Overall I have really enjoyed this unit, we had a few little bumps with the loss of one of our members, increasing our already heavy work load. Perhaps it can be seen as a good thing as it has given me more work to practice on, allowing me to further my skills in areas that I am already confident in, such as Maya and simulations, but it has also taught me a brand new set of skills, mainly within Nuke and compositing effects in 2D, which will enable me to make any work I produce in the future much more refined.
From the get go we wanted to create a piece that looked simple on the surface but in fact had a lot quite intricate and advanced techniques to make it look as refined as possible. To an extent I think we have achieved this quite well. The live action and CG shots compliment each other well, following our theme of peace and tranquility.
We enlisted the help of my friend ‘Isaac’ to help us with our shoot. He has a lot of experience as a camera man, working mainly on music oriented work. But he was really excited when I asked him if he could lend us a hand on our shoot. As well has handling the camera, he also gave us input on where he thought a shot would look good or bad. With his help I really think we produced some really wonderful looking shots, in particular the fish shot, I think was all of our favourites.
In hind sight it would have been a good idea to try and find someone to help us do the sound for our project. Although the sound is OK, I believe some more refined sound would have really brought the whole sequence together. In the future I will bear this in mind as a vital part of the process.
There are a few things I would go back and change if I were to do this project again. Firstly, I would be more prepared for going on a shoot. Although we produced some nice shots, we weren’t really sure what we were supposed to be doing. Saying this it was our first time going on a proper shoot like this and Isaac also helped us with what he had experienced before.
Secondly I would have liked to change the focus on shot 5, at the moment it is focused on the pagoda, but I would have liked the crane to be in focus, or at least focused in on, so that we could really appreciate the sub-surface shader on the crane, as a lot of time was spent trying to achieve the paper look. Saying this having it blurred out made it easier to blend it into the back plate.
And lastly in shot 4, the motion of the crane was much too fast. I tried slowing it down in nuke but couldn’-t make it too slow without it looking odd. I would’ve liked to change the animation and slow it down. but this would’ve required it to be reanimated and re-simulated; we just didn’t have the time to do all that so we either had to stick with it or remove it, but I think it was good enough to keep in. My house mates said they didn’t even realise it was CG water.
On a happier note I was really pleased with the way me and Henry worked, we were able to mostly stick to my plan I had drawn up and complete everything on time. For two people I think we really produced a lot of work. We had a good distribution of work load, with me working on the more technical aspects like rendering and simulating and Henry, was working more on the animating and rigging, as I had seen his animation before and knew he was good at it.
This project has really improved my skills in a lot of areas and has been one of the most enjoyable units we have had so far, in particular actually going out and filming our own live action footage. It has only further enforced my plan of specializing in effects and dynamics simulation and more namely the VFX industry.