Welcome

My name is JP. I am the owner/operator of Cephei Studios. I became an obscene fan of 3D Photorealistic animation watching cinematic game trailers. For almost a decade I've wanted to make a 3D photorealistic animation series for adults. For those who don't know, adult animation began way back in the early 70's with Ralph Bakshi. I remember the first time I saw Fire & Ice and Heavy Metal and I was just completely blown away. I fell into anime and then gaming as kid. By the time I was middle aged game cinematics had come so far I (and many people like me) were wondering why hadn't a company just made a movie with game cinematics - but better? Then Love, Death + Robots came out and blew everyone away. That's when I realized there really IS a market out there for adults who are into animation - not just the stuff for kids. And it's HUGE. So after I put together a team (lots of failures leading up to that point) we did a short animation on a single computer, and given what we had to work with, it came out alright. We submitted it for a grant - we did NOT get the grant - and now I'm running a kickstarter campaign to raise the money. Right now I work a regular full time job and I do Cephei Studios stuff on the side. I'm lucky to have a job that pays okay with benefits that allows me enough time to do what I love to. My dream is to get Cephei Studios up and running as a fully funded animation company - which just means we win a contract from a streaming distributor who will finance an animated series (which I've scripted already) for several seasons. Thanks for having me here. Here's the link to my Discord server if you want to reach out and talk about anything: Cephei Studios Discord
 

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Welcome. I've thought about doing a short cgi story for this video game i play, Dota. They do a yearly annual short film contest.
Such a rabbit hole to go down though, just focused on my writing instead.

Welcome to IT and best of luck !
 
Hi, we're doing something similar. Nice to meet you. We're currently developing using UE5 beta.
TERRIFIC!!! Your savepoint website looks very nice. I love it and I bookmarked it. I'll go through it a little bit more. We are also planning to use UE5, although have you looked into Clarisse?? It handles a lot more polygons than really anything, but my animator says UE5 and Clarisse are not compatible. I guess Clarisse can't take FBX files or something. It's something that we'll need to get through if we get the short film done and we go into production for a series. We're trying to create a big studio feel without all of the bloat. High quality animation can be done AFFORDABLY (and I've spent a lot of money trying to prove that point:) ). Here's a link discussing Clarisse: YouTube Clarisse Explainer Here's the Facebook link to our site: Cephei Studios Facebook The kickstarter page is actually little neater and more succinct than the Facebook page but the Facebook has a little more content. Eventually I'm going to have to get a proper web page done, but right now all of my financing is focused on pushing the Kickstarter page out there for people to see. That costs A LOT of $$$$$ if we're going to reach our goal. I went in a more fantasy sci-fi direction. Just a loose discussion because I went through your pipeline little. I'm basically a writer. I have no animation experience. I have no artistic ability. I can't even draw stick figures. I struggled mightily getting models done. Even when I GOT a modeler I wasn't going to be able to afford him to do all of the models. Although I'm a writer I'm a very visual person. I wanted to SEE what my characters looked like. So I bought Character Creator 3 and all of the character models you see rendered were done with that by me. It ISN'T the final version of the character, but it's what I call a character concept model. Character development is important for us because there are different classes of characters (which I discuss in my video) that all look different. So our character pipeline is: 1) Character Concept Model (done by me in CC3). 2) Character concept art (which is where the concept art revises the concept model in his own software - basically making all of the revisions and improvements I want). 3) Character Modeling (where the ACTUAL modeler deploys all of the revisions into the model and the model is made ready for UE5 for the animator to take). Character Creator 3 is very LIMITED in what it can do, but it allows a less than novice like me to translate my ideas into form instead of using a pinterest board and 1000+ word emails to explain what I want. It also allows me to create renders to share with people. Sorry. I am a writer. I do tend to prattle on about the animation because I am passionate about it.
 
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Welcome. I've thought about doing a short cgi story for this video game i play, Dota. They do a yearly annual short film contest.
Such a rabbit hole to go down though, just focused on my writing instead.

Welcome to IT and best of luck !
I didn't even know what DOTA was until I saw it on Netflix. The DOTA: Dragons Blood series is amazing on Netflix. I'm sure you've seen it.
 
