Sunday, 13 May 2012

Final Post before final deadline...

The last few days have been spent compositing my film together using After Effects and Premiere Pro.

Although some elements of my film are unfinished, all of the main character animation is complete and at least 80% of the film has coloured frames too. I worked the shots to the timing of the score, though I may work further with my composer, as I felt some shots could be extended musically to enhance the action in the scene.

From seeing everything composited together, I felt much better about the film in general too. After only visualising the shots in my head, it was really great to see them all up next to one another, making the film a whole. I definitely feel proud of it.

After the deadline, I plan to tweak a lot of areas, cleaning everything up and making things neat and tidy ready for the grad show and industry night in June.

As part of our hand-in we must fill in and submit a film festival submission form with 5 production stills, so here they are:

I'm looking forward to tweaking and finishing the film ready for the grad show. After compositing the film together over the last few days, I can see how much I have done and how much I need to do. It'd be a great achievement to fully finish it.

Also, in two weeks time, I will be attending a week-long masterclass with Joanna Quinn at uni with a number of my friends on my course. I'm looking forward to it a lot! :)


Monday, 7 May 2012

The Final Stretch...

One week to go!

Animation has been coming along steadily over the last few weeks. I have been going into the uni studios every day to work which have included weekends for some time now.

I have had some fantastic helpers on my film. I really could not have got as far as I am now into my film without their help. As this is the final week before hand-in, I aim to give the helpers a few more shots to colour to be able to get a good majority of the film coloured for the deadline.

I now have only a few more "elements" left to animate which I aim to finish by at least Wednesday, so I can then start compositing everything together on the computers in the studios.

Over the brief Easter holiday at the end of March, I was able to meet with my composer at his home. We worked over the score. We produced a digital piano track as well as an "orchestral" version which he sent me after the meeting.

On April 23rd, our group had a critique. We all put together a "rough cut" of our film to show to the tutors and our class.

Feedback I received from tutors:

-Towards the beginning of the film, where we see Mollie amongst her classmates (etc) she needs to be clearer. Ie: Make Mollie stand out more (blurring or lighting effects)
-Shot 034, where Mollie is looking at Babbit and starting to walk forward, Mollie needs to look back, then towards Babbit as she should be confused as to how Babbit got outside....
-Some notes in the musical score sound a little too low and don't work with the visuals.

As well as this, the tutors said how impressed they were by the score itself, as the musical "themes" for the different characters were present throughout and helped with the visuals, which was really great to hear. They also said the film was very promising, so I am just hoping I get everything more or less done for the deadline. After the official hand-in on the 14th May, I aim to go over any areas of the film that need a little more attention, be it in the actual animation, or in the colouring, clean up or compositing aspects, in time for the grad show from the 1st June, in particular for the 13/14th June (Industry Night).

As well as this, we have to complete a 1500 word evaluation as well as 5 posters for the hand-in. Lack of sleep may be necessary, but I am hoping everything will be more or less OK for the deadline.

Wish me luck..


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Babbit Still!

A still from my upcoming film; 'Babbit'!

Work is going full-force. I am animating almost every day and have helpers working on backgrounds and colouring frames.

This still gives an idea of what the film should hopefully look like once completed!

On some screens, this looks more pink than purple, I will have to investigate a little into why that happens..

But other than that, I just hope everything will get done in time. 7 weeks to go until the deadline...

Wish me luck!


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Dissertation Nearly Over - On With Work

The past 2 weeks have been devoted to finishing my dissertation. The deadline is the 15th March, so I thought it best to finish it as soon as possible. I sent off the final draft to my tutor yesterday (Friday) so hope to receive a little feedback before I fully submit as well as print and bound the whole thing! It has been a struggle to say the least...

But now - I can finally get back onto my final film! Hooray! :)

So hopefully more work will be uploaded on here soon.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Backgrounds, 2nd/MA help, animating etc...

The week before I was due to start animating (according to my own production schedule) I began to draw my backgrounds. These are a selection of the backgrounds I was able to draw in a week.

I then started to animate. I wanted to start relatively slowly, to get into drawing the characters and to get used to the style and speed I could draw, etc. So I began with a few of the easy shots in the film, the still shots. These require "boiling", so these shots need three frames in order for it to boil successfully without stuttering or looking static.

As well as this, we were given the opportunity to present our films to a class of second year and MA animation students to ask for help on our films.

I split the "help" into three roles. Either background digital colouring, frame clean-up and colouring, and animating background characters with key frames provided by me.

I was lucky enough to receive six willing students to offer their help which I was very pleased with. They stated which aspects they were most interested in, and we exchanged details. I will be preparing work for them to do as soon as possible, as I plan to focus solely on my dissertation after Monday 6th February for a week and a half. In this time, I will assign tasks for a few of the students to do. This will be the background colouring and the animation tasks mainly, as the frame clean-up and colouring is going to need a little more refinement until I am happy to assign them to the help.

All in all, a busy few weeks, but very successful and hopeful! Might be able to finish this film after all!

I'm really excited to be working with these students and to get going on everything properly!

