View Full Version : Deep short film

05 May 2010, 09:03 PM
Hi guys.
Been thinking about posting here for a while, but I know updates will be far apart so I've kept it offline.
It's a little nerve racking to post in here, but never the less, here it is :)

It's a story I've been working on for about a year now, although only at nights, weekends and such so not a lot of work has been done so far.
I've just completed the animatic, have done a bit of RnD and started modeling the main character.
The entire film will not be for public display atm, but I've decided to make the first 1:20 (of the 5:03 film) online for comments and critic.
So here is the animatic:
( is a RnD of the underwater look.
Just to see if I can hit the right feeling. Still early wip obviously. Straigt out of Maya, not comp:
( here is another early wip of the main char:

Like I've said, it's a spare time project and my schedule is pretty packed with a BA and various other projects going on, but I've decided to focus more of my sparetime on this during the next year in school.

Hope you like what you see, and feel free to leave any comments :)
Cheers and thanks for watching

Btw if you are interested in older updates and stuff from the project, I have a blog for it at ( but these three are probably the most relevant.
I'll try and keep this post updated

06 June 2010, 02:31 AM
Surprised no one has responded, this is great work! at least the water tests and such, also it seems you have the sounds already, I wait with anticipation.

06 June 2010, 07:12 AM
Thanks Bonahe!
I'm glad you like what you see.

I'm fully aware, that it's probably not the most forum-user-friendly post, with small tests and a animatic which is always kinda boring, but some time in the future, I will post some better looking stuff :D
From now on, I will work on the character. He really needs it.


06 June 2010, 01:27 PM
I like the premise of your short from what I can see in the animatic. I want to find out whats going to happen, so good stuff there... thats the first battle!
From what I can tell in the animatic, I think you are going for an old bloke as the main character right? Well, I dont quite see that in the 3D model so far. I know its early days, but the visual cues so far seem to read as a young man. Something about the long spindly legs reads as young to me... maybe try to work in some old man traits. Like large ears, more hunched in the spine and posture generally, shorter legs slightly bowed at the knees, bit more of a beer-belly etc etc...
They hammered home to us at AM, the importance of a neutral pose that really sums up as much as you can about your character. It will help so much in all your posing when you get there if you have as much of this built into the character as you can at an early stage.

Anyway, good stuff so far, and keep going!

06 June 2010, 08:28 PM
Hi Micgaz.
Thank you very much for taking time to comment on it!
You are right in the assumption, that he is a very old guy, and that is probably not showing in the model, which indeed is a problem.
About the modeling pose, I've always though it should be as neutral and non-character as possible, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyways, you are totally right in you points and I've noted them down.
Hopefully I will soon have time to push around some of the basic shapes.

Cheers :)

06 June 2010, 01:28 PM
Alright, time for an update.
I've spend quite a lot of time on the model.
Did a concept sculpt in mudbox, took it over to maya in mid-res and re-builded and improved on the design with classical poly modeling.
I have some ideas that I will try out in mudbox, now that it is model with neat edgeloops and unwrapped.
I will be back for that.

For now, here is the character:

Okay, here is the first displacement test.
I will probably redo the sculpt and diffuse later, as this was one of my first mudbox --> displacement --> render ever so I have a few ideas to make it better.

06 June 2010, 11:45 AM
Hi Christoffer,

I like what you have done with the character so far. He has a good feel of age about him now, the ears help a lot, and the nose is great. I quite like the stony sort of feel to the skin too.
When you get around to another pass on him, I think the area to have a look at is the crease from nose to the mouth... it looks a little weird that it sort of meets up under the mouth. Might look a little funky in motion too.

Other than that, nice progress man, keep going! :)

06 June 2010, 11:06 AM
Hi micgaz!
Thanks a lot for your comments - I really appreciate it :)
I will take a look at that crease, and see if I can make it look more natural.


07 July 2010, 05:18 PM
Hey Christoffer. I saw the the piece on Vimeo. I think it is definetly an idea with potential. I like the character you posted wips of. He has a strange kindly appeal to him :)

I will stay updated for this one. Keep going :)

07 July 2010, 11:38 AM
Hi Vereigan

Thanks a lot for your comment. I'm glad you like what you see.
The design has undergone quite a bit of change, particularly in his face. I think for the better :)

I will post some updates as soon as I am satisfied. Hopefully I can finish the model soon, so I can move on.

