Texturing, Lighting and Finishing a Short Film

Taught by Lucas Martell

Course Number:
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Original Run Date:
October 2013 
6 hours 12 minutes 
If you've ever wanted to create a short film or expand your animation and directing skills, this is the course for you. Instructor Lucas Martell expands on the animation done during the previous term, this time focusing on lighting, texturing, shading, rendering and effects to finish the film in its entirety.

The course features an original short film created especially for fxphd. The 60-second short tells the tale of Larch, a cranky old tree whose branches seem to be a magnet for kites, balloons, and anything else that escapes the grasp of kids in the nearby park. But when one of those kids tries to reclaim his lost balloon, Larch doesn't want to give it up.

Lucas Martell is an animation director best known for his short film "Pigeon: Impossible" which has been shown in over 250 festivals in 43 countries, and won more than 20 awards including Best Short at the Oscar-qualifying Montreal World Film Festival. "Pigeon: Impossible" was also a viral hit, having passed 8 million views on YouTube. Lucas is currently working on his next animated film "The OceanMaker."
Texturing, Lighting and Finishing a Short Film
Watch our overview of the course

Class Listing

Class 1: Master Lighting

Master Lighting - We focus on creating a master lighting setup for the film, and doing initial look development to hone in on a visual style before detailed texture and material work commences.

Class 2: Texturing & Shading

Texturing & Shading - With our lighting style established, we can now texture the tree and create our shading network to establish the look of our surfaces.

Class 3: Leaves

Leaves - We cannot have a tree without leaves! This class will go through the R&D process to demonstrate the creation of complex character FX.

Class 4: Bees

Bees - The third character in our film is a swarm of bees. Although we use SoftImage ICE to create our swarm, we keep things as software agnostic as possible to demonstrate an approach that is both artist friendly yet technically flexible.

Class 5: Background

Background - The last thing we need to round out our frame is a set of background elements. Here we match the style set by our tree to create the background cityscape, background trees and the grassy hill in the foreground.

Class 6: Boy Texturing & Modeling

Boy Texturing & Modeling - The last asset to finish is our boy character. We not only texture him, but we also make some modeling tweaks and add features to the rig to bring him up to the level of the other assets.

Class 7: Boy Polish

Boy Polish - Now that the boy looks better, the animation needs more nuance to match the style of the film. We also give him some subtle facial animation so that he holds up in HD.

Class 8: Sound Design

Sound Design - Up until now, we have been working in a vacuum! It is time to add some sound effects and turn this into a proper film.

Class 9: Final Tweaks

Final Tweaks - Before we can render, it is time to take one final look at everything to make sure we have made all of the necessary tweaks.

Class 10: Final Rendering

Final Rendering - Lucas shows several optimizations we can make to our film to improve render times, reduce FG flicker, and even add some traditionally difficult effects like raytraced motion blur and depth of field.