Storyboard Cards

Storyboard cards are best suited for MTV, because we can rearrange them to match the song. In many MTVs, one scene can be broken up into parts which recurs as needed.

I did 2 tonight. Will be spending some time with more of these!



Since we are starting from scratch, although not totally, we need to go through the most arduous process of brainstorming ideas!

We have been thinking along the lines of flowers, trains, countryside etc., visuals that fit the song’s mood. I think we would eventually be settling down on a simple narrative along these lines.

Vivien told me she likes the idea of a train station, because it’s a point of convergence, a very similar concept to affinity. That’s great!

In the song, there are also parts where we both saw a night sky, which gives us the chance to think about mixed media opportunities for animation.

It’s time to continue brainstorming and sketching, putting these puzzle pieces together. Ishu also suggested the idea of cards so we can shuffle around images, just like the traditional way of editing a film. I should be painting, too.

Making a Dandelion in Maya (Part 2)

After some modeling and texturing, I went around once again searching for tutorials on the dynamics part of the dandelion clock. None around! So I had to figure out how to make the particles work for me.

Firstly, I needed to use particle instancer on the seeds, and get the particles to be on the surface of the flower ball. It involves emitting the particles from the ball object, setting it to be a goal of the particles, and orienting them to the normal of the surface.

The render above is a draft render of what I got after some hard day’s work! I feel like the seeds aren’t at it’s best look and will have to improve on the texture. There’s no shadows right now so I guess it’s still weird.

But the next big challenge would be to have the seeds blown away one by one! I couldn’t get the orientation to change to the direction of the force (and in a smooth way) right now. Let’s hope I can find a fix!

Making a Dandelion in Maya (Part 1)

I started trying to look around the internet for tutorials, but couldn’t find one! I saw that under paint effects, there is a quick and easy way to create a dandelion, with the ability to tweak its look and even animate it easily. The image above is a render after converting it into polygons.

However I am not satisfied with the results at all. Firstly, we cant have the seeds detach using this method. Secondly, it looks too fake if I need a medium close-up. This method is great for generating a dandelion field, but not if we want to deal with one dandelion alone.

So I went online to get some reference photos, and immediately started the modeling and texturing process! I know I won’t need to absolute details since there are no extreme close-ups in the MTV for this, but I would need a really good result for the seed dispersal in the wind. This calls for some particle dynamics!

Will be on this shot for the rest of the week I guess!

Analyzing other good MTVs!

Collecting reference and analysis are part of the important steps in preproduction. We study history because we need to know what has been done. We look at what others have done because we want to do something better!

Here are some MTVs that I picked as reference out of my 260 videos on my youtube playlist.

It’s a recommendation from all my friends, really. My song’s mood is pretty much along this mood, and that means the audience will expect some visuals along this line. 蒲公英的约定 is another example.

I particularly like the treatment of the colorful, distorted lens sequence where the guy envisions a girl. It is a starting point for incorporating abstract elements and treatment in my own MTV.

This is a really good MTV which makes use of images that fits the mood of the song, like animals and insects at close-up, slow-motion. They have not much relation with the lyrics, hence creating symbolic meanings. I’m definitely looking into these in my MTV.

I like how simple a plot can be in an MTV. Here there are only 2 characters and one symbolic ornament, with photography(memory) and flight being the only symbols. This is something I could do in my MTV, with 2 characters and some symbols and that’s it.

So what I need to do now is to:
1) Have a really simple plot between 2 characters, and really unsophisticated environment.
2) Have a variety of images as symbols, which match the mood of the song at the same time.
3) Make use of abstraction when it comes to the climax!
4) Make fair use of editing like slow-motion or rapid cuts, because we can control time to create an effect.

The only thing I can’t decide right now is whether to have my CG character sing the lyrics as part of the MTV. I might do it if my facial deformation and rig is absolutely awesome, otherwise it might destroy the MTV. But having this is a bonus as it shaves off a lot of work to generate the other sequences.