February 2 2014

Combined Naoki Izumo's SFX edit with LaMar Barber's. I'm using SoundSnap which is a great resource for SFX. I'm rerendering a few shots that were updated. Realizing the renderfarm built from the lab machines to be using only 30-40% CPU power. Also coming up with some automatic rendering so I don't have to log into machines but having to use a remote server makes Dropbox obsolete.


December 27 2013

LaMar Barber helps out with the SFX but there's a lot of changes needed, finishing 2 3D animated short films in 1 year seems impossible @ this time ....


December 6 2013

Consulted with TD Supervisor @ Pixar Chris Burrows about how to fake 3D smoke. He comes up with some cool ideas to help me out.


December 2 2013

Finishing up the soundtrack with Rabby Teng, remotely of course ...


November 5 2013

After a hangup with the soundtrack with Nathan Fleet, I stop by Rabby Teng's studio ... to mess around and see what we could come up with .... what a savior!


November 5 2013

Stopped by the Hamilton International Film Festival to support my latest accepted short TouchFree and Nathan Fleet ... who offered to donate his time to create a soundtrack for the piece. Rock on!


October 23 2013

Illustrator and animation student, Elliott Razo offered to help illustrate the comic book in the opening sequence. A real talent!


September 6 2013

After a great discussion with Nathan Fleet about the soundtrack, we are looking forward to something amazing! He offered to donate his time to create a soundtrack for the piece.


August 25 2013

Rig started having some problems with the eyelash, specifically in this shot. Strange problem but a quick rebuild was necessary to keep it looking normal ...


August 21 2013

Test rendering without raytracing leads to unpredictable results as seen below. The reflections and glass covers the face and is distracting.

Another example of reflections taking over a shot.

On another note, Farley was able to reskin the new outfits for Patricia ...

August 20 2013

What a way to celebrate my post birthday ... luckily I didn't break any wrists so animation finishing continues!


August 19 2013

More problems with the new dynamic hair ...

One of RiFF animation studio's TDs, fixes the female rig for me. So smart!

August 15 2013

The new dynamic hair system is giving me problems since it's a referenced file. It crashes Maya during loading.


August 9 2013

One of RiFF animation studio's top senior animators, Chakkarin Sriwattanamongkol, offered his animation expertise to finish polishing and retiming a few difficult physical animation shots. Thank you!!!


August 1 2013

Second pass of animation is coming along. I forgot how to animate so I asked Tun, the studio owner and close friend to give me a refresher ...


July 5 2013

The wrists are making some strange deformations so Farley added some additional controls to handle it.


June 27 2013

The sad moment is achieved by 2 lights, the key and fill which keeps dark shadows.

Also, only 2 lights are used in this, a key and fill. Someone mentioned the blanket was too high so adjustments were made to make it more believable.


June 26 2013

Minor shadow artifacts on the ceiling due to the high number of lights in this scene. Overall, the light coming in through the windows and light on the table suggests a morning freshness which aids in the feeling of this shot.

Trying to simulate the lighting of skydiving without using more than 3 lights. The bounce created in the area and spot work well with minor tweaks.


June 24 2013

Lighting each shot is taking roughly 5-10 minutes to complete. The results are simple lighting but with the compositing added over top, changes the overall look.

Desaturating the colors changes the way the shadows behave. The shadows are even so any additional changes are predictable.

Since it's a sad moment in the piece, having it overly bright doesn't work either. Keeping deeper shadows can add suspense and mystery to the shot.

Desaturating further pulls the shot into a moment of mystery and the depth is heightened.

Another shot, the fill is a bit too bright which doesn't aid in the sad moment in this shot.

Some smoothing issues with the rotations of the wrists.


June 23 2013

Fingers were fixed but then brought in another problem.

Then requested more rotational control for her fingers.

Waiting for the controls for the upper eyelid


June 19 2013

First pass of animation is about 60% complete! Wow!!! Working in a studio setting is making me work at a record pace! Thank you everyone at the studio for inspring me!


June 8 2013

With layout complete, I'm retiming shots of the film. I'm also cleaning up contact points and the problem with the finger rotation is occuring.



June 4 2013

Wrists still unpredictable in some shots.

June 2 2013

I've gone ahead and remodeled her teeth. The center lip control is off center and with the smile looking unnatural, I believe it's from the gap between nose and top lip

Made a request to get the eyes to form a similar shap to the eyebrows. It would make for more convincing acting.

Zero'ing out the lip controls creates a snare effect



May 30 2013

Minor cheek problem when smiling


May 29 2013

Originally I was going to draw something more elaborate, but something universal like love can be more effectively expressed in a simple way.

The film is blocked in about a week. Wow! Not a lot of changes from the storyboards ... this is a first!

More small issues with the rig are coming up but Farley is quickly able to troubleshoot.

Here, her eyes pop out of the sockets when rotated.

More pole vector issues with her elbow

Wrist twisting occuring when the added pole vector in the elbows. A lot of wrestling with the rig in referenced files


May 27 2013

The rig is completely tested and working beautifully thanks to Farley's expertise! Having an IK follow would be great for the next rig. The same would be great for the eyes. One lingering problem is with the wrist though ...


