I AM NIGHTMARE production diary #4

I'm still waiting on the audio from the voice actors- February 15th was the early bird deadline- I'll email them tomorrow (18th) and hopefully start to get some lines trickling in. Whilst I wait for that I'm creating walk/run/idle cycles for all the characters- They'll all have to walk or run some time in the film so it saves me a lot of time to do that all ahead of time instead of creating them as I need them.

Bog walking with his lil sword

So I create their cycles then convert them into motion clips so I can re-use them easily throughout the film- there's some guidelines/caveats/positives to using motion clips that I've found


  1. Always create motion clips at 0,0,0 world space
  2. Only include objects in the motion clips that HAVE to be there (don't include geometry if its not animated, only the IK controllers and joints)
  3. Always set a key on the first and last frame of a motion clip for all animated objects (if you create a walk wherein you didn't key lets say the hand joint then you try to blend it with another motion clip wherein that joint is animated-you'll get crazy results when you mix the two)
  4. Converting motion clips back to keyframes IS possible but it requires a lot of editing to get it back to a state wherein you can tweak the keys easily-I find it better to start over fram scratch)
  5. If you have deactivated certain animated parts of a motion clips hierarchy and you paste the character with clip into a new scene- the parts will reactivate and you'll have to deactivate them again
  6. Motion clips cause slower viewport fps than the keyframed animation sources
  7. Motion clips make it REALLY easy to retime an animation- simply stretch them to make the animation slower or faster and the results are usually very smooth
  8. Blending motion clips is also usually very smooth as long as both clips have keys on all the same objects

Fran walking on the virtual treadmill
As of now I've done walk/run cycles for 7 characters with 13 to go- work has been a little slow this week because for reasons unknown to doctors I lost the hearing in my left ear a week ago today- and its been ringing really loudly ever since- today is the last day I have to take the medication they put me on but it makes me feel dizzy and horrible so I've been getting seasick while animating haha- So right now my priority is getting my hearing back and having the ringing stop AND finishing these walk cycles ^_^

The doctor told me that recently he saw a patient that woke up and was totally deaf in both ears one day?! He said acute hearing loss is fairly common- and they don't really know the cause in most cases- a virus? constricted blood vessels? Tumor?! 0_0  I had %80 loss in one ear when they tested me this week so I'm just glad that it wasn't %100 and not in both! I think its getting better already...

Before you yell at me for not taking better care of myself ^_^ I'm taking a bunch of vitamins and supplements to try to fix this hearing thing as well as eating healthy food and resting a lot- its just not as fun as working on the film.

This brings me to something I always remind myself of- LIFE is a gift- Good health is a GIFT- we never know when we may lose either of those- so if you have a dream you can chase TODAY, do it! As you never know when you might lose your chance!

A painter should paint- a musician should create and play music- a filmmaker should make films- a writer should write- If you are one of those things and are NOT actively moving towards your dreams of creating do it before its too late!

I learned another lesson this week- don't delete production assets you might want to re-use on account of the disk space it takes up 0_o Hard drives are cheap- get another one and copy it over- I DIDN'T DO THIS- so I have to recreate a bunch of my matte painting assets that I used on HSM that I planned to use on I AM NIGHTMARE- starry sky backgrounds, cloudy skies, pre-made rolling fog etc- it's going to cost me some hours to recreate the stuff- very amateur move M dot! 0_o

Well back to the walk cycles for me!