Unity, Digital Inking & After Effects

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Our 5th session and we are beginning to get back into the Unity environment! For the first time of what will probably be many, the team was required to split up while we learned our lessons. The reason for this was for both focus and efficiency: the students are now able to choose and improve their preferred specializations as opposed to being “jacks of all trades”.

Lisa and Nather joined programmers Chris and Bronson in a refresher lesson on Unity basics. Together, they were reminded of how to set up a  file, begin to model terrain, texture it, add trees, grass, wind as well as import assets from Blender.

Meanwhile, in the larger lab, the remainder of the participants began lessons on digital inking and After Effects. Each participant got their hands on a wacom tablet and pen as well as an example pencil sketch, which we all then began to “ink”. Basically, this means that the paper sketch was used as a template which was drawn over in much higher resolution with black outlines. This allows traditional pencil artists to convert their work into a more pleasing, non-pixelated format on screen.

After the sketch was “inked”, it was then grouped into layers for each body part. This was in preparation for animation, so that the character body, arms, and head could be moved separately as well as the boat and water.

The next step afterwards was to bring these layers into After Effects and animate them! First, Nancy taught the group the basics of this new and powerful software, including using live links with Photoshop so that images could be adjusted live (meaning an open file in Photoshop can have its colors adjusted, and the changes will instantly show up in the After Effects composition which includes said Photoshop file).

A lot of progress was made and a lot of fun had! Our next meeting will be for the week long intensive May 21st where we aim to complete rough cuts of the cinematics as well as a playable demo.

Looking forward to it!

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