Friday, June 29, 2007

Official Date of Completion: June 28th, 2007

Whooo hoooo. It's official. The film was recorded onto HDCam 23.98 ndf videotape last night making the date of completion officially June 28th, 2007.

I'm going to the Jazz Festival tonight to celebrate!

On a side note, I've updated the products in the smoking moose store with new and improved images of the characters from the film.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Long Lost My Bridge Videotape

I've wanted to do this for a while. I hope to do more, funnier ones. Here is the new XSI 6.01 rigged, enveloped and character key set animated smoking moose:

He looks like he's been drinking as well as smoking. I don't know when that happened ;o)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mirroring envelope points

Here are some things to remember about using symmetry maps and mirror weights for envelopes in XSI:

* must have one envelope (afaik the tools in XSI only allow you to mirror weights on the same envelope/geometry);
* create a symmetry map and template -- the map is found under the envelope weights and the template is found under the model -- the map contains information on how to apply the weights and the template contains information on what to apply the weights to;
* select the points that you want to mirror the weights of and choose Animate>Deform>Envelope>Mirror Weights;
* if you change the weighting of the points the change will not automatically be transferred to the symmetrical points -- you will need to select the weights and mirror the weights again.

You can also use symmetry maps while painting weights -- look up symmetry maps in the online help and click on for weight maps to display the help for Activating Symmetrical Painting.

Friday, June 22, 2007

XSI 6 - Character Key Sets / Sub-Key Sets

A note about using Character Sub-Key Sets -- in order to create or edit a sub-key set you need to set the current Key Set or Sub Key Set first -- this is the last item of the Character Key menu -- if you don't do this and try creating character sub-key sets (after "selecting" the set that you want to add it under) either nothing will happen or you will get an error message that says Type was nothing -- if you open the script editor log you'll see this (which is a clue that the character set is missing from the command, and that "selecting" it, isn't what you need to do):
' INFO : Must receive Character Set as first parameter
' INFO : Type was Nothing

Here is a screengrab :

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pinhole camera and Solargraphy

This has nothing to do with the smoking moose, but might be of interest to anyone reading this blog. My friend Loren Williams, a wonderful photographer, gave me a pinhole camera (made out of/in a 35mm black plastic film canister) to attach to my balcony to take part in Tarja Trygg´s Solargraphy project. Loren received a few pinhole cameras from Finland and has distributed them across Canada. I taped the camera to my balcony this morning (June 21st, Summer Solstice) and uncovered the lens at 10h30 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)

Here are reference photographs from my digital camera:

Photo of the pinhole camera taped to my balcony :

plus close up (just in case you don't notice the "camera":

Here is a chopped together wide angle of what the camera might be recording:

The camera will stay in place for 3 months (as long as the condo association doesn't ask me to remove it). The pinhole will then be covered and I'll give the camera back to Loren, who will send it to Finland for processing. Hopefully a nice image of the pattern of the sun will be created.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Decisions, decisions, decisions

The crazy thing about submitting films to festivals is not only trying to choose a festival that is appropriate for your specific film but also making sure that you can meet the requirements of the festival you submit to. I've recently decided not to submit to the Festival du Nouveau Cinema, partly because I'm not so sure it is a good fit for my film, but mostly because I would need to make a 2nd digiBeta master for the subtitled version (or have professional subtitles done) and I just don't have the cash (or the energy to own more master video tapes). There are 2 other events in Montreal around the same time that I will submit the film to. Of course I will keep the subtitled version that I've done for the DVD.

Tomorrow I'm going to drop of my disk drive at Vision Globale so that they can make me a digiBeta master videotape. That will mean the date of completion is near (might be tomorrow or Wednesday!). I need to decide how many digiBeta copies to make and how many BetaSP copies to make.

By the way, the new web site is live and I really like it ;o) It's kind of crazy -- it is basically one html page -- with the exception of one or two pop ups and a few pdfs that will also pop up (depending on your browser pdf setting).

I've also installed the new version of Softimage XSI (6.01) and am re-rigging the moose. Using the Rig from Biped Guide makes the rigging so much easier and creates such a better rig than I could create drawing skeletons (mostly for the feet but also for the hips and upper body). The tediuous part though is still the enveloping and although it's looking pretty good I think I need to spend a few more hours on it. Next will be to set up character key sets (new in 6.?) and then animate a teaser (the reason to re-rig the moose -- although getting up to speed in xsi 6 won't hurt me a bit!).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Preparing to transfer to video

The sound is done. Thanks to Serge at Net Post Production, who designed better sound effects than I had, recorded foley and mixed a much better mix of all the tracks. Thanks Serge!

Next up is the transfer to video. Today I'm backing all the video and sound stuff up and then I'll export the final picture to take to Vision Globale to transfer.

In the meantime I've also been submitting to festivals, and working on a new web site which is about to go live. I'll need to update this blog to make it match the new site.

I've also installed XSI 6.01 so I can start working with the characters again for promo shots.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

my smoking moose film screenshots

Here are a few screen shots of my smoking moose film: