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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Skeith

SCAD x The Mill: Week Two

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Process Blog for SDGM 560, a 10 week collaboration with The Mill at SCAD.


Week Two Updates:

This week we had several tasks: nailing down our shots in previs, the creation of our sky in VUE, starting our look development rig, starting to build our terrain, and research and development for the FX of the road breaking apart. T'Naige also did some retopology on the car model, as it was very high poly.

Reworking our previs was our first priority. We received several great pieces of feedback to implement:

  • The last and first shot are too similar.

  • First shot needs to be longer.

  • The last shot is unnecessary and leaves the viewer feeling uncertain of the resolution.

  • Shots are too static - look for reference of drones.

To help us find the pacing and camera moves we were looking for, we each found some references of drones filming cars. Elyse found this reference that we really liked!

These changes really helped us to achieve our vision for the project, and made the shots feel much more dynamic and fast paced.

Credit: Billy Morris.

T'Naige and I also spent the week testing out sky creation in VUE, as it was a new software for both of us. To get started I experimented with the settings to see what results I could get, and then moved on to creating a sky that was what we had in mind for the project. (As an avid sunset enthusiast, I genuinely had so much fun exploring VUE and seeing what images I could create!)

Credit: Amanda Skeith (Me).

Another one of my responsibilities for the week was beginning our look development rig. This week I focused on developing shaders for our car asset, and later T'Naige and I will move on to developing shaders for the terrain. First, I rendered our shaders using a desaturated HDR to get a clear idea of the base colors and attributes in neutral light. Once I had created our sky, I then brought that into Maya, and rerendered the quilt and turntables to see how everything held up in our look development rig.

I had never created a look development rig before and actually had little experience in shading, so this part definitely proved to be a challenge. I am really proud of the results, and can't wait to hear from the mentors on how to improve them.

Credit: Amanda Skeith (Me).

Over the course of the week Billy and Elyse also made great progress in Houdini. Billy began preliminary set dressing and layout of the terrain and did some motion tests, shown below.

No motion blur.

Motion blur.

Credit: Billy Morris.

After speaking with our professors, we decided that based on our camera angles and moves there would not really be motion blur on the car, more on the background. We are considering multiple options for how to approach this, such as moving the ground instead of the car, adding blur in compositing, or experimenting further with setting adjustments in Maya.

While Billy was working on the motion tests and terrain, Elyse was doing research and development on the effect of the ground breaking apart. After several tests and experiments, this is the effect so far:

Credit: Elyse Resseguie.

I am so excited about the progress we made this week. It's been great seeing our ideas and tests start to develop and grow as we get further into the quarter, and I can't wait to see what progress we make in the weeks to come!

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