Final Assembly of the Press Conference Sequence

After many months of neglect, I am finally putting together the pieces for the “Press Conference” scene. In my previous post, I showed how the compositing works. I’m not done with all the IT and hardware work, but I decided to take a break and do some of the creative work, partly for my own sanity, but also so I have more to show here. So here’s a peek at a few of the better test renders from the fully-assembled sequence. There are still a number of problems — the technical reason for these renders is for me to catch those. Some props are out of place and some of the character meshes have interference problems. We’ll be tweaking those things. But it already looks pretty good:

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Render test from Press Conference sequence — through glass from behind the main characters.

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Test render from Press Conference sequence: reflection/reaction shot from the reporters’ side.

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View from the back of the press gallery near the end of the Press Conference scene in “No Children in Space”.

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Side view from the Press Conference sequence, from the reporters’ side of the glass.

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And finally, a direct shot, without the glass, from Camera 4. Very nearly the final version of the shot in the trailer, although there may be a small change to the lighting.

This sequence is probably the most technically challenging pieces of animation in the pilot — kind of a show of force of what we can do with sufficient resources. Dramatically, it’s the “exposition drop” — hopefully after the audience has seen enough to want the answers it gives. I don’t know if it will be the most visually impressive or not — there’s a lot to be said for cool shots of spaceships in flight, even if they are quite easy to animate. But in terms of integrating character animation, models, lighting, rendering, voices, effects, ambience, and music, this is a full-up test of our production technique. If it works as planned, everything else is downhill from here. Everything else is about making the process faster and more reliable.