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View Full Version : I want a hero to look up to.



shrox
04-14-2009, 09:35 AM
This isn't necessarily a rant, but it will probably look and sound like one. I just saw some of a movie about an air race by a certain CGI guy. I just wasn't that impressed! Jerky movements, poorly lit compositing, dull camera angles, geez it made me feel like I am one of the best! This weekend I literally threw together a quick video, and I think it looks much better than what I saw, and this one in question was put together by a team of students from a certain highly regarded school. Maybe I am good enough to enter the "real" movie world. I think I'll send a showreel to Pixar and ILM.

I guess I just expect others I have read about to be better than me, but lately I seem to be doing work that rivals those I used to admire. I still think I can improve, lighting, texturing, etc, but I think I've got the cinematography and mechanical motions down pretty well. I still find "photoreal" somewhat elusive, maybe I am just being my own worst critic. I am not a character animator, I see way too much going on in just one human step or subtle movement than I can emulate. With characters, I never think I am "done".

I don't even know why I am posting this, maybe I am just pulling ahead of what used to be my goal. Funny that such a realization would make me a bit depressed rather than happy.

If this was a rant, I apologize...

OnlineRender
04-14-2009, 09:37 AM
Chuck Norris now theres a hero :)

shrox
04-14-2009, 09:50 AM
Chuck Norris now theres a hero :)

I never was much of a Chuck Norris fan as far as movies go, but he seems like a good man, I don't think he's as randomly violent as people want him to be. I think he would only use his man crunching skills as a last resort, then he would probably send you a get well card afterwards, but make you promise to never again do whatever stupid thing one did to incur his wrath.

Nangleator
04-14-2009, 09:58 AM
I don't know the source material you alluded to, but it seems to me CG people virtually never get to put in the appropriate amount of effort on the job. Cost and deadlines and directors... They all conspire to reduce quality. And personal projects without deadlines get tweaked endlessly...

shrox
04-14-2009, 10:02 AM
I am running a slight fever, maybe that is why I am being so crabby.

adamredwoods
04-14-2009, 11:31 AM
And personal projects without deadlines get tweaked endlessly...

THis is what I would consider to be a real problem. People's dream projects and they wont let go to let others put their input into it.

The solution? Get a producer (like me :) ) who knows how to get animation done on time and with the right punch to make it sell to the public.

Shrox, the only hero I can give you is RustBoy, the good movie that will never be made.
http://www.rustboy.com/rustweb.htm

dandeentremont
04-14-2009, 12:06 PM
What movie was it?

Red_Oddity
04-14-2009, 04:08 PM
Just sit on your knees, that way you'll always have to look up, unless you like staring at your heroes crotch that is.



sorry, i'm not feeling very serious today :)

toby
04-14-2009, 05:53 PM
You need a hero? How about ... this guy (http://www.theonion.com/content/news/michael_bay_signs_50m_deal_to_****?utm_source=a-section)? :thumbsup:

the swear word in your link got starred out. Replace **** with f- u- c- k

toby
04-14-2009, 06:05 PM
Hope you're not talking about this one Shrox!
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1330555//

AdamAvenali
04-14-2009, 06:19 PM
Hope you're not talking about this one Shrox!
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1330555//

is that an in-game sim?

adamredwoods
04-14-2009, 06:30 PM
Is it this one?
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/battleforterra/

JMCarrigan
04-14-2009, 07:09 PM
THis is what I would consider to be a real problem. People's dream projects and they wont let go to let others put their input into it.

The solution? Get a producer (like me :) ) who knows how to get animation done on time and with the right punch to make it sell to the public.

Shrox, the only hero I can give you is RustBoy, the good movie that will never be made.
http://www.rustboy.com/rustweb.htm

Why will that never be made? The site is still up yet the last update was a good while back. It's odd that these stories seem to be born then languish. I'm sad.

toby
04-14-2009, 07:28 PM
I nominate otocon
http://otacon.kvaalen.com/

OnlineRender
04-15-2009, 01:06 AM
nothing to do with animation but "Bill Hicks" is my hero , how do you think i fell i look up to you guys :) even you Shrox , ahhh shucks :P i look at all your work ,in complete amazment ,and aspire to be as good "which will never happen " .

you dont need a hero just someone that pays you :)

shrox
04-15-2009, 08:15 AM
No, it wasn't any of those, it's by a old time Lightwave guru, or produced by him anyway.

adamredwoods
04-15-2009, 10:55 AM
Why will that never be made? The site is still up yet the last update was a good while back. It's odd that these stories seem to be born then languish. I'm sad.

