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mtpeak2
I've been asked to works on adding more detail to the SO sets (I hope you don't mind Holmes). I don't know how much time I can devote to it, but I'll try to get as much done as possible.

I've started with the island set, where they're outside the tunnel cave. So far I've updated the foliage and the ground texture. I'll see about updating the rock textures and the trees. The trees I'll just retexture, not replace. I'll try not to change too much of the overall look of what has been done so far.

One thing that bothers me is the greenish fog. Does anyone have any objections to changing it to more blue?

If anyone doesn't like the direction I take with the sets, just say so and I'll change it back. I'll try to post render of what I've done, before commiting, so the rest of you can tell me how they look.

Here's a render of what I have so far.

robcat2075
That's a lovely looking setting.

My suggestion would be to lumpy up that big gray rock. A displacement material in tandem with the color material might do it just right.
mtpeak2
Yeah, the rocks right now have darktree materials on them. I'll see what I can come up with using A:M materials.
robcat2075
QUOTE(mtpeak2 @ May 2 2010, 09:00 PM) *
Yeah, the rocks right now have darktree materials on them. I'll see what I can come up with using A:M materials.


If there's any editability to that, you could fashion a grayscale version, bake that, and then change the resulting map to a displacement map. Or possibly there's already a 'bump' component to that material that could be isolated and baked.
HomeSlice
Looks great so far Mark.
Please make sure that none of the characters' feet intersect that patch of grass inside the cave entrance.
I don't mind if you want to switch to blue fog.
One thing to remember though, we are in a fantasy world. We don't have to mimic the real world. It only has to be "real enough" for a tin man, a talking scarecrow and a little girl with an over-active imagination.
mtpeak2
Ok, I spent way too much time on the rock textures. I tried adding a displacement map, but the render times went up too high, so bump maps it is. Now I can work on the trees. Oh, and I decided not to change the fog color.

robcat2075
The grain on that texture matches the flow of the rock a bit better.

What is "too long" to render? Is there an established target?
largento
Very cool looking! Has a definite fairy tale feel to it. Coolness, Mark!
Gerry
Nice detail, nice palette! The tree bark on the foremost tree is amazing. Is that a material?

It would be nice if the silhouette of the big rock had some more subtlety to it. Its profile feels a little blunt for the feel of the rest of the scene. But that's a quibble. Nice work!
itsjustme
Great stuff, Mark!
mtpeak2
Thanks.

Here's an update render. Rendered is 22m33s. I'm calling this set done. It's time to move on to the next one.

Commiting to SVN.

mtpeak2
Next is the cornfield set, where they meet Scarecrow.
mtpeak2
Here's what I have for the cornfield set, still things to do though. I'm really fighting with the lighting, but it is what it is. The camera angles do not do justice for this set. There aren't many trees, not needed for the camera angle used. Here are a few pics of the scene and one from a different angle to show what I mean.

Shelton
Mark

I think it looks beautiful. Great job

Steve

mtpeak2
Thanks Steve.

Here's the cornstalk textured.

I'm calling this set done, for now. Now onto the waterfall set.

mtpeak2
Here's the start of the chasm, where they walk across the rope bridge.

HomeSlice
Looking good Mark. Can you please make the water look more like a fast moving river? I realize this is a singe frame, but it still looks much too tranquil for a dangerous river which sweeps Scarecrow away to a giant waterfall.
itsjustme
Great stuff, Mark!
mtpeak2
Thanks guys.

Holmes, I haven't done anything to the water, didn't know if I needed to. I'll see what I can do. Roaring rapids are going to be tough. I don't think any of the scenes have this camera angle, they are more of an over head shot. Unfortunately bump materials aren't going to do it. It's going to need a displacement material.
HomeSlice
Mark, You're right, the river isn't really seen that much. As you can see, my quick attempt isn't quite a roaring river smile.gif. I just thought maybe you could improve it since you are already working on the set. But it would probably be OK the way it is.
mtpeak2
I haven't had much time to work on the sets, so it's going a bit slow. I hit a wall with the chasm set, I haven't come up with a good foliage material. So I took a break from that to work on the waterfall set.

I'm really having trouble with these sets, the lighting is not helping me at all. It seems most of the scenes have back lighting, which tend to make hair foliage turn very dark. So I'm not sure what to do.

Anyway, here's a render of the falls.

HomeSlice
QUOTE
It seems most of the scenes have back lighting, which tend to make hair foliage turn very dark. So I'm not sure what to do.

It would probably help to do test renders from the actual camera angles used in the scene, since that's how they will be seen. That will also help to show you the areas you don't have to texture - because they won't be seen. ( If anyone wants to change camera angles at this late stage of the production, they can add any missing textures themselves wink.gif
mtpeak2
I've done test renders from the camera angles of the scenes, that's where I'm having the issues. It doesn't matter, it is what it is.

