Monday, 13 November 2017

Minor Project: Experimenting with Substance Painter

Now that YPGTTO is essentially finished - I moved back to my other project that I've been calling 'When' (for now at least, this may change later on). I know that texturing is going to be an important component to this project. I know Arnold is going to be invaluable for creating realistic textures but I also wanted to experiment with Substance Painter. I've watched a few video tutorials on Youtube by Allegorithmic to see if it was possible for me to use this software or if it was going to be too complex for me to learn in the timeframe that I have.

However, I found it somewhat similar to Mudbox, except it is only really for creating textures and not sculpting. I actually much prefer the interface and tools compared to Mudbox for painting textures, but as far as I could tell so far...Substance Painter cannot create displacement maps, only bump/normal maps since it's not a sculpting software. For these few tests I used a few preset smart materials and altered them .

I watched another tutorial about how to export the textures into Maya. As long as the settings in Substance Painter are correct, it will create channels that get plugged into the various slots in the Arnold shaders. While I think some textures I'll need to create will be able to be made solely in Arnold - I think some textures may benefit from painting I could do in Substance Painter. I know there is also a piece of software called Substance Designer, so I may look into that as well just so I have as many options as possible to achieve what I want.

Some other features I really liked in Substance Painter was the ability to change the resolution whenever you wanted (you can start at a 2k resolution but bump it up to 4k later on and the program will recalculate the strokes you have made) and the ability to plug in your own images for lighting. I also really liked different filters that you can add onto your shaders such as colour correction, blurring, effects to achieve scratches/brushed metal looks, and several others.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

YPGTTO: Compositing Shots #2

As the YPGTTO deadline draws closer - I've continued to composite shots while helping the team sort out any footage that may have been missing from the film. As expected - the Finale was a challenge as there were several different people working on it and it became somewhat difficult to figure out who did what and where the files were...but we got there in the end! The Trumpet and Tuba & Trombone districts are now composited and complete...the Finale is mostly complete with only a few shots left to piece together. Once again I love being able to see all of the different elements come together...compositing these shots has given me the opportunity to see animation I haven't gotten the chance to see yet. I can't wait to see the final outcome, it's been overwhelming and stressful at times but this project has been a great experience overall and I've really enjoyed working with the YPGTTO team.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

YPGTTO: Composited Shots #1

I've been working on compositing some of the different districts in YPGTTO. I've found it very enjoyable to be putting all of the pieces together - I love being able to see how everyone's hard work merges together. I've so far completed the Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Violin, Double Bass, and Harp districts. The Horn District is nearly complete then I'm onto the Trumpet, Tuba/Trombone districts, and the Finale. Here is a selection of some of the shots I've put together so far.


Each district and shot required different components and techniques in AE - some shots such as The Flute District required lots of clouds for Red to fall through while the Clarinet District needed smoke puffs to come out of the buildings. The Bassoon District had crowds and the transition between the Bassoon and Violin District was a challenge to get seamless as it was made in two different digital sets. In the Double Bass District I had to animate lights on Red as the power cables flickered and the Horn District called for an animated light in the sky. Overall I'm very happy with how these shots are looking and I cannot wait to see the final film.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

YPGTTO: Additional Finale Shots

As I began work on compositing - we realised that we had a few shots for the Finale that were missing so I went in to fill in the gaps for the environment renders. Some of the character animation was already blocked in by Emily Clarkson while other shots I had to block in the character animation myself before passing it to Nat Urwin. I attached some birds on a motion path just to get an idea of what the birds will be doing round Red, but my main focus was the camera movement.

Friday, 27 October 2017

YPGTTO: Adding Sign Post Text #3

I've now finished adding the different languages to any scenes that had signs. Most of them went along nicely - The Harp and Trumpet Districts proved to be very challenging. For those Districts the camera trackers didn't seem to work - so for The Trumpet District I animated it by hand and The Harp District I resorted to making render passes in Maya.

For The Overture we needed a Destination Board with flipping text. In order to achieve this in a timely manner and still be able to track it on top of the Beauty Pass, I used a plugin to help animate the letters. This shot took a long time because it was about 35 layers worth of text that needed to be changed for every language.

We also encountered some problems with the 'You Are Here' sign - we were missing The Harp District section and wanted to combine the Violin sections into one piece. To do this I used shapes and masks to reshape the sign then made a pre-comp so that could then be tracked and animated to match the camera movement. I also had to alter parts of of the 'Back Stage' Beauty Pass for the first shot of The Overture so all of the languages could be added. I also added in a spotlight effect and some shadows.