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Dylan S makes a name for himself

Pilot dairy – Week 5

This week things have progressed really well. We’ve started making our 3D text animations and shot the scene where Hannah starts going off into a daydream about a big robot.

Josie get to work on a killer particle effect

Josie gets to work on a killer particle effect

The kids are literally making a name for themselves in this session. I explain that the best approach for today’s animation experience will be to follow the same effect for everybody. The particle effect is really nice, and it’ll feed later into the credits sequence. So that’s the effect we get to work on.

If you’ve been following along you may have noticed that last week’s diary finished off by saying the intention this week will be to use some models downloaded from Blendswap. I had a bit of a think on it during the week and after some experimenting at home, realised that this would probably be difficult to manage, given that everyone wanted a different model, and that they don’t always import cleanly into an existing scene. Certainly not something the kids should tackle having only had a little bit of time in Blender.

All the kids got to experience the creation of a great looking effect, which will be used in the credits sequence of the finished film.

All the kids got to experience the creation of a great looking effect, which will be used in the credits sequence of the finished film.

With text effects being the best option we jump right in and take a click-by-click approach to the session.

It was great to see how well the kids grasped the Blender user interface. Naturally it took some explaining at each step along the way, but the concepts about objects, and that you can affect them based on that interface and how you use it, wasn’t lost on anybody.

From time to time a hand would go up with a shout of “I’m lost!”, but, I’d encouraged everyone from the outset to yell as soon as things became unclear and by making that part of the process, nobody felt silly about getting in a tangle. Not only that but they all showed willing in helping each other out, with the kids who’d figured out this or that being very keen to help those that hadn’t yet done so.

The daydream sequence

Spoiler alert: this line reveals that the transformer isn’t real 😉

Hannah does a great job acting the "daydreamer scene".

Hannah does a great job acting the “daydreamer scene”.

We knew that our daydreamer Hannah hadn’t been caught on camera yet, and I wanted to capture that sequence today. Plus, I didn’t have much in the way of the connecting sequences, such as “the kids hear the bell and file out of class”, and others.

With only a few minutes to spare and enough time to make one take of it before home time, we quickly organised two scenes. First, Liddy played the part of the pupil who hears the bell and initiates the kids [piling out of the room into the playground. That scene went will, with one minor glitch – the door was locked and they all piled into each other! it was quite hilarious but everyone somehow held it together and continued to ignore the camera until they had all got through the door.

Hannah stayed in the classroom and with the room nice and quiet I got 20 seconds of priceless day dreamer footage.

It should play out nicely now with the addition of a voice-over (memo to self – record a voice over with one of the kids!).

 

Richard delivers a surprise package

I had another surprise up my sleeve for the kids today. Richard had put together a VFX breakdown reel, showing how the transformer landing scene had come together. And, as usual, it was awesome.

I thought it would be neat if the transformer was in the credits too

I thought it would be neat if the transformer was in the credits too

Watching it gave me an idea for the credits sequence, where the kids’ animated text work was going to be showcased. I thought it would be neat if the transformer made it into that credits sequence too. So later that night I started putting together a proof of concept at home, and it looked great!

Next week, we’ll be completing the particle effects on the kids’ individual names and moving onto a quick session where they can play around with the credits sequence – learning about perspective shift by seeing it in action with multiple objects they’ve created themselves.

Should be fun, see you in another week!