Shots 5c and 6 from animatic

Okay, so I continue to make progress on the animatic. The last shot we saw was the establishing shot of the lone monk drawing water from a well just outside the monastery wall. Shot 5c cuts to a close up of him drinking water, and then we see him slowly look up as he realizes something is coming in to shore from the open sea. The fog and mists start to clear as 3 viking raiding ships come into view.

It’s been fun working on these animatic shots. It’s sort of like sketching for me, as I can’t actually draw. I’m really starting to get the ideas in my head out onto the screen while working on these shots. Being able to not worry about detailed meshes and textures of any kind is sort of liberating in a way. Just plain colours on the meshes and some basic lighting is enough to get the point across about the idea for the shots. It’s also good practice to start playing with simple armatures needed to do the simple poses and motions in the animated shots for the animatic (there is movement in some of the shots). It’s amazing how much definition you can achieve for a shot without worrying about fine details. The feel of the shot and the framing of the camera are all starting to get defined, and even though none of these meshes will be used, it’s sort of nice to see the project as a whole progress at these low detail stage.

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 Modelling, PreProduction 1 Comment

New shot for animatic in progress

Finished Shot 5a. This is the first view we get of the victims of the viking attack, the irish monks at the Lindisfarne Priory. The opening shot starts with a lone monk drawing water from the well. more to come…

Sunday, June 27th, 2010 Modelling, PreProduction, Rendering No Comments

Shot 3 Sample Frame

Still working on the low res animatic for this project. Was able to complete shot 3 tonight, which is the interior of the viking cheiftain’s lodge. Just a simple zoom from front to back, but it feels good to get it done.

Monday, June 14th, 2010 Modelling, PreProduction, Rendering No Comments

Character Design

Here’s a 2d paintover that I did while thinking about the look of the viking characters. Nothing final, but was a good chance to try the paintover technique over a 3d base human model.

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 PreProduction, Tests No Comments

The Story Reel

Here is the story reel that I put together a while ago. Unfortunately I have terrible drawing skills, but I know what the images mean! This was used to put together the shot timing, and test out some music ideas.

Reign of Fury – StoryReel from Todd McIntosh on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 PreProduction No Comments

First post on production blog

Hello, and welcome to the production blog for the Reign of Fury animated short. I hope you have some fun following the production of the project, as it progresses along. This project was undertaken in order to learn more about the animation process. My main tools are Blender 2.5, Photoshop CS3. While open to quality open source tools, I also take advantage of tools like Photoshop which I’m already using for work professionally.

The Background
Like many novices dabbling in 3d animation, I have spent quite a bit of time creating test animations and images, trying to figure out how to model, texture, light, and render in a creative and high-quality way.  However the process of creating a test animation or image and the process of creating an animated short that is engaging, cohesive, and looks awesome are two very different things. In order to stretch my 3d abilites, I decided to take on a project that I was fairly unqualified to accomplish at the outset. But that really is the point of the project. Take things bit by bit and figure out how to do it. There are tons of tutorials regarding production with Blender, but there are really only now starting to be comprehensive guides to producing a finished piece. The best way to learn how to do it, is just to get going.

The Setup
So, the project was to make a cool animated short. Well, based on my inexperience I had to determine how to make it as simple as possible without it being lame. Also, the longer it is the harder it will be to actually finish, so it has to be pretty short. Also, let’s try to avoid any character dialogue so we don’t have to do any lip sync animation. Check. I definitely wanted the look and feel of the piece to be as photo realistic as possible. This will be affected by how well I can get the renderer to work, but we’re definitely not going for the cartoony look.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I decide to create a movie trailer for a fictitious film. The format is short (usually around 1-3 minutes), it can still look great, have some cool music, a narration voiceover, some action scenes, and still have the remote possibility of actual completion.

The Genre
I wanted content that was action packed (well for part of the trailer at least), and I had done a little graphic design work that involved some viking imagery, and thought it might be a good topic for the piece. So I grabbed some books from the library and did some research online to start developing my knowledge of the vikings. The viking raids started ramping up at the end of the 8th century, and one of the pivotal raids happened at the Lindisfarne Priory in North-East England in 793AD. So I decided to base the story of the piece loosely around this particular raid, using it to symbolize the beginning of “reign of fury” of the Vikings. The aim was to make a compelling trailer, but to also reference things we know historically to a certain degree. It was very interesting learning about the viking culture, and hopefully I won’t include too many historical errors (like horns on the side of their helmets, etc.) while creating the piece.

Ok, wrap it up…
So that’s the project in a nutshell.  A short but cool movie trailer about a film that doesn’t exist. Vikings, raids, monks, monasteries, ships, burning buildings, people running for their lives to escape the onslaught. Hopefully should make for a fun piece. Cheers.

Monday, June 7th, 2010 PreProduction No Comments