Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Extended Design: Reviewing David's Storyboards

David asked me to quickly look through his storyboards in which he collaborated with Sophie, a third year illustration student. It was fun revising the storyboards, it was nice refining his work further creating something that was visually interesting for the spectator alongside the dialogue. I really enjoyed reviewing and debating about what the shot would look like with Sophie and David, there were so many ideas and it was nice picking out the best ideas and coming to a compromise with the group with what realistically could be animated.

I found that the main problem was the sheer amount of close ups that were in each board - this made quite a few of the scenes feel flat and uneventful with the fact that the audience couldn't see the space or/and even the characters did not have this awareness of space. This could be easily fixed with mixing up the shot with different angles and extreme shots, close and far. Alot of the scenes were the exact same, which one of the scenes it was perfect for the comedy but the rest needed something different to make the narrative more interesting for the audience. An example of this is within the scene where the main characters mother leaves the room by shutting the door, the main character trying to sleep. This shot was kept at a profile view, med shot throughout the sequence. I suggested having a long shot, with the main character in the foreground, rolling over towards the audience, with a long cast shadow of the mother as she closes the door over the main character. This worked really well as it broke up the previous shots. Sophie changed the angle slightly but the overcast shadow became a good way of interpreting the original narrative to enhance the progression of the scene.

Extended Design: Cy and Dusk's Phoneme Sheets

I wanted to create the phoneme library quite early in the process so that I would be able to take these mouths and use After Effects to create the lip sync. Using After Effects for the lip sync would make it easier to match the main movement from the photoshop file and import the mouths as an image on top, using tracking to keep the mouth in the same place as the character moves.

In order to create the mouths I used Preston Blair's phoneme examples as well as myself for reference to create a sheet for the main character, Cy and shadow, Dusk. Cy was quite difficult, as I had to remember to make the mouths in my own style so they were less realistic in comparison to Preston Blair's examples. After drawing the basic vowels, I added a few extra as to show emphasise that I would most likely add when lip syncing later on, for example making a smaller A/I mouth to work with a less exaggerated expression. I really enjoyed drawing these mouths as I got into the flow of considering how the character would generally talk. I also considered moving the characters chin as he talks which is something that I wanted to experiment with in After Effects and the puppet tool. I don't think my animation necessarily needs the chin to move but I personally think it would be a nice touch to the movement. 

After creating Cy's phoneme sheet it was quite easy creating Dusk's as it was far simpler with the shape of the face and I found it easier considering the extended mouths that would be needed for his speech. Such as 'S', this would need to be extended with how Dusk talks, more of a childlike and dark at times.  

Extended Practice: Backing track music

For my soundtrack for the animation, I really wanted to be able to have an instrumental track that would enhance both the atmosphere and the animation. I first contacted Leeds College of Music, the Leeds Orchestra Group (LUUMS) and Leeds Beckett University.

After a few days I got over 10 emails with interest in collaborating with my work from Leeds College of Music. Only 2 people send examples of their work, one of which was Daniel, who I chose to collaborate with. I really liked his work, it ranged from being ambient to having character absorbing an adventurous approach, which is what I was looking for.

Daniel was incredibly lovely and considered the examples and the style of my animation well. We mainly communicated over Gmail and Dropbox as these were the easiest forms of communication as well as the advantage of Dropbox with being able to send bigger files to each other. On Dropbox you are also able to comment on each piece of work which was fantastic for commenting on what needed to be improved/edited.

I'm really happy with the audio so far! I think the start of the crescendo needs to start a bit sooner however I will be presenting this at the next crit, hopefully feedback will help me with anything else.

Using Gmail

Extended Design - Creating a layout for the final art book outcome

I wanted to start creating my layout for the final pages of the art book early so that I could easily add the  development work, screen shots and final work to the template.

For my own work, I wanted something that was simple and slightly detailed with a text box so that I could add ' creator comments ' etc. I've always been more inclined to keep the background white, adding either a border with interesting type faces.

I wanted to emphasise the character's name, so that the viewer immediately knew which character it was without looking at the visuals. I also fell in love with the typewriter font, royalty free from da I really liked the parchment approach it gave the page.

I then added two border eek lines to frame the page, I used a textured brush on photoshop to make the border lines more interesting with a grey approach to the hue. I didn't want a colourful hue as the character designs are quite vibrant and would be difficult to find the right colour that wouldn't detract away from the main design and work with the font.

Overall I really like this layout as it will work well with the turnaround sheets and screenshots from the animation.

Example of final layout design for own project

For Becky's work I needed to create a layout that would work with her animation theme. Her characters  were developed from the Brothers Grimm tale Rumpelstiltskin. I immediately envisioned an aged approach to the design, such as torn and coffee stained pages. For the tester approach I used a royalty free grunge attacked paper texture, which worked really well with the character designs.

I wanted to emphasise the aged approach to the design, so using inspiration from victorian borders I created a small element to frame the text. It worked surprisingly well, I believe this is due to how simple it was and it didn't overcrowd or draw attention away from the main design. Feedback from Becky was extremely positive and there were no major changes to the layout that needed to be done.

To avoid any copyright claims I would like to create my own coffee stained paper texture, even though the texture is royalty free.

Example of final layout design for Becky's project