Virus is everywhere
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Virus is everywhere

When a men start to freaking out...

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Update - 28 Oct 2020

This is it
Here we are
The final editing is done.

I did my best, even if it wasn't my best.
But in the allotted time, it's not so bad !

I hope you'll enjoy it !
In the end, I had a lot of fun, even though I often complain about the lack of time, it's a very good exercise !

It motivates me to animate more and more !  The idea of bringing characters to life and creating new stories full of powerful messages is what I like the most. I can't wait to learn more !

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Update - 28 Oct 2020

- DAY 9 -
[PART 2]

Animation process :
I usually split my workspace in half. You can see the different steps of my work in the following images :

[1.] : Camera view.
[2.] : Perspective view.
[3.] : My animations layers.
When it says [name]_all, it means I gathered all the controllers of a character. (It allows me to block easily.)
When it says [name]_anything_else, it means I gathered some controllers that I wanted to animate specifically. (Like breathing animation, lips synch animation, hair animation, etc...)
[4.] : I added audio in my maya scene to synchronise sound effects with my animations.
[5.] : In the camera view, I checked only two elements : Polygons and Image Planes.
Then, in the following boxes I checked [Textured], [Use all light] and [Shadows], to get closer to a rendered image in my viewport.
[6.] : In the Perspective view, you can see :
- My fake background (as an Image Plane) ;
- The camera shot and its aim ;
- Characters & props in references ;
- And finally four lights : one Skydome and tree Area Lights (because I wanted to render it with Arnold).

My attempt to “try to render it but it didn't” :

My goal was to recover shadows of characters, I had two ideas :
- In the Area Light Shape, there is a specific option in light filters named : Light Blocker, that create a kind of gizmo (or invisible box, in green in image). Inside this shape, light is excluded.
EXCEPT THAT I clearly didn’t have time to set up everything to render it, so I tried this Light Blocker, but it didn’t work in viewport, because it requested a render process to calculateI didn't knew it, now I do haha.

- I could use another technic, with AOV, but it still need to be render.

So I ended skipping shadows, and try to give a style with only lighting.

Lighting :

I try to follow the rules of “three-point lighting”.
As I wrote above, I use four lights : one Skydome and tree Area lights.
- The Skydome one, is supposed to give ambiance and check the white point.
- And the tree Area are supposed to be a Key, Fill (or Ream) and a Back Light.
While knowing that have to fit with the background image!
I could probably do better, but I’m running out of time once again.

Fake render process :

So, as I obviously can't manage to do what I want. I decide to use a fake rendering but clean enough for a "final rendering" : Playblast it.
I playblast my animations in three different ways :
- one with the boxes [textured], [use all light] and [Shadows] enabled & the background.
- one with only the background & characters
- and one without the background, only characters.

Of course I pushed the playblast settings :
- A Quicktime format in H.264
- 100% Quality
-  Scale to 1
- Display size from render settings : in HD 1080.

In the end, I'm going to do some compositing in After Effect.
I think I can try one last time to make a fake character shadow. Otherwise, I'll polish the rendering with color corrections and of course a re-cut to accentuate the funny side of the mini-scenes.

Update - 28 Oct 2020

- DAY 9 -

Well, good morning, good evening,

This is the last day of this contest and I will give everything to go as far as I can !

Blocking is in progress :

The first three shot are blocked, there are two left, then splining. 
I think I can do it !
Unfortunately I think it will be difficult to make renderings... 

Update - 26 Oct 2020

- DAY 8 -

Find Characters :
I clearly don't have enough time to create my own characters concept, create textures and rig it. Too bad, it's something I really enjoy beside animation!
So I've opted for two rigs of Gabriel Salas : Sam & David.
I added a surgical mask on Sam, a pair of sunglasses on David and I modified the texture of his t-shirt.

I created some elements that will emphasise some scenes. I built these props and developped their UV in Maya. Then I textured them in Subtance Painter.

About the background :

Well, as usual, time is always missing, I chose to use free background pictures !

