Last Thursday I had a bit of a “Eurika” moment. I know it’s hard for me to see progress in my drawings, but as I was finishing one of my sketchbooks and starting a new one, I flipped through the pages and thought the ones from the hour of life drawing before 3D class weren’t have bad despite being 1-3 minute poses…. so here are most of them:
I love Vanessa’s life drawing class. And it’s really cool that the life drawing models have a lot of props to play with….
Ellie, Sohpie, Andrea and me decided to get a pitch together for the BFX Competition down in Bournemouth. We spent about 1 1/2 weeks on our project working in college or at home after class on it and came up with this document here
Out of the 5 different briefs, we chose the Alice in Wonderland one which covers the changing size in order to fit through the door scene. Our concept was based on changing animation style and dimension (from flat cutout to drawn to 3D animated) to get to a space she wants to reach.
here is our pitch document:
and also a pitch video:
I did most of the writing for this project, bringing our ideas for the project into a written form and writing down the stuff required for participating in the competition.
But after 3 weeks of waiting and a bit of frustration because the ENDLESSSSSS wait, we finally got an answer, that we didn’t make it onto the shortlist….
here the overall critique for the pitch:
· Overall the pitch was well constructed with an excellent take on the passage
- A good breakdown of the asset pipeline and team roles
- Good storyboard
- A clear aesthetic style. The treatment was excellent
- Further development and analysis of the character animation would have been useful
- The panel felt the narrative needed some further work. Some editing would have been needed as it felt like a big project
- A Proof of Concept render would have been great; illustrating how the 2D and 3D would look
- 3D parts felt ambitious
· Although the concept has definite merit, the panel felt the other pitches had a stronger aesthetic style and marginally lower anxieties regarding the films production. It was very close.
Ah well, good luck to the finalists and on with normal college workload for us then
A few weeks ago we had a CelAction Workshop in college. Initially I didn’t want to go, being a 3D person and kind of looking forward to trying out my new TVPaint license, but after about an hour of workshop I was hooked. I’ll propably will be “married” to Maya for a long time, but I’m definitely having a crush on/ found a potential mistress in CelAction.
Once all the shortcuts were explained Andy talked us through the various animation functions on Day 1 and then showed us how to rig on Day 2.
I seriously didn’t have that much fun animating in a long time So here are my little shorts from playing around during those 2 days. I apologize in advance for the explicit and violent content of some of the clips.
So the last few weeks I got busy modeling and rigging the postbox, customizing morphy, and creating assets. I even got my flatmate to kiss a piece of paper a few times to get a nice red lip print on one of the love letters.
For the postbox I chose a penfold pillar box, which hopefully implies a bit of age and pride in being a postbox. Also tried to be as realistic as possible with the model so that there is a bit of contrast between the uptight correct looks of it and the cartoony movement.
Morpheus in this short is just gonna be Morpheus, only with cloths on. I didn’t want to build and rig a full character and think this freed me up a bit to experiment with watercolour and a more DIY look that I am hoping to achieve.
In order to pitch our project to music students from the Guildhall School of Music, we had to assemble a styleframe. For mine I tried to get the look kind of right but also a picture that depicts the relationship between my postbox and my postdude.
We had 2 milestones already, first the animatic crit and second the roughcut crit. Both of them are here….
so we went to the mail archive and got a tour round their cellar where all the documents and objects are stored. They have a lot of stuff in a lot of movable shelfs.
the also got a lot of pictures of posters, people, machines and pictures of posters of new stamps…
Also had a chat with steve about the ideas and was advised to do the spitting postbox idea as it is the most suitable for 3D Animation and gives a bit of room for performing with characters. I think I’ll go for that one, also because it’s the one idea that I am looking forward the most.
Later on during our Easter holiday Paul, Irene and me went to the Museum Store with all the big stuff like cars, a lot of different postboxes and what ever else the Royal Mail threw away during the years. Unfortunately I forgot my camera that day, so I ended up drawing a few postboxes
After visiting the Museum Store and some really interesting facts on pillar boxes I settled on a penfold pillarbox. Initially I wanted the Liverpool Special postbox, but since they where restricted to liverpool, it didn’t seem to fit the story. So the Penfold was the next best thing and with the help of almighty google I even managed to find a Penfold still in use in London near Gloucester Rd Tube Station….
So at the beginning of Term 3 we got a brief for the whole of Term 3 that we have to create a 1 minute short for the Royal Mail Archive and their future museum that is opening up in 2016 in Camden.
Basically the Brief is to create a character driven animation to the subject of “Near and Far” that is 1 minute long, family friendly and can be done with the knowledge level that each one of us has. We also met the a few people from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama
After the I was doing a bit of brain storming and had a few ideas:
Characters in Stamps are acting out what their letters are about and reacting with each other. Something like a letter with a crying post stamp is comforted by other stamps that are getting married and came from a holiday.
2. Life in Letters
Everybody writes, we start in school and never stop till we are dead and buried. I thought it would be nice to tell a life with letters, and the words being the actors, acting out their stories.
3. Spitting Postbox
A classic setup with 2 characters negotiating something. A postbox has a bad day, and lets of steam by refusing to take the next letter that comes along, which turns out to be a love letter. The sender, a young man, is desperate to send his romantic letter to his love but the postbox won’t let him, until it sees, that it is making him as miserable as itself, so the postbox (or pillar box) after seeing the love letter, gets over itself and finally accepts it.
After some thought I chose to go with idea 3 because, that seemed like the biggest acting challenge and animation challenge rather than a technical or motion graphic challenge from the two other initial ideas. So on it goes with this term and a spitting postbox….
When work tends to get busy, I tend to forget about the blogging…
So here is what I’ve been up to until the end of last term. We did:
- a pass the parcel exercise
- a green screen footage shoot that we had to incorporate with our creature walk
- two lip sync exercises
- a creature run and walk
Steve gave us a little log line on a some fashion related topic today and asked us to do a little short. this is my result after 2 weeks…
I really need to keep it simple, I think I did this way to complicated also I lost track of the keyframes and it all was a bit confusing at the end…. Ah well, live’s hard and I’ll do better next time
Fresh back at college, things quickly went back to business as usual with creature walks, runs and what ever else horses and other four legged creatures are able to do.
We also had a storytelling workshop with Isabelle Grey to get an introduction into film genres, plots, story beats theme and storytelling in general. I love storytelling, it’s a bit like puzzleing and trying to make things work so that a bigger picture will emerge. Story is key to everything, doesnt matter if you tell a bedtime story or have a sales pitch, if your story is convincing and entertaining, it’ll be successfull. Here are some videos she recommended and that I found.
she also recommended:
The Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogeler
Games People Play – Eric Berne
I read “Ideas for the Animated Short” by Karren Sullivan, Kate Alexander and Gary Schumer, which I highly recommend because it’s one of the few pre-production books for animation out there covering Character Design, Production Design and Story…..
AND last but not least, we Paul, Sylvia, Andrea, Ria, Sophie and me had a little trip to the Mudshoot Cityfarm on Friday to admire shiting goats, pissing pigs, lamas, all kinds of feathery stuff, and a lot more. Ria and me got really close to the squirrels there, one jumped on my leg wanting to climb up…. so all in all a fun week