After the week and a half assigned to dissertation writing, I will then solely focus on my film, as long as the dissertation is up to a decent standard and I can get it bound and then forget about it!

I'm confident in sticking to this and being able to get this done!


Monday, 23 January 2012

Final Animatic - Version 2!

After the critique/initial feedback I received on the 16th January, I asked to speak to tutor, James, to go over my animatic, and there were a lot of areas that needed development in the story. We went through the points, and I understood all the points. I was not happy with the final animatic I handed in on the 16th and knew there were still a lot of story points I needed to change and develop, so the feedback was really useful.

Gemma Roberts helped me go through the new story, laying it out and thinking of composition and shots. Here are the scanned images which Gemma drew, which shows the new storyboard animatic layout. The images Gemma drew are the first two sections of box thumbnails, the thumbnails underneath are ones where I was working on frame layout and composition.

I also met with tutor, Matthew Gravelle, who went through my animatic too, and who also gave me some good points to think about and go through for the new story.

I worked all day Tuesday, so I was able to show Matthew the new animatic on Wednesday. Thankfully, this animatic then worked much more coherently and now there were only a few shots to change or take out. After this, I worked for the rest of the week to finish the new animatic, adding new sounds and finishing the animatic completely.

I am much happier with this story, it is much clearer and I feel much more strongly about the project as a whole.

So here is the Final Animatic - Version 2:

Babbit - Final Animatic - Version 2

I now will send this new animatic to my composer, who I will ask to complete a rough track for it.

As well as this, I will hopefully be able to get a presentation together to show to some prospective first and second year animators who I can ask to help on my film.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Part 2 Submission - Feasibility Test, etc...

For the final part of our Pre-Production module hand-in we are required to submit 30 seconds of animations tests, from linetests to full post-production realisation.

I went to the studio every day last week to animated for this deadline, and was able to do three shots. I scanned them all and composed them into a video. Some are more "complete" than others, merely because of time constraints for this hand-in. (Monday 16th)

It was good to start actually animating after all this time on pre-production, and by diving straight into scenes from my final animatic, I was able to fully realise the time I needed on some shots more than others.

The main aspect that caused me difficulty was the hair on Mollie. I was animating her with the hair design I had previously used as the final design. But a few days into animating, I was growing increasingly frustrated with it, and I felt it was hindering each drawing, making it look too static and dead. I therefore changed the hair, made the line flow simply down, resting upon her head, but still in the same "bob" formation. It looked much more natural, and above all, felt much better to draw and animate with! The contriving feelings lifted instantaneously, and I went back and changed the longest scene I was working on to show this new hair design all the way through. This can be seen in the video (link below). As well as showing this hair scene with the new hair design, I have also showed the original hair design to show the comparison. Unfortunately, I did not get time to go back and change the other tests that still had the original hair design, but if these tests are received good enough for the final film, I will then go back and change the hair.

Hair Design Before:

Hair Design After:

Link to the Feasibility Animation Tests:

Feasibility Animation Tests (Vimeo)


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Final Animatic [Clean]

 Over the Christmas holidays, I was able to draw the shots from my animatic again in Photoshop, as 'Part 2' of our hand-in requires a "clean and more detailed" animatic. I decided to draw and colour the frames in a purple colour scheme in line with the final colour plan as described in earlier posts.

 There were a few aspects I needed to change from presenting the rough animatic to my tutors on the 12th December.

These were:
- In the teacher scene, the angle where the teacher's shadow appears on Babbit needs to be changed back to the first angle used in the first animatic.
- The background/overall colour visualisations need something more. The idea for having purple coloured characters on purple backgrounds might not work and you need to test this. Perhaps add more colours in the backgrounds?
-The montage scene (time-lapse) in the middle needs to be shown more clearly in the next animatic.

 Also, over the holidays I was able to visit my composer. I showed him the rough animatic (as I had not completed the clean animatic by then) and we discussed the sort of music I would like and what mood I wanted to get across. He said that he couldn't really come up with a track until the animation was all done and the film was timed out. So this has given me a deadline to work to in that I must finish and compile the animation by mid-late April to be able to give enough time for my composer to compose and record the final track. It won't matter at this point if it's not all coloured, he just wants the timing to be finalised so he can work with the emotional beats more effectively. So my time management is of the utmost importance to be able to achieve this.

Here is the final Clean Animatic:

Babbit Animatic [Clean]

I didn't change much else in the final animatic, though there may be a few things that need altering throughout the process, but I will wait until the next feedback session before I decide on anything, as I now need to focus on the rest of the work needed for the 'Part 2' hand-in (due the 16th January), which in itself requires:

- 30 seconds of Animation/Feasibility tests.
- 1000 word Working Life-Industry Report
- 500 word Self-Reflexive Report
- Professional Practise work - Business Card designs, full and up-to-date CV, website links to portfolio, etc
- Final Clean Animatic

Here are the pages of drawings done for the clean animatic:

I tried to embellish some actions where I could. I wanted to show more actions in places, but it just wasn't possible in the time period we have been given to complete this. Therefore, some scenes are not as clear as they should or could be. Also, the last few frames were done on a separate document and were not saved in PNG form, these will be uploaded as soon as possible.