Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Video Animation from Start to Finish

By Ethan Brammeier

        This week I wanted to discuss our group project in studio so far. Many of you reading this probably know about our studio project already from previous blogs, so I won’t bore you with all the details.  It case you don’t know, our project is to design a new legacy plan for the Olympic site in Barra de Tijuca, Brazil.  For finals week our group will present three things: a model, printed posters, and a digital presentation.  Part of our digital presentation will consist of an animated video of our master plan design.   I will share a link to this animation at the end of this post. 
The most frustrating thing about doing animations is knowing all the hours you put into making a video that only takes a few minutes to watch.  Many people don’t understand all the work that goes into such a short presentation.  Although it may seem like a waste of time it’s all worth it in the end.  A video can give someone a good idea of what your project is about without even talking about it.  A video can produce much more meaning that one still image.  I’m going to explain all of the software I used to make the animation and also how long it took to be produced.  

The six programs used in the animation:
·      SketchUp
·      Photoshop
·      AutoCAD
·      Revit
·      3ds Max
·      Lumion
Even though I used six programs, this could still be done with only two or three programs.  I just used the ones that I could perform the task with quicker.  I used SketchUp mainly for the topography of our site.  SketchUp uses Google Earth which uses satellite to receive the correct land elevations.  It only allows you to import a (1 mile x 1 mile) plot of land at a time, so I had to do this about 50 times because our site was so large.  It also has a watermark on each plot so I will have to Photoshop that out (you will notice the watermarks in the preliminary animation).  From there I went to modeling our site that our group designed.  We designed our site two-dimensionally in AutoCAD.  I took the AutoCAD file and imported it into Revit.  I used Revit to model the buildings and pathways three-dimensionally.  Anything that was too difficult to model in Revit was done in 3ds Max.  So far, the only things I’ve modeled in 3ds Max were the sloped pathways.  The final program that I spent the most time using was Lumion.  This is the program that I used to make the animation.  Once I imported the topography and site model, I started to add trees in the right location.  The topography shows the satellite images from Google Earth so you can see exactly where the existing buildings are located near our site.  Up to this point I have spent between 75-100 hours (maybe more) in all the programs to create a one-minute video.  This preliminary video animation will only show a few pathways on our site and the rest of the surrounding site.  Towards the end of the semester I will share the complete video animation with our entire site designed.  Enjoy!!!

(Choose 1080p HD or 720p HD in the settings tab and let it buffer for best quality)

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