I *think* the reason it stalled was the poor guy was trying to do it in RAY DREAM DESIGNER (pre-Carrara).

littlewaves
04-15-2009, 11:12 AM
No, it wasn't any of those, it's by a old time Lightwave guru, or produced by him anyway.

this one right? Firewall by Dave School/Ron Thornton?

http://www.daveschool.com/movies/firewall/

shrox
04-15-2009, 11:13 AM
this one right? Firewall by Dave School/Ron Thornton?

http://www.daveschool.com/movies/firewall/

Yes.

littlewaves
04-15-2009, 11:17 AM
This weekend I literally threw together a quick video, and I think it looks much better than what I saw

right then,

time to put your money where your mouth is.

Let's see the fruits of your weekends labour :D

adamredwoods
04-15-2009, 11:39 AM
right then,

time to put your money where your mouth is.

Let's see the fruits of your weekends labour :D

Sounds like a challenge.
Time to set up a new "air race animation challenge" thread?

Dexter2999
04-15-2009, 11:52 AM
Alright, I just watched this one.

Was it great? No. Was it awful? No.
For a student film it was pretty darn good. Some parts looked better than others. I thought the Green screen compositing could have used more work. The shots in the cockpit didn't match the daylight senario of being outdoors.

But I don't know what their timeline for production was or what other limitations they might have been up against.

Student film, Shrox, student film. Lighten up.

The Mech Warrior thing is still my personal favorite.

shrox
04-16-2009, 03:11 AM
right then,

time to put your money where your mouth is.

Let's see the fruits of your weekends labour :D

http://www.vimeo.com/4164536

Still a WIP of course...

Not a good idea to put money in your mouth, you don't know where it's been.

shrox
04-16-2009, 03:17 AM
Alright, I just watched this one.

Was it great? No. Was it awful? No.
For a student film it was pretty darn good. Some parts looked better than others. I thought the Green screen compositing could have used more work. The shots in the cockpit didn't match the daylight senario of being outdoors.

But I don't know what their timeline for production was or what other limitations they might have been up against.

Student film, Shrox, student film. Lighten up.

The Mech Warrior thing is still my personal favorite.


If I was the teacher, I would have them do it better, that's all. With the speed of today's computers, fixing those little things like a jerk in the movement is easy to do and doesn't take days to render any more. Just fix the curve in the graph editor, then re render those 10 frames or so. This is supposed to be their best work, and with a team of people, someone should have caught those.

By the way, I am considering a teaching job, I guess I would be rather hard to please, but you'll be really good when I graduate you.

shrox
04-16-2009, 03:28 AM
nothing to do with animation but "Bill Hicks" is my hero , how do you think i fell i look up to you guys :) even you Shrox , ahhh shucks :P i look at all your work ,in complete amazment ,and aspire to be as good "which will never happen " .

you dont need a hero just someone that pays you :)

Well thanks Mr. Render, it just takes practice and dedication. You are lucky, before computers, when you had to buy art supplies at premium prices, artists had to choose between drugs or art supplies...(a reference to Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" comic strip)

toby
04-16-2009, 05:21 AM
If I was the teacher, I would have them do it better, that's all. With the speed of today's computers, fixing those little things like a jerk in the movement is easy to do
Again, these are students, there's a million things that the teachers have already had them do better, the last month is probably already spent on that alone. You can't assume that they didn't notice the remaining problems or that they had time to fix them.

And considering they had shooting, greenscreen, tracking, integration and maybe roto to worry about as well, they had a bigger task and more complication than you had making your stuff.

shrox
04-16-2009, 05:23 AM
Again, these are students, there's a million things that the teachers have already had them do better, the last month is probably already spent on that alone. You can't assume that they didn't notice the remaining problems or that they had time to fix them.

