27 August 2009

End of an Era

Well for anyone still attached to this blog, this is my final post just to say that IT'S FINISHED! All future correspondance will now be taking place over at www.hallsworthfx.com - head over there now to check out the final film!


5 July 2009


so.. i finished animating this 4 second scene, and i was so happy with how it'd turned out i thought fuck it, i'm gonna comp it now. I knew i wanted particles in it so begrudgingly rendered out a million different passes, which took forever, but now, with particley goodness sandwiched between 15 layers of animation gold, i give you, the chase sequence, part 01:

you know it's odd looking back over previous posts in this blog. To you it probably looks like "shit, he doesn't do much" and then when something looks vastly different it's as if i completely change my mind about art direction mid project. The thing is there are really gradual changes that've happened, and whilst I've felt this thing evolve beneath my very eyes, when I look back over my blog now it's a bit like.. "WTF!?" Things have changed loads! I guess that's a testament to how long I've been working on this thing.. I have changed over the last year, and so yes, I feel I've got better, and quickly. But now this is a fully rendered scene, ready to drop onto the timeline, and so this video here is the best representation so far that you or I have seen of my final film aesthetic :) Anyway I'm rambling, it's late. More to come soon.

30 April 2009


I'm churning out scenes now like a chipmunk on speed, and it feels goooood! But to take a break from the madness I thought I'd have a play with some textures for various elements. I've explored this before, and didn't really get anywhere.. my pit set has seen many a guise none of which I've been happy with, but I trawled through my collection of photographs and found a little treasure that I believe was shot down by the fossil forest at Lulworth cove (Lully Lully Lully!) made it tile-able and stuck it on the pit walls, and eureka! I'm pleased with the results!

So, back to animating.

27 March 2009


Haharr, there be animation at the end of this tunnel!

I've finally, finally managed to crack out my first little snippet of animation. That's right. So here's a whole 6 seconds in fully rendered glory - there's some things that need changing, like adding a bit more to the facial expressions, and fixing some 'popping' with the curve editor. And editing that terrible grass. But consider this my first, keyed out sample. My gift to you. It's been a long time coming. Stay tuned for more!

Untitled from Rich Hallsworth on Vimeo.

2 March 2009

Still coming along....

Well things have been inevitably slow, but progress is being made! The hunter model is finished, rigged, just need to do the morph targets for facial expressions and he's laughing, the girl is getting there... the bear needs some edge loops reworking and then a basic rig, which shouldn't take too long........................ ahem.

As for locations, the cave is finished as you've seen, and the pit is just about there too. I figured out the best way to model trees.. and this is how it's looking. Without lighting might I add, so excuse the shoddy render - but you get the idea. I'm thinking I might make the leaves not cast shadows, and use an ambient shadow map instead, or my GPUs gonna melt. Anyway, back to the grind stone.

24 January 2009

Smoke screen

Just a quick little Comp test - using particle effects in AfterEffects for maximum control AND the glow on the fire also comped as a seperate layer, with the 'wiggle' expression controlling its Opacity. I think the smoke needs slowing down a bit and being a bit whispier, but for a first attempt I was quite happy.

Also lowered the daylight a bit to make the cave slightly more visible.

edit: However the more I look at it the more I think I prefered the light in the previous shot, had a lot more character. Ahh well, I'll change that back.

cave test from Rich Hallsworth on Vimeo.

22 January 2009


Here's a little test render, but riddle me this, it took 6m23 to churn out. That's partly down to my slow ass PC, but is that acceptable? I don't know, I'll have a little tweak I think.

20 January 2009

Bear Necessities

My male character model was stressing me out, so I thought I'd get the bear out of the way as a) I knew it would be easier, and b) I actually enjoy modelling anything that isn't human. It needs a rig still but for a days work, meet: the bear.

It's not looking too fearsome at the moment but I put that down to it's stance. And besides, who said it had to be fearsome, the bear's the victim here!

5 January 2009

Animatic v2.0

In all honesty, not a lot has changed in this version, the timings are slightly different to accomodate for a title at the beginning and the end section has been shrunk a little to allow for more action in the middle. That and a little bit of colour has been splashed in but things have been admittedly slow and so I'm really only putting this up for the purpose of the music composition.

Hunter Animatic v2 from Rich Hallsworth on Vimeo.

27 December 2008

Backgrounds and Phatsounds

Just thought I'd whip up some backgrounds I pulled together this evening, a couple of external shots (obviously)... I'll have the woodland "interior" done tomorrow. They're actually 2048x1152 resolution aswell so what you'll see on screen is 50% of the image there, but then there's allowance for tracks and pans and all that jazz. On another note the music score is coming along nicely, some nice tribal beats being laid down, so stay tuned for more info on that!

