Monday, August 10, 2009

The End'ish

Its been a while since I updated. Ive been stuck in editing hell. Its amazing how much passion and excitement I lose towards the end of a project. I went through the same thing with my last film "Iz". I don't know what it is. Maybe its because I know the marketing/promotion part is coming up, or maybe its because I'm afraid to end a project, like a father sending his kid off to college, or maybe its that I'm scared to let the world judge this baby that Ive created. I don't know, but whatever it is, it is.
With that said, the film is basically complete. There are a few musical notes to address, but beyond that, I have a finished 9 minute film that I am very proud of.
I've said this from the very beginning of doing these short films. My main goal is to get better. I don't expect these things to win academy awards, Ive never been someone who is the best at something, but i'm proud to say that i'm almost always the person who works the hardest at something. That's what this is, me working hard so that someday I can direct a feature film. "The Lonely Mr. Scrim" is a giant step in the right direction. The writing is better, the cinematography is a million times better then my last film, the timing is better, the transitions feel natural, the characters are interesting. This is a film that I am proud of. Whether it does well on the festival circuit is not the point, hell, I doubt I'll even find the money to send it to festivals, the point is that it was another step in the right direction. Ok, i'm done with the self targeted pep talk. I'll post again soon with some conclusions and festival news.

Thanks for reading! That means you Holly, Mom, and Dad and maybe that weird guy I met at the store who asked me what I do. =)

-Eric

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Editing Done

I finishing the editing last night.
Sound effects are done as well.
So, all thats left now is music and voiceover. Neither of which I can currently afford =) Soon I hope though.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Compositing Done!

Thats the cool thing about doing a project by your self, theres lots of milestones, hehe. So, as of last night I am completely done compositing. I really took my time with the compositing, and I think it shows in the final film. I never realized how much I loved color until I took a look at the final clips. Its like looking at a giant bowl of fruit.
Finishing up the editing in the next few days.

-Eric

Monday, July 6, 2009

trailer feedback

Ive been getting some wonderful feedback from the trailer. It makes me all the more excited about the final film.
The biggest negatives concerning the trailer seem to be music and the subtitles. Which were both added at the very last second and will not be in the final film. So, thats cool right? =)
Everyone seems to love the visuals and the story.
Im about 95% done compositing. Leaving just a few scenes left. I'm 75% done with the editing. Ive been doing quarter chunks to makes things easier on me and on the software. Im starting to look for a voiceover actor this evening (I wanted to be able to present them with the film so that they would get a feel for what im looking for and also know that this is a project that wont dissapear before being finished). Hopefully I can find someone that fits the film and can work for my budget, which is pretty much zero. Good luck huh? =)
-Eric

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Trailer is done!

Be sure to click the HD option.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dRnDZNTes8

Let me know what ya think!
-Eric

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More final shots




Friday, June 19, 2009

First "Final" shots!



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Compositing

Compositing. Ive spent the last week or so compositing. For those that arnt to familiar with the process, basically compositing is just taking all the different layers youve rendered (diffuse, occlusion, background, clouds, etc), combining them, tweaking lighting, added small effects like fog, and then rendering out the final product. Almost like what you would do in photoshop but over numerous pictures (frames) instead of just one.
The process is taking me quite a bit time. This is because of the amount of scenes I have to composite and the amount of polish im going for. Im not naive, I know this thing isn't gonna look like a pixar (or Sony Animation! =) film, but I want it to look as nice as it possibly can. So far im very happy with the resuls.
I'll post my first completely finished scene soon. Possibly tonight if I remember.
Im also pieceing together the trailer. Which should be done soon.
-Eric

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vacation from vacation

Im sitting here in Florida, about 3000 miles from my home, my cats, my wife, and my short film. I miss my wife the most, but the short is a close second =)
I feel nice and recharged though. The film is basically done rendering. I just did some music recordings today with my pop, and I think I have enough. So, when I get back home it'll be all about compositing this thing, throwing down some sound effects, finding a voice, and putting it all together. Woohoo! So close.
Stay tuned for a trailer!

