Sunday, 31 December 2017

Minor Project: Dissolve 001-005

Today I worked a bit on what I may do for "When I see hospitals I smell bleach". It was suggested to me to consider what bleach itself does and some of its qualities - it cleans but in a harsh way. It is strong and potent, I feel that the smell of bleach lingers in my lungs for a while after being around it (more of this is discussed in my word maps). I had a look of how I could create an effect of dirt/grime dissolving away to reveal something smooth and perfect underneath. For now I just used rust and metal as I am focusing on the actual effect rather than the textures at the moment. I decided to try a few effects using After Effects since I think it may be useful to avoid using particle effects in Maya if I can so I don't complicate things unnecessarily. This test the orbs are stationary, so the results may be different if the orb is moving around and morphing.

I used a combination of the CC Particle Systems II effect and the Turbulent Displacement effect (I found this tutorial which gave me a good starting point). I also used a bit of the Texturise effect to add some extra detail where needed. Once I animated the emitter for the particles and adjusted some of the settings, I used some expressions (such as wiggle and index) to add some more randomness. I made sure that the particles emitted less than I wanted because I then duplicated the layer a few times as the wiggle and index expressions would be different on each layer, so it would add more variation. I then animated a mask on my rust orb so it would disappear and reveal the clear metal orb underneath as the particles moved across the object. I'll need to see how this works using a moving orb, but I quite like the results so far.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Minor Project: Bone 001-010

Here are some of the tests I did for the bone material. For now, I used an image of a sponge (different for what I used for my sponge texture), but I'm going to look at other image files I could use instead but I thought it was a reasonable start. I played around with some subsurface scattering to give it a more organic feel. Again I didn't want to be too literal with the portrayal of vertebrae, so I was allowing the material to be more bone-like than bone itself. Out of these I prefer 007 and 009 but I'm not completely satisfied with these yet so I will continue to work on them.

Minor Project: Material Influence Map #2

As I wanted to work a bit on some bone materials, I had a look at some reference. I looked a lot at the internal structure of human bone, especially bones that were afflicted with Osteoporosis. I did this because those who suffer from Anorexia are often diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis due to the lack of nutrients, causing bone density to decrease.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Minor Project: Voiceover Draft #1

After a few more sessions in the sound booth, I've managed to record a few voiceover takes that I could use to piece together my final voiceover. I've spent a while going over which chunks of audio I like the most, and pieced them together in one recording. I am not finished with it yet, I still need to go back, remove some background noise since some clips are inconsistent with the other clips, readjust the pitch and volume, and adjust a few other things.

This part of my project has been a real challenge for me as it is again far out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to share my progress with it since it's going to be part of my film eventually. I also feel that everything will feel more cohesive once I add in an overall soundscape, other sound effects, and reverb. Again, it is not completed yet but here is what I've put together so far.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Personal Work: Abstract Dream Forest Speedpainting

Minor Project: After Effects Autotrace & Reshape Attempt #2

For this attempt, I ended up auto tracing only one frame then I animated the points by hand so they would jump around less (I did this for both the orb and the crystal). I only animated it on 25 frames so the transition is quite short, I time stretched the clip so it didn't feel like it flew by so quickly. This result is better than my first attempt, but it is still not as good as I'd like it to be. However, I know that if I spent more time adding more keyframes and if I adjusted some things in Maya, it would be improved. Since I'm not sure if I'll use this sort of morphing just yet I think I'm going to move on for now but I think it was a useful thing to experiment with.

Minor Project: After Effects Autotrace & Reshape Attempt #1

I wanted to experiment with some other ways I may be able to morph objects if I decide I want to do this. I went into After Effects and used the autotrace tool to create masks that could be used for the reshape effect. I also then precomposed these layers so I could create another mask to trim off any bits of the underlying crystal that extended beyond the orb layer too soon. There are a few odd glitches in there, and I think that is because it seems the points on the masks change each I think that makes the correspondence points bug out and flip. Saying this, the objects were both animated and moving, so perhaps if I choose to use this method it'll be important to have the objects mostly stationary to prevent jumping. It is far from perfect, but it is a start.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Minor Project: Word Maps #2

Here are some more word maps relating to the words in my poem. There are a few that I skipped, but if I feel I need to I'll return to them (or any of these).

Minor Project: Word Maps #1

I decided it would be useful to look over my script and try to deconstruct some of the words I chose to use in my poem. The phrases I wrote in my poem came from instinct, but as I try to create my film it may be useful to have a look at what some of the words mean so I am not too literal with their interpretations. Here are some of the words from the first four stanzas of my poem, I plan on going through the rest of my poem to deconstruct some more words later today. I think this exercise will help me consider what I feel and what emotions I want to portray while creating my textures and lighting the objects.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Minor Project: Skin Displacement Attributes/Height Map Animation Test

After experimenting with inverting the height  map in my last experiment, I decided to go into After Effects and morph the original height map with an inverted version. I then brought this into Maya and ticked off 'image sequence' so the map was animated. I also then animated the height channel in the Displacement Attributes. I found this made the orb appear as if it was pulsating/beating/breathing as the orb's pore-like structures turned into bumps. I found this test very interesting and fun to see the results, and I think I may play more with changing the displacement textures in After Effects to see what I can do with it. I may also see how I can change/animate the other texture maps that affect the underlying layers of the skin (radius).

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Minor Project: Skin 001-012

After my previous displacement experiments I decided to start working with some skin textures. While this isn't as extreme as the previous experiments that were focused on displacement maps, I found these tests interesting. I tried focusing on the idea of pores and bumps inspired by actual chicken skin, human skin, and human skin affected by keratosis pilaris. I played around with the SubSurface colour and the Radius colour - using the presets, some texture maps (they are not the most realistic but they worked for this experiment), and some other colours I chose. I also changed the settings a lot on the SubSurface Scale, the displacement height, and the repeat UV settings.

I also tried inverting the texture maps (mostly the height map) so I could swap the texture from being like pores to being more like external bumps. I also changed the Coat colour just to see what would happen. I tried to keep in mind what I think/feel when I think of human skin and chicken skin, so hopefully that influenced my textures. I plan on continuing to experiment with this to see what results I can get, although next time I hope to use more realistic maps and try out some more extreme settings. If I were to choose the spheres that I felt resembled chicken skin the most I think it'd be 009 and 011.