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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 17
Hey there folks . more exciting updates and news for you !

BRINGING CHARACTER TO THE TEAM

The Waking Hour Team and I would like to welcome Dani Garcia (Woody) to the team !

Woody is a fantastic character artist from Spain,below you’ll find an example of Woody’s amazing work and a link to his website, where you can see more of his work.Woody will be helping us create the “Hero” characters in the world of Waking Hour.

http://www.woodys3d.com

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HAIR AND SKIN


Today’s update comes with two fresh renders , testing out Zbrush’s new Fibre Mesh functionality and Blender’s Node Based shaders and the Cycles Render Layers.

Zbrush’s Fibre Mesh is a fantastic tool for creating hair and fur for your character, its grooming tools allow you to quickly and intuitively style the hair or fur in almost no time at all .Creating realistic hair that looks good and renders well inside of Zbrush itself , as with all things that look good in 3D it does come at a cost and that cost would be the poly count. I am sure that there is a way to reduce the poly count in a minimally destructive manner to the hair , I shall do some tests using Zbrush’s Decimate plugin.

Below you will find two renders of a base mesh I brought in from Daz Studio Pro (Which they are giving away for free at the moment) to Z-brush , isolating the head and chest I changed the facial proportions and then sculpted in more detail using the claytubes brush.

Fibre Mesh was applied and the hair was groomed , after that the mesh and Fibre Meshes were exported separately and reassembled in Blender.I will be speaking in length about the use of base meshes from applications such as Daz3D or Poser.

There is also the issue of ensuring that the hair is animated , something that I think shall be saved for another post.

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SKIN SHADER NODE

Because the cycles engine doesn’t have an SSS shader to speak of , you have to combine three shaders to get a similair effect.Below you will see a combination of the translucency shader,diffuse shader and glossy shader to achieve the same effect.I have used a noise node to break up the specularity of the skin aswell as to randomise the mixing of the diffuse and translucency shaders. With a nice texture map applied to the mesh and mixed in on top of the skin shader , this should look pretty damn good.

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HAIR SHADER NODE

The hair node is fairly straight forward , a spherical Gradient Texture to guide the roughness of the hair color on the Diffuse shader and a glossy shader for a little bit of specular action , you could also use a grey-scale texture map to control the shape and intensity of the specularity of course .

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RENDER SETTINGS
The render settings are fairly straight forward , the samples were just boosted for most of the setting and in terms of lighting , all that was really used were two point lights and a background light with a sky texture applied to it.

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COMPOSITING NODES

The Cycles Render Engine now outputs to render layers and this is the first attempt at compositing them.Once we’ve established a nice clean workflow for the compositing process , I’m sure it will be much easier.

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FOR FUN

This one is just for fun , playing around with Fibre Mesh and the bpr filters in Zbrush was quite enjoyable.
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We hope that you’ve found this update to be interesting and somewhat informative , don’t forget that you can get involved with the project on our campaign’s page HERE or by simply sharing the link using facebook or twitter.

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2352
Location: Los Angeles
Looking pretty awesome! My best to your team and keep up the great work.

_________________
Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Demo Reel (2017) | Demo Reel (2015) | Demo Reel (2013)

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Watch a one minute excerpt on Vimeo now!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:22 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 17
Thanks Greenlaw ! The support is appreciated .
We've received another contributor to the project today :D He brought up something that the team members and I were discussing the possibility of doing , making a detailed tutorial of our re-targeting and mocap production workflow in blender.
Would it be worth making as an additional reward for contributing $25 to our project ?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt_EDfYTE_o&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

This is an example of the motion capture process , being in a living room there was ofcourse less space than I would have liked , being in a larger space would give me more freedom to move around. The rendered example was taken from a different take of the same action , my anatomy and rigging skills do need brushing up.

In addition we have included some test renders below :

Blender Render

22K Mesh with Texture,Specular,Normal and Displacement Map applied along with a little SSS.
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Blender Cycles Render

22k and 86k meshes side by side , similar shader from previous post used.
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ZBrush BPR Renders

The ears in these renders have since been fixed ,photo reference from 3dsk was used for texturing the head , along with some polypaint. Hair and Beard Via FibreMesh (Fantastic new feature !).

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All in all , while the model is far from ideal for close shots I feel that it would do well in medium to long shots. Development marches on , soon there shall be a render test of the textured mesh combined with the mocap data.

