Portfolio page is growing

by | Apr 24, 2021 | Production Journal

The portfolio page is growing with more design work for the film Traces Retraced. We are cleaning more videos from modeling the security vehicle to post soon. Using the shrink-wrap technique is a fantastic way to make modeling work feel more creative by removing the need to constantly think of topology (the placement of the polygons that make a mesh or object).

Portfolio page security vehicle transparent or cutout view

We have many more vehicles and hope to start hiring either more contractors or our first employees soon! At that time, they will build the other vehicles. Some of the current work revolves around character redesigns. While Mr. Vargas was in college pursuing his master’s degree, he used some automatic systems to speed up the modeling. However, Mr. Vargas made sure it was obvious some re-design was going to happen after graduation. That is where more contractors will come in under his guidance.

His current vision is great and we will do all we can to make it come to fruition. Caribbean art and cultures are super awesome and we are learning a lot from the project itself. Implementing his visions for this film is a lot of fun. Mr. Vargas calls himself a “frustrated archeologist” and sometimes “a historian wannabe” … hey, his words, not ours.

The shrink-wrap technique is quite simple. One makes all the relevant main or overall parts of the object, as simply divided as possible, and sets them as the “receiving” object of the wrap. Then, one can focus on modeling each detail by itself to make it as refined as the details of the objects comprising the larger object. It removes a lot of technical tedium, and is quite brilliant. We learned this from Mr. Vargas, who in turn learned it from Chris Plush while doing his MFA at Pacific Northwest College of Art. Thanks Chris, from the contractors at Daca Daguao Digital Design.

Why is it good to have a portfolio page?

It is always good to have a journal and images out for both marketing and the “behind the scenes” content that other films and studios create. But one thing in particular moved Mr. Vargas to require the studio to have a journal for every film. He told a story from the book The Illusion of Life by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. Mr. Vargas recounted that the film Fantasia was full of moments where the animators could not replicate things they loved later in life because they were working so fast that they had not kept track of how they did it. Of course, we did not believe Mr. Vargas, so we went to the source to find out for ourselves (he encourages us not to take his word as the last word — unless it is business related, of course!)

One of the activities he implemented and wants to make permanent when the studio has regular employees is an animation movie afternoon — not night, afternoon. “What??? You want to pay me to sit and watch a movie one afternoon a week?” Yeah, don’t feel bad, we also don’t believe him. But, are we going to complain if it becomes true? Heck no! Anyway, both of us contractors had the “homework” of watching “New Gods: Nezha Reborn” the other day. It is impressive to say the least. We discussed the film afterwards, and Mr. Vargas asked us to come up with ideas for how to make some changes. He liked the first draft and wants more ideas. So, pretty cool “future boss” to work for (crossing fingers to get hired here).

Also, what business owner gives contractors a voice in the company blog? As contractors, we cannot use our names. But, we can use our voices to talk about some aspects of the production — with his approval, of course. Still, that is cool to us. Stay tuned for more updates and feel free to sign up here or on one of the sidebars for the newsletter to stay up-to-the-minute (not really, we all have lives you know!) with the production. Now you know why a portfolio page is invaluable!

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