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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Catering for an international audience – Design Methods

This is something that as a group we all have to consider when creating our videos. As well as the actual language used it is also necessary to look further than that and consider different colour theory for different countries and the eastern hemisphere. Therefore I decided to look at several sources to see if I could find some pointers and tips to point me in the right direction.

Designing for an International Audience

Although all these links are more related to web design it is also important to consider several elements relating to colour and also the specific audience within the different countries.

“Studies have shown blue to be the least offensive color for international audiences, which explains why so many websites use “corporate blue.””

“For example, on a dashboard widget in Western countries, green means great, red means danger. In China, those colors are reversed and have the exact opposite meaning because culturally, red is a sign of happiness and well being. White is typically a sign of purity, clarity and innocence, but again, in Asian cultures, it symbolizes death and mourning.”

This is very important to consider during my own design process making sure to use non bias and non threatening colours.

“The difference is obvious. Chinese audiences prefer a much more cluttered home page with loads of information cramped in, while English audiences prefer a cleaner interface with a few neat categorisations.”

Design from East to West

Could this be true of Visual animated content as well and if so would this effect the Chinese market if we tried to simplify everything to cater for a solely western market?

Although I am not really involved with the call outs and translation of them into several different languages (outlined in the brief) I came across a website through doing this research. I have suggested in the group chat that google translate might not be the most effective and efficient way of collecting a wide range of translations in a short period of time. It is also risky as it is more often than not incorrect. More political blunders in the link below!

Why Relying on Google Translate is a Bad Idea

The website is called Phrase app and translates from within the app to help efficiency within international companies on a project by project level. Although this is not the purpose of our project the reliability and accuracy is a lot higher as this is a standalone platform.Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 18.01.22.png Forget Google Translate 3 Ways to get Accurate Translations

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I also found a few cheaper alternatives, however there is a free 14 day trial with phrase app which is all we need considering the project deadline is the 12th of May.

 

 

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 Animation Sequences

For project 5 there is around 4 main 3D sequences that occur in video 2 and 3. These are highlighted in the storyboards.

These consist of showing the ctex machine and its flower pattern lights (the animation used for the concept/prototype)

Showing the fabric rolling left and right so that the customer knows to notify ctex about which direction the fabric rolls on their own machine.

Showing a PC on the left and right of the machine so the customer knows to notify ctex about which side the controller will be standing on.

And lastly the control box being closed to show dimensions needed to install. Or if they don’t have one to offer purchase of correctly sized control box.

Therefore I have created a timeline and lists to hopefully create all the assets in the allotted time.

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As you can see so far I have created most of the initial assets needed for the animations however I still have to create the control box and also figure out a way to actual get the fabric to roll.

I have also created a basic setup where most of the animations will occur. Although this is very early stages and really just a jumping off point in terms of layout and structure.

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I tried to use this tutorial to add movement to the fabric but unfortunately on my first attempt i couldn’t get the motion graphic elements moving. This was very irritating however I will attempt it again with a more thorough understanding of the concepts behind it and hopefully it will be second time lucky… Watch this space….

 

I have also made a start on the computer side to side animation as i have created all the necessary assets for this section. Again it is really basic with no real texturing or lighting etc. However it is a starting point for further development….

 

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…

 

Final Video 1 Animations

My final contribution to the sales video for c-tex – Although they will both be getting used in the first video the second one (computer screen cap) will also be predominantly used for the training video (video 3)

For the cube section of the video i used an extra shape layer made it green, lowered the opacity and then added a slight blur to show the colour variation in the fabric. However i still think it looks pretty basic as the shape layer is slower than the wave therefore creating a strange unwanted effected. This might just be my eye picking up tiny details which are not noticeable to others.

I am still not happy with the tracking of the logo on the computer screen in this. I spent a while yesterday trying several different methods like using mocha an inbuilt add on for after effects, the after effects motion tracker and finally i came to add a big green dot in the centre of the computer screen in cinema 4d before i rendered it, so that it was clear i was trying to track a specific point and not just the whole computer screen.

Raed created this computer and then sent it to me which definitely helped to speed up the whole process as his modelling skills are definitely better than mine. All i needed to do was add a dynamic camera movement and then render it out to use in After Effects.

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I still need to create content for the second video – Pre Installation.

I have been tasked to create the chromatic sensors in a 3D environment so that they can be show the parts that a physical camera cannot access.

 

Hopefully something similar to this with the moving parts but also its not very highly detailed which is the look i am going for in the time we still have left to create more content for the videos.