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  • Writer's pictureMike

MA Perfecting The Look: Brainstorming Composition Ideas

'ello 'ello!

Right, to start off, I'll be going for a different pace - I'll spend less time writing up about the in-class workshops and such, instead focusing on the main assignment. After doing a bit of Maya and Nuke work last time, it seems reasonable to start having a ponder about what kind of composition I'll be going for. So here's my thought process!


Possible Compositions

I've been thinking about what kind of composition I want to make for this class and have had a few different ideas. There's a few things I've had to keep in mind whilst I've been thinking about this:

  1. There ideally should be some kind of story being told within the final footage. Nothing crazy in-depth, just enough to be able to pick up on

  2. I need to be able to find suitable assets for the idea. I don't have any plans to purchase anything just for this class, so I will be limited to what is free to download

  3. The assets need to have PBR textures

I could potentially record my own footage, but for the sake of making things a little easier for myself after losing so much time, I'll work with the provided footage and relevant assets. There's a couple I could see working, some of which will have different pros and cons (e.g., I would need to consider reflections in car windows for a couple). Depending on what theme I intend to go with, it will influence my decision as to which footage I'll be working with.

As for the actual ideas, I was able to boil it down to 2 themes after confirming that there are suitable assets and online materials to work with:

  1. A sci-fi war-like scene using mechanical characters like drones and explosions to destroy parts of the ground, coupled with smoke and fire particles in Nuke

  2. A nature scene with plants and some wildlife using particle clouds in Nuke to simulate falling leaves / petals from the main tree

Both seem to have some thumbs up from the professor which is a good start. I tried to see if I could find a peacock asset somewhere on the web that meets the criteria and is animated, but no luck sadly. Would've been nice to have had another project that had one of my pets in it again!

The assets I have sourced are primarily from sites like CG Trader and Sketchfab and may get extended or changed depending on how things go with this project. If you're curious, this is the list:

Character Models

Sphere Bots with run cycle

Battle Mech rigged

Red Alert airship

Buster drone

Luminaris starship


Environment Models

Mediterranean bush

Bomb crack

Bomb crack ground line

Purple planet

Agapanthus plan

Cherry blossom

XfrogPlants Weeping Cherry - Prunus Pendula free 3D model animated | CGTrader

I'll be keeping assets grouped up to make it easier to track everything (and save myself some referencing headaches later on). If I go with the sci-fi route, I'll need to investigate how I can make the ground explosions fit in with the ground in the footage and how to get the reflections done correctly on the animated models.


Closing Thoughts

With the assets (more-or-less) sourced, I'll probably get back into Nuke to set up the project and start working on the basics, like the ST Maps etc. If things go well, then I should be able to boot up Maya and import my assets in time for when we start learning Maya's interface and doing...whatever else it is we will be doing in there!

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