And considering they had shooting, greenscreen, tracking, integration and maybe roto to worry about as well, they had a bigger task and more complication than you had making your stuff.

Ok, then take the source material home and work on fixing it there. And I do green screen, tracking, compositing etc. My point is if they are paying their money to get this as their demo, I would want it to be perfect. My stuff I am putting up is a WIP, an eventually I will finish and rerender them. I would guess that the best students that had to work with others that weren't of the same caliber cringe a bit when the see what they would have fixed. In the very first game I worked on, it is obvious that two of the animators weren't that good, and it shows glaringly. But then, it did take hours a frame, and going back and fixing stuff was not really an option then, now it is.

I am not trying to dis anyone, I was just expecting something much more refined from all the hype about it. The designs are nice and the use of automated procedures like cyclist etc is a great thing to be using.

And I am working on that plank in my eye before worrying about the speck in another's.

toby
04-16-2009, 05:37 AM
So if it's beyond the students ability and complete lack of experience, do you expect the teachers to join them at home? And if they don't have 3d, tracking and comp software at home...?

You're letting the quality of a *student film* go to your head.

shrox
04-16-2009, 05:39 AM
I am thinking about the school, and what it says is good enough, the students work is commendable.

shrox
04-16-2009, 05:49 AM
Doesn't the price of tuition include the software? I would hope so! At the budget of an average student, it should be!

littlewaves
04-16-2009, 06:04 AM
so just to clarify your position you're saying that

this: http://www.vimeo.com/4164536

"looks much better than"

this: http://www.daveschool.com/movies/firewall/

shrox
04-16-2009, 06:11 AM
so just to clarify your position you're saying that

this: http://www.vimeo.com/4164536

"looks much better than"

this: http://www.daveschool.com/movies/firewall/

No, my position is regarding the amount of time and number of people that worked on it, and again WIP means "work in progress"...not a finished showreel. And the fact that they paid their good money. What is the school's criteria for a finished showreel to go and get a job with? They are going to be interviewed by people like me...

Geez, am I starting to sound like oddity?

Andyjaggy
04-16-2009, 09:36 AM
hole............ digging.

shrox
04-16-2009, 09:41 AM
hole............ digging.

Is that "Phil" in that hole?

adamredwoods
04-16-2009, 11:12 AM
One great looking shot beats two mediocre shots when it comes to demo reels.
When hiring, we have to look quickly at stuff and if it doesn't WOW us...

Dexter2999
04-16-2009, 12:57 PM
No, my position is regarding the amount of time and number of people that worked on it, and again WIP means "work in progress"...not a finished showreel. And the fact that they paid their good money. What is the school's criteria for a finished showreel to go and get a job with? They are going to be interviewed by people like me...

Geez, am I starting to sound like oddity?

Another factor is that these students have had about 9 months of training starting from "this is interface", and "now we are going to model a desk". And 9 months later they are making transforming jets composited into aerial footage. (Was that even live aerial footage? Anyone know?)

Once you know how to do something it's easy, but it's that learning curve that bites ya. On top of that, that is a class of about 30 or 40 students. Now experience and statistics show that about 20% of students in any subject will excel and 80% will do just enough to get by or fail.
So by the stat's, there are probably 6 really good artists generated out of a class that size.

If you plan to teach, better get used to the idea that not everyone in your class will live up to your expectations.

I can see it now, Shrox is going to be one of those teachers that writes "Is capable of much better" on everyones report cards.

dandeentremont
04-16-2009, 03:47 PM
If it makes you feel better, if Ron Thorton was directing a team of professionals, the quality would definitely have been much more impressive.

But DAVE school is a school, and a class consists of newbies to the industry. They have to learn the ropes of a production environment and not every student is extremely dedicated to the final project.

Ron can still be your hero, you just don't wanna base your view of him as a director on a class project. :thumbsup:

Mr Rid
04-16-2009, 04:43 PM
No, my position is regarding the amount of time and number of people that worked on it, and again WIP means "work in progress"...not a finished showreel. And the fact that they paid their good money. What is the school's criteria for a finished showreel to go and get a job with? They are going to be interviewed by people like me...

