Unfortunately because of the current world situation I’ve had to relocate and work from home for the remainder of the project. Trying to maintain the same level of quality whilst working on a simple laptop is pretty much impossible. Things such as lighting tweaks for each scene can take a day or more just for things that would have taken minutes in the studio. Some scenes can’t even load correctly with the limited specs of my laptop. There are still a large number of effects and simulations I need to work on that are a nightmare like this, changing one value at a time and waiting upto 2 hours to see the effect unable to do anything else until the process is complete. Not ideal, but we’re getting there.
Up until now I haven’t been able to work on some of the effects with compositing, there had been issues with the AOV settings for the renders which meant depth passes were no longer working again. It’s been a struggle with these since the start, working one moment and breaking the next, without much rhyme or reason. Thankfully the technician here at ECA was able to get to the bottom of it and enabled me to dig deeper into some of the compositing. The main aspects of the compositing were through the use of a depth matte, being able to isolate different parts of the render based on distance to camera. It allows me to really change the settings atmosphere dramatically with some light fog, atmospheric distortion and particle effects such as pollen caught in the light. I’ll also be rendering the female character separately and manipulating her appearance to further the ethereal quality she has, almost appearing like a projection (inspiration here).
The first test was the opening since it was the lightest of the scenes to render. I’ll be building the complexity up slowly just to make sure everything is feasible. Here are the results of that from after effects. I have still yet to add a background to this, which will be another method of rendering a still image and adding a 3d fog effect to pull the distance form the camera and add a lot more depth to the film, it should also make the forest feel a lot more mystical and endless.
I’ve also tried to work up how one of the last shots of the film will be like as i think the atmosphere here is really going to make or break the moment. This has been done with very low resolution images and not the final assets and lighting. There are still tweaks to be done with this and the goal is to have the backgrounds trees to be much better qaulity as the ones here are just modified early tests for the tree shapes and not the planned background with camera alignments matching the composition of the shot.