As for the texturing, I'm just retexturing areas that are already textured. I haven't added any new props to the sets. And the hair foliage is applied to groups that have been already made. I've been going through the chors, not the set models, to see what need to be done, then I'll modify the models. I'm trying to do as little as possible so I can move onto the next set.

For now this sets done and now onto the next. Pessim's land would be next, but I looked through the chors and I'm not sure what's going on in there. So bumpyman's house set is next.

Truthfully I feel like I'm wasting my time. With minimal response to the renders I've posted, I don't even know if it's an improvement or not.
robcat2075
One thing that might help to make the vegetation look more "there" is to darken the ground around where they sprout out. A little fake occlusion is we don't have time to render occlusion.
mtpeak2
Thanks Robert, I'll see what I can do with that.
mtpeak2
I may have come up with a solution to the hair foliage problem. I'll have to test it in on other set.

KenH
That looks like a better version of Bumpymans house. Nice improvements on all of them.
Shelton
I like the vines on the wall. It is what you would expect to see.

The grass area / foliage looks nice as well. I like how it is less dense as it approaches the road area.

Steve

HomeSlice
QUOTE
Truthfully I feel like I'm wasting my time. With minimal response to the renders I've posted, I don't even know if it's an improvement or not.

I feel your pain brother. I've been working on this move at least a little bit every day for about two years and the responses I've gotten to various posts seem consistent with what you are getting as well. I figure either:
*People just don't care
*It is so awesome that the viewers are just speechless
*It is so horrible that the viewers are just speechless

Either way, I gotta love what I'm doing because that may be the only reward I ever get.

I think you are doing a fine job on improving the sets.
The renders of the first draft of the movie are almost done.
5 scenes still have to be animated (Ken is working on one and Robcat is working on one).
There is a water dripping effect in one scene and an oil pouring effect in another scene that still have to be done (If you want to tackle any of those, please be my guest!).
There are three scenes that may need a couple of touch-ups, and everything else is rendered. I just have to edit it all together.
After we get a chance to critique the draft render, then we can re-render the backgrounds with your new sets.
I bet everyone will notice a sizable improvement between to old sets and the new ones.
KenH
QUOTE
5 scenes still have to be animated


So that means only three scenes unassigned? That's encouraging!
MJL
QUOTE
QUOTE
Truthfully I feel like I'm wasting my time. With minimal response to the renders I've posted, I don't even know if it's an improvement or not.

I feel your pain brother. I've been working on this move at least a little bit every day for about two years and the responses I've gotten to various posts seem consistent with what you are getting as well. I figure either:
*People just don't care
*It is so awesome that the viewers are just speechless
*It is so horrible that the viewers are just speechless

Either way, I gotta love what I'm doing because that may be the only reward I ever get
.

My experience with A:M and this forum began just about 2 years ago. I had never been involved with an online forum of any kind before. (Come to think of it this is the only forum I am involved in.)
I visit it several times every day and click the "view new posts" tag each time.

I have notice several trends, one of which is what you are talking about.

Newbies are children. They are coddled, cajoled, nurtured with as much support as can be given. then we have the teenagers (figuratively) exploring the same old things with brand new eyes, and we have the mature adults who just do. . . well, what adults do.

The things that I see from you adults (speaking from a toddler's perspective) mostly overwhelm me. I am struggling so hard to grasp the things that I am currently working on within A:M that the level that you guys are operating in is another realm that is almost mystical. Just like kids just expect "Dad" to perform miracles on a regular basis as easily as breathing, spectacular is the baseline for anything that we see expect from you.

I'm stalled (busy work life) just before installing my first rig for my first character for my first animation, and quite frankly I'm intimidated as all get out.

As a performing artist, yes I want the applause, but I rehearse in private. I write, and record in private. Maybe the analogy doesn't hold, but I'm just saying that you can't build your art leaning to heavily on what response you get. It can be false anyway.

Mark, these sets look spectacular, but spectacular is what you ALWAYS do. Maybe a little more before and after, so we can see better what you've done.

Holmes, you're startin to get the hang of a few things. biggrin.gif With a little more practice you'll get there.

The mortals are reluctant to criticize those who dwell on Mt. Olympus

See you in the movies.

P. S. : Then you have the eccentric aunt who mumbles to herself, wears funny hats and. . . . Oh! Hi Nancy.. . . biggrin.gif
robcat2075
QUOTE(mtpeak2 @ May 16 2010, 06:33 PM) *
I may have come up with a solution to the hair foliage problem. I'll have to test it in on other set.



