Weekly Journal

My initial idea/concept for my final project was to create a surreal, terrifying horror short film. The storyline will be based on a 3D character of me undergoing the painful and agonizing process of morphing from human form into werewolf. I fully intend to focus on the emotional aspect as well as the physical process. Create various camera angles from long shot, medium and Dolly zoom. I believed I have fully achieved this objective, as my final render includes aspect of different camera shot, range of character emotion and body animation and uses of light to create horror

My project first step started with me researching into what inspires me, in order to use it to come up with a concept and idea for my final major project. After looking different at show like “Bitten”, “Being Human” and movies like “Twilight new moon” I finally found something that caught my eyes and inspired. The moment I saw “Underworld” again I automatically want to know how they created the werewolf transformation effects. I understood that research is significant component before starting any project. A detail research can determine the overall direction your project takes. In my case, after being inspire I first began by summaries what I wanted my project to be about and then researching various area that will improve or assist me in any way. Since the Final major project will be influence by werewolf, I thought it would be important to understand the origin of werewolf, in hopes to getting a better understanding to help me in my modelling stages and to create my own unique werewolf. I began by looking into different culture thought out the ages and their ideology of what they believe a werewolf is and where they originated. The “Mesopotamia is the name for area of the Tigris-Euphrates river system which in modern time is location around Iraq and Kuwait. They created an epic poem called “Epic of Gilgamesh” which explains that Gilgamesh refuse to become the lover of Goddess Ishtar because of her cruel treatment of previous lovers. It was believed she turn a Shepard into a wolf therefore making him enemy of his friends. In Rome, Roman times, it was believed the God Jupiter turn a king Lycoan into a werewolf.

I later researched into movies and games with werewolf theme genre. I looked at “The Wolf Man” which a movie about a man who got bitten by a werewolf as result becoming a werewolf himself. Every monster story set a rule on how said monster must behave. This was valid research mainly because it provided me with an insight into psychology of a werewolf. They are dangerous, cunning even evil, and they inspire fear. Which was incredible helpful for me when it came to animating my werewolf. I also researched into Twilight and few other movies mainly to witness the techniques used in creating some breath –taking shots for example in twilight when Jacob jumps and transforms. I also researched into various Maya techniques and tools to help me such as xGen. For certain effect I began looking into number of software such as Mari. Mari 3D painting and texturing software, I research this software primarily to help me with texturing my werewolf. Overall, my research was quite successful because I gain a large amount of important information that helps my general final project.

Throughout this project my ideas has evolved and been limited. Initially when I first began this project I had many ideas such as creating a final project based on 3D character transforming into a werewolf which later faces a dragon. I intended to add element of fantasy like Game of Throne and Lord of the ring however its later became very clear that the idea wouldn’t be possible due to the limited time we were provided and I also work part-time. As a result left me with limited time to on the project. I brainstorm and I came up with an idea that was easy to achieve in the given time provide, however at the same time it was complex. So my project evolved into a 3D character of me morphing different of my body into a werewolf and then a final shot with full body werewolf and all composites on a 3D environment.

Personally for me I realize what my final outcome of my project will be during 3-4 weeks into the project after completing my research and gathering information. Learning what direction my project was going to take was quite reassuring because it allows me to reflect back to my statement of intent to see the difference and similarity. Shows How far I have driven away from my statement.

Using Mudbox to shape my werewolf was an effective method. Mudbox base body mesh was quite helpful in me starting to form my werewolf model. I didn’t have to worry about creating a body from scratch like my CGI character of myself body I created in Maya. I can quickly increase division and focus on sculpting details. Another method that was incredibly useful was UV unwrapping. This method allows me to apply texture to specific areas I wanted in my model, I could use every inch of my model surface. However the downside of UV unwrapping is that it’s quite a long and tedious process. It requires patient and time, because if it isn’t creating properly then the overall appearance of you model would look terrible. If extending or re-working was possibility I would have changed the method I used to create the environment but I’m quite happy with the range of method I used in my final outcome 

Overall, final project outcome was a bit different from my statement of intent. I originally wanted to incorporate 2D footage of me into 3D environment, however this wasn’t possible because I didn’t have enough time to record myself so I decided my entire final outcome will be 3D based. Nevertheless the basic concept of my final outcome is very similar to my statement of intent. I wanted to create a short film of me transforming into a werewolf, I did achieved this in my final outcome and I also created a 3D environment. Although the design development for my 3D environment in my final outcome was different compare to my statement of intent, it still served its purpose and was effective 3D environment. Personal I’m happy with my final outcome since I achieved everything I wanted to create at the start even though design process has evolved into something else. I wanted  to incorporate all the techniques I have learnt throughout each of the projects in the past two years into my final project such as character modelling, texturing , animating, environment design and composting into my final project.  Yes! If I had more time and I wasn’t working part-time, I would really enjoy creating the exact same project as stated in my statement of intend. But I still loved the final outcome of this project.

Time management has always been my Achilles heel generally. Unfortunately final project was no exception, I struggle with managing and organising my time. Although I formed a timetable to assist me in this issue, I later found out it was quite hard for me to follow it.  Many factors contributed into me not necessarily following every detail in the timetable such as working part-time or having technical issue. These issues made me treasure my time at college because I use it working on part of my project. However majority of the time on this project was spent working at home since I had the right software and my pc was powerful enough

Every week my lecture Angus would look at my progress and compare it to the other weeks. At first, I thought it was unnecessary however throughout the course of the project I came to appreciate it because he wanting to see my work was a constant reminder that I need to create something that was enough to show the other and display my progress. I thought this was quite helpful because it kept me on the right track, not to mention each week he would provide feedback and personal tip that he believes would help me in my final project. For example he gave me good tip on creating my character and werewolf eye texture, he also told me to focus on displaying the agony around the character eyes whilst he was morphing. Which I decide to implement into my final outcome and it was great.

We had a class critic which basically was each of us individually standing in front of the class and talking about what our project concept was the work we have created so far and our general opinion if our project is going in the right direction. I enjoyed the class critic mainly because it was a chance to get a feedback on my progress. I received few good feedback comment about how to improving my werewolf model which I apply afterward. However some feedback I didn’t necessary apply to my project for example it was suggested that it would be unwise for me to create a 3D environment due to the limited time we had left, unfortunately I created a 3D environment and it was a smart decision because it made my final project look great. One of the strengths of my project was the characters were well model, some of the 3D animation was good and the compositing of everything was great. One of the weakness I can identify in my final outcome was in certain part the character animation movement wasn’t smooth and natural, I would really love to improve this area by recording footage of myself and researching more into 12 principle of animation to help me create a believable and realistic character movement. If I was gave 10 weeks more I would have made all those improvement and evolved the project into another stage by incorporating a dragon model or fantasy element into the final outcome


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