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Voyages of the Sojourner : Production Thread

adventure animatechnica steampunk victorian

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#21 goofparade

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 02:14 PM

Cinematic screenshots!

#22 DL Watson

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 06:28 PM

This looks like it panning out to be a MUST SEE film! These screenshots look amazing!

Definitely continue to keep me posted on this! Subscribing to the thread now.
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#23 animatechnica

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 05:12 PM

also started a diary thread at the Reallusion forum but it will serve more of a tutorial for how to go about creating a scene and animating it

note the thread has some screenshots of iclone which requires reallusion forum membership to view

go to the thread here

#24 Johnny Ex

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 07:50 PM

I've been outta the proverbial loop for awhile and hadn't seen this thread.
All I can say is WOW.
Looks terrific.
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#25 afterThought

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:27 PM

Looking very awesome, Gabe! The level of detail is incredible!

#26 thebiz

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:33 PM

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Thats a kickass screenie!

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#27 macwemyss

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 12:00 AM

Thats a kickass screenie!


What he said :thumbup1:
"Mac is a super-talented frickin genius" - Chris62

#28 Dulci

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 01:32 AM

Any thoughts about sharing the same production-type thread you've got going on Reallusion over here? :)

#29 animatechnica

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 03:02 AM

will be glad to..let me figure out the logistics

#30 animatechnica

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 05:38 AM

ok folks, i started a similar thread at the Reallusion forum due to a number of members asking for a work flow tutorial so i figured I'll use this opportunity to work on my movie while at the same time write about my work process.

Some background: I am in the process of creating a new movie which is tentatively titled - Voyages of the Sojourner - a victorian themed movie set in 1880's with some of today's technology. Note i'll assume you are familiar with the iClone user interface.
WARNING I expect this thread will be graphics intensive so be warned. I also don't type well so pardon the typos

How i approach movie making in iclone
Obviously everyone approaches movie making differently. I have always focused more on visuals first, story second (sacrilege!) but i typically would fart around and design a set or character and suddenly a story idea emerges. This is true with my Expedition movie and similarly this Steampunk movie. I first designed some characters and the idea emerged. But hey whatever works for you


AnimaTechnica IDEA # 1 : An iClone movie is a bunch of scenes connected by the plot
The sentence above pretty much sums up how i approach the movie. i break the story down into a bunch of scenes. One key point is the visual style, costumes etc.. must sort of be the same through out. I say this because i get a lot of questions about how to get started making movies with iclone -

AnimaTechnica IDEA # 2: Each scene might involved many different projects, or might require rendering many different footage, requiring an external video editor to assemble them all later. Many iClone novices think you need to film in one take, can be done but very complex

For this diary, i will focus on a scene for the movie which involve a captain sitting in his cabin contemplating the journey - so we will use this diary to describe how i approach this

First Steps -collecting the elements
1) i determine i need an ocean scene where i can show the ship bobbing in the water, this establishes that our character is a captain of a ship

2) I need an interior scene where the captain is in his cabin. I head over to images.google.com and search for images that help guide me in visualizing what this interior might look like. I go to 3D Warehouse to see if one is already created to my satisfaction. If i can't find anything my options are to create my own using 3D blocks or buy one already made. Head over to RL's store or www.coolcreators.org/store or clones2go.org

in this case i found a galleon cabin at clones2go

I also needed a ship (galleon) for external shots so found one at 3D warehouse

3) i need to decorate the cabin - to personalize it for the captain - so back to 3D warehouse i go and download some props which i convert using 3D exchange. I could not find a photo frame i liked so will make my own using 3D blocks

so now we have almost all we need but do need to make a few ourselves
Here's a list of various elements that I'll be making for this scene

1) make the ocean scene - sky, waves, water, ship - would like it to be a night time scene
2) decorate the cabin, create photo prop
3) set up lighting for the cabin
4) set up the camera angles i will be using to film
6) edit the captain's motions
7) design the captain's costume

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Edited by animatechnica, 28 August 2009 - 07:34 AM.


#31 animatechnica

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 05:48 AM

Creating a Basic Ocean

see the end result video here

here's how we got there
CREATING THE OCEAN
1) basically use iClone's built in WATER prop - drag it into the workspace. The WATER prop has built in animated bump maps which simulates water moving

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2) now for the sky, we can use one of the 3D SPACE props - these are props that goes over your scene as sky, ceiling, even caves. Basically drag a sky prop onto your workstage, apply texture to it, then animate it

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3) Here's how you apply texture. I use google to look for sky pictures i can use as texture maps

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#32 animatechnica

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 05:55 AM

4) Click on DIFFUSE, then the OPEN icon and select the image you want to use for your sky

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5) Now Click the OPEN icon again and this time click on OPACITY we'll add a plain black jpg. Adjust OPACITY strength slider to ~50 Why? because i want to create a SKY that is somewhat transparent. Why? because i will add another SKY prop, make it a bit bigger than the first one to become an outer sky - the transparency will help the camera see the outer sky prop. This way when i animate the sky prop it will look like i have layers of clouds

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6) Now save the prop by clicking the "+" on the left panel. Now add this same prop to the scene. You should now have two 360 SKY props on your content manager

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7) Go to the transform section (top right section of the MODIFY section) and adjust the XYZ size of one of the SKY props to 115 - this becomes our outer sky layer

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#33 animatechnica

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 06:04 AM

ANIMATING THE SCENE

8) now we prepare to animate the scene. First off i can adjust the direction the water is flowing. To check, click on PLAY on the timeline just below the workstage.

