are responsible for constructing the final image by combining layers of previously-created material. They work at the end of the production process. They receive material from various sources including rendered computer animation, special effects, graphics, 2D animation, live action and static background plates.

Although it is primarily a 2D role within the 3D world of CGI and VFX (Visual Effects), Compositors need a thorough understanding of the computer-generated animation process combined with relevant artistic skills.

They creatively combine all the elements into the final image, ensuring that the established style of the project is respected and continuity is maintained. To achieve this they enhance the lighting, match blacks and other colour levels, add grain where required, add motion blur where required, and create convincing shadows. They make sure levels combine together seamlessly, keying, rotoscoping and creating mattes where necessary.

They work closely with Lighters and need to have technical knowledge of how 3D lighting works in order to understand the ‘multi passes’ that the Lighters create. They also work closely with Render Wranglers to progress work through the department.

What’s the best route in

Your most likely entry route will be to enter the compositing department as a Roto Artist and work your way up.

Alternatively, you could gain an understanding of compositing in layers for 2D Animation using programmes such as After Effects.

There are several levels within the compositing department. The role described here is that of a mid-level Compositor.

You could also apply to be a VFX Trainee through Trainee Finder, which gives you hands-on experience in the industry and helps you build those all-important contacts that are essential when competing for a job:

 

 

Game Companies

Working in games development you’ll be involved in the creation and production of games for personal computers, games consoles, social/online games, arcade games, tablets, mobile phones and other hand-held devices. Your work will usually be concerned with either design (including art and animation) or programming.

The making of a game from concept to finished product can take years and involve teams of professionals. There are several stages, including creating and designing a game’s look and how it plays, animating characters and objects, creating audio, programming, localisation, testing and producing.

Types of games developer

The games developer job title covers a broad area of work and there are many specialisms within the industry. These include:

  • quality assurance tester;
  • programmer, with various specialisms such as network, engine, toolchain and artificial intelligence;
  • audio engineer;
  • artist, including concept artist, animator and 3D modeller;
  • producer;
  • editor;
  • designer;
  • special effects technician.

Responsibilites

The exact work you carry out will vary depending on your specialist area but it may include:

  • developing designs or initial concept designs for games including game play;
  • generating game scripts and storyboards;
  • creating the visual aspects of the game at the concept stage;
  • using 2D or 3D modelling and animation software, such as Maya, at the production stage;
  • producing the audio features of the game, such as the character voices, music and sound effects;
  • programming the game using programming languages such as C++;
  • quality testing games in a systematic and thorough way to find problems or bugs and recording precisely where the problem was discovered;
  • solving complex technical problems that occur within the game’s production;
  • disseminating knowledge to colleagues, clients, publishers and gamers;
  • understanding complex written information, ideas and instructions;
  • working closely with team members to meet the needs of a project;
  • planning resources and managing both the team and the process;
  • performing effectively under pressure and meeting deadlines to ensure the game is completed on time.

Salary

  • Typical starting salaries for artists/animators and programmers in games development are around £19,000 to £25,000. Entry-level roles, such as quality assurance tester, may attract a lower salary.
  • Once you have a few years’ experience, you may earn salaries in the region of £35,000 up to £50,000.
  • At the higher end of the scale, technical directors, developers, producers and team managers can earn up to £70,000 and beyond.

Salaries vary depending on your specialism, as well as the company type, size and location of the employer. Some companies offer bonuses or a profit-sharing scheme.

Income figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours

Working hours are usually flexible, meaning you won’t necessarily have to work 9am to 5pm but this can vary depending on your employer. Developers often work a 40-hour week but it can be longer when games completion deadlines have to be met. On these occasions you may be expected to work over the weekend and into evenings.

What to expect

  • The role is typically office, studio or production house based, although if you’re a freelancer, you may be able to work from home. It’s not uncommon for team members to be located remotely, both in the UK and other parts of the world.
  • The games industry is traditionally male dominated but employers are looking to redress the balance and networks are in place to help.
  • Jobs can be found around the UK although the largest concentrations are in London and the South East, the Midlands, and major cities such as Bristol, Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh.
  • The working environment is often informal and the dress code is usually casual, although this may depend on the amount of client contact.
  • Extensive hours spent using a mouse and monitor may have health implications, with some potential risk of back problems, eye strain and repetitive strain injury in the wrist and hand.
  • Depending on your specialist area, some overseas travel is possible, although many multinational games companies have their European headquarters in the UK. Occasional travel, including international travel, may be required in order to meet clients, attend training courses or carry out research.

Skills

You will need to show:

  • technical ability, in particular familiarisation with a range of software packages and/or programming languages;
  • the ability to work in a team and liaise with other professionals to complete the complex games;
  • self-motivation and the ability to work independently on your own projects;
  • creativity and problem-solving ability;
  • communication skills;
  • flexibility to meet deadlines and client requirements;
  • enthusiasm for the games industry.

You may also need to demonstrate skills in cinematography or story writing as games become even closer to film in terms of technological advances. It’s also important to have a good level of cultural awareness to make sure games are appropriate to international markets.

 

Visual FX Companies

Compositors are responsible for constructing the final image by combining layers of previously-created material. They work at the end of the production process. They receive material from various sources including rendered computer animation, special effects, graphics, 2D animation, live action and static background plates.

Although it is primarily a 2D role within the 3D world of CGI and VFX (Visual Effects), Compositors need a thorough understanding of the computer-generated animation process combined with relevant artistic skills.

They creatively combine all the elements into the final image, ensuring that the established style of the project is respected and continuity is maintained. To achieve this they enhance the lighting, match blacks and other colour levels, add grain where required, add motion blur where required, and create convincing shadows. They make sure levels combine together seamlessly, keying, rotoscoping and creating mattes where necessary.

They work closely with Lighters and need to have technical knowledge of how 3D lighting works in order to understand the ‘multi passes’ that the Lighters create. They also work closely with Render Wranglers to progress work through the department.

 

 

Rotating block animation

Maya Animation Keyframe

Save the scene as ‘Basic_keyframe_animation’

Go to Display – UI Elements – Show all UI Elements

Go to windows – Setting/Preferences – Preferences and set the following settings:

set the animation to ‘Realtime’ and 24 fps

Under the animation settings make sure that ‘weighted tangents’ are ticked and the default is set to linear. Save the settings.

You can also get to the animation preferences by clicking on the running man icon by the playback options

Make sure the modelling set is set to ‘Animation’ so that the Maya shelf will adjust its setting for animation.

Create 3 different polygons and evenly space them apart: make sure the attribute editor is open.

Select your first polygon — click on frame one on the time slider.

Go to the channel box and right mouse button (RMB) + click on the ‘translate X’ option and click on ‘Key selected’ if the box turns red then it will mean a keyframe has been made.

Drag the time slider to frame 24 and move object one to the opposite side of the grid plane. RMB+Click the translate x in the channel box to create a key.

 

Half the speed of the animation 

Drag the range slider to frame 48

Keyframe object 2 at frame one —move to frame 48 and then set another keyframe

Playback animation. You should notice that the speed of the objects appears different with one faster than the other.

Change the range slider length to 72

Press the S key to set a keyframe within Maya

Task 1

  • Set the cube to animate over the one second
  • Set the sphere to animate over two seconds
  • Set the cone to animate over 3 seconds