By Lady Diaz
About: Warm meal is a short film about parents not apologizing directly and instead choosing to do so through acts of kindness. In this specific case its through food.
Story boarding: When creating a story board I first started with a topic that I had knowledge on and wanted to showcase its complexity. Once I had the beats placed down I moved onto the technical aspects such as light, composition, shot progression, contrast, readability.
Planning: once the storyboard was finalized I moved onto either creating or finding parts to complete the idea. Bellow are all the steps as well as software used for this short film.
I created a floor plan for the room set up using Pinterest and my own room. Then moved onto modeling a low poly model of the room in Maya. Once pleased with the layout I moved onto creating the high poly model room.
This is the step that took the most time since I had minimum knowledge about it and what I had in mind was advanced beyond my ability. I committed several mistakes along the way but to keep it short I spent 6 hours working on a 12 second clip.
I used Lou and Kenna, both can be found in Gumroad for free as well as on Agora.
With the limited time I moved onto finding other shortcuts for rigging characters. I figured that I could try motion capture. I used Rokoko which is a free software that uses both motion capture gear and video capture. I then learned to rig using Mixamo and apply the skeleton from Rokoko to my Maya model.
Now that I had an idea of what I could and could not do I revised my original storyboard and cut down some scenes to make sure I could complete my project within the given time.
I went through a total of 4 models and rigged all of them using mixamo. Some gave me complications and others worked perfectly fine but did not fit the stories aesthetic or description of the characters.
I used Sketchfab.com to find a 3d model of a female teenager to young adult and an elderly man. The elderly was the rarest to find and gave me complications as the format for download was not supported by Maya. To get around that issue I used Blender to convert the GLb file to an OBJ file.
With the acting I used Maximo to download the clips and on my own adjusted the rig so that it read well. I created animation clips and applied them to the character and trimmed and blended the two animations into one animation.
Tip- you can make corrections to your animation without touching the original frames by creating animation layers this gives you more freedom to make changes without worrying of loosing the original. Changes can be turned on and off too.
Link to YouTube video that helped me understand: https://youtu.be/NRMCGJk_hN8?si=m0r8oPVLDJ1QdUxa
With all the prep ready now came the part to put everything together.
1-camera. position the camera to show the angle in which you wanna show. I tried to keep in mind the 180 rule.
2-lights, consider where the light source is and if it pops the character out to the front.
3-Render the frames.
Repeat step for all clips. I kept my camera stationary as I wanted the focus to be on the acting.
Next use After effects to put it all together.
To avoid reshooting and doing touchups I converted some clips into photoshop files, the wonderful thing about doing so is that the changes done in photoshop apply directly to the files in after effects.
I used this tutorial to help put my animation together: https://youtu.be/jv4axtpnZps?si=RVVZNWbLUqQYqBeb
For music I searched for dead composers whose music was now free to use. Then listened and settled for one that fit my theme.
Sound effects were used from http://bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk.
The glass sound effect was used from YouTube https://youtu.be/m4h-T-beqYs?si=wmdtvSbnjXNbw6gG
I edited the audio using audition.
Then finally rendered it in after effects.
By Lady Diaz