The final edit

There we go the final edit of The Cycle!

I think the feedback for the animation definitely helped, although I dislike the voice recording, I think it’s too much and doesn’t really make sense. I personally would prefer it if there was only one voice but then again it’s a team project and unfortunately it’s 3 against 1.

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Slaving between work and editing the past few days have been tough and I’m so glad it’s finally finished. Constantly looking back to the group for opinions takes time, and even more time to try and achieve what everybody wants. I love editing and always have so it didn’t bother me constantly changing small details for the sake of the project. I think the team were pretty much in agreement with everything except the voice over narrative, I still prefer the original voice over;

Not even the voice manipulation, I think just the single voice narrative is far more clear and less confusing, it does it’s purpose.

Although we tried a lot of different ways before the final finish, below are some of the different edits;

I’m really pleased with the finish except a minor detail we had problems. I feel like I have learn’t a lot in this project, I’m kind of excited now to see what will be able to be achieved when the next semester, starting in september when we have to do the same project within 4 weeks.

Due Date “The Cycle”

The past two weeks have been a blur! With so much to do we just cracked on as a team and went full force to get this project finally rolling! Following our new improved animatic;

Tasha began blocking out the animation while I started looking at the 3D set design! Before moving along with this bit of the project I looked at what I had done in the past weeks for it, creating a plane and power lines as seen in past blog posts I started to venture out and try and make it look more like a vast area. I experimented with mirrors but with the sun and sky rendering option mixed with a point light to make it look like the sun was actually in the frame, it didn’t mix well and created a shimmer on the mirror. Moving away from the I decided just to duplicate the plane and posts,  probably a simpler way around things in the first place. Creating textures for the ground and posts in Photoshop, I tried keeping things simple! I didn’t go into much detail thinking about render time and the actual time we had left before the deadline!

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Along with all of this I added in some of the other rock models I created to bring the scene together and also for the narrative as they are meant to be symbolic of grave stones. With the scene finally coming together I started looking into the 2D background, again keeping things simple and using image planes to import drawings from Photoshop into the scene. Based on Nickyworks;

http://www.nickyworks.com/

download

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I love how her background colors bleed into each-other and thought it would be a nice twist on our project but we ending up scrapping the idea sadly as I was pretty excited about it. Experimenting again with the grunge look I began tweaking rendered frames hoping to get the grungy, The Blackwater Gospel inspired look!

expo_2 scene texture_exp

Looking into the music for the project as well I explored on youtube and found this guy called Matt Elliott! He creates spooky, kind of country music which I thought would mix well with our project;

Although I didn’t know Courtney had been working on music of her own for the project! I added it into the animatic, the animatc is pretty close to our final soundtrack I think I might tweak some things slightly and add in the voice over once I get it recorded off Aidan. The group decided to use my character designs and models so I passed them onto Courtney to be rigged which was exciting!

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While that was being done I looked into the title for our animation, coming up with different idea’s such as;

  • Light as a Feather (our original idea as a team, but I didn’t think it made much sense anymore)
  • Wise Old Rock
  • The Side of The Road
  • Dusk to Dawn
  • The Cycle
  • Behold another Day
  • Way out West

Sadly nobody in the team had any ideas so with agreement we went with The Cycle.

Looking into title design I came up with a few concepts;

photo (2) photo (3)

title_pres title

We finally went with this;

title exp title

Unfortunately my laptop keyboard decided to stop working when it was my turn to animate part of the scene, Courtney took over and I created the presentation instead, adding in comments and suggestions for the team. When the animation was finished we all divided the frames and rendered over night!

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With a few problems but we were stuck for time and didn’t have time to fix it. I done all of the editing, which took a while because of the bad renders.

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But overall I think it looks okay, I know it can fixed in multiple ways though;

Now with feedback and two weeks to go lets see if we can pull together as a team and improve our grade!!!!!

The end is near

A lot has changed since my last post, as the project is in full go at the moment a lot of details are being changed and considered greatly.

After the last presentation we changed our narrative and updated the animatic;  to the bird being shot, the rock playing with the feather and then the dead bird splatting on the screen, which is kind of dark. Below the animatic;

Over the break it was a mutal agreement that each of the team would start on character designs and concepts for the final animation, below is my design of the crow/bird character, I tried changing subtle detail’s about him as well;

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I decided that that the angry yellow eyed one was my favourite and began trying to model him;

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And for my first ever official character design and model I think I done a pretty cool job;

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I’m excited to see what Courtney does with it! As for the rock character’s I tried experimenting with different shapes instead of a plain old rock, trying to give them character proven to be difficult at times but I really enjoyed it;

rock 1 rock2 rock3

My favourite being the fat one, why what else would a lonely rock that can’t move look like…

Straight into modelling again, after I finished I sent courtney the fat one for eyes and rigging;

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Again I was constantly watching the blackwater gospel, trying to achieve the grunge look but I do believe it is helping although I know concept art is still not my strongest talent!

