The past 2 months since my last update has insane! With school work on top of Iskabittle, time did not allow me to update this blog.
One major person update is that I moved up to a Director! This was because I lead two other Houdini lighters we had on the film, on top of cloud effects, on top of all of the compositing.
One major thing has happened to this blog. I had to remove some of the breakdowns for the later shots. This is so the film can properly be entered into film festivals.
One major thing that has happened with lighting the film is the lighting on the clouds. There is also new procedural cloudscape environment!
And I guess I should mention the biggest update....
The Film Is Finished!
Woah! How exciting! I cannot wait for people to see this on the big screen! As of this post, the film is being submitted to several festivals. Now, its just a waiting game to see if we get picked or not.
In the Meantime...
I plan on creating breakdowns of as many shots that I physical create and posting the as many scenes with breakdowns as I can at this time. So stay tuned for more!
We are excited to add the last final touch to film! The end goal of the look is to look very similar to the Disney Short: Feast. We our scene to have the same bumpy edges as these characters. We are also adding film in the shadows to achieve a rustic look as well. We are calling this "The Crayon Effect."
How I Will Approach Making the Effect
Before joining the project, the art director had previously created the effect in Photoshop for the poster. She recreated the effect for me. I know that in Photoshop, I can create an "Action" that will repeat set keys. From there, I can quickly batch edit every frame and a every pass in a matter of a couple minutes.
Behind The Scenes
After creating the Crayon Effect, both Directors and I saw got to see look final look of the film. We all got very excited and we were only looking at one layer of one frame. The whole film will be finished in a couple weeks from now, and we all excited to see the final outcome.
Lighting the interior has been interesting. I am used to photography and realistic render. So when lighting the interior, I can't help but to think that the exposure of the background seems too bright, or the shadows on the face should be softer. But this is a Toon Shader and that is how it translate to 3D. Of course, that can be changed, but that is not the direction the Art Director is moving towards.
The Next Step
The next step is to figure out how to create "God Rays" in Houdini. Current, I am making the "foggy" appearance by using an ISOoffset node, but the outcome is not the desired look. There is still some playing around I need to do.
Cloud Look Development
With approved lighting, it's time to make these clouds look more like clouds! Again, I created a spreadsheet of different levels of fluffy. This was great for Isabella to see and she could easily tell me which one she liked or to choose a higher or lower fluff level.
The goal with these are to create clouds with the implied shape of objects. There was a good variety of chooses to pick from but there can only be one cloud that stays. "Fluff level: 13" was picked as it shows the right amount of detail with the larger cloud and distortion with the smaller cloud.
Lighting & Feedback
As a Lighting Artist, the first thing I want to get right is the lighting. I created a spread sheet of possible directions to explore and had Isabella (the art director) pick the best one. In the end, Lighting Setup 2 was chosen with no changes at this time. This setup chosen because of the pink hues and brighter sky.
Reference & Direction
I am the Lead Light TD and Cloud Effects Artist on Iskabittle.