20 January 2017

cast of characters

I just finished the initial set of characters for use in my science animations for Dr, Christopher Labos at Mouton no More. I have a workflow now that keeps getting faster and working from one générique model is definitely the only way I can get this done, but it seems to work well enough.

All of the characters can be posed and have basic face and hand expressions that are easily added to as needed. The rigging is very basic but works so far. Odd things always crop up when you actual get into the work.

My goal for years was to have a stable of actors, so to speak, to work with so I'm no reinventing the wheel every project and can concentrate less on my weakest point (modelling people) and get faster into my strongest point, the animation itself.

I seem to be on the way to that now.

04 January 2017

Getting a head start on 2017

I occasionally make animations for Dr. Christopher Labos and the group Mouton No More. They started with the idea I would get illustrations of the characters and animated them simply in the software "Motion by Apple but the illustrators stopped illustrating and I was left with the task of making the main character seem more alive by a sort of cut-out form of animation - replacing his arms with arms in different positions and replacing his face with different expressions. This can only take you so far so I took it upon myself to make a 3D version of him and soon a small cast of characters that I can simply pose and render out. I think this will look better in the end and since I can't really draw cartoons, it lets us have a little more freedom with the characters. Not sure if there will be any full animation sequences yet. We'll see how it goes. We are not producing a short at present so I can afford to play around a little.
As you can see (above), the original look wasn't very complicated and very appealing. The new version was taken from a bought model (by cartoon studio on Turbosquid.com)(below) that looked enough like the 2D version I felt confident that he could be modified to look more like the drawing.

I think I succeeded (see below) and can use the model I bought as a base to make the rest of the characters. He isn't perfect and isn't feature film ready, but he'll do fine in the 90 second science shorts, hopefully!

I have new character ready for rigging already. It amazing how far you can go with a simple base model to work from. I would love to develop the skills to model everything from scratch but that particular talent is evading me at the moment.

And below is one of the earlier films in case anyone is interested. 

19 December 2016

Behemoth site update

I finally got the nerve to dump Dreamweaver and bought Sparkle, which I wrote about earlier this year. I don't do much internet design anymore so it's mostly just my own site and a couple others I maintain. I thought it would take weeks to months to get it right, like a Dreamweaver reboot would have but it honestly only took a day to work out most of it. After a few weeks I went back and changed a few things after thinking harder about some of the features.

Also, I added my dew doc, Village Gai, my new animation Cool Air and a couple of the science shorts I do for Dr. Christopher labor at Mouton No More. I updated my CVs too so its all up to date for 2017.

08 December 2016

Affinity Photo 1.5

As promised, Affinity has released a HUGE update to their photo app and it's pretty amazing over all.  Already giving Photoshop a run for it's money, this version fills in many gaps and requests from users and really puts it level with and in some cases above Photoshop now in terms of usability and useful features.

Is it perfect? No at all. What it is is a robust, professional photo editing app that has most of what any pro might need. I really like the new stacking features and the focus stacking outshines Photoshop in my opinion  easily. Where it needs work is the HDR persona. I am an avid user of the NIK?Google suite of plugins, especially HDR Pro and that is still king for my work in HDR. It's hard to even get similar looks for comparing the two with the same images. One feature all the NIK/Google plugins have is the pin selection tool which is put genius for selecting areas to affect changes to. I don't know why no one else has taken this approach because I would use it for just about everything. The pugs for the most work well in Affinity Photo, the improvement being part of this update so I was hoping i could import an HDR and then tone it using HDR Pro... didn't really work well. It looked fine in HDR Pro but didn't import back into Affinity photo. Maybe this is something that will be addressed in  the next update (which come fairly often).

Right now the price is lower so I would say buy it if you don't have it already. Updates are free until they get to version 2.0 I think and with Adobe's monthly rip off scam and price, getting this now is a no brainer.

A 4 image focus merge taken with natural light:

HDR with Affinity Photo:

Similar shot, taken minutes apart with HDR Pro.
I really couldn't get them much closer. I had better luck using HDR pro in Affinity Photo with just one RAW file.

03 December 2016

Cool Air

Cool Air from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

My third and maybe last Lovecraft animation, at least for a while unless I start getting paid to do them. I want to do something funny next!

Final Cut Pro 10.3.1, Motion 5/3, Affinity Designer 1.5

I am still waiting for some software to come out (Affinity Photo 1.5, Obduction, X-particles potential update) but that doesn’t mean nothing has been updated. 

Apple did a huge update to Final Cut X that as full of good stuff overall. The autoscrolling timeline still isn’t  there… I don’t get it it’s in all their other software even iMovie. The new layout is confusing at first but as I get used to it it’s makes more sense. I like the preset layouts especially over two monitors. I have found it more stable and faster on my system at least. The new audio tools were really needed but finding my sound effects from external files is little screwy now and needs to be sorted out. 

Motion also got an update. Well as much an update as it ever gets. It’s a good software that merits a lot more love than Apple gives it. Basically it works better and looks like the new Final Cut X. It is in desperate need of new features, basic ones. I personally could use a vector motion blur and Z depth filter for my 3D work but I will have to wait for a Boris plugin update to get those at 200$ which is a lot to add on to a 50$ program as a plugin. 

Affinity Designer 1.5 got a large update and it’s pretty sweet. I don’t do much internet layout in it but the flexible layouts is a big improvement for that. I have been using it over Illustrator more and more for my professional design work and I'm not sorry about that in the least. I can’t recommend the Affinity products enough these days. The company is responsive, quick to fix things and open about their development. The two products released are reasonably priced, well featured and always improving. 

01 November 2016

documentaire - Village gai

Mon nouveau documentaire, Village gai est fini!