Thank you all who made this possible, you helped improving Blender *and* brought to life cartoons for everybody to share around, learn and study from the files that will be on the USB Card.
Is it over? Not for one second. On the movie itself it might be but we’re still working around the clock to finish the release of the files and tutorials, expect news when we send them to print and get them ready to ship all over the globe.
Thank you once again for supporting and sharing Caminandes, you’re awesome. On behalf of Pablo, Francesco, Andy, Hjalti, Jan, Sergey, Juan Pablo and Beorn.
It is time to check if the names of our great supporters are correctly spelled. If you have pre ordered the film before October 12 2013, please check out the USB Card Pre-order Credit page and report any issue!
We would like to announce that on Friday 22nd of November, at 17hs Amsterdam time (Central European Time, GMT+1) we will publish the second episode of Caminandes online!
In order to celebrate all together, we are going to host a Google Hangout on Air. Everybody will be free to join and see our happy llama faces fill up with tears as we watch the whole new Caminandes play on YouTube. Cheer with us!
Hello fellow llama friends!
Exciting times for Caminandes. Everything is coming together, adding special effects and little animation tweaks here and there. Jan is writing music like a boss with a final edit that is 2 minutes 22 seconds! 10 of those seconds are for credits yes (ours and you awesome pre-orderers), but the rest is pure cartoon magic.
We’re so close to finishing, that we’re about to start recording tutorials/documentation for your delight! To get the best out of this, we need your input, what would you like to learn?
The topics we have in mind are:
Documentation / Tutorials:
Pipeline: Caminandes folder structure
Linking: Building a shot from scratch
Shaders: Koro’s Eye and highlights
Fur: How Koro’s particle systems are setup
Animation: Master Blinks
Rigging: Learn to use Koro’s rig
What do you think? Let us know if we’re missing an important topic. The ones listed above are those we believe can be explained efficiently (without becoming a training DVD :) Keep in mind we also have to deliver the film!
We are going through that moment where the blog becomes silent as the guys are super busy doing the last fixes to get the timing right (last edit is about 2 minutes 17 seconds!). So here is what we’re up to:
Pablo is in Mexico, working online and talking about Caminandes (blogpost coming soon)
Hjalti is back in Iceland polishing a couple of shots (animators’ fine details you know :)
Andy is back in Germany and wrapped up all the light/comp for the project (w00t!)
Jan is building a Tesla Tower for foley-ing multiple rainbows (OK not, but wouldn’t that be cool?)
Francesco is in Amsterdam, working on the new blender.org website wrapping up the production
It is now time for final renders! Thanks to our sponsor render.st we are able to render most of the film there. The process should take a few days.
During the next 2 weeks many more things will happen: sound production with Jan Morgenstern, tutorials recording, film credits! So, the production is still on track and we will soon announce the premiere and release dates.
To make characters appealing, it’s important to get the eyes right; and one of the most important aspects of appealing eyes is the right amount of specular highlight. In most cases the best position for a highlight is within the area of the iris, but not right in the pupil.
The best way to get this effect is of course by tweaking the actual lighting in the scene so it results in nice lively eyes. However this can lead to continuity issues, shadows start pointing into the wrong direction, etc. To solve this, the eye spec has to be separated from the scene light.
Since we’re making a cartoon we can bend reality a bit further, the specular reflection doesn’t have to be 100% in the same place as the scene lighting… BUT it still has to be believable.
In Big Buck Bunny for example, the highlight was a separate – specular only – light (often one for each of the characters) which enabled us to put it exactly in the right spot. This technique is still very fiddly and it takes a while (and a lot of re-rendering) to position the spec exactly where you want it.Another challenge: Since we render in Cycles there is no easy way to use light-groups, AND all our characters are linked into the shot files as groups – which means we cannot tweak material properties on a per-shot basis and per object, this gets a bit more tricky. But only a bit.
For Caminandes we chose a more flexible solution that allows us to control the highlight interactively in the compositor using normal passes (and for each shot).
In the character library file, define a material/object ID for the eye
In the shot file, render a Normal Pass for the entire image
Enable ID passes for objects/materials to isolate the eye from the rest of the image
Using the compositor, apply a color ramp on the dot product of the normal pass using the Normal node.
The Normal node is used to control the direction of the specular reflection, it needs a slight tweak to shift the vector around and make it more user-friendly.
Add the fake spec to the image by using the ID pass as a mask (or multiply the spec with the ID mask, and then add)
Sounds confusing? it’s actually a pretty simple once you get the concept. here is the setup:
Keeping daily blog posting roll, have a sneak peek at the very first shot in the movie!
In this shot, Koro still doesn’t have his facial animation, we’re working on it as well as blocking the remaining shots. Lots to go.
Today we tweaked the length of the last shot. We can safely say that Caminandes Ep. 2 has a total of 19 shots (yes, nineteen!) That’s more than twice Llama Drama, but only ~40% longer running time. This short has definitely much more action. Koro walks, runs, jumps, goes from happiness to fear, all in two minutes! (OK maybe will end up a tad longer, but still!)
If you like cartoons and open content, and would like to take a look at the production files or tutorials included, or just want to support a fun project, consider getting the USB Card or Digital Download. This will help us realize the project and the rest will be donated to Blender and the Blender Foundation.
Open Movie projects are not only about making open content, we have to improve the software as well. After all, this project is funded thanks to people like you, that use and/or love your own 3d software!
These are the changes we had in the last few days:
Shadeless view is important for many reasons, mostly for painting. On Blender Internal, to see a shadeless model you had to delete/move lamps off the view, cumbersome but at list it was possible. On Cycles, it wasn’t possible until now. Welcome Shadeless 3D View! [r60783]