Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Caravan Updates as of 11-24-09

Hi everyone! Here's a quick-link list to the latest progress on Caravan, via entries over at the Caravan Production blog, including the above completed background from Shot 034:

Just in case I am unable to get to blog updating over the Thanksgiving holiday - Happy Thanksgiving, all! Be safe, have fun, and eat your weight in yams!

Cheers,
Mel

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Big Love: First 3D Dialog Test Continued (EDIT)

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(UPDATE) Sure enough, I couldn't resist tweaking this thing further! In the above latest edition, I toned down the movement off his hands as he says "Big Love", fixed a rogue middle finger and better aligned an eyebrow to his forehead. LOL, yes, ladies and germs, tedium is our specialty here in the animated world. But what the hell, it makes things pretty. I'm game!

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Here's the latest phase of my first dialog test in 3D. At this point, I'm quite enjoying the motion and character acting as a whole - the fellow looks positively up to no good. I'll undoubtedly tweak this more at some point, but for now, it's back to Caravan!

♥Mel

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Slew of Caravan Updates!

Nightfall at the Kavenaugh camp site - Background for shot 030!

Hi all! I just wanted to encourage anyone who has not yet visited my Caravan production blog to give it a looksee, as I've posted a slew of recent updates - the film is sailing right along, including rough animation, SFX tests and completed backgrounds! Here are the latest entries:


Cheers,
-Mel

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Big Love: Dialog Test WIP1

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Our latest class exploit in Maya is a dialog test which, when done, will include the character's full range of gesture while speaking to the clip of our individual choice. I was really intrigued withe the stage-by-stage progression our professor showed of his example animation, so I thought I'd post my own progression with the project here. The first pass of the test is to be limited to blocking out of our dialog's mouth movements and the mouth movements only... unfortunate only for the fact that it only took about 10 minutes to accomplish. Hopefully my classmates find keying dialog as simple\fun as I did here as well.

There's something oddly soothing about syncing animation to Hugh Laurie's voice. Ironic, given that House is such a cantankerous bit of a thing.

The line: "Big Love.... have I humiliated you in the last half hour?"

More to come,
-Mel

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sadiha and Squish (WIP)


I actually started this image many, many months back, just prior to beginning the Caravan project. As a result of being sucked into film production, it's gone nowhere since. I would love to attempt to work on it a bit more soon, just as a slight diversion - everybody needs that little something! That said, above is Sadiha (The Defiance) listening in on a nearby conversation, whilst attempting to keep her little buddy Squish from scrap-diving off of her dinner plate. The image, apart from the view out the window, is only in very simple flats at the moment, but when fully rendered, is meant to be a lighting exercise more then anything. Hopefully I get the chance to work on it some time soon!

♥Mel

OIAF2009 Photo Recap

For the past three years running, I've attended the Ottawa International Animation Festival - every year, it's a positively wonderful experience. The festival, without fail, offers its attendees an absolutely inspiring host of animated films, as well as lectures and meet-and-greets with a number of industry pros and companies. This year was certainly no different - it was a stellar trip, and in all honesty, I'm already looking forward to next year's event!

Of particular excitement for my other half, Niles, was the viewing of his film CodeMonkey (Which I helped work on) at one of the festival's after parties this year to a positive reception. We also had the chance to speak with a number of lovely folks throughout the festival. I thought I'd share some of the experience through a couple of the menagerie of photos I took this year. I hope you enjoy!


Above: (left) The (Rather sweet) retro TV's signifying bus stops this year, as well as (right) a shot of the Bytown Cinema.

Above: Don Hertzfeldt sits down for an interview at the Evening with Don Hertzfeldt event - a wonderfully intriguing and entertaining experience. Below: (left) Don Hertzfeldt (right) and director Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas)



Above: Story Supervisor Ronnie Del Carmen, during "The Making of Pixar's UP" Below: (left) Ronnie Del Carmen (right) and the Cartoon Network Animator's picnic, pumpkin carving contest and all! :)



Above: Last but certainly not least, one of the utmost highlights of my year - the opportunity to meet Mr. Eric Goldberg, whose work and wonderful spirit I both greatly admire.

More artwork to come.
Cheers,
♥Mel

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oldies but Goodies (Take Two)

The things one finds while organizing their hard drives! Here are two drawing of mine that are years old at this point, but ones I'm still, after so long, quite fond of. Both are from my original series concept, TKP.

Grullo and the Blood Pelt (2005)

Grullo, the bulky, witless and undeniably cruel leader of an antagonistic tribe stumbles across what appears to be a lone survivor - young Anathema - of the small tribal campsite his warriors have just raided and demolished.

The Warrior and the Rookie (2004)

Badger, as always, takes a wizened, good-humored approach to speaking with the cocky-self assured Damien.... whether Damien cares for the kinship or not.

♥Mel

KAFI 2009 Clips and more 3D Animation

Hark, a blog update!
Have a swanky photo of a bunch of nerds (made of awesome!)

CCS's Team NerdFighter at the 2009 KAFI Cartoon Challenge (L-R) Kate Burck, Mike Blaszkowski, Steve Stanchfield, Patrick Stannard, Mel Miller (Me) & Niles Bontrager.

Hi everyone - hope you're doing well. I believe I mentioned I was a member of the CCS representative teem at the 2009 Kalamazoo Animation Festival International's Cartoon Challenge - An event wherein each team had 4 days to create a fully animated, fully finished 30 second PSA. I recently finally got ahold of the final clip we, as Team NerdFighter, had created and thought I'd share a bit of it. Below are all clips I had various parts in creating (see the bottom right corner for what's what) I do appologize for the compression of the video here, Blogger's being rather silly this evening.

Mel's Clips from KAFI09
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Also up are two more 3D animation tests I've done in Maya over the past couple of weeks. The first was an emotions test - we were to pull an emotion or state of being out of a hat and portray whatever we received. I had "Tired". The second animation was to be our take on a double take. I imagined the character at a rather sophisticate party, having an intellectual conversation with a colleague... before his attention is snagged away entirely by a streaker who, quite frankly, has no business being naked in public - ever!

Tired Guy
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The Streaker
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More again soon.
Cheers,
♥Mel

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dabbling in Maya

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I do apologize for the lack of posting as of late, guys. Anyone who has been hip-deep in independent film production knows - it's an insanely busy trip! I've been working tirelessly on my senior thesis film, Caravan, and am making great strides in getting it done. Conversely, however, every inkling of my time has gone towards it. This will pay off, though, in the long run, Lord willing!

This semester I'm also trying my very first attempts in 3D character animation in Maya. A traditional 2d, entirely hand-drawn animator by trade and training, getting past the software barrier and getting into the immediate coldness of moving objects around in a matte gray digital space has been quite the challenge. Slowly but surely, however, I'm starting to warm up to the medium, and the hard work (and hair pulling) is beginning to show positive results. The above is a playblast of my latest test - the Basic Man rig, created and modeled by our professor, not I - lifting a heavy boulder.

-Mel