Monday, 29 March 2010

First storyboard

Relating Character Location to Characteristic

I have chosen the location of my animation to be in a family house. I have chosen this as there are endless amounts of household items that can be used in my story and the Christmas tree won't feel out of place here.

The challenge then is to relate the items in the household to the characteristic of the Christmas tree, gymnastic. I will do this by comparing an 'ironing board', to a 'diving board'. A 'sofa', to a 'trampoline' and a 'Christmas card display' to a 'bar'.

The box I will be using for the delivery will be two simple open top cubes, this is because it is the easiest to animate as the two pieces are solid and are not easily deformed.

The presents will be bright coloured boxes with contrasting ribbons. This design is a very familiar one that represents what it is clearly.

Story structure breakdown

I've further broken down my 3-act story structure into the following 6 events:

Act 1
Box Stretching
Box Breaking

Act 2
Identifying Presents
Identifying Obstacles

Act 3
Overcoming obstacles
Final pose

The next task will be to identify what kind of box I will be using, what kind of obstacles and presents I will be using, and finally what kind of moves my Christmas tree will be carrying out.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Life Drawings 23/03/10

The Street Of Crocodiles review

I found it very difficult to understand and form a story out of 'Street of Crocodiles', I started of by understand that when the puppet was cut free, it was allowed to explore a world of mysteries and adventures. As it progressed, I failed to understand what was happening, and instead started to feel uncomfortable as a result of the 'uncanny' designs throughout. For me, this animation had me more concentrated on how well the environment manages to evoke such feelings. The relationship created between the objects are responsible for creating such a feeling, for example the ubiquitousness of screws throughout the animation, unscrewing themselves, made me feel uneasy. The colour used were also inspiring, as it created such a dingy, underground world. I believe 'The Street of Crocodiles' is an animation I will be revisiting, however, my main goal if anything, is to understand the storytelling used throughout.

Meat Love review

Meat Love is an animation that I feel could even be released now, and still be visually appealing. It shows the clashing of two worlds, first establishing a world that doesn't 'really' exist between the two pieces of meat, and then suddenly clashing it with a world that we are all familiar with and does not need time establishing. I believe now, if it were made, or if I were to make it, I would cut the music off as soon as the skewers hit the meat, as it heightens the effect of the two worlds clashing. This provides inspiration for my 1-minute animation as it shows how a story can resolve itself successfully in a minute and also shows how a usually inanimate object can be animated, and animated without adding hands and legs to it.

Dimensions of Dialogue review

Whilst watching 'dimensions of dialogue', the question I kept asking myself throughout the duration of it was, "how is he doing this?". The animation began with various utensils that formed two heads, and the two heads kept 'eating' eachother to form reduced copies of their former selves, eventually reducing both to clay heads. Although, the starting utensils, weren't crushed into clay, the utensils were still crushed none the less. Thimbles and cutlery were reduced to scrap pieces of metals, and I was wondering how this was possible. I thought it was also peculiar how 'vomiting' out another head was not seen as disgusting, but instead found humorous by the audience.

During the 'passionate discourse' part, I identified a story throughout the duration of it, besides also wondering 'how it was done'. After the two clay figures moulded into eachother sexually, it resulted in a tiny piece of clay moving about the table. The little clay figure to me, represented a child. The animation confirmed this, by the baby naturally attempting to hug it's mother. I was then shocked to find both the 'mother' and 'father' knocking the clay figure about, it was obviously an 'unwanted' baby. I was also wondering how many 'backup' clay figures he had ready for the animation as during 'passionate discourse' the couple attack eachother, destroying the build up of the human-like characteristics.

While watch the 'factual conversation' part, I felt like I was being taken back in time to the 80s, as I could imagine a big audience laughing at some of the outcomes displayed here. At first, I thought it was visually pleasing, how the two faces could expel two items and have them interact with eachother. As it progressed, for me, it was more a feat of Animation rather than humorous storytelling. The ability for example, to sharpen a tube of toothpaste, must have been difficult to animate.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Plot for THIRD Idea!

