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angelodcollazo
09-04-2008, 03:41 PM
Introduction:

Welcome! My name is Angelo Collazo, and this if my official student film blog. I'm currently a senior in the 3D department of the School of Visual Arts in NY working on my thesis film. Although my love is for Character Animation, I also desire to be a good generalist. I have just completed an animation internship at Curious Pictures, and soon hope to work freelance. You can find my latest demo reels on my website, www.AngeloCollazo.com (http://www.angelocollazo.com).

The purpose of this blog is not only to document my progress, but, more importantly, improve the film with the valuable feedback of the CG community. You are my audience, and it is my goal to create appealing, character-centric entertainment. Additionally, the goal of this piece is to achieve a simple, well-executed, Pixar look.

The next post will introduce my story and characters. Weekly posts will show large chunks of progress, whereas daily posts will simply list my daily goals/accomplishments.

Thank you very much for looking and providing feedback. I hope you enjoy watching the progress of this film.

-Angelo

angelodcollazo
09-04-2008, 05:08 PM
Goal: by Week 2 (Sept 10) - Make Character Setup ready for Animation- complete weighting, blendshapes, fix rig issues, and playblast deformation tests

Actual: Official rigs completed 9/12/08 (personal cutoff). Existing issues minor.

Goal: by Week 3 (Wed. Sept 17) -
-Finalize Story - rewrite character-centric screenplay
-Finalize Set - design multiple set solutions via photoshop

Actual: invested time in character development, and set design solutions, no usuable models made

Goal: by Week 4 (Wed. Sept 21) - Boardomatic, Model Usable Set, PreVis

Actual:

Goal: by Week 5 (Wed. Oct 1) - Finalize PreVis - make a quick/dirty previs, and a thumbnail animatic, collect reference material, solidify choreography

Actual:

Goal: by Week 6 (Wed. Oct 8) - Begin Animation

Actual: Still revising Rigs and Previs and preparing for voice talent, and studying animation books/tutorials

Goal: by Week 7 (Wed. Oct 15) - Begin animation

Actual:

Goal: by Week 14 (Wed. Nov 26) - Finalize Animation

Actual:

Goal: by Week 15 (Wed. Dec 3) - Texture Scene

Actual:

Goal: by Week 17 (Wed. Dec 17) - Light Shots

Actual:

Goal: by Week 20 (Wed. Jan 14) - Finalize Shaders/Render Shots

Actual:

Goal: by Week 21 (Wed. Jan 21) - Finalize Composite

Actual:

Goal: by Week 24 (Wed. Feb 11) - Final Sound/Music

Actual:

Done

angelodcollazo
09-04-2008, 05:38 PM
Currently my thesis story is as follows:

Blurb: Basically, this film involves the cartoonish interaction between a young waiter and a business-woman client inside a small, empty restaurant.

A young, high-strung waiter stands in an empty restaurant, anxiously waiting for a customer. The time is 3pm, the period between the lunch rush and dinner rush, which is why the small restaurant is empty. In walks a beautiful, young business woman; she seems professional and content. The waiter, who is both relieved to see a customer and highly attracted to the woman, presents himself to be overly elegant and charming. When the woman sits down, the sensual waiter overdoes his presentation, including his smooth execution of candle lighting, napkin unfolding, water pouring, etc. The waiter is insistent on her getting something from the specials menu. The woman, who feels overwhelmed, asks for something small, like coffee, to keep him at bay. He reacts by overly embellishing the item she asks for. Although she is slightly amused, she keeps up a professional wall. The climax occurs when the waiter breaks through this wall by finding a way to impress her. His underlying motivation is to soothe his ego. The story ends with her showing interest in his suggestion. (All this has to take place in under 3 minutes).

That's basically it. I think its doable. Ideas of the climax include having the waiter perform some fantastic feet (maybe pulling a tray of food out of thin air), or making her laugh by a joke...coming up with ideas for this is one place I'm having trouble.

