DTC 335 Final
WSU Vancouver DTC 335
The goal of this project was to model and texture a set of chess pieces and an
environment, and then animate a 1-1:30 minute scene based on a narrative drafted
first in storyboard format.
Modeling the pieces was a learning process, but every obstacle I encountered made
me want to learn more about how to build better in 3d. The knight was especially
challenging. After modeling the pieces, I animated them in Maya alongside the music
track I remixed from three creative commons audio sources so that they were timed
well together. Many of the key movements line up precisely with beats of the music. I
found that this really made the music and animation feel like a cohesive piece.
The rendering process took a lot of tweaking, especially when it came to getting the
lighting to work correctly with the Arnold rendering software. After that, it was mostly a
matter of patience. However, there was one major problem I encountered that
required me to re-render about 500 frames: the same material rendered differently on
certain models, so there was an inconsistency with many of the “ghost” models not
rendering as transparent, even though the material was transparent and I had
unchecked “opaque” in the models’ Arnold attributes. The problem was that I had
selected all of them at once, but I should have done it one by one and run a test
render to show each model, not just random frames.
Thanks to DTC 201, I was familiar enough with After Effects for the compositing of the
video to go smoothly. I created some text and effects in Photoshop and Illustrator,
imported the image sequence, and the rest fell into place.