View Full Version : Delura: A Complete Behind the Scenes Feature

Ryan Roye
04-12-2013, 02:26 PM
I want to preface this by saying that for-sale tutorial content is not in my future and will probably never be a part of my regular way of doing things. Selling instructional content isn't something I'm interested in doing so I publish it freely both for the community and for the people I work with. That said, the whole purpose behind the creation of this particular video is of a special circumstance: to help fund the replacement of my athlon II workstation (running on winxp 32-bit), which is what i've been working on since this series began and has pushed me through over 10 years of animated and digital media projects prior. I really want to retire this machine... it has lived a rough life and has gone through countless band-aid repairs. All revenue earned from this video will go towards this purpose. As of this writing, we've already raised nearly $500, and my target mid-range system will cost around $750.

Anyone who contributes $10 to the Delura project (http://delura.tanadrine.com/?page_id=5358) will receive exclusive access to ultra-high quality videos (details below) that I will not be releasing to the public in the foreseeable future. This is not impromptu stuff like most pay-for info content; it is elaborately scripted and thoroughly edited to present you an abundant amount of content within a short timespan. NOTE: I will be processing the donations manually for the time being, so please allow a few hours after donating to receive access to the video.

Anyhow, here's the basics of my first and likely my last for-sale Lightwave instructional/informational content:

VIDEO #1: Delura's Entire Workflow

Resolution: 1600x872
Runtime: 27 minutes
Format: AVI (divx 6.8.5)
Audio: mpeg-II
Filesize: 1.2 gb


This video covers my entire workflow process in a basic overview format that, while it does not go into the specifics of the many topics I speak of, will give some extensive insight as to how a person can approach creating episodic content. My goal is to de-mystify the whole process and show everyone that production does not have to be nearly as complicated as people make it out to be (or would want you to believe).

The projects before Delura

A brief look at the evolution of our works, and how they have influenced Delura's content. A lot of our earlier projects were done in Flash.


This is a process that a lot of people tend to overthink; it really isn't that hard and 99% of the work is coming up with the ideas, not the actual process.


Collaboration methods
I cover the communications systems i've used to organize the project; how, when, and where they are used. Also there are mention of systems that *didn't* work, or became obsolete over time (IE: forums).


Concept work
Using rough sketchbook drawings for the conveyance and creation of ideas for usage in 3d model creation. Also, usage of 3d animation storyboards... the way I do it looks silly, but it works, it is lightning fast, and I provide comparison shots.


Asset building
I segway into how I integrate every single program I use with AutoHotkey, including Lightwave. It is kind of off topic, but I consider it a vital tool in my workflow and its one of the reasons I work so quickly. Brief simplified demonstration of a fur painting technique i've depended on, how texture resources like CGtextures are fine-tuned to Delura's content and often in unexpected ways. Also, the art of "implied detail": focusing on the whole picture rather than parts of it to greatly enhance the viewer's experience without sacrificing quality of the core content.


Demonstration of how some of my animations look behind the camera, complete with all my unorthadox ways of going about things that save me tons of time. IKBooster demonstrations, with emphasis on saved time via avoiding "selecting" things (which is why I can animate characters at 60 seconds per day). Basic explanations and demonstrations of Straight ahead vs. linear animation (hint: good idea to master both). Various rigging/relativity demonstrations.


Visual FX
I don't benefit from high level compositing software, so I gotta do everything with what I got. There are still a lot of techniques you can utilize to get around software limitations; among them are things like Lightwave's built-in features, video crossfading, video filters, cel-painting/rendering. Also, I demonstrate a bit how I took advantage of the power of Blender's robust (but sluggish) compositing workflow to circumvent the severe hardware limitations I faced with Delura EP 005.03's high production demands.


Sound FX
I first show a minor resource I use for SFX, then I demonstrate the works of a foley artist (a person who creates sounds from objects for use in media). I can make a bag of tortilla chips create 7 or more completely different sounds suitable for the big screen... can you? Using everyday objects in your house can be many, many times faster than trying to search for a sound online and I show you how and why (the method I use to radically alter sounds can be applied to most commercial software packages).


VIDEO #2: Other aspects and scene walkthroughs

Resolution: 1600x872
Runtime: ??? (will likely be around 20-30 minutes)
Format: AVI (divx 6.8.5)
Audio: mpeg-II
Filesize: ???


Video #2 is incomplete as of this writing, but people who donate will receive this video when is it done at no additional cost (it will also not be released publicly). I would like to wait until I have a new system to publish this as it would significantly cut down the amount of time it requires to compile the video. Here are the topics I will cover:


The website, branding, building an audience

A lot of developers tend to stick with places like YouTube or other 3rd party video places to publish their content, but this is only a small piece of the puzzle. I'd like to cover our mindset behind our website (http://www.delura.tanadrine.com) and the many functions it serves (hint: it isn't just for our audience!). Though we don't make much from ad revenue as of this writing, it is still at least enough to pay for monthly webhosting service and I'd like to detail the platform we use and its advantage over google adsense. I'd also like to go over the importance of analyzing website traffic to give you clues about the effectiveness of everything you do. Some of the results i've gotten really surprised me. As 3d developers, we have a lot of advantages over 2d artists that I feel are under-utilized.

