Monday, March 3, 2008

Found the truck I think we should use...

Not sure who is responsible for finding this image, but I think it's great. Kudos to whoever found it. Anyone else think it's what we're looking for to kill our characters? There's more stuff in the props folder for more inspiration...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Listen to Mike!!

Just to add to what Mike said, I hope everyone takes the initiative to sketch things up for monday. We all know the direction we're taking for the environment and the color palette we'll be using (cars, abbey's color swatch...), we just need to flesh out the details. Feel free to take the environment design and try sketching it from different angles, put some new twists on it, re-position the gas station, etc. We'll be showing everyones stuff on monday when we all meet together with story and I'd be nice if we could gather opinions and finalize things then so we can move forward. Thanks for all ya'lls help recently. Making this film is a daunting task, but I think things will move much faster within the next few weeks.

Oh, and I know we've all heard concerns about the character design. For those of you who didn't hear, Ryan said that the character was too generic, not interesting enough to look at for long, and that we went "safe" on her design for ease of modeling and 3d sake. I think we can probably all agree on what was said....Lately Ryan, Carson, and I have attempted to tackle this thing once more (although I know we said that the last design was final). I guess since she's one of our main characters, we might as well get it right! :) Things are looking very well with the new designs, as we've taken elements of the last one, and adjusted some things. I hope you all will be supportive of this! Sorry about taking so long on this,...I guess alot of us didn't realize how dang hard it was to draw armadillos... Thanks guys!


Friday, February 29, 2008

Environment team

Hey ya'll. I just talked with Brian and we both agreed that we need a lot more ideas for environment, both in the gas station and in the general environment. Other props also very important (car, bushes, miscellaneous debris). So far we have about 4 ideas: Chris' original, my color pass, Brian's gas station, and Abbey's gas station.

We need a lot more drawings if you get the chance this weekend. Dave pointed out to me that we (mostly me, but I think a number of us are included in this) need more DRAWINGS, not fully rendered paintings. We just need more ideas. Cool, creative things to make this world UNIQUE and different from any desert or gas station you've seen before. Even written ideas would be fantastic (you can post them here as a comment!) I thought a tornado-hit gas station would be fun, or maybe one that was really a secret entrance into Area 51. In fact, maybe that's why our armadillos are walking around...they're really alien science experiments on earth life forms...


Cinematography Notes

Storyboard Team:

Here's those cinematography notes we went over on Wednesday. Thanks!

What are some of the things a cinematographer has to do in order to make a good shot?
a. Composition
b. Angles
c. Balance
d. Distance

Cinematographic Elements

1. Composition
a. Rule of Thirds
b. Placement
2. Angles
a. Canted
b. High
c. Low
3. Balance
a. Mass
b. Space
c. Weight
4. Distance (remember the Powerpoint)
5. Vector
a. Physical
b. Eye line
c. Movement
6. Shot Duration
a. How long the shot is
b. Long Take
c. Short Take
7. Moving Frame
a. Dolly – Camera changes position, traveling in any direction along the ground, be it
forward, backward, circular, diagonal, or side to side.
b. The shot of Henry V was a dolly, or trucking shot.
c. Truck, or tracking - Same as a Dolly shot
d. Crane – Camera moves above ground level, like the shot in the Narnia clip we just saw
e. Pan – Stationary camera pivots on vertical axis side to side
f. Tilt – Stationary camera pivots on horizontal axis up and down
g. Helicopter (also crane shots, helicopter often moves more, crane is more sweeping and smooth)
h. Hand-held – Obvious, hand held, like The Blair Witch Project

Hope that helps. Thanks!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A new storyboarder map

Hey Story guys, thought something like this might help, a map with a bit more things o play off, if you don't like something, let me know, it is just an idea. The right is where the sun is rising, the east, Ryan suggested clouds over there so lets go with more clouds on the horizon on that side like in Mike Mercers pictures, also from mike, I put the big rock behind the gas station. i tried to put shadows to get a relative idea of height.

The line on the left i was thinking was a bit of a burm, with a hill going down to the left (like a short drop, then sloped, like the side of a plateau)

i threw in a canyon with a river, you'll probably never see in the lower left for fun. if there are any other questions or suggestion on it let me know. (I know I misspelled plateau...probably here too)

again this is for storyboarding purposes, I am not dictating the environment design, design guys.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Here, I went back to the original and just made some very small tweaks with the liquifier. Oh, and I changed the arm.

