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Production Log for HA12 - Marionette

Date post: 05-Aug-2015
Author: magicalpotato9000
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I was tasked with creating an animation of my choice in NewTek Lightwave, the animation had to be at least a minute long and it had to have some decent detail in it. I decided on creating an animation with a vehicle, specifically, with a spacecraft. I went onto TurboSquid and had a look at some good models that I could go off on and create my animation with. This one was the one that caught my eye and I decided to use it. While looking for a model there were of course certain criteria that had to be met. I needed a model that is detailed, but not detailed a lot so that there wouldn’t be that many polygons which could extend the rendering times greatly. I also had to look for elements within the model that would be used in the animation itself, the model I chose, in a perfect world, had to have landing gears as well as a set of weapons. Unforunately this one didn’t have those, but it had a low polygon count as well as the general shape and look that I wanted, so I went with it anyway.

1. I was taskedwithcreatingananimation of mychoice inNewTekLightwave,the animationhadtobe at leasta minute longandit hadto have some decentdetail init. Idecidedoncreatingan animation witha vehicle,specifically,withaspacecraft. I wentontoTurboSquidandhad a lookat some goodmodelsthatI couldgo off on and create my animationwith. Thisone wasthe one that caughtmy eye andI decidedtouse it.While lookingfora model there were of course certaincriteriathathadto be met.I neededamodel thatisdetailed,but not detailedalotsothat there wouldntbe thatmanypolygonswhichcouldextendthe rendering timesgreatly.Ialsohad to lookforelementswithinthe model thatwouldbe usedinthe animation itself,the model Ichose,inaperfectworld,hadtohave landinggearsas well asa set of weapons. Unforunatelythisone didnthave those,butithada low polygoncountaswell asthe general shape and lookthatI wanted,soI wentwithit anyway. 2. I thenhoppedintomodellerandhada lookaroundthe model itself,how doesitpresentitself,any glaringissueswithitthatwerentapparentonthe website oranypossible problemswithitif I wantedtoanimate it.I had to checkit againstthose criteriasandif itfailedanyof those I wouldbe inneedof replacingthe model.Howeveritpassedall of themandI was veryhappywiththe model itself. 3. I thenstartedaddingthe individualelementsneeded todothe animationthatthe model was initiallylackingwhenIdownloadedit.Firstoff,landinggearsatthe back. There was a large wing stickingoutinthe underbellyof the craftsoI decreaseditsheightalittle bitsothat the landinggears wouldntbe excessivelyoversized.Ithenextendedthemusingthe bevel andextrude tools,aswell as editedtheirsize lateronwithresize tools. I thenaddeda little bitof detail tothe landinggearssince Ifeltlike theywere insufficientatfirst, again,I usedextrude andbevel tocreate those additional shapes,Ialsomade the basesof the legs much thickerwiththe move andbevel tools. Icarefullyaddedthose detailsmakingsure thatI dont add toomuch otherwise the polygoncountcouldgetoutof control. 4. I thenmovedontocreatingthe frontlandinggearfor the animation. Again,Iwantedalittle bitof detail aswell assimilaritytothe twolandinggearsatthe back butI wantedto keepthe amountof polygonstoitsminimumsothatrenderingtimesforwhenthe animationiscompletedare keptto theirminimum. Overall Iwasprettyhappywiththe endresultonbothendsof the craft. 5. Afterthe landinggearsIhad to add some sort of weaponlike elementsontothe shipforthe animation.Idecidedto create themin3 differentpartsof the ship,one onthe underbelly,another one on the side andthe lastone on the top of the ship. Again,Ithoughtof exactinstructionswithin thisproject,the model itselfwasnotimportantwhile itwasall aboutthe animationandthe quality of it.I decide theninsteadof creatingpropermodelsforguns,whichwouldalsoincreasethe amountof polygonsIwouldjustcreate small bulgesandthe tiniestof detailinginordertomake themlooklike rocketpodsof sorts. Thissavedrendertimesaswell assavedme time and instead allowedme tofocuson the animationaspectof the project. 