Sunday, 28 February 2010

hi guys sorry i have not wrote on the blog all weekend. been at work. tom very nice work mate well done its a great shot. Chris great post i think the blogs up to date nicely. we work very hard late week or two let keep this up and get the environment looking amazing, see ya Monday.

To Chris

Good point, I'll get that amended shortly!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Shot Response

WOW JUST WOW! Really, really nice job here Tom. If I was to be really picky perhaps the sand/ dust layer should be blowing in the opposite direction, so as to keep the directional consistency with the crane shot we were working on last week. But yeah, Tom I am really impressed with this shot. Nice one!

First shot rendered!

Busy busy busy times! Here's the first shot after the hangar door opens.

Friday, 26 February 2010


Problems & Solutions

So folks we have had some issues regarding textures when attempting to import a scene from another computer. This seems to be a rather annoying and frequent problem. One way we have solved this is to manually re-assign the textures, but this takes up valuable time. The other day Dan showed me and Tom a way to set the textures by setting the project scene and its textures under source images rather than documents. I have to say that I do not yet fully understand how the texture system works. I also understand that other students have been experiencing similar problems. The other problem is that some of our scenes are far too complex for our laptops to render in terms of polygons and information. Sometimes it is due to a lack of memory or RAM. However we have solved this problem by dismissing the fly through approach and exploring the environment by using numerous shots. Thus we do not have to render all the components within a single shot. We have also taken this a stage further by making sure that any environment components not visible within the camera frame are deleted to cut down render time and lag/ delay issues. There is no point in including elements which the viewer cannot see. This is precisely what they do in film, however from the experience on this project, I have realised that using this technique is even more important when it comes to CG 3D environments.

The other problem is that we have discovered that we cannot use the render farm effectively as Qube is only compatible with mental ray and only works with .tiff format textures. We have used many .jpg when texturing, and it would be a painstakingly slow process of re-formating hundreds of textures. As we all know time is not a luxury we have, particularly as we only have a couple of weeks left. It has also come to my attention that during the last weeks Qube buckled under the pressure of too many projects being uploaded to be rendered which exceeded the memory limit. Numerous projects which were 4 Gb and over crashed the render farm, thus this is another reason why it was a good decision to render locally on our own laptops.

We have also decided not to render our scenes with an occlusion layer as we discovered that rendering this layer almost doubled render time. The result did not look too different from the
renders without an occlusion layer. The only way we could include an occlusion layer was by either rendering different layers separately of the same scene on several laptops simultaneously or the the render farm Qube was an option however I have already explained the issue with this method. So we decided to render without an occlusion render in order to cut down on render time.


I admit that there were on occasions, moments where I thought we were not going to complete our animated environment project or complete it to our liking and we may have spent a week more on concept design than we should have, but in my opinion this extra week provided us with adequate time to come up with some interesting designs. We supported and helped each-other to come up with solutions to quickly remedy a problem. Generally after these scares we focused our concentration and consequently completed a lot of work within a day, which provided a sense of accomplishment. Our project is a particularly ambitious one and has become a rather daunting project to complete during these last few weeks. It will be all the more rewarding once we finish the project.

I must say guys that you have all worked really hard on this project and we are almost near completion. I am surprised how quickly we have progressed during the modeling, texturing and rendering stages and have still managed to produce high quality work. I am also quite surprised at how well organised we have been particularly in time management. Your punctuality and attendance demonstrates your keenness and commitment to this project which is most appreciated and encouraging. Your willingness to turn up everyday for these last few weeks from 10 am till 6 pm is also appreciated. We have had frustrating moments and these last couple of weeks have been stressful, I know we are all rather tired too. It is very encouraging to see that all of you are prepared to work late into the evening to complete your tasks. Soon all this hard work will pay off, as I am sure all of you agree that our project is looking slick and professional. Completion is indeed within sight. Very soon we can all have a well deserved break from our dedicated efforts.

Next Week

We have almost completed rendering, we only need a few more shots rendered. Next week we shall render off the final shots and begin importing the targa sequences into After Effects so that we can add the finishing touches such as backgrounds and sand trails. After this stage we can then import these polished sequences into Final Cut Pro, where we can edit our sequences and add those all important sound effects.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Desert terrain/Lets do this, Leroy Jenkins.

Here is the progression of the z brush desert terrain model to maya. I had a lot of difficulty creating it and I'm still not entirely happy with it but we have to work in the restraints of the software available to us. Hopefully the textures I created as well as Tom's awesome lighting will improve the models appearance in the final renders.

