I learned a lot of new knowledge through this cooperative project. And it also gave me a more comprehensive understanding of film and television post-production. It gave me the opportunity to review the knowledge of other software I learned before such as Maya, Nuke and Houdini. Besides i become more confident to use Houdini.
Cooperative projects allow me to learn different knowledge from different people. Not only about technical things, but also let me learn how to cooperate and communicate with other people in the project. I think in a project, it is very important to have a good leader. Everyone in the group actively expresses their opinions. Everyone has something they want to do. But there must be someone to unify these opinions. Otherwise, a lot of time will be wasted in the early stage due to differences in opinions. Yann is a very good team leader. In the process of project production, he help to integrate resources and actively organize online discussions. I am also learning from each of them. The biggest problem about myself is that I am not good at communicating with team members. Just focus on my works and solve problem by my self. But in the later stage, I found that communicating with other people in a timely manner can help me solve the problem faster.
In fact, after finishing the project, I think there are still areas that need to be improved. For example, the communication with the team members is not timely especially for me. Everyone is not familiar with each other for the first time, and the overall process of the project is not very clear. In the early stage, A lot of time was spent in the production process, which resulted in a hasty composition in later stage. Of course, I will pay more attention to these problems and solve them in the next cooperation project.
Overall, everyone still likes the final result. When the result appears, it still makes me feel very fulfilled. What’s more important is what we learned in the process of making this pre-vis.
Last week, the members of our animation team completed the layout based on the storyboard. My main job is to make special effects for some shots based on the layout.
firstly I downloaded the layout_6 file from OneDrive which is the part where I should make special effects. Most of our files are shared with team members through Onedrive. You can download the files you need from the above, or you can update your progress in real-time here.
When I got the shots, I found the camera that needs special effects, and then selected the objects and imported it into Houdini as the Fbx file format. In this way, after we finish the special effects, we can directly import them into Maya without having to make other adjustments to its position and animation. Then all that needs to be done is to import the effect back to Maya as an FBX file. On the basis of the previous week, I adjusted the effect. Make the pieces of the mask bigger. It is more in line with the effect after the mask material is broken and adjust the time when the mask broke. Let the mask shatter after falling, instead of cracking on the face.
Then there is the test of the explosion effect. In the process, I tried several different methods to make it more real. Here is the final result of the test. The first effect looks more like an explosion in the water. The second type of explosion is a bit like a large-scale explosion caused by a missile or a more powerful weapon. The third is our final choice, the explosion effect caused in the fight.
In the process, I found a video that helped us analyze the Pyro node. The impact of different options on the explosion effect.
My main work this week is the layout and design of the scene. In the beginning, I directly found some existing models and combined them.
But after discussion. We think that some models are too refined and complicated. It is possible to snatch the show. And everyone is more inclined to the architectural style of the game. So we decided to use simple squares to put out the street structure with different heights. Then do a separate architectural design. This simple model is also more convenient for the animation team to design the storyboard.
In addition, I found some reference pictures that are more relevant to our project. Our next street design may be more biased towards this reference map. The buildings on both sides are higher. Make the road a little narrower without too much protruding structure. Make the whole scene look more like a secluded alley. The streets in the first version above look scattered.
Next is the character design
In the future, the era of high-tech and low-life, the emergence of smart machines will bring new contradictions to society. The renewal of the government’s judicial system can hardly match the development of technology. The solidification of social class further leads to chaos, and excessive chaos brings new order. The intrigue among the upper-class society has also been brought to the table, and professional killers seem to have become an indispensable role for every upper-class power. And the bounty hunter system acquiesced by the government has given the people at the bottom a new way out, allowing society to maintain a stable but cold state to a certain extent. The masked girl is a bounty hunter, eccentric and agile. She grew up in a slum and was influenced by hip-hop culture. Dress more freely, there will be many cultural elements on her clothes, and she uses a short knife. When performing tasks, the attire is more capable, and she wears a mask to hide her face and does not speak.
The cyborg man is a professional killer with a strong body and a cold face. He is usually responsible for handling some people or robots that they hate for the upper class people. Frequent killings made him brutal, and while this job brought him money, it also took his arm, but fortunately he could use a high-techmetal arm instead. The metal arm has stronger strength and defense.
At the beginning of this semester, we were told that we would have a cooperative project. But the actual start of the project is the fifth week.
This week I received an invitation from a friend who asked me if I want to participate in their project. They seem to have started planning the project earlier than we did. They already had preliminary plans when I joined. It’s an action scene. A masked girl and a mechanical man fight in an alley.
Here is the initial concept map.
There are 8 people in our group, and I am the only VFX student. I feel a lot of pressure.
The cyborg man is destroying the robot in the alley. He lifted the robot’s head and smashed it against the wall. Then throw it into the trash can. There are some robot limbs scattered around the trash can. Then the man took out a cigar and lit it, took a deep breath and raised his head to spit out smoke. He saw a masked girl with a short knife standing on the roof. The girl squatted down from the roof and rushed towards the man. The man dodged hurriedly, and the cigar was cut into two pieces. The girl turned to the ground, her back to the man. The man stabilized his flustered figure and spit the remaining half of his cigar aside. The girl slowly got up, revealing the sign behind her back. The man looked disdainful and said, “Bounty hunter.”
When the group was established, we started looking for reference pictures based on stories and concept maps. According to their own feelings, everyone finds the pictures that they think best fit the story. Here are some reference pictures we found from the website.
After everyone shared their thoughts, we started to assign work.
Sean and Frank are responsible for the character design of the male. Yann and Yufei design the heroine. My job is scene design and special effects work with Jay and Yann. Layne and Sean work on the storyboard. Murry is responsible for the rigging of the character’s bones.