Hop: The Final Remake

The project is complete. I am beyond happy that it is.

I am proud of my team for being amazing, hard workers and working through the stressful times of this project. Everyone persevered and contributed amazingly!

Have a look at their blogs; see what parts of the project they have been working on:

Megan: https://megjpeg.wordpress.com/

Sinéad: https://sineadmccblog.wordpress.com/

Clíodhna: https://cliodhnadoherty.wordpress.com/


Hop: Final Render and remaking the credits!

All of the scenes have been rendered successfully, and along with my explosion sequence, Sinéad put it all together in Adobe After Effects, and so far, it is looking good!

Here is the video (there is no sound just yet – we just need to get the credits finalised and added in before sound can be added and tweaked).

Lighting is looking nicer and I think the animation is a tad nicer too. So far, so good!

Next, on to the credits, something Sinéad has been working really hard on (proud of her – everything is looking really good!)

We did the idea we had with the HOP title that was made by Clíodhna, by separating the letters and the little hopper, and have them bounce around independently. Here it is.

And for the end credits, we have space hoppers bounce across the screen with our names written on them with our own unique typography. I think it’s rather cute looking; have a peek!

Sinéad has been working at a fast pace, because she has also uploaded the animation with the credits added in, and I am enthralled; it’s all looking so good, and it’s making me feel really good!

Now all that needs added is the sound and we can wrap this project up for good!

Hop: Getting more Work done

Myself, Megan and Sinéad met up again on Tuesday 10th to get together the finishing touches of the revamped animation.

When I got in, I used a free Mac in the computer room and opened an older version of scene 1 of our animation, a scene that was left untouched from the lighting shenanigans we were experiencing. The lighting in this scene showed no problem at all, and I immediately felt the need to alert the team of this discovery.

They also noticed that nothing looked wrong, and we agreed that this version will be the one that will get rendered.

Sinéad, in the mean time showed me an experimental video she made using the first bunch of explosion paintings that I made, as seen below.

It looks rather good, but a good point Sinéad brought up was that it doesn’t make sense that the explosion spontaneously brings up a black background. I offered to repaint the explosion sequence, and she suggested to me that I take a screenshot of the set and paint over that, and that is exactly what I did.

I spent about 45 minutes remaking the explosion paintings, making sure the colours used were blended nicely, and when they were done, I went onto Google and http://makeagif.com/ to test the sequence out in GIF format.

Here are the still images.

And here they are put together into fast paced GIFS – one with 100ms for each image, another with 50ms for each image.

We all think it looks a lot better, and now that the explosion sequence has a white background, it will blend in with the entire scene nicely and create a better transition between scenes 1 and 2.

Along with what I have been doing, the others have also been doing their parts to the project. Sinéad also uploaded a video of Clíodhna’s 3D credits tester, so I can share it here to see its current progress.

So far the animation is looking nice. I wonder what the hoppers will look like when the names get added to them, if we get the time to do that, since the time we have left is becoming very thin. It is alright if we don’t get 3D credits in the end, however, since Megan is working on a really cute 2D alternative. I’m keeping an open mind with the credits; I really don’t mind what we get in the end!

For the face situation, we unfortunately couldn’t get them to work the way we would want them to, and due to time constraints, we will not be able to have another attempt done with the faces. I feel bad about this, but it needs to be done if we want this to be handed in on time, and perhaps it might not be too bad looking in the end, since even the tutors told us that faces may not even be needed on our hoppers in the end.

As for rendering, scene 2 is already rendered and put together on After Effects. Scene 1 is currently being rendered on Megan’s laptop. She did attempt to render on 2 different Macs in the classroom, but for some strange unknown reason, the Macs would not begin to render the scenes. I am glad that the frames are rendering well on Megan’s laptop, however, so I am confident that in good time scene 1 will be completed.

So far, so good. The team has been making amazing progress so far, and I feel happy and comfortable where we are. We will definitely get this done for the deadline!

Face Model: Completion and Module Overview

Right off the bat, I am going to admit that I hated the head model project. I found it extremely stressful and more time consuming than I would have liked it to be. However, I did learn that in the end, I can make a face with good topology, and that alone made me happy enough with the result of my project. The research I conducted was helpful no doubt. I probably wouldn’t even know where to start if I didn’t conduct any. I did, however, wish I spent more time in research, and learn other methods of modeling a human head, because for all I know, I could have found an even better and easier method.

I guess that’s what summer can be for- to find new and effective methods of modeling a human head, and perhaps more, such as the neck and upper torso. Another thing I will say is that head modeling is hard. You do need a lot of time to learn how to make a face and not mess up the topology, and you will also need a lot of time to to figure out how to smoothly combine separately made meshes without causing any problems.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed the floating city project. It felt nice to get a mini blast into the past by researching geographical stats of a city, and modeling and texturing for the city was more enjoyable, mainly because it was a team effort, so time was split between 4 of us. I wouldn’t mind if I ever got another project like this, so long as I am put in a team I know I will work well with and come up with ideas that can make anyone go “wow, that sounds cool!”

