February 14, 2005 archives

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February 14, 2005

LSGL work session #4

by sven at 11:36 pm

Time in studio: 1 hr



One of the big projects during the past few months has been to upgrade from Mac OS 10.1.2 to 10.3.8. Big leap! I've held off a very long time because it's absurdly bad luck to make big changes in your computer while you're in the middle of a project.

But then, I started "Let Sleeping Gods Lie" (originally "The Cave") back in 2003. I didn't think it would be a three year project!

Well, at the Mac Salon in January I finally couldn't stand it anymore. I think the straw that broke my back was that the Delicious Monster website wouldn't even let me look at the info on Delicious Library, since I didn't have the right OS to run it. I said "do it now!", and Gretchin -- my wonderful sys admin -- installed 10.3 then and there.

[Being able to stream iTunes wirelessly from the studio was another killer app that I could no longer live without.]

Ah, but there have bumps along the way.

One casualty of the transition has been my Classic copy of Quark Express. It still runs on Confessor [the laptop] -- but Planet Camino [the workhorse] chokes and barfs when it tries to open up OS 9. I can still do Quark on the laptop if I want, then... But all my previous storyboards have been in Quark, and they're saved on Camino. Juggling the files over to the laptop? Inconvenient. I want to be doing all my movie work on one computer, thanks.

Tonight, after the Artist's Way meeting, I went directly to The Tentacle Room (AKA "the Lab") to put in an hour on LSGL. I'm realizing that it's time to review the storyboard again -- both in light of the footage of actors that I have now, and in light of new ideas about what direction I want to take the story in. So I had to find a new way to do storyboards.

I hadn't realized, but I can just drag and drop JPEGs into OS X Microsoft Word. Sizing the pics and then sticking them into a table should do the trick, at least for now. Exporting stills out of my most recent rough cut (the "pacing" draft), happily, is a breeze in QuickTime Pro.

Got about half of a new, revised storyboard completed. Also printed from the studio for the first time. [The printer has moved to the other house, up to the office.]

One of my next steps is going to have to be editing the storyboard -- drawing new pictures for the new animation shots I want to add.

Next Steps:

posted by sven | permalink | categories: let sleeping gods lie, movies

Back at work on "Let Sleeping Gods Lie"

by sven at 2:25 pm

I've just gone back to work on "Let Sleeping Gods Lie" this week...

I had just been thinking to myself, "Huh... Wouldn't it be nice if I had a blog dedicated to the creation process?" -- when Gretchin brought up the idea of creating a Scarlet Star Studios blog. What fortuitous timing! So Sven's straining eagerness helped, um, gently nudge this thing into existence.

For the sake of of continuity, I'm going to cut'n'paste some notes in here that I wrote earlier this week:

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Sat down at Camino to look at "Let Sleeping Gods Lie" for the first time since October. I have some new thoughts about process... It looks like very little can be automated on this flick. Every dang special effects shot has to be given unique attention. ...And that includes arranging the 3D set and populating it with critters (set dressing). Not as bad as it sounds: putting the backgrounds in sans critters first actually feels like it would be an achievable step, upon which I could build.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Lovecraft update...

Last night: 1 hr.

FInally figured out how to attach the arms. Spline draw (16 sided); copy the squre polys from where it will attach; connect the points of the square to the circular base by hand.

Also did a test to see if I could do my saturation / hue shift in After Effects. Yes! This is very important, since for some reason I thought back around October that I was going to have to batch process image sequences in PhotoShop -- which would have taken simply forever.

Today: 2 hrs.

Did a fairly successful test animation of an eye opening. The eyelid was made using spline draw, then the lathe tool. I wind up having something that looks like a round vase. Then I created endomorphs for the shut and open positions. Needs tweaking -- but proof of concept is there.

Also took an old one-fifth version of the Elder Thing, and posed it to see what it would look like standing up. I arranged four more in Lightwave in order to get the full creature. I got it standing up OK, but having to deal with five limbs is making me wonder if I ought to scale down to a three sided creature. That would make me sad -- I've been holding out on the five-sided issue, and only gave in simplifying the arms with great grief.

Tried to see if I could apply the neon-gothic style to the cave in Modeler, in the surface editor. No luck. I can add a layer to the texture's color (gradient, multiply, aqua) and get an approximation of the ice cave's look -- but without the effect of hyper-saturation present in the original process, it all comes out looking flat. Oh well; as long as the color can be tweaked in AfterEffects instead of PhotoShop, I'm a happy camper.

posted by sven | permalink | categories: let sleeping gods lie, movies

the pretty scroll paper

by gl. at 1:08 pm

it's valentine's day. welcome to the new scarlet star studios blog!

i received an email today: "Hi there. Are you the person who writes sentiments on the pretty scroll paper with the calligraphy writing? I would like something made. Please write back."

why yes! i am the person who writes sentiments on the pretty scroll paper! i should add that to my business card:

Gretchin Lair
Writes sentiments on the pretty scroll paper
Artist's Way facilitator

whee! :)

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: administrivia, calligraphy