Delura 2013 Kickstarter

Here, I go over my experiences with the Kickstarter that we recently attempted (but did not succeed). I'd like to talk about what I felt I could have done differently, what I think set us back, the preparation/research involved, how the whole campaign played out, resources I used and their effectiveness etc.

Scene Walkthroughs

Finally, I will fly you through most of Delura's main scene files and highlight some of the interesting aspects about them (the good, and the bad!). I'm still kicking myself for using so many unbaked lighting elements in EP 004... it made render times a nightmare when they didn't need to be!

04-12-2013, 02:46 PM
This looks great. Good choice to go with zazzle. I use them for my pug rescue store.

Is the hat going to be on there?

Ryan Roye
04-12-2013, 03:08 PM
Is the hat going to be on there?

I'm afraid not, zazzle charges a 1-time embroidery fee of $40 on top of its ~$20 base cost, so it'd make it quite an expensive hat to make. That'll only be doable if I garner enough sales to offset that cost.

UPDATE: I've run into technical difficulties with the huge 1.2gb upload (I'm on low speed DSL here)... it failed at 95% after 11 hours of uploading. I am going to do a split-file upload overnight tonight... it will require people to have winrar to extract the AVI file out of it, but it will allow download of the video while I figure out how I'm going to make it so that people only have to download 1 file.

04-12-2013, 03:11 PM
Oh wow, did not know that about the hat.

04-12-2013, 03:57 PM
Looks great! I'm looking forward to watching these. I love the series and the previous development diaries and tips and tricks videos, which in addition to being informative, are just as entertaining and well produced as the series episodes themselves.

Ryan Roye
04-13-2013, 08:07 AM
The video is now available, and everyone who contributed $10 or more will find the video download link in their e-mail. Enjoy!

05-03-2013, 11:18 AM
Just got this today. It's a bit bigger than I expected but it's cool.


Ryan Roye
09-23-2013, 01:28 PM
Just got this today. It's a bit bigger than I expected but it's cool.

Shnazzy! I never noticed you posted a pic here until just now.



Part 2 of the behind the scenes video series has been published and distributed to everyone who pitched in! It took a bit longer to get it done than expected, but I wanted to get some new content published before tackling the second half. Here are the details of what part 2 covers:

The new animation workflow

At Tanadrine Studios, we’re pushing past the limits of what was thought to be possible using Lightwave’s standard tools in combination with our own. This includes motion capture adaptation without external software, relative motion loading and modular rigging methods. In this part of the video we demonstrate how we’re changing our animation methods to exponentially increase our production capabilities. In-between content releases, tons of research and development goes into finding out the fastest and most efficient ways possible to get characters moving.

Scene Walkthroughs

Finally, I will fly you through most of Delura’s main scene files and highlight some of the interesting aspects about them (the good, and the bad!). I’m still kicking myself for using so many unbaked lighting elements in EP 004… it made render times a nightmare when they didn’t need to be!

In total, the 2 parts encompass 50 minutes worth of exclusive behind the scenes content so grab some popcorn, sit down and kindle that 3d developer nerd spirit. Contribute $15 to the Delura project and you will receive links to these videos, see this page for complete details. (http://delura.tanadrine.com/?page_id=5557)

As a final note, some of you may have noticed I cut out the parts about the branding and Kickstarter content; I later felt after writing that the material just wasn't that interesting so I decided to replace it with something else. Apologies to anyone who was looking forward to hearing about those topics, perhaps at another time I'll revisit those aspects of the series in more detail.

09-23-2013, 01:44 PM
chaz did you cover all your ikbooster tips in these videos or you gonna release them.. later.... thanks mate for this great insight..

Ryan Roye
09-23-2013, 01:48 PM
chaz did you cover all your ikbooster tips in these videos or you gonna release them.. later.... thanks mate for this great insight..

These videos are more for entertainment/leisure than information since I have non-3d artists watching too, so anyone looking for detailed tips will find the content less focused in that area. I do demonstrate some of the highlights of our animation workflow though; just not at a technical level.

09-23-2013, 03:21 PM
whoa! Can I still send support and watch the videos?

Ryan Roye
09-23-2013, 04:01 PM
whoa! Can I still send support and watch the videos?

Aye, for the time being I'm processing transactions manually; when I put out future premium Delura content it'll be handled via a "cart" system of some sort, but that will have to wait until I have time to set one up.

The project paypal link can be found here (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LCCHES8LFB2ZN), after confirming the $15 contribution the following will be sent:

1) Streaming video link to content

2) Optional downloadable version (1600x872 resolution, ~3.5 GB filesize. The archives are compressed in 7zip format so you may need to download it to extract the divx 6.8.5 .AVI file)

EDIT: also, to be clear the "goal" stated in the original post has since been fulfilled (I have a new system and LW 11.5+), so this update is mainly for anyone who would still want to get their hands on the behind the scenes feature... and to let everyone know part 2 has been completed.