I really love field of 3D CG.
It's probably the compelling combination between the flexibility, power and expressiveness of the art, and the depth of the science behind this wonderful field.
The aspirations of being able to produce high level images and animation and to explore the different aspects of the field, led me formulate a pretty ambitious (over-reaching, almost crazy) plan.
To get to know this field well, I told myself, I'll try to make a complex animation "by the book" (or rather books, as there are many excellent references for each of the various stages in the pipleline).
I chose on of my favourite books as the plot of the animation: the ingenious "The Darkness that Comes Before" by R. Scott Bakker, a complex epic fantasy novel.
Evidently, as the book has a thick plot spread over 604 pages, I can't cover nearly that much in a short animation. So... I thought I'll create a mock trailer for an imaginary film based on this book.
According to the plan I devised for myself, I'll start with the concept art, create a clear design, then do some serious modelling, move on to texturing, rigging, animation, lighting, rendering and then post-processing and editing.
I'll take the opportunity to learn as much as possible about each of these aspects when I get to it in my project.
As befitting such a bloated plan, it's going pretty slow so far.
I actually started with reading a bit about writing and storytelling for animation, and wrote a short script and description for the trailer, which is kind of a master-plan.
Then I tried visualizing some of the scenes in 2D sketches. I quickly discovered my Photoshop skills need lots of honing, so I spent some time working on that, learning speed-painting and better texture painting and improving these skills in the process.
But still I wasn't happy with my results. Tutorials by pros showcasing incredible professional images probably led me to look at my own work in a very different light than others do (a few of my friends really gawked at some images I showed them, and couldn't believe these are just some early brush tests done in 10-30 minutes. I couldn't be nearly as impressed, knowing how easy it was to make, and how far I still have to go).
So where am I now? Nor much further then there I fear.
Still sketching. I'm afraid I might be trying to get too complex and realistic results right on the start, instead of creating more rough sketches to get a feel for possible designs, and only after getting one or two of these, focus on more details paintings.
But although I feel I might be over-reaching, trying to do everything like a big studio would, I am learning a lot and enjoying the process immensely.
More updates to come with progress!