I'm loving the way everything is falling into place although we have had a few setbacks partly due to my lack of understanding regarding Maya's directory. However, its awesome to see the high level and quantity of work and the commitment to the project which is demonstrated by the late working hours. I think the combined effort and shared vision of the team will ultimately bring about the projects success. So keep up the excellent work guy's and lets work together to accomplish  what we set out to do.

learning curves

we cant let our project folder and directory issues postpone our work any more guys and mustn't let it get to us as we have a lot of achievable work left to do.

so keep up with the great work and continue to support each other.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


It would have been nice to get a render done for the first shot but texturing and preparation took longer than expected. So we shall begin rendering tomorrow. See you tomorrow guys.

Crane now textured!

Here you go peeps! I'm pretty happy with the textures I've given the crane, and hopefully you will be too! I've also done a basic render to showcase some basic lighting.

Pump jack now textured!

Here you go guys! Finished and textured fully.

Posters & Signs

I love the signs you have made Ben. Really nice work. I like the way you have kept them as realistic as possible and on occasions including a classical element by looking at second world war and russian posters, yet you have introduced a futuristic slant to each design. Each sign is believable and most importantly fits within the environment we have created. These signs posters and signs will inject our environment with life and atmosphere, giving that "lived in" feel.


I like how your animatic is coming on Ben, looking really awesome. To begin with I thought it unnecessary, however from what I have seen this will be extremely helpful and useful when producing our final short film. This animatic will ensure that we all understand what to include in the final product and inform us of the order of the shots. Nice work Ben.


I've got the sound effect hard drive from stores so we can sort through it Tuesday and sort out are sounds for the environment.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Progress of the Crane

Modeling modeling modeling, that's all I've been doing! I must say it's been incredibly awesome learning how to model properly with Maya, especially since I haven't really ventured into the modeling side of things until now. I'll soon be texturing both this and the crane in the coming days, I just wish to first fine-tune a few issues with both of the models.

Sound Effects

I have acquired some really cool sound effects from Sound Dogs online, such as earthquake rumbles for the ship, tank track sounds for the mining vehicle and wind sounds for ambience. I also acquired some really decent sci fi door sound effects that will go well with the hangar scene.

360 Degree Matte Background

I had an idea that maybe we should apply a background when in the final stages, I think a scenic background could be added easily as a layer using photoshop in conjunction with after effects.

3D Environment

Alex is having a bit of trouble applying textures to the z-Brush 3D environment. Maya keeps crashing. So either we will have to lower the resolution or poly count or make it in maya or construct an environment using alpha channels and displacement maps.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Progress of the Pump Jack

Here's the development of the pump jack! You can see what appear to be a few anomalies, however these will eventually be textures applied onto them.

Textured 3D model

here is textured 3d model of the crane, took about 2 days and i'm proud of it.


Occlusion renders of the crane arm. I am glad how these renders look. The shadows show off the model very well. cheers Alex for showing me how to do occlusion render. Learn something new every day.

the crane

this is the crane step by step toke more time then i wanted too at this stage in the project but what can you do


hi guys I've done all the warning signs, the logo for the GDF, and started on the propaganda posters I've done two, but i will have done few more by the time we are back from the weekend.
i think the dessert model needs to be done and dusted for Monday so we can start getting all the models together and start adding lights and sort the camera out. see you guys Monday have a good weekend.

Response to Models

Well I have to say Andy and Alex, you have both outdone yourselves. You have both worked really hard and I must say that both these models are very impressive. Well done guys! I am very pleased. Next week we can start animating, lighting and rendering.


model progression

here are some renders guys enjoy its finito now oh yeah added some lights as well just to give it a more accurate feel. im impressed with it dont know about u tho lol

3D Mining Vehicle

Absolutely awesome work Chris, loving it! This project is really shaping up.

Thursday, 18 February 2010


I think we are making good progress guys. I know we still have a lot of work still to do but our project is coming along and is starting to look impressive. I even received some encouraging comments from various students. We must now focus on completing this project as best we can.

Tomorrow Alex will begin texturing the 3D model of the desert landscape environment. I have given Tom my pipeline and communications mast to experiment with lighting. Next week we shall begin to finish lighting, and animating, and begin rendering.

Textured 3D Mining Vehicle

Heres the finished textured 3D model of the mining vehicle. The planar texture mapping to the side of the vehicle worked really well. I know the textures are not perfect and there are stretch marks to the textures on the top and to the rear of the vehicle. However I believe it is textured well enough as half of the vehicle will be in shadow and most of the shots of the vehicle will be from a low angle thus these texture stretch marks won't be seen or will be too far away to distinguish any detail. I am pretty pleased the way this model has come along. Although I had some trouble with texturing using UV's I got there in the end.

Monday, 15 February 2010


Here are some occlusion renders of the transport mining vehicle 3D model. I am really impressed how these renders turned out. The shadows really do enhance the model and emphasize its form. Thanks Alex for showing me how to execute an occlusion render. Something new I learnt how to do today. Woooop!


Did some occlusion renders of the final cargo tanker. Let me know what you guys think. If you think bits need adding or taking away let me know. But otherwise enjoy the legend that is Occlusion.