Monthly Archives: October 2011

5th Week for my Journal


We were given a tutorial on how to use mental ray in 3DsMax, which I went through this week. I found it really interesting and useful, as I will need the lighting side to make my skeleton look like it is in the live footage. I also learnt how to create texture using mental ray, which I probably won’t need, but it was useful to know anyway, for future projects.

I haven’t managed to get to Kirkstall Abbey film yet, as I need to go with Charlie so we can get our filming done together. I should be going with her next week, if the weather holds. This might become a problem if it rains all the time. My sister has a camera that I can borrow, which saves onto memory card, so that will be a lot easier for us to film.

I have managed to get the video off Prezi, so I can show you my skeleton walk. I need to start animating my skeletons, as there is a lot of animating to be done.




3DsMax texturing with mental ray


I started opening arch and design in the texture editor and changing the textures of each object. The cylinder is a pearl finish, the box is a matte finish and the sphere and floor are glossy finishes.

I then changed the box to a glossy wood finish, but only wanted to render the change so I changed the setting in the render box to region, so it only rendered within the box I created.

So you can see the reflection on the other objects and it makes render time quicker for tests. I then added a glass finish and a metal finish just to test them.

I then changed the sphere to a copper finish and the reflections are really cool and realistic. You can even see the box within the spheres shine.

I then changed the box to a glass finish and the tutorial continues with other ways to mess around with the settings and finishes, to get the best effect.

3DsMax Lighting with mental ray


We were given four tutorials to go through into how to texture and light using mental ray and the difference it can have for my scenes. Here is the steps that I did and how I did them.

First we set up the scene using a sphere, cylinder and a box on a flat plane. I then rendered it using the default renderer which was skyline, I could see that the lighting and shadows didnt correspond to each other and to the environment they were in, so I then changed the renderer to mental ray renderer. This made the image look a lot more in relation to each other, each object looked at if it should have been in the scene.

I will show both images to show the difference.

I will now add lighting to the scene and see how that works.

I added a daylight to the scene and changed the location to Manchester UK, as that was the closest one to Leeds. I rendered it again and this is what happened.

The shadows are quite harsh and I don’t have a sky yet, so I changed the setting of the daylight to MRsky and MRsun, and rendered again. This is what happened.

As you can see I now have a sky, the lighting is more diffused and the shadows look more realistic. I will now soften the shadows and move the horizon line to make it look like it should be in the scene.

I can now change the time of day it is as I have already set up the settings. I changed the time to 7am in the morning from 12pm, and it has made a massive difference.

In my next blog I will be looking at texturing with these objects.

4th Week of Journal


This is my fourth week of my journal and this was the week of my pitch, so I have been getting ready for that.

I finished my skeleton and made him work so I could show that in my presentation. I found a way that I could parent the bones, with the biped and it was a much easier way of rigging the skeleton, rather than doing every little bone and getting it just right. So hopefully that will work a lot better than before. I have done a walk cycle just to show that it works.

We also did another tutorial on HDRI lighting, that was really useful, as I can definitely use this in my final sequence.

I used illustrator to create a story board, and I used different colours to show the movement of the live actors and skeletons, so I can get the movement in my footage just right.

I created my presentation on Unfortunately I cant show you it on here, but here are some screen shots of my pitch. I have made a link, so that might work and you can view all the videos that I out on there too.

I also got permission from Kirkstall Abbey and they said that I can film in the grounds as long as I don’t sell my film and I don’t ruin anything, so I will definitely be filming there. I would like to think I can film in the next couple of weeks, so that I can crack on with the editing and animating.


HDRI Lighting


We were given a tutorial of how to create a 360 panorama of a room, then turn it back into a chrome ball that we used at the start to create the 360 view. Here is my final chrome ball that i used in photshop, HDR shop and 3DsMax.

I then changed the sphere to white and made the 360 view the lighting, so the white ball changed colour and created shadows and more of a warm tone to the room.

I can use this for my scene as I can take a 360 shot of my environment which will be Kirkstall Abbey, so I can reflect the light onto my skeletons and make them look like they are in the scene with me.

2nd and 3rd Weeks for my Journal


This is the second and third weeks of my journal and I have done quite a bit already for my research and development. I chose the put two weeks into one, as I have done quite a lot of work and thought I would put it into one post.

I did some more in depth research of Ray Harryhausen and his films.

We were given a tutorial on how to composite a 3D object, into a real life scene, which i did find quite a struggle at first, but then I got into the swing of it and it didn’t turn out that bad. This really helped me to try and use this in my final sequence, as I will have to composite the skeletons into the film footage, which will be more difficult, as they are moving, and it is video and not a still image.

I was also given a tutorial into how to key out green screen. We went into after effects and used the video and still image that were provided. This also helped me for my work, as I might include some sort of green screen in my final sequence, and I will now know how to key the background into the seascape that Jason and the Argonauts use.

I then looked into motion capture, as I might want to use this for my skeletons and might help in animating them. This is the research that I did.

I looked into motion builder and 3DsMax and downloaded a free skeleton frame from I started to create my skeleton using both software’s.

I found that the rigging was giving me a lot of hassle, and I still haven’t finished the skeleton, but I will try and get it done for next week, as it is the pitch and I need everything that I have done so far on there.

I am still on track and hopefully I will have everything I need for the pitch next week.

I will post the fourth week next week and keep you updated on my progress.