Project Nr 2: Animated Gingerbreads


Project 2: Animated Gingerbreads

Project 2 is officially over and it's finally time for some time off with family over christmas and new years eve. But first, let's finish off the week with a blog post about the project.
For this project, we were divided into several smaller "companies" consisting of 4-5 employees. My group, Team Gröt (Team Porridge in English) consisted of 4 members - Me, Max, Ebba and Emir and the mission was to make an animated christmas card for Xenter for a maximum time of 30 seconds at 25fps in full HD 1080p (swedish standard).
At first we had these cosy ideas of turning the school into a christmas workshop feel but somehow ended up with a trailer of classic movie heroes turned into Gingerbreads. A trailer for the fictive movie The Expendabreads: Trust The Crust that plays on the screen in a theater filled with gingerbread characters. Starring Bautamannen (modelled by Max) Ginger Neo (modelled by me) , Lara Crust, Ginity (modelled by Emir) and Space Cookie (modelled by Ebba) our heroes can be seen performing some classic moves in a trailer stylish fashion. 

Watch the trailer here:

The main thing for this project was to learn to model, rig and animate a gingerbread character in Maya and then use this knowledge to create an animated christmas card for Xenter to use in christmas greetings for their partners and customers. Well I might say that with some misunderstandings and not enough time for change, our idea was too controversial to use for this purpose. Even though there's a gingerbread man looking like Rambo, firing a mini-gun, there's still a weapon firing at something - and that's a big no no when it comes to marketing the school. Maybe thats not the christmas feeling the school was after when giving out the project. I will be honest when I say that we might have missed one instruction where it said "cosy with a warm feeling about the future". To my defence, we had a couple of cosy ideas in the start and didnt get much heads up when we first introduced this project for the teachers until there was a little more than a week left to deadline. As i said, there was some misunderstandings, so we decided to go full action with some great renders of tanks, helicopters, cloth simulations (heroes wear capes), flying candy and epic trailer music.
To sum it all up, I've had a really great time during this project together with awesome future colleages Max, Ebba and Emir. We've had great communication and much better file structure (which is important) than the last project. Personally I feel much more integrated with Maya and have learned a lot about rigging, animation, look dev, lightning, materials and rendering. The most mindblowing about rendering is the AOV function in Arnold, which is rendering in passes for the compositing stage. It's mindblowing how much you can do even after the rendering stage.
All and all I'm proud of myself and the team for pulling this off. Now it's time to fall back for some free time with family over the holidays. Although I'm already stoked about what 2020 has to bring - schoolwise so to speak.