Thursday, August 16, 2007


The Pre-viz is finished!

Well, it still has a few more things to be done. I'm going to replace a voice and trim two shots, but basically it's finished; Finished enough that I'm able to start thinking about other things.

Though this is an industry tool – I'm putting it online for your viewing pleasure. I don't know how long it will remain online, but I see no harm in doing so now.

Currently the file is rendering. My laptop is running at a toasty 75 degrees Celsius and the processor is at full bore – almost literally cooking through the file.

This project has been fun but it's also been a lot of work. It took about two months of ten-to-fourteen hour days to do the ten minutes that you can see – which included learning, improving, and honing my skills with the software itself. The details are what really take the time in these projects. Anyone who has done 3D work will know what I mean. A basic move or virtual world might not take too long to build, provided you know what you're doing -- but getting things to go juuust right… That's the time suck.

Every camera move, every person, every virtual inch of the set – the world – is created. If you re-direct an 'actor' to go somewhere a little more quickly, it means that every camera following his/her/its action has to also be adjusted. And so on with every aspect of the world.

23 minutes left of render time…

I could go on describing the difficulties, but that's not the point.

So what is the intention of this pre-viz? The screenplay for Diamond Chasers is getting very good reviews. That's great, but that's certainly no end game. It's just a start. As it "goes out" into the world, I'm giving it an extra push with these ten minutes. There will be other elements to demo it in addition to what you'll see.

This ten minutes of this pre-vis represent pages 20-30 of the screenplay: The ACT 1 break.

Here are the actual pages from the script. You might have fun comparing them to the actual pre-viz.

The pre-viz not only visualizes the pages, but also visualizes them in the way I would do it; so it's also a demo of my directing style… this is pretty much the way I see these pages (as live action, of course) If you like it, it not only means you'd like the movie as a screenplay, it means my native directing style would be to your liking.

12 minutes left of render time…

When working in the 3D world, it's very easy to do camera moves that would be absolutely impossible to do in real life. The WOW factor might be very high but that's not really the point. It's not supposed to remind you of a video game, it's supposed to be like a live action movie. It was "directed" as a live action piece. This means that I didn't really use the conventions that an animated piece might use to accentuate character emotion. Take this into account when you watch the characters faces – these will eventually be live people, grimacing, gaping, wondering, screaming…

The HOW of it all

Except for two shots – the shots of fuel gauges, this pre-viz was done with ANTICS 3D. The fuel gauge shots were done in After Effects. Any custom set stuff was either done in Photoshop (when 2d) or exported from 3D MAX (which I don't know how to use past making extremely simple models based on unaltered primitives)

4 minutes left of render time… Done… 9 minutes to upload…

And now – here it is…

Diamond Chasers

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Still grinding the stone with my nose

Just a quick note to let people know I'm actually alive. I'm still in full 3D mode on the pre-viz, but the light at the end of the tunnel has gotten pretty bright. I'm (I believe) about a day away from being done with the visuals; and then I can move on to sound, blessed sound. My friend, mathboy pointed out that this would represent ten percent of the movie. Quite a bit of screen time for such a relatively short period of work. It's also - in terms of animation - some of the more difficult stuff - though the bar room brawl, and the final aerial hand-to-hand battle would be pretty tough too.

In the meantime, I've put a new little do-dad on the right column of the blog. It's an IM of sorts. Good for if you wanna send me a quick note that's not specific to a blog post.