View Full Version : Project Frankenstein - 3d animated short, horror/action

04 April 2005, 08:21 PM
Everyone knows the stories of dr. Frankenstein and his monster, right?
Well, there might be some confusion about how he _really_ looks and sounds like, since all the movies and visual elements of him are derived from a book (by Mary Shelley, i might add), right? Well, i'm about to do my own interpretation of it, in 3 dimensions, in the horror/action genre,

Since my project leader requires me to do everything fully logged and understandable by everyone, i've written a lot about where this project is headed and how it will be processed in journals, that i've added to the the bottom of this post.

This project has a pretty long production line and it would probably take me around 80 weeks, without team members (which originally was the plan :D) but since i have a deadline around 40 weeks, it became less of an option. And hey, you don't really have to stick with me for the entire trip :scream:, all i'm askin' is some (a lot!) of help to make my deadline. Just take a look at the project plan inside the quotation below; maybe you'll find something that interest you

So, here's the plan.
The short, as it is, will be around 15 minutes with a lot of visually tasty elements, a lot of sound candy built on a story, already admitted great and powerful.
Now, i have a lot of ambition in this, but that doesn't mean you have, which is ok, because all i need really is some support and a heavy arsenal of assistance, willing to help out :thumbsup:

I have worked with three-d for about a year now i'm starting to get a hang of it. Coming from the conceptual 2d painter-genre, i feel that i've been here, done this, already and I have seen plenty of animated shorts lying around (both at cgtalk and elsewhere) and feel compelled making an even better one. Sounds cocky? I sure am! :D

Outside the subject, i think that Pixar's, The incredibles, is one hell of a movie! and see it as my template for this short, even though it isn't in the same genre :D

So anyways, feel free to ask any questions and send my a reply if you feel like it.
If you like, you could simply check the parts that your interested in helping with, and maybe attach something to show me what you're capable of

This is an extract from the forum dedicated to this project, Project Debuggy| (
Because i have a project leader who is like from another planet when it comes to 3d and film,it's written in a basic form, which is good! I hope you understand the steps, and i really would appreciate some impulse about them since i have an equal to zero experience in making a movie of this caliber. I've gotten most of the steps from the top of my head, from what i thought had to be done, but also from the "How we do it" part of Pixar's homepage (
The Xes in the step process imply that the step is occuring througout the entire project, starting at where it is set.

First off, i'll build an empire and have everyone worship me.
Next off:

#1. Formulate an idea
This step has practically already been taken. The idea is to make a movie using 2d/3dimensionall techniques such as modelling, texturing and rendering in 3d, compositing, painting concepts and storyboards in 2d.

#2. Summary
By writing down the story, i get a better overview of what has to be done. This means more or less writing a manucsript, but without the fuss of getting everything perfect. I can plot the idea roughly, and then focus on the storyboards to tell me what's next.

#3. Manuscript
Making the manuscripts may be the part i mostly want to be done already. But preliminary, i will make a script out of Mary Sheller's Frankenstein. It will be my own enterpretation, so there will be a lot of improvisation while setting up dialouges.

#4 Storyboarding
This is more or less like making the movie. The difference is the appearcance. Storyboards look more or less like clips from the movie in the form of simple drawings. "Storyboards are like a hand-drawn comic book version of the movie and serve as a blueprint for the action and dialogue" - Pixar A.S.

#X. Finishing Touches
Spell correcting, addin/subtracting incidents/dialouges and fixing general errors.

#5. Actors
Recording vioces includes directing people to emote and making it sound belivable in the scenery/situation. I'll have external voices (= voices except mine) from people suitable for the role, me included

#5. Reel
This is making the movie as a sketch. In this format, it is easy to add, delete or modify the story without going through unnecessary fuss. This step is a little too imputent and may be skipped.

#6. Design
"Making character's unforgettable". There is a book given that title, and it covers what people remember about a successfully presented character in an animated movie. I will have to make sketches and drawings of how characters and scenery will look in order to make it memorable. This step is more or less to describe the characters toroughly so that i'll have an easier time sculpting them. The enviroments will be sketched with enough information to fill the scene with what will be the finished scene when the movie's finished

#7a. Sculpting Characters
This part involves getting my hands dirty with some hi-tech equiptment; i.e. the fun part. I'll use software presented in earlier documents, like Softimage, to virtually scuplt three dimensionall characters and make them look like the illustrations made at the design part.

