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E4 Ident

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Published on May 23, 2010

E4 Ident for a second year Digital Film and Screen Arts BA project.

Created using Softimage 7.5, After Effects and Photoshop CS4, edited in Final Cut Pro.

For those who care/are interested to know how I did it:

The brief was to create either a 20 second 3D Animation (CGI) piece or a 30 second 2D live action/compositing piece in the format of an ident for either Channel 4 or the BBC (including all their subsidiary channels).
I chose E4 and opted to do a 30 second ident incorporating elements of both.

I went through at least 4 versions of storyboard and about 5 stages of animatic before getting to this point, and was originally going to do two 20 second idents, both with the same starting point (the armies attacking, then falling to the ground- one would be a similar story to what it is now, the other would be them falling to hell in an opposite twist to the existing one), but realised I didn't have the time to spend making 2, so I chose one of them and devoted my time to making one good ident, rather than 2 weak ones.

All the animation was modelled, textured and animated in Softimage 7.5, and everything was rendered in at least 2 passes (a normal pass and an ambient occlusion pass), before being taken into After Effects CS4.
[It's worth noting the shot where the two armies collide only has ambient occlusion on the two main characters (the ones colliding) as the scene has so much animation in it, that the mentalray rendering software in Softimage either crashed or wanted to take 3 days to render 10 seconds of animation... therefore I worked around it to save time- I am aware this scene doesn't look quite as good as the first few, and it's something I want to fix some day].
The clouds and backgrounds were produced in Photoshop CS4 and exported as .psd files directly into after effects where I put everything together and added filters, keyframed animation etc. to create the backgrounds.
I also used a few 3rd party plug ins, like Videocopilot's Optical Flares and Twitch, before playing about with Trapcode's particular (I was going to use this for rain, but due to time constraints I didn't have time to learn to do it properly, so I ended up settling for the standard CC Rain plugin which did the job... I intend to learn Particular a bit better and redo the rain at some point), to add extra visual effects to the standard AE plug-ins that I used for the rain, lightning and flashes etc.

If you want to know how I did anything just send me a message and I will be happy to explain what I did in detail.
I will warn however I may take a few days to reply, I don't check my messages very often =/

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