View Full Version : Graduation project 3d animation

05 May 2011, 10:49 AM
Hello everyone, we are a small projectgroup of college students currently working on a graduation project. The main goal of the project is to translate an existing story (a book or short story) to a movie or short animation.
We chose to translate a story based on the Matrix to a 12 minute 3d animated movie. Having finished the script, motion capture sessions and voice overs, we are currently working on finalizing the camera positions and have started working on the many 3d models.

The following is some concept art. Please leave your opinion and critique as we can use all the help we can get. And also feel free to ask questions or discuss anything regarding our work.

We will be updating at least once a week with our progress.

05 May 2011, 01:25 PM
Look forward to watchign the progress. What is the book though?

05 May 2011, 01:07 PM
The original story is called Goliath. It's one part from a set of Matrix spin-off stories.

Here is some 3d work of the last few days. Right now we're working on hair, eyes, facial expressions and mouth movement (blendshapes), textures, and just building and finishing up the scenes by putting all the objects together.

Tell us what you think.

05 May 2011, 11:11 PM
As a graduation project I am hoping you have an animatic put together? please it so we can see whats going on and make comments.. If you don't have one then please make one for the sake of your degree :p

05 May 2011, 10:56 AM

I say this mainly as I am very concerend with regards the length of the film?... In my opinion a 12 minute film that would look good on someones showreel would need at least 6 months work?? showreel production really is quality over quantity. I did a similar group project during my final year for my final major project - there was 4 of us working on a 4 minute film. we all had other projects going on at the same time but it took months to complete and didn't really look good at the end of the day. It wasn't refined in any way - In hindsight I really wish I had done a shorter project which could have looked beautiful!

On the other hand I have seen work by Shynolas Richard Kenworthy which he made for his graduation which is a reasonably long film and is very captivating. even so this must be around 5 minutes long as opposed to 12!

what is your time frame? if you had 12 weeks (60 days of working time?) you would need to be COMPLETING 12 seconds of animation PER DAY! thats compositing and everything. Let alone render times!.. scary.

Anyway hopefully you can clear some of this up ;) all the best, Will.

05 May 2011, 08:08 AM
I can understand your concern and agree on choosing quality over quantity. We had some lengthy discussions about the time frame at first as well when we were writing the script. We believe that, in order to really translate the story, we had to keep as much of the original story in our script as possible.
We're working on it with 5 people who have experience in 3d animation and who aren't tied to other projects, and have around 6 months in total to finish it, with 2 months or so to go now. For the character animations we've used a motion capture studio. Rendering of the final product will be done at a renderfarm at said mocap studio. And audio is done externally by a few others.

Thanks for the tips and link though, and for your interest of course!

ps. A pre-visual is being modified as we speak due to the changes we made and will be uploaded later on.

05 May 2011, 11:38 AM
Ok then look forward to seeing the animatic... Although I can't help but be slightly concerened if you are stillediting the animatic at this stage? So from this point to end we need to see an average of 20 seconds of footage per day ready to send to render. good luck guys!

05 May 2011, 07:53 AM
Looking forward to see more updates. Hope you guys make it before the deadline.

05 May 2011, 10:01 AM
Everything that is based on the Matrix should turn out great! Dont dissapoint the source

05 May 2011, 07:57 AM
Thanks for the replies guys. As promised, here is the Pre-visualisation (

As far as editing goes, we've been having some problems with voice acting. With each new voice actor the time frames change a bit. Not having any real experience with camera work also doesn't help, so we need to make time with teachers every once in a while, which is very limited.
The upside of this extra work we put in pre-vis editing is that we can import the final stuff into the pre-visual, keeping the cameras as they are.

05 May 2011, 11:06 AM
Its too long guys. Honestly it gets kind of boring for me. It needs to have a faster rhythm.

05 May 2011, 11:44 AM
Its too long guys. Honestly it gets kind of boring for me. It needs to have a faster rhythm.

Haha, I didnt even finish watching it. It is way too long and monotonous.
At this point in time there is nothing that can be said about it. If you are following the story than it's not your fault.

05 May 2011, 01:22 PM
Please feel free to ignore this comment, but I am speaking from experience of being in your situation just last year!...

Ok guys from a point of view of your degrees I would have some serious discussions. I understand you are following the story but might it perhaps save all of your degrees if you were to interpret that story and condense it down? I hate to be the bearer of negativity but I can't see it getting finished even with a crack team of professionals under the hood.
The pace is very slow and the action is nonexistent which is not your fault, it is the story you are following. I do think there are some nice stories within this narrative but can you somehow focus down into one part of the story and create a 3 minute narrative (still very ambitious in my opinion, but certainly more achievable).

Everyone knows the matrix story, it gets a bit old and the plot of this one doesnít seem too different to a lot of the other stories... but there are some elements within this that I feel could be focussed in on. The most gripping part for me was the narrative between the guy and his girlfriend in bed... perhaps parts of the story like this could be explored and expanded on? Hells some people might even make a complete animation using only that one bedroom scene and maybe 1 to 3 different camera angles and it could be more intense and memorable than 30 minutes of action. You donít have to stick to the exact script, take it, change it, distort it, then snap it back to reality at the last minute and then throw a spanner in at the very last second. you want to excite people with the visuals and timing, or throw them into an emotional whirlpool with carefully planned dialogue and simple shots?

These are two of my favourite animations, both with stories that could have been pulled out of a much larger narrative, but condensed down into a few minutes to keeping the attention of the viewer.. (

Of course to think about changing now would seem crazy, but you have to be realistic and bite the bullet if push comes to shove. And now is the ONLY time you will be able to consider that with 2 months left........

But non the less, if you continue this way I wish you all the best with it! and good luck with the character animation etc. I hope you manage to find a 'style' that works for the final output?!

All the best, Will.

05 May 2011, 01:42 PM
Thanks a lot for the feedback. We really appreciate it.
We've been talking about the same things as well and want to cut some parts for sure. Tomorrow we'll have a meeting with a video editing and story telling consultant who can hopefully guide us a bit on the problems you pointed out. Since we aren't used to working on (short) movies it's quite a learning curve for us as well.
We will be posting new decisions for the project in the coming days.

05 May 2011, 01:47 PM
Excellent. Good luck with the meetings, and don't be too worried about making radical changs if needs be. After all conceptual films are often some of the most interesting! :)

06 June 2011, 01:24 PM
Alright, we received feedback from multiple sources, and most, like you guys, pointed out that the movie was kind of long and the pacing could use some work making it boring to watch. We went back to the script and decided to merge a lot of text into just a few short conversations next to cutting a few shots here and there.

We'll post some new renders and artwork next week.

06 June 2011, 01:11 PM
Here's a long awaited update.
As always, feedback is welcome.

First some new concept art for the later scenes:

Here are some new renders for some of the scenes. Most of these don't have any lighting in them yet though, and the textures need some work here and there as well.

06 June 2011, 09:15 AM
Here is the first scene of our animation as we have it right now. Of course this still lacks lighting and detail. If you've seen our previous pre-visual you'll notice we've changed quite a bit. Not only did we add a title/intro (so the viewer won't be dropped in the middle of a story), but we also cut a lot from the time distortions. Right now there aren't any time loops present anymore since they started to confuse even us. Instead we've changed it to just a few visual experiences which should still have the same, if not more impact. The transition to the white scene will be much faster as well.

You can view the new short pre-visual here (

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