The last week has been a bit of a blur of rendering, animating and compositing, but I am definitely getting closer to a final animation. It really is difficult to anticipate all the work that comes with such a simple story and short animation, and it is something that I definitely will not underestimate again in the future. Saying that, I'm confident that I will have the animation completed and the story will be resolved at around 2-minutes in length (Perhaps a little longer)
One thing which I realised I have done right is the way I created my sets. I created about four scenes with a very strict set (only works from a few camera angles) which allowed me to pinpoint what needed to be worked on and avoided putting detail into anything that wouldn't be seen. This has been really helpful over the last few weeks when animating, as I can just drop the character into the scene, animate him and tweak the lighting before rendering. It is also true though, that animating has been by far the biggest challenge over the last few weeks, but I'm hoping the characters are portrayed well enough for the story to come through fine.
Over the next couple of days, I have about two shots of Pre-viz to finalise and render as well as produce the making of, so there is no spare time floating around.. On a sidenote, I am really enjoying the compositing side of things, working in After Effects with painted backdrops and blending 2D into 3D using Maya cameras, and compositing Effects over the action. I'm considering putting more emphasis on this, and I think I'd really enjoy focusing on this in a future project, perhaps learning the full possibilities of After Effects or finally getting the chance to try and learn Nuke.
Here are a few shots of the later part of the animation, where the suitcase is catching up with the train. The animating has had a few headaches (Everything moving at speed while things are individually animating) but it has also come with a huge bonus of learning how to solve or move around problems.
I think it is very easy to get tunnel-vision at these stages, and forget how the animation looks to an audience rather than to yourself, if anyone has any comments of things that look 'off' through the last few posts then I won't be too annoyed when it comes to fixing them (But I definitely will be a little)