OXUS Recovery Solutions SHRC Animation Pre-Poduction Update 1

Over the course of the coming weeks, I will be working on an animation for Oxus Recovery Solutions. Specifically I will be attempting to build and animate a short video that highlights and demonstrates many of the features of their Submerged Hydrocarbon Recovery System. I have high hopes for this project and I am very excited for this opportunity.  Now I’ve broken down my tentative schedule as follows:

Week 1 – Pre-production, establishing the initial story ideas and creating storyboards to demonstrate the possible outcomes and timings of the final animation. This week is also intended to gather as much reference as possible, and to be able to figure out what assets I will be building.

Week 2 – At this point in time I am hoping to have the story pretty much finalized, and the direction clearly established. I will begin doing the initial modeling at this point in time and my goal is to have workable assets for the next week.

Week 3 – I will be creating my first and possibly second passes for the animation as well as beginning the texturing and finishing with the actual modelling process.

Week 4 – At this point in time I am hoping to complete the third and fourth passes on the animation, I am hoping that the textures will all be completed and that I will be able to have the animation nearly completed.

Week 5 – This will be the time when I would like to add in the appropriate particle’s and other effects, as well as to composite all the elements together and deliver a solid final animation.

There are several elements that I am hoping to be able to highlight in the animation and a quick overview of the primary points of interest is as follows.

Showing the SHRC’s ability to be deployed on an oil leak that would prevent traditional attachment methods to the wellhead.

Show that the SHRC is capable of a rapid deployment in the event of  an emergency.

The SHRC can be deployed in a way that allows for effective collection of escaping oil, while still providing for repair access to the damaged wellhead.

The SHRC has a hydrate prevention system to allow for an undisturbed flow of collected oil.

 The SHRC can be effectively deployed in a stand by position near active well sites.

There is a more extensive list of the benefits of this system available at  http://www.oxusrecoverysolutions.com/

With the above in mind I have put together a few ideas for how I might edit and build the animation to look.

Idea #1
This animation is presented in a side view(side scroller similiar to mario) with highly stylized elements, in many ways it is similiar to an animated schematic. The inspiration and desired style for this animation is akin to the aperture science investor proposal videos.
The scene starts focused exclusively upon the oil refinery, which is clearly in operation with a bit of smoke coming from some of the smoke stacks. The camera then shakes slightly, and then some red lights and their associated sirens start to go off. The camera then zooms out and pans down to see a portion of the riser get blown out and crumple off to the side. Black plumes of oil begin to spill out towards the surface. As the oil is billowing toward the surface, the camera pans slightly to the side to reveal the SHRC system awaiting deployment. There is an R.O.V. awaiting with the SHRC and it immediately moves to position the SHRC so that it will be able to collect and contain as much of the spill as possible(for the purpose of this animation it will collect all of the escaping oil).As the oil is gathered into the chimney, a recovery vessel is seen chugging into the scene from the opposite side and begins the coupling procedure. the oil is shown entering the tankers hold and a flare is lit. A second vessel is shown that deploys divers and ROV’s to repair the damaged wellhead/riser while the SHRC contains the spill.
Idea #2
This animation is intended to be rendered in a slightly more cinematic manner, it makes full use of the 3d elements of the animation and is in effect a short action movie.
This scene starts with a sattelite view of the earth, it focuses in particular on a hurricane brewing off the coast somewhere. the camera then begins to zoom in towards the storm and transitions to a new shot within the storm where we see large waves buffeting an oil rig, as well as lots of rain and the occasional lightning strike. As the camera moves towards the oil rig we see some sort of damage occur to the platform, sirens and lights begin to go off. The camera then dives into the water and chases down the riser very quickly, and as it arrives at the wellhead itself we witness an explosion of the riser(or some form of damage that would not be able to be recovered by the alternative recovery solutions). Oil begins to plume towards the surface. the camera then begins to track the plume upwards and as it does so the SHRC comes into view. This allows us to show a good long range shot with almost the entirety of the SHRC before we focus in on the active deployment of the funnel.
Ending a)
Once the funnel is deployed we transition to a macro type shot of the oil entering the chimney with many hydrates mixed in, as the oil enters the chimney we can show a bit of the red electric glow of electronic heaters melting the hydrate on their way into the chimney(alternatively we could also demonstrate the injection process of preheated water or methane and still actually show the dissolution of the hydrates as they enter the chimney). the Camera then cuts to black and begins again by showing the oil being dumped into the waiting recovery vessel and the flare being lit.
Ending B)
The camera then begins to track up the chimney, once again giving a reasonably nice showcase of the entire system, and surfaces(still in the midst of the storm) to see a recovery vessel approaching with sunshine and clear skies. The  vessel then begins to couple with the SHRC and we witness oil flowing apropriately into the tanker. At this point we can see another vessel approaching and deploying a recovery/repair team. the camera then tracks up the flare mast and we see the sun setting in the background. The scene ends with a gull flying past the camera and transitioning to a clip with the company name and contact information clearly presented.
Idea #3
This is what I’d like to call the Michael Bay approach. in many ways similar to idea 2.
Camera opens on an oil rig, it’s a beautiful day the sun is shining there are gulls circling and there are dolphins jumping in the water near the oil platform. BOOM! A giant explosion rips the serenity apart, the gulls go crashing down into the water, and the dolphins roll belly up as the water begins to turn from a crystal blue to a dark inky black. This situation is dealt with by a recovery vessel that deploys the SHRC as it arrives on scene. The anchors are lowered into the water, as is the chimney itself. this gives us an opportunity to witness the entire deployment of the SHRC in the event of an emergency. We are also able to witness the deployment of the oil barriers by two other ships as they attempt to deal with the already existing spill. Once again we are able to show many different parts of the recovery process, as already discussed above. The scene concludes with the water returning to a clear bue and the dolphins playing around the recovery vessel and the gulls circling above it.
Idea #4
This is an animation done in a method similiar to those that have been presented by shell in regards to their action plan for their arctic drilling operations.
We examine the deployment and application of the SHRC in a manner similiar to a TV documentary(albeit a short one), with a voice over and highlights of the primary benefits of the system as well as the implementation and function for the system in the event of a situation arising.
It is my current goal to put together the storyboards for these ideas by the end of this week and to also gather quality reference material from which to build the required assets.

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