Feedback from C4D Café forum

After my last post I revisited the site to see if anyone had left feedback from the two videos I posted and these were the results:

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Although there were not loads of responses it is good to get at least a few which directly relate to the questions I asked. It shows that people on the forums have more to say than if you just use a simple Survey monkey style questionnaire as this gives a lot more room for explanations tips and tricks.

This basically supported my suspicion that there is almost no need for a GI element as the light boxes (light dome) have done a good job lighting the scene efficiently. It is also apparent that the shadows may be the reason that the realistic feel is not complete. This can be seen in the latest control box update with the shadowing ending up looking like two different materials have been used. This will need to be edited and now that I have some suggestions on how to do that I feel a lot more confident doing so.

There is mention of trying out an HDRI for reflections however I really haven’t the need for much reflection and therefore don’t think i will use this technique. Also studio HDRI was mentioned however this is a very costly setup and considering I can get a pretty similar effect without having to fork out for a professional lighting kit this is not an option i can implement. Although for my re renders i will try adding some slight bevelling to help with reflections. However I feel that using GI on top of this process will just push the render time through the roof and therefore will be pretty ineffective in the time we have left to complete the project.

It was also mentioned by an esteemed colleague that the computer used within the control box videos would be made more visually effective if screenshots of the software were added to show that there is a reason for them being there e.t.c so this will also be added in to hopefully boost all aspects of the animations.

 

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Advanced Lighting Techniques in Cinema 4D

Lighting has a very important role to play in all things but especially in 3D as it is a lot harder to effectively use lighting in a realistic way using the standard light settings. Therefore it has become important for me to progress as an animator to incorporate more professional use of lighting by using the inbuilt lights in C4D.

This tutorial has been very useful in pointing out the fact that all 3D light is flat and does not react in the same way naturally occurring light does. Instead of bouncing off surfaces and bending the 3D light carries in one continuous line. Therefore some extra measures have to be taken to create a visually rich and high contrast images.

The introduction to 3 point lighting is also a game changer and although i already had some knowledge of this lighting technique i failed to use it before in  a 3D environment. Another point well made was using more than 3 points as the lights in 3D only pick up shadow, mid tones, and highlights whereas in reality there is five main points of light shadows, quarter tones, mid tones, three quarter tones and highlights. Therfore we must add in more soft lights to create a higher dynamic range of light. This effect can be achieved by adding in different layers of light slightly off point from each other and emitting slightly softer light each time.

I could just use GI (Global Illumination) with a HDRI image however this would defeat the point of the experiments and learning about lighting is the real goal here. It is also mentioned that GI is actually a pretty lazy way of lighting and can make you’re image look flatter, however using it alongside a proper lighting rig can improve the image/animation. Therefore I still need to learn proper lighting techniques to boost the potential of my overall animations.

Adjust the default light C4D – This is a quick way to change the position of the lights within a space. This could come in very handy and i feel it will definitely speed up my process as well.

Free Light Dome – A quicker alternative to GI as these are all separate lights it will be faster and also there is a lot more control over colour schemes and shadow maps.

10 Tips for better lighting in Cinema 4D – Similar stuff to the first video, however it does mention the use of different shadow types and features. It states that “Area shadows are by far the most superior shadow type as they offer high accuracy and the most control.”. However  “area shadows are the slowest to render. To speed things up you can decrease the number of samples and accuracy, this will give you results faster but also will introduce noise.”

So a lot to think about and experiment with…

 

PROJECT 5 – The Final Brief

For project 5 I will be revisiting C-TEX and making a further 2 videos to complete the C-TEX Colour package. These will be available after the client has made the initial purchase of the machine and therefore will go into a lot more detail about pre installation of the machine and also training there workers to use the machine, and also showing the managers how to get the right information that they need from the spreadsheet that the program creates. Detailing different information about the materials being tested.

The first video is the sales video which was completed for Project 3.

The second video is a pre installation guide –

Pre-Install Video Script

Should be less than 5 minutes

Thanks for buying c-tex colour, this video guides you through 2 things:

1. The information we need from you in order to manufacture c-tex colour ready for you

2. For you to prepare ready for the installation

So…the information we need.

Firstly, we need a photo of where you would like c-tex colour to be installed. Here are some examples…

Then we need some dimensions so we can fit c-tex colour to your machine

Here we show you the dimensions we need

Secondly we need to know the direction the fabric is flowing in: please indicate this with an arrow

Thirdly we need to know at which side of the machine you wish the PC and Operator monitor to be located

Also please take a photo of your length measuring wheel (if you already have this installed) so we can assess how to fit our encoder onto this

Lastly, machine construction: Please indicate the materials your machine is made of and thicknesses. For example, Solid Mild Steel 6mm thick, Mild Steel Box Section 2mm thick with section of 100 or Wooden Section 15mm.