What sort of lighting environment is this intended to be? Is it a forest with trees overhead or open daylight or...?
robcat2075
QUOTE
I've been working on this move at least a little bit every day for about two years
Holmes, I really do admire that. I find it grindingly hard to stay focused on large projects these day. I wish you could bottle that focus you've got.



QUOTE(mtpeak2 @ May 16 2010, 06:33 PM) *
I may have come up with a solution to the hair foliage problem. I'll have to test it in on other set.



What sort of lighting environment is this intended to be? Is it a forest with trees overhead or open daylight or...?



NancyGormezano
QUOTE(MJL @ May 17 2010, 08:50 AM) *
P. S. : Then you have the eccentric aunt who mumbles to herself, wears funny hats and. . . . Oh! Hi Nancy.. . . biggrin.gif


WHAT !!!!?? I do NOT mumble. I may wobble, dribble & babble. But only my older, now surely going deaf, imaginary play-pals tell me I mumble. I can hear THEM quite clearly.

(As for eccentric: At one time, a realtor in Eugene, Oregon told me I was eccentric...even for Eugene. Sigh...)

HomeSlice
QUOTE
Holmes, I really do admire that. I find it grindingly hard to stay focused on large projects these day. I wish you could bottle that focus you've got.

Thanks Robcat. Hey, I'll trade you - a bottle of focus for a bottle of talent! smile.gif
Paul Forwood
The sets all look amazing except for one thing, (personal opinion of course). The hard boundaries that are created between various components can be a little too unnatural for my eye. They may work better when the camera is moving but in the still images it is always these areas that I find myself wanting to soften or hide. It is a balancing act of huge proportions laying out a set and it sure saves alot of time if you know before hand where the camera will be.
You are all doing a great job! smile.gif
HomeSlice
QUOTE(Paul Forwood @ May 18 2010, 03:10 AM) *
The sets all look amazing except for one thing, (personal opion of course). The hard boundaries that are created between various components can be a little too unnatural for my eye. They may work better when the camera is moving but in the still images it is always these areas that I find myself wanting to soften or hide. It is a balancing act of huge proportions laying out a set and it sure saves alot of time if you know before hand where the camera will be.
You are all doing a great job! smile.gif


Thanks Paul.
It might help Mark a bit more if you tell what specific sets and areas are grabbing your attention.
wedgeeguy
I believe that everything related to SO is looking a lot better. Sets, animations, continuity ... everything is looking really, really nice. The special effects at the waterfall is AMAZING! ... I can almost feel the spray as I watch it.

Bruce
mtpeak2
Thanks.

Getting close on the chasm set. The rope needs to be redone, not sure what's going on there and I may reposition the trees.

itsjustme
Looks great so far, Mark!
Shelton
Mark

The vegetation looks great. I love the variety of color.

I am sorry I don't comment more or more constructive comments for you and Holmes and the rest. But I am like Myron, I feel wierd on making comments when I can not do anything like what you guys are doing.

Once again great job to all on this project.

Steve

HomeSlice
Looks great Mark.
QUOTE
and I may reposition the trees.

If you do, please make absolutely certain you do not move a tree so some action in one of the choreograhies is hidden. I actually did that with the big willow tree several months ago ... It was one of those Doh! moments.

mtpeak2
Thanks.

Holmes, I was just going to spread out the trees behind Scarecrow so they weren't so lined up.
robcat2075
Possible things to try...

- a slight amount of fog to make things less stark. This would need to be a consistent strategy thru the whole movie however.

- a different or softer color scheme of the rocks at the bottom. Right now they are the most contrasty thing in the shot. Maybe brownish and white instead of black and white. or maybe gray and white. or maybe black and brownish.

- slightly lighter color for the ropes so they are a more graphic presence in the composition. Hemp ropes would be yellowish or greenish?
JavierP
QUOTE(mtpeak2 @ May 16 2010, 08:10 AM) *
Truthfully I feel like I'm wasting my time. With minimal response to the renders I've posted, I don't even know if it's an improvement or not.

Hi Mark,
As a long-time AM user, I feel somewhat ashamed of not being more actively involved in this wonderful project. I truly admire your efforts, as well as that of the dedicated few that have been working on this movie. I check on the progress daily. I can say that you have definitely made improvements to the sets and the increase in overall quality is easily noticed.
If I could offer any critique it would be that the saturation seems too low, and the lighting does not complement the composition of the scene. I don't know how these sets are lit, but it seems like an increase in color and intensity of the key light would do a lot. I think a warmer more intense key light coupled with some bluish haze would really make the scene pop. Also it would help if the lights focused on the area of action surrounding the scarecrow more. I hope the attached image explains what I am trying to say more clearly.
Once again, you are doing a great job. I apologize if anything I've said has been out of line.

