Friday 30 June 2017

Digital Sets: The Oboe District

The Oboe District's set is now (hopefully) complete and ready to progress onto being textured. The river, buildings and bridges took quite a bit of tweaking, but it got there in the end!

Sunday 25 June 2017

YPGTTO - The Joy Of Collaboration

Just wanted to share this recap of some of the creative goings-on here on planet YPGTTO in celebration of the joys of collaboration. The scale and ambition of producing seventeen minutes of animation to accompany live performances of Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra demands we collaborate effectively.  The visualisation and realisation of The Overture - the first of our animation's fantastical environments - has seen graduates collaborating with current students, and current students with staff - with exciting results!

YPGTTO aka Red & The Kingdom Of Sound  / The Overture / Concept painting by Emily Clarkson

YPGTTO aka Red & The Kingdom Of Sound  / The Overture / Digital set modelled by Samantha Niemczyk & Deanna Crisbacher

YPGTTO aka Red & The Kingdom Of Sound  / The Overture / Digital set textured, lit and composited by Alan Postings

YPGTTO aka Red & The Kingdom Of Sound  / The Overture / Digital set textured, lit and composited by Alan Postings

YPGTTO: Overture Compositing Motion Tests

Clean render (Watch in HD)

Compositing test (Watch in HD)

Compositing with colour correction test (Watch in HD)

R&D outcome:
In the short motion / render tests above  a few things were solved regarding viewport feedback, rendering, and memory usage in Mental Ray:

1) Mental Ray needs extra memory allocation to render / batch render.
2) Models should not be smoothed (smooth preview) in the viewport to improve feedback and loading.
3) Smoothing for rendering should be implemented using an 'approximation node' instead of smooth preview (to help with viewport manipulation)

Saturday 24 June 2017

YPGTTO: Overture Compositing and Texture Tests

without depth of field

with depth of field

A few more texture and compositing experiments, this time for the Overture district.

YPGTTO: The King & Queen Are In Residence!

YPGTTO / The King & Queen orthographs / Julien Van Wallendael
I'm pleased to announce the King and Queen of the Kingdom of Sound have taken up residence - courtesy of Ethan Shilling, who has translated Julien Van Wallendael's character designs into fully-rigged and ready-to-animate 3D models.

YPGTTO / The King / Design by Julien Van Wallendael / 3D model & rig by Ethan Shilling

YPGTTO / The Queen / Design by Julien Van Wallendael / 3D model & rig by Ethan Shilling

Thursday 22 June 2017

Modelling: The Oboe District's Bridges

The Oboe District now has bridges and is ready for initial set construction.

Digital Sets: The violin District

Some Screen shots from the main Violin District block out. Still need to put some paraphernalia like signs in place then it should be good to go.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Digital Sets: The Overture #3

Some of the objects in The Overture set needed to be updated so they wouldn't collapse in smooth preview mode. I also added the striped to the centre orb and some lines in the roads, so hopefully it's now ready to go.

Thursday 15 June 2017

Digital Sets: The Overture #2

The Overture set is now completed! I modelled the dome properly and added some railings so they looked nice and detailed. I also modelled some exit tubes for the elevators, placed the road supports, and readjusted the pillars so they fit the shape of the dome. I also added in the signs and made some more pathways so the space felt more busy and populated. Overall I'm happy with how it turned out, so now I'm onto working with the Oboe District.

Environment/ Asset Design- Lots of Signage!

Embarking on some of the last few pieces of District furniture. I needed to finish the signs preceding a few of the Districts.

Following Red's fall down the stairs to the Double-Bass District, he scrambled to his feet and is faced with Design number 2

Chosen Design 2

Later, after his ascent from the Double Bass District, Red finds himself on the precipice of the Harp District. A few lovely little birds fly by, carrying Signage Design 1 to inform him of his place in the world.

Chosen Design 1
 Directly behind Red is the Horn District. The squiggly spaghetti like structure of design number 5 will be the Horn District Sign he will see. Shortly afterward, he sets off with steely resolve to find the summoning light in the distance.

Chosen Design 5

A while later Red finds himself caught up in a stampede of fellow notes as they all speed towards the summoning light in the distance. It puts both Red and the Trumpet District sign in a bit of a spin!

The design was supposed to point in the direction of the district. The first sheet of designs I focused on creating it entirely from Trumpet elements. However they didn't communicate direction very well at all. So in sheet two I took a more obvious approach and we settled on design number 5.

Chosen Design 5

Finally the Percussion District. Red arrives in spectacular fashion, delivered by the hook of a crane to find himself in the middle of a Construction site. 

The Percussion section is comprised of multiple instruments, unlike the others. Initial sign designs were therefore a mix of instruments. As I struggled to nail it down, it was highlighted that I had missed the most obvious connection. Triangles are well known for warning and caution signs, so that was the instrument I then fixed on to complete the Percussion District signage.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Modelling: Trombone and Tuba Buildings #01

Rendering: Render solution adjustments

A few small adjustments:

Red (body): Colour adjustments
Red (outline): Colour added / lightened
Noise: Reduced

Rendering: Getting closer to the final render solution

Animated camera test 1:

OK, another step closer to a render solution. Some thoughts / decisions,

1) Red needs to be more desaturated / colour graded to match the scene lighting. In the example above Red should have a blue tint.

2) Light wraps are needed to combine the background with the buildings. That helps with softness.

3) No toon lines. They are problematic an cause 'crawling' as the camera moves.

4) Creating static noise is a common problem. Noise will always crawl if the camera moves. In this example the noise is a static overlay, that may however create a 'dirty screen' feel. The noise is needed though to create softness. A compromise may be needed, part moving / part static.

5) Backgrounds can be made procedurally using ramps and noise patterns in Maya. 

6) The cinematic / large format camera aspect ratio works well.

Sunday 11 June 2017

Modelling: The Overture's Departure Board & Map

The Departure Board and The Overture Map have now been modelled. I still need to figure out how to create the flipping text on the Departure Board - I could do it in Maya, AE, or a combination of the two. Now that I have a physical model to work with, I'll be able to experiment with it more later on.

Friday 9 June 2017

Modelling: The Percussion District, Unfinished Bridge

Seems to be bridge season in the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra

Modelling: The Overture's Elevator & Road Supports

I've been working on modelling The Overture's elevators, which includes the tubes and the lift itself. I've created a set of controls for each set of doors and controls to position the objects both together and independently as needed. There are also controls for the visibility, so the geometry and sets of controls for the overall elevator, the tube, and the lift can be turned on and off to make it easier to work with.

I've also created the support pillars for the roads in The Overture set, so I can now bring this base into the set file and use a lattice to bend and adjust the models as needed to fit them where they need to be.