Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Damn embed code is cropping my clips. Clink on the big blue link for actual clips.

Reshot the animation for Cornelisz for this here shot. Definately worth it. Didn't work with 30 frames of animation, cutting on the hold. Now its 56, and we can cut on the movement.

A shot from part one of this bit, with a little colour action. What is that, soft focus? Romantic.

The first buncha shots rudely edited. Colour is all over the map. Trying to do a kinetic cut-on-motion kind of thing. Hence the Weinerwold. Gonna be tight when Mike gets his high-powered mac and experienced hands on them shits.

Got tired of fighting with the background plate behind Cornelisz for this scene; tried just cranking out a set element to stick behind him. Should have done it to begin with; took me under an hour. Photographed it with the wood glue still wet and the stain fresh. Just did some Photoshop sketching to figure out what rakish angles the thing should have. The computer cheats are often more trouble than they're worth; they're easy to begin with, but usually result in many hours trying to make them match the other elements.

Pics are raw mid exposure, and tonemapped result shopped into background. Still a little crappy, but there's gonna be all kinds of blur on that thing. There's some dark edges around the wood frames on the left hand side of the building. Gotta go. I'll do that in designated festering time.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stopmo-ilization from Band Sinistre on Vimeo.

A challenge for this scene is going to be making the 'cheatin' (keyframed photoshop stills) match the actual stop-motion animation. This clip is a test of possible solutions. Most of the problems/solutions aren't visible on this small low-res clip. Really have to see it in full HD. The second clip has a 'wiggle' expression on the rotation of the gibbet - 24 times a second. To make it more choppy and less computer-y. There's also a 'match grain' going on, with the sample pulled from actual stopmotion in another shot. Also a tiny bit of flicker added to the whole thing.

Another test. Different settings.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another one. Looks nice n' crispy at full res.

Finally found the holy grail for HDR tonemapped animation. 16 hour day yesterday. 11 hours today so far. But it's worth it - he looks way less shitty than he did before.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dec 16 Asst Goodies from Band Sinistre on Vimeo.

Biblical day. 13 hours. Started at 5:45. Way to beat to write anything. But I'M HAVING A GOOD TIME.

Untitled from Band Sinistre on Vimeo.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scene 6 Part 3 In Prog (no editing)

Damn, this stuff's hard. I'm perfectly happy with how this stuff looks rendered small or low res, but when you see it in full HD, it's so crystal clear that it becomes really obvious it's one element cut out and being animated on another. Bugging the crap outta me. I guess this is 'grain matching', a part of compositing I haven't gotten into yet. I'mma see if the boys can fix it.

Otherwise, i'm destroying all the work I gotta do.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A'ight. Gonna start embedding clips via Vimeo so they looks crispier and junk.

1B_04 In Progress from Band Sinistre on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Did loads today. Scene is almost done. Didn't have time to render it all.

Monday, December 06, 2010

1B_04 with more stuff moving around in the background. This is a fun-ass scene. Sure like this way of working; 'building' elements as I feel the need for them and cramming them in there.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

1B Shots with prisoner dude. Lots of cheating goin on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've got nothing better to do right now, so i'm gonna lay out all the After Effects stuff going on in this shot for shits/giggles. Cause i'm bored. There's nothing CGI in here (and the whole film) except atmospheric stuff - haze, fire etc.


An HDR pic of a local spot. There's an adjustment layer on it with a brightness contrast going down. All layers are set to 3D; background is at 5000 pixels.

The Stake

It's about 10" high. HDR photograph on a bluscreen. Took a separate exposure with different lighting with the camera in the same spot. Brought that pic and the HDR pic into AE, put Keylight on it, and set it to 'screen matte'. Saved frame as photoshop layers. Used the resulting matte as a photoshop mask to cut out the stake. Put it at about 2500 pixels back.


Same deal; HDR pic and separate exposure for bluescreen. Cut off the bottom of the flagpole, and put it and the banner on separate layers. In AE, did a precomp with just the banner. Keyframed a mesh warp to make it wave. Put the precomp into the shot, and then stuck in the flagpole, and parented it to the banner. They're at about 2000 pixels back or something.


Same deal. I photoshopped out the torch and hand and rotated it about 20 degrees to the left so it wouldn't sit right in front of the stake. I stuck a 'CC generate light rays' on the torch. Mike has, or is getting, a pack of pre-matted fire, including torches. He'll put one of those on there when he gets this project.

There's a smoke dealie going on behind the stake; it's a white solid with a 'generate fractal noise' going down. Set it to 'screen' I think. Evolution is keyframed.

Copied the smoke dealie and put it in the foreground, changed the evolution keyframing and messed with it a bit. I had plans to put another dude on the left, but I liked what the foreground haze/smoke did for the composition. So I left it.


There's a camera going on here two. Can't really remember what the settings are. I think depth of field is enabled. It's got an expression-tool wiggle of (0.5,5) going down.

I sure like this way of working. Building up a shot from various elements. Kinda like painting.

Here's the clip. In tiny low res grainy quality. I could probably post it on a video site and embed the thing, but i'm too lazy. And youtube is gross.

