Knightfall

Role: Director, 3D (all aspects), video-editor, compositor
Software used: Autodesk Maya, Mudbox, UV Layout, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Avid Sibelius
Personal Project


HOW IT STARTED

It all started when I decided to model the Jean-Paul Valley Batman character in Mudbox, and then began thinking about making a short movie about one of my favourite chapters in the Knightfall saga.

Here are some screenshots showing the evolution on modelling the character. Made the base model in Maya and then enhanced some parts in Mudbox. After trying some realistic renders went into cartoonish style to look more like the comics.

— Click to see the model on Sketchfab —


  • Somewhere in 2011 – I started modelling the character but never finished
  • January  to March 2013 – re-modelled and rigged in my free time while working in Austria
  • May – Animation month
  • August – Render month
  • September and October – post production months
  • From November 2013 to April 2014: Sound design
  • April 2014: release!!!

DESIGNING THE SOUND

My reference music for the short was ‘Recognizer’ from Daft Punk. So I grabbed my Akai MPK Mini and started to create a track that sounded like the Daft Punk song. I realized that the logic behind rhythmic and lead guitar applies to compositing music with a midi keyboard for orchestra. It wasn’t hard to create a good background music, but the solos were.

After having the music made I went to foley which some sounds I used from freesound.org and some I recorded at home.


CREATING BATMAN AND GOTHAM

At first I modeled Batman in a human scale but it felt it lacked some presence, so I went to investigate and found the are some human proportions which apply to fantasy models: normal, idealistic, fashion and heroic.
The heroic proportion would need the height to be equal to 7 heads instead of 9.

The city was a matter of time, getting references, modelling them until it looked enough to fill the line of sight. The windows were made with a surface shader because I didn’t want them to be influenced by light, to look cartoonish.

Gotham City

RENDERING ANC COMPOSITING


It’s a great feeling we your see your own creations coming to life, and I had a lot of fun in the post-production.  The rendering was the opposite, I had my computer, my brother’s and my laptop rendering for a whole month. And re-rendering whole scenes when I found errors.
Mental ray was a bit annoying when it came to rendering the toon outlines, amazing how Maya Software had a little more options.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Ambient occlusion really takes much rendering time the best approach would be to bake it to save some time and one less pass to composite.

This was a long process but very rewarding as it led me to learn new things, easier methods and improve the quality of my work. There are still a lot of things to learn which I plan to learn on my next short.

Some

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