Alright I’m about to lose my marbles but the good news is that when Morty loads up the same project on his account, it works fine, which is great news because it means that our entire scene hasn’t been decimated.
The bad news is I’m still no closer to figuring out how to fix the error that it seems is on my end only.
From what I’ve managed to find it seems most likely to be file location related so I’ll have to go through each of my folders to try and figure out which files are causing the problem.
After some more searching I found some others who had experienced this error aswell. It’s an ‘unspecified OIIO error’ and is apparently a texture error. The thread suggested deleting all the textures and re exporting them from substance, and also unchecking the ‘auto-convert textures to .TX’ in the render settings, however neither of these approaches solved their problem. I was unable to attempt the re-exporting textures option so I tried the latter, but as expected it didn’t solve the issue.
Another thread was answered by an autodesk technician, who offered solutions such as ‘You’re rendering on OSX, so I don’t think that Windows path is going to work’ & ‘You’re running MtoA 184.108.40.206, not MtoA 220.127.116.11′ but neither of these seem to have solved anyones issue either.
I’ve found an official Autodesk page for the error though that states that the ‘error happens when Arnold cannot access textures for various reasons. Often happens when network rendering and the user account used does not have access to textures stored on network shares.’
Even so, the filepaths should still have worked, so I’m not sure how this might have happened. I’ll look into the file locations of all the textures again to try and be sure.
Would it be inappropriate to title this entry ‘i’m in hell’? probably.
But i am in hell. 100%.
Just when I finally thought I had the scene finally sorted, file paths and all, issues have come up with the arnold renderer. When I finished populating the scene I decided to do a quick test render to ensure everything was in order for when it was passed on to the others, but the renderview window either came up horribly pixelated (not even just noisy, the image was made up of about 32 squares), or just plain black, and it froze if you tried to switch between camera views.
This is probably the last thing we need so close to the deadline.
I tried looking up how to solve the issue and eventually came across a suggestion to untick the ‘abort on error’ box in the render settings.
I tried doing this and its kind of worked. Arnold is now “properly” rendering the scene, but now certain textures are completely missing despite the file path editor showing that they should be resolved and working fine.
I’m going to try another suggestion from the same thread but it’s a code thing, and I’m nothing if not an idiot when it comes to coding.
Worst comes to worst I’ll have to redo the entire scene again, which is painful to think about but if thats the only way to fix it then that’s what i’ll do.
Despite initial anxiety, the presentation went pretty well! I’m actually feeling more comfortable getting up and speaking to a room full of people, although i still need to work on eye contact.
Overall we received some really positive feedback about our progress, especially regarding lighting and texturing, Ziyuan and Yingjiao have been amazing so far at what they’ve been doing.
Moving forward, I’ve had some trouble with file layout but honestly that’s just a hole I’ve dug myself into. When I passed the scene to Ziyuan for rendering and comp, when she opened it the textures and stand In’s didn’t load because I hadn’t formatted the file pathways correctly. I’ve been working, with penny’s help, on replacing the strings and ensuring they’re all resolved to the best of my ability, and so far it’s worked well, so we should have a properly functioning scene that can be passed around with (hopefully) no problems by the time I’ve finished.
For now we have to focus on VFX the most, but otherwise things are progressing well, and we’re feeling optimistic about the time-frame we have left to complete this sequence.
This Tuesday Mort, Jack and I went to the sound studio in the Phoenix building to record the stuff for the sound effects in our sequence. We ended up bringing a whole variety of stuff from our flats to try and come up with the sounds we needed for things like the ship engine, the fire and the crashing of the collapsing tower and ship crash landing.
It was a pretty surreal experience smashing pasta and noodles and slapping trays full of lentils in a professional sound studio for our project, but it was probably one of the most fun things we’ve gotten to do for this project so far.
There were some cool videos we saw both in lecture and on Youtube that were useful reference for the interesting ways you could create the necessary sounds from pretty mundane objects, like crinkling a brillo pad or bubble wrap for the crackling of fire, or scraping a fork down a baking tray for tearing metal.
For now we’ll be experimenting with layering and editing some of the foley we recorded to try and mix the best sfx for our sequence that we can.
Things are going pretty well.
I’ve been dressing the scene with our groups textured assets and it’s coming to together pretty well. I had a few problems with texture file paths but Ziyuan gave me the link to an Autodesk tutorial that was a massive help.
Using the video it was relatively easy to fix the file paths and reapply all the necessary textures.
Unfortunately our rigger has been having issues with the robot rig, so although it’s textured I haven’t been able to start properly animating it in scene, which is a bit worrying considering how far through we are but for now I have plenty to keep me busy scene wise.
I’ve also had some issues with some of the prop scales; some are much smaller than needed so I’ve had to spend a considerable amount of time trying to fix that so they can be put into the scene properly.
