Nov 16 2014 0

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…

James testing Clyde's rig (5)

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Nov 09 2014 0

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

05. Scaling the children (3)

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Nov 02 2014 0

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…


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Oct 26 2014 0

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…!

The brickwork effect is exactly what we wanted from the well and bell tower

The brickwork effect is exactly what we wanted from the well and bell tower

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Oct 19 2014 1

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.

05. 3D model of cave (2)

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Oct 12 2014 0

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.

04. Tweaking the children for the rig (3)

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Oct 05 2014 0

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.

Texturing the Downstairs 5

This collection of frames show a variety of the downstairs room once the texturing had been done

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Jun 29 2014 0

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.

Storyboard - Pete Run - Old 1

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Jun 22 2014 0

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.

Storyboard - Can't Sleep - Old 1

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