Therefore, the photo you send us will need the additional information as shown here (photo with all details on)

We can then build c-tex colour to fit your machine

Onto the second step:

For the installation we need:

Network Access to machine area for us to connect the c-tex colour PC to your network

Electrical power: single phase

If you have not purchased a control cabinet from us and you will be providing yourselves this needs to be onsite when we arrive. We require minimum internal dimensions of Height: 1000mm, Width 600mm, Depth 600mm. The operator monitor can be mounted above the control cabinet of you can purchase a control unit with monitor surround.

If you have not purchased a PC from us and you will be providing yourselves, please ensure this meets the specification we list in our agreement document and is available when we arrive onsite

If you are running c-tex colour for an inline process, for example a continuous dye range or sanforiser or compactor we will also need a mains compressed air supply provided, to include a regulator and moisture capture mechanism.

When we arrive onsite for the installation we need to meet with your factory engineering manager and IT manager to present what we are going to be doing while onsite and what support we need.

We will also need a meeting room with a projector or large monitor in order to give a training presentation for 1 hour. For the training we will need your colleagues who will be: operating c-tex colour, analysing the results of c-tex colour and managing the implementation of c-tex colour.

Adam has done these rough storyboards which really helped me to visualise what exactly needed to be done in terms of 3D animations. As this is the job role i will be fulfilling for this final project. I will of course have to make some more detailed sketches of what exactly needs to be shown in 3D and camera movements etc, however this quick visual is very handy for mapping out the whole video 2 sequence.

 

The third video is a training video – Full Script to follow…

 

Asset Creation Research

I am really interested in creating low poly animations as i want to avoid creating really realistic objects and instead go for more of an abstract feel without the viewer being unaware of what the objects are. I feel that low poly could provide the perfect balance.

Clouds –

 

This could also create some really interesting renders when used with cel shading and toon sketch effect. This low poly style also provides a lot more room for experimentation and testing as it doesn’t have to look photo realistic instead it has its own style which has a lot more wriggle room in terms of looking appropriate. I feel that this could also help bridge the gap between adult and child when viewing the content so that it becomes less about being appropriate for one specific age and instead includes all ages which in turn addresses the target audience as a whole.

Post Not Finished ….

 

Concepts and Prototypes

The first two were presented to the client and seem to go down well with them. They are only shot snippets of work to show more of the elements than a whole video.

The last one is where i started to piece together an actual story flow the elements were relatively simply to create and creating motion within these elements is something i feel quite comfortable doing. The tricky part for me was and still is lighting and rendering. IE knowing which settings work best and will give the best effects and lighting for the final render. I chose these colours as they relate directly to the c-tex logo colours and also are light and friendly which also relates to the friendly concept creating a light and fun yet simplistic way of showing the problem/solution.

I hope to mask some of the first video as a layer on to the last video where the circles appear as this should emulate a sort of magnifying effect on the material to show the same colour t shirt but when zoomed in there is a slightly more obvious colour difference between the two.

 

Other Conceptual Ideas and Relevant 3D segments

Dinosaur

The dinosaur concept is about how old technology could not do the same job as the CTEX equipment.

by taking old stock footage of factory workers and basic machinery and then transition this into bright colours and fancy new equipment. This could also work nicely with the fact that the machine is effectively a colour corrector and the transition could be colour leaking into the black and white footage.

It could almost prompt the customer to become aware of the system that they might be using and how the C-TEX equipment could greatly improve there quality of production and cut production costs.

This was the only example i could think of as once you complete a mission or defeat a boss the colour turns from black and white to colour however i was thinking of more of an ink spreading effect.

The 3D elements in this would probably again be the actual machinery when the new part comes into screen as with the right lighting and colour grading it could make it look really high tech and desirable.

Talking Heads – This is an odd concept and I am not sure why people were so keen on it as really it is pointless as this would involve loads of talking which is the complete opposite of what the client is looking for as there main target audience is a foreign international market and just having spoken English would work here but could be a bit of a drag and also a bit confusing for there international clients. I am also uncertain of what exactly would be in 3D as this really wouldnt make sense if all the people were 3D so i am really failing to see the relevance of this concept as it leaves me relatively no work as it solely relies on a still shot pretty much interviewing everyone that works there.

Family / Friendly

This is the concept that we have chosen and I have outlined the 3D elements as well as a basic run through/ storyboard in the previous blog posts so check those out for more info.

Training Video – Concepts and Storyboards

The training video as with all the videos will begin and end with the C-TEX sting and this will help introduce the product and should act as a friendly face and a welcoming wave to start the training.

Then the training will begin initial it will start with setting up the hardware properly and show how to use it effectively as well as a few troubleshooting pointers sort of like a FAQ bit, too save time if something goes wrong with the actual machinery. This will be filmed as it could be filmed in the actual factory and could help to put the friendly approachable message across as you could film other workers in the factory and generally get a good atmosphere from having real faces as well as then going on to mix in 3D training with the software.

This will be easy to do as a screen capture could run through it quite quickly then all that needs to be done is adding the magnified parts and a few bullet points to show exactly whats going on. The screen grab will be masked on to a 3D computer and this should help this part of the training to be as less boring as possible and hopefully some animated text and other things happening will be more interesting than someone just talking through each step. Also this would be more difficult and ineffective with international clients.