Act 1
A 'Christmas-tree-in-a-box' arrives at a house (it is inside the house). It sees in the distance, a pile of presents, and identifies this as it's desired location.

Act 2
It views every object on the way to the presents as an obstacle. e.g. it jumps off of a sofa, rolls under a table, slides along an ironing board.

Act 3
It finally backflips into the center of the pile of presents.

Storyboard: Checking if it works

I created this quick storyboard to check whether the timing was right, and to see whether the scenes would actually 'work' in general, from an overall visual aspect. After reviewing the storyboard, I concluded that in order for the timing to work, it would require the still shots to be filled with many seconds of action. However, after creating this storyboard, a new, more promising story line came to mind, and I will have to create another storyboard for this. So the storyboard in this post, will probably not be my final idea, however, it has allowed me to identify how long some scenes take and definitely has inspired my new idea (which will be in the post above).

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Christopher the Christmas Tree

'Christopher The Christmas Tree' is an Animation about a shaggy little Christmas tree that dreams about being a tall, beautiful Christmas tree and to be taken in by a loving family. Christopher grows old and becomes too big to fit in a house and instead becomes shelter to his many forest friends.

Watching the animated Christmas tree helps me to identify how the animator makes use of the 'build-up' of a Christmas tree and how moving certain parts, evokes certain emotions.

In the animation, the Christmas tree's do not move, they remain in one spot, only being able to 'shake' their body. As my Christmas tree is a 'gymnastic' Christmas tree, I was hoping to tackle this by, allowing my Christmas tree to hop as if it was on one foot, as oppose to giving it legs.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Character designs

Ball Happy Audio Roast Animation

Plot for SECOND Idea!

Act 1
Crate arrives via a trolley (controlled by noone, it moves by itself?). The trolley lowers the crate onto the floor and wheels itself off screen.

Act 2
We see and hear the crate moving up and down, with the padlock moving about, as the Christmas tree inside tries to escape. Eventually it bursts out, and the Christmas tree performs a flashy somersault into the foreground.

Act 3
Whilst doing the somersault, the decorations (from inside the box) fly up into the air. The Christmas tree catches each decoration, one by one, onto itself without letting one hit the floor. (or maybe at the end, while the Christmas tree is posing, one ball falls to the floor and shatters?)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Plot for first idea!

Act 1
A calendar is shown to establish that it is the 25th of December. We then see the Christmas tree, happy, with all the different decorations on it.

Act 2
The calendar turns it's pages a few weeks past December 25th. We then see the naked Christmas tree with no decorations on it. It feels both sad and cold.

Act 3
The Christmas tree sees the box of decorations in the distance, and jumps to it. It tips the box over, and throws the various decorations on it's body in a flamboyant fashion. The Christmas tree is happy.

At the moment, this idea feels as if it is too simple, and predictable, I almost feel like adding a twist at the end, but I'm not sure how and whether this would effect the simplicity of it. I was thinking, at the end, after maneuvering all the decorations back onto itself in style, it could do a final jump (like the one's seen in gymnastic events with the finish) back into it's position and then all the decorations falling off?



Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Life Drawings 16/03/10

Jason and the Argonauts review

The plot for this film was very intriguing and gripped me all the way through. I was a little surprised by the ending, as it was sudden and I guess if anything, I wanted to see atleast an extra 5 minutes of Jason aboard the ship as a sort of 'warm-down' to the film. By the current standards in special effects, the stop motion used throughout the film is far from, however this did not bother me whilst watching. The film was gripping and if anything, the oversized creatures used throughout were understandable and their dominance was put across successfully. At the time, the special effects were state-of-the-art, so this would add even more emphasis to the effect of the 'skeleton' scene. I believe that this film, is another that has had it's techniques used in more recent films. One example is the way in which skeletons arise from the bones thrown in the ground, this similar to how the 'saibermen' in Dragonball Z arise from the pods in the ground.

