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A Vine on a House - animated short


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I decided to adapt the Ambrose Bierce short story, A Vine on a House as my next project. The script took a while to do as the story is missing details that help a movie version make sense but I think I found a fun solution to the problems. I have been thinking of getting a 10-core i9 iMac to replace the 6-core i5 one I have now but even with selling the old one I don't see how I can afford things being what they are. It would really help to push projects into different areas. I spent 3 weeks working on this opening shot set, the week or so was just finding ways to lighten it up so it would render in less than a minute (it's 50 seconds now) so the shots can be done in a realistic time frame when the characters are added. No voice acting this time, I decided on no dialog since I can't get together to record anyone. I used the new Q tile pro to make the ground texture less repetitive and layered another texture over that using a factor mask for the same reason. The house is modified from a free model online. This scene will be aged and turned to ruins next for the second part of the animation. My plan is to make super simple characters.

Wood House.jpg

Edited by CApruzzese
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  • Silver Contributor

Looking good so far… There are bits I would take a look at like the chimney breast the edges seem too sharp. Also the wood panels on the house could do with end planks lines if you know what I mean they all seem too long. Love the unevenness of the fence. I also think your corn on the cob looks a bit too even - could do with loosing the symmetry.

 

But these are just my opinions looking forward to seeing your characters 🙂

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On 11/19/2020 at 11:56 AM, GazzaMataz said:

Looking good so far… There are bits I would take a look at like the chimney breast the edges seem too sharp. Also the wood panels on the house could do with end planks lines if you know what I mean they all seem too long. Love the unevenness of the fence. I also think your corn on the cob looks a bit too even - could do with loosing the symmetry.

 

But these are just my opinions looking forward to seeing your characters 🙂

Adding some end planks to the house is a great idea, it will add a nice little detail. I sort of want to keep things even so when I fade yo the present day the ruined state of the house will look more chaotic, but that might just be a dumb idea. I look forward to seeing my characters too.... I never end up with what's in my head when I start them! 

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  • Silver Contributor

Looking forward how this progresses.

 

A first impression is that it all looks somewhat too clean and sterile.

All wooden beams of the house and the planks of the fence look too straight and sharp.

I like the moss on the roof, but would expect the chimney, wooden beams, etc ... to also be somewhat dirty. Same for the fence and mailbox.

 

Also the lighting seems a little off.

As there is quite a distinctive shadow of the tree on the house, one would expect it's quite a sunny day. Yet the lighting, an especially the shadowy area in the background  is quite dark.

 

Easy talking, I know.

I am facing the same issues when it comes to lighting ... I know it doesn't feel right, but have yet to come up with a good way to fix it.

 

Good luck with the short.

 

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There's some slightly incongruent inconsistency in the house for me. We have a roof that is seriously stylised and warped atop an otherwise perfectly constructed building. It's almost like they started the build with precision engineering robots, but then sacked them all and got a pack of comedy fairytale dwarfs in to finish the roof 😉 I reckon let the dwarfs build all of it...

 

 I would therefore make the house much more angular and rickety than it is now, especially the window frames, chimney stack and main silhouette.

 

I guess if you are going to cover it all in Ivy that might mitigate this issue, but I would imagine not enough to hide the overall straightness of the walls and features.

 

CBR

 

 

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Considering the theme of contrast I would not really go for that suggested realism with dirty parts, broken edges etc, I think it would be more interesting to do it like you planned, have the house be overly straight and overly clean for the first part to have the ruined effect even stronger in the second. Especially with rendered images I would put the artistic idea first and don't do the realism thing, because 90% of rendered images that strive for realism look kind of similar in the end and don't add to a narrative necessarily.

But I would definitely encourage you to just slightly bevel some of these edges, as they really look a bit too sharp now to the point where they are unattractive to look at , which is certainly not what you want.

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback, HIPPODASTAMUS has my intention for the shot right but I do think I need to make some of the changes suggested like knock down the edges and add a little more detail to the wooden slats on the side of the house. I am much more apt to pick the style over realism since my goal is not realism but more I guess fairy tale like in my projects overall. Some of that is my personal style and maybe more of it is the limitations to my rendering capacity. The feedback is definitely giving my motivation to keep going on this a nice shot in the arm. 

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I hope this is an improvement. I think it is. I added details to the slats and rounded off some of the shop angles, especially on the chimney and fooled around with the corn stalks. I also added a new light that cast shadows in the front of the property which broke up the dirt part  some more. Still working on the right angle for the shot, it will need to be used for this version the future ruined version of the house. 

Wood House.jpg

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If we are going for stylised over real, then I'd consider upping the saturation overall a bit to get some additional richness in there... i think I'm looking for slightly more orangey sun, more saturated browns (which I'd also nudge a bit more red-wards) and brighter greens...

 

CBR

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2 hours ago, Cerbera said:

If we are going for stylised over real, then I'd consider upping the saturation overall a bit to get some additional richness in there... i think I'm looking for slightly more orangey sun, more saturated browns (which I'd also nudge a bit more red-wards) and brighter greens...

 

CBR

That might conflict with the ruined version of the house which is many, many years later and in autumn. I have been working on that for a few hours today as I already had the textures read to go. It is much easier to destroy something than to make it ! Of course much of this will change as I work further on the images and again after the characters are made and in the shot. I am thinking I can up the saturation when I do the tone mapping after the editing is done. I tend to do a lot in post these days! I have to make the vines still and my plan is to use the Nitro veins plugin so as I do a slow fade from the past to the ruined present, I can maybe have the vines growing during that transition. 

 

I am happy to have so much feedback, it makes me rethink some things and solidify other ideas. 

587676188_woodhouseruins.jpg

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  • Silver Contributor

I don't know the original story, but your last image doesn't show enough damage (too me) to make it look like a ruined house.

Besides missing a few roof tiles, the house seemingly looks in good condition.

But again, that might just be me, lacking the knowledge of the original story.

 

Removing half of the roof, showing the supporting beams, broken chimney. Broken porch fence. Chair on its side, with a broken leg. Half open front door with some missing wood.

Those things might help in selling it to be a ruin.

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