Durian DVD

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    Archive for the ‘First Minute’ Category

    Guardian Overhaul

    Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

    I’ve been meaning to get back to the guardians ever since I posted the last render of them. Personally I wasn’t happy with them but we needed to have something that at least worked on a basic level in a short space of time. If modelling gets held up, rigging gets held up and Lee and Colin needed to get on with planning and animating the fight scenes.

    This is where I left them.


    First Minute Update

    Friday, March 19th, 2010

    Okay okay, should’ve probably updated you on this stuff earlier.

    The first minute has gone through some radical changes since the last time I posted about it, and I think it’s much improved!

    To bring you up to speed, the first thing I did was try an alternate ending for the bandit fight, partially based on the comments I received on the blog. I restructured things a bit to give it more of a frantic quality, and to better introduce the Shaman character. I can upload this version if you’re interested.

    But a few weeks ago we decided replace the scene with another section of the fight scene that was originally placed later in the film. I think this change really streamlined the film and made it feel much more cohesive. An unavoidable biproduct of this choice is that we’ve completely scrapped three of the four guardian characters. (!)


    Scene 01 Layout

    Sunday, January 31st, 2010

    Over the past few weeks I’ve started doing “Layout” work for Sintel. Layout is the stage where we figure out the basic character blocking (in this case choreography), camera angles and movement, as well as the timing and rhythm of the edit. At this point the sets and environments are also roughed out in low-poly form. The design of the environments greatly influence blocking, as well as composition/shot design.

    Much of these decisions have already been sketched out in storyboards, but layout makes the parameters of sequences much more concrete.

    Here is what the opening scene currently looks like:

    Much is subject to change. (Especially the first shot.) Predub sound by Jan Morgenstern. I welcome your feedback!


    Snow Environment Design

    Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

    David didn’t have enough time to do much design on the snowy environment before he left, which gave me a chance to do it. Now that the fight choreography is well underway I have been doing sketches, talking with Colin and the others and working out a an environment design that looks cool and fits the requirements of the fight. It almost goes without saying, but for the sake of those who are newer to 3D and Blender – the more fleshed out the concept art is the easier the rest of the process becomes. It’s something that took me a while to fully appreciate while I was starting out so I thought I’d just mention it anyway.

    Same deal as usual, click to enlarge:



    Villains are fun

    Wednesday, December 9th, 2009


    Hi all from the Blender Institute after two months of waiting! Talk about being late for work…

    Best advice I can give for jetlag is to just get straight into it. I got here last monday morning at about 9am after a whole lot of flying so I wasn’t up to full speed that day of course (still worked a bit), but have been loving it ever since. I’ve been given domain over creating the guardian characters. Baddies are a lot of fun to work on. I’ve tried to keep their expressions fairly neutral for rigging because it is very easy to get carried away and give them massive smirks, angry eyebrows and all that sort of thing.

    One day I’d like to pull out all the stops and create my own ridiculously over the top evil supervillain, but for now these characters need to fit in Sintel’s world. Which brings me to the point of style. Most characters I have worked on (at least in recent times) have been based on photographic reference of people, meaning my default reaction is to aim for as much realism as possible in proportions, details and so on. While we plan to add a lot of detail to much of the film, the world does have a certain style to it. My main challenge was to stop modelling from references like Jack Black and Hugo Weaving and bring the models into line with Sintel and each other. This aspect might take a few more revisions yet but the team reaction so far has been quite positive which means I don’t have to get on the next plane back home. Yay!

    As far as technique – I modelled Jack first, tweaked the topology a bit and then made the other characters from that mesh so they all have the same topology. Not that we plan to just use one texture map for all of them because that would be lazy and really boring, but it should help troubleshooting when we get to the facial rigging and so on. Brecht has his genius hands full for a bit so sculpting is on hold for a little while (I was testing it for a bit on the weekend) so I’m working on finishing up the characters bodies and then some environment work. Really looking forward to how far we can push the characters with sculpt though, mainly in detailing their outfits but it will help add a lot to the look of the film in many ways.


    1st Minute – Animatic

    Friday, December 4th, 2009

    So. In a continuation of our “1st Minute” series, here is the current state of our Animatic!

    Keep in mind that this is *very* rough. The fight is literally a bunch of random drawings that look like a fight– there is no choreography and very little visual continuity between drawings. (This will be filled in later once we work out the fight with the kung fu guys!) The scratch dialogue has, uhhh… room for improvement. But check it out:

    Forgive the patchy drawings– unfortunately David left before he could get to work on the boards, so these were done by me. Rough sound design was done in like an hour by Jan Morgenstern. It totally makes it work! And guess who did the voices?



    1st minute – Concept arts updates

    Monday, November 23rd, 2009

    click to enlarge

    Here some of the concept art concerning the first minute of the movie. Shaman changed to the definitive one after some Al.chemy research, the shaman hut got some drawings too, and the guardian “Jack” got a portrait to help modelling I painted some weapons :  the knife of Sintel, and the blades of the guardians. And to finish my period at the institute in beauty ; I wrote especially for the community a tutorial about my speedpainting process, as you asked me in the previous “1st minute concept art” post.

    I’m back to Toulouse (France) tomorrow , but I will surely keep blog posting sometimes as I will continue to work remotely on the Durian. I hope you will enjoy !