Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A Character I like...

We were set the task this week of finding a character that we like. I took this to be both the design and attitude sense. This did cause a problem because there are so many animated characters that it like! Some designs are amazing. I decided to go for a character that many people may over look because he is not a main role yet his role is very important. I chose Kamajii from Spirited Away.

I like how he is looks like an evil villain; with his many arms, bald head, long claw-like nails, big moustache and small dark glasses. However, he could not be further from this. This is very clever character design, because not only does Sen feel threatened, but as an audience we are too. It is all a big relief when he turns out to be a great ally.

I also like his soot helpers. They are small and simply designed, they only have a fuzzy body, two eyes, arms and legs. Yet they still manage to get across a lot emotion and sense of character.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Last Day working with the writers

On the last day of this project it was up to me and Tom (Producer) to put everything together in After Effects. While Lee sorted out the sound. We worked really hard and ended up having fun animating things. Even when things didn't turn out how we expected it just added to the comedy of the piece. We could of done this better than we did because we ended up animating to the sound rather than letting the sound fit to the animatic and should of done a dope sheet. Also I think the sound effects need to be louder compared to the narrator. However, I'm pleasantly surprised at how its all turned out. At some points I didn't think it would come together at all.

We had a couple of problems rendering out of After Effects and the was a mad panic to get a tutor to help. But ours was the only one to be handed in before 4 o'clock. Here are the sections I animated:

The wolf scene is my favourite scene. I managed to create a little wolf wiggle because his head and body weren't joined together which I like. With some more time we would of added some facial expressions to Timmy to help him interact with his environment. At the moment he just wonders around looking a bit dim.

I really enjoyed this project and would definatly like to do it again. So heres the finished animatic...

Collaboration Project!

The last few days have felt like we have been thrown in at the deep end and we all forgot how to swim... Even though I had this feeling I actually really enjoyed having a short project for once, there was no time to become bored of it.

We were given a brief from the imaginary group NUFSED (I know they're not real, I Googled it :P) to portray them in a good light. We were also given a genre for each group, ours being information. I think our group was quite an evenly spread in terms of what we are good at. Andy assigned as to jobs according to our tutorials. I think he was giving us the opposite of what we wanted seeing as I ended up as the animation artist!

As a group (including three writers) we went off to think of some ideas for our animation. We quickly jotted down a few ideas in pairs to then relay to the group. Some of mine and Lee's ideas were:

  • Snow White, sedated for her own protection!
  • Kracken, making a reef near you.
  • Trolls, protecting Britain's heritage and bridges
  • Dragons, not out to eat you... etc.

In the end we came up with a couple of script ideas and the writers went off to expand them, while we went in search of a style. We started looking at 1950s information films. It is hard to take them seriously these days. Videos we looked at include this one. Which is supposedly a guide to becoming popular.

We also decided to do the animation in quite a realistic way using inspiration from 1950s posters such as this one:

We then went back to the writers to see their ideas for the script. They had two ideas:

  1. This idea expanded on the Snow White idea Lee and I had. Snow White runs away from home and finds the dwarfs home. There they have a drunken, drug fueled party until the Queen sedates her for her own safety to bring her home. This would be to inform people of drug abuse. We decided this idea would be too complicated and too long for such a short project.

  2. The second idea fitted right in with what we had been researching. It was a forest walk through introducing you to the different creatures you meet in the enchanted forest. I fitted the brief and the genre really nicely. This is the idea we went with.

Even though my role in the group was the animation part I helped with the pre-production quite a lot. I did a few concept drawings for characters. Here they are:

On day two of our collaboration Sarah and Simon worked with the writers to get a good storyline. Simon then drew up a storyboard for us including shots and some rough timings. Here is his first draft:

Lee worked on collecting the sound for the animatic while the rest of us worked on the design. Emma created some lovely backgrounds in the style taken from a 1950s children's book Sarah found.
By the end of the day we realised that we were going to struggle to fit each of our styles of drawing together in time to animate. Also the story needed some tweaking for more comedic impact. Simon redrew some frames of his storyboard:

While Emma drew around all of the characters and shaded them in with suble colours to give a bit of continuity to our work. Heres an example:

This set us up for animating everything on the last day.