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.
After a summer hiatus, the Fearsome Beastie team are back at work! We have plenty of new material, artwork and CG items to share with you. The last time we mentioned the children’s bedroom, we had been modelling the CG room and prop, as you can see below…
Following on from last week’s post, we wanted to show another example of how the storyboard has changed. If you are familiar with the book, you know that Paul just runs off to his Gran’s house – there is no additional action or explanation. We don’t know why or how Beastie didn’t spot Pete; apart from being scared, we don’t know what Pete’s journey is like. Does he get lost? Is he being pursued? You can see from the initial storyboard below that his journey was pretty quick – almost like he lived over the road. He gets to Gran’s house very quick, where we then decided to build the tension a little by having his Gran asleep and taking her time to answer the door.
The storyboard and animatic stages of pre-production are when the story is really decided on – the shots, the camera angles, how to tell the story visually… But it isn’t just the story that is locked at this stage – it is also very important in animation to know what each shot requires in terms of 3D models. There is no point in building, texturing and lighting an entire room if we only use one corner of it. We wanted to show how a storyboard can change – below you will see our very first ideas for laying out the scene, followed by our most recent (and locked) storyboard.
In this post we want to show you how not every idea that is pitched at the storyboard stage makes it into the final film – in this case it is the deleted snowball fight opening shot. Below are some shots and thumbnail sketches from this sequence:
The idea was to have a long sequence where we would introduce the children and show them having fun, before they got scared. Apart from the introductory nature, we also wanted to emphsise the big brother/young brother relationship between Clyde and Pete. By showing Clyde as the stronger, older brother, when Pete saves the day later on it would re-inforce the ‘young-brother-comes-good’ moment.
The wallpapers and colours have been decided on and we can now show our final style frames from the downstairs room of the children’s house. Don’t forget, the action takes place at night, so the night frame at the bottom is much closer to the atmosphere we will be creating.
The process of building the village, piece by piece, is a time consuming one. After Katie has designed each item (from houses and streets to lamp posts and benches), Jon then builds a 3D model in Autodesk Softimage, as you can see below. However, there is quite a lot of ‘back and forth’ between Katie and Jon as assets are refined and re-modeled, as you can see from one of Katie’s notes about the street below.
The Fearsome Beastie’s cave is one of striking images from the book, and a scene that we were relishing getting stuck into in the film! But it wasn’t only the cave that excited us – the trees, woods and screnery that surround the cave (and that Beastie would have to traverse to reach the town) were environments we could really be creative with. These 2 images are concept designs of the trees and atmosphere, very much when we were still seeing things in 2D: