Timelock !

Finally the long awaited major milestone is here !

All major visual development is done and I have edited the movie to a final cut. This is not yet a picture lock, but what I call a timelock. Now the path is clear for Mikkel and Phil to do their magic and add sound and music to this movie.

Now that the edit is done I have exact numbers on the running time of the movie. Without the credits it runs 7:23 min or 11339 frames at 25fps, which is quite a good match to my estimates from 2010.

Speaking of numbers, here is the actual table of hours spent so far on the project:

   5:34    01-Script
  43:54    02-Storyboard
  73:54    03-Concept Art
  14:48    04-Animatics
 152:45    05-Modeling
  76:57    06-Rigging
 189:17    07-Animation
 261:00    08-Texturing
 228:11    09-Simulation
  51:48    10-Project Management
 131:54    11-Research
  16:29    Editing
 290:46    Lighting/Compositing
1537:17 Total

Now a lot of tedious little bits of work still has to be done. Apart from a lot of fixing, I plan to spend some time on developing a proper logo, movie poster and finally give the official movie site a long needed overhaul. And not to forget, I am reallylooking forward to the song recording with Julia Schaller for Ara’s Song.

For the technically interested and maybe as a small glimpse at the various bits of work ahead of me, I give you an extract from my current todo list:

*** !!!! ALL shots !!!! ****
- reimport camera and make sure that the camera when made local only
  has the object and NOT data made local
  doing this will result in the focus control not working any more 
  ( all shots currently have no focus control !!! )
- in case there is an 'all' renderlayer used, check if z buffer is 
  correct in all major camera angles. sc02.shot18 had weird
  z values for later angles. If this is the case use manual 
  z-combine (math minimum) from individual layers

*** all shots with closeup hair ***
- try to use same settings as in shot sc02.shot11b

*** all shots with sss extra layers ***
- check if new approach used in sc02.shot12 is better suited 

*** !!!!! All compositing shots !!!!!!
- check if camera has the same focus as in the animation blend 
file. it seems that the lens control does not import
correctly from 2.49 to 2.6x

*** Scene 1 ***

sc01.shtot3a, sc01.shtot3c, sc01.shtot3g, sc01.shtot5b
    - add nose lamps

sc01.shot03a, sc01.shot04a, sc01.shot05a
    - try to add rays and more depth mist to shot

sc01.shot03c, sc01.shot03c:
    - use reflection for the eyes ( see sc02.shot12 for how todo it)

*** Scene 2 ***

all main scene shots:
    - use particle edit mode to draw loose rocks instead of 
      weight painting
    - use noise modifier for back glow compositing
    - probably use noise modifier for main/cage light 
    - add nose lamps

    - use mist animation instead of smoke simulation for mist 
      ascending above ledge

    - fix alpha issues with hair and cage in compositing
    - add more rocks to the mouth of the canyon. Now it does not 
      correspond to the shot in sc02.shot05

    - fix strange cloth deformation at left foot
        --> make left foot collider a bit longer to prevent 
            collision with edge, which seems to cause this problem

    - make dragon appear a bit later -> remove this ghosting effect
    - use sss on dragon
    - fix dragon's tongue. It vanishes sometimes into the gums.
    - use sss on dragon
    - cage light is too strong on dragon -> has too articfical 
      lighting feel to it
    - maybe use wind setup for hair from shot sc02.shot21d

    - flickering hair shadow problem -> probably have to use 
      separate hair layer to get proper hair mask
    - make eyes a bit darker
    - cage material is too dark and flat -> revert to original 
      light cage material but with normal maps subdued to avoid 

Author: loramel


14 thoughts on “Timelock !”

  1. It’s been a long project and I’m glad to see it almost finished 🙂 Really good job man, one of the most (if not the most) epic Blender projects I’ve followed, and in this case been lucky enough to watch from start to finish 🙂 Push through to the end and I’m sure it will be an awesome little film. Congrats!

  2. Congratulations upon the conclusion of the general development of the short film, I am sure that the finished product will reflect accurately the monumental time and effort exhausted through the challenge of the brave endeavour. Though there are evidently certain elements remaining to be completed, do you have an estimate in relation to the premiere of the personally much anticipated film? I am honoured to have visually experienced the development of the project, and anticipate viewing further Blender achievements subsequent to the final completion of the project.

