12/4/09

Improved Fire and Jedi Temple improvements

Here's Brad's latest fire test at the Carinda homestead:
video
Pretty cool, huh? As soon as he adds the fire to a few more places, we'll render new background animations, composite them with our live footage, and have some close-to-final shots at the Carinda homestead!

I spent last week improving the geometry and texture mapping on the Jedi Temple exterior. Here's a sample before-and-after comparison:

I replaced that fake, CG-looking doorway with a "real" Jedi interior. Not only does it look much better, but it's also simpler because it's just a screenshot that I took from "Revenge of the Sith." Funny how a 2D picture looks more 3D than our previous 3D doorway...

I also changed the scale on the exterior floor tiles because they looked too small to me.

Anyway, as I was searching for "Star Wars" reference pictures online, I stumbled across an amazing picture of the Jedi Temple's Processional Way entrance:

Sweet, huh? This is EXACTLY the kind of matte painting we needed for the scenes of Brad infiltrating the Jedi Temple. If we use this new matte painting, Brad sneaking into the Jedi Temple would change from:
to !
Hard to believe those are the same scene, right? (BTW, the 2nd picture is a quick-and-dirty composite that I threw together just to get an idea of how the new scene would look. There's no color correction, lighting consistency, digital shadows, etc.)

Unfortunately, we only have that 1 matte painting of the Processional Way, which means we can't change camera angles. We're going to try reducing Brad's "Jedi Temple infiltration" scene down to 3 shots and cheat the backgrounds, because we really want to use this new matte painting for the Jedi Temple background. But if it doesn't work, we'll go back to our 3D model and I'll resume improving the texture mapping and geometry.

We're shooting live footage tomorrow, so we'll see how many scenes we can fit in. After our last few sessions of shooting live footage, we learned to strive for quality rather than quantity. The reason is because we banged through a bunch of shots, but couldn't use any of them because of poor acting (not Brad's fault since he isn't an actor -- we just should have done more takes), poor lighting, framing problems, etc.

Anyway, we should have some cool pictures next time with our new live footage.

Later,
Bob

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