Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Make Something Move!

Although this blog is intended as a production blog, all this 'Christmasness' has distracted me a bit, and I've decided to post something a tiny weeny bit off topic.

For my last project I was handed an eleven second long clip, and was given the task of animating to the dialogue it contained. This was a nice project and I reckon I learnt a lot, the biggest thing being that half of what makes a great performance piece is coming up with interesting ideas to convincingly portray the character in their given situation, while avoiding cliches at all costs! I also learnt the importance of getting my character to think.

So I interpreted my sound clip as a woman appealing to her partner during a jail visitation. She's spelling out to him how he can avoid his life of crime if only he made the right decisions at the right times.

Here is the animation after 2-3 weeks of production...

video

Apologies for slightly over sized hands and the dodgy phone cord animation, I wont do it again, I promise!

And finally, here are a couple of interesting links for you to help fill all the free time you have so much of over the Christmas holidays...

http://animationartconversation.com/making_ratatouille.html

and

http://www.11secondclub.com/

People seem to be experiencing problems with videos not loading on this blog :-( however the problem should be fixed now, at least temporarily

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Less Talking... More Drawing

You will notice in my first post that i included some pictures of a girl reaching into a wishing well. This wishing well is certainly an object of interest in my film and therefore deserves to have some time and effort put into the design and overall appeal.

The only other major object in my film (there will of course be many small details) Is an ice cream van or ice cream stand from which my character(s) attempt to buy an ice cream.

The following pictures represent some of my ideas for the look of the ice cream stand. I've purposely tried to avoid too much CG looking 'squareness' and have attempted to maintain the overall warmth of my original colour picture of the wishing well scene.






So I'm starting to get a feel for the overall appeal and render quality. The next step for me is to start looking at things a little more cinematically. This means writing out my story in script form and story boarding it, both of which I have little experience with, but still enjoy very much.

stay tuned!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Finding my Characters

Just as the concept drawings from my previous post suggest, my story involves two main characters – a boy and a girl - around 5-6 years old. Seeing as I’m my own character designer for this project I thought I would have a real go at it, and really try to make my characters both appealing and believablwe in their own separate ways. Easier said than done! Especially when you’re as new to this character development stuff as I am.

For me this started off as a drawing marathon, first I had to get used to drawing child-like proportions, then I drew picture after picture trying to find a style that wasn’t too influenced by ‘the Disney look’ or the ‘the Pixar look’.

While I enjoy drawing, especially characters of my own creation, I’m not blessed with the gift of creating fast, accurate and appealing drawings all in one go. No, for me it takes time and painstaking effort, after all, I’m a CG animator!

So here are my two main character in their current state of development



and here is a bit of background information...


Michelle.

She has grown up in the suburbs in a modern home, which her mother keeps in immaculate condition. She is an only child, and although she will get on well with other children, she is prone to taking charge of a game, or just generally bossing other kids around. She has only just started school.

• She likes ice-cream.

• She’s not that fond of boys – the ones who live next door are extremely noisy and always end up breaking something.

• She likes time to herself, where there are no adults with their ‘stupid rules’

• She doesn’t believe in Santa Claus

• When she grows up, she wants to be a head teacher or a policewoman or any job where she can give children more freedom than she has now.


Douglas.

He lives on a farm and is used to being left to his own devices. When he’s not at school, he spends most of his time out and about on the farm. He and his friends from school enjoy camping out in a field and catching fish in the river that flows through the farm . He has been at school for a year and a half now.

• He is talkative and social

• He enjoys making boats from wood then sailing them down the river that runs through the farm. He also likes to bombard them with stones and tries to sink them before they reach the weir at the far end of the farm.

• He also likes ice cream

• He does believe in Santa Claus

• When he grows up he’d like to be a pilot, or in the navy, or something in a war anyway.




Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

90 Seconds of Genius?

I have at long last been given the opportunity to produce a short film for my final major project at the University of Glamorgan. I have complete free reign over the storyline, characters, overall appeal, cinematography and so much more, infact the only limit forced upon me is the relatively short, but realistic target time of ninety seconds.

Having said that, the intention is to involve other students, either on my course or elsewhere, and work together in a collaborative effort, hopefully gaining at least some experience of running a team project with a deadline, where a high quality animated short is the outcome.

“An animated short needs a story, what is it then?” I hear you cry. Well at this stage it’s pretty well formed and the characters are established and ready for development. I won’t disclose the story just yet, however I have included some initial concept drawings of mine to give a little taster of what’s to come .









It's important to note that the characters depicted in the above drawings are yet to be designed and are only rough representations of how the final characters will look once developed.


More to come soon!