3D animatics are very good for roughing out camera angles and motion, whereas 2D animatics help bring the focus back to the character (eyelines, facial expressions, emotion, interaction) much better. To get back to the feeling of the movie, I wanted to do 2D animatics and focus on what the character was doing, but still have a way of roughing out and testing shots.

Editing shots in the sequence Each shot was done as one or many drawings either on paper/tracing paper or in gimp, with the backgrounds seperated into layers, allowing for limited animation in the sequencer. For tricky shots I resorted to UV projection of sketches onto blocky objects in seperate blend files. Then I edited everything together in the sequence editor. For speed, I kept a bunch of the old 3D animatic shots around, since they didn’t have to be redone.
Adding shots in the 3D mockupTo rough out the shots in 3D I built a ‘blueprint set’- a sort of 3D proxy in blender, and a simple 3D block character. Then I linked these into a blend file with one scene and 2 screens: sequencer and 3D view. ctrl-arrowing allowed me to tab back and forth.

scriptlink for camera changerI wanted to place a new camera at each shot and use a camera changer script. Unfortunately, the existing camera switcher from project orange no longer worked, and I wrote a new one- at first it had very bad performance, until I realized that blender often skips frames while scrubbing: you can’t just look for a marker at the current frame, you have to look for the most recent marker before and up to the present. This worked really well, so I added a button in python that added a camera at the current viewport with the typed name and a marker at the current time. this allowed me to go back and forth quickly from set to storyboard, adding cameras for each shot.

In case you’d like them, here are the scripts: add_shot.py and camswitch.py

More shots from the storyboard/animatic have been added to the media gallery.

  1. I just saw the project, it´s a realy dinamic art direction. Some art works remaind me peter chang, congratulations for the visual impact.

    Like other freefac projects, this one seems to generate some fruits. I was looking for a tool like camswitch – storyboard conections and stuff. I´ll try the script as soon as I can!

    Good luck fellas

  2. Guilherme, thanks! indeed, we want to make ‘fruits’ as you say, with this project, hopefully more as we go along.
    I like Peter Chung’s work a lot- another big influence is Egon Schiele

    Good luck with the camera scripts, let me know if you have any questions.
    PS Good luck with epifania, from what I saw you have so far, looks nice 🙂

  3. Marco :

    The script looks interesting but I’m not figuring out how it works…

  4. Ah ok, I’ll make an ‘instructions’ blog post for the scripts.

  5. Just discovered this project. Awesome stuff, mate! I look forward to delving into the past posts, and waiting future ones. On my google-reader now.

  6. […] bassam on Apr.25, 2009, under production In a comment on the animatics blog post, I was asked how the camera switcher scripts are supposed to work. I promised a detailed answer, so […]

  7. […] a comment on the animatics blog post, I was asked how the camera switcher scripts are supposed to work. I promised a detailed answer, so […]

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