Creating a MoGraph Sports Intro Animatic: Blocking Out Shot One

Photo of Raymond Olsen

Instructor Raymond Olsen

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  • Duration: 07:10
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In this video we’ll model the light bank in frame one of the storyboard, convert it to an xref and then prep shot one for animation.

In this video we’ll create the stadium light bank seen in shot one using a few primitives that we collapse into editable mesh and manipulate to create a single light assembly. We then populate the light bank cloner with the light assembly and add a random effector to give each light’s orientation some variation just like the real thing. Next we save the light bank as an xref and get shot one ready for camera animation.



In this video, we'll reference our storyboards to quickly build a scene for the Animatic. If we look at our storyboards, which will be in your Docks folder, we can see that shot one is a slow move over a stadium light bank as they randomly turn on. We can make this quickly and in a way that allows us to use what we create for the Animatic again in the next phase of production. To do this, we'll use a Grid Array Cloner and a Camera Morph tag. So jump into Cinema and open up Shot_01_3D_V1 from the previous video. For the lightbulb assembly, we'll use a capsule and sphere to begin. Make a capsule. Give a 13-centimeter radius, a height of 53 centimeters, set the rotation segments to 12, and I'm going to change my view to Hidden Lines so we can see the wireframe. Press C to make it editable. Activate the Live Selection Rectangle, and let's go into Polygon mode. We want to make sure Tolerance Selection is checked and uncheck Only Select Visible Elements. That way, when we select from this side, it goes all the way around the capsule and doesn't just select the sides that we see here. Now, we want to select just under half of the top polygons. So leave like just one extra one on top of the midway point, and then just delete those. This will give us the light housing. Rename the mesh to "Housing". Now, make a sphere. We'll also give that a radius of 13 centimeters and set the segments to 12, so that way you can see our mesh lines up. Change the type to Hemisphere. This will just give us the top half. Now, press C to make this mesh editable and scale it down about 75% in the Y. We'll go back into Object mode. If you pull down, you can see the percentage. So we'll go to about 75%. We'll name this mesh "Lens". So now, what we want to do is optimize this Housing mesh. If you jump into Vertex mode, you can see even though we deleted the polys, all these verts are still here. We could come in here and manually select those and do that. But if you come up to Mesh, Commands, Optimize, it takes care of all that for you. That'll help reset our bounding box to what's actually there for this next step. Now, we want to go into the Axis Center tool, and I'm just going to hit Shift+C to bring up your Command Prompt. Just type in "Axis Center". We want to put this up to 100% in Y. We're centering the axis too. What this does is pushes the axis for the Housing all the way up to the top of the Y-axis. Now, if we go to the Housing coordinates and just zero out the Y, that'll bring us back down and line it up with the Lens. Select the Lens and the Housing, hit Alt+G to group, and rename "Light Assembly". Next, we'll make the cloner. Go to MoGraph, Cloner, rename the cloner to "Light Bank Cloner". Go to Object and make it a Grid Array Cloner. We want to use Render Instances. This will help keep the scene fast. For Account, we'll use 15 in X, 1 in Y, and 30 in Z. For size, we'll use 430 centimeters in X, 0 in Y, and 1,100 in Z. Now, make the Light Assembly a child of the cloner, and there's our light bank. Having the geometry grouped like this before we put it in the cloner allows us to add or subtract to this hierarchy. As long as we keep the size proportionate to what we put in there the first time, we can change out at will what's in there. So that makes it easy to add detail or create different versions without too much work. Now, let's go ahead and set this light bank up on its side as it will be in the final scene. To do this, we'll just select the Light Bank Cloner and go -90 in B. That'll kind of orientate this the way it needed to be in the final scene in your storyboard. Next, let's add some rotation to these so they don't look quite so uniform. With the Light Bank Cloner selected, go to MoGraph, Effector, Random. Rename this "Lights Random". Go down to the Parameter tab. Turn off Position. For Rotation, activate that and punch in 4.30 and -9.2. That will do it for our low res light bank. Now, what we want to do is convert this to an XRef. What that is going to do is extract all this scene into a separate file that we can edit anytime we want. Then, when we open this file up again or any other file that we use it in, the edits will automatically update. So to do that, just select these guys, Light Bank Cloner and Light Random. Go to Create XRef, Convert Object Selection to XRef. You can see I've already got a copy here. I'll just overwrite it. Call it "Light Bank Low Res". I'm going to replace mine. Yes. We'll go ahead and open it for editing. So as you can see, it's the same scene as we left over here. But we're going to continue to add cameras and lighting to this scene, whereas the light bank itself will just stay just as it is. We can continue to add detail like wires, or cages, anything we want. Then, when we come back to this scene or any other scene we drop the XRef into, all of those updates will automatically ripple through. So now that we've got the XRef created, since we're going to be flying over this light bank, it'll actually make it easier if we rotate this back 90 degrees in B. That'll just make it easier, since the Y-axis is pointing up now, to animate our cameras. So that's what we're going to do for this scene. We'll use this model here, and then we'll pull the XRef into the final scene to come. In the next video, we'll continue by animating the camera move for this shot.
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