top of page


This is my dailies blog for the current short animated film production, Kaghati, releasing Spring 2021. I will be posting progress updates on story, lighting, compositing, look development, rendering and directing/team management.



The team has been chugging away over the winter break and making exciting progress across the whole pipeline!

These are my goals for myself to complete over the course of the next 10 weeks (Winter Quarter):

  • Continue to host weekly meetings every Saturday and provide feedback for the team

  • Finish lookdev on remaining assets (kites, lapa-lapa, exterior environment)

  • Light 10 shots + promo material and assign & set up 5 shots for lighting dept. to work on (+ give notes)

  • Render and composite 10 shots (refine the post-production pipeline)

Update 1 | Kite lookdev progress + set dressing

In total, the grandpa's kite garage has 11 variations of kite models. This week I focused on finishing the shading and texture variations of 6 of them--I will be finishing the other 5 next week.

Kite Garage Concepts by Alyssa Lee


Kite Des​ign Concepts + Basecolor maps by Alyssa Lee

(I like to do absolutely everything on power point because its the easiest way for me to visually  organize images!)

Kite references

Update 2 | Promo material (Lighting)

Every 2 weeks we try to post new content for our film's instagram page--this week I also worked on lighting our girl character (Alya Angkasa)'s introduction post which will be a render of her passport with her character profile information. (similar to the grandpa's id card render!)

Photo Jan 08, 6 27 06 PM.png
image (6).png

These are some pretty noisy test renders of the full sequence of Alya's facial personality animation! (The sequence was made to test out the rig with the expression sheet concept art.

image (7).png



This week I focused on completing the final renders on the remaining kite assets. I also added final touches to the sh01 lighting and comp.

Update 1 | Sh01 Lighting + Comp

Based off of notes from my previous version, I worked on adding stronger shadows from the lamp light source as well as adding more fill to the room overall and toning down the distracting specular highlight on the scissors. I think its ready for the final render!


Update 2 | Remaining Kites Lookdev

Fish Kite, Kaghati Kolope, Kite D, Hero Kite, Set Dressing updates

This week I continued to flush out the remaining kite textures as well as place them into the set dress master file to make sure the color scheme works well together and isn't too overwhelming.



Update 1 | Feedback to the team across pipeline

Something that I'm realizing after taking on a directing position on a project like this, is that a lot of time is spent just reviewing everyone else's progress as well as continuously providing feedback and notes. It is quite a lot to think about on top of also contributing to the artistic production myself, but definitely enjoyable and a good learning experience for balancing workload!

here are some of the progress pictures from the team across lighting, sim and texturing.

Screenshot (845).png
Image from iOS (1).jpg

1. Lighting Shot 03 by Ivan

Gave notes that the exposure might be a touch too high and that we need to work on matching lighting styles, but love the dynamism created and expressive lines to go with the warm atmosphere!


2. Final touches to textures by Lorena

'faking' the look of depth in the keyhole by coloring in the area a dark brown.

3. RC Plane Lookdev progress by Lorena

Deciding on a Pattern and color scheme for the RC Plane. We discussed different options for what looks balanced with Alya's color scheme, as well as what amount of stripes etc. would look cohesive within the plane design itself.

4. Cloth Sim for Shot 20 & Alya's walk cycle by Christian

Notes on too much bunching up of cloth on the shoulder areas, as well as weird glitches popping up appearing like render noise.



Update 1 | Setting up Lighting pipeline with CFX + shaders + set

During this week's meeting, we spent a good chunk of time discussing how we want to set up the shot files to get all the assets and simulated cloth + groom for lighting. We ended up nailing down this pipeline (making it as simple as possible --->)

My current worries for moving forward with the film are entirely technical. How our set dress file is currently set up involves referencing every single asset and texture, and it is a beast of a file to open and usually crashes my maya. Hopefully by importing only select props like planned on the right image will make things go smoother.

Christian and I will be meeting with two lighters that are currently Disney Trainees to talk about how they set their shots up for their senior thesis films!

- we also posted our character intro post on instagram!


Update 2 | Character Lighting Workshop 

                           A                                                               B                                                            C                                                             D

This week I happened to be hosting a character lighting demo on zoom for SCAD's Digital Media Club. I decided it'd be good to use Alya's model as a way to practice lighting her character in different lighting setups! I learnt a lot more about lighting terminology and principles than I expected to by doing this excercise and making my presentation so I am really glad I did that.

Update 3 | Lookdev Progress + Technical Struggles

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-27 at 5.36.26 PM.

Progress on texturing the kites. Added more color variations to the parrot kites and am really trying to make the fish kite not look like a pinata!

I think I will have to adjust the fish kite model to be single sided so that it looks less thick/sculpted.

The videos below display some simulation work in progress by Christian, we were talking about how to troubleshoot this.

Biggest conclusion from being in this major: the Renderfarm likes to be difficult :(

Before and After: Hair sims for Alya's front bangs

we don't talk about this render



Update 1 | Setting up lighting render files with optimized geo + camera pruning

image (46).png

After meeting with the Disney trainee lighters for advice on pipeline, I learnt a lot of really useful tips for how to make sure each shot file is optimized as much as possible for rendering!

This week I worked on setting up the lighting files for shot05, shot20 and shot23, so that Christian can go in and add the simmed characters and props. 

For each shot I imported all the assets and relevant camera, removed references and deleted all geo/faces that aren't seen in the shot frame. My computer crashed a lot while trying to man the master set dress file so that was definitely work-delaying but I got through it eventually!

Update 2 | Shot1 Final Render + teaser planning

I was finally able to get around to rendering the 1080p version of shot 1! This took so long and half of the frames got a 2 hour kill, so I definitely need to re-evaluate my other shots on how to optimize it even further through render layers.

During our weekly meeting we also discussed creating a teaser for the film so that we can 1. submit it to the SIGGRAPH electronic theatre + other film festivals and 2. have more external deadlines to keep pushing us because its so easy to stray off target on a self-made schedule.

the shots in the teaser will be:

shot 1,2,3,5,23 & 28.

Image from iOS.png

Update 3 | Film Layout Collage for all shots 

Collaged all the shots together so that the team can reference each one quicker! I also am using this to start the rough color scripts that I realized would help keep lighting more consistent across.

Alyssa will be doing the second half of the color scripts!



Update 1 | Shot Lighting Progress

After so many days of technical issues in opening this lighting file, I finally was able to light shot 23!


To light this shot I mostly followed Alyssa's color script for reference. This shot is towards the end of the film so the colors are more saturated, as its reaching closer to the sunset's golden hour of orangey-pink-purples. I learnt a lot from my reading on character lighting for the previous workshop and it was super fun to put those principles into practice!


I also got feedback that SH01 should have a bit more secondary subtle motion, so I composited in dust movement to add that extra touch to it.


Getting the dust to look 'just right' took so many iterations, it was quite inconvenient that I could only see how it looks after rendering, but now I think I am a lot more familiar with all the particle emitter/turbulence settings in nuke because of it!

Update 2 | Still finalizing more kite textures...

Addressed some final notes for fixing up these last few kite shaders:

Hero Kite:

- made the SSS map more saturated, the previous version looked too washed out

Fish Kite:

- Change transmission depth attributes, make it look thinner

Kite D:

- added more color variation to the poof balls


and with that concludes all the kite lookdev!!!




Update 1 | Shot Lighting Progress

This week I continued to work on troubleshooting the render glitches of shot23, as well as starting the lighting on shot 5.

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 1.09.06 AM.png