I can say over all that Imaging and Data Visualisation was a 50/50 in terms of how I liked the module, since there was 1 project I liked and 1 project I didn’t enjoy. I cannot deny that I did learn a great deal, and I am thankful that this module has gotten me more familiar with how Maya  works.

It makes me a little more confident for second year when I will be using Maya more extensively for another year for a myriad of projects.

Modeling my Face

When it came to making the model for my face, I followed the James Taylor Maya 2016 tutorial, since it is the most recent version of Maya. I felt it would be the most helpful to me.

It was extremely hard to follow, and since I made mistake after mistake, there were several time that I had to remake the model from scratch. That, along with Maya crashing on me so many times, was extremely frustrating, and there were many times I just wanted to give up, but of course, I didn’t allow myself to do that. So I carried on and dealt with it.

Another frustration was lining up the reference photos Conánn took for me. I must either have a seriously weird shaped face, or the image dimensions are too different, because I couldn’t line up my pictures correctly, so I had to resort to using a bit of both of the images and hope for the best.

The method in the video was started off using two flat circles to begin modelling an eye and a mouth, and extruding edges and faces to merge the mouth and eyes together into the same geometry and making the rest of the features on my face such as the nose and ears. I decided that I will model one half of my face, and when it is done, mirror the geometry to save time.

I have many images to show as progression, since I saved many different versions of the model, just in case I had to back track for any reason.

Along with extruding faces, I also used the sculpting toolbox heavily, using the smooth and pinch tools to alter features such as the ears, my nose, lips and cheeks to try and match them to my face.

Making the ears, in my opinion, was a bit of a disaster. I felt I couldn’t find any helpful tutorials, so I tried to make it all by myself. To do that, I had to make my mesh high in polygons so I could make better shapes and deformations for the ear.

I had many attempts at this, and  felt I was failing every time, since I tried making it by using the multi-cut tool. So I went back to the James Taylor tutorial, and he made the ear by extruding three faces that covered the ear, extruded them and shaped them from there. When I tried that, it worked a lot better, but I still had to make the mesh high in polygons, again for better sculpting and deformation. Here are progress images of my face model with ears.

When it came to making the eye, I made a cube and smoothed the mesh three times to turn it into a sphere. At the front, I altered several rows of edges to make them more circular, and tweaked around the edges and vertices to create bulge for the cornea. Here are some images of the eye.

With the eye done at this stage, and the half of my face mirrored to make it whole, I then used the sculpt toolbox to make anymore needed deforming and altering to make my head model look a little more like me. This will lead it to completion, and I will touch up the finished result in a future post.

I will finish this post by adding some last progression images here.

Hop – Making Explosion Paintings and Credit Changes

The team and I had another meet up on Thursday 7th, and we discussed some other changes we can make, particularly on the credits.

We looked at the past credit sequences made by Sinéad, the one on the 2D animatic and on our first attempt on a fully rendered animation. Here is a video Sinéad uploaded comparing the two credit sequences.

After watching the videos, we decided to pull aspects that we all liked from them for ideas to make a new credit sequence.

We liked the bouncing space hoppers with our names on it, and Sinéad suggested we use our own signatures to put on them. I have mine, and here it is. The rest of the team will use their own writing for their own signatures.

New Canvas

We may use them on 2D animated hoppers, but we can also experiment with adding them to my rigged Maya models, which Clíodhna will be doing. Look forward to seeing how that will look!

Another idea we pulled from our credit sequences was the HOP title that was made by Clíodhna, as seen below.


The idea we came up with on this title was that the letters will hop into view separately along with the yellow hopper that accompanies it, and leave the screen on their own accord as well.

Another concept was have four space hoppers resemble the team, which Clíodhna made some nice drawings of, as seen below.

While the team worked on these ideas, I got to work with the explosion. I made 5 images of different explosion phases on Paint Tool SAI, one of them being a plain white image. I added purple to the explosions just to add some colour variation and dramatic flare.

When they were done, I went on the Make a GIF website to make the imaged into tester GIFS. Since explosions can happen at a rather fast pace on small scale, I ignored delays in images such as 750ms, since it would look slow and blockier than I would like it to be.

One GIF has image delays of 100ms, another with 50ms, to test different high speeds with the explosions. Here they are below.

Also, some little additions – Sinéad successfully remade the set and tweaked the lighting. Here are the videos she uploaded.

I will see what gets covered in the future. We are very close. We have scene 1’s light and set touched up, have scene 2 re rendered, and are well on the way with the credits being remade. We just need to see if we can tackle the face issue in time, but it should be alright if we cannot use them in the end.