Mixing Week

This has been a straight forward week. I had to fix some of the lighting for my scenes and re-render the the images. I also had to do the sound mix for my film, which went very well. My sound mixer had a good understanding of film and my sound designer was able to sit in on the mix as well, which helped a lot. I am very happy about how the final mixed turned out. The levels sounds much better compare to the unmixed vision, needless to say. I am also able to coordinate panning of the sounds so that the camera has more presence. I will also fix some of the small issues with the title and credit sequence so everything runs through smoother. Can’t wait for the final film!

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This music and sound design really pulled my film together. There is not much to say about that except the fact that, well, it did. It is exactly as I envisioned it. I will be getting the third revision of my score in the morning and I am looking forward to it. The score itself has gone through some changes and is really shaping up to complement my film. Justin Bell, my composer, really came through on this one. I have posted the version two of the score just for your entertainment. Arthur Baum, did a lot of wonderful work as well. For the last part of the movie he was able to construct a scene through music alone. It’s very cool. I am getting more and more excited about the screening.

Just a quick update, I was able to render pretty much all my images (all 5130 of them) in 5days on three computers. This means that I will be able to

a. adjust some of the lighting and re-render parts of it.

b. spend some time in Aftereffects.

c. re-render at better resolution.

so excited!

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The Surreal and the Sub-conscience

This has been a busy but rewarding week. I was able to get a lot done. I was not able to include a blog entry for previous week because I was preoccupied with picture lock, so for this one I will make a double length entry to redeem myself. Plus, now that my film is more complete, I have time to take a pause and really think about what I have created and put them into words.

Making picture lock is certainly a good milestone. In addition it is kind of like a new starting point. It simplifies my to do list. I can now focus on the lighting and rendering. Of course there are a few things that needs to be tweaked, but it gives me a good idea of how the structure of the film would be. Obviously we all have a vision of how our project would look like, but it rarely turns out exactly like our original vision. I believe that my current story structure is doing what I wanted to do from the very beginning if not better. I simply have to push the visuals a little further. I should have something from my sound designer by end of today. I am excited about that, because so much of this film is about the sounds, and how it makes the audience feel. I told the designer that don’t be limited to what is present in the visuals of the film and really paint a scene with music and sounds. My film is different from a live action film in the sense that the sound effects doesn’t have to correlate to what is on the screen. There is no crying baby or jumping school children but they could be there in sound, and that’s when the magic happens, the coordination between images and sound resulting in a surreal space that the viewer reacts to on a subconscious level. Because ultimately, the goal of any film is to generate a reaction within the audience. I am not necessarily talking about whether the audience likes or dislikes the film, but as long as it is thought provoking.

A lot of experimental films try to touch up on this point. It is not about what is on the screen but what the audience sees in their mind. Thus music becomes an important tool in achieving the desired effect. Because music is abstract, it is shapeless, it is thought provoking. It inspires the audience instead of telling what the audience what to think. For example, if one sees an rabbit on the screen, the brain would instantly link all thoughts, memories related to the rabbit. It would be hard then to move the thought away from the rabbit. If a fox is then introduced on the screen, no matter how unrelated the background of the two images are, the viewer would try to make a connection between the rabbit and the fox. Because this is what the brain does. Further more, there are a set of reactions  that are inherent the viewer. When he/she sees a rabbit and a fox, it is much more likely for he/she to think that the fox is going to attack the rabbit rather than befriend it. Now, a film maker could use this to his/her advantage, but ultimately this becomes a limiting factor in what the third image could be following the image of the rabbit and the fox. It would “make sense” if the images are followed by a hunter and it would not “make sense” if it is followed by a picture of a diamond.

My goal for my film is to skip the puzzle altogether and give the audience as much freedom as possible within a given structure. It is a different approach to film making. In a way, the audience becomes the artist and narrates my film as it plays out. By the end, there is not one version of the film but 50. (or however many people was present at the screening)  This has always been an important part my thought process as I create my work. Of course, this could also result in some viewers at a complete loss by the end of the film. However it is a risk I am willing to take as a artist. Let’s be honest, we always take such risks with our work since they are always so personal.


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Picture Lock

This focus of this week is obviously on picture lock. Everything is fortunately going according to plan. A few minor things needed to be tweaked out but in general I am on the right track. In addition I have started rendering out parts of the film that is ready. I am thinking about going back to them later if time permits, but it makes sense to be as prepared as possible just in case something unexpected happens.

I am also focusing on the 4th room where the car accident happens. I have decided to render out the building shapes separately then composite the images over the the empty dark room. This will communicate better the idea that everything is a memory.

I am excited, it is almost done!

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Week Eight-Red Velvet

I will elaborate on this section later, but here is a sneak peak. Red Velvet Sofa, almost edible.


This has been a good week for my project.

1. I found a awesome composer and a temp score is finished. Below is the link


2. I found a sound designer who I will meet tomorrow.

3. I very close to finalizing the look for my film. Above is a sample image. I particularly like the soft light on the sofa, it looks like what you would expect from velvet cloth.

4. I smoothed out all the timings and I am expected to achieve picture lock early.

5. I promise it looks better in actual 720p. Blog spot needs to work on their HD capabilities. =D

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Week Seven-Frustrations

I can’t believe it is already the 7th week. Where did all the time go? This has been a particular frustrating week because of several software related mishaps. First of all, Maya kept on doing weird things to my geometry. One of the geometries completely disappeared. When I say disappeared I meant that only the wire frame remains. I can not see any texture or surface on the object. Secondly, I realized that I have been editing a slightly older version of the file. The way I work is that I would save at least an extra copy of a maya file just incase that I need to go back or the file becomes corrupt for any reason while I work on it. This has been treating me real well so far. However I am not perfect and little incidents does occur. What happened was that I had two files created probably a day apart in the beginning of the week and through out the week I have been working on the earlier version without noticing it. Now I looked back and realized that there are certain things that are not revised. Well, you might ask could I just add that few hours of revision into the most current file? Well I wish it is that simple. There many things that were not constructed in a linear order, which mean I can not simply change one aspect of it. Long story short, I do not have to redo this weeks work entirely, but I do have to some re-organization and produce a clean copy of the file that has everything I have done so far. And the next goal is to re-render an animatic with latest changes.

In General though, all is well!

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Week Six-Revisions

This week’s main focus was to make revisions so that I could begin to render out some of the scenes. It’s always good to plan ahead just in case of catastrophic failure of equipments, or just failures in general. I have been an painter for most of my artistic career and I am used to a certain creative process, from concept to finished product to revision. Animation provided extra challenge because it added the dimension of time and space. So when it comes to adjustment and revision, there are simply more aspects to tweak. Sometimes there are simply just too many possibilities. This goes along with my last post, even with same images if put in different timeframe it is possible to create different meaning. This is of course the most challenging and exciting part of this week.

In addition spent some time to refine the model of the building. This however is a continued process because I always see small things that could be improved each time I look at the model.

For next week I would like to test render out the day and night transition in  low resolution and I will update my progress.

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