-Eric

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Films Website is up!

I got the films website up and running. Most of it is still under construction, but feel free to check out whats up so far.
http://www.ericprovan.com/TheLonelyMrScrim/index.html

Monday, May 18, 2009

Animation complete!!

As of last night, animation is officially complete. Yay! =) I feel like I did a pretty good job animating this thing. I'm not an animator, but the best way to get better at something is to practice, and I had my fair share of practice with this short =) One scene has 5 characters doing different things! In the end, the animation isn't too amazing, no, but its very watchable and shouldn't distract the viewer from the story. Hopefully it enhances the story.
So, the next few weeks I will be tightening up the story/narration, and rendering, rendering, rendering. Rendering has piled up over the last week, mostly due to a choice to re-render 4 or 5 scenes. But the hassle should pay off with some much better looking scenes.
I thought this would be kinda funny. Here are some of the things that have changed over the course of the production.

I started the film thinking there would be 3 characters total, I ended up creating 12 distinct characters, granted, most of them show up in stills. One added character has fur and is fully animated!
The estimated run time was 4 to 6 minutes, It now looks to be over 9 minutes.
The original narration was being done by a narrator, but that changed about half way through when I realized Mr. Scrim should actually be doing the narration. In his words. This was a big change in the story, but helped tremendously.
Estimated 4 environments total. In the end, I created 8. The additions include and office building/room, a bathroom, and a dock.
Estimated illustrations that would be used in the film in picture form was 4, I ended having 9. These include family pictures, DVD/video game covers, Book covers, etc.
Many more things were added. Most due to having access to a renderfarm (renderrocket.com).

So there ya go. I should have a trailer up within 2 to 3 weeks. Stay tuned =)

-Eric

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rough Draft of film - thoughts

So, The other day I edited together the first rough draft of the film. How exciting right? The first shocking thing was how long this film is. I was predicting on the high end when I said that it could run from 6 to 7 minutes. It turns out that this thing could possibly run longer then 8 minutes! As it stands right now, its over 7 minutes without an opening and credits. Now, this isn't exactly a good thing. But, im hopeful that the film will keep people interest thoughout.
The biggest thing I learned from the rough draft is that some of my scenes clash when transitioning from one to the other. Its most because of the camera movements being to drasic. So, im having to go back and re-render 2 or 3 scenes so that they transition better.
And the final thing I learned was that the story jumps to quick in a few spots. So, after doing some brainstorming with my wife, I, or should I say we came up with a few scenes that will help the flow greatly. Now, this adds 2 more scenes to animate (simple anyway) and render, but I feel that they are very much needed.
So, there ya have it. After seeing the film cut together, I can say that im extremely proud of how this thing is turning out. Hopefully the audience will enjoy it =)

Thanks,
Eric

Saturday, May 9, 2009

So close, yet so far away

Ive been spending most of the past few weeks tying up loose ends and re-rendering older scenes that had errors.
As it stands, I'm down to one final scene that has animation, which is almost done. Im currently working on my first rough cut of the film so I can start focusing on the voice over timing and sound effects work. That's going very well. Im really suprised how long the movie is turning out to be (6-7mins). Hopefully there's enough in there to keep people attention. If not, I wont hesitate to cut it down. Directors cut =)
I'm looking to have the trailer out by june 15, so stay tuned.

