Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Updates Continue ...

Sooo ... now there's time for some updates on my personal work!

I've been working on some new animations during the Summer semester, along with trying to work out the kinks of old animations from last semester. Essentially, much of my time has been dedicated to correcting every one of my mistakes from before. Admittedly, I didn't begin to seriously animate until I began at FIEA in August.

 Though, when I look back to how terrible some of my earlier animations were, I see how far I have come during this entire experience! Because Cohort 12 only has three animators, we each got a lot of individualized attention from Jonathan on how we could strengthen our pieces. That, and we do our fair share of harassing during his office hours. Hehe. In between all of that, we do our best to help each other by giving one another feedback on our animations and showing each other new tools & tricks to help the process along.

When you're here at FIEA for so long, you can really start depending on your fellow artists to help you along and show you new skills, and vice versa. One of the most important things you can develop during this program is a solidarity among the members of your track. Having that support and openness is one of the most valuable things you can have, and it's great having that sense of security. 


You probably recognize this dude by now. It's likely that I'll never be done with him. LOL. His lip flaps are finalized now, and what I have left to do is to smooth out some of his actions & his graph editor. THEN HE'LL FINALLY BE COMPLETE.

Now that Ley Lines has reached their art freeze, I've been working a lot more on this animation in the last few days. This isn't the current version, but it's still a lot better than how it used to be. Likewise, the graph editor has to be cleaned further & her motions refined. That's currently in progress.

This animation is proving to me how WONDERFUL the Malcolm rig truly is and how the animation picker has already spoiled me. It's wonderful. omg. This is also one of my smoothest animations so far! Some areas are still blocked in, though, so it's a matter of finding the time to refine the existing movement and build on it some more.

For my demo reel, I needed a piece of dialogue where there was an obvious change of emotion. Originally, I wanted to do a line from Persona 4 Arena: Ultimax that had a shift between happy to annoyed, buuut ... Atlus' sound mixing isn't the best and I couldn't get rid of the BG music. So! I still kept to my inner weeb and did a line from Persona 4: The Animation. This is it in its blocked in phase, sO DON'T JUDGE ME.

As for Common Core ... soon, I'll be able to get to work on that too. We had to revamp the project and seriously decrease on scope. It was more of a matter of what was feasible for each of us to work on in the time we had left. Capstone clearly was the most important thing for us to dedicate the majority of our time to, then Specialization, so we had to just be realistic with the amount of hours we had to work with. We promise, though, it's going to be great! We're gonna aim for something that's pretty close to the opening credits of Deadpool, where the poses are freeze-framed/slow-motion and the camera's dynamic as heckie. With all the talented artists we have on our team, it's gonna look nothing short of awesome. :3c

For this project, did Miria's body rig! Here's one of the earlier version of her. She was updated a little while ago, so I'll show that video off another time.

Aaaand that's it, for now. : D 

WOWIE. Summer Updates!

... because this term has been so busy that there honestly hasn't been the time to regularly update.

Summertime has been a testament of trying to balance Capstone and my specialization. Clearly, Capstone's important because it's ... well, Capstone. It's the biggest project that anyone will be working on during the FIEA program and accounts for the majority of your experience developing a full-scale game. As an artist, your specialty is also important because it accounts for the majority of your portfolio pieces. There comes the difficulty of having to devote equal amounts of time to both of these things, and trying to squeeze in work for Common Core Art because that requires an almost equal amount of love.

Some weeks, Capstone had to be the focus and my Animation tests suffered - and vice versa. About halfway into the semester, I found this balance in spending my Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday exclusively for Capstone work, and the other four days divided up between Specialization and Common Core (usually Specialization gets almost all the attention, though ...). In any case! There's a lot of things to update on! This post is going to be about the majority of my Capstone work, and another post will be about my Specialization & Common Core. Hehe.

All of my animation for the Ley Ls game (save for one or two last - minute assets) have been completed for Capstone! Vala, the Minion (we call her "Morty"), and the Boss (we named her "Brittney", lol) are done for the game! Implementation is still going on for Brittney ... along with some tweaking with her programatically - animated body (it's really cool!). Overall, though, things are done for these characters right now.

Along with being the 3D animator for the Ley Lines game, I've also become one of the 2D artists for the game. In an effort to add in more context / story into our game, I drew the bookend cinematics for Ley Lines. They were written & voiced by our Project Lead, Matt. The overall wording for this is subject to be tweaked within the next week or two, but the images aren't going to change!

Since we wanted to avoid the previous hell of implementing video into the Unreal engine, I ended up rigging up up separate planes for each section of the cinematic and animating these sections in Maya. This results in a Motion Graphic that is more cost - effective and saves us any headaches with implementation. The only cost is the absence of nifty transitions between the images.

I've also been in charge of much of the UI for Ley Lines. I've been working on each of the needed screens for the game, and some minor elements for the in-game display.

Along with all of this, I've been working on some of our promotional materials. That mostly included building our website & making business cards to pass out at play testing. :B

The good news of this all? During this whole process, Ley Lines has been greenlit on Steam! We're hoping to release the game once we get our legal ducks in order. ♥ PLZ PLAY OUR GAME. OKAY.