10 December 2008

Animatic v1.0

So, I've been knocking together an animatic from my storyboards. This is version 1.0, which naturally means it's unpolished, and in need of beefing out. It also means it's jam packed with place-holders. The characters are only representations of where my characters will stand, and do not necessarily reflect what my characters will look like (particularly the girl). The sound is pieced together from my mp3 collection, to try and set a general mood, but again does not necessarily reflect the finished idea:

As it stands, the 'action sequence' is a bit slow paced, I need to get some more shots in there to spruce it up a bit, but in general there are a distinct set of moods that the piece follows, those being:

Steady - Tension - Drama - Tension - Happy (I hope the animatic shows that a bit better than I can put it in words!)

Character Inspiration - Girl

I've always had an idea of what direction I wanted my male protagonist to go in, design wise - but the girl has been a bit of a grey area. I started collecting together some images that I found inspiring and threw together this quick board: (I numbered groups of pictures to discuss below..)

1. These are looking at the costume, I love the wrap around garment that these 2 girls are wearing, and think I could really take something from these. Thinking about the girl character, I hadn't really thought on a set age for her as of yet - I don't think she should be too young, as she needs a level of maturity in order to engage with the bear; at the same time she shouldn't be too old i.e. late teens as that comes with an arrogance and a wishing to disassociate with parents, and so it might be unbelievable that the girl would want to follow her dad out on a hunt. I think a middle grounds of between 12 - 14 would be realistic. With this in mind she would be starting to develop a bit more of a curved figure which would lend itself nicely to these garment ideas - as opposed to having a draped material like those seen in the next set of images, which would completely cover her figure.

2. Taken from the film 10,000BC, I just really like this girls style, there's a lot of embellishment which dates the scenes nicely, and the materials used are a lot more realistic than the cliché leopard print number that cave-people are sometimes adorned in. Although as mentioned before I wouldn't like to make anything too intrusive to the girl's shape, I think there are still some elements of design here that I could borrow. I really like the idea of the dreaded hair as well, as it seems plausible that hair would naturally develop into this kind of matted style.

3. Which leads us on to the last set of images. The guys hair here is the more typical style of dreaded hair - I really like the rustic feel to it, along with the beads and the way it's tied, I think it's a great aesthetic. However for the girl, I felt perhaps something a bit shorter might be more suitable - to add to a sense of youth and inexperience. I love Brea Grant's hair in the other image here.. she looks hot! There's a great kind of messy.. but still considered style going on; it's too thought out to work on a guy, but on her it looks great, and adds a cute factor to her. I'll definitely play with these ideas.

14 November 2008

Character Thoughts...

Ok it took me bloody ages to get this picture, and once I'd found it.. it wasn't what I'd remembered it being. Never-the-less, here goes, I was thinking about my main character today and exactly how I want him to come across. The guys gonna be a tank, a huge and powerful upper body with smaller scaled legs. So he looks almost like one of those triangle guys you see coming out of the gym who work purely on their triceps and chest. His legs will still be muscular from chasing the animals that he hunts - but just not as much, really he's such a good hunter that there's not much of a chase involved. He'll stand tall, confident, with an arrogance about him.

I imagined him being almost golem/troll like (as illustrated above, from the Discworld animated series, "Soul Music") and being as he's from the stone age, I wanted him to have this almost 'stone like' quality about him, like he'd been carved from the rock itself. Perhaps a greyish tint to his skin? I don't know, we'll come to that later. But I do like the idea of him having a chiselled appearance, not only in his facial structure but an overall sharp edged outline. I'll have a play with some designs of my own..

11 November 2008

Location, location, location

Thinking about the scenes that I'll be having in my film... these guys are hunters. Whilst yes you can hunt in the open with no cover, it's generally recognised as being something carried out in the wilderness, perhaps a vast forest or jungle - basically somewhere with trees. Ok so CGI... that could get a bit render-intensive. Unless... I stylise.

One of the most memorable examples I can think of are those from Ice Age 2. The forests aren't densely populated with trees, but you still get a feeling for the size of them, by which I mean the area they cover. The tree models are simple, not an excessive amount of foliage because it's not needed - that can be hinted at with shadow maps. But they're still really effective. So I think this is where I'll be kick starting my location design ideas from.

That's cool, but what's it all for?

I thought a good place to start with this, might be to look at where I want it to be taking me; what am I trying to achieve with an animated short, and how is it going to help me in the quest for a career?

Ultimately, I like to think that at some point in the future I'll be working on visual effects within feature films. Although realistically I see that as more of an end goal, I'm not kidding myself in to thinking I could just jump straight in at the deep end. The general game plan at the moment is to aim for a company which will allow me to bulk out a portfolio, and explore a wide variety of techniques, styles, constraints.. all within a pretty short time period, and then see where I go from there. I don't know, I think this is all getting rather ahead of myself, who knows what is going to happen next year..?

But still, it doesn't hurt to have a bearing, and like I said - I do have a focus, VFX. So my film should contain some form of fancy effects. Probably. Not necessarily. At the same time there is a relatively short period of time to be doing all of this, and learning how particle systems work (although I do have a basic understanding) this might not be the best time to be trying to showcase it - still, it's in the back of my mind. Really I want something simple, and effective - so I should maybe start thinking about the overall aesthetic..