2 Mar 2011

Week's progress

Developments on Animation's looks: ambient occlusion pass

Recently I spent time on blocking out the world and solving the looks of the animation. I decided to look what could be solved with parallax planes. So that I can plan out the production better,  what must be built and where I can save time.

These are the images of outside environment 'framed' using planes to suggest forests, sky, mountains.

I think these will still develop allot and the layering will be enhanced, because at the moment it does feel flat I think.

Also I'm slowly from time to time am modeling the sets, but my main focus and true work goes on to animating. After few test animations which helped to spot issues as as well as ( hopefully) better the animating,I think I have the first decent bit of animation. That is of Ivan waking up and exploring the world.

I find the tips and tricks website very useful, also thanks to Alan's and Phil's advice and suggested materials I'm beginning to find the animating easier.


  1. Hi Jolanta

    You need to set a 'Max Distance' on the ambient occlusion node (Don't leave it at zero). Otherwise you will 'Grey out' you colour image when compositing.


  2. Plus, it looks grainy. Up the samples.

  3. Well, the max distance was set up to 3. And the samples to a relatively low rate, cause I'm trying to reach the looks of dirty, desaturated environment in workshops.

    but these advice would really apply to other enviroments :)

  4. Well, these comments are very technical and make me feel stupid :(

    BUT! Yes, JJ, Ivan comes to life in this short sequence - so all that you're doing is working for you and Ivan and all I can do is encourage you to keep at it and bring this story of yours to life. (Be amazing!).

  5. You should bring up the Camera Distance HUD in Maya, click on Ivan and use the max distance in the HUD. Make sure you are looking through the Camera.

    Use that camera distnace in your AO Max distance setting. It will give you a much nicer AO render.

    This is looking fantastic by the way Jola, nice work.

  6. Ah, thanks, this is really encouraging Phil, especially when new fields are being explored (:]

    Also, Jon, thanks, I just need one little translate of what is HUD to use your advice ? :)

  7. Hah, Heads up display.

    Display > Heads up Display > Object Details.

    In the top right of your panel you'll see some details come up. In them, is Distance from Camera. Look through your Camera, and click on Ivans head or something. It will tell you the distance from camera of that object. Use that distance in your AO max distance. Also remember that if you're animating your camera, or the characters moving to different distances, you may need to keyframe the max distance. Best off speaking to Alan on that one.