#7b. Rigging Characters
Making an animated movie, requires you to make the casting moveable, and to make virtual characters move you have to have "handels", like on a puppet, that you can drag/pull in order to record movement with the camera. This is more or less like building a skeleton and attaching strings to it.

#7c. Character Props
Props are everything attached to a character, such as a pouch or a staff. This will be modeled in the very same fashion as the character itself.

#8a. Creating Sets
Sets are just as in a real studio, a synthetic version of the real world. This includes everything betweed outdoor scenery to indoor rooms.

#8b. Set dressing
The set dressing is everything that isn't the room itself, like a television, a carpet or a chair. This will also be modeled like it's predecessor.

#X. Cleaning up.
Checking if everything lines up correctly, adding little touches to the geometry and assure nothing is missing.

#9. Setting up
This includes making the three-dimensionall enviroment match the storyboarding and translating the story onto the set using the virtual cameras provided in the application. I'll make several different sets, following the same storyline, in order to have a choice between the right and wrongs.

#10a. Animating characters
I'll begin by making simple walk cycles and other procedurals to use as time-saving cut-outs to be used as a starting point when animating. Then proceeding on towards intense/basic emotional/expressive actions/emotions that i'll finish in a later step in order to make everything line up.

#10b. Animating cameras
Making the camera flow is the second-most crucial point in the entire movie. The camera is the viewers eyes, and i will have to guide them to make them see what i want them to. This is all about cinematography and directing.

#10c. Animating props.
Making things attached to the character look realistic. Making props in the scene move right, such as gearwheels collaborating, chains flowing right. This is mostly a matter of controlling physics simulations. When something drops to the ground, i won't have to animate it's path as it bounces off. Instead, i sett the friction, elasticity and gravity to a value, and watch as it calculates the path. This step will include making the cloth and hair look and move realisticly as characters act.

10d. Synching
This step includes putting voices at the right space in time and doing the so-called "lipsynch", which means making the mouth move in fashion to what is being said.

#X. Test render
Rendering is the most time demanding step of all. It means taking all the information derived from sculpting, animation, directing and sending it to the computers CPU, letting it convert the information from binary code to finished output (video). Luckily, i haven't gone into making the lightning and shading properties (the most cpu-intensive parts) so it will flow rather quick (below 48h) so i probably won't be making use of the several processors available.

#11. "Makin' the noise"
This step involves making the tunes to be used at certain points of the movie. Filmmusic is typically orchestrial and is supposed to control the viewers feelings, as the imagery is controlling the flow of information.

#12. Finding the sounds
When animating and seeing the testrenders, i am sure to discover sound effects needed to fuel the realism, i will have to discover, and record, them as i go along.

#13. Tuning lightning
I'll set ut the lightning to correspond to real life. The moon, for instance, has to glow with a soft blue color and indoor lightning will be covered mostly with so-called "global illumination". It is the most accurate way of projecting light onto surfaces while still retaining a large amount of rendertime.

#14. Shading
This, as it may, is the part that takes the most amount of time because i will have to test the appearances of surfaces as i experiment with shaders. The cpu doesn't like shaders.

#15. Final rendering
Just wait. It'll be ready at my sons graduation, i'm sure. This will be the most time-consuming task ever done in this production. Since i hardly have time for test-renders at the experimental-shading level, i will have to hold my thumbs until this is finished and maybe do some hi-tech karate when finished.

#16. Compositing
This step involves cutting and pasting the scenes toghether, removing anomalies and making sure that everything looks correct. A lot of time is required here.

#17. Getting it ready for the screen.
Making the cover, the list of people starring and basicly finalize the work.

#18. Going through the material.
I'll double check everything i've done, and make adjustments if necessary.

#18. Your done!
Now it's time for presentation. Gather some chips and drinks and get ready for excitement.

08 August 2005, 08:35 AM
I can help out with some soundwork and music, if you need. Maybe some modelling too. Oh yeah and voice acting, done a bit of that, got a nice mic and all for recording. :)

Contact me at , add me to MSN if you have it.

I like your can-do attitude. :D

08 August 2005, 07:08 PM
When it comes to the animation part i may be able to lend a hand all depends on what software your looking to animate in.

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