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 17
Just wanted to pop by to keep you up to speed.
We’ve been hard at work on the project, at the moment we are creating some more test footage.

You can expect to see some stereoscopic test renders and facial motion capture tests , in the next couple days.The stereoscopic renders will be provided in two formats
1: Anaglyph
2: Side by Side Squashed
You’ll be able to put these files on a flash stick and play them on your smart tv or display them on your 3D display.
Don’t fret if you don’t have either of those two, you can still view the video with a pair of Red/Blue glasses.
Looking forward to posting some awesome videos for you all to watch !

For the time being though, here is a new bust sculpt from my side.
Over all I think its an improvement over my previous sculpt , though there is still plenty of space for improvement.

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The mesh has multiple subdivision levels , from 2K polygon’s to 2 Mill polygons , its already been retopod and UVmapped for texturing.We will be doing the facial motion capture tests using this sculpt.

Please feel free to pitch in with any comments or suggestions ,as my sculpting skills and anatomy work are a work in progress.

MrNexy and the Waking Hour Team


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 Post subject: Facial Mocap Tests
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 17
Hey Folks ,

We’ve been hard at work doing some more motion capture tests , this time we’ve been working on our facial mocap workflow using Blender’s Object Tracker. We filmed some test footage , tracked it and rigged a mesh to the resulting empties , the rig was very basic and the data captured from the tracking process wasn’t cleaned or smoothed in any way.

Mocap Process Sneak Peek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLrnIH4Y8Cs

Observations
Marker Placement

While it is important to have adequate geometry , to support surface deformation it is also equally important to have enough markers , placed to drive the underlying geometry.

Too many markers and it becomes tedious and overly time consuming to track. Too few markers and the movement is ill defined , leading to an unnatural look. Its important , to also put markers in places that don’t move as much.

Motion Blur and Marker Occlusion

As in camera tracking , these issues can make a relatively simple shot take quite some time to track.A good solution would be to increase your shutter speed (if possible on your camera) Or alternatively you could use a higher speed camera , ideally something that shoots 60-120 frames per second.

Marker Occulsion can throw your tracks off and cause one to do more manual adjustments than one would care for.In the case of facial mocap/marker tracking , this is caused by the performer moving their head from side to side or up and down.A good solution for this is to mount a fairly wide angle camera to a helmet or hat , with a boom so that it sits in front of the face of the performer , thus eliminating a lot of marker occlusion issues. One of these camera’s could be sourced from sites like Alibaba.com for a reasonable price.

With all these things taken into consideration , better marker placement and a more sophisticated face rig could potentially yield some great results.We shall do another facial motion capture test soon , however the next test that we’re currently focusing on is the stereoscopic 3D tests.

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions , we look forward to hearing from you !

Best Regards

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:26 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 17
This is our first stereoscopic test , using Blender and the Cycles Engine .Many lessons were learned in the process,we worked on our own stereo camera rig initially but ultimately , chose to use the stereo camera add-on available here : Stereo3D Script

One the most important things we learned , that will make things easier for you when configuring the stereo camera is the scene scale.It makes determining and setting an accurate stereo depth a whole lot easier, it should also give a more real world feel to the sets.We ran across some difficulties , rendering a single stereo image using the node presets included with the add-on , we’re assuming that its a result of our using an experimental build.

We did a workaround by rendering each camera separately , which was faster than usual thanks to CUDA , then comping them together using the node presets.You’ll find below a anaglyph render below if have some Red/Cyan or Red/Blue glasses lying around , alternatively you could download a side-by-side version of the file to watch on a 3D tv or monitor.

Anaglyph Stereo Render Test

Side by Side Render

Below you can find some WIP renders of the layout for the first scene , once again there are still many details to fill in such as floor tiles, furry rug , nice set of curtains and various odds and ends to make the place feel more lived in.

Set Renders
Set Render : Overview
Set Render : Lounge
Set Render : Kitchen


Comments and suggestions are always welcome , Enjoy !
Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:27 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 17
Hey folks ,

The team and I have been discussing something lately , as our funding campaign on IndieGoGo comes to an end in the next couple days , we were discussing what we could do to get people more excited about the movie and how we could further motivate people to get involved.