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I also began wondering about our 2D background mixed with the 3D animation, I ventured out and began getting ideas together on how to create it, still sticking with the grungy style of The Blackwater Gospel, I began looking at things that gave the illusion of depth, such as pottermore, the random adventures of brandon generator by Edgar Wright and Tommy Lee Edwards, a fan made video I found on Youtube based around the Game Of Thrones series and finally a artist named Nicky who has a online studio and website, I loved the fact that she seems to have power lines in her work, the paint also bleeds together! I thought our background didn’t have to be definite and clear but as long as the idea of what’s there is portrayed.

http://www.nickyworks.com/

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I then began messing around in Maya on what should be 3D in the scene, I think I’ll tweak it a lot before it’s finished though;

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I also found this short Animation online;

I love the movement of the bird! It’s his own character which is something we hopefully carry off in our own animation.

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After the next presentation we realised that we had lost the eerie feel of our animation without realising. The feedback we were given was to make it bittersweet, we could create something with depth and meaning we just need to figure a way to convey it! We were told to look into deeper meanings and poetry, which I found really interesting!

http://www.universeofsymbolism.com/symbolic-crow-meaning.html

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-symbolism.html

We got back into thinking of our narrative and coming up with different ways we might end the story in such a short amount of time! We decided eventually on;

The bird being shot and falling, the rock looking at the feathers in wonder or playing with them and the bird’s body falls on front of him but he can’t move, he can’t help and just sits and watches him die, dirt blows over the corpse and the stone mould’s itself into a grave stone, the same bird rig is used to portray another bird sitting on the grave stone, the camera zooms out and fades but show’s bumps around the ground where other things have died.

Looking into deeper meanings, the meaning of life, how time goes on even after we’re gone and how the cycle of life works. Looking into poetry as well I created a short poem;

Once upon a time there lived a rock near a long winding road,

up above crow’s wings flowed.

With a bang the rocks attention sprang,

a graceful fall to a unheard call.

As time passed the rock watched peace arrive at last,

the sorrow of death as the crow drew his last breath.

The rock watches the cycle, all things eventually decay but he does not despair,

come morning light behold a brand new day.

I loved the idea of having it being read over the top of the animation like the tale of three brothers in harry potter;

but we’re struggling for time. As a team we’re deciding if we should add it, if it should be written on a blank black screen before the animation, if it should be read over, if it should be read before the animation, etc.

Over the next two weeks a lot is still to be done, I created a list for the team to work off;

1. Update Animatic
2. Blocked Animation
3. 3D Set Design
4. 2D Background concept design (then when agreed; it needs to be moved and done in photoshop saved in layer’s of what need’s to be upfront and what need’s to be in the back, other than the drawing the rest of the image needs to be transparent)
5. Final Animation
6. Textures
7. Add in the 2D background from after effects (final version)
8. Shot list
9. Camera angles and lighting in the animation
10. Music and sound; maybe poem
11. Rendering and editing
12. Title design and credits

So we have 4 people and two weeks… wish us luck!

15 Second Animation Week 2+3!

Getting the ball rolling we decided that the rock and feather concept would be the best to go for because if it’s simplicity. The feedback we were given on the previous presentation was the sheep in the clouds and the rock and feather were the favourite idea’s. We thought about how about going modelling these both idea’s and ended up choosing the rock and feather over modelling a sheep character. Over these two week’s we had to create a storyboard and animatic for our concepts.

Looking into research about animatics I found out animatic’s in general are animated storyboards.

“They used to only be produced by filming or videotaping storyboards but over the past ten years animatics are produced with the aid of computer animation (2D or 3D).”

“Storyboards are the breakdown of the narrative, a series of frames. Usually the first step to illustrate a visual to a scene and attempt to conceptualise it’s workings.”

“Next step is the animatic. Digitally drawn, sometimes separate to allow animation using a concept called tweening. Sound effects and music are often added as well to establish timing for dialogue and make sure everything fits within the allotted time.”

http://www.aboutanimatics.com/index.html

I thought it was pretty cool seeing how a animatic show’s what to expect from the final animation or film and then seeing the final product;

“A tool that bridges the gap between a idea and the final idea, how to put it together and hopefully get a feel for the final idea. A way to layout the timing, pacing and visuals of the entire thing without having to create it in a really refined way.”

“The animatic is a very important part of the journey from script to screen and yet you’re unlikely to see or hear anything about it.”

http://www.animatic.co.uk/what-is-an-animatic/

http://www.serif.com/appresources/MPX5/Tutorials/en-gb/tutorials/basics_storyboarding.htm

Really interesting to see the difference between different animatic and how each person or company had a different style or way of creating them, some more detailed and other’s the basic’s;

and again referencing The Blackwater Gospel;

After discussing with my group on how our narrative should be laid out, it was agreed that we would all individually create our own versions of what we would expect;

a quick sketch feel for the idea in my head, I wanted to make the rock more of a character, making it run away from the feather!

