A 2-week project to build an opening title for Sofia Samatar's "The Huntress".
Design a 30-second opening title based on a flash fiction story. Project story: Sofia Samatar's The Huntress Production time: 2 weeks
MOTION DESIGN PROCESS 1. Storyboarding and Ideation -Understand functionality and user flows of current timer 2. Blocking out Scene -Create untextured stills with storyboards 3. Modelling and Texturing -Create full scene and animate camera 4. Rendering and Titles -Post processing and adding animated text to the video
Storyboarding and Ideation
Analyzing the Story In order to base a TV show (or at least the opening title) off of the story, an analysis was performed in order to obtain certain details that should be included in the scene. This included excerpts of text and quotes that added to the overall atmosphere and setting of the story. Storyboards were then made, detailing specific points and potential shots in the sequence.
Blocking out Scene
Putting storyboards into 3D Once the storyboards were made, an untextured scene was made setting the mood and general atmosphere of the shot. Matching the camera shots to the storyboards, the images were then tied to music to make an animatic.
Modelling and Texturing
Bringing the scene to life Once modelled, the scene was spiced up with some custom-made 3D assets. Texturing was done with primarily matte materials to convey that the residence was rusty and worn-down from decades of desert dust. The scene itself was dimly lit, bathing the room with a soft orange glow. In addition, curtain simulations were done to give an illusion of soft wind blowing in.
It's Curtains for You!
Rendering and Titles
Rendering Process After adding volumetrics and lighting, the render times took upwards of 2 minutes per frame. Not that bad individually, but when a project deadline is looming on the horizon, every second shaved off the frame counts. I used Octane render's AI Denoiser function in order to dramatically speed up the rendering times, at the cost of a mild inconsistency between frames.
Without AI Denoiser
With AI Denoiser (faster, too!)
Titles Lastly, title effects were added to give the intro scene its final look. Using the Turbulent Displace feature in After Effects, the text was made to look as if it were sand grains being blown away by the wind as well.
-Storyboarding is key. Storyboarding is the foundation for a video's vision, inspiration, and composition. Whenever I got stuck, I often found myself looking at the storyboards for direction on what assets and atmosphere the next scene should have. -Image quality versus quantity is a balancing act. With limited time, shortcuts have to be taken in order to make tight deadlines. Often times these shortcuts come at a price, so maintaining the best image quality possible is a must.
-Time stops for no render. Render times are often underestimated, and if pushed back too late, there is no way to complete the render! Plan for at least twice as long as the estimated time for the render, and adjust working hours appropriately around large renders (As quoted from Owl City, "Sleep is a Time Machine!") 😴
Project Context Motion Design, 3D Design Client Matthew Mulder DESIGN 370: Intro to Motion Design Duration 2 weeks Programs used Cinema 4D, Octane Render, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Houdini