If you have any story/character development ideas/issues/critiques, your word is greatly appreciated and considered. Soon, a new animatic will be created, which will test out the ideas. Thanks for looking!

angelodcollazo
09-04-2008, 05:49 PM
Tasks:
-Finalize models
-List skinned items and complete weighting
-Export final skin weight maps
-Fix rigging issues
-Complete facial gui
-Complete 5 blendshapes (use reference)


Accomplishments:
-Finalized Models
-Half way done with weighting

angelodcollazo
09-05-2008, 04:54 PM
Attached are the final models of my thesis characters.
Soon the rigs will be finished.


file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/acollazo/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.jpgfile:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/acollazo/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.jpg

angelodcollazo
09-05-2008, 05:00 PM
Tasks
-Complete weighting
-Create Blendshapes
-Complete Facial Rig

Accomplishments
-Weighting almost done (still figuring out work flow)

angelodcollazo
09-06-2008, 04:27 PM
Tasks
-Finish weighting
-Create needed blendshapes

Accomplishments
-Finished weighting

angelodcollazo
09-08-2008, 05:12 PM
Tasks:
-Create Blendshapes

Accomplishments:
-Started Blendshapes

angelodcollazo
09-09-2008, 02:28 PM
Tasks:
-Finish blendshapes and facial GUI

Accomplishments:
-Made blendshapes and GUI

angelodcollazo
09-10-2008, 02:47 PM
Tasks:
-Fix Rig Issues

Accomplishments:
-Almost done with issues
-Started work on character development

angelodcollazo
09-11-2008, 02:27 PM
Tasks:
-Continue character development exercises
-Fix/finalize rig issues, weighting, and blendshapes


Accomplishments:

KyleG
09-11-2008, 03:32 PM
If your looking to get any feedback you should post images of your blendshapes or GUI, or anything else you create instead of just text saying that its done.

angelodcollazo
09-11-2008, 07:36 PM
Thank you for your interest, Kyle. I'll actually post pictures of my rigs in posed positions by tomorrow.

wind27382
09-12-2008, 04:00 AM
well I can say one thing for sure. this project certainly is well orgainized. but i would like to actually see something that has been finished.

angelodcollazo
09-12-2008, 04:55 PM
Its about time I posted my rigs. I wanted them done by this past Wednesday. I came across issues. Truthfully, i still have weighting issues and should refine my blendshapes. I'll do more official work today, but that is it after today. I'll be moving onto the next step in my production schedule.

As you can see, the rigs are fairly generic. I have a control rig, with the vast majority of nodes and controls, driving a bind rig (filled with bones and other influence objects). The back rig follows the Jason Schleiffer technique which is spline IK, with FK on top. I've also follows the JS foot rig setup. Controls such as the head, shoulder, and pole vectors have keyable parent switching. The hands are made with set driven keys/connection. The eyebrows and bottom of the jacket are setup up using a nurbs curve influence object, as shown in the Delgo face rig tutorial on high end 3d. The falloff on forearms and other limbs were made with multiply divide nodes. Blendshapes are hooked up the the facial GUI. The shirt was made simply smooth bound, but there are issues, which I will solve with the aid of clusters.

Any questions, or concerns, or if you'd like to see more, please let me know. Any issues brought to me will be appreciated. Thanks for looking!

angelodcollazo
09-12-2008, 10:14 PM
Tasks:
-Refine Blendshapes
-Fix weighting issues

Accomplishments:

-Rigs fully animatable
-Issues minor and fixable later

angelodcollazo
09-13-2008, 07:20 PM
Tasks:
-Design restaurant
-Begin Modeling

Accomplishments:
-General restaurant idea
-Restaurant models blocked out

angelodcollazo
09-15-2008, 03:12 PM
Tasks:
-Design restaurant via photoshop/polymodeling
-Work out character personalities and motivation


