SO YOU WANT TO MAKE A 3D MOVIE?
A GUIDE FOR THE BEGINNER
A REFRENCE FOR THE REST OF US
1.2 THE CONCEPT
1.3 THE STORY
1.4 SKETCHES AND DRAWINGS
2.0 STORY AND STORYBOARDS
2.3 CAMERA ANGLES, PANS AND ZOOMS
2.4 TIMING IS EVERYTHING
3.0 GETTING YOUR TEAM TOGETHER, AND KEEPING THEM
3.1 THE DIRECTOR
3.2 THE MODELING TEAM
3.3 THE ANIMATION TEAM
3.4 THE SOUND CREW
3.5 PROMOTION OF YOUR NEW PROJECT
4.0 LETS GET STARTED
4.1 THE DIRECTORS ROLE
4.2 SETTING THE SCALE OF YOUR MOVIE
4.3 DESIGN AND THEMES
4.4 ORGANIZING THE MOVIE
This guide is written for the Novice to Advanced users of Blender. It is not intended to teach you how to model or how to use the basic functions in the program. There are hundreds of websites and tutorials to help you learn Blender some will be posted in the appendix of this guide. This is a guide to help users understand the concept of small 3D movie production. It is not my intention to challenge the production or concepts of Hollywood movie companies. With the emergence of 3D movies and shorts, there has been a keen interest in 3D art as well as Animation. I will share my experiences to help you have a better feel for how small 3D animations are done.
My first point to make, and probably the most important is, are you 100% sure you want to make a movie? If the answer is yes, then the next question is, are you willing to make the movie yourself with no help? This is the most difficult question when starting a project of this type. Most new or novice users will say, No. A more advanced user knows that he or she could not complete a project of this size by him or herself.
There has been a growing trend of new users coming into 3D forums and Chat rooms to announce a plan to make a full length 3D movie and asking for help, with little or no details about the actual movie. This is generally shot down by every user of the community. Mainly because it has been done so often that people tire of seeing projects start and never finish. This guide should help you not make those mistakes and teach you how to approach modelers and animators for help.
I have broken this book up into sections that deal directly with each phase of production. From your original idea to the official release of the film, I will teach you what steps to take and what to do to finish your movie. I will also tell you what not to do, and the things that could doom your project.
Ok, now that you have decided to make a movie there are some tools you will need. Now it is entirely up to you as the director to choose the software packages to be used in the film. Mostly every software package you will be using has no limits on the creative output of the software. So this means you could use Photoshop and no one at Adobe will be asking you to pay them or credit them.
For the 3D software, Blender3D is the choice software for this guide. It is free and it is very powerful if used correctly. It has plenty of new options and effects made specifically for Animators.
For your 2D software, Photoshop is generally a good idea to have. If you cannot afford Photoshop, GIMP is free and available for download. I would not recommend trying to use MS Paint for anything during the production of the movie.
(Section on Movie suite here)
(Section on Sound suite here)
You will also need these things before you get started:
A place to comfortably draw, and sketch
Pencils, drawing pens, and color markers
A flatbed scanner
Most importantly you will need an idea.
It is better to not use copyrighted material, unless you have expressed written consent from the copyright holder. In most cases this is not going to happen. You will be better off coming up with your own original ideas. Most people in the 3D world tend to stay away from un-original ideas. The whole point is to make something that you can say “I made this” with out having to give credit to someone else.
<Don’t expect people to have the same excitement you have. This is a very common mistake a lot of people make. Don’t push your idea on people. Let them come to you, show what you have done on your own and if it is good enough, people will line up to join you. Asking for help will usually end up with you working alone.>
1.2 The Concept
Your ideas are in your head. You need to use different mediums to get your ideas across to people. To do this you will have to use a word-processor and lots and lots of drawing paper. I recommend using plain computer paper. Do not use school paper or graph paper, or any paper that has lines on it. This is very bad on the eyes and it looks very unprofessional. Printer paper can be scanned and stored very easily.
The main characters and scene design will be the most time consuming part of the movie. If you do not spend proper time designing your sets and characters, you will end up with dozens or perhaps hundreds of models that don’t look right together. As in all other types of art mediums, Artists can develop their own style and look. It is your job to make sure they conform to the overall design on the movie. This can be done by good sketches of the desired objects. If good sketches are not available, It is better to assign specific types of models to one person. As an example, let 1 person work on all the trees in the movie. This will ensure that every tree has the same look and feel. Same goes for most of the things in your movie. The set design will take the longest of these two. Once you have your story and settings for your scenes, you can start work on designing each scene.
1.3 The Story
As the lead person on the project, it is your responsibility to have all the answers. This includes the story. With no story, your movie project is dead before it even begins. If you don’t think you can write a story, there is probably no hope you will ever be able to finish your project. Creativity is not taught, it comes from within you and when you see the end result before you start, that makes it easy to do the things that lead to that end. Once you can visualize the entire project in your head, you will be able to put those ideas on paper much faster.
Find time on a relaxed day to sit at your computer when you decide to start writing. Let the ideas flow from your head and onto the screen. Do not worry about grammar or sentence structure, these things can be refined and fixed later. The most important thing is to let the brain get the information on the screen as fast as possible. Do not spend too much time thinking about 1 tiny detail. Once you have your story done, you can go back and read it, then make your changes and updates.
1.4 SKETCHES AND DRAWINGS
When drawing, try not to draw too lightly. Dark lines will scan much better and there will be less work for you to do after you scan them. If possible use black ink to trace over the most important drawings. Do not be shy with your drawings, not everyone is a great artist on paper, but you must try to show what it is you are thinking of. It is also a good idea to do multiple views of the same object, especially important ones.
This is one of those stages in the process that you will struggle with. It’s not fun, or exciting, it’s very time consuming and boring. Don’t expect anyone to help you with this. On the other hand, it is a very important part of making your movie. Your team members will not know what you have in mind when they start modeling.
(Ok here is what I have so far, Working on bp.com so I have not had time to write much. I should be done with the website in a few days, then I will write more chapters here)