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D.S.W.
06-15-2011, 04:33 PM
For the last two and a half years (or thereabouts) I've been putting all of my energies into teaching myself animation, motion capture, editing, compositng - everything having to do with making a short film. This first attempt is a 22 min.short and is geared towards kids. I based it on the 1960's Jonny Quest animated cartoon by Hanna-Barbera. Timothy Albee wa definitely an inspiration (with Kaze) and his software in collaboration with Mac Reiter - TAFA - was invaluable!

Anyway... I've FINALLY finished it and put it online now available to see at YouTube. It's not perfect - and there are a number of things I could continue to work on to make it much better - but I don't think I've got the time to put into perfecting it. Our architectural rendering business has nearly hit rock bottom and chances are we'll have to find jobs - if we can - in a couple months. I'd love to make more episodes of this new show - Scotty Chase - but if I do it probably won't be now. It's doubtful, but it's a hell of allot more fun than working in retail. :cry:

Lightwave was the main app used - also Motion Builder, Optitrack Arena, Fusion, AfterFX, SonicFire Pro, exrTrader, HD Instance, FPrime, Vegas Pro 9, TAFA... and a few other programs. Many of the assets were purchased and altered, and even Phil Nolan (from this forum) did the retopo work of the clothing in 3D Coat. I did hire professional voice actors and I think that turned out very well.

So if you would like to watch the episode - and I hope you do, you can check it out here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32OTsprfSdI

And feel free to let everyone else know too - spread the word! And of course let me know what you guys think. Please keep in mind that the only animation I've done before this is animating a camera moving through an archviz environment, opening and closing doors and the ocassional car moving through a scene. Before this, the only items I'd animated were done using a super8 camera and chess pieces back in the 80's. We learn by doing...

VonBon
06-15-2011, 05:48 PM
:bday: I liked it

calilifestyle
06-15-2011, 06:12 PM
yup me to i like it.

Cryonic
06-16-2011, 09:05 AM
The short was a bit rough, but not bad.

Either the audio is off or the mouth movements don't fit with the words being spoken (several times they keep talking after the lines are finished). Physical gestures and walk movement seemed a bit off. Things like the girl saying "Who's that over there" and then several seconds later actually gesturing.

All-in-all it was an enjoyable short. Thanks for sharing it.

safetyman
06-16-2011, 09:29 AM
My only complaint is that there isn't enough gore. Oh, wait -- you said it was for kids. Sorry. In all seriousness, looks good. Looks like you put a lot of hard work in to it.

geo_n
06-16-2011, 01:23 PM
Congrats! The time spent on this 22min short takes a lot of energy and patience.
Youtube messed with audiosync maybe but I can see you really worked on the facial animation. The mocap seems a bit shaky though. Some parts could have a redo like the asteroid exploding. The hangar looks good.
This looks like a project from Megalodon. The character design looks familiar.

cagey5
06-16-2011, 01:42 PM
Congratulations, that is really quite an achievement. I little clunky in places as you say, but hits the target audience pretty well I think and I'm sure you've learnt a heck of a lot doing it.

D.S.W.
06-16-2011, 06:07 PM
Thanks for the kind replies!

Yeah, it is a little rough. The mocap isn't perfect and there are several areas where the feet slide. And I believe that YouTube screwed up the audio sync - it looks fine here, I spent quite a bit of time testing TAFA and making sure that it was sync'd up correctly. I'm still not entirely happy with the facial expressions, but then that's not TAFA, it's my newbie animation status showing through.


Physical gestures and walk movement seemed a bit off. Things like the girl saying "Who's that over there" and then several seconds later actually gesturing.

I consider things like this a judgment call. The other two kids aren't facing where she's looking... she gets their attention by asking the question... and when they've turned she points. Judgment calls work sometimes - and sometimes they don't. When the three kids are chasing the "villain" my sister and her kids didn't like that the villian was walking - it didn't have any sort of feeling that it was a chase. My thinking was that the villain KNEW he had enough time and was confident. But that was MY reasoning, and it didn't fit with what others were expecting. So... I changed it to the villain running and added a couple of scenes to show it was more "rushed." I think it's better with the running - despite my initial reasoning for the walking.

I could probably do everything over again and come up with completely different ways of doing the same thing - wish I had the time. :)

The motion capture actually took the entire Summer last year and went well into the Fall. When you have so many characters in a scene, it can be VERY tedious and time-consuming to get even one scene with ten or more characters set and ready to go. And having two characters interact.... sooo difficult. Lots of cheating. Even with 64bit LW, 8gb RAM on a QuadCore... not super responsive. :)

I've watched LOTS of cartoons on the cable channels and while the animation in Scotty Chase isn't perfect, I think it's better than many on these networks. Still... I think it really needs more action. The second episode I've plotted out deals mainly with the three kids and has LOTS more action and suspense. Though I doubt I will have the time to actually create it. It would be fun though. :thumbsup:

geo_n
06-16-2011, 07:05 PM
Megalodon aka David Williams aka D.S.W.
I knew the character style looked familiar. I've seen the Tafa lipsync animatic you posted previously with just a character head. :D
Not sure why you didn't post as Megalodon. :p

D.S.W.
06-16-2011, 07:42 PM
Megalodon aka David Williams aka D.S.W.
I knew the character style looked familiar. I've seen the Tafa lipsync animatic you posted previously with just a character head. :D
Not sure why you didn't post as Megalodon. :p

I'm going to be retiring that moniker - and probably this one (DSW) in here too. Chances are - with how CORE is progressing (or not) I will be moving over to Blender. (Those in Hardcore probably know why.) And DSW - Digital Sorcery Warehouse - is the new name. I doubt that there will be many more posts in here anyway - just wanted to post something that I'd been working on for YEARS and used LW and having nothing to do with archviz. And considering how little I knew of how to use LW in animation (coming from primarily static archviz pictures) I'm very happy with how this turned out. There are a great many "firsts" in this short - using Fusion, TAFA, AfterFX, Vegas Pro and motion capture - all of them I'd never really worked with prior to beginning this short.

Though I won't end up being banned like Jin, I'll probably end up posting in here as often as he has in the last year or so. :D

geo_n
06-21-2011, 11:50 PM
I guess it is that time huh? Today is the time for blender. Good luck and I hope you success.