Javier

Click to view attachment

P.S. - I would be willing to help with lighting scenes if it is needed. However I am unsure how the system works regarding the handling of files and such. I am also willing to upgrade if it is necessary.
HomeSlice
QUOTE
P.S. - I would be willing to help with lighting scenes if it is needed. However I am unsure how the system works regarding the handling of files and such. I am also willing to upgrade if it is necessary.

Well Javier, that would be great if you want to spend the time to light these scenes well. That is a lot of work. Please read these directions in order to download all the data. I think it is 3-4GB of data you will have to download. It would be good if you upgrade to the latest version.
http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=32558

If you have any questions, please ask.
JavierP
QUOTE(HomeSlice @ May 19 2010, 11:33 PM) *
QUOTE
P.S. - I would be willing to help with lighting scenes if it is needed. However I am unsure how the system works regarding the handling of files and such. I am also willing to upgrade if it is necessary.

Well Javier, that would be great if you want to spend the time to light these scenes well. That is a lot of work. Please read these directions in order to download all the data. I think it is 3-4GB of data you will have to download. It would be good if you upgrade to the latest version.
http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=32558

If you have any questions, please ask.


Are there any scenes that have not been lit yet? I realize it would be a lot of work to redo the lighting, but I think we can get good results by simply adjusting the setups that are there. That was my original intent. Are there scenes that have been considered finalized, as far as lighting is concerned?
Thanks.
HomeSlice
QUOTE
Are there any scenes that have not been lit yet? I realize it would be a lot of work to redo the lighting, but I think we can get good results by simply adjusting the setups that are there. That was my original intent. Are there scenes that have been considered finalized, as far as lighting is concerned?
Thanks.

As far as I am concerned, the only set that would probably be off limits is the "Tin Castle Throne Room" in the first couple of shots with Tin Man and Tin Girl. Nancy Gormezano lit that.
From my notes (someone please correct me if I'm wrong), Ken Heslip lit "Jinxland Castle Hallway", "Jinxland Castle Throne Room" and "Ocean Under Water". So I guess you would want to ask him if you want to work on any of those sets.
I did all the other ones, at least according to my notes (again, please correct me if I'm leaving anyone out). I don't mind at all if you want to improve any of the sets or scenes that I lit.

A couple of notes on the lighting:
* All scenes, including sets, characters, lights, effects and everything else, should render in Under 1 Hour per frame at 720x405 with 9 Passes (on a 2.8GHz procesor). A few frames in some of the current scenes are already taking a little longer than that but 98% of the frames are currently rendering in 5-30 minutes (well, I'm not sure about that anymore since Mark has been re-doing the textures - But hopefully in most cases you will have plenty of wiggle room to work with.)

* The lighting in most sets is handled three ways.
- The general lighting is done in an Action (usually named set_name_Lighting.act). That Action is saved somewhere in the same folder as the set (Data/Sets/set name/). If you want to make lighting changes that affect every scene that uses a particular set, make changes in the lighting Action. This is slow, awkward and tedious, but at the time it seemed like the best way to ensure consistency in a multi-year multi-person project where many shots use the same set. ( I am beginning to think that doing all the set lighting in seperate Models, instead of in Actions, may be a better route)
- Shot-specific lights are added in the Choreographies instead of in the Action. These lights are mostly used for illuminating the actors and things that don't stay in one spot.
- Many sets also use Global Ambiance and Image Based Lighting. These can only be set in a Choreography. So in order to change the GA or IBL that affects all scenes that use a particular set, you have to open every project that uses the set and make changes there. Here is a pdf file that tells what project files each set is used in: Click to view attachment

* If you try something an it crashes A:M or causes some kind of problem, try something else. There is not anyone available to fix these issues. You are it smile.gif If I am rendering a scene and it is causing problems, I will probably just roll back to the previous version of the set/scene.

* Many of the scenes (in the second half of the movie) are set up to render separate foreground/background/shadow passes. The lighting must be active no matter which models are active or inactive in a Choreography. For this reason, many Choreographies have one or more "Dummy" models onto which the lighting Actions are applied.

* Images used in IBL do not import if you only open a Choreography that uses Image Based Lighting. You have to open a Project file in order for the IBL image to import correctly.

* Please keep notes for Global Ambience/IBL and Fog settings for each project. I will need to update my render log (and netrender) with your changes.

* Please do a 720x405, 9-Pass render of each set you light and post the picture so I will know when doing test renders if what I am getting is what you intended.
mtpeak2
What I have done so far shouldn't raise the render times too much.
KenH
My lighting more functional in those sets....except for the underwater cave. By that I mean I put lights where there were physical lights in the scene. I don't mind any of it being tinkered with. As long as it makes it look better. wink.gif I do like what you did with the rope bridge set. We mustn't rule out post processing also.

But if you haven't been keeping up with the SVN server, you'll have a big download ahead of you.
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