While we have only raised $100 from the campaign we do not see it as a failure , simply $100 more towards the project than before.
If you have visited the blog recently , you would have noticed that all of the materials on the site, including the content of the posts have been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

We're more than happy to share what we have learned thus far on this project , we will be releasing models and scene files as we move along with production but what we've really been debating is wether or not to release the film's script under this same licence.

We have decided to release the script under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License , in the hopes of getting more people interested in the project and spreading the word.As it stands it is still a Work in Progress ,with a number of scenes that still need writing.Some of the story elements that we have put in place are more or less intended to introduce characters and situations , that would be clarified and continued in the form of a series.


We hope that you'll enjoy reading through the scripts and share it with your friends , this is something that we'd really love to make a reality.

Kind Regards

Mr.Nexy and the Waking Hour Team

http://wakinghourmovie.nexymedia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Waking-Hour-Script.pdf


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:25 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 17
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Hey there folks ,

Back with another update and Waking Hour is still alive !
Quite a bit has happened since the last update , listed below is a brief description of the updates that I'll be going
through.This post may be a little text heavy but hang in there because there are some pretty pictures to see.
- Major Project Sponsor
- Cross Application workflow
- Plan to get Green Lit

- Waking Hour Storyboards
- New character concept art
- Waking Hour Live Stream Channel & Facebook page



With a client base that ranges from huge Vfx Houses like Digital Domain , Double Negative and The Motion Picture Company to triple A Game Developers , like Rockstar Electronic Arts and Square Enix to name a few.The quality of the products and services that they provide speaks for themselves.

If you're wondering who I am talking about its FacewareTech(of ImageMetrics) , they have sponsored a whopping $4k worth of faceware processing time to allow us to bring the characters of Waking Hour to life. This isn't enough facial animation to power a feature length film , it is however enough to power a short of about 5-10 minutes for green lighting.

This sponsorship is fantastic news to us , it also brings bring back the sticky matter of Cross Application Workflows ,
something that no production doesn't have. As it stands the production tools being used to craft the world of Waking Hour , are Blender 2.64 RC2 , Zbrush 4R4,The Gimp,Vue 8 Complete and iPiSoft's Desktop Motion Capture V1 Standard Edition.

Adding 3D Studio Max the equation will add some interesting production challenges , not for lack of knowledge of the inner workings of the application of course. I wear many hats as one has to when working on an indie project , I am a novice C# programmer and when it comes to IT and getting things to run on the machine I would say that I am competent.

It is more than likely however that at this stage we would need to get a developer or team of programmers involved , this
could open up some exciting avenues in terms of being able to bring rigs across from Max to Blender or the other way around , being able to do something like that while maintaining key-frame data would be amazing (though somewhat pricey).
As I mentioned previously our new goal is to get Waking Hour Green Lit , to do this we need to make a 5-10 minute short that can both stand alone as a story in itself as well as fit into the whole story.A selection was made from the begging of the script and storyboards for that selection have been packaged.

Just over a month and a half ago I got in touch with an artist by the name of Jonathan Gonzalez , we started working on the storyboards for Waking Hour and after all this time we have 99 panels that cover pretty much most of what happens in the film this far , with plenty of space for additional panels in between to flesh scenes out (when more funding becomes available).You can find the storyboards for the short version along with accompanying script content here :

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/5944013/Waking ... terial.zip

Jonathan also drew up some character concept art , below you can find renderings of the PRF Officer and Abbigail Brink , I'm very happy with how these turned out , once there is more funding available (which is coming out of my pocket at the moment >.< ) we shall continue to churn out both character and related concept art.

The facebook page for Waking Hour has been updated with livestream integration and a gallery of WIP set renders , if you want to support us or just get more regular updates please feel free to swing by and give us a like.

http://www.facebook.com/WakingHourMovie

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:26 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 2352
Location: Los Angeles
Fantastic work! Things seem to be shaping up nicely. Thanks for continuing to post your progress--the details have very interesting. :)

G.

_________________
Greenlaw
Artist/Partner - Little Green Dog | Demo Reel (2017) | Demo Reel (2015) | Demo Reel (2013)

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Watch a one minute excerpt on Vimeo now!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:56 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:28 am
Posts: 96
The concept art is looking great guys, I've been following you on Facebook too.

Are you going to release any script excerpts to people interested in the project? If you have already, I apologise - but I haven't seen anything so far.


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