As a result of a fair amount of developmental work and stressful days going nowhere, i've come up with a narrative for my third year film! putting together a thumbnail animatic later on today to show my class and tutors tomorrow but until then here is some character development.
Theres pages of it but this is the most up to date stuff. The characters haven't changed all that much since the original drawings, but i'm trying to keep it simple, get to a point I'm happy with and carry on developing a strong story.
I'm also in the process of choosing a colour pallet to stick to for my film, hopefully making it all sit a lot nicer with each other.
I'm also tempted to make the actual heads of my characters purely out of balsa wood, giving it more of a weird, hand built and generally stop motion feel to it. Still trying to work out how I would make hands and necks if that were the case but i think it'd look nice in conjunction with the fabrics and real hair i'm planning.
We've also been given the freedom to stick things on the walls in uni! It was a little odd at first having not done anything like this since foundation but its been great just as a method of sitting back and looking at everything at once. Its also a lot easier to talk through storyboards/thumbnails when its sequentially on the walls.
Film progress is going slowly but surprisingly well (touch wood).
I've recently started doing a fortnightly drawing challenge as bit of fun between a small group of us at uni, I chose the theme for the previous two weeks and at the time i was on a massive Breaking Bad high from finishing the final series, rewatching ALL of the episodes, listening to the soundtrack on repeat and many other things so that is the theme i chose! (spoiler free of course)
I chose to draw Mike Ehrmantraut and had a lot of fun doing so!
Below is the original drawing which i then photoshopped
Fingers crossed if i keep this up there'll be another drawing in a couple of weeks!
I've been having all kinds of fun in after effects the last couple of weeks. well thats not entirely true, its been tough but rewarding. Only broke down the once but there were good reasons behind that!
Here are a couple of screen shots from my after effects file, the overall effects i put on the shot were LOADS of masks to remove rigs and add a ghost effect and directional blur. a little bit of colour correction. playing around with hue, saturation, levels and brightness. A variety of smoke effects that I got from a good friend of mine on the VFX course at my uni, as well as playing around with the particle world effect for creating my own smoke/fire for the meteor.
Its been, as Marty Mcfly would say, Educational!
Basic after effects lay out
Stock footage smoke keyed out to go behind my character and keyed on hue/saturation and opacity to fade into nothing
masks for motion blur
the ghost effect, a masked moved around the body every 2 (or sometimes 1) frames for around 8-10 seconds of the clip. Each of the tiny keys you can see above is a different movement of the mask.
So without further adieu, below is the entire Mime project, start to finish. There were a couple of other block outs that I deleted during production just because they weren't worth saving but other than that its everything that i filmed over the two weeks I had to shoot.
If you'd like to skip purely to the final animation, then go ahead to 1:51 on the video
Back to uni and starting third year with a mime/after effects project. Started by upgrading my summer armature from hard foam to balsa wood. Just to make sure it would survive the animation process. I also made about three pairs of spare hands just incase fingers/wrists broke
In the past, there were separate briefs to do a mime, lip sync, and after effects project that don't link to each other at all. But this year they've all been thrown into one. So the after effects we learn directly influences what we chose to animate.
With this in mind, the basic premise for my mime piece is that my character is hit by some sort of meteor, stumbles around and unfortunately, dies. He then sits back up as a Paranorman/Ben Whitehouse inspired ghost, and floats up and around his body.
I now have all the raw footage from filming, which has been ridiculously stressful and tough at times but i'm happy with the way it looks. (if you want a sneak peek at how its looking then click on the 'Instagram' tab at the top of the page. Otherwise i'll upload a full video, start to finish with all tests when i've added after effects.)
I have two weeks to add all the after effects to it and i'll post some screen shots from that next weekend.
I've done no animating in the last couple of weeks, but i did go to the Harry Potter experience in London earlier this week! WHICH WAS AMAZING. I would highly recommend it to any Harry Potter fan with 3 hours on their hands.
While in London I visited Savile Row, the old tailors street where they still make bespoke suits by hand (they're incredible). Long story short the part of the whole making process I love the most is the teeny tiny clothes. So my logical thinking is to make a film about making clothes. Massively inspired by a stop motion film called "The Maker", see the full film below, which is also insanely great and shows how cutting and sewing is possible in stop motion with a simple character (hands wise)
Anyway, while wandering down Savile Row, I walked past a young tailor on his break. He had a curly ginger moustache, pink stripy shirt, green braces, basically the character i needed for a potential film idea for my third year at Uni. Brainstorming on the coach back to Cardiff, my girlfriend and I came up with a scenario he could be in, involving an old tailor and a young tailor working in the same workshop.
Its in INCREDIBLY early stages at the minute as the first designs for Arthur my fisherman were nothing like the final puppet, and I could get back to Uni at the start of October and my tutors could completely shoot down the idea, but here is a couple of coloured photoshop characters just before i forget what the young tailor looked like.
Anyone that's followed my other characters i've designed might notice that every single one has a moustache. i wasn't going to do one on this idea.... BUT i don't care. This one will hopefully be different because in my head I want the hair to be real/synthetic hair, not silicone or latex or anything because I want it all to have a real hand built quality to it.
after animating a walk last week, i started this week with the intention of doing a run, but I couldn't get the camera wide enough with the background I have to do a substantial run. And running on the spot was a nightmare, So with the help of Ben Whitehouse on the old twitter, I was sent a list of fun things to do as animation tests which was a god send! I also put together a showreel of stuff i have already, and from that found out what I don't have at all.
In my first year, we had to animate either a lift or throw, and a push or a pull. I animated a throw, which i kind of still like so there isn't much point re-animating one.
I started by making a miniature cardboard box, The cardboard was still too thick on the ends when it was made so i used hot glue to press together these bits.
Anyway, I seriously cannot stress block outs enough in animation. I had no reference videos for this lift so all of the movement came from a series of block outs as well as physically doing the action in the studio with a plastic box that was conveniently the perfect size! I have no idea what so ever how I animated my entire film this year with no block outs at all.
Also i've found its great to just animate what would actually be happening instead of worrying too much about how the individual frame looks. If you get the movement right, it SHOULD all work out! (don't quote me on that)
Without further ramblings, here is my weeks work, pretty happy with the outcome considering how i started.
Won't be animating next week because im going home for a week but i'll be back the following week.