View Full Version : 2-MINUTE FILM CLUB!THE BIGCHASE : Cann't Miss That Call (ANIMATED)

06 June 2005, 11:21 PM
Here is my short story:

A man walks out his backdoor to do yardwork and brings out the portable telephone. He sets the phone down on a small table then proceeds into the yard to tend to his garden. He mutters to himself that he should've already gotten an important call from his lawyer that he cann't miss.

The phone rings.

At the sound of the phone, a head pop's up over the white-washed fence. Its an osterich and it is looking straight at the phone. The human also looks up to the phone but then pans over to look at the osterich. The osterich turns its head to look back to him.

The human runs to get to the phone. The osterich leaps over the fence and also runs to the phone. The osterich beats the human and snatches the phone in it's beak. It takes off running just before the human grabs him.

With the human in hot pursuit, the osterich runs in tight rights around the garden. The human can not keep up, but stop and thinks for a moment. He sets down a rake onto the ground, then once again chases after the bird.

The bird, perdictably, runs in a circular pattern and into the rake. The rake raises up quickly and smacks it really hard and making it drop the phone.

The human runs to the phone just in time and answers it. It wasn't the lawyer; it was only a tele-marketer.


I'm be storyboarding it tonight and I'll have an expected run-time when I post that up.

I'll make up a couple simplifed character sheets and quickly design out the characters.

The programs that I'll be using will be Carrara 4 Pro (for animating and rendering), Wings3D and Hexagon (for modeling), PhotoShop and a digital camera (for texture mapping), and maybe some use of Blender for specialized purposes.

06 June 2005, 03:52 AM
Here are the two basic characters. I did a quick research into the Osterich to get the basic look down and the farmer is just "hashed" together. Do note that the non-photo blue comments do not appear in these scans.



I'll be modeling these characters in a very simple style. I doubt I will have time to detail them nor texture map them to the best of my ability, so I'm simplifying everything down. After modeling, the rigging will be simplified as well and the morph targets will probablly be only a handful for things such as the mouth, eyes and hands. (Normally, I would place bones in the hands but I don't think I'll have the time to animate those for every guesture.)

Anyway, the next step for me is to plan out the setting. Once that overhead map is made, I'll start with the storyboarding.

06 June 2005, 01:44 PM
Storybording, sound recording, flash animatic: 5 days.
Modeling (both) Characters, texturing, rigging and morph target setups: 4 days.
Modeling environment, texturing: 4 days.
Set assembly and Lighting setup: 1 day.
Animating: 7-9 days.
Rendering @ night-time & during animating stages (7-9 days)
Rendering stand-alone: 5 days & nights.
Compositing, adding SFX and score: 2 days

28 days... gives only a few days to buffer myself when/if I pass a deadline or encounter issues with my programs or work-flow. Will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Currently I'm about 1/3 done with the storyboard, and it'll look like it'll be about 18-22 shots.

Other decisions I'm thinking on is rather or not to go into cell shading as a final rendered look. The look will have a cartoony appearance no matter what I decide for render settings. I'll have more of a clue next week when I do a couple of tests and see what the render times are for those. Also, I would like to include vector motion blurr on the high speed chase parts. I'll have to judge it when it comes time as to rather or not I have the render time allotment to spend on adding all those samplings to each frame.

A couple of things that I'll be looking into is multi-pass rendering and shadow catchers. This is especially good because I have many stationary camera shots and only a couple pans planed.

06 June 2005, 10:15 AM
Hello there,
I just wanted to wish you luck for this challenge.

06 June 2005, 04:31 PM

That's one evil looking osterich. Looks tough enough to take on most any farmer.
Good luck with the deadline - we're all going to need it, I think.:surprised
And have fun!


06 June 2005, 04:06 AM
Here is the basic storyboard. I'll be adding the voice tract and adjusting the times accordingly tomorrow (well, actually much later today since it's 12:05 am).

I've also been compling my asset list, so I'll know what I'll be needing to model and texture. I'll post that up in a day or two. I'll start modeling the bird tonight as well.


06 June 2005, 12:16 PM
I've modeled the Osterich character. I've attached a quick render of it here.

Although, it could still use quite a bit of work, I'll be moving on to rigging him and modelling the next character. I cann't be locked down in the modeling/texturing stages if I plan on completing this animation on time, henceforth one of the reasons why I'm simplifying things to make a cartoony appearance.


06 June 2005, 03:23 PM
Looks good. I like the lighting. One can pull off quite an effective mood if the scene is lit properly. There is also a really absurd sense of humor in osteriche's eyes. :thumbsup:

Scott Harris
06 June 2005, 04:29 PM

keep in mind that with tight time like this, you dont have to worry about keeping the characters as one solid piece. Especialy the bird... you might even get an easier feather effect after texturing that way. Remember Pixar's "a bugs life"? those ants were modled in many pieces.

can't wait to see your environment!

06 June 2005, 06:28 PM
Interesting comments. The bird is actually in several pieces. The only parts that are built as one are the head/neck and the wing/body. The rest of the bird's parts are their own objects.

