I decided to post a few production tests to the blog just for fun. Here is an animated version of a first idea for the title treatment. It originally had flames behind the logo at the end, but it was too much, so here’s the version without the fire at the end. (Watch in HD if you can!)
I’ve also been working on a workflow for animating a ship on the ocean mesh. Here’s one of those tests.
I’ve also been testing out using the new Dynamic Paint tool as an animated mask for revealing something written with pen and ink. It’s not perfect but it’s not bad. The resolution of the mask is not high enough so the edges are a little rough. Good proof of concept though!
As many of you know, Pixar released the first real animated teaser trailer for their new production, titled “Brave” (due for release in 2012). I’m very excited about the style of the film, and also the fact that the story takes place in medieval Scotland is also really great, with me being of Scottish descent and all. : )
Although the design of the main character is gorgeous (the red hair is amazing!), the character design is not in line with my plans for this project, as I’m aiming for a little more photorealistic. What I can use as a reference or “gold standard” is the environment design for some of the shots in the trailer. They are simply stunning, and also very similar in setting and landscape to some of the shots in my project. So I’ve gone ahead and taken some screen shots from the trailer to post here in my image reference collection.
Again, for those who haven’t caught the trailer yet, you can watch it here:
After receiving some feedback about the original script and storyboard that the story was too “been there, done that, vikings, carnage, blah, blah, blah”, I decided to take another look. This project will end up taking many hundreds of hours of production time, and I really want to have something that is mildly interesting, and not just purely a technical exercise.
The format of the piece is still going to be mostly the same, basically an extended movie trailer. But I needed to flesh out the storyline a little more, so that it was not so one-dimensional.
To that end I’ve re-written the script to play up more of the Irish monk characters, and introducing a new plot point, a priceless illuminated book that must be saved at all costs. It’s not a huge leap from the last script, but it does contain some changes that I had already made while working on the animatic (which is yet unfinished).
I know it is usually the custom of film projects to not reveal the storyline to the public before the release of the film, but the point of this production is self-education, and sharing the things I’m learning about the production process as I go. So here it is, enjoy!
Here’s my first test clip of an ocean scene using the new tools we’ve developed in the Blender 2.56 Ocean Sim branch build. The clip shows the completed scene plus compositing breakdown (not complicated, but interesting). I opted to render out a foreground and midground ocean wave object separately, as it was more efficient. I could have enlarged a single ocean mesh to fill the screen, but blender really starts to bog down when you do that.
There are things that could be improved. The white foam is a plain material, it could use a little bump mapping to make it less smooth. You could also use an foam video texture to get a little more motion in the foam areas, but I’ve yet to get a good result without obvious tiling.
The next thing will be to float a ship on the water and get it moving realistically on the waves. We don’t yet have actual wave/object interaction yet, but developer Daniel Salazar is working on that. Also Blender cannot yet do dynamic particle emission, so no spray from the wave peaks for now. I should be able to fake some spray and a wake around the boat using manual particle objects, and displacement maps, we’ll see.
Anyway, enjoy! Hope to post a basic tutorial to get people up to speed on using the tools in order to get wider feedback from the community.
The builds are now open to the community, so head on over to http://www.savetheoceansim.com to get yours!
Great news, the latest builds of the Blender 2.56 Ocean Sim Branch have now been released to the public for further testing and feedback. Check the SaveTheOceanSim.com site for further details!
• New Ocean Modifier tool
• Updated and Improved Ocean Texture tool
• Foam Masking, Displacement, and Normal baking
Excellent Progress being made on the Blender 2.5 Ocean Simulation Project! Sponsors are still needed to invest in this project!
Good news on the Ocean Sim project. We have been able to get the texture based Ocean Sim working in 2.5 (see the screen shot attached). There has also been some internal code organizing being done in order to prepare for the next phase of the Ocean Sim, which will be Modifier based with direct generation of the ocean mesh, instead of using texture-based displacement.
Read more at SaveTheOceanSim.com!
Thanks to all those blenderheads who donated to this project! Our donation goal was reached within 24 hours of launching the campaign! More info will follow. You can find out more information at the website:
Here’s the site, please visit and check it out!
Thanks to mostly positive feedback on the BlenderArtist thread about contributing to a paid project to port the Ocean Sim to a Blender 2.5 branch, we are ready to proceed.
Please visit the information site that I have set up to read more about the Ocean Sim patch and why it would be great to have it in a 2.5 branch. If you have any interest in scenes with realistic ocean waves, then you will be very interested in this module.
Here’s the site, please visit and help support the project!
Not sure if everyone is familiar with the Ocean Simulation module used by Matt Ebb on the Lighthouse short film. The studio he was working with paid for the development costs to create the patch, and then it was released to the public later on.
Unfortunately, the patch is not available in 2.5, and any 2.49 versions that had it do not seem to be available on Graphicall.org any longer.
I’ve spoken with Matt Ebb, and the costs of porting the Ocean Sim to Blender 2.5 would be in the range that would be affordable by a small group of sponsors. I can’t afford to sponsor this port, but perhaps we could get a little mini drive going to sponsor this!
What do you guys think? Please head over to this BA thread to vote and voice your opinion!
Okay, it’s been a while, but I was able to make some small progress yesterday. Originally this shot just had the monk turn from the well, dropping his bucket and ladle, and running back toward the monastery to sound the alarm. Having thought about it a little more, I thought it would be much more dramatic for him to be shot down with arrows before reaching the monastery. Bows were not extremely common weapons for the vikings, but there is some evidence that they may have used those weapons occasionally, so I thought I could get away with it. I think it really improves the shot quite a bit.
Also, yes, I realize the monastery in the background is floating a little bit, but it’s not important enough to re-render, it’s just for placement right? haha…