23 Mar 2011

Ivan the Bird: Progress, Week 8

It's been a while since the last update on the project. But here it is.

Recently I worked on second environment, the outside of the house. It's taking reasinably longer to build as the space is many times larger than the workshop set's as well as include a variety of elements to consider.

Such as, to start with, the rendering of water and shoreline. I'm working on ocean shader and for the shore line, using dynamics to create foam.
These (VERY) developmental  images show what I have so far.

Other than that, the house has pretty much reached its final looks. It serves as a background detail for the most of the time.

Also, the field is now textured as intended in the concept. Also, Instrad of using bump maps, I used Normal maps, as the camera angle never reaches the point to reveal 'fake' bumps.

What still is not yet resolved is tree texturing.
Other than that this environment is in the stage of refining, but  to stay honest.. it doesn't yet have the right feeling even if all the elements are brought together (apart from lighting)  in the place. The idea   somehow hasn't translated yet  into 3D as I imagined  it.

So that was the set building of the project.

The other part is the acting. 

This is right after when Ivan encounters the Island and after a thorough look notices the house in the tree. Immediatly he is overwhelmed by desire to reach it. The ending of the clip suggests he realizes his ship-qualits.

But to keep on pushing the second act forward, I had to get back to rigging stage, where , quickly enough, system was created to help control Ivan's flight sequences. Motion path with additional groups for translation and rotation control is aded.
Here is the initial test of the motion path system ( no inentions of properly animating it there). I also aded aditional controls to the rig.

I used it to acquaint with the changed way of animating and see how the fall of from motion path would work.

To continue on, one another field of this project was lighting and rendering set up. ( this is where I failed to guess how long it would take to finish, where originaly I gave 3-5 hours it took me a week) .

Here is an example of lighting set up in one of the scenes from act 1

The lights have separate linking and affect only specific parts of either the scene or character. They are also animated to follow or change intensity according to storyline. Every scene has approximately 6-11 lights.

Here is an example of lighting adjustment int he scene:

At the beginning the general set lighting never seems to suit the specific scene. I first solve volumes of lightness then go and adjust how it falls, and causes shadows ( particularly concerning character).

And so, after quite some of adjusting and problem solving I have a scene which (supposedly) is fully resolved and should go to final sequence.

The Bird is waking up:

At the moment I'm dealing other scenes of act one in the same way, to get them rendered and ready for postproduction. Also I work on second act's flight sequences and set building. Oh and show reel element, I have an idea for that.


  1. JJ - your rendered clip - really rather lovely.

  2. whoa!.. :D strong words from you Alex :D super compliments :D Thanks!