Week 02 Progress: Refined Concept and Workflow Tests
Mentors Feedback Summary
- Shot 01 FX chunks are too large. The effect needs to have more variation. It also needs to be softer and more elegant.
- Integrate the main color scheme (purple, gold, brown) into all shots, especially purple.
- References are good and work for live action plate.
- Shoot live-action plate with packaging reference. 

- Make sure the live-action plate gives off the luxurious and opulent look. 
- The composition needs to improve for shots 02 and 03.
- Work with field shifts. 
- Make sure shots don't look empty.
- Add layers of elements for composition and establish scale.
- Audio really helps set the tone of the piece and puts the viewer in the world.
- All shots feel the same composition and camera-wise. 
- Add camera moves and direct focus on the main components in the shot; avoid the use of distracting elements.
- Melted chocolate needs to feel thick and rich.
- Use materials like satin for set dressing. Right now, it looks cozy, which is not the right look for the commercial.
- The chocolate box could be forming throughout all the shots and be revealed at the end. 

- Prop eggs look good.
- Connect the shots
- Research camera moves and composition
- Film live-action plate
- Pick up reserved equipment 
- Refine FX (particle shapes)
- Contact sound designer
My Tasks:
- Set design
- Test shot 01 composition before filming
- Look Development 
- Chocolate box modeling
Team Updates
My team and I had a meeting to discuss our plan for this week. We decided that we need to do more planning and refining. During the meeting, we came up with a few ideas to connect the shots and incorporate Molly's (our mentor) suggestion of revealing the chocolate box at the end of the video. Although we think that this idea works, we're not sure about the timing and composition of everything. However, we plan on testing it out. 
We recently had a meeting with a sound designer to discuss the project's requirements and timeline. In order to help the sound designer understand when we need everything, I created a timeline. We were also mindful of the sound designer's schedule and availability. We are pleased to have Sawyer Bisson as our sound designer for this project.​​​​​​​
I have ordered several fabrics in different colors and textures, including satin and velvet, for the set design. Bridget, a member of the Render Rebels team, kindly provided us with some additional fabric options to choose from as well. We have also confirmed our reservation for all the equipment we need for filming. Our main concern is the weather, but fortunately, my house gets enough natural light, and we have additional warm lighting kits as a backup if the weather stays gloomy on Friday.
Filming Process
On Friday, we began filming at 9 am and ended at around 12 pm. The weather was initially gloomy, but as time passed, the sun started to shine, and we had to relocate our set several times to achieve the perfect lighting. At times, the shot was either over or under-lit, so we used a mirror to direct the light and added a mesh on top for some texture. For the set design, I took inspiration from modern still-life setups for product photography. 
Set Design References
While sourcing more fabric for our shoot, I found inspiration in still-life product photography.
Set Design for Filming
I have shared the footage from our filming session with Shashank to extract the required plates to proceed with compositing. Next, I proceeded to refine the 3D previs based on Yanni's setup and explored materials for the look development process. In order to test the materials and colors together, I used a look development rig provided by my teammate Zach from The Mill mentorship to create a material quilt.
Previs Update
The team and I discussed ways to connect our shots. We tried the solution Molly suggested, created a few different options, and settled for one that we felt more confident executing. We hope to discuss further with the mentors before moving forward. Yanni found a reference video for shots 01 & 02, and I assisted with refining camera movements.
Rough Environment Design
While researching for environmental inspiration, I came across Carl Warner, a foodscape artist. One of his pieces inspired me to create a rough layout for shots 01 and 02.
Look Development Rig (Material Quilt & Turntable)
I started by designing a material quilt that would help us visualize the appearance of the 3D elements in our commercial. I applied the chocolate quilt shader to the chocolate bunny and created a turntable animation to test it under different lighting conditions. For the environment map I chose an HDRI from our filming set.  Additionally, I modeled the chocolate box and worked on the textures in Substance Painter. However, I encountered an issue while exporting the textures from Substance Painter, particularly with the metallic maps. I will have to address this problem next week.
Sound Update
Sawyer has been looking into different sound options for the commercial. As we are currently updating our previs, Sawyer will refine it for the new previs next week. We are also hoping to finalize the timing to facilitate the sound design process.
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