Lately on Pet Projects…
It's almost been a month since the last production log, and what a busy one! As you may have guessed, the team hasn't been off, we have not disappeared to a beautiful and warm island in the sun. No, not yet! It's a mix of "so many things going on" and "this producer can't sit down to write" - I have to admit. Maybe I should ask an AI to help sometimes...
At the Studio, some people split their time between Pets and the upcoming Open Movie Gold. Since it's been announced, I can talk a bit about it: the development and start of pre-production needed Andy and Julien to spend time working with director Jericca and Production Designer Florent.
Also, May is always a bit busier because of the preparation of the Annecy Festival, in France. Since most of the Studio team is going, each and everyone has had to prepare a little something - in particular, the banner we'll have at our MIFA booth. Rik, Hjalti, Vivien, Andy as well as Pablo Vazquez and Francesco all worked on it. And we're all very excited to show it next week!
Even Pablo is starting to believe we can make it to the end-line! Rik worked on a schedule to make sure all the shots were distributed and had a time estimate attached. With his experience as an animation lead, it felt only natural to leave this detailed organization to him. As the rigging of props and characters is complete (only debugging from now on), the animators were able to finalize shots - more green on our shot list!
Our goal is to finish all animation by mid-July so that we can then finish all shots and deliver the movie. And we're halfway there!
The ever busy Simon managed to work a few days on an initial pass of shading for all the assets. Colors, textures - the film had only been in full CG for a couple of weeks and we turned it into a 2D-looking project. We will allocate a few more days to finish the shading, after Annecy. Because, after some workshops and other tasks at the studio, Simon has switched to... FX.
"For real, this time!" After many weeks of tests and setting up the pipeline, Andy is finally able to actually work on shots that are approved in animation, show them for approval to Rik and Vivien and... get retakes. That's the beauty of lighting, everything comes together and we can finally see what is cracking at the seams. Beau joined in a week ago, after a few days spent on Gold and the writing of an article for Pet Projects.
Last week, Simon started working on specific FX, either as assets (to be used by animators or re-used between shots) or per shot. Sparks, smoke, fire! He can consider himself lucky as many small effects are actually on the animators' plate now: they are using Grease Pencil to animate sweat, drool and smears.
In parallel, Vivien and Julien have been working on setting up the clouds in many shots. After some discussions, the team decided to use matte paintings and project them onto planes. This needs to be painted and adjusted per shot; quite the time-consuming task but the result is worth it!
The Studio team is very excited to see the film progressing, I hope those updates keep your curiosity alive!
Pet Projects is currently in production and the progress can be followed here on the Blender Studio website.
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