Scene Colour Test:
I produced a frame from the beginning of the film in detail and attempted a colour test. This was prior to the comments from Jerry Hibbert (below), but it definitely supports his feedback. It took me a long time to choose the colours, and a long time to execute them to a standard I was (somewhat) happy with, but the time taken to do this needs to be taken into consideration for the time I would have on the final film and how many backgrounds of a similar look would be needed to be coloured this way.
I added some background characters to show ideas of what the other children could look like in the same shot. I used a "dry media brush" in Photoshop for the background colours. I like the grainy/canvas look. I'll do some more tests with other brushes and other textures to find ones that work well for the final film.
I also did some little fun sketches of other background character designs. It was a "eureka!" moment when I realised instead of getting bogged down with creating other characters, I could draw my own friends as children! It was too cute of an idea not to draw them straight away! So here are a few - all from my animation course!
Further Animatic Feedback:
1. In the morning I saw Matthew Gravelle, for some feedback on my first animatic as shown in the previous post. He provided some interesting points:
-Cut the first scene where Mollie and Babbit are sitting on the wall.
Matthew thought the scene where Mollie meets Babbit in the coatroom later on in the animatic would work better if the audience wasn't already familiar with Babbit. By cutting the first scene, thus starting the film with Mollie in the classroom on her own, would show her loneliness more clearly, and make the first meeting scene in the coatroom stronger.
-All scenes are a little too long by about 2 seconds or so.
I will go back to the animatic and cut some shots down. I was trying to show long shots for a slower, more moodier atmosphere, but some shots do need to be trimmed down, as they really are too long.
-Extend the meeting (in the coatroom) scene with Mollie and Babbit. Get a more emotional impact. Then do a montage scene of Mollie and Babbit together. In the montage, have some very simple shots, illustration-like, not much movement, with her classmates doing the same activities as Mollie and Babbit. Show Mollie wanting to join in every time, with Babbit growing a little smaller every time she does so. In this animatic, you don't get the importance of Mollie's relationship with Babbit. This should be the most important thing to show.
This is a very good point that had somehow been overseen in the animatic, but something that I was becoming aware of. Mollie and Babbit weren't really shown together on-screen for very long at all. I'm really glad Matthew pointed this out. It means I have to go back and change a big chunk of work, but I do really need to show Mollie and Babbit together more, for clarity, and for the story to have meaning! I will also try and make sure the montage doesn't have much movement to save myself the trouble of difficult pieces of animation performance. It will require precise and clear story-telling through strong layout and composition.
2. As well as Matthew, I also emailed Jerry Hibbert and a a few of the guys at Hibbert Ralph, my animatic. I went to the Hibbert Ralph Animation studio in Soho, London, over the summer for a work experience placement. I started developing story ideas for my final film whilst I was there, and was able to show my ideas to a few of the people there, so I had some great influences right at the beginning. Jerry Hibbert gave me some feedback on my first animatic:
-I couldn't really understand the narrative of your animatic. But there some sweet images in there of the girl and her rabbit - both the giant one and the regular one.
I will have to work on the clarity of my animatic, for the narrative didn't seem to come through here. I will be drawing a neater version for the next animatic, so hopefully the narrative will become clearer then.
-Make sure that when you cut, the figures change size so it cuts properly and for a reason and doesn't look like a weird arbitrary jump cut. And cutting from full face to profile can be odd too. Three quarters views are usually prettier anyway - try to avoid full profiles. Work it up more and make sure the story comes across.
I'll make sure the cuts are clearer and the proportions are more accurately drawn in the next animatic. I also like the point about keeping 3/4 shots of Mollie's face instead of the frontal ones. I will definitely incorporate this into the next animatic. It will hopefully help me sort out problems with composition and layout etc.
- Don't worry too much about colouring it all up. A film with a title and an end looks like you followed the project through. what you want people to think is "She can animate well - and has the staying power to finish." Not necessarily "She's good at colouring her animation."
I really appreciated this comment in particular. The colour in my final film is still not completely thought out and finalised, purely for the reason that I did not know which way to go. In prior tests with feedback, the "lilac shades" looked nice but seemed like a "lazy" option to some, whereas the full range of more realistic colours (skin colour, blonde hair colour, red school jumper, etc) looked better, but took far longer to achieve. It's a case of weighing up these pros and cons and judging which will be best to go forward with. I do think a simple colour palette, with just simple shades of a certain colour would work, and it's a style I really love anyway. Full colour would look great, but in the time I have to complete this film, I think it may be more realistic to use a limited colour palette. My intentions right at the beginning were to keep the colours simple anyway. I want people to focus on the animation performance and the story the most. The colour and backgrounds were not as important to me, overall. I will produce some more visual tests to see what method could work, more working with the limited colour palette.
So this week I will:
-Develop a second version of the storyboard/animatic, and I need to find and edit some music for it.
-Do further, more extensive colour tests of scenes that could be in the final film. Test colours, brushes etc.
-Start the Negotiated Proposal and Production Bible ready for Hand-In for the 12th December.