New animation: “What is Etiquette 3D”

We are happy to publish one more work made by our studio – “What is etiquette 3D”. This is a stereoscopic animated music video produced by DaNi Vision film company. All animation  for this video made using free software by the team of Morevna Project.

“What is etiquette 3D” is an educational animation for kids, introducing meaning and rules of etiquette (in Russian). The complimentary music and song was written and recorded exclusively for this animation. Please note that this work is available in stereoscopic format and we are highly recommend to watch it on 3D-TV.

This animation was produced by our team back in 2014 by commercial request of DaNi Vision film company. Initially it was closed product, but recently we’ve got a permission to make it public it under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Collaboration with DaNi Vision become our first experience in producing stereoscopic 3D animation. Back then Blender had no native support for stereoscopy, so we constructed our own camera rig (“toe-in” type).

Also, as result of this collaboration we had a chance to completely rewrite our automated rendering system (it was called Remake) in Python. The rewritten version got a new name – RenderChan.

As part of this rewrite we introduced the integration with Afanasy renderfarm. With this we were able to utilize Amazon AWS stack to render this animation on Spot instances almost at no cost (comparing to regular renderfarm services).

Another interesting part of this project was developing a lipsync solution. All 3D characters are created using CG Cookie Flex Rig and at some point we hit a problem of creating synchronized mouth movements for our characters. There was an official Blender lipsync addon, which allowed to create mouth movements from lipsync files produced by Papagayo software. But original version had no capabilities to work with mimic defined by Pose Libraries (this approach is used by most bone rigs).

So, as part of our work on this project we have improved lipsync addon to make it work with CG Cookie FlexRig, Rigify, BlenRig5 and many other rigs. You can get our version and usage instructions here.

Sad note: Unfortunately, for many years our changes are still waiting to be merged into official version of addon.

You might notice there are several hand-drawn scenes in this animated short. They are animated using Synfig software. All hand-drawn parts were animated in Synfig and then separated to layers. Then all layers were composed together in Blender and relocated in 3D space to give a proper depth effect with stereoscopic view.

All in all, for our team this was a quite unusual and very interesting project. We have learned a lot with it. Much thanks to DaNi Vision for supporting opensource animation software within this project and giving their permission on publishing this work!

Posted in Animation, Blender, Synfig, What is Etiquette.

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