Here are some long overdue news about Mescaline, a short animation we are producing internally to test appleseed in a small production environment.
We've been very silent these past few months, and we are definitely late on our planning (we originally planned to complete the short around end of January, we're now targetting end of April at the latest), but we've been working hard, progress has been steady and we now have some stuff to show.
On the artistic side, François Gilliot has completed the modeling, texturing and shading of all the assets that we'll use during the animation. Rigging and animation is roughly 70% done.
On the technical side, appleseed is roughly feature-complete to render the short. Our crazy pipeline, simultaneously involving 3ds Max, Maya and Mayaseed is in place and working nicely, and we're now fine-tuning it. Our render tools and infrastucture, based on Dropbox, is also in place and working nicely. This is such a cool setup that it will deserve its own post.
We just completed a test render of shot 10 and despite a number of known issues in the result such as wrong specular highlights on the girl's hair, wrong Fresnel term on the robe, wrong shader on the grass, sampling noise and so on, these few seconds of animation provide a nice end-to-end validation of our pipeline and our workflow.
We'll now be making test renders of other key shots of the animation and we'll be posting them online in the following weeks, before we start the final render around March. Stay tuned!