So storyboards and animatics have offically become the bane of my existence, however thats what happens when you change your story and shots multiples times, however in the end we finally got it. Over the past weeks in this project we have had multiple iterations of animatics and storyboards showcasing our different story as they changed. You can see how they develop from understandable to confusing to back to fairly understandable again. Unfortunately in the last animatic we did we didn’t have the monster modelled so there is an empty space where he is meant to be. The basis of the final story is the character sees the monster get closer to him whenever he looks in the mirror as the lightning flashes. every time he turns around the monster is gone. On the last time the character catches him and the monster tries to scare the character. The character remains stoic and instead scares the monster. The animatic for us was to more showcase the camera angles so that we could follow them as we spilt up the scene. Anyway here are animatics 1, 2 and 3
Another element that changed as we progressed was the sound. This was a big mistake doing the sound after the story. As Conánn says, an animation is a radio play with pictures. For the final animation we followed this advice given to use in the feedback session where we were suggested to sit down for 1 or 2 days and get all the sound done and then build the new animations around it. We did this and it helped us guide the production of the story and animations alot.
When it comes to camera angles I am now fairly well versed in them because of this animation. We did a lot of research into camera angles with this project. High angles and Low angles used to make characters seem powerful or vulnerable. Close ups to show the reaction of a character to something, this also relates to the dolly zoom that we once planned to have in it. Tilted angle can be used for multiple purposes, it can be from a victims viewpoint as if you are seeing what they are seeing or to get dramatic or tension shots. A commonly used one would be the long shot or extreme long shot, this is great for establishing shots. We considered using a POV shot for a while at the start however we found that in our circumstance since we were using characters in a mirror it can confuse the audience as to whether it was cut to a different camera or a cut to another POV shot. Another shot that we have used to full effect is the over the shoulder shot which features heavily in our animation and is one of the best shots to build tension in a scene, this can be used to great effect to show a figure behind a victim.
Here are some storyboards we also used before creating the animatics. The storyboards shown are some of our last story boards when we began to simplify our story down.
New Narratives has been a tough journey but I didn’t expect anything less. The work is only going to get more challenging and as the years progress and i’m ready to face it head on. This semester was tough, it was a huge leap from semester 1 which was definitely a walk in the park compared to semester 2. What I take from semester 2 is that it is meant to challenge us to see who will make it through to second year. You don’t get into second year by quitting, you have to work hard to get in. I feel like first year was like another interview, it set the bar at a good level in first semester to see what you would be like at that level and to give everyone a good starting level and then second semester is where we were truly tested. I don’t think anyone was ready for the jump between first and second semester but I understand why there is such a leap. We have to be ready to work with companies after summer. We have to be able to come into a professional atmosphere. We can’t be immature we have to prove that we can work at a professional level. We were taught a lot in second semester, we were given the help that we needed but at the same time we were left to our own devices to see how we would cope in an environment where we have to take responsibility for our actions. I think the tasks that were set were very fair and I liked the change of skill level, I like that we were pushed to get to where we want to be and not just have it handed to us. Overall I think that this semester has been a great learning experience and I look forward to the future.
Modelling was a lot of fun in this project, it was probably my favourite part of the assignment. I really enjoyed researching different designs for the room and modelling the furniture, especially the desk and the wardrobe (which you unfortunately don’t see in the animation). The models did take a while to complete but they were a lot of fun to play about with. Its one area that I really want to focus on in my portfolio, over the summer I’m thinking of doing some more models of decor or evironments as well as try and develop my ability with modelling humans. The furniture took a lot of care modelling wise, There were many redrafts of the desk and bed as it had to fit the style of the environment. As Conánn and Gianni mentioned in the feedback the French Victorian decor is really intricate with its use of patterns in the work and the frames around furniture. Méabh brought forward a design for the fleur de lis. She redesigned it and gave me the concepts so I could have some reference points. I modelled some small low poly swirls so that they could be reused through out the desk and mirror.
Rendering takes a lot of planning. I learnt this the hard way. The first time we rendered it was a rushed job due to time constraints so the render settings weren’t tested or calibrated correctly resulting in a dark animation. After this for our final animation we did a lot of work on the lighting, fixing the candle issues the noisy glow and got it working correctly. However again with the final animation we again ran into timing issues and had rendering issues with some of the images resulting in a bit of a setback. However in the future we know to set at least a week aside for rendering to give ourselves time for re – shoots and in case of any issues it will allow time for us to fix any errors.
Time management was stressed to us to be one of our top priorities if not our top priority, and of course as naive students we mostly ignored it however not completely. We were suggested by Michael and Conánn to use the site Asana. A site devoted to helping those who cannot manage time, manage it. So at the start of the assignment we went on, signed up, and created an Asana schedule to keep us on track and to keep us focused on each goal as we went along. I will admit it taskes some getting used to and i’m still not completely used to it, however it does help a lot when it comes to planning for the final deadline. We had numerous set backs and unfortunately things did go wrong and things weren’t accounted for but we did learn a lot from this assignment about time management and I doubt we will make the mistakes again.
Overall I think the management did help us stay on track for the most part however I think that I personally should’ve paid more attention and in the future I will as I have paid the price for not managing my time well enough. Looking back over the project I don’t think we should’ve been stressed. It is true that planning does go a long way.
The design took a lot of thought. Mainly because it depended a lot on what the story was going to be. Once we decided that our story would be a thriller/horror style animation we wanted from here we started creating concepts. At first we wanted a more modern setting but as we went along we found ourselves attracted to the older Victorian/Edwardian style houses and decor that is usually associated with horror and thrillers. We did a lot of research including a huge mood board on pinterest and watching movies like woman in black which was a huge inspiration for our work as well as some more classic “horror” animations (not really but they have a nice style). More specifically Tim Burton’s work, his features more widely known like the corpse bride and the nightmare before Christmas to his more lesser known work like Vincent, a 1982 film about a boy who dreams of being like Vincent Price the famous actor who is famously known for his work in the horror industry. In the animated short the narration is done by Vincent Price. The style that is found throughout Time Burtons work is what we tried to capture in our own. This style is heavily influenced by German Expressionist art, most notably The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and Nosferatu as well as many others. The warped surroundings and decor used to full effect to help make the audience feel more of the surroundings whether its claustrophobia or entrapment. We wanted to have that influence in our own animation with our warped and bizarre character in a liveable environment but also have a warped and bizarre surrounding to help keep the believability within the animation.
The character design as well was heavily reflective of the time period in which the animation was set. The characters are based upon Victorian dolls, perhaps not in style but in fabric. The use of cloth for the body and the porcelain face was used heavily in dolls of this time period and so we wanted to have that come through in our work. This also allows for a good use of opposites with the body being hard and rigid and the body being soft and moveable as well as the arms. We also used this to our advantage by making the monster and the character similar but with a difference. The monster having a hard body and the character having a soft one. The similarity in the materials and the use of the stripes eludes to there being a possible relation between the characters (Is the monster really a monster hence the light hearted ending) as well a subtle difference so that the characters are not carbon copies of each other. Another huge influence was from Amanda Louise Spayd, creator of the dust bunnies. Another huge influence was from the the short animation, The Maker directed by Christopher Kezelos which features 2 of Amanda’s dust bunnies. The style is cute but unsettling and we had a huge influence from her work and style.