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View Full Version : First time post of my work. My thesis "Raccoon Heaven"


JJXu
10-14-2006, 09:52 AM
Hi everyone, Although I have been a member for a while, but this is the first time I am posting my work here. Looking at everyone's wonderful artwork on the forums, I feel I am not to the level. Since this is my thesis, I feel more confident about it, and would like to share the result with everyone. Please let know what you think and hope you like it.

The title of the animated short is called "Raccoon Heaven." I used Maya for the modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, fur, and rendering. Photoshop for drawing the texture maps. Shake for the compositing.

The link is:
http://www.jamesxu.net/videos/RaccoonHeaven720x540_MJ1Mbps_Stream.mov

About 40mb. please be patient while downloading:)

-James

FunkyCowie
10-14-2006, 06:22 PM
hmm... your storytelling needs to be punchier and various shots were too long. Intro of the diner was good, intro of the racoon was good, getting the racoon to cross the road was way over told, racoon death was good, and racoon heaven was good. The racoon reminds me of the squirrel from iceage so I was expecting his acting to be more nutty and exuberant but then it would be more like him and then you could say that of alot of 2d characters from tex avery etc... anyway I digress... I do like it and if it were improved then I`d love it :)

JJXu
10-15-2006, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the tips FunkyCowie! I'll see if I could edit the part of him crossing the road shorter and to the point.

Yeah, he does has some similarities with Scrat. However, he's not as fast in speed and somewhat clumsy by nature.

freebsd_dude
10-16-2006, 09:00 AM
Hello,

Great animaton short. But would have to say the road crossing is a bit long. Try and cut the time do a little. Also if you want to improve your shot a little more the head at times while he was standing thre is a little bet of a pop at times. I would check out the graph editer and make sure you you don't have a stray pop in there.

But wow really over all great job. Can't wait to see the edited version.


Hope this helps

Leroy

som3d59
10-17-2006, 07:57 AM
I like the opening shot and the raccoon heaven, really nice scene man! But yeah the road shot is too long and I think you can use more variety of camera angle. Now the camera is always straight on raccoon's face. Try some different angle or even some camera movement to make it more interesting, like you done in the beginning and the ending.

Anyway, you're pretty close to the great piece! :bounce:

JJXu
10-17-2006, 12:48 PM
Thanks very much freebsd_dude and som3d59 for your inputs! I will work on editing the road shots. It would seem now those particular sequence of shots definitely are too long and need to be changed. Som3d59, maybe after I cut out some of the road shots, there will be less straight on cameras of the raccoon in the film. If not, I'll see if I could rerender some of the shots with different camera angles. I am glad you guys all pointed out the same problem. Sometimes when I look at my animation for too long, I become adapt to the mistakes. The obvious becomes not so apparent to me anymore. A new pair of eyes definitely helps a lot. I really appreciate it!

scrimshaw1803
10-17-2006, 01:28 PM
Very nice and endearing piece!

I agree with the posts about the lead in to the road crossing. A bit long.

One other thing I suggest is the initial shot of the moon is obviously a photo of the moon superimposed. Since the rest of the piece has a very cute cartoonish look, it would work better if the moon was a slightly stylized cartoonish moon too. Not in shape but in texture. The photo moon just stands out from the rest of the piece.

I loved the scene from the car point of view. First we're down at the racoon level and getting to know him a bit. Next thing, we see him crossing the road from our usual human perspective. From behind the wheel of car while this critter bathed in headlights is visible on the road. Very well done.

Overall, great work!!

One thing that perhaps other people can answer is are there any copyright issues to using other artists music in an individual piece such as this (the armstrong and m. jackson music)? I'm asking because I have done the same myself.

FunkyCowie
10-17-2006, 05:47 PM
Yes and no... Yes its fine just for a school project your not going to show anywhere, No if your going to publicly show it or even sell it in which case you can purchase the rights to use it (cheaper if you can find someone to play it rather than use an original recording) If I remember correctly.

JJXu
10-17-2006, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the comments scrimshaw1803! You are right about the moon. Initially, I wanted to model and texture a moon myself. I even wanted to make the clouds with dynamics so it will move slightly. However, as I got to the end, I just didn't have enough time. Like some students, I changed my thesis topic during the thesis process, so I only had half of the initial time to complete the film. But I do plan to make this film as good as I can, so on my spare time, I am going to complete some of the areas I didn't get a chance to do in school. Good you pointed that out, because I thought I could get away with that:)

About the soundtracks, I have another version of the film that have copyright free music. FunkyCowie is right, this version is just for school and not for commerical purposes. If I decide to enter it somewhere for competition or festivals later, then I'll use the other version. But I like this one better because Smooth Criminal and What a Wonderful World compliment with the story very well:)

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