09 March, 2007

3D Montage

Nearly 3 years ago, I read the first Delilah & Julius Script, and by page 3 there were LOTS of animated vehicles. I knew this new series would not be possible without a 3D animator. There were simply too many diffcult shots with props and vehicles animating in perspective. This posed technical problems that would have our animators spend way too much time animating vehicles and therefore the character animation could suffer, not too mention that animating vehicles can be very, very, very hard to do consistently.

Thankfully we had the genius of Dave Thompson. An animator that just so happened to know 3D Studio and was up to the task of taking the model sheets for each episode and re-create the vehicle designs in 3D.

The results were fantastic. Dave was able to place storyboards into the 3D software, re-create the shot, model any new vehicles (each one taking about 3 hours), set the motion paths, tween away and BAM it was done. After just a bit of research I found software that exports his renders as Flash toon-shaders, the rest is history.

All the 3D blends in with the characters and BGs flawlessly because you can set the shaders & lines to render in any way you'd like. The compositing is all done in Flash with incredible ease, layering the traditional character animation as overlays and underlays directly into Flash, line weight and colors all convert into flat, frame by frame, vector Flash art and makes it all easy to edit.

Thanks to Dave, all 3D elements are done with percision and without difficulty, and no animator needs to worry about drawing hundreds of in-betweens for slowly turning geometry.


CC said...

Hey I live in Halifax and found this blog a while ago, I guess I have to stop lurking sometime if I want to ask a question. I was wondering what the software is called that renders the 3D models?

Ronald Lanham Jr said...

You guys really ought to do a 3D tutorial. You could best practices for modeling in 3D for export to Swift/Flash or any kind of cel shaded render.