Production Meeting Minutes

Catching up on our production meetings which started on the 4th of November (commencement date).

  • Damien suggested the WD short film competition as a potential project
  • Group sought advice from Oliver Cook to see what theme we would be allocated, he chose “Artificial Intelligence” as theme
  • Group roles discussed
  • Divided areas for people to look into. Eg. character, repair arms and environment concepting, storyboarding, script writer, modelling and texturing.
  • Discussing the direction of the story
  • ○ Battle robot (possibly Egyptian inspired armouring?)
  • ○ futuristic scenario
  • ○ one room, assembly area
  • ○ inspirations: StarCraft II trailer, “Kara” PS3 demonstration video


  • Brad and Damien presented their initial concepts for the robot model
  • Group made suggestions and decided on an amalgamation of two designs (heavy shoulders, narrow waist, large feet, gattling gun for right arm)


  • Group discussed concerns about direction and goal of project
  • Tristian and Ken compared notes on storyboard and pre-vis, decided on shots
  • Group decided on key ‘moments’ needed to convey story
    ○ attaching a limb
    ○ screwing on an armour plate
    ○ loading ammunition/gun
    ○ final facial close-up


  • Group presented work completed over the weekend
  • ○ Tristian showed animatic with sound, sparks demo
  • ○ Brad showed ‘kit bashing’ models
  • ○ Damien showed early Zbrush sculpt


  • Oliver and Kim requested a status report on how much progress we had made
    ○ Modelling was deemed almost complete
    ○ Damien’s zbrush sculpt needed retopology work that would take more time
    than first anticipated
    ○ It was estimated we were about a day behind schedule


  • At the end of the third week of production Oliver and Kim wanted to know if we
    would be able to submit on time
    ○ Textures were mostly complete
    ○ Rigs had been finished
    ○ Animation, lighting and dynamics still needed a lot of work
  • We ended up asking for an extension through Jeff and were granted the ability to
    work into post-production week

Slumber Party!

Brad and I headed over to Damien’s house to have a mad Group 3D sesh and smash out some texturing and animation. I had to re-map all of the UV’s for the top and bottom repair arms and made sure that I did so prior to the meet up. Little did I realise that I am such a n00b at UV’s and didn’t use the checker box for any of them so they had to be resized upon arrival.

So… here we are 2 hours into the group session and still going with UV’s… Wow, what a pain these have been. Issues are initially trying to transfer the UV’s to the same objects but in different files as of the reference system and forgetting the dreaded ‘Delete History’ button and then it spazzes out and the saved file becomes corrupted. Mmm… UV’s are fun.

Another 4 hours later at 4am… what?!? Still going with UV’s. Now we’re trying to re-UV the repair arms rather then just reposition them… this calls for a Maccas run.

With our stomachs now satisfied and our coffee cups refilled (for the nth time) we can refocus… on UV’s..

Honestly the next couple of hours were a bit of a blur but somehow we managed to pull through and get them done. It was about 8am in the morning until Damien decides to be the first to pull out and sleep.. He’s out for a good 2 hours until he gets back up. Then Brad decides it’s his turn at 10am and I couldn’t help but think about how comfortable that bed looks. I set up an AO pass one of the repair arms and lay down to rest my eyes.

time to UV

Asset List

We created a Google docs spreadsheet for everyone to access the asset list. Logically it had to be divided up into a more appropriate categories.

Asset Categories

Character Interior | Character Exterior | Environment | Props

The Character interior consisted was created based on the panels of the exterior but had contrasting properties of wires and cabling, pistons, engines, etc.

The Character exterior consisted of mainly panels inspired by vehicular designs (Lamborghini).

The Environment was divided up into the room core, room shell and hallway.

The Props were mainly just the repair arms and were then divided into top and bottom arms and then the top concoction to hold the top arms.

Defining the Concept

So for the sake of stating the obvious, it began with robots!

We set up mood boards for ourselves to get the right feel and to get everyone on the same page for the project. We wanted to also achieve a good direction of lighting so we could see what were going to be the important shots of the scene. What are the areas that need to be highlighted? What are the areas we can prioritize higher and lower to leave on a contingency plan?

The Character – As we had Damien and Brad dedicated to our character concepts (after deciding on a general look and feel) they each dedicated their focus onto different parts of the character. Damien focused on the exterior panels whilst Brad focused on the interior ‘rigging’ of the character.

The Environment – I had an image in my mind of how the environment was going to look and decided to grey box it out first to get general size and space.

The Repair Arms – Knowing that the repair arms were going to be the main movements / animated moving parts in the scene, I knew that these had to not only look as if they could move correctly but actually move correctly. Also, analysing the purpose of each repair arm affected the design of each arm.

Referencing – We acknowledged that not every idea is original and that referencing different styles was vital to the success of our animated short. In hind site (personally) I didn’t reference enough and link my designs of the repair arms enough to the character. We had a few main inspirational animated shorts to reference such as the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty trailer and Kara.