We have now pretty much just chopped up the movie into four parts and we're now ready to start animating one part each. I've included my first shot here which currently is in its second day of development.
The first day pretty much went into camera motion and timing of the animation. I also started animating the feet.
On the second day I kept iterating on the animation and I think I've got a pretty good rough going here.
I feel the timing is a little off here during the running. He seem a bit slow for someone in such a hurry. I'll try to address that as I go on.
I'm having a hard time deciding on which image sampler to use for this movie. Adaptive DMC is definitely the faster one but it produces too much noise (to the degree of making background objects unrecognizable) and lowering the noise threshold increases the rendering time significantly. Fixed sampling creates a more predictable and clear render but the rendering time per frame is too long here. Finally we have the Adaptive Subdivision which appears to be much like the DMC but without the extreme noise. I find the rendering time on Adaptive Subdivision is still a bit high (currently at around 4 minutes per frame), so I will have to keep experimenting through the animating process to get us a satisfying render time to quality ratio.
Speaking of rendering times, I'm considering replacing all reflective surfaces with specular highlights and disable reflection calculation completely as that will shave the rendering by approximately 30 seconds.
I've also finished up the main scene adding in the props as XRef objects for easy future adjustments and created some trash and scattered it around for a added touch.
Also, the VRay Dirt Map suddenly started bugging out on me for reasons unknown, so I had to get rid of my procedural dirt shaders and have instead increased the occlusion density to compensate.
Anyways, here's a few renders of the updated scene:
Øyvind had some trouble setting up the rig for our main character and has asked me to do it. Of course I accepted the challenge. So I've been spending the weekend on creating a functional rig for Dave. This is my most advanced rig to date complete with IK/FK blend switches for the arms. It isn't perfect but it sure is enough for our short film.
I've been spending some time updating the shaders for most of my props to give them a bit more of an gritty, diffuse cartoony look. I honestly think it looks way better this way, besides less reflections == less render time. Can't complain about that.
Seeing as we need a couple of short dirt and smoke effects, and don't want to spend hours at learning and simulating "realistic" particles, I've been experimenting a little with a generic smoke effect using a simple ParticleFlow setup.
It's amazing what you can do with some spheres, falloff/procedural maps and a bit of creativity these days...