So I finally got around to putting together a demo reel again, but I chose to call it the 2010 version since most of the content is from last year or earlier.  I know I could have done a better job with it, but seeing as how I don’t make a living doing this kind of work, (yet?) it made more sens to me to just keep focused on my existing projects.

 



Speaking of projects, the last one I discussed in my previous post was the VF-1 3D model.  I’ve made some progress on it since then.  For the most part, the wing is finished.  Right now I have a temporary texture on it to hold it over until I do a total re-texture of the model.  This is also why you’ll see quite a bit of distortion in several places throughout the model, as well as discoloration on parts not assigned a proper texture yet.


 

I’ve also been working on updating the cockpit to match the line-art a bit more.  Its hard to see these details without the canopy being open (due to its reflectivity) so that is why the aircraft is shown in the middle of such a unsafe act.


The real challenge (as always) is making it look like it does in the line-art, but still able to transform as it should.  For example, the two large cylinders above and behind the ejection seat had to be down sized to prevent them from slicing off the pilot’s legs when transforming to Battroid mode  (The pilot seat tilts back, and is lifted up/back into the nose section).  I also had to make up a mechanism able to move the seat properly, small enough to fit in the given space, and also shaped in such a way that it would fit in the line art once again.

 

As always, the cockpit is in a considerable state of chaos.  The white textured portions are the bits that have yet to be finished.  I found a nice layout of the cockpit and used it as a base to build all the switches and buttons where they should appear, again, according to canon.  But again I’m finding it more and more necessary to stray from canon in order to make things physically work, or make sense.  You’ll notice that the interior of the nosecone is stripped out again too.  I’m still trying to fit everything where it belongs, and not have the pilots feet resting on the front landing gear.

 

You might also notice that big purple planet up ahead.  Its a skybox for my still-in-progress Episode 3 Remake.  So lets talk about that a bit shall we?

 

The Episode 3 Remake is still being worked on, but the major snag was my sudden transition from vector to pixels.  I love Flash animations as classic Flash, but the limitations are just too great anymore.  I demand impressive visuals from my works, and refuse to be held back by limitations in file size.  At this point, my flash animations were edging in at 15 MB or higher, and still laggy in complex scenes.  For that price in MB, I could do a high def video that would run the same on every computer, and could have audio with less compression.  I was finding that I spent more time optimizing and finding tricky ways to pull off effects, and less time telling the story.

 

What’s great is that all of the voice work has been finished for months, so its all on me, and I can’t blame slow progress on anyone else.  Having the voice work finished is also a good motivator for me, but I really don’t want to wait until the new VF-1 (HD) is finished just to finish the project.  I’ll probably use a mix of the new version as it progresses, and the old version to pull off the shots I need to.  You can see this happening in the Demo Reel video above, as I’ve included most of the scenes that are already finished.

 

After this project, I want to put together a in-depth video about why I moved to raster, and what the new scenes looked like compared to the old.  Also a bit on HOW I did it, as Flash is still part of my workflow.  I have a feeling that video will be more popular than the actual animation.

That’s it for now.  Maybe I’ll go make some new music…