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Use the WATER MODIFY panel, select DIRECTION and change the number to change the direction of water flow -try different numbers to get a sense of direction. You can also change the color

ANIMATING THE CLOUDS
9) for this scene, i want the clouds moving in one direction. with 2 SKY props I have 2 layers of skies so what I'll do is make the inner sky props rotate slowly to simulate layered cloud moving

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10) Adjust the motion of the inner SKY, by using the TIMELINE and the ROTATE control.

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now you see how the video shown above (or linked here) was created. Next well talk about lighting and sprucing up the set

#34 animatechnica

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 07:39 AM

ok so we have the beginning of the scene, an ocean, skies, all animated. But this isn't where i want to end up - my scene happens at night with a ship moving through the water. so the next set of tutorials will walk us through using the ocean scene and tweaking it to get the scene below

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stay tuned

#35 LewisQ

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 09:27 AM

Hey animatechnica, don't post much but I just had to come on and congratulate you on the screenies, they look incredible and I've been wowed by them since they first appeared. I think it's incredibly magnanimous of you to furnish a detailed tutorial such as the above, I don't use iClone so it's all Greek to me, but it's fascinating the see the process by which you arrived at that remarkable seascape.

#36 fospherous

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 09:36 AM

Looking good Gabe! ;)

#37 animatechnica

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 05:59 AM

ANIMATECHNICA's Heart Ache prevention tip - always save the project after you're done or better yet while you are doing it! when I'm working on a movie before i render out or add a new camera i save the project. Create a directory in your custom folder, label it TEMP WIP - and save any work in process projects there - in case you screw up or iClone crashes. For out little project here, i will be converting the scene into a night scene so i will save what i have so far

ICLONE LIGHTING BASICS

Ok we just finished our first movie set, now let's think about how we want to light it. I'm no expert in lighting but i basically do everything by trial and error and through this have developed my own flavor on how i light things. More on that later. First let's talk about iClone basics

We have 3 light types in iClone
1) DIR./SPOTLIGHT - DIR refers to directional light - this lets you shine the light along a specific direction. Great for showing sunrise and sunsets for example. SPOTLIGHT - well i think it's self explanatory. Both of these lights you can animate and cast shadows

2) POINT LIGHT - looks at these as local lights, they only affect the immediate vicinity. Great for simulating light coming from lamps, torches. I use this primarily in my movies. These lights you also animate (move, change color,intensity n rotate) and link to objects

3) AMBIENT light - this light can be viewed as your global light or sunlight - it lights up in all directions. It also gives some iClone movies that 'flat' cartoony look. I seldom use this light. It is defaulted to GRAY color but i usually turn it to BLACK

now we will use a combination of texture adjustments and lighting to make our scene look like it is night time

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#38 animatechnica

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 06:04 AM

TURNING DAYTIME INTO NIGHT
see sample of this section's output video

1) Back to our original project, to make it look like its night time,my first step is to adjust the color of the WATER

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2) Now let's work on the SKY 360 prop - 2 ways to do this - a) change the texture (as described in STEP4 of my previous post) and load a night time sky picture OR in my lazy method case i just turn down the SATURATION of the material - this effectively removes the color from texture so i am left with a greyscale picture as my texture map.

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3) now we almost have a night time scene. Let's tackle lighting - go to STAGE-LIGHT and follow the image below.

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4) ok got my night scene - you can adjust the lighting, or lower the BRIGHTNESS of the SKY texture map to make the scene even darker, i purposedly left it somewhat lighter for this tutorial. Now i realize it could benefit from having a moon. To add a moon, i go to images.google.com and look for a nice moon picture

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5) Now i need to convert that picture into 6a prop so i load a BILLBOARD prop

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6) Now go to PROPS - MODIFY - MATERIAL and we'll work with the material maps

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there we now have a usable night time ocean scene - don't forget to save the project- in fact everytime you create a new prop, save that prop in your custom folder

#39 animatechnica

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 06:13 AM

7) my scene is not yet done, i need to add a ship and have that ship move across the water

so off to coolcreators, clones2go and 3D warehouse i go to look for a ship - got one from clones2go and used it below

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8) now let's apply some lighting on the ship to bring out some of the details of the ship - but if you are ok with a silhouette you can leave it alone - me, i like details so we'll us a a point light and have it linked to the ship so it allows us to see some details of the ship

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9) Thinking ahead, now when my ship moves i want it to have some sort of water wake - so some trial and error with particles led me to choose one and use it to simulate the water wake

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10) Now lets animate it - review how we did it above when we had the SKY rotate. Same thing here. The idea here is we tell iClone where the ship starts and where it ends, iClone calculates where the ship might be in between these two points. After we do this we jump into around the 1/4 mark of the timeline, the 1/2 and the 3/4 mark and ever so slightly adjust the ship's rotation in each of these points. This simulates the ship moving/bobbing with the waves

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Okay so we now complete the first scene - at my discretion, i can tweak the entire scene more to improve the look, the motions, add rain and fog etc..

11) Now notice we did not touch the camera, everything is captured from the point of view of the PREVIEW camera. we'll work on the other cameras later.

RENDERING

12) now i am ready to render the scene - if you go to EXPORT you will see the various formats you can export (image, video, image sequence, widget) select VIDEO. Under FORMAT i always export uncompressed AVI for my movies. I use an external video editor to assemble the movies and from there export to the format i want to use for uploading to YouTube. This way i always have the uncompressed MASTER in case i need it in the future.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

since we put all that work in, here's a rendering of the image

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next up well work on the captain's cabin scene. This section will be hefty - it will include building the cabin using 3D Blocks, lighting, motion layers, motion timeline editing, camera animation and the camera switch.

#40 Uber

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:41 AM

Wow! Some cool hints here. Too bad we can't have an iclone/moviestorm/movies hints/tricks forum.
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