Staring off the lesson today we watched another animation. This time it wasn’t a Pixar one, instead it was a hand drawn one. It was really nice to see too since all animation now is done inside a computer. It just doesn’t have the impact and wow factor of proper hand drawn stuff. Anyway, I digress. Below is what we watched and again we had to identify which principles we could see.
The it was back to work on our ident. So. Maya.
I could leave it right there and pretty much everyone who’d read this would know exactly where this post could go.
After last week where everything had went so well, Maya more than made up for it this week. I had to seek help to get things done, and I mean a lot of help.
I managed to begin texturing my models but I had to fight to get them done. Maya allowed the texturing of one car tyre but nothing else. After asking for help I had to duplicate each of the remaining tyres, parent them up to the non textures tyres and then remove the parent to allow me to place them where they should be. And I had to repeat the same process with every single tyre on the truck. All 12 of them.
At the end of the session I’d managed to fully texture the cars before I’d saved my progress to my memory stick to finish the final elements at home. However as usual, Maya had other ideas. Every texture on the car broke bar the rear brake lights and indicators. The textures that were fine and worked well with the changed places of a very small few vertices in lesson time broke. They spiked off into each other. The truck wouldn’t texture at all. Then it would. Then its textures rendered the whole rear end transparent. Then they went back on but the mesh of the trailer and the cab merged together when I tried to UV unwrap it. Then as I moved the cab’s mesh aside trying to sort it out I watched as the textures on the trailer slide off the mesh in real time. Then everything on that broke. The Maya wouldn’t save anything due to “some unknown node or data”.
I have to say I very nearly lost it. Somehow I managed to save it and took it back to college where Matt helped fix it with a patch here and virtual sticky tape there. I don’t know how he did it but he’s my ident saviour as far as I’m concerned. I was ready to punch my screen, it was that bad.
I got a fixed, working animation home later that evening and blast rendered it out and for once, everything was looking fine. Each image rendered out great, the shadings and shadows were there, the lighting worked as did the textures, the simple grey background really showed off the models. I was happy. Then I put it together in Adobe Premiere.
Gone was the background colour that showed off my models. Its now been replaced with darkness. Not to mention that it squashed each picture together on the side making both vehicles look like lanky clown cars. And yes, I did follow the given tutorial. I eventually managed to render out a decent ident where the resolution remained correct but it’s still shrouded in darkness. Oddly if you look at the models they’re still showing shadows so the scene lighting is still showing but for some reason, Premiere will not recognise the background colour. And I’m left with this;
Sorry Matt. This is what you’re getting unless I can sort it out.
And I have!
I walked away from this for a few days before I took it on again. It still didn’t work like it was supposed to in the instructions (do things ever?) but thanks to a mix of unwavering determination, OCD because it just wasn’t right and YouTube (God bless YouTube) I’ve finally cracked it.
A lot of YouTube-Googling (©Daniel Bishop) later I found that Premiere can’t work with the alpha channels in the videos and so it renders the entire scene black. To fix it I needed to alter the file in After Effects then put it together in Premiere.
So, here’s what I did future me, take note;
Firstly, this video.
Open up After Effects, and import the first image in the set. Right click the mouse over the file in the far left control panel the select Interpret Footage > Main > and check the radio button for ‘Ignore’ under Alpha Channel.
Export the project as a Premiere Pro file. Open Premiere and import the file you just exported making sure to check the ‘Import Selected Sequences’ radial button as it appears.
If needed, drag the imported file from the lower left control panel into the lower centre panel so the adjustment options appear on the right and adjust your scene in brightness/vibrance/contrast as necessary. Pressing spacebar will also give you a live preview of the changes you make.
When you’re happy, File > Export and make your clip into a movie.