Fate Saga is a fantastical, action/drama animated series about fate and free will, and follows Cain, a knight who can see the future. With only glimpses of prophecies to guide him, Cain interferes in natural disasters and war in hopes of stopping his tragic visions from happening.

However, in a world on the brink of an apocalypse, is knowing the final outcome enough to change it?

Fate Saga is an original animated action/drama series taking place in a fantastical world based on Medieval Europe.

24 October 2010

After Effects Composite Tests

Colors by Amelia Colvig and Dean Julien. Fire roughs by Zelda Vinciguerra. Composite in After Effect by Dana Corrigan.

UPDATED: 105-106 Added. I wanted to test the fire gradients and experiment with the lighting change for when Cyrus ignites the fire. I am pretty happy with how it turned out. The only thing off hand I want to go back and change is Cyrus' lines. The black lines so close to the bright light don't make it seem like Cyrus' arm is as effected by the lighting change as the rest of the sequence. However, I'm going to wait for Zelda's fire to be colored before I make any changes to this.
- Also, I learned of an interesting feature in After Effects while working on this. The ability to program a "wiggle" in a chosen timed property. For the Opacity and the Hue and Saturation Effect color channels, I alt+click on the stop watch and a line of code appears underneath. I changed the code to wiggle(.5, 20) which means that every 1/2 second, that property's value changes to somewhere within a -20 to +20 range from your property's original value. This is going to work really well when we get to the highlights, since now instead of animating the flicker, maybe we can just program it instead.
This whole project is becoming a really good way of learning the programs on a more intermediate/expert level. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all. No better way to see what a program can really do than when you need it for the sake of your project.

Shot 104 Composite in After Effects, with color correction. No sound yet. That will be added in the Editing phase. I wanted to see how hard it would be to alter the colors to account for the changes in lighting. Simply darkening Cyrus and the background was easy enough. The real test will come with shot 105, 106 and 108, which will be the first fire shots I'm going to test in After Effects.

Colors by Sara Crawley.

Shot 145 test. Used gradients from Photoshop into After Effects with overlay, and some color correction on Cain and the background to account for the fire. I definitely feel it needs some kind of shadows over Cain. For highlights I'm not sure if he's close enough to the fire in this shot, but he definitely needs something. Will continue to experiment with this shot.

Character Animation by Tracy MacLauchlan. Clean up by Dana Corrigan. Colors by Megan Miller. Fire Roughs by Zelda Vinciguerra.

UPDATE (10/27/10): Fixed the motion of the gradient, so now it follows Cyrus' scythe in the end when he swings it down. The gradient also darkens and desaturates a little as it's pulled away from Cyrus' face.

This was a fun test to do. I made the fire gradient in Photoshop and did color corrections in After Effects. Cyrus has two copies on top of each other, one with a saturated fire color effect in After Effects, and the other with his original color scheme underneath. The fire color scheme Cyrus is at a low opacity, and I animated the opacity for when the scythe ignites. The saturation and brightness of the gradient also changes when the fire takes over the scythe, and I animated the gradient so that it followed the flame and grew as the fire grew. There are still more tests I need to do, and Cyrus will definitely need highlights because he is still too dark. But with that said, it's so exciting to see a shot this far along!

19 October 2010

Shot 108 Clean Up (Updated 10/22/10)

Clean up Keyframes and Breakdowns

Clean up with InBetweens

EDIT 10/22/10: Finished! Finally! Wow, clean up takes a long time even when the roughs are already clean and well done to start with

Original Post: Currently I am working on several shots at once, including the clean up on Tracy's roughs for shot 108.

I've noticed recently that clean up isn't something that is taught at length at SCAD. I learned most of my clean up practices from Humoring the Fates Animation Studio, and it surprised me that it wasn't something touched upon too much at the school. I guess it makes sense, when the primarily objective is to teach the principles. This is the reason I think helping others with their films is a good idea, not just because of networking but because it brings about scenarios similar to what you'll encounter in the business world, that you really can't prepare for until the time comes.

My clean up practices is basically to draw over the roughs for all of the keyframes and breakdowns, taking into account the position of the previous and later line art. What I'm going to do next is go back and fill in the in-betweens, but using the onion skin feature in Flash much more strongly to try and avoid the line shakiness and popping that sometimes comes with bad clean up jobs.

11 October 2010

Test 2D/3D Conversion Color Concept - Crystalin Interior

Colors by Tracy MacLauchlan

Edit: Two more of the different color alternatives for environment pre-and-post fire. The top image is the one we're going with. We like that the firelight guides the eye to the fire, while Cyrus is neither too dark nor is he burned out by the bright firelight.

Original Post: Here is one version of a test color for the interior of the Crystalin. Even with just the character colored and an overlay of a single color over the background, the 2D/3D differences aren't as prominent. Since the Crystalin is cast in darkness most of the time, it would probably be best for the textures to be simple. The hardest part might when the fire light is close to the table and when Cain first gets thrown into the Crystalin, because the lighting from the outside will come in for that brief period.

04 October 2010

Shot 91 Cleaned Up and Colored

Here is the very first completed character animation! Fully cleaned up and colored, thanks to Ashley Woodard! Seeing the characters moving in color for the first time is really getting me psyched! I'm so excited!