Pigeon: Impossible


Thanks guys, I’m glad you’re finding them useful! I was actually considering putting the podcasts on hold for a bit because they’ve been taking time away from finishing the short, but I think I just need to get over my own laziness and push through this last month of animation. :slight_smile:


Well, if it comes down to either podcast or shortfilm, please put the casts at hold. We wanna see the film. We’re just demanding the casts because we are a product of the spoiled youth (well, I am at least) :smiley:

Would be nice with a status of the film?
Where in the production are you, and what’s left? Estimated timeframe, stuff like that… :slight_smile:


I’ve only got about 1 minute of animation left and should have that finished in a month. Then the rest of the lighting shouldn’t be too bad. I’m thinking it’ll be done October-ish

And don’t worry, the podcasts will keep coming. I just need to stop procrastinating and get that animation finished.

On a related note, I’ve gotten a bunch of emails from people who were having problems viewing the Podcasts. Here are the YouTube versions for the episodes thus far. They’re not as good of quality but at least you’ll be able to see them. :slight_smile:



Great stuff, I am enjoying seeing how you work it inspires me, I am going to start taking a course in the fall and seeing this pumps me up. You have a level of animation that is on par with pixar. Btw I like th podcasts keep them coming.


Thanks for posting the podcasts. I am not into lighting but your podcasts helped a lot in understanding what goes in lighting. Can’t wait for the rigging one :slight_smile:


Thanks guys! Podcast #008 is up and talks about building the control panel for the character rigs.


Very informative I look forward to seeing more.


VERY inspirational!

I’m in a similar situation and feel your pain!!! I was beginning to think I was the only one with these production frustrations. I particularly like your “Writing is re-writing” podcast. I had a similar kick in the guts last year. You’ve given me some great tips for lighting and rendering too, thanks!!

I’m very much looking forward to this short film. The production value is amazing, and I wish you all the very best of luck with the rest of the production and for when the film is released!

Great work. I can’t wait to see it!!


Thanks guys! Podcast #009 is up and talks about setting up an FK arm with some extra functionality.


Nice two podcasts.
Very interesting. About the shoulder, I usually make a ikchain from the spine to the shoulder, at link a little control curve to that, so I can move the shoulder back and forewards and up and down manually, without moving the elbow and wrist. It’s really fast to set up, and it gives a lot of freedom. I don’t know how it is with IK chains in XSI, but in Maya it has a build in twist attribute, which also helps fixing deformation issues. Seem like a nice solution to make it react manually though - never thought of that :slight_smile:


Yep, that’s exactly how I did it as well. The automation happens on top of that, but you can still move the shoulder by hand. I should have mentioned that in the episode. Thanks!


Podcast #10 is online and goes through a pretty standard way to set up IK-FK blending. It also shows some handy tricks for tweaking and optimizing it.


Cool, man. Great vidcast; I watched 'em all over the past two nights. I am genuinely excited for this!
You seem to know a bunch about every part of doing CG… is it really just you? Amazing!
I anxiously await what you have to say about my area of expertise, the character animation.
love, luck,


Yeah character animation will probably take at least 10 episodes. I have had a lot of help from different people on this short, especially with animation and modelling. Overall, I’d guess I’ve probably done about 75% of it. That last 25% is still a TON of work though and I’ve been very fortunate to have such great people working on it. :slight_smile:


Wow, very cool!!! Just watched all you 'casts, cant wait to start doing stuff like that myself!
You got another fan now Lucas! Keep going!

ps - you might have been able to save $5k if you got a program called reason, and a few reason refills. maybe… the real thing is always better though!


Podcast #011 is up and talks about how we handled the cloth simulations (or lack thereof).


Hi Lucas,

Great stuff! I’ve been looking forward to PI since I saw it on animwatch a year ago. I’m working hard on a short film myself (and I’ll be in it for the long haul too…been working on it for a year and still have about 2 to go)…so I find your stuff very inspiring :slight_smile:


Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. The good news is that we’re finishing final sound this week and final picture is exporting as we speak!

Also, I wanted to let people know that I’m teaching another course at FXPHD: http://www.fxphd.com/courses#XSI202 There should be an introductory video up soon, but the general pitch for the class is that it’s a “tech for artists” sort of thing. We’ll be covering a lot of scripting, expressions and ICE stuff using examples from Pigeon: Impossible. You don’t need to know any scripting or have programming experience, in fact its probably better if you don’t because some of the techniques will be down and dirty ways to get results, not necessarily the “proper” way to do things. The class is designed to open up parts of XSI that some people find intimidating at first, but if you know just a few simple things can harness a lot of power and really speed up your workflow.

The podcasts will resume later this month, but this class will let me go into way more depth and focus on XSI specific stuff (which I usually try to avoid in the podcasts.) Hope to see some of you at fxphd!


Great! Glad to see you’re still at it.
Let us know about the festival schedule (and which ones you’ll be attending: I’d love to shake your hand).
And lastly, enjoy the reward for all your hard work!


I can not wait for some more podcast. The one on multipass rendering helped me out a lot on my latest project. Thanks alot.