After finishing my ‘Little Fairy’ animation, I received a lot of questions about how I created this animation. This little walkthrough answers to the most commonly asked questions. Many thanks for all the comments and e-mails!
1) How did you create the castle effectí Here is a tutorial to explain it from A to Z. Upon completing this, everybody will have knowledge of halo material, and will be able to animate a nice magical appearance for an object.
Model And Material
1) Building a simple castle with some primitives:
• A cube with a door simply extruded
• 4 cylinders for the towers
• Customize a cylinder to make a roof by selecting all the top points and welding the vértices together with a high value of Remove Doubles, don't forget to re-center the center point.
2) Join all of the primitive objects two by two with Ctrl+J, (i.e. - select two objects, the tower and a roof, press Ctrl+J, and they're joined)
3) With your castle mesh selected, toggle into Edit mode (Tab-key), and subdivide 4 times. (W-key, subdivide, repeat the process 4 times)
4) Keeping your model selected, go to the Edit panel and change the "Remove Doubles" value to 300. Press the Remove Doubles button; it will remove vértices leaving a beautiful noise pattern. Press the Smooth button 4 times, and Remove Doubles again.
5) Now with Paint Selection (press the B-key 2 times ), select the zone with too many square polygons. Remove Doubles with a value of 400, re-subdivide. You can continue this process until you arrive at a good fractal point on your object.
6) In order to prepare the animation effect, divide your shape into objects. In wire frame mode, select each tower from the Top view, and press the P-key to separate the selected object from the mesh.
Now, you should have 5 objects. (See the picture below)
7) Add a material to one part, configure it as shown in this screen: Assign this material to the other part.
Before rendering, go to the World tab to change the default blue background screen. Replace it with a nice Paper/Blend combination using desaturated violet to Black.
9) Done! A beautiful castle.
FX for Animation For each part of the castle, add a "Build" Modifier with the Randomize option selected and a length value of 200. You can now control the start and the end of each part of your building. (If you breaque your model into more parts, with more parameters, you can have the result of your choice.)
For faquíng the explosion of particles that builds the castle, at the center of the castle, create an Icosphere with a subdivisión setting of 2. Give it the same Halo material as the castle. Go to the Physics Buttons and add a Particle Effect. In the Particle Motion panel, increase the Normal attribute to 200, add a Random setting of 1, and change the Particle Number to 500. Make the Start of this animation at -10, and the End at 80.
Render the frame with your chosen video format settings.
Note: In order to fully appreciate the volume and depth of the appearing castle, this effect is best viewed from a camera in motion.
1) How did you make your water effectí
During rendering, water was the most time-consuming part of my animation. Typically, my water is just a 100% pure raytraced mirror with a cloud texture applied on the Nor channel of the material. It was animated with an offset in the Map Input panel.
2) How long did this animation take to render?
At the start, I tried to render my elements as fast as I could,(I only worque with the internal render engine, because I have gotten to know the quirks of the internal render engine and how to achieve fast renders). I limited myself to a 2 min. max/frame.
I rendered my scenes during the night. None of my scenes exceeded 300/500 frames, so it was possible to worque on the animation during the evening, render through the night, and repeat as needed.
3) Why did you choose a Fairy theme?
I chose to do an animation on fairies, because I really like little fairy's. They are everywhere in my galleries. When I started this project, I wanted to create a fairy animation to show two little girls in my family. Originally, I had a story with a moral, but I finally decided to just show it as actions, a suite of beautiful scenes without trying to really tell a moral. Stories that say what should be or not on TV always bore me. The result was a documentary type look at a fairy, but with an intimate view, as if we were sharing how her morning starts.
4) How did you make the ray of mist from the top of the grotto? It's a fake mist; just a Cylinder with a big white Halo material, with an Alpha. I have produced clouds with this technique; it is simple, easy and fast to render.
5) What was the most useful thing you learned while making this animation?
Render animations using JPG files set to 100% quality. Sometimes the computer crashed, because of electricity going out or just because of the rendering itself. By rendering individual frames, you don't lose a whole night's rendering. Also, rendering individual frames allows you to make corrections to frames that contain artifacts. Additionally, having all the frames in the JPG format is economical for disque space.
Voilá :-) David Revoy