Geez, am I starting to sound like oddity?

The quality of Firewall is perfectly exceptable for a student film, but I do see much more impressive student films out of Gnomon where the student creates their own personal project to really showcase their individual aptitude and compel me to hire them right out of the gate. As a supervisor/instructor you can only do so much with the time and resources you have to work with. You cant wring better aptitude out of students that developed well before they ever stepped foot in the classroom.

The most prevalent problems I see in beginner to intermediate and even in advanced, photoreal Lightwave CG is in the lighting. I dont know where these bad habits begin of using too much ambient fill/overcranked GI, thinking its ok to have fill lights without any shadows, using shadow maps, spots and points, or cheating with too many trick lights, negative lights and colored shadows- none of this occurs in reality, so dont do it. You can photoreal light most scenes very simply with 1 or 2 areas and discreet GI.

Hieron
04-16-2009, 04:43 PM
http://www.vimeo.com/4164536

Still a WIP of course...

Not a good idea to put money in your mouth, you don't know where it's been.


Friendly rewrite of a longer story: Shrox, there should be plenty heroes still out there for ya :)



edit: I do agree with Rid that personal made projects are way more telling of a persons capability. But perhaps this movie was only a 1 month thing to practice working in a big project and to actually see how "communication" works.. :)

dbigers
04-16-2009, 05:41 PM
Having looked at Mr. Rids' demo reel, I say start there if you want a hero. Excellent work David!!

toby
04-16-2009, 07:03 PM
using shadow maps, spots and points, none of this occurs in reality, so dont do it.
Never thought I'd disagree with you so much Mr. Rid! Not everything is dependent on what occurs in reality. Including photorealism.

I'd hope that any cg artist or anyone aspiring to be one, or anyone thinking about applying at Dreamworks, Sony, ILM, Pixar, Rythym&Hues (which use spotlights and shadow maps for the vast majority of their rendering) would put good looking cg ahead of realism. Some of the best artists and biggest studios in the world use spotlights and shadow maps, and some of the best live-action movies have totally unrealistic lighting. I'd hesitate to say they're 'bad habits' and 'don't do them'.

shrox
12-16-2009, 06:15 PM
I think my new hero is Mr. Rid.

jin choung
12-17-2009, 02:24 AM
look at the demo reels for:

- animation mentor
- ringling school of design
- gnomon
- gobelins
- vancouver film school

and behold innumerable 'heroes' who have yet to break the quarter century mark.

if you don't see student work that doesn't blow your mind and leave you quivering in a pool of your own saliva, you're not even beginning to look hard enough.

jin

shrox
12-17-2009, 08:08 AM
look at the demo reels for:

- animation mentor
- ringling school of design
- gnomon
- gobelins
- vancouver film school

and behold innumerable 'heroes' who have yet to break the quarter century mark.

if you don't see student work that doesn't blow your mind and leave you quivering in a pool of your own saliva, you're not even beginning to look hard enough.

jin

By viewing this particular demo reel, I just thought these students did not get their money's worth.

Andyjaggy
12-17-2009, 03:08 PM
The most prevalent problems I see in beginner to intermediate and even in advanced, photoreal Lightwave CG is in the lighting. I dont know where these bad habits begin of using too much ambient fill/overcranked GI, thinking its ok to have fill lights without any shadows, using shadow maps, spots and points, or cheating with too many trick lights, negative lights and colored shadows- none of this occurs in reality, so dont do it. You can photoreal light most scenes very simply with 1 or 2 areas and discreet GI.

I agree. Kind of. First spot lights and point lights do exist in the real world, ever been to the theater?

But yes I agree, in general lighting seems to be the last thing that students/beginners pay attention to, which is a shame, since it's the first thing you notice.

I also agree most scenes can be lit with a couple area lights and maybe some fill GI, but I am glad we have all those other options for the times when it isn't so simple.

Also, since when is CG about re-creating reality. If so, why not just shoot reality. :) Just a thought.

Let's just say I am agreeing with you in a totally disagreeable way. :)