I took pictures on Unsplash and Pixabay.
There are the links :

But Gabriel's characters are cartoon ones, and these pictures are too realistic.
So I decided to open them in Photoshop, added a Crosshatch Filter in the gallery and a Surface Blur.
I ended with a light blur effect and a cartoon style, just what I wanted !

Then I'll create an optical illusion using perspective between characters and these picture's plane in my maya scenes.

Blocking Frame 01 :

I usually start blocking  one short after the other, but this time I didn't do it that way. Indeed as they are mini-scenes, I firslty wanted to settle all of the starting frames of my five shots, just to set up all scenes and have a global point of view of my work.

Just like that, posing characters and cameras was done !
(Even if 
there will be modifications and adjustments.)

Next step :

I had to block these five shots as soon as possible and then start to add some lights, that will be matching with background pictures.
I'm wondering If I'll be able to render it, I'll do my best !

Update - 19 Oct 2020

- DAY 1 -

Find a Story :
I want something funny, that makes people laugh or at least smile of the situation.
Because I'm tired of this paranoid madness.
In one hand it's really important to be aware and to respect instructions. This virus kills for the Good Lord !
On the other hand, too much is too much.

The message :
"Stop freaking out, even if you wear warm clothes, if you respect social distancing, wear facial mask correctly, wash your hands or use hydro alcoholic gel often... Even if you don’t get the corona virus, winter is coming and you have more risks to get sick (like cold, soare throat, etc…) because of the weather, and after that your immune system will decrease and you could be more exposed.
Maybe we shall all start freaking out after all.
Just kidding.
Keep following the corona virus guidance of your government, re-think your close friends/family, 
wear soft and warms pyjamas and (the last but not the least) take care of yourselves.
We’ll get out of this madness soon".

Look after references : 
I've watched several videos that could involve lockdown jokes but I didn't find what I wanted.
So I've started to look after video that makes me laugh. And I figure it out that if I combine two videos and replace some elements : It could become comical and spoke about quarantine time.
Therefore I'm going to use a part of the first episode of "Zelduh : Wild Breath" by Carbot Animation.
And an extract of a late night talk show of Eric Andre : Near the DNC, Philadelphia.
An hilarious meme btw !

Details :
In the video "Zelduh" :
>The weird old man is going to be a kind of corona virus personification.
>And Link is going to be a random guy who's developping psychotic behaviours.

And in the Eric Andre's video :
>Eric is going to be the same guy that become crazy.

Calculating time :
[Self-remember : 240 frames maximum (24 FPS) /OR/ 300 frames maximum (30 FPS)]
Firstly, I wanted to separate shots by shots and know how many frames I had to show in each scene.

I obtained something like that :
-Shot 01 : holding something [65 FRAMES]
-Shot 02 : open box [43 FRAMES]
-Shot 03 : shaking moment + ( 2 breath instead of 4) [40 FRAMES]
-Shot 04 : running in room / just ejected [105 FRAMES]
-Shot 05 : look up in box and let me in [80 FRAMES ]
> 333 frames / that's too much.

I ended with not enough time. I had to cut scenes that breaks comprehension.
So I minded that I’ll make my final decision at the editing.
I’ll do every shot with a frame number estimation.
And then, in PremierePro I’ll edit the video to arrange it in the 300 frames limit. Maybe it will get even funnier.

Start blocking references in 2D :
Thanks to Syncsketch, a really cool online reviewing media website,  I've start blocking poses of the 2D animation to ease my 3D blocking (and timing of course).
I've recorded the references video with my phone, but the quality isn't so good... I'm not sure that I want to show that, ha ha.

Let's just post a capture of the inner work with some explanations !

So at the [1.] you can see this is the media I uploaded on the website, it's the video of Cabot Animation.
At the [2.] there is a timeline with keys in yellow. If there is a large space between an amount of keys, it's because I didn't use all of his 2D animations. We only have 10 seconds.
And at the [3.], there is an orange line, that's my sketch over the video.

Now my 2D sketches are done, I can reduce opacity of the original video to focuse more on the orange lines that create poses and blocking.
Then, with a frame by frame option I'll be able to use these sketches to do my 3D blocking.

Oh, and I have to choose a rig now! I think I'll use Maya.