Rudyard Lake Ltd asked me to create a 5 minute animation for their new visitor’s centre (and website) that would demonstrate to visitors how John Rennie built the “Dam-head” in 1797, during the industrial revolution.
I first had to do quite a bit of research, to find out exactly how the Dam and reservoir were constructed.
…the woodlands were generated with ICE, for long shots I reduced the polygon count or used pre-rendered PNGS with an alpha channel to reduce render times.
I then started writing a script for the V.O, and storyboarding the sequence, beginning with a map of Britain showing the first canal networks being built.
The valley and dam was recreated by converting aerial photos into vectors, importing them into XSI and converting them to meshes. For the valley I referenced several photos and painted height maps which creating the hilly terrain, it was then tweaked and detailed in EarthSculptor.
The woodlands were generated with ICE, for long shots I reduced the polygon count or used pre-rendered PNGS with an alpha channel to reduce render times so the PC I had at the time could render it all a bit faster!
For the textures I took lots of photos from Rudyard and photoshopped them to make them seamless.
One of the scenes required a group of men (in 18th Century garb) digging. As it was only a 10 second shot I needed a way to get them made and rigged fast. I discovered ‘Jimmy Rigger’ and worked with it’s creator-Enki in Belgium to help alpha-test it.