There's a lot of moving parts in this, as you can imagine. Got a talking horse head replacement, magic sword effects, digital environments, lots of matte paintings, and an entire family of CG trolls.
But the biggest challenge is our hero character Mica: a mighty bridge troll, full CG character as lead actor, who goes through the entire spectrum of emotions and carries the entire story on his shoulders.
This is what a raw render looks like:
We got all the other areas of the film taken already care of by an amazing team of volunteers. Plates are shot and tracked, rigs are built, environments are rendered, comps are coming together... The only roadblock right now is animation. We simply have so much of it, all together over 14.000 frames (about 10 minutes screen time).
That's why we need your help.
If you're an animator with a great sense of timing, and you know how to turn a character animation into a real performance, we would love to hear from you. We have shots with physical Action animation, lip-synch, highly expressive facial performance, shots that span from comedic cartoon exaggeration all the way to deep thoughtful melancholy.
Catch is - that it's volunteer work. Its a fan film to a popular franchise so the movie rights for the story alone would need some 6-digit budget. Unlike most fan films however, weve been granted the rights by Terry Pratchett himself on the premise that the project remains a non-profit production. And so ever since the beginning, everybody involved in this adventure has been doing it for the sake of getting Discworld onto the cinema screen with the epic scale that it deserves. Set builders were volunteers, actors, the whole crew, literally armies of medieval re-enactment freaks, all volunteers. On the postproduction side some award-winning artists are volunteering, from New Zealand to Poland to Hollywood, and we're probably all crazy, but we really want to make this movie.
On the flipside, we do have perks and great industry support.
Shotgun keeps us organized, just like in a real production. The Foundry kindly sponsors licenses for all our artists. Muse VFX (my daytime employer) provides us with a render farm. We will take care of rendering your animation in full quality, you get the frames as soon as they are generated, and you're totally free to use them immediately on your reel. Of course you also get the final comps.
Our hero animations are done with the first fully articulated face rig ever realized in Modo. No morphs, all based on the articulation through layered order-of-operation clusters of Brian Tindall ( www.hippydrome.com ). It's a lot of fun to play with. https://vimeo.com/98459387
If you're a kick-ass Maya or Softimage animator, youll have no problem in Modo. Animation skills transfer easily, and indeed some of our animation is Maya based too. We help you with everything, you get video training on the rig and animation tools (total 5 hours), shots to practice on, we even set you up with Foundry licenses. The film is scheduled for release by the end of this year and with some extra help animating we can totally achieve that.
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