More Blender Animation for “The Barrier” – 2014 September 14

Sept14Image2I continued to work on the revised opening scene for “The Barrier” this week. Progress has been slower than I hoped, but I enjoy most of the work, and I’ve learned quite a lot from what I’ve done so far.

In the opening scene, my hero, a young transportation planner drives down a road and is almost hit by a truck. In the scene in the current version of “The Barrier” this isn’t very clear. I hope to get a much more impressive opening scene with Blender.

It took me most of the week to create the car for the scene. I wasn’t happy with the first version I did, so I scraped it. I did learn a few tricks when I did it though that helped me when I did the new version. When I did the second version, I based it on a specific car. It didn’t look much like it when I was done, but it did look more realistic. I don’t want it to look too realistic though. After I got the initial version done, I added some seats. At first I made them a dark brown, but then decided a light tan would look better.

I gave the windows for the car a slight blue colour, a little reflectivity and a slight opaqueness. I thought that looked good, but then ran into a problem where the inside of the car was too dark to see anything. I made the windows more transparent and even deleted some of them. I lightened the colour of the seats, and moved the Sun so that it would better illuminate the interior. Finally I put a light inside the car. I was reluctant to do that because I was concerned that it would look wrong. However, it didn’t look too bad.

I did some more animation tests, mostly to see how the car looked when I travelled down the road. One of the issues I have to solve is that car can fly up above or drop below the road unless I get the key frames right. That is finicky work. The river beside the road is static, so I did a test to see if I could animate it as well.

At the end of the week I started to work out the animation plan in more detail. I need to know where to put the car, the truck and the cameras for each key frame. I have the car worked out, but ran into trouble with the truck. I’ll try again next week. I haven’t done anything about the cameras yet. The ones that move need to stay in the same relative position to the car throughout the scene. I hope that I can find a way to link the cameras to the car, so they move when the car moves. I find it difficult to work with the co-ordinate system in Blender. It seems like each object has its own system.

I wanted to add new objects to the animation, so I searched for a video demonstration on-line. I’ve found that videos about most everything I need to learn about Blender are available on-line.

I still have a lot of work to do before I’m done with this video. I need to finish the car: I want to add head lights and a steering wheel. A rear view mirror would be nice, but I think I can skip that. I also would like to add some detail to the interior of the car.

The one major piece of work I have to do is create the truck. In the script I have it as a semi, but I think that would be too difficult to animate, so I think I will do some sort of van. That will be a bit trickier than the car. I don’t think I will need the interior detail, which will help.

I’m not sure how much longer this scene will take me to complete. Every week I start with the thought that I’ll get it done this week. It turns out to be wishful thinking.

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