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Making Of 'Set Out for Lover'

By T.G.Jay
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
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It's a story about love, expectation and courage. When lights come through the darkness, they will meet again.


In the deep forest, there are some tree guys. They live happily, but some of them are interested in the world outside. So is Melody who is Jay's Lover. She left for the mysterious world and told Jay that she would come back when sun shone in the dark forest. Several years later, sunshine lightened the whole forest. Jay set out to prepare a big surprise for Melody even if he didn't know whether She would come back......

Yes, it's my new story about tree guys. They are hairy and shaggy. The story will become a CG Short later. I have dreamed to finish a real cg short through years. All the conditions are ripe now. I'm doing the concept of the story, which means that my project starts. "Set out for Lover" describes the scenario, where Jay is setting out for his lover. (Fig.01) It's the first scene design of "Tree guys". I think it will affect the entire quality and style of the short. So I painted many necessary details which seem to be over painted now. It took me several weeks to achieve that in my spare time. I realize that painting a rough sketch is different from painting details. So that's really a good experience from which I learnt a lot.

In this tutorial, I will show you some skills to accomplish the work. I haven't any art background before and totally self-taught. Two years age I picked up Maya. One year age I was involved in painting. So you don't mind if you are a hobbyist. You can have a command of these skills easily. Nevertheless, it's worthy to mention that 3D skills help me a lot. I'm working at shading and rendering. It's another efficient way for me to understand lights in the world. Everyone could learn from 3D applications for consideration, especially for lightening consideration.

Fig. 01

Skill 1: Story makes work attractive

Someone told me that he saw something to happen in the frame. He could imagine the story outside the frame though his one is different from mine. "Set out for lover" owns its background story. I designed the expression and action for this tree guy, the plant and hanging bridge for the scene. When the viewers are told the tree guy story, they may look for some details in the work again. (Fig.02) That's exciting. If your work could catch one's eye over 15 seconds, it's a good work.

Fig. 02

Skill 2: The atmosphere is visible

General speaking, we can't see atmosphere around us whose shape and colour are unpredictable. But when we forget atmosphere, our works will be flat and strange. Atmosphere makes your work more 3d-looks. You can feel the distance between two object in the scene. There are 3 ways to get the effects.

Firstly, the near object looks saturated and strongly contrastive while the far object looks desaturated and weakly contrastive. (Fig.03)

Fig. 03

Secondly, cold colour looks further while warm colour looks nearer.(Fig.04)

Fig. 04

Last but not least, light fog can emphasize the object you want to describe more. It increase the contract of the entire image, catch up your eyeball easily. If you want, you can also add some dusts in the light fog. (Fig.05)

Fig. 05

continued on next page >

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