Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Knights Project: Problems with Rendering

Like most animation productions there are always technical problems especially when working in 3D. The team struggled after the textures were applied to the models. Firstly we had to make some U.V adjustments so that the textures looked right. Then create maps so that when the models were re-referenced into our animated shots the textured models would be animated and able to render. It took the team a while to get the textures correct but eventually we solved the problem however more problems came soon after. When creating the models I hadn't run a practice smooth render to see what they would look like in a rendered scene. The Squire models head and can style suits wouldn't render out in the mental ray settings. The team and I couldn't work out why and ultimately lost a lot of time trying to solve the problem. It turned out that some of my geometry on the squires head hat and can was wrong and wouldn't render. The simple solution would be to go into the original file and cleanup the model mesh which worked for the Red Squires can but changed the model slightly meaning that i had to make some quick adjustments so it looked like the original model. The Blue Squire was harder to solve but eventually we realized that the connection of the ear to the head was causing the problem. By changing the geometry on the head the team feared that we would loose the blend shapes which would have meant that i would have to re-create all the blend shapes for the model. Luckily the blend-shapes were not lost but some of the blend shape animation in one of my scenes vanished when I re-referenced my Red Squire character. I solved this problem by referencing another model into the scene and turning its visibility on and off when I need facial expressions. This was extremely annoying when the team thought we were getting close to the end of the project but it cost us heavily and we wouldn't make the deadline. The silver-lining though was that I feel I have learnt much more about dealing with technical problems and for my next production will leave much more contingency time for problems such as this.

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