Guy design

So, i realize you guys may have decided on a final for the guy already, but since i'm not sure if you guys saw this (i couldnt be at the design group meeting so i asked Kevin if he could put this in the groups folder monday before class, maybe it didnt make it), i thought i'd post it. rachel said that the upper body/shoulder/clavicle area is too human. she's right. there are a lot of parallels to the Deliah design, obviously. Im mostly concerned with the personality of his face. what do you guys think?

A Couple of Interesting Things from the "Cars" teaser

I was checking out "The Incredibles" again to get storyboarding/framing ideas and the "Cars" teaser came on. There are some really cool elements with that road and the bushes next to it. It would be worthwhile to watch for inspiration.

Also for story folks, the way the bee gets hit suddenly is fun and we have an echo of it in how Deliah gets hit, so the way they staged it is cool for studying as well. anywho, just a thought.

Ok i found the cars trailer and here are some screen grabs, the lighter three are just inspiration for cool desert type colors, plants, etc. The bottom three are some awesome lighting setups, more golden hour with soft edged hard shadows. anywho, they are cool for getting ideas.

in the center left photo, i just noticed something we may want to try, having the action take place at the top of a rise could allow for some cooler long road shots and mask oncoming cars better. just a thought

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tweaked Characters

Here's the tweaks I was happiest with. Minor changes to both characters.

Brent's Opinion today

Brent gave us his opinion today. I took notes.

  • Start with a clean slate now. No NEEDED colors (for story's sake) so anything goes.
  • Don't do pre-dawn b/c everyone's creating a demo reel so make it easy to create a good demo reel and make textures/lighting be beautiful on any object.
  • Don't be subtle. Most successful shorts (so far as likability) have been the colorful ones (Pet Shop/Pinatas).
  • Subtlety of story is NOT more important than making good demo reels (said Brent, remember these do not reflect the opinions of the author of this post)
  • Brent wants gorgeous colors.
  • Use white, red, green for gas station/props. No Chevron Blue.
  • 55 gallon drums often red/green...
  • These are of course all rusty, faded, and interesting-looking with LOTS of color variation within them.
  • A lot of red and green again, though muted
  • Maybe red-yellow-orange combo.
  • Maybe very blue.

"I'm not trying to design your colors. Do other colors other than these. Just make it colorful."

So that's the notes I took. If anyone else took notes please post them.

Our team is working a lot on color until Wednesday. Abbey is working on some shape designs for gas station. Brian is working on male character/female character redesign. Chris is on the flower. Kevin I think is facial stuff...Al is on something too...but I can't remember what...anyone I missed?

Dude a dillo

Well, here's the one from class. Cheers!

Deliah's Colors

Hey everyone. I'm using the blog a lot b/c it's easier for me than FTP. Forgive me for posting a bunch. It's mostly so I'll have something to show at dailies without having to carry a thumbdrive around.

Here is a rough of Deliah's colors. I painted it in layers so once I'm done I will be able to alter the lighting, the shadows, her basic colors, etc, to pretty much any color and still maintain harmony. I hope to have 5-10 good color schemes for her that will hopefully help inspire environmental design.

NOTE: this is not a texture exercise. Only color. Please also note I paint on my laptop so it might appear saturated/just a little too dark. If so, that's why. I'll fix it when I'm all done so it appears right on normal screens and then if it's still too saturated/dark we can go from there.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

North by Northwest

I just saw a shot of North by Northwest while watching the oscars where the airplane is chasing the hero, there is a cool feel to that landscape if anyone wants to check it out. there is a cool old fence and road. just for environmental inspiration

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Illegal Research...

I feel like a criminal.

Here's some better sky lighting (or close to it) shots.

I think the above could work. You could see car headlights in this lighting as well as see a ghost shader.

The sun is definitely up in the tetons. I think this is a sunset pic.

I'm related to that last big elephant on the left. Cousin of mine.

This is a cool-looking desert. Too smokey? Too pink? I think this could potentially be romantic...

Lighting and color schemes

Hey everybody. I'm going to post a bunch of copyrighted images from the web here so if anyone's worried just take them down. If anyone asks I didn't do it.

From what I understand the story team is looking for sky lighting for the short. I have a concern about sky lighting in that I feel it might end up being too monochromatic or just too dark altogether. An alternative is to have the sun up but not visible (behind mountains/clouds). Dave said the story team decided to have mountains for this purpose.

I think I like these subtle colors best. Feels very morningy. Do the colors speak cartoon? Probably not. Do we want the colors to speak cartoon? I have no idea.

Not much to say. More subtle colors. We could definitely play on saturation if we went this route. (say, for example, the ghost is more saturated, as is the flower....)

