Icarus MFA Thesis Film

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  10 October 2012
Icarus MFA Thesis Film

Hey all, I am currently an MFA student at The Academy of Art University. For my thesis project, I am making a short 3D animated film. So far, my friend Jeff Bellio has done the character concept art, and he painted the backgrounds. I have done everything else. I am planning to have some help with more modeling soon too. I will be posting updates here on my progress with the film.

Right now I have the characters mostly modeled and rigged. I am currently working on blocking out the entire short. Next week I'll start lighting as well.

You can see my progress so far on the film at my thesis blog - www.jesseobrien.com/thesis

Here is my layout reel; I have been adding my blocking shots to it as I go. I used the Morpheus rig for the 3D animatic, because I didn't have my character modeled yet.

This is the concept art for the boy character.

Concept art for the bird.

One of the background matte paintings.

  10 October 2012
I like the model of the bird.
  10 October 2012
The boys facial expressions were very good.
I like to learn.
  10 October 2012
Dillster and YashaP, thanks for the kind words! I have started doing lighting tests. I would love feedback on where I am at with these.

Here I am testing out my lighting and shader. The textures are all placeholder still.

I started lighting these three shots. I only rendered a small portion of each shot to save time, but these give a sense of what the lighting is looking like. The animation is still in the blocking phase, it needs a lot of work. The textures are all still placeholder.

This is an early concept of the boy, by Jeff Bellio.

Last edited by Mithrandir315 : 10 October 2012 at 07:55 PM.
  10 October 2012
Thumbs up

Gorgeous artwork and char designs dude... the translation to 3d went pretty well (even if like you said the textures being placeholders)...

The lighting looks really good too but I did notice that in the lighting test the area on the boys face that has the shadow makes him look like he has a trimmed beard. Im just being picky tho cuz im in no way close to your level!!!

cant wait to see this finished!!!
  10 October 2012
Great going Jessie

Loved the painting look of the entire short and characters as well, are you planning to make it in the same style? or a typical polished 3d render ?

and yeah the bird concet is really Cool!!!
Kudos to your friend Jeff Bellio!!
  10 October 2012
Hi aqua9, thanks for the kind words. I hope we can light and texture the 3D part of the film to match the 2D concept art and background paintings. It would be great to achieve that painterly look! In addition to doing the character concept art, Jeff Bellio will be texturing the characters, and painting the backgrounds.
  10 October 2012
Good to know, but I think you have already started working on to achieve that painterly look. It'll be very cool if you achieve that look
  10 October 2012
Fantastic work so far, keep up the great work. I actually will be attending AAU for animation as well in a couple months so it's nice seeing someone's current work.
  10 October 2012
Hey all, thanks for the feedback! Andrewty07, I have had a fantastic time at AAU. I really can't recommend the program enough, all of my instructors have been fantastic, and I am learning a lot! Heh, thevilneo, my wife thought the same thing about the lighting making it look like he had a beard! I tried to fix that in my updated light test.

I am continuing to block out all my shots. This week I added most of the bike flying machine shots.

Last edited by Mithrandir315 : 10 October 2012 at 07:03 PM.
  10 October 2012
Hey all, more updates! Dave Gibbons has recently joined my little crew to help me with some modeling, he did a first pass of the wingsuit. Below is the original concept drawing by Jeff Bellio.

Here is a turnaround of the first pass of the wingsuit on my boy model.

Below are some paintovers Jeff did. I decided to shorten the wings to make the animating process simpler. Originally I had envisioned the wings with handles that the boy holds onto, and that's how Dave modeled it. Jeff suggested however, that we make the wings more like sleeves the boy's arms go into, so we are going to do that instead.

This week I continued the first pass on the lighting. All the backgrounds are either placeholder or not there at all. And all the textures, especially the ones for the ground, are placeholder.

  10 October 2012
Nice decision to modify the wing layout, at first while I was looking at the original plan with handles it would be very cool but tricky to setup compared to the revision. How are you planning on rigging and animating the birdsuit? any plan on cloth simulation?
  11 November 2012
Hi Andrewty07, thanks for the comments on the wings. Yea, wing setup simplicity was exactly why we decided to go with the updated version of the wings. I am planning to do just a simple bone rig for the wingsuit. I can quickly animate the suit, and I don't want to get into the complexities of simulation with this project.

Hey all, I completed my first blocking pass! There is a bunch of stuff I need to rework now, but I am moving into the polish animation phase while I continue with the second pass of the blocking.

This is the first polish pass on one of the workshop shots, I would love specific comments on how to make this better.

Dave is continuing to work on the wing suit, here is the completed first pass.

  11 November 2012
There seems to be nothing wrong with the workshop shot it wrx well... I could imagine people would say throw in some arcs on his wrist and head but why complicate things?
  11 November 2012
Thanks for the feedback Narntson!

I am continuing to do a first animation pass on all my shots now. I worked on three shots this week.

I am also continuing the first lighting pass.

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