New Narratives – 30 Second Animation – Lighting And Ambient Occlusion

Since i did not work on the lighting, here is the appropriate blog to read on the progress that Lorna has written.

Moving on to the lighting issue,

We needed a way to convey the showing of objects in the dark, we discussed how x-ray vision could be implicated but i thought it would be weird for a skeleton to be doing its business around a ward~

We then looking into night vision, a very scary but inspiring source would be Outlast, a survival horror game that the player controls helpless Miles Upshur, a reporter with a night vision camera that needs to find a way to escape from the tormenting asylum full of crazed individuals.

In the remote mountains of Colorado, horrors wait inside Mount Massive Asylum. A long-abandoned home for the mentally ill, recently re-opened by the “research and charity” branch of the transnational Murkoff Corporation, has been operating in strict secrecy… until now.

Acting on a tip from an inside source, independent journalist Miles Upshur breaks into the facility, and what he discovers walks a terrifying line being science and religion, nature and something else entirely. Once inside, his only hope of escape lies with the terrible truth at the heart of Mount Massive.

As Waylon Park, the whistleblower who emailed Miles Upshur, you’ll witness psycho killers and asylum security face off as all hell truly breaks loose. Survive, and you may just have a chance to expose the terrible secrets at the heart of Mount Massive and unmask the true face of the Murkoff Corporation for all the world to see.

I think the Outlast franchise is perfect for the lighting of the objects when the room is pitch dark although i think we are going to go with the style of another indie horror game called Lurking, a game that is somewhat like a sonar radar but for every vibration that is made in the level a ripple on the ground is generate that can attract unwanted company! Here is a video walk through of my favourite YouTuber, Markiplier.

they’re watching you from the darkness…
they’re listening to you from the silence…
they will find you… -Markiplier

A YouTuber by the name of Will Rose was mucking around with his camera experimenting with the thermal effects on his camera, i felt this was a great find by the group and i think we will be going with this sort of style for the animation as it is very much achievable at this point because if we cannot make the effect on Maya then all we have to do is upload to after effects then apply a layer effect over the rendered scene to make this style.

It is also used in the police to catch people who have maybe out run a car or on foot officer, usually its common to see these in the TV shows were the helicopters fly over the radius area the criminal has disappeared then spotted by the air police and taken down by a on foot officer with a hound, pretty cool no?

Ambient Occlusion –

What is it?

Ambient occlusion allows you to simulate the soft shadows that occur in the cracks and crevices of your 3D objects when indirect lighting is cast out onto your scene. The soft shadows that are created from ambient occlusion can help to define the separation between objects in your scene and add another level of realism to your render. –Digital Tutors 

It is more commonly seen in video games and half of the time we don’t know it!

How Is It Done?

Using the instructables website to look into how the Ambien Occlusion is done i tried to follow this tutorial although I could not get anywhere as I like to see the exact process that is used when learning how to do that exact technique.

I decided to use this video by Jofftech on YouTube to do my Ambient Occlusion, this proofed alot easier on me as I could follow exactly what to do to make the render work for me, when I achieved the right setting for the occlusion I had shown my team mates, they seemly liked it at first though once given feedback from one of the lecture we decided that it needed some extra tweaking because we felt it had too much noise (grain) and that needed to look smoother, here are the test results on a chair and our character model!


Ambient Occlusion on my chair animation for the scene.


When I look back to character design week when Hollie produced that beautiful piece of work of Lumen in a 3D spin view, I wanted to do a angular reference sheet of Lumen in her rendered state, I personally feel this gives the character more of a professional appeal compared to her in a poly view with no sort of Occlusion added, also makes her that bit more polished for others observing her.

Sound Update –

Lorna and Cassie have been working their butts off to get the sound to be better quality for the next presentation, i had offered to lend a hand but they seemed perfectly happy working on that between each other so i decided to work toward my next task which was the poster that will appear in a shot with Lumen a the end of the short.

You can revise out sound below!

Metronomes put me in a trance like state oddly… is that weird?

If you wish to read more into the sound of our project, check our this blog post!


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