October 2019 Summary


  • Condensed my to-do list and moved a lot of development notes into project-specific “NOTES.rst” files.
  • Started project stubs in Eclipse.
  • Worked on “Devastation of Xmas” animation for SWRT Xmas play.
  • Development work on ABX. Lunatics-specific ink compositing script.
  • Improving Eclipse workspace and training.
  • Revisions to Central Market set with billboards and products.

Oct 10, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Background for Shot LA-1-D

Given our relatively limited information about the design of the “Gagarin Start” launchpad, our 3D model doesn’t quite hold up for extremely close shots, like this one of the crew on the stairs (a fairly standard mission photo, which is where the reference comes from). I tried just “cheating” it, but the result was a little dodgy.

So I decided to go back to the reference material and just draw a 2D backdrop for this shot, in which I wasn’t planning to move the camera anyway. Only the actual stairs and the crew will be created in 3D for the final shot.

It’s still a pretty complex drawing! This thing is a beast!

The angles are weird, it’s a very strange structure, with lots of trusswork, bearings of unbelievable size. Because what we’re looking at there are the articulated supports for the huge gantry arms that hold the rocket on the pad and provide access to it — although I’d have a tough time being more precise about which is which.  I do know the elevator that goes up the main access arm/tower is just to the left of the crew in this shot, hidden behind some of the structural elements.

After experimenting with Krita a little bit, I decided I’d get the best results drawing the background in Inkscape as a pure vector-drawing. So that’s what I’m doing here. I might do some over or under painting later to get more nuance in the shading, but I think the look straight out of Inkscape might turn out to be a good match to our NPR 3D style.

I’ve been at it about two and a half hours now. Clearly will be at it for a few more. The shot will be on screen in the episode for about 2-3 seconds — just long enough to see our space travelers waving to the crowd!

Oct 19, 2019 at 4:01 PM

Set Dressing – Central Market

We’ve had this set for quite awhile now, but it’s a bit sparse, especially since it’s supposed to be a busy open-air market and shopping center.

My original concept was to use a lot of billboards on this set, but I finally decided it’d actually be easier to just do some simple models. Here, I’ve added some of the extra decorative boxes for the vendor table where Georgiana gets hers. And I’ve put some bookstore shelves in the glass shops behind it (will they have such large bookstores in 2040? — well, probably some anyway).

Also, this shot shows how much the shiny shop windows are going to reflect the are behind the camera, so I can see I’m going to have to populate that area pretty well, too.

A lot of these are really simple models — the boxes on the table are really just stretched cubes (6 vertices) and hexagonal “cylinder” meshes (14 vertices), for example. The books are just color and bump textures on more stretched cubes. Very low-poly.

Two shots in the “touring Baikonur” sequence are on this set.

Oct 25, 2019 at 4:01 PM

Open Market Test Render

This has been a very incomplete set for a long time — I’ve been adding set dressing props to it, improving the materials and textures, and generally try to make it look better. It’s not there yet, but this is already a big improvement.

Video Summary

[Added, November 2023]

Project-related activities from October 2019 (edited in November 2023).

This month, I worked on assets for the Lunatics pilot, most notably the set-dressing for the open-air market set in the “Touring Baikonur” sequence. This month also almost the entire production of “The Devastation of the Xmas”, a short film that I produced for a production by the Southwest Reprise Theatre in Fort Worth, TX. This was part of an extremely silly community-theater holiday play, which my daughter acted in.

I was also at the experimental phase of developing what has come to be the “Ink/Paint Compositing” feature in our “Anansi Blender Extensions” (ABX) add-on for Blender.

I began recording daily screencast worklogs in January 2019, but it took me quite awhile to work out a system for what to do with them. I did not create any “topical summaries” or “monthly timelapse” videos from them at the time. In November 2023, I decided to start doing the 2019 logs after completing the current ones, as I find the monthly timelapses are much better for documentation.

And then I decided to create the slightly-redacted “timelapse” version to put here.


Lunatics Production:

00:12 Drawing the 2D flats for shot LA-1-D, in the launch sequence (Krita, then Inkscape).
07:09 Modeling the 3D steps and railing for LA-1-D.
07:44 Laying out the 2D background trees flats for the “Cosmonaut Trees” set (for “Touring Baikonur”).
08:15 Drawing image textures for the decorative boxes on the Market Set.
10:14 Clothing rack flats for Market Set.
10:43 Bookshop shelves for Market Set.
11:45 Fruit rack (apples).
13:19 Folded clothing rack.
13:22 Decorative box 3D models.
15:28 Integration of set and props into shot TB-2-D (Hiromi buying one of the boxes for Georgiana from a salesman in the market).
15:42 Working on TB-2-E (Hiromi and Georgiana walking out of the market).
15:52 Bookcase color and bump texture images.
16:24 Bookcase 3D models.
16:45 Integrating bookcases with market set (bookshop).
17:15 Flip-flop plastic storage crates.
18:44 Market Set 2D backdrop flat (Inkscape).
20:17 Additional product racks for Market Set (boxes, cans, & bottles).
21:07 Placing products in Market Set (Note the ad hoc python scripting to distribute mesh changes).
22:44 Test renders with new set in shot TB-2-D/E.
23:07 Adding billboard extras to the shots TB-2-D/E (note that BB extras are in the shot files, not sets).

Other Production:

24:43 Editing SWRT performance of “Alice in Wonderland” (video of play), courtroom scene.
25:48 “Devastation of the Xmas”: clipart-based Blender cut-out animation, including some animated sprites made in Inkscape.


46:10 ABX development. Set-up in Eclipse. Blender API experimentation. Ink/Paint compositing feature.

Music for this Month:

B2B – Short and Sharp FMA Microsongs / CC0 v1.0 (Public Domain)

Bruce McCosar
“The Next Age of Adventure”
“Rain Just Keeps Coming Down”
“To Journey Over Ice”
“The Last Word Is Hope”
“Walking Through Daydreams”
“Charlie Always Remembered”
“The Island”
“How Many Miles Beyond”
from “The Next Age of Adventure 1” Jamendo #65510 / CC By-SA 3.0

Bruce McCosar
“The Last Star Before Daybreak”
“Strange Lights in the Sky”
“To Dance in Nameless Places”
“Dreams from the Shore”

from “The Next Age of Aventure 2” Jamendo #65552 / CC BY-SA 3.0


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Terry Hancock is the director and producer of "Lunatics!" and the founder for "Lunatics Project" and the associated "Film Freedom" Project. Misskey (Professional/Director Account) Mastodon (Personal Account)