Back to the bedroom for the last time! We have been busy texturing the room, walls, doors and props. With the room laid out now, we started to realise that it may not be necessary to texture every prop and part of the room – unfortunately items such as the toy balloon and helicopter hanging from the ceiling would no longer be seen in shot! Although this was a shame, we were relieved to save some time on the texturing work!
The village sign is a prop that we had been debating for some time… did we really need it? As the Beastie makes the journey from his cave to the village we needed to show a point at which he had reached the edge of the village, to show that danger to the children was imminent. Plus, as we still were not showing the Beastie’s body at this stage, we wanted to use his shadow to engulf the sign as he approached.
In the end, we decided that we wanted to keep this element, and the sign carried on going through some changes. We used the village name ‘Tuffles’ as a placeholder in the beginning, but we all hated it by this point, and decided that the village doesn’t need a name, so decided to drop it for the simple ‘Welcome’ message.
Over a year after we had Brian Blessed and Alison Steadman into the recording studio, it was time to dust off the microphone and record the voices for the children. Up until now we had been using scratch tracks – a rough track as a placeholder until we were ready. We had been looking for the right voice for some time – someone who could perform all the children’s voices – and were extremely happy when we discovered Lizzie Waterworth’s audition tape.
As you saw in our last post about getting the sizes and proportions right, we have almost finished the 3D modelling of the children. These will go off for texturing now, but at the same time, we start to rig the models – which basically means giving them a skeleton – ready for when we start animating them. We then put the characters through rigorous testing – pulling their joints, arms, legs and body around to test for any abnormalities. As you can see below, there were quite a few issues – some subtle and some massive! We’ve highlighted some of them, but see if you can spot the issues on the other images…
With the bulk of our 3D environments and characters now built, and ahead of the texturing of the children, we had our first look at what the characters look like in their environment. As the children interact quite a lot with the surroundings (especially when they hide) it was very important to ensure they were the correct size, or at least the correct proportion for that shot. We did this by placing them in some of the key places they needed to go, and next to each other to gauge their relation to one another, as you can see from the images below
While all the amazing work of building the 3D world goes on, it’s easy to get swept away in the craft of this work and forget that there are still many of facets of the film that need work – none as important as the story itself. Although we have been constantly working on the storyboard (revising it, adding new sections, removing sections), there has to come a time when you have to decide and lock the animatic. Co-directors Jon & Katie, myself and our editor Simon recently met for an intense day of locking as much of the animatic as we could…
Like us, you will probably be pleased to hear that there will be no more posts on the village after this one! We have completed the modelling and texturing of all village props and assets – the next stop will be laying them out and lighting the scenes. And where best to get texturing inspiration than from a holiday in Disneyland Paris…!
We have been a little quiet on revealing one of the key locations from the film: the Beastie’s cave. While a lot of work has been going into the village and interior locations, we have been quietly working away on the cave and it’s surrounding location. This post will cover the whole process that saw the cave go from concept art to final 3D model.
Things are moving fast now – we have almost finished modeling the children – both their bodies and faces. There are still plenty of tweaks and improvements to make, as you will see below with the comments (and problems) from these photos. However, it is not just about making things smooth and slick – it is also about making the shapes and models work well when we come to the rigging.
The downstairs room is ALMOST complete! We have built all of the 3D assets, we have decided on the colours and textures – the final piece of the jigsaw is texturing them. Our fantastic texture artists Boyan and Ilektra have been working overtime to get each object unwrapped, textured and wrapped up again, ready for Jon to position them in the frame for lighting tests.