-Eric

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The End is Near

So, here we are at the 7 month mark. Its really insane to think that its been that long. It flew by. 7 months of production on this thing, 4 to 10 hours a day. That's a lot of work, and with this thing nearing its end, I feel like its paid off. Im extremely proud of this little baby of mine, and I really think that the public will enjoy it. I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I would be no where near where I am without the renderrocket.com service. Their support basically turned this project into a no limitations type of project. Which is unheard of for a guy doing something like this by himself. Its aloud me to make the quality of film that stands against some professional studios work. Its aloud me to add 2 to 4 minutes of film. Its aloud me to do all this work in a quarter of the time it would have taken. Its aloud me to rethink and even remake parts of the film that I would have regularly had to deal with. So, I can't thank them enough.
I estimate that I will be done animating within the next 2 weeks. I have just 2 scenes left to animate. I have changed the structure of the narration a bit, which has added another cool aspect to the film. Basically, instead of a narrator, Mr. Scrim will actually be telling the story through a letter he is writing. This aloud me to do more realistic dialog, and I think it helps people connect with Mr Scrim a little quicker. Ive also added to the ending. This is the third addition ive made to the ending. Which has added weeks of extra work, but hopefully will pay off. I say addition, because the end hasnt changed, its just gotten a little more complex, and surprising.
So, with the film wrapping up soon. I hope to have a website set up for it. As well as a gallery of images from the film.
Anyway, stay tuned =)

Thanks,
Eric

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yet another test shot


Another Test Scene - sad from eric provan on Vimeo.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Side shot of the house -test-


Side Shot from eric provan on Vimeo.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Excited

Ahh man, Ive had a great past few weeks. Ive been animating a lot of the scenes that involve the creature. Hes a blast to animate. The closer I get to finishing the animation, the more excited I get. Im dieing to put this thing all together.
The game plan once animation is done is.....
First, lay out a rough film version with rough narration.
Tweak the narration.
Hire talent to do the voice work.
Do some acoustic tracks with my father.
Gather some sound effects.
Finalize the look.
Composite all the scene (using Digital Fusion).
And finally put this thing together.
Then make a final, profession looking website.
And then its off to the festivals.
I'm not sure how im going to fund this thing once its ready for the festivals, but I'm confident I will figure something out. For those that dont know, to enter a film into a festival is anywhere from 20 to 75$, plus shipping. That money adds up quick. If I had my wish, this thing would be submitted to 20-25 festivals. That's like 1250$, ouch!!!!! With that said, I could probably afford a festival a week, and just add them up over time. Bah, I dont like the money side of this stuff =)

I plan on posting some more technical shots very soon (wireframes, light rigs, etc)
Thanks for stopping by!

-Eric

Friday, April 3, 2009

Status Report

Added a new character to the film. He'll be in the film for a total of 10 seconds, so im not spending too much time on him. But it does add a few days of work.
Ive reworked the ending a bit as well.

Concept art - Characters 100%, Environment 100%
Story/Script - 90% (lowered from 100% because of some changes)
Modeling Characters - Mr Scrim 100%, Ms. Scrim 100%, Flying Critter 100%
Modeling Environment - 100%
Rigging - 100%
Texturing Char - 100%
Texturing Env - 100%
Lighting - 95%
Animation - 75% (nearing 4:30 rendered)
Compositing - 25% (still doing some testing for the final look)
Music - 25% (no recording done, but ive written a few simple melodies that I believe will sound nice with the film) Its going to be mostly acoustic guitar in the background with sound effects.

Film run time estimate is at 5-6 minutes.
HD 1080 (1920X720)
Finish date is June 1st.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another little test clip

No post. Getting there!

What was that? from eric provan on Vimeo.

