I know it’s much time passed by, but I hope you remember Vectorization Competition that we held at Morevna Project from June to September. We have announced the results and the absolute winner – Jcome, but in fact that wasn’t the end of the story. We have prepared a little reward for the winner – an interview to publish on our blog. Unfortunately Jcome was quite busy last time and the interview got delayed. But now it’s here and I believe it’s still not too late. Meet Jcome – vectorization competition winner!
Tags: 3d, backgrounds, drafts
Ok, here are some quick and hot news from the past week.
Nikolay successfully finished overpaints for the last backgrounds. Now we have all backgrounds completely finished. Also, he took a chance to redraw some keyframes that we were not satisfied with – and hey, they are much tasty now!
What about me? As planned I have successfully done mysterious extra work on 3D models of vehicles. That was quite significant improvement and I’m totally satisfied with the result. My best thanks to Chris Kuhn (aka kuhn0362) for provided 3D model.
Another thing to mention – Yu Chen translated the storyboard of Morevna Project Demo to Chinese. You can download it from here. In addition to that, he have made a translation of original Russian fairy-tale about Marya Morevna, which our project is based on. Right now he is heading to bring the full Morevna screenplay into Chinese.
That’s all for today. This week we will be working on polishing out the final animation, special fx and compositing. The release is on 10th of November, remember? We have to hurry! Have an awesome week, everyone! ^__^
Tags: 3d, backgrounds, packages, remake
Last week an important milestone was reached – we have managed to close all white gaps in the Demo. That’s it, all backgrounds are in place now.
Though, some of background images are still pending for overpaint. There are seven of such left at the moment. I’m sure Nikolay will finish them before the end of this week – that will be our next milestone.
Among other achievements, we also have finished the work on shot 07 – a very complex shot where we have 3D turning camera. In such case we cannot directly do overpaint for backgrounds, because camera is floating in 3D space and background is always different. So we took existing overpainted image and unwrapped it as UV-texture right onto 3D model of battlefield. I was very worried about the result, because I wanted this shot to fit seamlessly with other 2D shots. Also, I wasn’t sure that single overpaint texture will be enough and we expected to draw additional overpaints for particular camera angles. But at the end it turned out that one texture is enough and after some neat compositing the result looks very well for my taste. I’m very happy about it. ^_^
Talking about Blender, I have to mention that when we migrated to Freestyle-enabled Blender we hit a strange issue – one particular file started to render upside-down. I wouldn’t pay much attention to this, since I always can flip the image during compositing. But then it turned out that on some systems (our main rendering server, for example) it renders fine, with no upside-down effect! After some investigation we found that the problem with incompatibility of different versions of OpenEXR library. So, our blender builds are fixed now, you can get them from software page, as usual.
Another thing to mention about software – is there someone out there who uses Remake (our lovely automated-rendering system)? Please note that we made a bunch of important fixes to it during the last few months and you are strongly encouraged to use development version. Most probably the new version will be released together with Morevna Demo.
What’s next? I’ll keep working on compositing, bringing the whole animation to the equal color feel and adding lightning effects. Also I will keep polishing the animation, fixing issues and adding the particles effects. Another target for this week will be doing extra work on 3D vehicles. That’s the plan. See you next week!
As I was mentioned in my previous post, on 10th of October we have successfully assembled the first draft version of Morevna Project Demo. “Draft version” means that we have all key elements in place and it’s supposed to give a random viewer clear understanding what’s happening on the screen without additional explanations. Of course, there are still some white gaps, many fx are missed and compositing is non-uniform, but it already delivers experience very close to the final result. Also I have take this chance to finally put all sound fx into Demo, much thanks to freesound.org.
After that, two of my weekdays were lost, because I was arranging the visa stuff. Meanwhile Nikolay concentrated on tedious work of polishing the tweening for shots 32, 34, 49, 50, 54… Well, especially in shot 34 – he always blamed me for the low quality of tweening in this shot and now he took a chance to put all desired fixes. ^_^
When I got back, I’ve started to prepare the last missing backgrounds, at the same time doing the compositing and color correction. Everyone who watched the last Demo snapshot (from 28th of February) can remember the heavily acid colors on the screen. I didn’t liked that and we were playing a lot with different color solutions. The draft version of the Demo brought me the clear understanding how I want the final image to look like.
Evaluating our schedule, I can say that we have a good time gap to do additional work for implementing some neat stuff that we had in our “optional todo list”. I will not say what exactly it would be, but there is a hint – it will touch the starting sequence and some 3D-vechicles. So, stay tuned and let’s rock the next week!
Tags: events, workflow
Let me start with some good news. Last week I have received a subsidy from Russian government for my trip to give a talk at Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS) at Göteborg, Sweden. Much thanks to Viktor Tolokonsky for giving us his support in this initiative. If you remember, my presence there was questionable, but now situation is pretty clear – I will be there.
Also I hope everyone remember that we are plan to give the first screening of Morevna right after the talk. So, see you in Sweden at FSCONS – me and Julia Velkova will be giving a talk on 10th of November at 15:15 (GMT+1).
