3d Animation production workflow

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3d Animation Production Workflow
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

Phase 1: Development
e Planning Phase
Before Writing, Determine the Parameters of your animation short. What is your target length? ! Determining how long your project is going to be is essential when dealing with
! ! animation. Even the small difference of 3 min to 7 min could be months of work.

What is the overall Style of your film?
! Is your film cartoony or realistic?

How many Characters?
! One, two, or None?

Is there dialogue? Music? Sound FX?
! If there is Dialogue, will it need to be recorded before animating?

Will there be a full or simple background environment?
! Will there be multiple scene changes?

Are there advanced 3d elements?
! Such as, Smoke, Fire, Water, Hair, etc...

What is your target resolution?
! Standard Def: 720x480 or 720p HD (1280x720) or FULL HD (1920x1080)

How are you planning on rendering the project?
Stereoscopic 3D, Toon Shader, Photorealistic using Mental Ray, Vector, Paint Effects (markers, oils, pastels, pencils, etc.)

After you have determined the Parameters: Step 1: Conceptualize the Story ! Develop the Characters, Conflict, and Plot of your story. Step 2: Develop the Outline/Script ! Write your story down on paper in script or outline form depending ! on the medium. Step 3: Character Designs ! Draw out how your characters will look. Step 4: Reference Materials ! Draw out what how the environments and props will look. Step 5: Map out events of the story through Storyboards. ! Draw out shot/scene references for later use in planning and ! animatics. !

3d Animation Production Workflow
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

Phase 2: Pre-Production
Creating the Digital Elements of your lm.
Step 1:Vocal Tracks Record and Process the lines in your animation first! This can be done using Pro Tools in a VO booth. Step 2: Story Reel and 2d Animatic Turn your storyboards into a video version with your vocal tracks in place through the use of Avid Media Composer. Step 3: Modeling ! Model your Characters, Environments, and ! Objects in Maya. Step 4: Materials and Textures ! Apply the materials and textures to your models ! in Maya. Step 5: Character Rigging ! Rig your Characters based on your animation ! preference or mocap parameters in Maya. (Test ! Character RIG with mocap data BEFORE you ! spend the time in rigging your model) Step 6: Motion Capture Tests or Animation Tests. ! Make sure you know that the mocap data will work with your !characters or you will have problems further into production. The Mocap Blade will output .vsk or other formats for input into your character. Step 7: Pre-Visualize FULL renders with each of your environments. If you do not test your characters fully rendered at resolution specs (HD) and have to correct problems, itʼs best to do it before animating multiple scenes. The most compatible format is Targa sequences.

Step 8: Data Management Techniques Where are your animation files going to save, where are your render files going to save. How much space will you need?

3d Animation Production Workflow
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

Phase 3: Shot-Production
Individual Shots are assembled.
Step 1: Camera Blocking Moving Camera Moments are pre-planned to ensure minimal animation time. “If itʼs not in the shot, why worry about it”. Step 2: Animatic Animation Blocking The characters are very roughly animated in the scene using solid objects representations to accurately time and plot the shots. An extremely low res preview is exported from the computer for use in the animatic. Step 3: Animatic Polishing The low res previews are edited together and placed back into the animatic to establish the precise timing of each shot for use in animation. Step 4: Animation and Motion Capture Animate the characters in the scene and/or motion capture the skeletons to be placed back into the characters. This stage can involved multiple rounds of animating, and then going back and fixing and cleaning up the motion in the shot inserted all the objects needed in the scene. This is the longest step in the production process and may involve multiple sessions of motion capture and clean-up to achieve the desired results. Step 4.5: Lighting and Render tests Lighting and Render tests can be done WHILE animating your scenes or can be done afterwards depending on the amount of scenes and the changing locations. If done after the animation process, the focus on lighting can be done by a dedicated team member rather than the animator. The render tests may consist of multiple frames of animation to test motion blur and other aspects of motion that need to be set. Step 5: Full Resolution Rendering Once the animation is complete and every shot has been planned out, the scenes are exported one at a time and sent to the render farm manager for distribution and output to the render nodes. The render farm will export Targa sequences. Step 6: Visual Effects and Compositing. The rendered Targa sequences are then brought back into After effects or Autodesk Flame for additional compositing and additional 2d effects onto the animation. If a character was matted against a blank background to save time while rendering, this stage is where the shots are brought together for the final image output.

