Thursday, May 2, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚ Flame Effects & Room Layout

This week! I figured out how to create a flame body for my flame character!

I found a few different videos that explored this effect, turns out theres more than one way to skin a horse and I just wanted to pick one that would look the coolest on my character. 

This is how it looks so far. 

I also was having a lot of  trouble with the room layout when making the 2D version of the scene. Its a little hard to do right if you're not willing to take the time. Unfortunately I don't have all that much time at all left this semester so to help I'm opting to make a 3D version of the room layout for the story. I feel like this will help me plan out the shots a little better for the story. I've found several assets for free online that I can use to fill the scene.  

Thursday, April 25, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚Week 12 Wrkflow

So This week I did my final edits on the Elena Puppet. When I went in to rig her before there were a ONE single thing that was really slowing me down and it was the fact that I made the characters so small in illustrator so that I brought it into it was a nightmare to add a skeleton to.
fresh hell

better version

the fastest way to fix them was to bring them back to illustrator. However using illustrator required me to go into school earlier/stay later and use it in a lab. The result is 4 proper puppets ready to be properly rigged!
I'll repose them and upload a new photo xD

Also I considered something that a classmate mentioned about how it would be hard to make these characters kind of turn in the same shot.  So my plan is to find out what parts call for that and make them, so the Elena puppet can bend forward and may let her hair hang. I also made some more progress on the rooms layouts. I figured once I had everything angle I could zoom in and out as much as I like. My goal is to have the first page of the storyboard animated for final presentation! Honestly It may not happen but that is what i'm working towards.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚ 2D Character Rigging with the Duik Plugin and Illustrator

Last week I found a plugin for after effects that would allow me to add bones to a 2D character and essentially rig it up for animation using an IK set up!! It's really cool. 

I started by using Illustrator to create Puppets. I essentially created different views of one character like turn around for a character sheet. Each moving part goes in its own layer to prepare it for After Effects. Here's an example of one using the character Elena. 

I actually went through a couple iterations of this character and I may go back to fix this puppet again. However I wanted to try out the Duik plugin so I ended up using another puppet that I have that would be for an fire spirit. 

The people behind Duik have a lot of documentation available in order to help people learn how to use their tool. So This is what it looks like when the controls have  been connected.

And once my puppet was working I tested the way it looked with the automation tool to make it do a walk cycle. It has really specific parameters that you have control over such as the characters weight and height, which effects the speed and movement of the puppet. 

So I messed with it and rendered out a test walk cycle. Yes I know the size of this video is kinda dumb. 

I also made a test background which ended up looking pretty good to me.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚Finishing Venus and the Storyboard

This week I finished up work on sailor Venus and used the feedback to get my actual Maya cycle right.  I tried to get the camera of the shot from the show but I realized since my *special attack* is longer than the one from the show spinning the camera is more likely to give people whiplash from the crazy spinning. I did however like one of the camera movements I did where it shift focus to the hand.

So this is my final spline

and the final effects.

After I did that I got started revising my storyboard that I had been working on. Since I didn't mention it in the last blog this is a  rundown of what's going on.

Elena is a witch from a family of witches who isn't really all that good at magic. She comes back home with tons of equipment and attempts to self study magic and after trial, error, practice, and meltdowns she manages to summon a flame spirit to a candle she made. The flame is tiny but mischievous and manages to wreck havoc in her living room. Feeling that all hope is lost Elena looks on in frustration but is lead to a solution by the spirit of her (mother/grandmother, I never really reveal who is in the photo). In a panic state, she summons another spirit, shes done it before so shes faster and more confident this time, and summons a water spirit. The water chase the flame around the room. The flame having the time of its life absentmindedly runs into a jar (set up by Elena) and is captured successfully. We end on her holding the jar and looking on as the water spirit puts out the last of the fire. Fade out and return to the final image of Elena looking up ways to remove magical scorch marks as her two bottled element spirits are looking on.

 I couldn't get feedback from mark on Tuesday so I ended up sucking it up and asking some classmates to give me some. As they were looking through I realized I didn't fully explained the story [I got a little shy about it and kind of explained the gist of it but forgetting to mention somethings] The point of getting the feedback was to make sure that the pacing of it was alright. I noticed that the whole connection with her family and the book opening on its own wasn't read. Also one of them said to have her start with early (telekinesis magic) during the beginning.

Thursday I finally got a chance to talk to Mark and in the spirit of letting go, am going trimming some of the panels I think the I'm just about ready to start this project!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚Sailor Venus, New Project

This week I decided to finish only one of the two animations I started last week! I personally have been feeling a little burnt out doing game animations due to the workload of a another class.

