Saturday, 10 May 2014

Landscape development

For my animation, I wanted to add backgrounds with in the outlines of the characters, these backgrounds relating to the character in a particular setting that they have been in, or are first introduced to and the additional eerie landscapes from primary photography that I have taken to add to the surreality of the animation.

I decided to use a ink brush pen to draw the backgrounds with as I needed a medium that would hold a variation of thick to thin lines with a solid block fill, as to still show the thin lines of the character outline, for instance if I was to use a fineliner the lines would be too thin and could merge with the character outline.

I merged the pencil and fineliner to make the composition standout more but I felt that it would be lost with in the animation as the character outline moves, I could use a thicker fineliner however I would not be able to add as much distressed lines as I can with a 0.1 or 0.3. I also didn't like the pencil shading as I wanted colour in the landscapes to add more emphasis to the surreal dream like quality to the animation.

I then moved to the ink brush pen which worked well however I couldn't add as much distressed lines as I wanted to due to not being used to the pen. As I began to draw more landscapes with the pen, I was able to draw more thinner and distorted lines to help with the distressed and aged appeal that I wanted to include within the landscapes. 

I experimented with the first landscape that I designed with the brush pen and added colour to the piece by merging a page that I had added watercolours too via photoshop. I didn't add watercolour straight to the piece as the water from the watercolour would have made the ink run, which could have worked with the surreal theme of the animation however, it would also become harder to depict behind a character outline, and I want the audience to be able to see vivid colour with parts of the landscape.
I chose to use watercolour as I liked the quality of how the paint drys, how the watercolour edge drys more vibrant than the rest when overlapping on other parts of the watercolour, which worked well as a textured background for the landscapes. I debated with using pastel and acrylic paint, however the pastel colour is not as vivid and has a soft approach to the hue and would also lighten the outline, applying the pastel first would make it hard to apply the ink for the design. Acrylic paint would be too thick and I would have to use black acrylic for the outline of the composition which I felt would standout too much compared to the watercoloured version.

To gain idea of how the landscape would appear behind the character outline, I imported the merged watercolour and ink outline to after effects and quickly made a rough outline on a shape layer.
I then used the position transform key points to animate the landscape to move from behind the rough outline. I felt that this worked well especially when the outline would be moving as well as.

The only problem that could arise would be trying to get the finished outline to show the landscape. At first I thought about using the Keylight menu, using the colour white as the image that would be the landscape, however I could not get this to work as the landscape would not show. Instead I used the blending modes to show the landscape, multiply was the best mode as it showed the image only in the white space of the outline.

I then drew the rest of the landscapes that I would be using for the animation, and used both the comic and the environment around me for influences, for example with the distressed bricks, I gained influence from the Abbeth Staithe in Selby, an aged building that used to be used as a warehouse in the 18th century.

For the last design I wanted to use a photograph that I took when I went to visit Pately Bridge in Harrogate, an old decaying hut like structure, that seemed eerie and surreal and thought it would work well with the theme of the animation.

With the watercolour, I wanted to have a surreal wash of colours, to give emphasis to the dream like state of the theme and thought that a purple like hue to the paint would work well and make the landscape seem more duanting and distressed.

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