3d Animation Production Workflow
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

Phase 4: Post-Production
Adding the nal touches to the animation
Step 1: Final Edit! Replace your animatic with the final composited renders into the timeline in Avid. Step 2:Sound FX and Foley Add layers of background sound effects. Step 3: Music Scoring Have a composer write a score or find royaltyfree music to accompany your animation. Step 4: Sound Mixing Combine your Sound FX layers and your music scoring, balanced and mixed for screen. Step 5: Titles, Credits, and Combined Picture with Sound. Add in your cast and crew to your locked picture and sound inside of Avid DS or Symphony. Step 6: Final Output to Tape After everything has been looked over and polished, output your final project to Blu-Ray. Be sure to burn extra copies for your cast and crew!

3d Animation Production Workflow
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

File Organization
Naming and Folder Conventions
Shortened naming conventions: sc07_sh12_animbl_JD_v02.mb Scene 01 Shot 12 Animation Blocking (File Type) John Doe (Author) Version 12

File Naming: The consistency in the naming convention will help easily identify each of the files and who the author of the file is.

Other File Type descriptions: _a = Alpha Channel _bg = Background _comp = Composited _final = Final Rendered File

Folder Structure: Each phase of development can be organized within the folder structure as displayed on the left. See the next page for details on each section.

In the development phase, reference files should be saved in easily accessed folders for 3d designs and also visual consistency.

3d Animation Production Workflow
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

File Organization
Naming and Folder Conventions

Models and textures are the most important folders to keep organized as future networked render farm renderings refer to common texture folders as reference.

Animated Scenes

Composite Shots

Final Shots

Motion Capture Data Raw formats and modified for animation. Rendered Scenes

NOTE! For Maya scenes, inside the Shot01 folder, keep the maya project and hierarchy in their standard folder structure. This way you can copy these folders easily to the network storage for use on the render farm.

Pre-recorded lines and sync

The Avid Media Composer timelines and Pro Tools sound sessions for assembling the final cuts.

3d Animation Production Workflow
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”

Extra Resources
Avid Media Composer Tutorials Blade Motion Capture Tutorials Pro Tools Tutorials AND Most recent version of the 3d Animation production workflow. http://ftv.chapman.edu - Under current students and in tutorial section. Frequently Asked Questions: Q:Where do I record the voices for my animation? A: You can make a reservation for the VO (Voice Over) booths on the 2nd floor through contacting Richard Boehm ([email protected]) or through the “Make a Reservation” link on http://datacine.chapman.edu . Once a reservation is made, be sure to clear keycard access with Kareem Marashi in room 332 ([email protected]). Q: How can I get access with my keycard for the VO booths, foley stage, or motion capture stage? A: Ben Russell ([email protected]) checks out preprogrammed ADR/VO keycards at the help desk. See Kareem Marashi ([email protected]) in room 327 on the third floor if your keycard does not already have access to the mocap stage and see Pete Vander Pluym for keycard access for foley. All of these rooms will still need to be reserved ahead of time, and Foley requires stage training through the video on the tutorial website. Q: How do I backup my animation folder or hard drive? A: A free backup application called Robocopy can be found here: http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/d/0/fd05def7-68a1-4f71-8546-25c359cc0842/ UtilitySpotlight2006_11.exe or do a web search for: robocopy gui download Another option for file backup can be available and bundled free with certain external hard drives. See your hard drive manufacturer for more information. Further problems or questions regarding 3d application workflow? Contact: Kc Wayland Digital Applications Specialist [email protected]

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