6. Last thingto do that wasveryimportantbefore Itransportedthe projectovertoLayout wasto add pivotpointswhichactuallyenabledthe shiptoperformthe animationthatitwassupposedto.I startedoff by cuttingeachelementthatwassupposedtomove andpastingitonto a differentlayer (as can be seeninthe top rightcorner).Thiswouldallow me tocreate individualpivot pointsforthe parts to move aroundfrom. 7. Here I create those earlymentionedpivotpoints,Imade sure that all of themare incorrect positionsandtestedeachone thoroughly,mistake wasnotanoptionsince correctingthe pivot pointsafterworking withtheminlayoutwouldbe incrediblyhardtodo. I addedpivotpointsfor thingslike the weaponpods,the landinggearsaswell asthe pilotscockpit. 8. Last but not least,before goingoff intoLayout,Icreatedtwoboxes,one wasthe piece of wall that wouldbe attackedbymy animatedcraftand shatter,the otherbox was supposedtoact as a piece of a landingpadforthe endof the animationwhere the craftlands. 9. Afterall the workwas done onthe modellerpart,itwastime to move the projectintolayoutand beginthe animationitself. Istartedoff withplacingall the objects,adjustingthe lightingtosuitthe scene andaddingthe ground plainbeneatheverything.Ialsosetupall the optionsproperly,suchas adjustinginhowmanyframespersecondthe animationwill be goingatas well asthe exact resolutionthatitsgoingtogo off from. 10. ThenI managedthe familygraph,I hadto set upeverylayerof parts underneathcertainotherparts inorder to make sure theyworkedtogether,forexample,all the layerswiththe landinggears, weaponsandcockpithad to be arrangedunderneaththe mainbodyof the spacecraftor otherwise theyfaceddetachmentfromthe mainshipwhenIstartedanimatingit. 11. I thendecidedthatthe base groundplainmade nosense inthe settingthatI am animatingmycraft inand therefore deletedit. 12. I thenhad a slightproblemwiththe wall thatwassupposedtobe destroyed,itseemeedthatthe originpointof the objectwascalculatedfalselyandthusIhad to delete itandcreate a new one on itsplace,thisone workwithoutan issue witheverythingworkingokay. 13. Thisis a screenshotshowingthe settingsforthe new wall andhow itsupposedtofall apart,itis set as a parts bodyandis specificallyorderedtoonlyfracture onthe last keyframe,610, at which pointthe ball hitsthe wall,thistherefore lookslikeitshattersfromthe impactof the ball. 14. I startedoff the animationwiththe shipflyingtowardsthe wall thatissupposedtobe destroyed, thenI animatedthe camerato follow the shipandstartto close in,the shipthenstopsright before the wall. By thistime the camera closesupto the shipand watchesitdeployitsweaponsystemsslowly. The camera thenzoomsback out againand the shipbeginstofire at the wall withall of itsweapons. 15. The shipthenfiresitsweaponsanddestroysthe wall ina swiftblow. 16. The shipthenbegins tofoldawayits weaponandthenstart to perform a quite complicated manevoure todoa barrell roll,there wasalotof animationandcamerawork involvedinthisandI had to re-dothe entire processacouple of timessince itdidntlooknatural the previoustime around.Overall howeverinthe endIwas veryhappywiththe general result. 17. Lastly,the shiplandedonthe landingpadafterthe menvoure,deployingitslandinggear,withthe camera zoomedinonthe underbellyonthe craftand thenzoomingouttoreveal a perspectiveshot of the entire spacecraftasthe cockpitopened. 18. Here is a graph showingthe movementsthatwere animated,overall Iamquite pleasedwiththe resultsandI thinkthat the animationiseffectiveandwell done.Ittooksome time tomake,as well as some trialsand errorsespeciallywiththe cameraworkbutI thinkitwas worthit inthe end. Overall Iam quite happywithhowthe productionforthisprojectwent,Ifeel like Ivelearnedalot and appliedthatknowledge asIwent.Iam alsoverywell pleasedwithhow the general animation came out,howit looksandhowit feels.