3D Animation Production

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Lunatics will be animated entirely or almost entirely using Blender. If you have skills with Blender, and want to contribute to the production, you will be very welcome! Even if you don't have much skill, there may still be some areas you can contribute while you are learning.

Of course, the most sought-after skills will be:

  • Character mesh modeling
  • Character rigging
  • Character animation
  • Motion-capture integration
  • Lighting and Texturing
  • Architectural (Set) Modeling
  • Prop and Vehicle Modeling

Textures are a big part of the realism of 3D scenes, and we will need to create lots of repetitive and specially-mapped textures in Lunatics. Most of these will be created using Gimp. A few may also make use of Inkscape.

Some of the exterior views, maps, and terrain models will probably be created from real data using GRASS, a free software Geographical Information System program, and other free scientific software. We may also need help digging up the best available imagery of the region of the Moon in which most of the action in Lunatics is set -- this will mostly involve trawling through online public domain image databases run by NASA or NASA centers like JPL.

Of course, even after all of that, much of the fine-scale topography will have to be simply made up from scratch, since the imagery does not go to a high enough resolution (and of course, some of it will be entirely fictional!).

There will probably be a few opportunities to do 2D animation -- most obviously in creating animated video data displays used within the show. These might be done in Synfig or other free software programs.

Subversion and Trac

If you are going to be contributing in this area, you will need to also create an account on our Trac/Subversion system, as the model data is going to be kept as a version-controlled file system. (At the moment, the repository is empty, awaiting an initial import -- I'm still organizing those files offline, but I hope to get them into the system soon. Mainly, I'm still figuring out how to use Blender's library linking system).

My concept is to keep the models, textures, music files, ambience, sound effects and all other properties that go directly into the film in the Subversion repository. We'll use Trac's bug-tracking system to identify needed properties that we are missing. So if I need a Bactrian two-humped Camel model (which by the way, I do for the Kazakhstan sequence in the pilot), then I'll post a "bug report" saying I need it. If you then upload a Bactrian camel 3D model, then you can "close the bug". See? It fits pretty well to filmmaking after all, doesn't it?