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Catalyst Wake - Update 01

Updated: Feb 8, 2021

I've been in "pre-production" on Catalyst Wake for two weeks, and this week will mark the production starting point, as it's the first time I'm actually creating finished CGs for the story, so it's time for weekly progress reports to the return to this blog!

First of all, I know I said that there would be fully animated sequences in an update post a little while ago. But I've decided against it, due to the workload. This means I'm scrapping some animation that I'd already completed, but thankfully it was just two short clips, which weren't too great anyway, so no loss there.

However, just because there won't be "full animation" doesn't mean the novel can't have "animated touches" here and there, similar to what I did in Methods when the detectives were on the train and the background was moving.

Pre-Production Phase

Here's what I got done in Pre-Production:

  • Completed the scripts for the three sequel stories (though some revisions are needed)

  • Modeled seven characters

  • Completed a background, and got halfway done with another background

  • Completed the Bios menu

Things I already had finished on the project:

  • The first three scenes of MIST (They'll have to be revised)

  • The UI (90% of it will have to be redone)

  • The first prequel story, "EXPERIMENTS" (I might actually cut this story and replace it with something else — we'll see)

This wasn't as much as I would've liked to have completed, but it's a really good head start.

I was all set to start work drawing CGs today, and I'll probably still be able to do some, but I underestimated how long it would take to render out the backgrounds. I'd set them up to start rendering last night, but it's already afternoon and they're only about halfway.

I clearly need to rethink how I render backgrounds. What I usually do is render every image I need simultaneously. In hindsight, having them render one at a time will let me get to work faster, as there will already be a handful done rendering by the time I get up in the morning. This wasn't as much of an issue for Methods and other things, because the backgrounds were treated as more of a backdrop. But the approach here is very different.

I'll go into the process more in coming weeks, and why I've decided to do it this way, but basically, Catalyst Wake uses 3D models of the characters, placed in the environment, as a guide for the drawing phase. I render a version of the background with the 3d character models and a version without them, doubling the amount of total renders.

A big mistake I made was not reducing the render quality for the 3D character model renders — which nobody will see anyway — to reduce rendering time. That's something I'd planned to do but I didn't think it'd be a big issue — oh well!

My goal for this week is to finish this scene, to start off a bit slow so I can get some numbers on how long it actually takes to implement CGs, how many I can do in a day, stuff like that.

Until next time,

— LockedOn.

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