17 September 2016

Software I am looking forward to

I am not really someone who just buys and tries lots of software. What I have already is complicated enough to keep me busy but updates and occasionally new software catches my attention and gets me excited. 

Affinity is producing some really nice stuff so far, I have both Designer and Photo and I am really looking forward to a couple of new things from them. Photo is getting a big update, soon, not sure when exactly and it will fill some of the remaining gaps with Adobe Photoshop… making it much easier to stop using Photoshop in future. They will also be releasing a page layout program to compete with Indesign and I am very curious to see what they do as it’s one of those core softwares I can’t do without and will need ago replace when my current Adobe stuff eventually stops working because I refuse to pay them a ransom every month. Also in the works is a program to organize files, like Adobe Bridge does now and that would be amazing. 


I am not a big gamer, but I have been waiting years for Obduction, the Myst-like new game form the makers of Myst. It’s technically already out, just not for the Mac so I have to wait. It looks fantastic and the early reviews have been stellar. 


3D Coat is something I am deciding to add to my Cinema 4D workflow as it that is one application I am not updating anytime soon. Too much money for too few new features and it still misses basic functions even free software has nowadays. Maxon is so terrible now with their updating that 3rd party plugins basically take me me far beyond what even their next version upgrade will be. X-Particles is getting much better fire and smoke simulations we are told, something no version of C4D can do at all and the current 3D Coat surpasses even the coming updates in Body paint for texturing. So I will be stuck C4D version 16 a long time. I have been seriously looking into Blender to see how easily I can replace C4D if need be in the future. 


Since I made the switch to Final Cut X it has already made some big improvements but it really needs to settle some existing workflow problems and with a rumoured update in the works I hope it and Motion get some of the attention they deserve from Apple. If Motion had a way to read a depth map I could basically abandon After Effects for all of my 3D animation post and most everything else.


Hopefully I am not setting myself up for disappointment but so far all the stuff I am excited about looks like it will be great. I wait hopeful and eternally for the Mac version of the LCARS project to be released. It exists for Windows and the Mac version is announced for the next update but as it’s a free thing done by fans, it’s anyone’s guess when I will be geeking out over the LCARS OS  on my two screens. 

28 August 2016

Pickman's Model - finished


Pickman's Model from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

This went faster, much faster than Music of Erich Zann (which took 5 years to get done) but I think I managed to improve in several areas. The characters talk, there is depth of field in the shots and I think I boiled the story down to its essential elements. My voice is terrible, of course, but what can you do?

Problems still abound. The character modelling is not much more advanced than the last film, the rigging is better but still not where I think it should be. Texturing of the sets is fine but I am looking into a way to hand paint characters and objects with a software outside of Maxon's C4D Bodypaint which I have yet to get to work right.

Always so much to learn and improve!

27 August 2016

pendaison -hanging



I managed to quickly take some photos of some street acrobats, in poor lighting conditions, during the fierté celebrations in the village this year. The acrobats were much more "raw" in their presentation, using only a couple supports and their bodies so it was a change from the bigger productions I use for inspiration during "Montreal Complement Cirque".

Not sure I got the tension in his arms as well as I would like, but I wanted to concentrate more on his face and less on the body as I normally would for these things.

10 August 2016

Pickman's Model - well into production



I finally have some time to start animating my second Lovecraft inspired short, Pickman's Model, a follow-up of sorts to last year's Music of Eric Zann. My goals with these personal projects is to try out new things, or refine older techniques I have issues with. I still have problems making and rigging characters, but in this film they are slightly more advanced and actually talk. I worked out some of the rigging issues from last time but many still remain. I am hoping the next project will let me pin down for good a few snags I still have to deal with. This is the first personal project I am going outside Cinema 4D for the motion blur and depth of field, deciding to use plugins in After Effects instead. This saves me days of render time and as a one person studio with one iMac to render with (I can use team render with my laptop but find it buggy at best) I have to save time and simplify things as much as possible.

My good friend, Boston actor Micheal Z Keamy provides the voice of Thurber and I will try and voice Pickman myself. If that works out badly, I'll beg Mike Luce again like I did for Eric Zann. I am sort of saving that for my next project where I'd like him to be the main narrator again. Can't wear out my welcome on these vanity projects!

I am also deciding on wether or not to update to version 18 of Cinema 4D. If I get version 17 by the end of this month (1000$+ upgrade) I will get 18 free when it ships and not be 2 versions behind. If I had big contract coming up, I would do it in a heartbeat but since I live on so little money as it is and this update doesn't address much I haven't already addressed with plugins... it's not so black and white.

18 July 2016

Move to Amazon Video Direct - both good and bad



Createspace will no longer do the video sales of my films, they are now being moved to Amazon  Video Direct in process that will take (me) some time to complete. They all have to be in HD, even those made well over 15 years ago in standard def video. That is annoying, but not so bad as this service will potentially get the films to a larger audience. The big problem for now is they also require close captioning which is not super expensive for most people, but is for me. To do all three films I will need between 700-1000$ to get the files made. Considering all three films have made about 1000$ over the last 10 years.... you can see the problem. It basically wipes out ALL the money made from selling them.  I will have to get this done. It will take a while. If my Indie go-go campaign had gone a lot better, this would not have been a problem... but it didn't go that well so I'm stuck using my house funds to finish off my films - as usual. Uploading the films will tax my bandwidth limits too and that can add more costs.

Sigh.

14 June 2016

Renarldo


Renarldo_danse_maniac from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

Not sure why I did this exactly. I am working on making my own cartoon characters and rigging them as it's hard to find work as just an animator these days. It will help me in my private projects as well and add little spice to my demo reel... I hope.

26 May 2016

abandoned house in Vermont drawing


















This was a puzzler for me to figure out how to draw. I picked it for the details, obviously, but what isn't so obvious is how much detail to draw and where. There were several false starts and changes of direction in getting what was in my head into the image.

I work from photos as a rule, have for decades. I don't know many people who can sit in one place for days or weeks to make a drawing or many people who can pose for that period of time keeping the same crazy expression you want on their face. This makes some people think there is no difference between the photo and the illustration which is never the case. So to make the point I decided to show the reference photo.

As you can see I don't draw "every leaf and blade of grass" though it might seem that way at first. Background and foreground elements are often eliminated or changed to fit what I have in mind. In this case I could have gone with a total black silhouette for the rear trees. I decided to go a textured route (but not follow what was there too closely) so the building would stand out more. I also, maybe by laziness, decided that drawing a million weeds and plants was a little much and would take away from the house itself. I also thought of adding reflections in the windows but liked the pure black as a contrast and - maybe-  over emphasized the distance of the broken blinds to add some dimension to the front of the house. I also did not draw some details I thought were distracting like the misc. wires, pipes and weeds hanging off the building.

Finally, I added a light grey wash to the rear trees so darken them further but not lose the details in the texture.



The images can be enlarged by clicking on them and this place was something I saw along my bike trip to Colchester Vermont last fall.