Supporting other Projects

Amongst working on Circuit with Jordan I have been taking on some extra bits of work with helping out other peoples projects. Namely: Dan, Lisa and Skye.
I originally pitched myself as wanting to help with peoples projects, although the journey has changed, I want to stick to what I said about helping. Supporting the other films is important to me because I know how many disciplines there are and how overwhelming it can be. I don’t think anyone’s film should suffer because of a single aspect they struggle with, especially when someone else can quite simply take on the role.
Daniel Elliff:
For dans film, I took on the role of rigging his 2 characters. It was difficult to work with someone I hadn’t before, but I believe things worked out, we had to discuss a few changes to accomodate my rigging abilities. With both characters being very similar I was able to adjust the same rig to fit both characters and I utilized a hand model & rig that I had created before to save time in the rigging process.
Skye Edwards:
Skye asked me initially to create a few small assets such as a Stick and an Apple for her film. Due to some issues during production she then asked me to do some texture work on one of the character models, this was fine by me and I took on the role. I took the character through my usual pipeline, minus the parts that were already done, UV Unwrap, Zbrush for Normals then into Substance to paint and generate textures.
Stick; Sculpted in Zbrush then textured in Substance.
Apple; For this I decided to create a procedural material using substance designer. This allows me to better generate subtle details such as dents and speckles in a non-destructive manner, giving me the ability to fine tune them and tweak if needed while also serving as a material that can be used in future projects.
As well as the stick I created a Branch for Skyes film, this asset was specifically designed to better fit the trees that are already in the environment, I also built a simple rig for the animation of said branch.
As an additional job, Skye asked if I would like to help her create the wooden back plate for her poster.
Lisa Yates:
Lisa has requested help on her film with both rigging of one of her characters and with tackling the challenge of getting the physical environment and digital character to integrate seamlessly. During this I learned a few new things about physical cameras and their file manipulation.
For the first test we used an already existing character and took a picture of a simple base plate of some cubes and a single point of light. This made it really easy to predict in 3D space and allowed us to quickly test the effectiveness of the process.

fox model by Lisa Yates

To composite the image and render elements together I am using Nuke. Due to how powerful a software Nuke is, it feels overkill. Even 0n basic level Nuke offers a workflow and set of tools that aren’t readily available in other package, especially for image sequences.
To create the shots from the film there are a number of elements involved. A rough recreation of the set, to allow for animators to know where to place the characters. Simultaneously providing a basis for reflections, bounce lighting and shadows that can be composited into the shot. To make sure the lighting in the room fits the environment I created an panorama image of the room and used a spot light through the window.
As much as I originally thought of Nuke being an intimidating piece of software, after my experiences with Substance Designer as a node based software I have found it much easier to start using Nuke. I also find that my new found knowledge in googling Maya Python syntax has helped in my search for information on what Nuke nodes do and how best to use them.
While doing experiments and tests for rendering and compositing the film I had also been busy building a rig for the main character, Polly.
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