From that we started on our animatic, in agreement of the same narrative we split the to do list between us, I myself was in charge of colouring the sketches given to me from Tasha.

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Before beginning the next stage I took a step back and began to think about the setting, the intro to The Blackwater Gospel came to mind and I found myself thinking of the rock lying under neath power lines!

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Looking into colouring was fun! Re-watching The Blackwater Gospel again and again helped a lot.

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Trying to achieve the grunge style was pretty hard but I used grunge texture’s and scrounged paper texture’s also helped!4525280281_a7597af841_m grunge_brushes_9 grunge-texture-design1 grunge background with copy space for your text texture-5

I noticed how the lighting shined in rays I tired to re-create it but I’m still not sure with the experiment;

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From this I also started a colour scheme to base each on the drawings on to keep consistency;

colour pallet

After finishing up on the colouring of the animatic and trying to keep it as close to our inspirations as possible, I sent it off to the next person for editing!

Looking into the presentation next I started to lay out what should be added into it to keep it short sweet and simple;

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Adding in the research I found, the experimentation I did and a recap of the 1st week seemed the way to go.

Below is the final animatic;

On the day the presentation was changed by other members and their stuff were added. The feedback we were given was that we were having problems with our narrative, so for now it’s back to the drawing board!

15 Second Animation! Week 1

Me, Courtney, Aidan and Tasha have formed a team!

We got together to discuss the basic’s for this week, idealisation, forming the team and finding our inspirations.

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After exploring many idea’s and watching tons of youtube video’s we came up with our main idea’s for the project;

  1. Marshmallow

With the theme soft and hard I think marshmallow’s would be the likely link. There’s a lot that can be done around this simple object as a character. We had the idea of putting a skewer through it and roasting it on a fire, so it becomes burnt and hard. But soon realised this had already been done before but in a different medium;

There was also a idea that the marshmallow could be left over from the packet, and end up not getting ate therefore turning stale.  I started to think of how it could be animated and rigged, the flour sack came into mind as well as the bouncing ball rig task we did on the first week of the module. Some doodle’s I done thinking of how the marshmallow would react if it were to squash and stretch for example;

marshmallow 1 marshmallow 2 marshmallow 3

When drawing this character I thought about the simplicity of it but still trying to give it character.

2. The rock and feather

A really basic idea of a feather falling on to a rock.  With Yuan teaching us about film form last week we wanted to add in a twist plot so as the feather lands on the rock, the rock crumbles up to bits. I also had the idea of having the rock as a character that panics as the feather comes closer and tries to blow it away in fear.

3. Sheep and clouds

Another idea was of a sheep or lamb jumping through clouds but ends up falling through, although I thought to add to that; the clouds could be bouncy and when he lands on a grey cloud it won’t be bouncy so he continues to jump and ends up falling through as the cloud bursts into rain.

We also had a good few other ideas, like bread becoming toast, a business man “hard man” shouting and his staff but then going home to become a softy with his wife and kids, a idea based around a hedgehog and many others!

As for style we all pretty much agreed on a creepy grunge style as well as mixing 2D and 3D animation. We really really liked “The Blackwater Gospel” and are using it as our main style inspiration along side, The Tale of Three Brothers in Harry Potter and Wildebeest by Birdbox Studio.

Based around those I came up with basic concept art, trying to make it like Blackwater the most;

rock + feather sheep blackwater

As well as that we found so pretty cool links that will help us when we finally decide which concept to do and the making behind The Blackwater Gospel;

http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorial/Feather-Rig-Tutorial/72280

http://matchtolive.weebly.com/1-photography.html

On top of things i’ve also started creating a mood board for inspiration;

https://uk.pinterest.com/aislingmcelroy9/15-second-animation/

Finishing off Silence of the Lambs project

Over the last two days of this project, we put together another timeline for a minor character called miggs; (as he is a obstacle in the case of the writers journey that Clarice has to overcome)

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We based him on a woman called Helen who had multiple personality disorder below are the different parts to a documentary a childhood friend filmed on her;

As well as that I got stuck into the editing for the final artifact.

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I always find it useful to ask other’s for opinions while editing. Getting new eyes to watch something fresh to see if you’re on the right way. We also explored music and sound alot and came across the perfect song to mix in with Hans Zimmers – Hannibal.

After asking friends and family for opinions and critical advice, the team decided that it was finally finished. (see below)

I’m pretty happy with the outcome! I think we managed to pull off our main concept for it although some of the shots and animations had to be changed. Our feedback was consistency, it was obvious that different people were doing different animations. As for the schematic, we were told to make it join together more because it is difficult to see were it all joins together. I think we done pretty well!