Category Archives: Fantasy

Production Update #10 – Seven Gates Where Angels Fall (plus sneak peek)

It’s that time again and this time we will get a sneak peek at the what’s coming next in the completed first episode. As many may already know, Seven gates where angels fall is based on the book of Enoch.  The information and story told in the book of Enoch has been taken and expanded upon to tell a story in a new and different way.

The sneak peek is a narrated portion of the episode which tells a portion of the story directly from the book of Enoch. The sleeping prophet, known as Nathan is dreaming and being given insight into the book of Enoch. Nathan is our narrator/prophet in the series who gives us insight through out the series, specifically into the book of Enoch and how it ties into the story being told.

There is still some coloring and editing to be done so its basically a rough draft sneak peek.

 

Production has moved along since the last update and I am working on the the final half of the episode. Which I believe is the final 10 to 15 minutes of the episode, I think. I haven’t actually timed it out but based on the script that should be about close.

The programs that I have been using are as follow :  Iclone 7, Daz3d, Hitfilm Express 2017. I was trying to use a few others earlier on but found that these three have the best work flow for me. I do also use Audio Director 7 for audio creation, but that doesn’t play as large a role as the other three. The reason I brought this up was to spotlight an important aspect of animation and project planning, and that is workflow. Work flow is important to speed of your work and the project as well as the productive use of time. The last thing you want to do is waste time doing the same thing over and over again in different programs. I believe that is the definition of insanity. I’ve been accused of being insane and I rather not make that accusation stick to much.

 

 

 

 

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Production update #9 – Seven Gates Where Angels fall.

malikorbLots of work has been done since the last update. Two entire sequences finished that are crucial to the feel of the episode and the series. I’m currently editing and refining those sequences at the moment. The overall edits are done on the first part of episode 1. The second part of the episode is about halfway done and moving along.

I hope to have the episode finished soon and that all the improvements and changes that people have suggested are seen and received well. The main idea is and always has been the learning and giving those who have given their time and talent something to showcase.

The learning is an ongoing process.  Reallusion  has released a new version along with a new curve editor, both have opened up new options and tools to decrease the time it takes to get things finished and polished. So lots of new things to learn and apply.

I have learned to just keep going and implement the new skills and tools as I go. The urge to go back and redo somethings is always there, but I know it will hinder progress so I press on and work with a focus on getting this episode completed and released soon.

So to make this update short and sweet I’m going to simply post a series of shots from the current work.

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Episode 1 Part 1 – Audio fix update

There was a audio issue with the video that was causing the second half volume to drop. I have since fixed and re posted updated version. You tube doesn’t let you update directly so it created a new link… Which I posted above.

Sorry about the sound issue, we can put that in the live and learn category. This project was designed to be a journey and so it is. I’ll add this to the lesson learned portion of the production process. Basically I need to fire the sound guy…. um wait that’s me.

 

Production Update #6 – Seven Gates – Where Angels Fall.

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The first part of Episode 1 is in the editing phase. Each episode is going to be released in parts ( about 10 – 15 minutes episodes roughly). I wanted to update everyone on the progress and to let everyone know that I am working hard to get this first part out by the weekend or early next week. I just want to do my best to give the cast a platform to shine from, without their voices and ( their Music) this project would be a bunch of boring slideshow images and lots of reading.

This will be a short update since editing is not that exciting. The editing phase is where you see what works what doesn’t work and where you made mistakes. So its fix it time and recreate time for some scenes, while others might disappear all together. In a few instances moving and shuffling around of scenes and lines happen.

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There is three phases of editing, the story, the sound, and the look. These are not the only ones but I just broke many steps in three phases, you do many more and all three at the same time. I know I’m not completely versed in all the nuances of editing and animation. Camera angles, aperture, when to zoom when not to. When to use this technique and so on. I’m learning though and as each episode is released I hope to have those areas improve in the end.

My goal is not to have have a cinematic or photo real animation or even a pure anime look. I’ve tried to bridge the gap and at the same time create a new look as well. There are lots of people who love computer animation and just as many who hate it. I am convinced there is a middle ground that can be achieved. Not by me but by some one at some point. The key in my mind is don’t try to force it to be something its not.

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So in closing the time is drawing near for the first half of episode 1 to be released.

Do not take what others say and apply it to your heart. Learn and grow and realize that the way you traveled doesn’t matter once you have arrived.

 

 

 

 

Seven Gates – Where Angels Fall behind the scenes #2

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Behind the scenes post time once again.

In this post I’m going to go into some more behind the scenes story and detail surrounding the series. As anyone already following the series knows the basis of the story is seven gates that lead to hell exist and if all seven are opened than the apocalypse begins. The first two gates that have been opened are located in Sleepy hollow New York and York Pennsylvania. Yes Sleepy Hollow is a real town in New York and it was originally called Tarrytown, hence the image of Tarry town’s map above.

The obvious question is why Sleepy hollow and York PA? No there is no headless horseman in the series, I promise. One of the reasons is I live in western New York and I am familiar with the area and felt it was time to bring these areas into the spotlight. All apocalypse type shows take place in New York city or Los Angeles or Tokyo. I felt it was time the little guys got their turn. Yes sleepy hollow has been in the spotlight many times and everyone knows it. So that was the the second reason its the starting town of the series. We all like a sense of familiarity when watching something, it’s subconscious and we dont even know it.  It creates a mental connection to our feelings and stuff like that. Well that was the super scientific explanation, so we can move on now from there.