Accomplishments:
-Still trying to figure out both of the above

angelodcollazo
09-16-2008, 02:51 PM
One of my first posts described the basic setup of my thesis.
A young waiter (early 20s), alone in a pre-dinner-rush upscale cafe, tries to impress an un-impressable young business woman (later 20s), and the scenario ends with the waiter accomplishing his goal.
As I've been trying to develop my characters, it occurred to me the truth behind Frank and Ollie's principles of character development. If an animator is assigned to have a man drop a letter into a mail box, student animators would animate just that, as boring as it sounds. Our job is to give the character motivation and a hook. The scene would be far more interesting if the character was a man desperately mailing the thousanth love letter to the woman of his dreams in a far off land.
Therefore, for my characters, I'm searching for the motivation and the hook. I think that if their motivations are somewhat deep, that the animation will be far more meaningful. There must be motivation for the principle actions.
The waiter's primary motivation to impress should be more than just getting a tip. Similarly, the client's primary motivation to resist his attempts should be more meaningful than the idea that she looks down upon "the help." These motivations will determine how they act, and who they are, right from the beginning.
Possible motivations for the waiter might be: he really likes her, she's some sort of VIP, he's trying to get laid, he's an aspiring entertainer, he feels bad for a predicament she's going through, he needs the money desperately, he feels he owes her a favor, etc.
Possible motivations for the client might be: she's busy on the cellphone with a client, her jealous boyfriend might walk in soon, she's physically ill, she just lost her job, she finds the waiter repulsive, etc.
For humor and interest, this story needs some irony. Maybe dramatic irony, where the audience knows something that the charater doesn't. Possible ironic situations might me: the client may have forgotten that today is her own birthday, the waiter didn't notice that the client saw the book he was reading called "Wooing Women 101," the client doesn't know that the waiter is desperate for a good tip because he's late with this month's rent.
Still, a hook would be nice. The hook is usually some sort of context yet to be revealed to the audience, and so the audience is thrown into the middle of the character's situation. So, for example, if the waiter is doing something out of anxiousness, frustration, etc, the waiter's actions will be a clear mystery, and therefore more interesting.
What this all comes down to is I need to nail down exactly the character's motivations and hooks, and I've typed this post in order to make my task more clear. Any suggestions on possible motivations would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

angelodcollazo
09-16-2008, 03:29 PM
Tasks:
-Work on cafe design and character development

Accomplishments:
-Worked on cafe design and character development

angelodcollazo
09-17-2008, 09:20 PM
My set design is for an upscale cafe in an urban setting. The large windows will provide a lot of light. Inside, there are only eight tables and a desert counter/bakery case. The cafe will be in a cobblestone courtyard which includes a view of surrounding apartments and trees. In order to cut down on the work load, I will keep the camera shots within the cafe, use matte paintings for the shots out the windows, and put a high amount of glare on the glass. Attached is only one of the few drawings I made. I think it gets the general idea across.

angelodcollazo
09-18-2008, 07:09 PM
Tasks:
-Model set
-Begin detailed storyboards

Accomplishments:
-Modeled PreVis-worthy set

angelodcollazo
09-19-2008, 05:34 PM
Attached is my current restaurant model that I'll use for Previs.
I'll finalize and perfect when the time comes.

angelodcollazo
09-19-2008, 05:40 PM
-Sunny day - either faked with colored lights or MR global illumination w/ radiosity
-no caustics
-Test light/render with model geo in scene
-instance repeating items to save on tesselation
-bake out lights, but have shaders receive character shadows
-paint textures for painterly look, or give photos painterly look via Photoshop
-use a sphere for a single reflection map
-use nCloth to model awnings
-use Matte paintings to fake outdoor scene
-put glare on windows
-use Depth of Field for further naturalism and out of focus background
-Use After Effects' DOP and Motion Blur because they output faster than Maya's
-after animation, render out low res sequence on fives as a test
-connect occlusion directly into the shader tree
-i could use alpha maps for outdoor tree leaves
-render each background (non characters) shot out as one single image!
-toon shader or subsurface scattering?
...any comments or recommendations are welcome! :)

angelodcollazo
09-19-2008, 05:46 PM
Tasks:
-Type up final script (identifying specific character actions)
-In Photoshop, create 720x480 animatic (with specific character actions)


Accomplishments:
-Script
-Began animatic

angelodcollazo
09-22-2008, 02:25 PM
Tasks:
-Previs


Accomplishments:
-Started Previs

angelodcollazo
09-23-2008, 01:58 AM
Tasks:
-Finish Previs

Accomplishments:
-Finished Previs of Sequence 1/4

angelodcollazo
09-24-2008, 01:47 PM
Tasks:
-Finish Previs
-Experiment Light Setup


Accomplishments:
-Experimented with some lighting
-Finished sequence 3 of my previs.

angelodcollazo
09-25-2008, 01:45 PM
Tasks:
-Finish preVis



Accomplishments:
-Completed Preliminary Previs
-Completed Preliminary Set Lighting

angelodcollazo
09-29-2008, 03:41 PM
TASKS:

1. Revise Previs
-Composite Current Playblasts
-Revise the timing on PreVis
-Experiment with camera moves/shots
-Update camera moves to linear