TERRIFIC!!! Your savepoint website looks very nice. I love it and I bookmarked it. I'll go through it a little bit more. We are also planning to use UE5, although have you looked into Clarisse?? It handles a lot more polygons than really anything, but my animator says UE5 and Clarisse are not compatible. I guess Clarisse can't take FBX files or something. It's something that we'll need to get through if we get the short film done and we go into production for a series. We're trying to create a big studio feel without all of the bloat. High quality animation can be done AFFORDABLY (and I've spent a lot of money trying to prove that point:) ). Here's a link discussing Clarisse: YouTube Clarisse Explainer Here's the Facebook link to our site: Cephei Studios Facebook The kickstarter page is actually little neater and more succinct than the Facebook page but the Facebook has a little more content. Eventually I'm going to have to get a proper web page done, but right now all of my financing is focused on pushing the Kickstarter page out there for people to see. That costs A LOT of $$$$$ if we're going to reach our goal. I went in a more fantasy sci-fi direction. Just a loose discussion because I went through your pipeline little. I'm basically a writer. I have no animation experience. I have no artistic ability. I can't even draw stick figures. I struggled mightily getting models done. Even when I GOT a modeler I wasn't going to be able to afford him to do all of the models. Although I'm a writer I'm a very visual person. I wanted to SEE what my characters looked like. So I bought Character Creator 3 and all of the character models you see rendered were done with that by me. It ISN'T the final version of the character, but it's what I call a character concept model. Character development is important for us because there are different classes of characters (which I discuss in my video) that all look different. So our character pipeline is: 1) Character Concept Model (done by me in CC3). 2) Character concept art (which is where the concept art revises the concept model in his own software - basically making all of the revisions and improvements I want). 3) Character Modeling (where the ACTUAL modeler deploys all of the revisions into the model and the model is made ready for UE5 for the animator to take). Character Creator 3 is very LIMITED in what it can do, but it allows a less than novice like me to translate my ideas into form instead of using a pinterest board and 1000+ word emails to explain what I want. It also allows me to create renders to share with people. Sorry. I am a writer. I do tend to prattle on about the animation because I am passionate about it.
I took a look at the Clarisse video, hadn't heard about it for some reason. It's core functionality is very interesting, since I like the idea of meta shader controls. I doubt this will work for us though, because of a number of factors.

Here are a few samples of our early trial scenes we have created during the learning process.




We have rebuilt the animation pipeline about 6 times now, across 11 months. UE5 will likely be our final platform. Nanite in UE5 makes unlimited poly budgets possible, and Lumen makes GI and ray tracing possible. We went through every engine and worked with each one, testing what was achievable at budget x. Max, Maya, C4d, etc, all provide slightly better results, in some cases much better, but we ended up here for 3 main reasons.

1. Frame time - UE5 is getting me similar frames in about 1-2% of the frame time. Stuff that took a week to render is now taking a few hours.

2. Existing resource base - in terms of assets available to work with, and in workers that have existing experience with the system, UE affords us literally hundreds of times the options we can get in something like blender, which was a serious contender at one point. You can get a lot of models in default formats like FBX, but the UE market is cash rich, and includes hundreds of millions in grants for shared content development, something NFP companies like blender can't accomplish. This means $85 for a few trees in blender, and free forests in UE.

3. The base software is free, meaning that I can amass unlimited interns and equip them with the technology, allowing total compatibility, and internal sharing of all assets licensed to the parent company. This synergy is kind of at the core of what we're doing here, 50 people join, we buy 100 grand in assets, and then all 50 people can work with all the assets under the corporate umbrella. So basically the true production power comes from everyone being able to be on the same page and share resources. Transferring data from one 3d suite to another is a significant time sink also, so we just got rid of it for the most part. We are still using marvelous designer for physics clothing. It kind of turns into a tower of Babel situation when you have dozens of people trying to talk in the lexicon of a dozen separate programs. It's great for example to just be able to hand off a project in progress to another dev and have them work on a section and just mail it back.

No need to sweat the verbosity, lol, I'm fairly verbose myself as anyone here will tell you.
 
My name is JP. I am the owner/operator of Cephei Studios. I became an obscene fan of 3D Photorealistic animation watching cinematic game trailers. For almost a decade I've wanted to make a 3D photorealistic animation series for adults. For those who don't know, adult animation began way back in the early 70's with Ralph Bakshi. I remember the first time I saw Fire & Ice and Heavy Metal and I was just completely blown away. I fell into anime and then gaming as kid. By the time I was middle aged game cinematics had come so far I (and many people like me) were wondering why hadn't a company just made a movie with game cinematics - but better? Then Love, Death + Robots came out and blew everyone away. That's when I realized there really IS a market out there for adults who are into animation - not just the stuff for kids. And it's HUGE. So after I put together a team (lots of failures leading up to that point) we did a short animation on a single computer, and given what we had to work with, it came out alright. We submitted it for a grant - we did NOT get the grant - and now I'm running a kickstarter campaign to raise the money. Right now I work a regular full time job and I do Cephei Studios stuff on the side. I'm lucky to have a job that pays okay with benefits that allows me enough time to do what I love to. My dream is to get Cephei Studios up and running as a fully funded animation company - which just means we win a contract from a streaming distributor who will finance an animated series (which I've scripted already) for several seasons. Thanks for having me here. Here's the link to my Discord server if you want to reach out and talk about anything: Cephei Studios Discord
DM me! I would love to talk.
 
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