Monday, 15 March 2010

ILL (Monday lecture absence)

I am currently suffering from a headache thats lasted over 8 days, as a result I will not be able to attend the 11am lecture on Monday 15th March. I hope to download the lecture over myUCA. I should hopefully be able able to attend Tuesday's lecture and Life Drawing.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Lotte Reiniger's Cinderella review

Phil gave us a heads up on how the Cinderella silent animation would test out patience. I was worried because of this, but was pleasantly surprised to find I that I enjoyed every second of it. It is definitely a film that did not need music. I was thinking, once it had finished, 'if I were to put music on, what would I use, and would it enhance it in anyway?', the conclusion I came to was, probably grand piano playing the traditional minor keys for sad moments, and major keys for happy, but in my opinion this, wouldn't necessarily 'improve' the piece, strange enough, in my opinion. I was also surprised at how quickly it cuts between each scene and how cleverly scenes were linked together e.g. placing three related stories on-screen at once, and going through each one individually and also using the scissors cutting around the borders as a transition. I was incredibly shocked when Cinderella's stepmother cut off part of her foot, it shows how animations have given us a 'standard' to what we expect to see on-screen. Especially since it was a silhoutte, made of paper, with the blood being 'cartoony' droplets and the fact it was a straight line cut through the foot, just shows how big a part 'censorship' plays in our lives and how wrong it would be if Disney were to use blood.

Environment drawing during Suzie Kent's visit

Word for drawing: Anxious

This is a drawing I done using pastels, I would like to say that the shapes portray a sense of building like structures, however more concentration was payed towards the emotional effect of my piece. The blacks used on the edges connote a descent into losing your mind. As the colours gather in, it gradually goes from black to red, relating to the pressure that occurs in your head and the desire to do something. The blue displays the opposite end, as the anxious state you are in makes you unsure about what you really want to.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Rope review

Before watching this, I was skeptical about the film as I was told it had no cuts, no editing. This was probably an experiment of Hitchcock's to find out how the film would turn out, and how the audience would react to it. For me, this films was all about building suspense, or that's the effect it has on me. It is a known technique in modern films to use fewer cuts to build suspense so the result of using no cuts would mean a film that builds suspense throughout. The film, not having many breaks for the actors results in a more natural less 'stagey' relationship between them, this infuses us within the story heightening the suspense.

Psycho review

Considering the film Psycho was made in 1960, the editing techniques used were ahead of it's time. Nowadays, we are familiar with the quick cuts, speech overlapping and montages seen in films, however if it were the first time ever seeing these techniques used, I believe it would be a shocking experience. The musical score by Bernard Herrmann lifted the film, enforcing the effect of the editing, especially in the Shower Scene. The staccato notes coincide with the quicks cuts resulting in a heightened effect. I particularly like how Bates' mother is revealed in the film, only seeing her silhouette up in the window. before we find out that Bates' is also his mother, we perceive Bate's mother as a higher authority.

Cutting Edge review

This was by far the most helpful source to provide both general knowledge and information that could be referenced in my essay. The film went through 'editing' in chronological order allowing us to gain a more sound understanding of Editing. The film also allowed me to appreciate the 'art' of editing and how it really does effect the how a story is told and the overall message. The effect a type of cut has is also explained and gives us examples of when a certain cut might be used. There were a variety of interviews from professional editors, the variety and sheer amount of interviewers allowed us to see the world of editing from their point of view and help us to further appreciate the art.

La Jetee review

La Jetee, the majority being filmed using stills really helps with the creation of our Animatic. It succeeds in tellings a story using stills and therefore lets us see first hand the techniques used to create a successful storyboard. Flashbacks were even shown successfully, which is in itself a difficult concept to display without confusing the audience. However, La Jetee still succeeds in being a puzzle that doesn't lose the audience's attention, but gets them thinking trying to fit the pieces together.



Thursday, 4 March 2010


Character designs

Cinematic concept art/colour themes

Having decided to create a trailer for my animatic and pre-vis, I decided that the amount of locations used in the whole series of my drama would be too much to create concept art for. Instead I decided that the style of my cartoon would not require as much locations, but more familiar objects and colours that help reflect the subjects mood. These are some of the backgrounds that will be used in my animatic.