Back to Parent


I started off the process by writing down the intended message and story of the visuals in the original proposal shown here at the bottom of the page.  From this story, and discussing it with the TA's, I narrowed down the clip to be something circular yet short in order to work well in the time frame given.  From the story, I started sketching rough storyboards for the animation itself to help organize how the scene would play out.

Then I started the animation.  I first intended to use the newer Autodesk Maya 2017.  Unfortunately, I learned that this iteration of the software used a new renderer license which although was a much more powerful renderer (the Arnold Renderer), it was not compatible with the rig I intended to use for my characters (the Morpheus Rig).  The textures for the Morpheus rig were specifically designed for an older license of a different renderer, specifically mentalray.  And again I discovered that in order to use the mentalray renderer with the new Maya I would need to purchase a separate license which not only was not under the licenses that Carnegie Mellon owned, but also was too expensive for what would be single use.  Also, a revamped version of the rig was under development, and so I could not use a more updated version of the rig for animation.  Therefore, I had to switch back to Autodesk Maya 2016.

Unfortunately for me, this led to new complications.  I had to change many settings back to what I was used to, except that I forgot to set the project to autosave.  I did set up the scene with the rough models (I focused more on the animation than the modeling/renders in the GIF) and setup models for animation, but I discovered too late that I forgot to set on autosave, and as a result due to a computer crash a good few hours work of keyframing was lost.  Thankfully it was work that was fairly rough and not terrible to make up.

From here I set on to keyframe and continue to refine the clip's cuts from the original storyboard.  I removed the portion with the old man and woman, as I felt that that scene did not have the impact that I wanted my clip to have.  I also decided to focus on the cutting of cuts more, and thus I increased the cuts in the individual scenes, an effect which I will describe later on how it affected the outcome.  I also did the animation in a more continuous animation style with limited pose to pose animation.

Even with the storyboards I changed the cuts from the storyboards themselves as I found poses that I felt were stronger than what I had intended.  From the original storyboard, I had four scenes: two young children getting something from a vending machine, two older children with a stack of cans, two working people getting drunk, and two old people reconnecting after a long time.  I cut out the older child scene and the older person scene, as I felt that with the resources such a long clip would get boring without music and strong render quality.  I also placed cuts between portions of the two leftover scenes; instead of a continuous scene with two people approaching a vending machine and one buying drinks for the other, I broke it apart into three cuts.  The first was of the girl leading the guy, turning around and suggesting to the guy to get drinks, the second was her getting drinks while he shifted closer to her (a move that I felt was fitting more or less on the fly of the animation), and finally the two drinking, with one shyly looking away while the other turns more towards the other, to suggest their personalities.

In the older scene, I keyframed the character edits to change their apparent ages.  I also changed their poses; the man is hunched over, seemingly troubled by a choice.  The woman is a bit stiffer, looking around as if their relationship had grown a bit awkward.  The little head wandering from the woman was also ad libbed.  The man pantomimes presenting a ring to the woman, and she pantomimes pointing to a ring on her hand, after another ad libbed shocked expression was added.  The next cut is of the man disappearing as the woman reaches out, but she gives up and stands up, with the final cut being her disappearing from the screen.

While working on the project, I discovered that the cuts had a new meaning to them.  Yes, the most major timeskip is a definite timeskip, but the other small ones can suggest variable sized timeskips.  My ad libbing may have also contributed to it, as initially the girl and guy seem a bit distant, and then the guy attempts to get closer etc etc.  In the process of making the animation, I discovered a new way to inject meaning into the cuts.

Content Rating

Is this a good/useful/informative piece of content to include in the project? Have your say!