Despite the relatively quiet during the past weeks here on this blog, production on Ara’s Tale has not stalled.
Quite on the contrary in fact.
The idea of this post is to inform those few followers of this blog that the animation phase for Ara’s Tale is finished.
It’s not stellar nor exceptional, but it’s consistent and passes my expected level of quality, adjusted to my level of expertise in the field of character animation.
And now I have a number for the total running time ( without credits) : 7:05 min
That’s 10625 frames used in 58 shots.
And talking about numbers: current total accumulated production time is 564 hrs with 172 hrs used for the animation which is more than modeling and rigging combined.
Next is the detailing of the modeling, especially refinement of the environment and props. And after this I will start the texturing and shading phase.
For this I evaluated some tools to be used as texture paint,minor sculpting tools. But the focus was on texture painting. I did not find the perfect tool and in the end I guess I will use blender, but the new 2.5 series. I also tested these other packages:
- zbrush: exceptional piece of software, but for texture painting too much for my budget and with the culprit of running it under wine and thus losing the support it was not a real option.
- 3d-coat: runs natively under linux 64bit and would offer all the features I would hope for most prominently the use of different layers for texture painting. Alas, the current nvidia driver 195.36.15 (or .25) does not allow 3d-coat to run. The workaround to use an older driver ( the one which comes with ubuntu) fails to display any movies on my system, which is quite counterproductive when creating a short …
The price tag of 265$ would be ok though. I will keep an eye on the driver issues.
- sculptris: with version 1.01 now released it is promising but does not quite fit into my workflow, especially as there are annoying problems running it under wine.
A cool announcement came from The Foundry announcing a specialized texturing software called Mari, originally developed at Weta Digital as in house tool. The estimated price of 500 british pounds is a bargain for this piece of software. This tool is overkill for my purpose of course but some luxury now and then makes life interesting. Official release date is end of 2010.
From here on there should be more updates to document the progress of Ara’s Tale.