My idea behind “Boy on Tricycle” began with watching my own son on a toddler-like Tricycle. I began with modeling the bike in flame using the default geometry. Only the centre frame was an extruded Gmask. I created a simple gradient to use as an IBL for the bike. And with little adjustment, I had my textured bike. I was hoping to create my hero as a complete 3D character using the rudimentary geometry and projecting/texturing the 2D illustrations onto them. Early on, I realized my results were not what I had intended. The lighting and StingRay Occlusion gave away the obvious primitive geometry. So some shots required different body parts to be 3D geometry but over all it's a 2D animation. I should preface I don’t have an illustration background. I have composited a lot of Snap,Crackle and Pop/Tony the Tiger/Toucan Sam spots over the years and I do have a love and respect for classical character animation. So by far the most time consuming aspect of this project was the illustration. There was a lot of trial and error in creating the characters and environment. The most challenging aspect of “BoT” was the pedaling. The kinetics from pedal to shoe to calf to thigh took a lot of noodling to get right. I did rely on the StingRay camera fx to create the final look.
As far as the story goes, I originally wanted to create 1 camera move pull-out that transitioned from a 2D animation to 3D animation. After reviewing some early tests. It just seemed boring. So as I started to move my camera around. I realized I had a much more engaging story to tell. The problem was I didn’t have a story…. After finishing the first shot. The "boy-meets-girl" theme seemed like a simple story that I could finish in 10-12 shots. Encase anyone is wondering I finished “BoT” all in Batch Group. I thought about creating it in BFX. But I’m a Flame purist… and there are no legals or supers required. So the whole spot is created chronologically in batch.
On a final thought, I just wanted to thank Andy and everyone else who organized the OFOW competition. It was a wonderful experience to explore what we are capable of doing solely in flame.
I really like the Platonic solids from my 3ds Max days, the way they are parametric and that they can morph into one another by just tweaking some values. So I came up with a parametric system to implement them using the 2.5D IK method, using two axes to draw lines between them. To add some flavour I read about them and realised they were also associated with the 4 elements. And the 5th one was our beloved Flame. While surfing Google for additional info I came across ambigrams and decided to animate them depending on their properties. I also designed the “One frame of White” and “Flame” ambigrams myself.
I hope you delve into my setups, because there are some surprises that were not used in the final animation but sit there for you guys to tinker with.
Greetings to all the Flame friends...
My 2017 One Frame Of White entry "Teaser", is just a mini sneak preview for all Star Trek fans. To evoke the cinema feeling right from the start of the Teaser I tried to bring in as many known elements such as the logo of Sundance, Bad Robot and Paramount as well, which I mostly drawn with paint and animated afterwards. To give the animated cell with its surroundings the desired look i used displacements and differently exposed layers which I combined with some Gmasks. My goal was to give the teaser a consistent organic look. The starship Enterprise itself I have constructed from 3D shapes in conjunction with deformation tools. With each task i learned a lot to it and it gave me again a lot of pleasure.
'One Frame of White' is a great opportunity and a real challenge to create a piece of work where one could showcase their skills and at the same time compete with the best in the industry.
For Weapon 8 , I spent around 2 days for script and Idea, storyboarding, pre-visualisation and shot breakdown which helped decided the look, feel and sound of the final piece. It took about 12 days to execute the idea on Flame.
I used displacement map and substance noise to create mountain-like terrain and water and then used circular mattes to create ripples.
The explosion in the 3rd shot is created by using Substance Noise and Atomize which helped create a 3D blast.
Particles is used for the friction effect during the ship-landing scene. Substance texture on basic shape is used to create the environment seen from the 4th shot onwards. Matchbox Stingray Reflections is used for shine and gloss of the metallic textures.
The anatomy parts for the humanoid were drawn in gmask and animated as per action of the narrative.
The base audio track and sound sfx were edited on Flame itself. The final audio master was finished with the help of a sound engineer on other tool.
In the beginning, this project was not a project. More than one year ago, I started to practice with 3D Shapes because I didn't know how I could apply this tool in my setups. I thought that if I combined and mixed various 3D Shapes with the 3D Basic Models that we have in Flame, I would get some interesting 3D object.
I began to model a very easy children toy without texture or animation. Then, I found this model of Optimus Prime but I didn't think about One Frame of White yet. I was only trying to learn one more tool. With a lot of patience, I was modeling this robot but taking into account where I had to position the axis for the animation. It was very important to organize and group all the parts that I had modeling because, as you can see in setups, I needed a lot of 3D Shapes and 3D Basic Models to create this robot.
When I finished to model Optimus, I started to add the texture. It was difficult for me because I had to test a lot of textures to get what I had in my mind. And I had to combine these textures with the illumination to get the shines. In some parts of Optimus, I had to mix two textures.
After this, I began to create some easy animation.
In this moment, I thought that if I could be capable of creating a short and interesting history with my robot, I would participate in One Frame of White because I was only using tools of Flame. Nothing more. And, also in this moment, my fellows began to think that I were a nut when they looked at the big schematics of my Actions. Well, I didn't think that I were a nut but a little obsessed.
I searched references of places where I could locate my short story. I decided to model a hangar with little windows and a big metal door.
This project has 8 clips. In the first four, we can only see the background and Optimus. And in the last four, we can see one more robot. I also searched a lot of references to model this robot, "The bad robot". With the first robot, Optimus, I had learned that with round pieces, I got beautiful shines so I chose this model of robot because the head and the shoulders were big round pieces.
The timeline of the project has several layers. In the layer 1, I always modeled the robots and the background. And in the upper layers, I added different effects like the shadows, the fog or the edge rays of the windows.
I have worked very hard to get the closest result of what I had in my mind and I have learned a lot. It has been a challenge for me. The most difficult thing was to optimize the project because some setups were very heavy for my iMac, above all, the setups of the Layer 1. Some renders were very slow. For example, the render of the last clip took me more than eight hours. I would also like to thank my colleagues of Play Rec, Antonio and Pepe for the soundtrack.
I have really enjoyed.
In Circularity, I wanted to recreate analog drawings, the effect of ink on paper, using a digital tool. Using a Flame the sequencing and cycling of the drawings to produce animation becomes more flexible and it can easily be automated. I decided to follow my association of ideas relating to the circle as a geometrical shape. Humans are programmed to appreciate the perfect symmetry of a circle, but are unequipped to adequately draw one free hand. In exploring this phenomenon, I intended to draw attention to the fluid repetition of this geometric shape in everyday objects as they relate to our sensory grasp of their dimensional implications.
Dynamic interaction between objects in Flame is limited at best. This piece is an attempt to develop a method for mimicking the real life characteristics of an object floating on the surface of a liquid.
Using displacement mapping and all the new PBR tools in Flame 2017 I created a complex fluid environment for an object to float through. Then, by combining diffuse texturing with the displaced surface I was able to get an accurate track of the fluid’s motion. From there I had to do some manual tracking to get a more realistic animation as the object interacts with the fluid, but the motion was at least 85% there. Although this technique has it’s limitations I believe it functions very well to create a realistic "floating" effect.
With that said, I did not intend for this piece to be realistic. My intentions were more of an exploration into Flame’s capabilities as well as my own imagination. I also really enjoy pushing the hardware to it’s max, as some engineers I’ve worked with may bitterly attest to.
My project is based on changing worlds and the natural revolution. I want to explore flame and develop skills in areas I've never used. I had never really used matchbox, displacement maps, 3d shapes and textures and many more aspects of flame that this project allowed to explore. No matter how complicated things get though, it always comes back to white.