    1. Thanks a lot Nathaniel.

      As recent estimates on how and more importantly when the movie will be finished have failed miserably, I am a bit hesitant to give exact dates 🙂
      But I guess, that now the situation is a bit better. It really depends now on how much time Mikkel and Phil have available and when.
      I know from Mikkel, that he is currently severely limited in terms of available hardware, but I hope for the best.
      Lets say a wish with a high probability would be end of July 2012, nicely targeting a clean 3 year celebration.

  3. Congrats on reaching this milestone Martin! Timelock is certainly a significant phase to achieve. Wishing you all the best on polishing the shots, and adding the sound and music for the finished film!

  4. Brilliant! Can’t wait to see the final stuff- truckloads of luck and good fortune to you for finishing the movie! 😀

  5. Congratulations man! I feel a lot of inspiration seeing that there are people who actually do what they want, whatever it takes. I’m proud of you 😛

    I did some quick match and it seems this project would have taken 9 months of working 8 hours a day, 5 times a week, not bad at all!
    It’s great that you recorded every minute spent and how, that demonstrates your focus.

    So, I’d probably should ask you this after the movie is released, but please consider doing some sort of compilation or even a book with your experience. It would be so valuable!
    I’ll probably dig into all your posts and do one for myself, because you have so many tips and “real life problems” that usually you don’t see in a book. That problem solving attitude plus a good artistic view is what really makes a production go forward.


    1. Thanks a lot Sebastian.

      Actually I intend to do something in the direction you mentioned. Originally I played with the idea of doing a book, but I am not sure if this works as I want it to do.

      Actually I have an idea of a sort of a series of production chapters, recapitulating the progress of doing this short. Something like an in depth series of stuff like in my blog posts. And this combined with all the production media.

      This will be a lot of work again and I have yet to decide and think if I should ask for a fee for these instalments. The license will definitely by a CC one, but as I do not have the means to distribute the whole content completely via the internet, the distribution of the accompanying media files will have to be via normal post (DVDs and such)

      I would be grateful about your thoughts on this topic.

      1. Well, first of all, you are right that doing a book or even a compilation of all your posts is a lot of work. In your short you are doing fiction, you are telling a story and hoping to transmit emotions to the viewers, plus is a great satisfaction for yourself.
        On the other hand, a book or even an “essay” will be non-fiction. That means that for it to be good it has to be carefully revised and studied if it’s going to provide value to the readers. I have no doubts that you are going to learn even more writing even a simple compilation. (“if you really want to learn something, teach it”), but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to get money from it.
        I could really write a lot of what I think about “the philosophy” of open source and the dilemma of charging for one’s work, but you already said you want it to be CC. that’s awesome.

        So, if I were you I’d ask myself these questions:
        1) Why would I want to write a book or recapitulate all the steps of production?
        2) Will this add value to people interested in making their own shorts?
        3) How much time, energy and money will it take, in the ideal and worst case scenario?
        4) Am I interested in making money with this, or at least get some small compensation for the hours spent?
        5) If I charge for this, how many people will be interested?
        6) Can I afford the costs of directs downloads, delivery or can I arrange something with an intermediary (e.g., blenderfoundation) ?

        So, to sum up, you at least have my purchase or donation assured, he. I’d buy any package you release, because I really want to learn from people like you.
        And I feel better giving some compensation back (not just “thank you” in your blog).I’m sure other people will be interested, but not sure outside of the “community” or enough people to cover your costs. You know, if you really want many people to know about your movie and/or book, it takes some marketing,planning, money, etc.
        It all depends on what you want to do. There aren’t many people in the world that finishes the things they want to create, even if it took 3 years. Have you heard of “Jeff Lew” and his movie “Killer Bean”? He did also some training dvds that were fantstic too, that’ what I want to see more of.

  6. You do need to create a book and/or a DVD summarizing this epic effort, and I think that you will find that your years’ worth of meticulous blog-entries will serve as an excellent start.

    Have absolutely no qualms about charging a fair price for your work, whatever you decide “a fair price” to be. All of us live every day in a world that runs on commerce. We know the drill.

    1. Thanks Mike for the heads up. It is good to hear others opinions on this topic.

      And you are right, all these posts are a very good basis for creating a valuable content.

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