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June 7, 2007

lsgl: a big crowd of elder things

by sven at 11:59 pm

click on image to play clip (941 KB)

Having stirred up a heap of trouble, the explorers start heading back toward the cave entrance. Incidentally, this is the most Elder Things we've seen in a shot so far: 34 of them.

(Plogging is sort of like watching the dailies together, no?)

explorer in position A

I've come up with a new tool for helping me get the camera angle right while compositing. I created a box in Modeler that is 6 feet tall x 4 feet long. Six feet tall is how tall the explorers are. Four feet is approximately how long one human step is.

I focus on just one explorer while tweaking the camera. What I'm looking at, mostly, is where the top of his head is, and where the ball of his foot sits (I pick one foot to work with). The trick is to try to get the perceived height of the explorer in position A to match the perceived height of the box's rear face -- and similarly, to get the explorer in position B to match up with the height and position of the box's front face.

explorer in position B

Last month I did a little studying up on how artists simulate perspective. It turns out that the main trick is learning how to draw three-dimensional grids. Once you've made your 3D grid, all you have to do to draw an object in perspective is this: draw a cube that approximates the size of your object at the proper position in space, and then sculpt the cube (or several cubes) into the object that you actually want to draw.

My perspective tool is basically doing the job of one cube in a 3D grid. It's much easier to tweak the camera position, angle, and zoom by referencing a box, rather than an organic object... Still, I keep the lavamen stand-ins on hand to double-check my work.


Today I tried using media deprivation to help me stay focused: no music, all day!

Very effective... It was much easier to get into (and stay in) the semi-hypnotic state required to do animation. On the other hand, after ten hours that level of focus also starts making me a bit loopy.

Sven quote of the week:

I can see through time. That's what animators do.

posted by sven | June 7, 2007 11:59 PM | categories: let sleeping gods lie