Monday, 20 August 2012
Robin van Persie... The Animated Tale
A new week and what better way than starting it than with the product of the old... In the end, the render time was probably closer to 40 hours than it was to 20 for the two shots in this oh-so-short animation. I’d already made many mistakes along the way before I felt the finished film could do with an opening shot to establish… well, not sure what I thought it needed to establish other than something to lead into the ‘action’.
I really need to rethink the way I’m going about this. Not just the rushed animation (I wanted this finished ahead of United's first match of the season) but also the quality of the render. The problem with these so called ‘unbiased’ renderers is that they don’t take any shortcuts when creating the image. They throw light around the scene in all directions and map the results. Eventually, after the light has finished pinging around, a few of these virtual photons hit the virtual lens of the camera you set up and a pixel is recorded. After enough time, enough pixels are recorded to form an image. However, you need an unreasonably long time to completely fill in the black holes. It’s the reason why the above animation has a slightly speckled quality.
The solution is to move to one of the less accurate but speedy rendering systems out there but, for those, I need a new graphics card. I hear the GTX580 with 3GB of memory is ideal but they're astronomically pricey. Perhaps I might get away with something more reasonably cheap. The way it’s going at the moment, I’m struggling to learn the basics of how to animate characters because the actual process of testing the finished renders make it impossible to learn from my mistakes and the longer animation I’ve been working on for about a week now has not moved forward since the PC has been taken up with rendering this.
Anyway, it's done and I can move on, though I really don't feel too inspired to do much work. This morning's sad news of Tony Scott's death is utterly shocking, especially given the manner of it. Of course, the papers will be full of the usual blather about Ridley being the more acclaimed director but if Tony made fewer films loved by the critics, he definitely made more films loved by audiences and contributed more to my everyday happiness. 'Enemy of the State', 'Spy Game', 'Crimson Tide', 'Deja Vu'... It's strange but, looking back, I suppose there was a time, somewhere around 2001, when I started to look forward to Tony Scott films more than I did Ridley Scott films. Tony Scott's work improved as he got older, which made his death at such a relatively young age for a director so shocking and makes us feel like we've been robbed of something vital and important.