Staying Motivated

Lack of Motivation is probably the number one killer of these types of projects. Thankfully for me, the motivation for this project is still very much there. More so then even my last film. I feel very connected to this film. Where my last film was more generic and soft, this one is very much "me". Granted, while still a bit amateurish, in the end, this film is very much like the films Id like to make in the future. It has things that are odd/weird, the comedy is dark, the style is very detailed, dark yet colorful (if there is such a thing), and the story is upbeat. So, what happens when the film is released and no one likes it? Well, then I make another one =) Eventually someones bound to like one.
Sometimes I ask myself why i do this stuff. This film combined with my last have taken about 9 months of my life now. Why spend so much time on something that wont gain income, wont land me a job (heck, I already have a job that I love), possibly wont do well at festivals, wont make me famous, wont help save cancer patients?
So why do it?
I love the process. To me, its like being a little kid again and building a fort with you friends and family. The planning, the building, the result. Its all a blast. I really enjoy developing things. While Im not sure "director" will ever be a job title, I am confident that some day i'll be on the development side of a project. Don't get me wrong, modeling is a blast. I mean I just modeled the Cheshire Cat for Tim Burton's new Alice film. How rad is that? But eventually I really want to try my hand at developing something on a big scale.
Anyway, im starting to blab. Thanks for reading about the film. Stayed tuned for more clips! =)

-Eric Provan

Monday, March 23, 2009

2 milestones!

Ok, the first news is that I have officially surpassed the blog post amount of my last film/blog =)
But the big news really is that I have officially passed the 4 minute mark. Thats animated and rendered content!
With 4 minutes of film done, I'm looking at about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes left to animate and render. That should be no problem to do over the next month with the help of renderrocket.com. So, the most up to date finish date on animation and rendering is May 1st, Finished film date is June 1st. Thats not to far off!
Stay tuned for some new shots, animations.
Thanks,
Eric

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Test shot of Exterior


Another Work In progress shot - Letting out line from eric provan on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Animation Infatuation

I really am enjoying the animation stage this time around. After a little over 1 month of animating, I have hit the 2 minute animated/rendered mark. At this point, the pace is going very fast. Im averaging about 30-45 seconds a week. Its looking like the film could be as long as 8-10 minutes depending on how the pacing goes. I really don't want people to get bored, so it may have to be cut down to 5-6 minutes. I want to make sure every scene advances the story. I love that I have the option to do this (no doubt thanks to the renderfarm option that i now have with renderrocket.com).
The look of the film is coming along great as well. Everything is being rendered at 1080HD. The detail is great. Ive figured out how to do the motion blur in post (something I had trouble with in my last film). Effects are getting there as well. The main two being ocean and clouds.
Thats about it for now. I'll be posting some new animations very soon.

Thanks,
Eric

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Better res clip

Gonna start embedding these clips from Vimeo because of the better resolution.


Work in progess clip from eric provan on Vimeo.


Work in progress shot 2 from eric provan on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A few work in progress shots

video

video

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nearing the 1 minute mark

So, here we are, feb. 23rd, and animation is going along very well. Im nearing the 1 minute mark on rendered content, mostly thanks to the amazing renderrocket.com service. Its crazy, I was so used to finishing animation on a scene and then waiting a week or two for it to be rendered. Now it takes just a couple hours =P.
Anyway, things are moving right along. Im very happy with the results so far. Im confident that I will be done animating/rendering by April 1st.
Its looking like the run time of the film will be in the 6-7 minute range, which is pretty darn cool.
I'll get some new clips up soon.
Thanks for looking =)

-eric

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Clip

Heres another small clip from the film. This is of course before any compositing.
Enjoy!

video

Monday, February 9, 2009

I aint afraid of no renda

Sorry for the lack of updates. The culprit lies in animation. That's basically all I've been doing lately. So far im up to about 20 seconds animated and rendered. This number should really start picking up as I get more comfortable with the work flow. I animate so little, that every time I get to this stage its almost like I have to re-learn the basics. I guess thats not a bad thing =)
Ahh, yes, so, while I dont really have anything to report about animation (its going well), the most amazing thing happened regarding the rendering aspect of the film.
The short story is, I was able to work out a deal with the cool dudes over at Renderrocket.com, to use their online rendering service. While I won't go into specifics (im not sure how much I could/should say), but I will say that they were extremely generous. The last time I was this happy about getting something was my 6th Christmas (Hello NES and Link! =).
The significance of this arrangement changes the whole look and feel of the film. It allows for high-res rendering (1920x1080), which creates many more options at compositing time, it opens up the door for fluids, dynamics, cloth, hair, all the things that would normally be avoided with a small group project, none the less a solo project.
To put it in perspective, the other night I rendered a pretty intensive scene. 450 frames (water, sky, huge environment, etc), at 1920x1080, taking about 30 minutes per frame. On my computer it would have taken 225 hours (nearly 10 days running 24/7). On the renderrocket's renderfarm, it took 3 hours!
Its one of those things that once you've tried it, you can never go back to normal rendering =P
Anyway, if you working on a film, or even a demo reel for that matter, I highly recommend checking them out. Its a great service, and the people there are super nice and helpful.
So, there ya have. The film is coming along great. Im very excited about the few scenes Ive already rendered. I'll post some very soon.
Peace,
Eric

