After a brief break to celebrate the hallowed festival of Winterval, the team is now cranked up and is back up to speed producing film related stuff. We now have 3 functioning facial capture systems with accompanying Velcro straps and expertly sewed nylon strapping and have the talented Geoff Samuels doing some kind of magical giggery-pokery on the computer that will allow us to interpret the facial recordings into usable animation data. We’ve tested them all out on the actors, which went well once they had stopped laughing at the prospect of having hand stitched Darlek antennae strapped to the their fore-heads.
We now have the performance capture session scheduled in for July – August, accompanied by the reassuring knowledge that the planned 5 story university extension, being constructed opposite the motion capture studio, is well behind schedule; so we won’t have the expected sound track of pile driving steel girders while we try and capture our actors. We have, however, discovered that the university is keen to completely replace the air conditioning system in the mocap studio the month we are capturing the film data. This is in the process of being forcefully renegotiated. Regarding the script we now have a solid first act blocked out on a scene by scene basis with the rest of the film tightly plotted, but without scene level detail. We are confident the first draft will be finished by Easter and have lined up a collection of notable film industry gurus to give us feedback and help us iron out any loose ends by the end of June. The work at FOAM is slowly cranking up to full production speed and we have a visual research trip to mount OMU in the Carpathian mountains planned for the Easter holidays, that should hopefully prove inspiring and useful, so long as nobody strays from the path or develops a fondness for the cheap Romanian wine. The work in Environments is going well and we have some excellent Carpathian mountain environments coming from Harry Ellard and some very spooky caves coming from Sam Hoffman. We now have a generic facial animation system for the creatures department who will be modelling all the characters and their accompanying faces over the next few months (from the wonderfully weird and disturbing designs coming from our production designer Chavdar Yordanov) Our actors have now had their pictures taken and are in the process of being turned into virtual CG characters (with a few tasteful design additions from Chavdar) All for now.