Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Space Animation

 Shot 23

Shot 23 consists of a shuttle craft emerging fast from the violin MotherShip and flying past the camera towards Earth. I staerted by creating the MotherShip in Anime studio based on the fantastic image on the cover of the Bubble Gum Orchestra CD.


The stange blobs you can see on this image are the lighting effects created with soft edged shape fills.


Next a background was made in PD Pro Howler. This software has a Starfield Generator so ideal for this sort of thing. The background had to be extra wide so the camera could pan across it.

Blend Morph sliders  in Anime Studio enabled me to easily animate the Audio level meters going up and down. 

The camera move was set up so that the camera swung from the MotherShip over to the Earth. I hoped it would look okay when the flying Shuttle Craft was added.

In Hash Animation:Master, with splines, I drew a profile of part of the Shuttle Craft that was going to fly from the Mothership.

 This was extruded out to get the basic shape of the wings.

A top view of the model so far and also a picture of the craft from the Bubble Gum Orchestra CD cover as reference. My model didn't have to be exactly the same but it was useful to have an image to work from.

Starting to build up the shape of the cockpit by extruding out the front of the model.

Adding the tail. In Hash you create half the model and then perform a 'Copy/Flip/Attach' which creates the opposing half for you.

Here is the model after Copy/Flip/Attach. It probably could have been refined a bit more but, at this stage, I was intending to only use this as reference for 2D animation in Anime Studio.

I added 'decals' onto the wings which read the same as the ones on the CD Cover image 'BGO.01'. This is so easy to do in Hash. You save an image of the model from a top view. Load the image into a paint program (I used Anime Studio) and paint your decal on a layer above the saved image. Load that layer into Hash, line up and simply 'stamp' onto the model.

As stated previously, originally I was intending to save the animation of the Shuttle out of Hash and load the movie into anime Studio and trace the animation. However, after a few test Toon renders out of Hash I was impressed enough that I decided to use the Animation:Master Toon rendered animation as tracing wouldn't have looked much different.

I loaded the Anime Studio animation of the camera move into Hash as a Camera Rotoscope. I could then animate the Shuttle model over the top and be certain it lined up correctly.

I had to create a foreground element of the top half of the Mothership to cover the Shuttle so it looked like it was appearing from inside. I composited the three elements in HitFilm and that was another shot completed.

Here is the completed shot.

 A test animation of the MotherShip.

That's all for now. See you again soon.


All Images (c) Copyright 2012 Michael Laine Hildebrandt / Bubble Gum Orchestra

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Music Video

 A Night In Shangri La

It's been a while I know. I was asked by Michael Laine Hildebrandt of Bubble Gum Orchestra to create a video for his song 'A Night In Shangri La'. So, my short film has been postponed for a while as there's no way I was going to turn this project down. I'm never likely to get the chance to create a video for an ELO song so this was certainly the next best thing!

We came up with a 'story' between us and I created a rough animatic in SpringBoard. I like Springboard because you can very quickly sketch out your panels and add camera moves and time the whole thing out. This time I decided to export all my images and import them into HitFilm. As there is not a complicated soundtrack but just one track consisting of the song it seemed sensible to compile the animatic in HitFilm and create the entire film within the software. 

Below you can see the animatic being compiled to the soundtrack.

Next I created certain elements in Anime Studio such as this SteamPunk style tape deck and violin.

There are a couple of Busby Berkley style dance shots with violins. I started by animating one violin's bow, power meter and cogs. This was added to a  Group Folder. I could then animate this violin doing the dance moves using the Transform and Rotate Tools on this Group Folder Layer. This was then added to another Group Folder and copied several times to create 8 violins all doing the same dance move.

I could then, using a guide as a background layer, use the Transform and Rotate Layer Tools to position each Group Layer around the circles of the guide. Another Group Folder was then created containing all the previous layers and called Inner Circle.

Once I had that I copied the Folder twice and named them Middle Circle and Outer Circle. these could then just be scaled up and placed on the circles of the background guide.


This was saved out of Anime Studio in HD TV format using the Logarith codec and with an Alpha channel. i could then load this into HitFilm on a video track above the coresponding shot on the animatic track.

I could then add various effects to the video in HitFilm.


Here I've converted the Tape Deck shot to a 3D layer which enables lighting effects to be added to it. You can see that a spot light has been added in front to give more dramatic lighting. A light flare has been added behind also.

There's quite a way to go yet but it's coming along. Next time I will post a few sneak peaks at the video.

Bye for now.

All images are (c) Michael Laine Hildebrandt 2012