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Status update

Concept art - Characters 100%, Environment 100%
Story/Script - 100%
Modeling Characters - Mr Scrim 100%, Ms. Scrim 100%, Flying Critter 100%
Modeling Environment - 100%
Rigging - 100%
Texturing Char - 100%
Texturing Env - 100%
Lighting - 85%
Animation - 5% (15 seconds rendered)
Compositing - 0% (still a lot of testing needed. I want to find a unique look that can be aplied through compositing)

The rendering plan

Ok, so i've been rendering my first animated scene. A total of about 15 seconds. Each frame is 1920x1080 (1080hd). Im pleasantly surprised with the render times so far. Heres the plan as things get more congested. I have 4 computers to render from.
1) Quad core 3.0ghz, 16gigs ram 2) Dual core 3.0ghz, 8gigs ram 3)Dual Core 2.8ghz, 6gigs ram 4) Dual core 2.8ghz, 4 gigs ram (laptop)
Unfortunately, I do not have a render farm setup. I may look into trying to set up a render farm, but i think I will need some expensive gear, so that may be out of the question. Right now, all of the setting up is going through 2 USB switchable external harddrives. This is annoying, but its the easiest way to transfer files without spending a bunch of money.
Like I said, right now, things are going smooth. With that said, it is the least populated scene that im rendering, and im rendering it on my most powerful computer. We'll see if I can pull this thing off with this set up.

Peace,
Eric

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

still


I forgot how crappy videos look on this thing, so heres a still form the animation. This is before any kind of compositing.

First look at animation

video

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Animation Has begun

So, last night I officially began animating my first scene. Its a scene were Mr. Scrim in up in his wind mill looking out at the stars with his telescope. Ive decided to render everything at HD1080. Thats a super high resolution for a 1 man short (atleast super high for the detail I have). This is going to absolutely kill me at render time, but I figure if Im taking my time, mine as well get a high resolution out of this. This will also make the film much more editable in the end.
So yay, animation time!!!!!!!!


-eric

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

update - jan. 14 2009

Concept art - Characters 100%, Environment 100%
Story/Script - 100%
Modeling Characters - Mr Scrim 100%, Ms. Scrim 100%, Flying Critter 100%
Modeling Environment - 100%
Rigging - 100%
Texturing Char - 100%
Texturing Env - 95%
Lighting - 75%
Animation - 0%
Compositing - 0%

Dig the rig

So, I've spent the past couple weeks finishing up the rigs for these 3 characters. Rigging is the one aspect of visual effects that I have ignored the most. Im happy to say that the rigs ive made so far hold up great. Leaps ahead of the work I did on my last film. Spending more time rigging and weighting will definitely save me time in the future.
I look to start animation within a few days. This is a huge milestone for the project and Im glad Ive made it this far without going insane =)

Thanks for reading!

eric

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Final Character Designs




Friday, January 2, 2009

Let the animation begin!!

The deeper I get into this project, the more excited I become. I've officially finished all the environments and characters, and its time to finally start the long animation/rendering work.

I really want to be completely done by the end of march. That gives me a good 2 months to animate this. Very doable in my opinion. I'll keep you updated!