I've decided only to use a single texture map on him. The tail has a curvy piece of black before the white starts. Lets just say I painted that aspect in under a minute. lol. The rest is shading domains and diffuse colors assigned to it.

I'll repose him before rigging him so that his natural standing walking position looks... well more natural. You know the bending effect on a tube issue when using bones. (And again, there isn't time to really tweek the model, so it's mostly going to be auto weighting of the bones).

The lighting is only temporary and was done only to illustrate the character in a very quick render. My scene is shot outdoors during the daytime, so it's going to be pretty well lit.

I would have loved to exaggerate the eyes of the characters, but that would mean extra time spent in creating the morph targets of which I can not afford to do so. Whereas in Max or Maya, you can use a lattice deformer to that sort of thing; Carrara does not support that modifier.


PS: I took some liberities with the design too. A real osterich doesn't have an orange beak and toe nails, but I think more people will think of chicken when viewing it and associate it to be correct, even if it is not. All the pictures that I've referenced had blackish-grey beaks/nails.

06 June 2005, 10:03 AM
Just wanted to say good luck Andrew! Look forward to what you come up with.


06 June 2005, 03:15 AM
Thanks Brian.

Here is a little update to this thread with a WIP of the farmer model. He was modeled in Hexagon and I'm currently working on his morph targets before I rig him bones.

As you can see, the colors are extremely simplified. Due to time constraints to meet the deadline, texturing is one of the many things I'm (reluctantly) cutting back on. Maybe after this is over I'll come back to this model and perhaps the whole project and give it a good fine tuning with UV Maps and quality textures.

Anyway, there are a few issues with him. I don't really like his hands and the shoes are more simplified than I would like. The hands appear a little too large and wasn't as smooth looking as I wanted them to appear. I could redo them, but that is spending more time than I've alloted for this so I've decided to use what I got and continue with his rigging stage (which I'm already past for the character models). A good amount of detail was modeled into the face because there are several up close renders of him talking... which means at the very least 8-10 morph targets for the mouth to make it look ok. I've already set up the eye morphs, but I will pass on the check bones (which would typically deform with some mouth movements and eye squinting). I will make a single morph for the eye brow for the one scene when he is surprised by the Osterich appearing. My guess is another 3-4 hours are needed for him to be rigged/morph targeted for this short.


07 July 2005, 04:53 AM
I've encountered a few delays that is going to prevent me from finishing this on-time to meet the contest. The rigging of the character took a little to long to set up and that's including the cutting back on of several key morph target facial poses. This lead to a lower development and much cutting back on props and the completion of the scenery as well as the animation quality.

Well, that modeling and texturing stuff is mostly done now with only a handful more to make. The problem is that next week, I'll be away from my home-computers due to work sending me across the country to photograph and assemble a presentation on the spot for a conference they are hosting. This week long delay will prevent me from meeting my rendering requirements that I needed to have in place before I left. After all, I'll have 3-5 days to complete the project after I get back and I'm not that opticimistic that I can render this even in draft quality before the deadline.

In was my hope and plan to complete the props/scenery, rigging and much of the animation needed before the conference date. That way, I can leave my home computers batch rendering the animation while I'm away. Although, that in itself is a risk because if there were any problems with the batch mode the animation may not be complete by the time I get back. However, the animation itself isn't complete nor to a statifactory standard for me to release that as an example of my work product to start up a batch mode with what I have.

Anyway, while I'll be missing the deadline, I still plan and completing this project, abit two to three weeks late. This extra time will allow me to better control the animation (and set up more morph targets for facial expressions) and generate several missing props that I had to cut back on previously. (Things like the vines and leaves on the pumpkin patch, which in my many cut backs, I had placed the fully textured pumpkins just sitting on the ground.) These elements really should be in the animation and the animation quality should be given a better implimentation than what I'd have to do in such a short time.

After I get back in another week, I'll post up the current level of progress before I left to the conference. So that you all can still follow the progress of a late (and thereby disqualified) entry.


07 July 2005, 11:29 AM
These are bad news andrew...I hope you will finish it even if your renders are in draft quality.

07 July 2005, 09:25 PM
Well you have a few more days.

Well the voting thread goes up next Monday.

Good Luck.


07 July 2005, 01:21 AM
I just got back from my work trip. I don't have any delusions on being able to make this deadline... :-(. From a rendering standpoint, even on (very) draft quality I'm limited to one of my two computers for rendering. My wife is using the other for her school project and I cann't have her miss her final project for her class.

As I stated before, I will continue with this project and see to it's completion but it cann't be before the deadline. I will still post to this thread as it has a summation of my work on it.


07 July 2005, 05:25 PM
First I would like to thank Samuel Kvaalen for coding this voting page and hosting it.

Go >>HERE<< ( and post your infromation if you want your animation to be part of the voting on Monday night.

Just FILL ONE of the entries and press SUBMIT at the end.


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