May 31, 2020 : Oh Yeah, A Live Action Bebop

I totally forgot that Netflix was making a live action Cowboy Bebop. Announced about a year and a half ago, production actually started in 2019 but was halted due John Cho injuring his knee during production. It resulted surgery and rehab for about 9 months

In a recent interview with the show’s EP, it sounds like a few episodes are already in the can from before the injury, and they have started writing scripts for a second season. While it doesn’t sound like we’ll see a premiere until Summer or Fall of 2021, it’s nice to see a commitment from Netflix on the series.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:34 am

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May 17, 2020 : Work On Short Resumes – Revisions

Animation has resumed on the short. It’s been in small doses – a little here, a little there; but when you string along several days of that, it adds up.

I needed to address an issue with the story. Specifically, the visuals didn’t effectively convey something in the script, and it was a key part of the short’s premise. I was worried this was the case, and asked others for their input (thanks Moridin Urban Exile).

Sure enough, I needed to tweak a few sequences to better solidify what was going on. Doing those revisions were necessary; and now with it done, I am happy with the first quarter of the short – ready to move on to the next part.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:13 am

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April 23, 2020 : Lightwave 2020? I’m Considering It.

This week, New Tek announced the release of the newest version of Lightwave 3D, and I have to say… I’m thinking about getting it.

I don’t want to imply that I am floored with the new features. In fact, I have only skimmed what it has to offer. Some of it looks pretty cool, but honestly my usage of the program is pretty esoteric so I am not sure how much of it I would actually take advantage of. As it is, there is so much of the program already I don’t utilize.

That said, I realized it has been 5 1/2 years since my last purchased update, and I might be due for one. To be fair, I believe I went even longer before the previous update. Still, the $495 upgrade price is reasonable, plus I did a few extra freelance projects earlier in the year that will allow me to justify (as well as write off) the cost.

Either way, I probably won’t pull the trigger for another month or two; and I definitely won’t install anything until my current personal project is complete. Speaking of which, I have done next to nothing with that for the past nearly two months; but I do expect to have a little more time moving forward to resume work on it. I even looked at some of my notes earlier this week to remind myself where I left off – so stay tuned…

posted by Pi Visuals at 9:17 pm

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April 4, 2020 : Lessons Learned About Creativity

In case you’re looking to fill a little extra time you might have these days, here’s a cool series of comics from The Oatmeal talking about Creativity.

Like most of his work, it’s both entertaining and insightful. The articles provide some much needed perspective. Hope you enjoy it as well.

posted by Pi Visuals at 8:42 am

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March 14, 2020 : Happy Pi Day!!!

Time to sharpen those pencils, add new batteries to them calculators, and all in all nerd it up. That’s right, it’s Pi Day! While most like to celebrate this time of year with the amateur hour that is St. Patty’s Day, I choose to focus my attention to more sophisticated endeavors.

Interesting fact: the symbol for Pi has been in use for nearly 300 years. It was first introduced in 1706, by William Jones, a Welsh mathematician. However, it was made popular by Leonhard Euler – those Swiss sure know how to make things sexy….

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:19 am

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February 22, 2020 : Regular Show Storyboarding Process

Always looking for an opportunity to talk about Regular Show, I came across a cool comic, from Sam Spina describing the storyboarding process for the show.

Sam Spina also worked on J.G. Quintel’s upcoming show, Close Enough, which was originally supposed to be part of TBS’ new animation block. That has since been scrapped, but the show has moved to HBO Max and is set to premiere this May.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:42 am

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January 19, 2020 : After Effects In All Its Glory

The first half minute of the new short is moving along, and several sequences required a good deal of After Effects work. One particular shot that just wrapped up was particularly heavy, and I liked how it came out. As such, I decided to create a quick gif (note you might need to click on it to animate):

Lightwave and After Effects work is done for the first 35 seconds. Before animating new scenes, the plan is to add sound effects and review the overall pacing. I really want to make sure the flow works, particularly since the initial shots set up the rest of the story.

posted by Pi Visuals at 12:37 am

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December 28, 2019 : Animation Pipeline Graphic

Owen Dennis, creator of the upcoming series ‘Infinity Train’ shared a recent image that visually described the pipeline of an 11 minute episode for the show:

It’s a cool graphic that helps visualize the complexities of producing an animated series. And here I thought it was incredibly simple.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:13 pm

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December 13, 2019 : Minor Production Changes

In previous projects, I usually focus on one part of the pipeline and worked sequentially. In other words, I wouldn’t move onto After Effects until all the Lightwave animation was completed, which wouldn’t start until I finished up the facial animation; and placing all the post-processed renders into my Editor (Vegas) wouldn’t happen until the end.

Since I am working on things in shorter increments (an hour here and an hour there), I am breaking it up into smaller segments. In other words, I am treating this project like a series of smaller ones. This means I will bounce back and forth between the various productions steps, something I haven’t done much in the past.

I have almost 30 seconds of animation completed. After I finish one more 3 second sequence, I plan on taking the rendered pieces into After Effects for some post work. After that, I will import it into Vegas for editing.

The plan is to do that a few more times until the project is complete. The thing I like about this process is that I will be able to view a more finalized video as things move on. If I feel the need to go back a few steps in production for a shot or two, it will be easier since I am already going back and forth between programs.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:56 pm

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November 27, 2019 : Animation In Full Swing!

It’s not breakneck speed, but things are moving along with the new short. So much so, that my time has been devoted solely to animating – and any time in Lightwave is a welcome sight.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve made a concerted effort to spend an hour every day or two on the project. This has resulted in just over 17 seconds of material done. For a short expected to be just over two minutes, this is a decent chunk.

Now, it’s worth pointing out, the finished sequences have been pretty easy – mostly establishing shots, with only one person. Plus, they still need a fair amount of work in After Effects. However, I am pleased with the progress as I don’t have a hard deadline for the project.

posted by Pi Visuals at 11:23 pm

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