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View Full Version : Lightwave Feature Animation: THE LIVING CORPSE



rapscallion
10-28-2011, 11:14 PM
Hello again fellow L'Wavers,

As some of you may know, I've been working on a very independent animated feature film for the past 4 years or so along with the help of a handful of other forum members. Someone from the company I've been supported by decided to release a sample clip out to the world today, though I personally would have preferred to wait until we had a more standard Trailer, 'cuz viewing one sequence out of context doesn't really provide a full experience of the style and storytelling approach (not to mention that they seem to have botched the gamma and color slightly in the down conversion). But, considering it is already out there, I wanted to share it with you guys here on the forum; from what I can tell, the forum does not support flash embedding, so you'll have to click the link below if you want to check it out:

http://www.dreadcentral.com/news/48342/trailer-and-poster-art-living-corpse

But here's a few images so you know what you're clicking to see:

http://www.dreadcentral.com/img/news/jun11/lc1.jpg

http://www.dreadcentral.com/img/news/jun11/lc15.jpg

http://www.dreadcentral.com/img/news/jun11/lc3.jpg

Thanks for taking a look!

wesleycorgi
10-29-2011, 12:54 PM
This is looking great. Was everything done in LW, such as the CA?

rapscallion
10-29-2011, 02:17 PM
This is looking great. Was everything done in LW, such as the CA?

Hello, and thanks!

Yes, everything was done in Lightwave 9.3.1 x32, with a little bit of 9.6 on certain scenes. We ended up locked into 9.3.1 x32, because we chose an alternative plug-in based IK solution very early on in the process, and later found that the required plugins were not compatible beyond 9.3.1 or in a 64bit environment; this limitation really caused us alot of extra work during the lighting and render prep stages of the movie.

To be fair, I should mention that we did use a little bit of Modo and Zbrush for certain aspects of modeling and texturing on certain character meshes. Additionally, we used Blender for a few different fluid calculations when Lightwave's built in solution just wouldn't cut it.

Overall, we found Lightwave to be a very flexible and adequate tool, though in the future I will try to work without using as many 3rd party plugs or shaders - and, of course, we'll try to start with and stick with a fully 64-bit workflow from beginning to end.

The most difficult challenges on the movie were:

1) finding people skilled/experienced enough with using Lightwave in a fast paced and heavily organized production environment to contribute in a meaningful way to the production; many people came and went throughout the course of making this movie, with only a few really digging in and becoming long-term members of the team

2) rendering the entire movie with very limited resources and without having the freedom to easily move to 64bit for higher RAM allowances

wesleycorgi
10-29-2011, 04:49 PM
Cool stuff. It would be cool to see a breakdown of the movie like they have in 3D World.

I look forward to seeing the final piece. Keep us up-to-date on the release.

Surrealist.
10-30-2011, 03:13 AM
Just regarding the problem with the IK plugins, I am wondering why you did not include .mdd into your workflow so you could render/texture and light in another version than you animated in? It is usually the workflow when animating in another package and rendering in LightWave.

For future projects - this just me speaking - I could not even concieve of why anyone would ever try and animate in LightWave when you can learn Blender fairly quickly and not only have access to great auto rigging tools but also have a much better animation package to work with. And there is of course Messiah as well as another option. Not that you can't animate in LightWave. But given the fact that the tools - as you well know from a choice to use other IK plugs - are really quite lacking in many ways. Not just IK. But even the new joints and constraints and bundled in a very restricting antiquated package that does not allow for fluid editing and the animation controls are quite limited by comparison to something such as Blender or even Messiah. Just some thoughts there about future projects.

Gotta say it is refreshing to see something finished on an indi basis. Good luck with it.

rapscallion
10-30-2011, 11:21 AM
Just regarding the problem with the IK plugins, I am wondering why you did not include .mdd into your workflow so you could render/texture and light in another version than you animated in? It is usually the workflow when animating in another package and rendering in LightWave.

Gotta say it is refreshing to see something finished on an indi basis. Good luck with it.

Hello, thanks for checking it out.

As for working with MDD to allow switching between Lightwave versions, or possibly incorporating an entirely different animation package altogether - it just wasn't feasible given the limited amount of time/manpower. I did a rough calculation early on in the pre-production stages to get an idea of how many hours of MDD calculation time would be required to move from 9.3.1 to 9.6 or anything 64bit for final scene building, and the number that I came up with after analyzing the total amount of screen time per character was something much higher than could fit into our schedule. Sure, on movies with large teams (or even slightly larger teams), many things are possible - but when you're as restricted as we are/were, you literally have to calculate the manhour/machinehour requirements for every possible situation and go with whatever takes the least or your resources, even if that means hobbling yourself to some degree creatively/technically.

On the next project, it may be difficult to convince supporters to allow us to use Lightwave at all, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens.

Surrealist.
10-31-2011, 05:57 AM
Yeah. I definitely understand that one. I had just not figured that exporting .mdds would be that time consuming. But for a feature, everything is exponential.

Would have seemed to me that the time spent with .mdd would not outweigh the time saved in other areas. But I understand your position. You have to make a choice based on what you can calculate. Makes perfect sense.

Good luck on the next project no matter how it works out.

biliousfrog
10-31-2011, 07:56 AM
Nice to see some shots in the wild Justin, how far off is the finished article do you think?

rapscallion
10-31-2011, 08:12 AM
Nice to see some shots in the wild Justin, how far off is the finished article do you think?

Nice to see you on the thread!

We're a handful of weeks away from wrapping up 100%. Still working on some technical issues that are plaguing the renderability of the 'school grounds' section of the movie. Other than that, it's done. Thanks again for all your hard work ;)

tudor
11-01-2011, 05:45 AM
Really good to see this :)

RebelHill
11-01-2011, 05:51 AM
Glad to see this finally rolling into completion. Now where the freaking monkey shot?

rapscallion
11-01-2011, 09:52 AM
Glad to see this finally rolling into completion. Now where the freaking monkey shot?

You mean this one?!?

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q220/katiebirdmovie/CORPSE/TheLivingCorpse_Still_030.png

rapscallion
11-01-2011, 09:59 AM
Cool stuff. It would be cool to see a breakdown of the movie like they have in 3D World.

I look forward to seeing the final piece. Keep us up-to-date on the release.

Oh, Thanks! I'm hoping to touch base with the editorial team at 3D World; hopefully they'll like what we're doing and see it as 'newsworthy'. I'll be the first to admit that we are not on the same technical level as the big boys of the industry, but I think there are a good number of people that might be intrigued not only by the process but also by the finished project.