About the status of Morevna Project Demo. Last week we worked at the full rage – we plan to have the first rough draft finished by October 10th. Would it be something new if I will say that Nikolay does an awesome work drawing backgrounds and polishing the tweening? I really would like to show you nice and fancy production sheet like we had for keyframes or vectorization stage, but such schema doesn’t work here. I’m just watching the most recent rendering of Demo, writing the top priority tasks, then we working on fixing them, rendering again, watching, writing more tasks and so on. So, (what a shame!) this is how my typical task list looks like.
OK, it’s time for me to get back to work – I need to have all works on 3D characters animation finished in next 24 hours! Yay! Let’s enjoy the new week!
Tags: 3d, blender, soldiers
It’s the 1st of October and it’s hard to tell which stage we are now on – because we are still finishing backgrounds, making 3D, putting it all together and polishing it all at the same time. In my previous production plan we have October planned for “Sound and Compositing”, but you can guess that the pure month for just that is too much. Right, I especially planned October as an “extra month” that we dedicate to put all odds and ends together. And we are putting them.
We have most key backgrounds finished and the only tricky part left is to unwrap some of them into 3D scenes – we need to do that in several places. Besides drawing backgrounds, Nikolay also working on polishing animation. He examines the basic tweening done by me and fixes it so the characters animation look solid and smooth. It turns out well, but there is still a lot to be polished.
Marco (Chotio Productions) have finished animation of the last soldiers for shot 07. Now he is proceeding with animation for the main characters. He will make animation of Ivan and Morevna dancing for shots 38, 41 and 55.
I have worked here and there on 3D backgrounds again and compositing. In addition to that I have finished coloring the 3D models of Ivan and Morevna. Also we have updated the blender build again – you can get it from our software page.
Ivan and Morevna models by Linil Komban and Somnath Karande
That’s all for today. Sorry for meagre report this time, but I have to hurry – still lots to be done today. Have a great week! ^__^
Tags: backgrounds, soldiers
Today I’ll try to be short as the time is not waiting. All week we’re working hard on backgrounds. I am preparing all 3D stuff and Nikolay does overpaint. The process of mixing of overpainted backgrounds into final shot have it’s own specific and workflow here is still in the process of polishing – hope I will have time to cover this in detail later. The trick is to have overpainted shot updated when I’m updating basic 3D layout. We also had a lot of fun with billboards – we have produced a lot of funny advertising that will appear on the backgrounds. Of course all they are about Morevna Project’s universe.
And yes, my weekly progress is really boring without screenshots. So here are a few of them. ^__^
Also, Marco have finished animation for one more soldier to use it in shot 07 and now only 3 soldiers pending to be animated here. I’ve took a chance and reworked camera movement in this shot and quite satisfied with the result – it looks much more impressive than before.
Last week we have got first successful rendering of the project in full HD resolution. Carlos López González did his best to debug the Warp Layer bug, and he even found the cause of the problem. But its fixing appeared to be not that trivial, so we decided to postpone it’s fix for better time. Though, knowing its cause allowed us to apply workaround – we have changed distortion amount and now the broken shots passed the high-resolution rendering well.
Finally, as you might know from my previous post, I have successfully prepared the promised Blender builds with Freestyle feature. That means the Freestyle migration is fully completed now – all contributors can easily install the new version and use its features without risk to get something lost as result of version incompatibility. At the same time this update means that we migrated to Blender 2.64 RC1.
That’s all my news for today. Have a great week, everyone and let’s do our best!
Tags: blender, packages
We are happy to announce that the new Freestyle-enabled packages of Blender are available for download now. Please note, that those packages are not exactly Blender 2.63, but much more like 2.64 RC1 (with FFMPEG and Freestyle features). Enjoy!
Illustration by Jikz. Distributed under the terms of CC BY-SA.
Tags: 3d, animation, backgrounds, drafts, soldiers
Can you believe it? Last week we have finished the “Vectorization and Tweening” stage and now we are officially working on “Backgrounds and 3D”! Hurray!
The most hard stage was “Drawing Keyframes”, but “Vectorization and Tweening” was the most time-consuming one. And it’s over now! (yes, I would like to repeat it again so you can see how epic this moment feels for me ^__^).
Last week I and Nikolay both worked hard on vectorization routines and also we got some help from our community friends here. While I was finishing with the last characters and keyframe merging, Nikolay spent half of the week working on backgrounds. He works very fast and enthusiastically. I really should hurry to prepare all files for him in time.
There is one more person who was contributing very actively to the project last week. It is Marco Antonio Real Adame (Chotio Productions). He has made an animation for his last soldier model and made another two soldier variations!
Looks like he will be the one and only contributor of our soldiers community call and he gets even more serious about contributing to the project – he plans to take on the animation for the main characters as well. If he covers us here, then we will be able to dedicate much more time to backgrounds and make them even more awesome. Well, probably you can understand what I mean.
My hands are itching to post fresh “production snapshot” of the Demo, so you can see yourself all the work done. But I should hold myself, because I don’t want to spoil you the impression of watching finished result. And of course those, who really want to take a sneak peek – they are always free to take sources and build snapshot by themselves. Everything is open, jejeje. ^_^
Most probably from now on I will stop publishing the screenshots too. The reason is the same – to avoid spoilers. I guess that will make my weekly reports even more boring… But who knows, maybe I will not be able to handle myself and will take to post a few
dozens of exciting ones? Time will show!