View Full Version : Commercial produced with Lightwave

07-16-2004, 08:57 PM
I just finished a rush job - doing animation (and foley and scoring
and other stuff) for a :30 spot in four days, with constant changes coming
in from the agency which ordered the work, right up until transfer to tape.

It's all native Lightwave 7.5. Nothing earthshaking or technologically
innovative, but a good peek at a typical small-time, short-cut Lightwave
job most people will never get to see outside the region in which it's


I'll leave it posted for a few days until I need the server space.

07-16-2004, 09:03 PM
I like it alot.

The turn over time was fast for such quality.

Thats why Lightwave is such a great choice for 3d.

07-17-2004, 03:36 AM
That's very nice.

Would you mind sharing your work flow after Lightwave to get it to tape. What steps and what software/hardware were used? Codec, frame rate, media etc.

07-17-2004, 03:37 AM
oldschool all the way!:)

07-17-2004, 07:17 AM
Very neat work.


07-17-2004, 09:16 AM

Nice job for 4 days.

what kinda hours were you putting in?


great work


07-17-2004, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the compliments.

Work procedure was: first modifying the character model, which I was given in quadraped form. It needed to be bipedal for most of the spot. I modeled a new head and created morph targets. The "rig", such as it was, consisted of broken chain leg IK to let feet stay rigidly locked no matter what. The tail had every bone controlled by the tail base bone, using FOLLOWER with a slight delay on each bone. Fixing the model and doing the rigging took about a day and a half. Another half-day was spent altering the main character into skateboarder and baby versions, and modeling the baby carriage and skateboard and simple sets.

Two animatics were prepared in VEGAS, using stills generated in Lightwave. A Preliminary soundtrack was created for the animatic, most of which was used in some form in the final edit. The music was a piece I had written years ago and popped in as a temp track. The client specified nothing different, so it stayed.

I did lip-sync with SOUND FORGE and a yellow legal pad, the way I've been doing it for years. It goes fast, as fast or faster than automated solutions, with more creative wiggle room.

There were about four days, once approvals were done, for animation. I put in maybe four twelve-to-fifteen hour stints. Some of the shots had to be composited because of background adjustments. As each shot rendered, I dropped in into VEGAS and fine-tuned the foley and mixing balance, EQ, compression, etc, and forwarded a preview to the client.

During the course of the animation, the model of the dinosaur table was emailed to me by Gabe Ledesmus. I textured it and modeled its knobs and lift hardware and other small details, because Gabe, for reasons I don't know, had only been given one tiny photo for reference.

Frames were 720X480, medium AA, dithered motion blur. The spot rendered so quickly on a 3ghz P4, I never needed to set up a network render.

Two shots had cut-through, with the model's shirt revealing its skin. That skin couldn't be removed easily in modeler because at some angles it was visible through a sleeve. There were some other problems with the shirt cutting through itself and so on. Small corrections were done individually on about forty frames in Paint Shop Pro.

The client had voiced concern about the background "shaky" effects, so two shots had to have backgrounds rendered, run through DEBABELIZER and the IMPRESSIONIST filter once, and then comped each way, because there wouldn't be time to fix it later.

I finished the spot on time, rendered it as an MPEG 2, and dropped it at the client's office on DVD. The next day I heard that they wanted one shot's background changed to "non-shaky", and the final screen text changed. Since the shot had already been rendered both ways, it took only a few minutes to swap it in, one day before airtime. The text change took almost no time - it involved typing different stuff into the text generator in VEGAS.

I rendered out the spot as an uncompressed AVI, 30fps progressive, with contrast and levels adjusted in VEGAS and verified on a normal TV. Stuff that looks beautiful on the PC monitor looks contrasty and awful on TV. I also saved it as sequential frames and a WAV just in case the AVI was a problem. I burned it to CD (with duplicate CDs for backup) to take to the studio, where the expensive hardware lives.

The shot was output by Gabe Ledesmus to DVCAM through firewire with PREMIERE, and delivered to the TV station.

The deadline was originally five days longer, but during pre-production it kept creeping backwards, which is why there were only four days to do the actual production. It was not fun, but I think the spot came out okay and it's been well-received.

07-18-2004, 10:36 PM
Very, very well done... especially given the circumstances.



07-20-2004, 09:41 AM
Yeah, great stuff! Especially with four days (what a nightmare?!) The output is great though, and has a nice professional feel to it.


07-21-2004, 03:38 PM
I think it's nice regardless of how much time you had. The short turnaround should just be an extra star, not an asterisk next to the compliments.

What kinda town is Baloneytown?

07-21-2004, 05:19 PM
It's full of baloney. "Buh log nuh", the upper-crusters might pronounce it. But then, you know how they are.

07-21-2004, 05:45 PM
Oh, I know.