As mentioned online, I have a few days off and have decided to try my hand at animation. Below is the first attempt at putting together a short animation. This first clip is just over a minute long, and is cobbled together from a number of short tests of lip synching and simple animation. Each piece of lip synching has been rendered from two or three angles with one of each of them being added to the clip.
No amount of post editing has been done, this is all very raw and should be viewed more as an animatic than an actual animation. Each clip rendered has a second or so at the beginning and end to give some extra space for the editor to make their cut.
Sound hasn’t been balanced and some of the clips have the higher quality recording while others have the lower-quality mono sound clip used during the lip sync.
Some parts have been rendered using 3Delight others OpenGL. I first rendered everything in OpenGL to test, and roughly 3 minutes of animation was done on the first day; on the second day I rerendered a few parts in 3Delight, and on the third day I began testing green screens as a way of inserting animated visuals into the vliewscreens, for example, and for providing the Mission Log segment where the captain is onscreen providing the episode’s background. I took the end segment of the crew interaction (rendered in OpenGL) an moved the camera to the rear and converted the texture on the main screen to a green screen, then rendered the animated drone from the rear and merged the two clips and used that segment in the intro.
Things that are embarrassingly wrong:
- Random keyframes causing head jerks.
- During the crew interaction no one’s feet are showing; when I rotated the stage and shot the full segment from the rear, feet either move unrealistically or are floating, not visible in the actual forward animation. I first tested the rear shot in OpenGL, where – due to the darker render – this wasn’t too visible, but literally leaps out at the viewer in 3Delight.
- Some of the close-ups should have been much closer.
- The main title and act title were just slapped in very crudely and will be done more professionally at a later time.
Overall, this represents about 12 hours of actual, hands-on hours of work and experimentation, with double that amount of time rendering in 3Delight either while animation was being set up or overnight.