So I worked on Sailor Venus's attack Wink Chain. Why you may ask, its because she is my favorite of all the scouts.

I went through a lot of iterations but I feel like I've got a way better handle on making these attack animations than I did at the beginning of the semester. I'm working on the animated background. I realized that I could reuse one part of the background from sailor Jupiter's if I just change the color. So I found out how to export specific compositions to use in other projects! However! I ended up spending some time just going through some of the simulation effectors that you can attach to the layers and found one that made bubbles. To be honest I'm not completely loving the original color scheme I was trying to keep with this one. I may be tweaking the colors more later on.

To finish this off I will be creating the chain for the attack which spirals around her in the original anime. Possibly will have that up next week.

I also will be starting a new project for senior portfolio that involves animating an storyboard I made over spring break. While I am still in the process of finishing the boards based on feedback I got before, I will be attempting to start creating that animation possibly in After Effects as well.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚Venus and Mars Attacks

THIS WEEK FOR SENIOR PORTFOLIO ! one girl. will create 3 cycles for three character attacks !!

While I did take some time to storyboard the next two scouts,  (Mars and Venus) I thought I might have enough time to at least block both of these for the post.

So for Sailor Venus's attack, its called Venus WinkChain. Venus has this funky chain that ties in to her character in the Sailor V comic, and basically her attack involves her summoning a glowing magical chain that attacks in the direction she points.

So this is my block out of the attack. The attacks and the way they are presented in the anime is really kind of cinematic so to make this in to a game cycle I usually shorten them. So while I will have a version that is the longer length the so  I can put the effects on them then  this is my current attempt at splining.

I am working  on a blocked version of Sailor Mars's Attack but as of this post It is not done but should be done by class tomorrow. The attack's called Mars Flame Sniper and doesn't have as much movement, it kind of just seems like two pose transitions toegether, BUT I really wanted to try to do the effects on them! Which I will get to next week!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚ Sparkling wide Pressure Effects

This week I finished up effects I was using for sailor jupiter.

Created two new backgrounds to add to the final video. Using the feedback from last week I updated the cycle which I feel really made it look good. Then I added different cameras to my footage.

I was using the advanced lightning effect a lot with this one. the real trouble was with the ball of light she throws. I'm researching different ideas on how to do it but for now its a glowing shape that moves throughout the video.  I'm also going to at some point mask out the lightning.

update: final version

Thursday, March 7, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚Sailor Jupiter Sparkling Wide Pressure

So I spent time this week blocking out and splining the Sailor Jupiter Attack called Sparkling Wide Pressure. The blocking and splining went well for the most part. I have two versions of the throwing part of the lightning, personally I would like feedback from class tomorrow about whether the speed of the throwing is fast enough, I think it may be too slow, but I won't know for sure until I get the effects in I fee like.

The last two times I had been finding backgrounds and throwing them in the Maya Scene this time, (with all the moving parts of the background from the og series) I decided to try to make a moving background to go along with the animation in after effects. One thing that stands out about Sailor Moon back in the day (and I really liked about it) was that the backgrounds look kind look like water color paintings. So I found out I might be able to animate moving watercolor texture onto an after effects preset called alpha and combining it with a texture. There are also directional lines moving about and these kind of screen tone star shapes floating in there so I wanted to try to mimic all of that good stuff. This is what I've got going on so far. Then I plan to use a mask to just get the character in front of this moving background.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚Sailor Mercury Fix, Finishing Aqua Mirage Effect & Sailor Jupiter

My goals for this week were to address the problems everyone pointed out to me when showing sailor mercury, I was mostly her wacky arm direction and also some of the pinching that was happening in the shoulders needed to be tweaked. I also ended up extending the animation as well by a few frames. Shout Out to whoever suggested to use the nullify twist on the arms and hands, because that REALLY saved me a lot of headaches.

Then I went into the after effects side of things. While I really liked my water ball effect I created for last weeks video, I changed it quite a bit, now the ball looks like its its defying gravity which I think makes for a nicer looking water effect. Another thing I figured out how to do was to properly use the masking tools in after effects, I primarily used it to keep the shapes that are moving around in the video from obscuring the the animation with the spiral water stream at the end. I also used the masking properties to make the stream of water melting in her hand more narrow.

In addition I figured out which of the Sailor Jupiter attacks I would be doing. It's called Sparkling Wide Pressure and i mostly chose it because there were more reference of that move available.

