Friday, January 13, 2012

A New Project Idea

Below is a sample from a project idea I had a very long time ago. I'm not sure what inspired it, but since character animation isn't exactly my bag, I figured something involving a camera move and some basic dynamics would be interesting.

Fast forward a few years and I saw the movie The Conformist which features the following shot:

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and (more importantly, IMO) shot by Vittorio Storaro, this is a crazy beautiful movie to watch. This won't exactly sound like a ringing endorsement, but I don't remember a thing about the story, but the visuals are burned into my brain.

So what's my plan? Well I'm not going to have a huge pile of leaves (or garbage) blowing in the wind and travelling down a sidewalk. Should I try and emulate The Conformist shot? I don't think so. A single garbage bag? Perhaps that's too American Beauty.

My plan is simple and complex at the same time. I want to model our backyard using the blueprint of our landscaping completed a couple years ago and have a piece of trash or a leaf or two travelling along, being blown by the wind.
As I imagine it now, I'd start the piece of... something... starting at the top left of the image, travelling down the winding path and past the garden (featured in the square-ish area), and would make its way to the bottom right on the parking patio. As an extra feature, I'd like to shoot this and track it so that I'd not only have a reference plate to match footage, but also a more realistic camera move.

Difficult? Yes. But as I see it, the fun would be in the modeling of the hard surface objects amongst plants. Since I'd like to shoot the reference footage when it's spring or summer, it also allows me time to model and texture for the remains of the winter so that I'd be ready to render by the end of summer. It's a pretty tall order, but it could be fun.

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