2. Search for Voice Talent
-Post a job on Voice123.com

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

-Continued to revise/reorganize PreVis
-Posted a job on Voice123.com
-Found a musician to compose the score

angelodcollazo
09-29-2008, 03:46 PM
Attached is a lighting test for my set. My friend and teacher helped me out a lot. Its a sunny day in a cafe. The sunlight is made up of two overlapped directional lights, one warm, one cool. I've faked global illumination by projecting outside images via spotlights. I've simulated a light bounce inside the restaurant by adding a spot light w/ fuzzy depth map shadows, along with a few warm/cool point lights.

angelodcollazo
09-30-2008, 02:41 PM
TASKS:
-Finish reorganizing/revising previs


ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
-Completed first pass of preVis (with approval)

angelodcollazo
09-30-2008, 06:08 PM
-Record dialogue
-Shoot reference footage

angelodcollazo
10-01-2008, 06:32 PM
Tasks:
-Revise previs with new critiques


Accomplishments:

angelodcollazo
10-02-2008, 01:31 AM
Tasks:
-Finalize Rigs

Accomplishments:
-Started finalization process

angelodcollazo
10-03-2008, 03:17 PM
Tasks:
-Finalize Rigs

Accomplishments:
-Still working on rigs

angelodcollazo
10-07-2008, 04:35 PM
Tasks:
-Improve Rigs
-Improve Previs



Accomplishments:
-Still working on the rigs (the shoulder is a problem area)

KyleG
10-07-2008, 09:24 PM
Like I said before if you looking for feedback you need to post more than just text

angelodcollazo
10-09-2008, 02:41 PM
Hi Kyle,
I appreciate your looking at my blog, and I realize your concern.
The truth of the matter is that this blog is for me.
I want to look back and see what I did every day.
I'm always open to critiques, and I do realize that I haven't posted anything meaty.
Fortunately, the majority of the people I get critiques from are at my school.
To address your concern, what I will do is post the finished film in the Finished Animation forum.
Again, thanks for your help.
-Angelo

angelodcollazo
10-09-2008, 02:42 PM
Tasks:
-Fix rigging issues
-Revise previs

Accomplishments:

lewistaylor
10-10-2008, 01:36 AM
"I appreciate your looking at my blog, and I realize your concern.
The truth of the matter is that this blog is for me."

Pretty much summed up what Kyle and I'm sure others, are trying
to point out. Mate, this is a WIP Animation forum, for exactly that.
Work In Progress animations that you are looking for feedback on.

I wouldn't go just getting crits from people at school, when I was
at school none of my classmates had a trained eye for animation.
How could they? That's why your in school, but most people end
up getting so focused on a raytrace effect/photoreal blah blah, that
in the end the animation sucks.

Believe me, the eyes on this forum are invaluable so far as making
you a better animator, so use them.

If this Blog is just for you, maybe setting up a blogspot type of deal
would be a better idea. Remember, this is a WIP Animation forum!

Kyle is right on the money, we come here to view and C&C work. Not
to view 3 plus pages of text.

Lewis

angelodcollazo
10-10-2008, 02:23 PM
Dear CG Talk Community,

You guys are right. This CG Talk forum should be used to showcase my work in order to get critiques, not just to record the mundane day to day task lists. So, I've taken your suggestions and have put my blog on http://thespecialsthesis.blogspot.com/.

For now on, the day to day stuff will be on the Blogspot, while I will specifically showcase my work here. I wish I could delete some of these old posts, lol. So, I hope this works out better. Thank you for your guidance!

-Angelo

angelodcollazo
10-10-2008, 04:18 PM
This is an updated version of my PreVis.
You can find the video on my Blogspot.
http://thespecialsthesis.blogspot.com/
http://picasaweb.google.com/CollazoCompany/TheSpecialsSVASeniorThesis?authkey=ep9jwKE0p2w#5255550777217214450

angelodcollazo
10-30-2008, 10:37 PM
You can find an updated version of my previs on YouTube.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLy4FID__LU

angelodcollazo
12-03-2008, 02:47 PM
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ns2Dr9nQlq8/SQozoQccJiI/AAAAAAAAAB4/KIBbxXwq-TU/s1600-h/charactersHeads.jpghttp://forums.cgsociety.org/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=5464836
This is an old concept design

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