Posts Tagged ‘drafts’
As a followup to the previous fanart post, I have decided to go for a little experiment and suggested a test task for Anastasia. I sketched a character pose draft like I usually do when we work with Nikolai and then she made a final artwork out of that. Here’s how it turned out:
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! ^__^
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!
OK, we’re one step from finishing “Vectorization and Tweening” stage. There are just two shots pending for my review and a few soldiers to vectorize, which in fact are background characters. Be sure – we’re squeezing most of our free time to get this stage finished sooner.
The most of vectorization work last week is done by Nikolay. My work is merging keyframes together and tweening. At the same time I already have started some work on backgrounds. This is necessary to prepare the ground for Nikolay, so he can proceed to this task immediately as soon as vectorization stage will be done. The good thing is that comparing to previous stage we don’t need to invent anything here. The technology is pretty much established and well described on the internet. See tutorials here and here for example. I’m sure it will be no problem to implement the same workflow with existing open-source software.
Also, we have started reparations to render project in full resolution (1920×1080). Too early? No way! We already hit a few problems. Some of them we were able to fix quickly, but at the moment two of them remains.
First of all it is a parallelization problem in Synfig – right at the moment it doesn’t support more than one thread in commandline rendering. Of course we can always tell Remake to run several jobs at once, but that’s not effective regarding to the memory consumption (considering that there us a shots requiring more than 3 Gb of RAM to render).
Second problem is more serious – we have hit a bug which leads Synfig to crash when trying to render animation with Warp layer at high resolution. It is really blocking issue and right now I’m looking for workaround.
This is all my news for today. Have a great week, everyone!
It’s the last days of keyframes drawing campaign and this week was especially interesting, because besides of usual drawing of Ivan and Morevna Nikolay was working on the shots where we have many new characters. They all are appear in the Demo only once or twice, but some of them will play a significant role in the whole movie. So you will see a lot of new faces – Doctor-Sister with her husband Businessman, Mechanic-Sister with her husband Rocker, Rapper (who is a husband of Priestess-Sister) and musicians from the bar. Some of them more detalized, some less but still it’s been a big work. I don’t name who is who, I think it’s easy to guess by looking at the picture.
Regarding to the whole keyframes drawing process. We are on the edge of the deadline (1st of May), but we still have 2 days. It was decided to use 3D models for some long-distance shots with complex camera turns and movements (I’m referring to shots 07, 38, 41 and 53). So we have 7 keyframes left. I’m sure Nikolay will finish them in the next two days.
It looks like our fundraising campaign is failing. It’s 2 days left and we still have $1619 to go. Anyway, it’s awesome to see that we have done that far and we are very grateful to everyone who gave us their support! The fact that you all believe in this project make us feel so warm and we will do our best to continue with our efforts and proof that your faith is no waste. Thank you!
Tomorrow I’m taking off in my trip to Libre Graphics Meeting 2012 (2-5 May, Austria) and exactly at the 1st of May I’ll be on the road. I’ll post the final report about the keyframes drawing and our plans for the future as soon as I will get back. And of course if some of you have a chance to be at this great event – will be happy to meet you there!
Finally, it’s been a long time since I was posting my favourite “work-in-progress” drafts. They are kind of outdated already (since all those keyframes are finished), but I won’t feel as myself if I won’t post them now. ^__^
Everyone, have exciting week!
Today I want to talk a little about the ways we cheat at drawing. ^__^
When you start drawing a characters you usually have “front” and “side” concept reference images. And when you need 3/4 view at some gradation it’s always a bit tricky part. And here’s Synfig to the rescue! No, it’s not a tracing time yet, but we can use Synfig’s tweening capabilities to extend our concept references. For example, this is how we get guides for Ivan’s head at particular angle.
Notice how your brain rebuilds the inbetween positions of the head basing the guide lines as references.
The next helpful trick is to use photos as references. Yes, sometimes to figure out the correct look of some elements at certain angles or positions we have to go with shots like you see below.
And of course we cheat by using 3D models. Of course the easiest way would be to have 3D models for all characters and do all drawings on top of them. But there is a bad part about that. My experience shows that when you rely much on 3D models in drawing, the characters loose some flexibility or some kind of “creative sparkle”. And it’s not about “uncanny valley” only. Using model clarifies your image, it allows you to make the “right” image, according to “right” rules, “right” perspective, etc. But at the same time it puts your imagination to the limits and that’s bad. Because, you know, the hand-drawn animation takes much of its effect from the exaggeration and the most cool and exciting images come exactly when you breaking some rules. Understanding that is very important and that’s why we tend to use 3D models very carefully.
Currently we started to experiment with the soldier model. The funny thing happened with shot 35 – it’s the shot where the camera makes a long dolly out and all soldiers are thrown into the air. Initially we wanted to use soldier model as a base for drawing keyframes on top. But when we put the model into animation we found that the model looks very naturally as it is.
Considering that it will be masked with some vector elements, effects and dust we decided to use soldiers as pure 3D models in this shot. Of course that saved Nikolay a lot of efforts in the keyframes drawing.
That’s everything I wanted to confess about our cheating. ^___^ As usual, you can see our progress for keyframes drawing on the image below. Don’t forget to check the gallery page to see the recent images of this week. We hope you like them. Stay tuned and have a great week!
OK, I hope everyone had a great 1st of April day. And I hope you enjoyed our little joke. I want to assure everyone who cares about the project – we don’t plan to turn everything into “Nazar Style”. Though, the funniest part of this joke is that it wasn’t a pure joke at all – Nazar The Brave character will really look like was shown in my previous post. I hope you enjoy that turn. ^___^
Here’s one more week passed by. For some reasons this was a kind of hard week.
From one side the non-stop-drawing mode starting to tell – as result of psychological exhausting the process turns into routine and drawings get looking dull and unfacy loosing their creative tune. At the beginning of passed week we have spend a lot of efforts to overcome this aspect, to “refresh” our vision and our minds. Much help in that we got from watching the Gainax artbooks, especially the “Groundworks of Evangelion” – which is like our “Bible”. Watching those works we always get a high impact to recreate our inspiration and get drawings done with a “right” feeling.