Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Here's my newest project. I'm trying for a more emotional and less funny piece. I got this clip from The Patriot off the internet. I haven't seen the movie for some time now, so I'm not really sure what's actually going on, but that's a good thing in my mind.

[8-11-09]I got this idea rather quickly but knew I wasn't quite happy with it. The staging was annoyingly boring, I ultimately didn't like the idea of the first guy coming off screen from nowheresville, and the whole dropping to the knees felt a little cliche.

[8-12-09]After talking with my friend Dan about it for a bit and doing a ton more reference footage, I got some better ideas for the staging and action.

After a short day in Maya, here's where I'm at with it. For some reason I'm working straight ahead but in sort of a stop-motion way where I know(from my previous tests) what poses I want to hit and about where to hit them. This way it seems to grow more organically and new ideas get put in(that may have to be taken out later) as I go.

[8-14-09]I've blocked out most of the action and quickly thrown in some smoke animation because the French guy blowing smoke at the over emotional American is an important part for me to underscore the Frenchman's frank/cold look at the war and death.

[8-18-09]I'm taking things back to the drawing board. When I went into Maya things just weren't working out right. After a good critique, I'm trying to tone down the Frenchman more and simplify what the American is doing.

[8-21-09]Another crack at simplifying things and adding to the story has left me with some new blocking. Something weird happened and my rig files got deleted, so the next time you see these guys they'll probably look a bit

[9-1-09] So, I've done one last bit of restaging and changed a bit of action, but now I'm (hopefully) on the final stretch. It's been a bit since my last post because I started to do some polish, but then stepped back and realized that I was moving a lot of things for no reason and needed to refocus on slowing things down(still).

[9-7-09] Talking with my brother inspired a new way for the American character to get down on one knee. Right now he's also very still from when he goes down to when he yells at the end. The plan is to build in more interesting things later instead of trying to throw it all in at once. I'm trying to figure out how I can make a good performance out of him being relatively still that people won't go, you should have him checking the body, etc.

[10-3-09] After having lost a lot of steam coming back to school and dealing with endless classes and thesis meetings, I'm finally willing to call this done. I'm honestly just tired of doing, redoing, and re-redoing parts of this. That being said, in all those re-re-redoings I feel I have learned a good deal on this. I think what I learned is best reflected in the French guy who I did second. I was focusing mostly on pulling back and being able to just hit a pose and stay with it for a while and having clear, direct motivation. I'll make a new post today with a better postmortem.

Anyways, here it is

Surrender! Finally from John Fielding on Vimeo.

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