Monday, 31 October 2011

Animation Tests

It was advised that I get straight onto some animation tests as for my character's situation I could literally create her walking cycle and the way she moves in general from scratch.  As she is nor 100% human or animal I can really mix it up and see what can be brought out of her character.  One thing I know for sure was that she only walks on four legs, or atleast with the aid of her hands, she never walks up straight.  With this I drew some thumbnails.


When I was happy with the thumbnails I went to animate straight away, I didn't really have any live reference so I was mainly using my imagination and relying on the thumbnails. This was the final outcome:

I am happy that the animation wasn't limping but I'm not sure if this is quite how my character is going to move about? I am positive that she will only be walking on four legs (or hand and feet) but I might look at some other animals for inspirations. I did two other thumbnails, one is her a lot closer to the ground and a bit more sneaky looking, the other is more of how an ape walks with her back up a little more straight and does more of a gallop. Photobucket

I then did another none walk cycle test.  Just with her reacting to hearing an unknown sound from the forest and her getting up and listening out to the strange sound.  I'm quite happy with this test, she looks quite startled and delicate but also quite aware of her surroundings which of course she would be as she knows no place else. 

Photographic Research

I did take these pictures all the way back in the summer but only now have been able to get hold of them.  For research and influence I toke some pictures of a little forest outside my house, it is pretty much untouched by man, there are not path ways or anything just pure forest, so it was pretty perfect for my film.  There are so many different coloured greens and I love the way the sun shines through some of the trees. I tried to capture as many plants and angle as I could before I lost the light.







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Character Model Sheet

Just before I started my second storyboard I wanted to make sure I defiantly had a final character design, as it is important I know how she roughly looks and moves as that does affect the story (how she holds things, walks etc) So I did a little list of her anatomy and why she has certain none human body parts.  having her a mix of amphibian and mammal did have some complications, like why she has breast in her design?  If she is truly cold blooded and has no belly button she surly doesn't anatomy wise need them but to show the audience she is defiantly female it was essential.  Her gills are going to help express her emotions as she has no eyebrows, also help her breath underwater, and could be a symbol for her naivety and youth as tadpoles are the young of frogs and rely on their gills while they are young then loose them when they enter adolescence.

When I was comfortable with all the aspects and physical traits of my character I did my model sheet:


From looking at the model sheet, I have found that my creature from the front isn't as appealing from the 3/4 or side view.  Also I do want to be subtle about her naked appearance and not have any too obvious poses.   I also haven't designed any real private detail down below or the the breast, as it doesn't really matter and I don't want the audience concentrating on something that has nothing to do with the story.  I do also want this to be watchable for children, maybe not really young but ten upwards at least.  I could have possibly given her clothes but that did not really make sense either, realistically she wouldn't have clothes, and if she's cold blooded doesn't need them.

Script Draft 2

After a week of looking at what needed to be done and to add some conflict to make the characters actions make more sense I created my script number two.  Most of the beginning is the same, it's just the middle and end I tweaked a bit.

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I much prefer this version, it just physically and emotionally makes more sense.  The conflict added is the thunderstorm, it was hard for me to decide on one, as I didn't want any man made conflict or for the pond to be destroyed, as I wanted my creature to leave on her own not to be forced from the pond as it isn't inhabitable any more. I also made it a little more clear that she does want to leave but is now too scared too rather than her being too busy with looking after the pond.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Colour Tests

I decided just in some spare time to do some brief colour tests, to see if it also would help me decide exactly what mood I want the opening of the film to be set in.

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Storyboard Draft 1

My goal for the week was to complete a storyboard, as I still wasn't 100% on the script I knew this wasn't going to be my final storyboard but as I was a little low on ideas on what it needed I just continued with the storyboard and see if visualizing it would make more sense for what direction the story was heading.

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I presented my storyboard to class and got some useful feedback from the tutor and students.  I did feel that the events are quite rushed and there's no time for any interesting narrative to develop.

  •  I should experiment more with different and interesting angles, at the moment it's just a very straight forward camera, and considering the only variations is a close up to a medium shot, it can be quite visually boring. 
  •  It was also brought up that I should be aware of the layout of the scene and remember to use the rule of three. 
  • I should look at maybe finding a different way to show her repetitive life in a montage instead of showing the same scenes perhaps? 
  • I think I will cut out the saving the duck scene just because I don't really want to animate ducks and also it would make more sense if she only looked after the amphibians and fish as they all permanently living in the pond and can not live without it which is what the pond creature feels also.
  • Sin liked the drawing part and thought if I was having some trouble that I could maybe focus a little more on why she draws and if that could possibly contribute to her also leaving.
  • The noise is still not decided on yet, I made the creature flinch at the noise and a bit scared but I think I need to make the sound more mystical and mysterious rather than scary.  I also think that it would be interesting if there was some colour when the sounds appear.  I want to make sure that the sounds are not man made though.  Something the creature and audience has not heard before.
  • When showing my storyboard to James, he said it is readable as a story but the it has no conflict, it doesn't yet make full sense why she leaves except for pure curiosity, there has to be something else. But I still don't know what????  

Script 1

Once I had the character design basically set I looked at writing up a script.  I just kinda of started writing and see where it went, this is only my first script.

The basic summary is the life of my pond creature is repetitive, showing her basic day to day life, she looks after the animals and watches over the pond.  She has no real company except the insects, fish and animals around her.  One day she hears a strange noise she has never heard before but ignores it.  The next day carrying on with her day she hears the sound again, she goes to investigate but the pond needs her and draws her back.  She hears the noise once again, louder than before and so with her curiosity she goes off into the unknown for the first time not knowing what she will find.

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I knew there wasn't something quite right about the script but I couldn't think what, so I decided just to start storyboarding and see if I could get a better idea of what needs developing when I see it visually.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Character Sketches

For the last week I have been doing a bunch of doodles for my Pond character, still unnamed, and I have also decided she will be living in a pond not a swamp.  Because I havn't come up with a complete story of what exactly the character ill do in the middle of the narrative and how exactly she will react to things I just drew her in a few different situations that I thought I would include her to be in.  I tried to explore different situations and emotions she may overcome.

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I was also looking at her environment and what exactly was the size and what plant life and animals she would encounter.  It was between (of course) a small pond and a big one.  A small pond representing her enclosed world and that she has a deeper connection with the pond, or a big pond showing her isolation and that she is the only one of her kind.  I decided a small pond would be more appropriate, and especially if I want her to leave her home at them end.
 I also made sure it was a pond over a river or the sea as a pond is stagnant, never flowing, which represents my creatures none moving life, she's always in the same place all the time.