I'm excited to do Jupiters next because she doesn't do a crazy 360 spin AND Lightning is something I happen to already know how to do in after effects. It'll just be a matter of making it look very nice, and I will possibly model a headband so I can get the lightning rod at the beginning. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚ Sailor Mercury

This week I worked on Sailor Mercury's spline. I was pretty surprised that the blocking came out so when when transitioning to spline that I was like "WOW i did this" Then I realized I did want a special camera to match the original animated clip. So I have two clips. One with following the video and one that shows off the entire cycle.

A problem  I was getting was that my entire spin was making the body do all sorts of crazy things. I had to really get in there and tweak it. Found a similar background and light effect for the playblast and then I was ready to go.

So I've just been working on the effect now that I'll continue to play with. One effect for the ball, one for when it melts from her hand (its in the clip but it disappears in my playblasts),  the spirals of water that surrounds her later, and the final blast of water!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚ Sailor Mercury, Saturn Fixes

This week I began working on the second game cycle and researching effects I might use in after effects. I also edited Sailor Saturn's effect, based off the feedback I kind of got from Mark in class last week.My goal for this edit was to make the exploding and disappearing effect show up better.

I will be going in and making sure this effect follows the wand. And then I'll stick a fork in it and call it done. 

The next Cycle I worked on was Sailor Mercury's attack which is called Mercury Aqua Mirage. Sailor senshi have three forms apparently and this is akin to a finishing move. She forms a water ball which she winds up in a ballet-looking twirl and then lets the ball drip down from her hand which becomes hurricane like. Then she raises her arms and releases it forward. I watched the video a few times over to figure out exactly how she moves.

This time I thought about doing a side perspective for the effect this shot, before when I was doing sailor Saturn, there was just not enough frames in both the 90's and rebooted versions that  I could tell all the movements she made. This is not the case for an inner senshi such as Sailor Mercury.

So for this one I'm looking at effects that mock water. One thing I've been seeing a lot of through searching is an effect called Trapcode Mir, which might get the correct dripping effect I want for the mid point of the move where the water just falls out of her hand. but also the spiral water effect.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚Sailor Saturn

I started off this week looking at all the og sailor scouts (inner and outter senshi as they are called) and figured out what moves I would be attempting for each of them. I had a lot of stuff to do as well this week so I figured I would work on Sailor Saturn's Death Reborn Revolution, it has the least amount of poses out of all the other attacks so I figured it would be easy to tackle for the first game cycle. 
Gif from Sailor Moon Wiki
So for this attack she has a weapon that is kind of like a scythe spear looking thing. I had to figure out how to constrain it so I could use it properly and that took me a while to figure out what kind of constraints I wanted to use. I'm not particularly good at figuring out which I should use right off the bat so that took some time. I ended up finding an article that basically said to use groups to help constrain. 

Why Use Prop Group?To have the ability to animate the prop even during constraint, you must let your prop controller be free. Instead of constraining the prop controller, you need to constrain something else that is:
  • of a higher hierarchy than your prop controller, and
  • controls the prop controller, but
  • without locking its attributes to it.
When I did this the prop started working without any problems and I could switch from FK to IK without any issues! so that was really helpful.

I finished my block and I was elated when I came into the spline with no noticeable weirdness.

Finally I figured out what kind of effect I needed for this attack and based off the gif and other videos  I saw of it, I settled on a kind of wave looking pattern that I want to move from the tip of the scythe weapon. In the end I used a tutorial for a circle burst in after effects and played with the effects to get this final video.

Friday, January 25, 2019

╰(•̀ 3 •́)━☆゚.*・。゚ Week 1

This semester I would like to focus on making some game cycles and if time permits (or I feel like taking on extra work) I will also like to choreograph and animate a fight scene. All the animations I will be creating will inspired by the anime Sailor Moon, using the attacks of the sailor senshi and turning them into game cycles, in addition with each attack I would like to edit the effects in with after effects.

The rigs I plan to use will be using Sheila, Jill, Tina, Ellie of the body mech pack.

At this time I am not sure how long things will take so this is a tentative schedule that will be updated as I find out how much time each move will take. 

Week 1: First Week - Devise a Game Plan!

First Move - Fire Soul of Sailor Mars

Week 2: Block and Spline Game Cycle for first move "Fire Soul". 
Week 3: Learn how to add effect in AfterEffects 

Week4: Block and Spline Game Cycle for 2nd Move "Rainbow Moon Heartache". 
Week5: Add effect in After Effect 
Week 6: Third move and fourth moves
Week 7: Add effect in After Effect
Week 8:fifth and sixth move  and after effects
and so on!
and I suspect the schedule will be faster as I go through it. Also playing with the idea of choreographing a fight between the characters I do moves for during the last few weeks if time permits. I'm not certain how everything will play out for now and this schedule may be changed but my goal for this semester is to have a cycle for at least ten characters from the series.