Scene 1 finished

A major milestone is reached !

I have the visuals done for scene 1, 15 shots in total. There may be minor tweaks along the road but nothing serious any more.

Finishing the shots for scene 1 was a testbed for me to discover the needed workflow and techniques to bring the shots to life. It wasn’t clear that I would ever be able to achieve what I had envisioned, but to my delight I am very pleased with the results.

This shows me that the short can be done (with a lot of work of course) and that gives me the motivation to keep on working. Further on I have now the techniques in place to tackle the remaining ~45 shots in an efficient way.

See here for some frames taken directly from the shots.

And here are the first 103 secs of Ara’s Tale. 3 shots in the inner-eye sequence are still from the animatic as they require set 2 to be ready, which it isn’t yet. The shots were rendered at 50% resolution (960×540) so you can easily scale the video up to see more details.

I will now slow down a bit after the heavy workload (and long nights) during the last few days. After that its time to start the modeling and texturing of set 2 and sculpting and texturing the dragon.

That means that updates will most probably be a bit less frequent for the coming weeks.

I also won’t show full shots from now on, but only stills, but I hope to get a trailer/teaser ready sometime early next year.

Author: loramel


11 thoughts on “Scene 1 finished”

    1. Thanks Germano,

      Your input was very valuable and surely has added to the result we see now, so thanks again for that.

      And yes, the sound/music will have a huge impact on the visuals. It could bring them to new heights or completely ruin it.

      I will try to aim for the former 🙂

  1. Fantastic. I have enjoyed following your blog posts on the development. Best wishes for the work ahead. Take your time and keep the high quality visuals going as this really makes your work stand out.

  2. One thing you might want to think about even in scene #1 (and maybe, especially in scene #1) is that, “for a minute and a half all we see is a young girl walking across a bridge and up a flight of steps.” We see her looking wistfully back over her shoulder, but as yet, have no idea why. We see that she is carrying a cage full of glistening lights (a most intriguing visual), but 1/7th of the finished picture is now “water under the bridge.”

    This is where the film-editor does magic, shaving even half-a-second here and half-a-second there, inserting cuts from scenes that may appear later on, rearranging segments , adding “flashbacks” and other cut-scenes that build lots of momentum very early. I suggest that you try to build that in. Without re-rendering any of the scenes, see how many pivotal story-elements you can “tease” us with, especially(!) in the first minute and a half. Find every one of the “hooks” in your story and try to give us a tantalizing glimpse of every single one. Try your very best to put us on the edge of our seats, and to keep us there for seven-and-a-half minutes.

    1. Thanks a lot for your input Mike !

      I guess you are addressing a topic here that will become quite important the more raw shots are finished.

      Incidentally I found myself more and more interested in editing topics. I just recently read the very interesting book by Walter Murch ‘In The Blink of an Eye’, where he describes his (almost philosophical) thoughts on the art of editing.

      Murch is discussing editing from a classical filmmaking point of view, where you have a lot of footage, various takes from the same scene and use this material to help create the movie. In the case of an animated short the available material is very limited so a one-to-one approach is not going to help here, but the deeper ideas are intriguing nonetheless.

      Do you have any practical knowledge on editing animated shorts. If so any input is highly appreciated 🙂

  3. The idea that I am expressing here is that you probably want to “cut” the movie scene by scene -before- you finish each shot; not after. Do preview renders in GLSL. With them, you can actually _afford_ to do “classical techniques,” because it takes about one minute to generate a preview of one minute’s worth of stuff. You can take the approach that Walter Murch suggests in his book.

    When you have actually decided what clips you are going to need, you make exactly what you need and nothing more.

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