There's a wee bit of 'wiggle' on a couple of the shots. I'm sure digging the expression tools in After Effects. It's ruthless with the syntax (like programming language) but they sho' work good. Instead of keyframing a little bit of camera shake with the 'wiggler', I just bust out the wiggle expression. No keyframes. Which makes life a lot easier. Having to redo the keyframing wiggle-tool every time I want to adjust the overall camera movement is a pain. Now I can change the overall camera movement all I want, and the un-keyframed wiggle expression tool just goes along with it.

Two more shots from 1B. Only eight in total. Scary dudes. These screen grabs are exactly half the size of a final full frame.

The symbol on the banners is pretty weird. I was trying to come up with something in photoshop involving a pic of a helmet and a crow. And I made some kinda early-Modernist automatiste monster. So I slapped it in there.

First four shots from scene 1B. Still need a little work, but close to final. I didn't know til recently that if you import a .psd file into After Effects, it preserves layer masks. Which is handy. So I can do a quick temp job on the masking for the dudes. And somebody else can go back in later and improve them.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wish I could upload in higher res.

1B is happening pretty quick. Not much longer now.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scene 1B wide shot comp test. Gonna need some photoshopping. I bought the horses. They're little plastic ones. They ain't gonna move, so why not. Might try to put dudes on them. Via photoshop.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

1B soldiers comp test. Dudes pictured may be final, assuming Dave doesn't hate my lighting too much.

This is a fun-ass scene. Gonna toss in a couple up-close wide-angle shots. Kind of a Eisenstein 'Alexander Nevsky' kinda thing. This thing should scare kids pretty good. In a good way.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Sho' is hard doing this stuff while making a living and having a career.

Tests for scene 1B. Gonna be real fun. Gonna shoot an assload of soldiers, matte em' out, and stick em in. Then gonna parallax the shit outta them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Been busy learning After Effects stuff. So I can get more work and not starve. Would rather be playing with dolls though.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I dunno if this is gonna work (shopping in a background. Doesn't look bad small, but I don't think it's workable when you sees it full size. May have to make at least one layer of trees, etc.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gibbet. Gross. Not quite done. Gotta rusty up the cage and build pole it all hangs from. Gross.

Backgrounds. Without building them. HDR pics of the woods. May combine Woods HDR with built foregrounds. These BGs is no good. Too much direct sunlight. I.E. too many hotspots, which makes for a busy composition.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The rusty guys are the 'hell soldiers'. I really wanted to avoid the fantasy-Warhammer look for em. More like a crude mockery of the real. Or something. Sho' is a lot of stuff in this film. Gee whizz. That's it for the soldiers though.

I think I made seven jackets, seven helmets, assorted belts, bandolier, one pouch, one pike, a halberd, a matchlock, a musket stand, two flags, 6 breastplates, etc. Beaucoup crap considering how little sceen time they get. But it was fun.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Maybe two more tiny flags. Something that isn't orange.
Almost done the soldier business. Which is good, as i'm getting a bit sick of it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A couple more wee things, then that's it for the soldiers. Should probably make some pants. Gonna make a couple cheap heads, but that process involves alot of waiting. Gonna do that concurrently.
A few flags are the next step.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


They ain't quite period (1640-1670). Or rather they are, but they of a rare type and not worn by pikemen. But who cares. Their benefit is clear - they hide the face. And if i'm assembling an army out of interchangable parts, sho' is easier if I don't need to build an army of heads. They gots some HDR going on. Most of the soldiers will be non-animated stills, so i'll be able to HDR em' if I want.

This head is a little too big for this armature and the helmets. Gonna make a couple cheap-looking heads that are a bit smaller.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


There's a couple scenes where soldiers stand around as extras. And there's an ear;y scene where there's an assload of them. An army - though we won't see but a part of the army. And they'll be almost all just stills (no animation) To get around the impossibility of making an army, i'm making a bunch of accessories, all built for the same armature. So I can mix and match interchangable bits to make 'new' costumes.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Boy, sure is alot of stuff in this movie, I was pretty cavalier when planning this thing. Beaucoup props. This was a fun one though. Only one day. Feels like i'm spoiling myself, getting to see something from start to finish in one day. Might do something tedious tommorrow, or spoil myself more with more quick stuff.

Need some extras; 16th century armour and weapons. Fun.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Now I gotta polish off the interior. Don't want to spend too long on it; i'm already over my time budget for the carriage.

I took one of these pictures and some frames of other characters from other scenes, and put them together in a shot it AE. Very useful to do. I noticed that, of all the surface area in the interior, there's actually only a couple little spots that get alot of screen time. I.E. I should spend my time on these spots. Rather than making a really nice floor, for example.

Some slightly-out of date pictures (a couple days old). The pictures seem to turn out better when they start as full-size jpegs. See the little footstep thing below the door? That's what I was making when I hacked my finger. It just had to have that little compound curve on it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gave my finger a bit of a slice on Sunday. Had to get stitches. It happened in some strange sequence of events - blade got stuck in a block of wood, snapped, block of wood slipped. Or something like that. But I can still work. Though my right hand isn't as mobile as before.

Inches away from being done the carriage. Should be able to make the cushions for the inside today. Might add some paint to the inside - a nice naval buff maybe.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fooling around with what the lighting might be like for the climactic scene.
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