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(Character creation in Daz Studio 4.9 – concept for potential future new character)

One of the biggest reasons I choose small towns and areas to start the story was more of a personal story telling hang up I have. Sometimes I get caught up on the “this wouldn’t happen and if it did this and that would happen and nothing you are creating would matter” dilemma. Example if the events in the series happened in New York city the army and FBI, NSA, etc etc would be all over the scene and none of the story elements could realistically happen. The news would have it broadcast in mere minutes and it would be known worldwide. So change the setting put it in a small area and town, one that could remain off the radar for at least a short time, especially if it was a sudden event that occurred with out warning. Now we have a plausible starting point, a bit far stretched but its fiction, supernatural science fiction fantasy storytelling so how real does it have to be to begin with?

 

Writing, animation, any medium of art today seems to have so many rules, dont do this or that and this technique should only be here and not there. Just join any Facebook group or do a simple google search and you’ll see what I mean. You throw your art out there and suddenly its all about the rules or the craft, creativity is lost and the storytelling is forgotten. It’s easy to get lost in this whirlwind of information and lose site of the story or meaning behind your art and chosen craft.  This is one element I wanted to explore in this series. Just tell the story. I’ll make mistakes not apply the rules correctly, do things that people write blog posts about entitled “The 10 things you should never do” and I’ll hit all ten. I will even probably create 10 more for the blogger to write a follow up article on.So your welcome Mr or Ms blogger.

This post was a bit shorter than the last, the render of my scene is almost done so its back to animating for me. I’m hoping to have the first part of episode 1 released in the next two weeks. The planned out production is set for that time frame so either two weeks or maybe earlier if every thing goes smoothly.

 

 

 

 

 

Production Update #5 – Seven Gates Where Angels Fall.

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That time again – Production updates – I have a lot to share this time around, well its a lot to me anyways 🙂 . First off I would like to welcome a new member to the cast, Dustin Brown.  I’ll be posting a detailed post  about Dustin  shortly after this production update since I am a bit late on this one. I’m not sure if it’s really late if I’m the only one setting the time tables. However, the new cast member is exciting news.

Dustin is playing two roles! The role of  a sleepy hollow Detective named  Drew who shows up in episode two, and plays a larger role in episode three and four. The second role he will be playing is the role of the Shadow. The big nasty fallen we see in the opening credits. The shadows role in the story will become evident as time goes on and the reason  for his name as well. Yes its a generic name but there is good reason for it.

Episode 1 is progressing nicely and I anticipate the first part of the episode to be released with in the next few weeks. Part 2 of the episode will then follow as well as the next episodes and so on. I will break the episodes into parts to allow for more frequent posting and give time to work on the future ones as well.

Everyone in the cast has submitted all the lines for episodes 1 and 2 and they are awesome. Everyone involved has amazing talent that I cannot begin to express how amazing each one of them is without taking hours of your time for each one of them.

Episodes 3 and 4 are currently being written and I pray everyone wants to continue with those episodes as well. One of the reasons I will be releasing the episodes in parts to get this out there and show everyone the amazing voice talents involved.

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As usual I like to point out the stumbling blocks as well as the progress. One of the current stumbling blocks I have ran into was second guessing what has been developed and or created and feeling that I need to change or add more “this” or “that” to the project. While this can help and improve a project it can also delay and ruin one. The key is to know when to change and when to not as well as when to ignore the biggest critic in the room, Yourself.

Each day is a new learning experience in the project as well as more development of the story and the quality of the product. The great part is I find I take less time getting somethings done then it use to take months ago. This is something I think everyone can benefit from remembering, and form of progress how big or small is movement in the right direction.

I’ll end this post with a simple idea to hold on to. It’s something I have been learning and dealing with and exploring more deeply. The idea is this, who we have become is not who we are. This is great news because it means you can change.

 

Production update #4 opening credits (rough edit) released- Seven Gates where angels fall

 

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Well, the fourth production update is here. It’s a tad bit later than usual and for good reason! Lot’s of things to talk about and to show. The opening credits(rough edit) has been posted and is available to view. The song in the opening credits is “Torment” by the world will burn of course 🙂 . IT’s a rough edit at the moment have to still adjust some color grading etc, but I wanted to share the progress.

Production continues on episode 1 “Order of the Isle” and the scripts for Episode 2 “Dawn of the fallen” have gone out. A secondary script with narration lines has also gone out. The  narration lines were added recently to the first and second episode. I felt they where needed to fill in some gaps in episode one and round out episode two. They focus on the passages from the book of Enoch that have been used and referenced in the story. The second reason is to allow for additional animations and story telling.

The overall concept of weaving the story, the music and the narration into one piece is my goal. The characters tell the story, the music tells the story of the characters, and the narration bridges the gaps. The narrator will be announced next week.

 

One of the goals of the project was and is to show the progression of improvements throughout the process. After the script for episode 2 was finalized I felt that the goal was being met, in the sense that episode 2 is a better episode than one in my mind. The good part about this is they are just two halves of the same story. So the progression is right on track, each episode better than the last and hopefully the larger story grows.

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Staying on task is my main concern, and I have been trying to resist the redo this part tendencies that I have. I can say I have only redone a few parts for reasons that were legitimate, like mistakes or glitches or ending an animation to soon etc. This seems to happen more in the editing phase when I’m editing I notice things, sometimes I can cut them or transition them in edits but not always. So the key is multi tasking the process. Iclone may be rendering out while I’m editing in Hit film Express and on another PC reviewing ideas in Daz 3d. Set design or model and character design.

One topic I wanted to touch on and this maybe a bit boring for some but those who are working on similar projects and using the same software may find this helpful. I have found that creating sets in both Daz and Iclone has saved me tons of time. An example is is I have a scene that needs walls and streets and trees, I do it in iclone and add elements from daz to fill out the scene. If part of the set is not in the shot I do not convert textures to Pbr, or I hide the models to make things easier. Sometimes the urge to create an entire 3d world for one shot isn’t helpful unless of course you will reuse this set over and over and need that true 360 world established.