May 26 2013

Rig testing has been exhausted so I move into posing her in layout. However, rigging problems are still apparent, with this problem coming in the bent elbow.

The teeth could use an all controller here or it's very difficult to see.

The 'O' mouthshape issue won't go away.

Really interesting elastic arm but in IK, I might not need it.

Having difficulty finding the pole vector for the elbows ...

Only happens when I rotate her ALL controller


May 24 2013

More rig testing. The corners of the mouth is creating a harsh mouthshape.

The nose is moving a bit too much when I move her mouth

The eyelashes move a bit too much now when the eyebrows move up

The opposite foot rotates when moving the other foot

The all controller on the face has some weight issues

More funky deformations when I move the torso

Her other hair doesn't seem to want to stay with her head ...

Trying to create her smile is looking unnatural, especially with the right lower lip control

The other issue is the top lips not holding to create the sharp curved line

May 23 2013

Farley's got a lot of changes to fix but he's turning around and making the changes very quickly. The list continues however.

The pole vector for the knee deforms her foot.

When the IK foot moves, the thigh is making some strange deformation.

More shoulder smoothing issue, specifically in the neck though

From shoulder to the chest now ...

May 22 2013

More issues with the rig are coming since I'm spending the next few days testing this rig. Working with Farley to create the ideal rig for animation is a good challenge. Our combined talents will be great.

This back has an extra control which I'm not used to seeing.

The eyebrows aren't moving the eyelashes here.

Unpredictable mouth movement with the left side of her top lip.

IK hand controls are a bit small

Not accustomed to translate only shoulder controls so I asked Farley to also make them rotate'able

Pole vector issues ...

Shoulder appears fixed but the armpit is making unrealistic deformations.

Close up of the problem. Seems to only happen in the referenced file ...

The 'O' shape in the mouth is difficult to create.

May 21 2013

Moving the world node is detaching the character ... fun times!

Another issue with the rig is the shoulder behaves abnormally.

Getting the back rotation to move along with the waist is important. Parenting controls to move based on different parts is a very useful option for animation.


May 16 2013

Instead of modeling the background, I've devised an effort to use photographic placeholders to fill shots. They're looking so good that I will keep it as permanent backgrounds.

Shot in Chicago, this location serves as the backdrop for the comic bookshop that Patricia works at.

Also shot in Chicago, this is the environment which faces the comic bookshop.

The background for the carousel scene - again, Chicago

The backdrop for the photobooth scene, shot in the library @ McMaster University - Canada over Spring Break.


May 15 2013

Began redesigning the website that Chris Northcutt was in the process of creating.

It's becoming a bit wordy.

The bank website is also quite wordy ....

The calendar is foreshadowing a future project with my mom's dogs :)


April 27 2013

EPXCon @ The University of Iowa brought some industry names from Laika, Disney and Marvel ... two of which are working on Perfect Lover with me ... Tyler Fermelis (far left) and Farley Chery (behind - right of me)


July 11 2012

The beach scene. The environments are starting to come along. There's not a huge amount of detail in these environments to keep production time down ...

May 30 2012

The male character modified by the Morpheus rig. Looks just like me!

May 11 2012

The carousel modeled by Chris. Influenced by the 5 cent carousel outside my house in St.Catharines, which is still operated today. Amazing!


April 24 2012

The amazing artwork of Aleks Todorovic. His work has changed over the years and that will work well in a comic store which is suppose to have hundreds of artists represented.

April 23 2012

The current progress of the comic store, with placeholders while waiting for additional art by good friend Aleks Todorovic.


April 21 2012

I love my job. Went with Chris to the Comic Con in Cape Girardeau to get textures and other ideas. The costume contest wasn't as good as prior years. I bought myself a huge Optimus Prime.


April 17 2012

The model I ended up with and sent it to Farley to be rigged. It was an interesting exercise on creating cartoony proportions from the other model Tyler sent me.

April 11 2012

Tyler sends me this model to start from. In comparison to the other female, this one works better but I'm having problems trying to stylize it.

Here's the final original model of the girl. She looks good but doesn't have the same 'beautiful' qualities.

March 19 2012

The model Chris made and my edit on the right.

March 13 2012

Had a conversation with some peers about using students in my film making. While it's a noble thought to have them work as 'internships,' they made me think about trying to get more of my peers to collaborate with me. The problem is, there's very few 3D animators in academia creating projects.


Feb 27 2012

I throw a post in the forums looking for a female rig to use in the film, and to my surprirse, Farley Chery emails me about helping me with rigging. He works at Digital Tutors and ITT Tech teaching rigging. This will be fun!


Feb 21 2012

A list of models is given to Chris Northcutt to model. This is the first day of production. The majority of the backgrounds will be matte paintings. Finding a painter is the new challenge.


Feb 20 2012

Pitched the story to an enthusiast audience and from their reaction, the film gets the green light!