08 August 2010, 11:27 PM
Hey guys.
Stille working on it, but updates comes slowly.
I redid the face again, but this time I feel I have something usable.
I've done a lot of other stuff that might not be evident here.
The entire character is Uv'ed and I've done a lot of sculpting tests for both his face (wrinkles) and hair, so I know how to get that part working. Now it is just a matter of spending some time actually doing the final sculpt/paint.
I've also worked on other parts of the film that I can't share atm.

Let me know what you think:

Hopefully I can start rigging fairly soon, and then maybe leave final detail sculpt and painting for later, or when I need a rigging/animation break :)
I really aim for animating most of the short within this next school year (within a year from now).
Should be possible, even with my slow working rate.

09 September 2010, 11:40 AM
Alright, time for an update.
I finally got to a place where he is unwrapped, base textures are painted, the most important stuff is sculpted and the normal maps works fine i render.
I sliced him up and linked him to the rig, so I could do some posetests.
The actual mesh is still not bound and I need some other stuff finished as well, such as facial rigging.

I've started prop modeling, and things are moving along fine :)

For now, here is a pic of him posed.
I can post some renders later with him and some base props, if it would be in any interest.

09 September 2010, 12:24 PM
Yeah! I'd like to see a render with some props. :)

I like the newer look for his head, he has a bit of a toothless look about him now which fits his age nicely. (dont know if you are planning some teeth, but just the way it strikes me..)

The pose you posted is looking good too, all the age cues are there, the bent spine and the bow legs. Good stuff!

All compliments today hehe, I'll try and be a bit more constructive when I can, but not much to pick on in this update. :)

10 October 2010, 07:44 AM
I'm glad you like it.

I will post some prop and character renders during the weekend, hopefully.
I'm trying out modeling some of the big details in the meshes, that I previously tried out with normal maps, so that is where I am now. I can post some renders later.

10 October 2010, 09:00 AM
I looks very nice christoffer :) Keep it up.

10 October 2010, 10:08 AM
You do look very nice, Dennis! :D

10 October 2010, 12:51 PM
Okay here are a few renders put together.
Like I wrote before, I'm trying to model some of the details that I previously used normal map for, into the mesh for greater control, and so far I think it is working out fine.
Anyways, here is the character, plus a few of his most dearest possessions :)

10 October 2010, 12:29 PM
haha :D Small spelling error.

Can i see a wire of the character?

The props are looking nice, did you use reference for the boat? Because I am not entirely sure on if the planks bend that way in the front. I would probably make it more smooth between the planks in the front.


10 October 2010, 10:40 AM
The head wire:

Here is the latest prop I've been building.
His toolbox for all his stuff.

I did look at reference when I designed it, though I tried to simplefy it.
I'm not sure I see what you mean with your critic though. Perhaps you could elaborate?

10 October 2010, 06:05 PM
I hope this makes it a bit more clear:

It is a small thing and it might just be my personal preference that i like the other solution better :) I Do not know a whole lot about ships, so i actually don't know if ships are made the way you did it.

10 October 2010, 01:31 PM
Thanks Dennis!
That makes perfect sense, sorry for being a bit slow.
I'm not sure if I'm gonna change it, but it is definately noted down :)

I've lately spend some time tracking the production pretty closely as I found my self completely unaware of how far I actually were.
So here is a small chart for anyone interested. Of course it is a rough estimate, but it's faily thight.

Man (main character) 85%
second main character 50%
Boat 85%
Lantern 90%
Tool box 80%
Fishing rod 85%
Spinner 100%
Boat bridge 100%
Land site at bridge 50%
bag 10%
Bucket 50%
Fish 0%

So it's going pretty good I think.
The 2d animatic is pretty thight, so 3d animatic is more gonna be refinement and camera animation than coming up with staging and storytelling.

On another note, if finished uv'ing the tool box, and I'm telling you that was tedious! But it's done and I like the result (as much as one can like a uv layout)


11 November 2010, 10:43 PM
Did you use automatic mapping for it?

Its is really easy to use, and afterwards you just sew the egdes together.

Anyway it is looking good :) Is there a update soon?

11 November 2010, 08:41 AM
Hi Dennis.
I used automatic mapping a bit, but sometimes I found it better to do it the tedious way of planar mapping.