Trying to stay optimistic for next weeks presentation, putting the scene together now is helping show how far we’ve actually come on this project, so I’m confident we’ll have some nice test passes of our shots to show everyone on Thursday. Here’s hoping all goes to plan.
The Week 4 presentation went pretty well, I felt more organised overall and we got helpful feedback to work off of from peers and tutors.
Shotgun wise things are a lot better than in the beginning, as the group are more regularly posting works and works in progress to the project page.
In Week 5 we received the feedback from MPC, much of which was regarding the shots and camera angles. Shot 2 had an issue with crossing silhouettes which was solved relatively quickly, however there was also issue with the angle at which the camera was placed – below the robot- which caused the scale to be thrown off. After consulting the director I moved the camera up to the robot’s shoulder height, which fixed the scale issue but now most of the robot isn’t visible. I thought that placing some more robots in the background might help fill the scene a little more and show off the robot asset we built better, but I haven’t confirmed that with Morty yet.
With shot 3, there was concern that it may look too cartoony, and also that what was happening wasn’t particularly clear. I’m fairly certain this was because of a lack of VFX but the momentum of the ship was also off. We adjusted the trajectory of the ship so that it didn’t bounce off the side of the tower and instead now barrels straight through and into the ground.
Now in week 6, I’m currently working a lot more on animation, although I’ve also done set dressing, along with a small amount of modelling and am currently looking into texturing.
For Shot 1, to try and show the speed the ship is travelling at, I’ve added panels being ripped away from the hull and trailing back into space. I used a scene similar to our reference shot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmyi7GRl4Hk @ 2:08) to try and get a feel for how it should break away, but since the panels would be lighter I increased the speed at which they broke off.
I’ve also filmed reference footage for the robot animations in shot 2. I decided to try and animate the robots more fluidly and humanly, like the robots in Wall.E, rather than more rigidly and robotically to try and add more character to them and to try and push my animation further.
Things are progressing pretty well so far. I began putting together the previs sequence that will be the basis of our final piece using simple blockouts to stand in for assets currently being created by our modellers.
The designs for the robot, hip and cooling tower – our main assets – were finalised by our concept artists and we passed them on for the first stage of modelling.
A few of our other simpler models were created by others on our team. They work well and fit the concept art aswell as the scene of our project, however I had some issues placing them in out scene as they weren’t scaled properly. I had to rescale them myself in scene, which was inconvenient. Hopefully after some reminding they’ll remember to ensure their maya scale is set to meters when they next get to work on new assets.
The feedback received on some of our previs sequences was really helpful for improving the flow of our sequence overall. Now it feels less janky and is nicer to watch than our first version. Hopefully I can start adding more of our assets to the scene before Thursdays presentation.
One issue though I’ve found is that a lot of people are lax when it comes to posting their assets and progress on Shotgun. Sometimes despite multiple prompts the director, Morty, and I find that there’s still little activity from some members of our team. This is something we’ll have to try and address moving forwards.
The week 2 presentation didn’t go as well as I’d hoped but we took some good feedback from the tutors and some of our peers aswell that was helpful. The group director Morty did most of the talking but I contributed in places with some explanations.
Penny said our main issue was that we needed to nail down the details of our project which helped us to focus on what we already had that needed developing further. There was also some concern that the cooling tower(s) were too simple and that our camera movements would be a bit too much for the audience in just 10 seconds, so we revised our initial plan to build on the comments we got.
We now have a fair amount of work posted on the shotgun page although team members still need some prompting to do so. Hopefully soon everyone in the team will be frequenting shotgun and posting their work as they complete it.
Speaking of shotgun, I learned a lot on how to manage our project page from JT as he went through the different aspects of each project page with myself and the rest of the producers. I now know how to create assets and assign tasks to different team members, aswell as set deadlines and organise team posts via the tagging system that can attach a piece of work to a particular pipeline step for a particular asset.
For my Kino project I ended up as the Producer and Lead Animator of our team.
First week after we picked team members I organised a weekly meeting for 10am on Mondays for us to review eachothers work and sort what needed doing each week. To help improve communications between our team members I also went and set up a discord server for us with channels for relevant pipeline steps and roles for each member for easy ID since non of us really knew eachother properly yet .
In the first meeting we discussed and decided on our theme/setting and began handing out tasks. I took meeting minutes down which I post in a discord channel for everyone to review so that if someone misses a meeting or forgets their task its easy for them to just quickly check up on it.
I contributed towards some rough storyboarding, and also ended up in charge of gathering shot reference and cutting it together for the project.
Second week progressed pretty well. We sorted out our scale, I put together the powerpoint for the presentation lecture, and I showed everyone the reference shots which were well received. We met again on the Wednesday to prepare for the presentation on the Thursday so that everyone knew the contents of the powerpoint presentation.