Week 9

a CMU ETC Production

Week 9

The Next Chapter

We’ve made it through the first half of the semester, and are now starting to tackle the second half.

To recap, we created our Halves presentation was a success! ETC faculty and peers were excited with where the project is headed and the progress we’ve made thus far. From the feedback we got, it was encouraging to hear their thoughts on our trailer, effects, and project plan. That said, we know it’s a double-edged sword since the pressure’s on for us now to live up to their heightened expectations.

Over Spring Break, Kevin created a demo of how our ocean waves will look:

Niharika also planned out a strategy to develop the character animations moving forward.

Currently, we (and many other ETC project teams) are in sort of a chaotic time. Every year students can choose either to take Spring Break off, or to work through that week and take off the following week to attend the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. Niharika and Kevin are at the conference right now, so Kristy, Muhammad, and I(Jared) are holding down the fort. Especially with the animation pipeline requiring a passing of assets from one person to the next, it makes it challenging for us to work as coherently when not everyone on the team is immediately available.

Muhammad has been working on the final character rig for Sirena, but encountered some unexpected problems with the vertex order that caused the eyebrows to not work as planned. Kristy has been spending her time creating Sirena’s hair for the above water sequences, where we’ve determined the most feasible way would be to have it styled up in a bun. In this way, it not only appears culturally authentic, but also avoids the time-intensive challenge that would come with the hair extending into the water.

I have been meeting with our outside talent to coordinate progress moving forward. We provided our composer and sound designer, Kristian, with the latest animatic to take a pass at the audio tracks. Likewise, Kate conferred with us to help re-scope the Prepackage script and think about where in the screenplay we can use the smoke and mirrors of “movie magic” to keep the visuals manageable for the next team. Kate had just been to Doha, where a portion of the Prepackage film is to take place, so she was able to provide us with a firsthand account of what cultural elements would bring authenticity to the short.

However, we feel confident this sense of stuck-ness will be resolved in the following weeks, despite how hectic they may be.