I'm rigging the character from start right now and it's going alright.
An update on the progress would look somewhat like this:

Man (main character) 95%
second main character 65%
Boat 100%
Lantern 95%
Tool box 100%
Fishing rod 95%
Spinner 100%
Boat bridge 100%
Land site at bridge 100%
bag 90%
Bucket 100%
Fish 80%

It's mainly rigging I need. And a bit of texture :)

11 November 2010, 02:09 PM
Hi doffer
very nice job
do you need any on to help you ?
I use
3ds max
mud box
also i can help you a little bit in animation .
my web site (
my channel (

11 November 2010, 10:43 AM
Hi :)
Thank you for your comment!
So far I try to do everything myself and critic from great friend.
But it is nice to have a backup ;)


11 November 2010, 09:57 PM
Hi guys.
Not a crazy visual update here, but just wanted to let you know that I finished the rigging on my main character.
At least version 01.
I will need to take it for a spin, maybe try and do a walk cycle and a facial expression change, to test both the rig and the weights that's painted rather quickly.
Anyways, here is a screencap.
I still need to hide and luck stuff that is not supposed to be used and divide him into groups so I kan easily hide and unhide parts of his geometry when I want to focus on something specific.
Anyways, hope you like it :)

11 November 2010, 01:18 PM
Wow the character looks great now, I'm always looking forward to seeing more quality short films! Good luck!

11 November 2010, 03:18 PM
Did you use automatic mapping for it?

Its is really easy to use, and afterwards you just sew the egdes together.

Anyway it is looking good :) Is there a update soon?

What do you mean by automatic mapping?

Unwraping models is always a pain for me, if there is a simpler way to do it I would like to know!

PS: Check out my thread in my sig

11 November 2010, 08:48 PM

I'm glad you like it.

Automatic mapping is pretty good for non-organic shapes such as boxes, cylinders and stuff like that.
I find it a little hard to control, when I want to be specific about which edges it cuts - on some level I could just not care, but on the other hand, I find it easer to sew together afterwards, when I know exactly how it's cut up.
To my experience, when you have a small bevel for instance it can be a bit funky in its cutting which again makes it a little harder to sew together - but hey I'm just an animator fiddling around with cg stuff - I might just use it the wrong way! :D

12 December 2010, 01:17 AM

That was the last prop!
I just need to finish off the facial rig for the last character, then I can start setting up the cameras and the 3d scenes in general, blocking in some poses and so forth. Can't wait to get started on the 3d scenes!

The bag above is only gonna be there in the very first shot, so it's not a super flexible rig but it'll do the job just fine :)


12 December 2010, 04:21 PM
Sorry for the double posting.
Here's a nother collection of props and a test render.
I've fixed and improved a few things, plus rigged it.
I realized both the spinner and the fishing rod was a little off model wise, so they've both recieved a bit of an overhaul.

Hope you like it :)


01 January 2011, 10:37 AM
Time for another update.

I've been doing some additional rigging, fixing stuff and such, and I'm now ready for the 3d layout/previz/3d animatic part.
Setting it all up in maya.

I then quickly realize that some rig fixing needs to be made, but I guess that's a side effect of putting it all together.
Anyways, I'm not completely done, but here is the first draft:

Let me know what you think :)

01 January 2011, 10:45 AM
Lookin good, does the water reflect the moon when the camera looks down on him?

01 January 2011, 10:54 AM
Yeah, it does.
Plus he has a lamp with him, which will give a warm yellow/orange light, if it is the lighting you're thinking about?

Thanks for your comment! :)

01 January 2011, 11:51 PM
I was missing a connection between when he opens the box, and when we se the picture on the inside. But maybe it will come later on when the colours are there.

It looks nice :) Keep it up..


01 January 2011, 10:05 AM
Hi Dennis. Thanks for your comment!
So you mean, you're not completely sure what we cut to, when we cut to the picture?

Maybe it will help, when the box is coloered and such. I had originally planned a over the shoulder shot, where we see both him and the picture, before cutting to the closeup, but it felt a bit unnessessary, I think I'll take a look at it again sometime.

04 April 2011, 10:19 AM
Time for an update.

I've been working on this mamuth shot for a while now, and I'm finally beginning to be satisfied with it.
It's not finalized yet, but it is getting close.

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