This is basically the color scheme I was shooting for at first. Blue blue sky for a cartoony feel. Suns up so you can see the colors (although it might not be visible). Lots of saturation and brightness but trying to maintain a morning feel.

Too saturated? Too dark? Notice that the sun is up in this photo and the world is STILL there a work around so we can make sky lighting work? I realize exposure is at work here but I'm not sure how we can make this work for us. Maybe I need to go out and shoot some pictures some morning...

Feels very monochromatic. Too monochromatic in my opinion, although the peachy color definitely feels texan to me.

What's everybody elses' thoughts?

Lighting concepts

Ok so I think it's time to start talking lighting and stuff. Here are a couple passes I would really like critiqued before I move on to finishing the piece.

Blue shadows, tan rocks. Blue sky, big sun. This one has more of a just-after-sunrise feel. Jeremy said it should be warmer.

Above is color corrected for my stupid laptop. I will fix these in the future.

Not color corrected.

Warmer rocks/shadows. I wanted you to see the vastness of the landscape. The idea behind this one is that there used to be a traveled side road going to a place called "Big Al's Oasis" and that's why a gas station popped up. But when Big Al's shut down there wasn't much hope for the gas station. (The gas station is called Brigham's Squeaky Clean Gasoline). The gas station I wanted to feel like an "oasis" (loosley meaning a small populated area) too in the middle of a very flat, dirty and empty desert landscape. The clouds act like mountains on the horizon in every direction. Why? Because I thought it'd be cool.

Please comment. Thanks!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Just more flowers....

here are some quick car ideas, they will just zoom by mostly, but that doesn't mean they can't be cool
Here are some more flowers i thought were cool,the two on cacti are arizonian flowers, the rest i believe are texan, i don't know why this is underlining

Downloading images on Flickr


As per Mike's request, here is a quick tutorial on how to download images that are "protected" on Flickr.

I looked up images of The Pink Umbrella Man from Santa Cruz, CA. He's a legend there, he walks down Pacific Ave. at the pace of about a block every hour. In pink. Seriously. If you don't believe me, just Google it . . .

Anyway, if after searching for an image, you click on it and see this little "All Sizes" button then you are in luck:

Clicking on it will lead you to another page with download size options. Booyah.

However, if that glorious little button is somehow NOT found, like on this page . . .

Dragging this image to your desktop will instead download "spaceball.gif" which is a transparent GIF placed over the image to protect it. Thats no good. Go to "Tools" and then "Page Info"

Then click on the "Media" tab and scroll down until you see the image pop up in the Media Preview window. Then click "Save As" and you've got it.

And then you can be as smug as the Pink Umbrella Man 'cause you just downloaded images from Flickr.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dhalia Flowers

Ok, so I don't remember who's doing the flower, but I ran across this flower called a "dhalia" native to Mexico area and I thought it had some cool-looking variations. Also, since our main character was named Dilia (is that right?) I was like, shoot, it's only one "h" short of dhalia...and that could make for an interesting connection. Anyhow...not sure if it's any good but I thought I would post them. Texas is right next to Mexico, in case we were worried about the plausibility factor. Anyhoo. Off to paint!

I didn't know Jeremy played basketball . . .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

pre sunrise?

environment sketch

Storyboard template and backgrounds

Here are high-res scans of the backgrounds for the storyboards (Jeremy's are the good-looking ones) along with a jpg to use as a template. The template is the file that looks like a white rectangle with a black outline. Its based on the proportions of the feature board from, but scaled to be 720 pixels high. Sorry I couldn't post a .psd with layers, but blogger won't seem to let me do that. The scan are all at a much higher resolution than the template, so you can paste them in as a layer and scale them down to whatever size you need. Hope they're useful to you!

--Mike S.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Meeting in IRA room wednesday, Feb 20th 9 am

Hey all you design fellas and lady fellas, we are going to get together normal class time in the IRA VR room for a group meeting going over progress on the story and design fronts so we can un-plug any clogs we have in flowing this thing along. Let everyone know to come. Have your latest stuff ready and we will try and get this thing moving. Any Environment Art, Character Stuff, would be awesome. Now that we are getting closer to nailing down our main girl character, feel free to bring any designs of the Guy and other girl, PLEASE bring environments stuff, and we will need stuff soon for the Station, the fence, cars, bushes, etc.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

A few of you mentioned that the front view may look too much like a turtle. In my opinion that can be remedied by taking away the typical pig/hippo/turtle nose that armadillos tend to have and give it a more mammal like nose. Here's an example...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Jake's Design!

From Big Al:

Here's Al's character design:

Character Designs-Female

For those of you involved in character design, just add your images to this post. Here's some of my sketches: