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SCI-FI short film - Working on my first CGI animated short film, require feedback


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#1 Ridley

Ridley

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:25 AM

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Hi everyone,
 
Im currently working on my first fully CGI animated short film. Its a project that is very dear to me and that I have already worked on for quite a while, though Im just really getting started on the creation of the shots.
 
Important to know about me is that I am a filmmaker first and a CGI artist second. Meaning I learned CGI animation to make movies, not the other way around. This also means that Im equally, or even more interested in the critique of the cinematography of my work and not just the overall CGI quality.
 
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In this thread, I will post screenshots and maybe even sometimes the entire animated shots (Rendering takes a LONG time though) and I would really appreciate it if you guys could give me a suggestions how they could be improved. This is my first fully CGI animated movie, so the shots are not necessarily perfect and they surely could use to be looked at by a more experienced CGI artist/cinematographer than me.
 
What I would like you to give me feedback on specifically:
Overall Cinematography - Lighting - Compositing - Overall CGI quality
 
The more indepth, the better!
 
Short info on the movie:
The movie will be a rather abstract sci-fi short film that will be driven by a consistent music piece and will feel similar to a montage, even though it is not by definition. I wont go into too much detail of what exactly the movie will be in order to not spoil anything. However, I do have a very strong vision for it. I do know that its usefull for proper critique of work if you know the whole context, though I do feel it would be alittle excessive in this case and again, I dont want to spoil too much.
 
With all that said, I hope you can give me some feedback! It would be very much appreciated!
 
Shot 1:
The first shot of the movie. A space scene. Glowing cubes will be floating in until they completely cover the screen, as the camera starts to rapidly move backwards.
 
My questions:
- Does the overall space background feel "right"?
- Do the cubes feel properly integrated into the shot? Do they have a proper presence?
- What do you think of the color grading?
 
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Shot 2:
A continuation of the last shot (basically Shot 1 and 2 are one long tracking shot). The camera follows the cubes until they form into this female-like beeing. Again, the camera moves backwards,
meaning initially the beeing is more in the foreground, as it gets formed.
 
Notes:
The color-grading and VFX work (like particles) in this shot arent necessarily finished yet, though the coming tweaks to those should be relatively minor.
 
My questions:
- How is the lighting, especially of the female beeing? Does it properly convey drama and is it interesting?
- Does the composition of the shot properly draw the female beeing into focus or does she sort of get lost in the background?
- What do you think of the light fog/smoke surrounding the beeing?
- Again, what do you think of the color grading?
- Does the pose of the beeing look good?
- Does it come across that the beeing is slightly smiling? (In screenshot 2?)
- Please judge the overall composition and cinematography of this shot.
 
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My inspiration:
My cinematography style is very much inspired by the likes of Michael Bay and Zack Snyder and very much adhering to the principle that through the cinematography each shot should strongly express emotions and support the themes and atmosphere of the movie. The cinematography alone should imbue the movie with value, meaning and substance. I like to call it "substance through style" - atleast thats what im striving towards when it comes to my cinematography.
 
Heres a good piece and a big inspiration and reference for my current CGI work and reading it should help those that want to give me the most valuable of feedback understand better with what Im striving for with this movie (though I dont expect anyone to put that much effort into giving feedback and thats ok). Though I think everyone that is interested in cinematography or CGI, and especially CGI cinematography, should read this article, as its one of the best on the topic I have ever found:

http://www.expandedcinematography.com/the-cinematography-of-legend-of-the-guardians.html

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Thanks alot for reading and I hope to get some usefull feedback! I do very much appreciate it! I will post updates when I have more to show!