Final Piece and Video Breakdown

Above is my final submission for this project.

My Target Audience

My target audience for this piece was for children. I want to promote wildness and conservation using the National Trust 50 things to do before your 11 3/4. It was important to me to really understand how it feels to be a child and to see the world through a child’s eyes. Rather than myself and what I think could look good. When Helen came in for a Storytelling workshop she gave me this advice: ““I want to drag you down to my memory. Explore, interrogate your memory.” Helen was telling me to think about my experiences to think how a child thinks. This is an example of how exploring the story, helped me in animating the character itself.  This advice stuck with me throughout every stage. I was haunted by my younger self and how I acted. I took a to of time to look at old pictures and old footage of myself to help me identify how I move and pose.

Sadly I was not able to complete all the elements I had planned out. The reasons behind this was due to some over ambitious concepts I had wanted to carry out.

textures

After doing a lot of research and designing my own ideas I intended to create an animation that had texture and richness. My Plan was to colour by using watercolour brush. The opacity of this brush meant that I had to colour things twice; doubling my time. As I worked shot by shot this meant I was ultimately not able to finish the piece to the standard I had wanted. However as I began to colour I was pushing myself ways to speed up the process such as using a skin base colour and using the tools in Photoshop. I could have created a piece of animation quicker without this texture. Yet I used this texture to extend the stories grittiness and beauty of the world outside. I wanted there to be a toughness and feeling to it that was just flat colour. I pushed myself and tried to challenge the look of my piece by being experimental. So even though I was not able to finish the animation I am really glad for the valuable experience of being playful and creating an atmosphere using watercolour brushes, digital and traditional mixed.

The amount of characters – lights, worms and snails.

Another reason why I felt as though I was not able to complete my piece to my standard was because of the amount of characters I chose to explore. I wanted to test myself by choosing a Badger to work with. But as well as the Badger I chose to animate worms, snails, owls and a girl. I am happy I got the opportunity play with so many creatures and test myself as a character animator. However because there was so many different elements to consider I ran out of time on the things I would have liked to polish. As the director of my piece I had to make decisions on the animation to make it simpler. Because I chose to do this on certain shots I was able to have more time on some of the more extensive shots.

leaves

  • Time planning, spent to long on the story development stage.

I have invested so much time and worked everyday on this project. I am disappointed I was not able to finish it because it has been something I have grown so passionate about and been a part of my daily routine to work on. Where I think I went wrong was spending too long on the pre – production stages. I had chose to spend time exploring and generating ideas. Yet I spent too long coming up with too many variants instead of making a decision. I have a tendency to try to come up with lots of different ideas. However because of this story development stage I was able to create a story that inspired and motivated me. Story is an important stage to me; and helped me greatly when it came to animating the characters. It gave me the ability to see the character’s drive and why they may react in a specific way. I went into this wanting to bracket the story development side of it. Therefore I spent a great amount of time designing the look and character of the animation. This still worked in my favour; because I did this experimentation I sped up

  • The amount of time for 2D animation  – Frame by Frame animation is tough!

2D animation is tough at times, especially when working to a deadline as it always takes longer than you think. I had originally scheduled 2 months to animate, yet I only had 6 weeks in the end to animate which is another reason as to why the project wasn’t finalised in the way I had planned. I am still only a beginner int his industry. Yet I feel my confidence have grown so much over the 6 months. In Portfolio unit I had identified some of my failings and was able to rectify this and push my poses and expressions. I experimented and learnt  from my mistakes. I was able to play about and design the keyframes in advance to help me get the most out of the shot.  If I had worked with someone else in 2D animating I am sure I would have finalised the piece. When working on such a project it takes a lot of motivation to capture the essence through the drawings. By the end of the production, I understood that I have grown in confidence yet I still have a lot to learn. Sometimes I struggled drawing finding it tough to capture what I wanted to portray. It was really rewarding when shots of the animations were completed.

  • Mac wasn’t happy.
  • I had several technical glitches that halted some of my working time. My MacBook Pro the only place i can work from was suffering from constantly shutting down. 30 times is the most it did in one day. After seeking help and trying to solve why my Mac was doing this I realised when ever my Cintiq was plugged in, it would stay on. I was able to prevent my laptop from shutting down.  What this did teach me however was to be organised and backed up at all times. I made sure my work was saved on my main computer, my hard rive and on google drive. Knowing I had everything into place in a case of emergency made me feel less worried and also allowed me to be better organised.
  • The lessons I have learnt.
  • I could have finished the animation to my standard if I altered some of the above issues. Yet a lot of them if not all of them taught me individual lessons.One of my objects was to Become a better character animator. These lessons in itself is valuable to me as it has shaped me into learning from my failings. My main one is to utilise the power of the keyframes, exploring this in my sketchbook instead of going with my first initial idea allowed me to think more creatively and make the animation more interesting. I have learnt about the drive of the character and how we can present this. I have been able to utilise my story development which I spent too long on to be motivated and passionate, an important trait in all animators alike. I wanted to make a piece of animation that was experimental and charming, which I believe I was able to achieve.

Degree Show invite and 150 words

150 words and Image 

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My name is Victoria Geary, I am a 2D animator with experience in 3D animation. I am a passionate and natural storyteller. As well as animating, I have a love for pre-production. I enjoy developing and creating concept art and storyboarding. I am a keen researcher and have a great appreciation for really understanding and learning. During my time at Ravensbourne University studying Animation, I have worked for BBC radio 4, creating a short animation for their weather in history series. I have also been able to collaborate across disciplines with other courses to help create concept art and work together on my own projects. When I’m not animating; I have an interest in travelling; my most recent travels being Japan and Iceland. I like collecting funny anecdotes on my trips to fuel my ideas. I am also a compassionate supporter of conservation, exploring coasts and nature.

Degree Show Invites

I added three contacts to the Industry Contact sheet for degree show all three are based in London where I live near and are all inspirational works to me. I wanted to invite people who could easily get to Ravensbourne. There are other studios which were based in Wales and Ireland I admired as well, but I felt the distance was too far for them to travel. The three contacts I invited was the following : Max Lang from Studio AKA, Gemma Roberts – Lupus Film and Magic light pictures as I couldn’t find a contact.

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Screenshot with highlights of my added contacts
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Screenshot with highlights of my added contacts

Gemma Roberts – Lupus Film

http://www.amberdust.co.uk/about.php

Gemma Roberts is a 2D animator with huge experience of working in industry. Having worked at Lupus film an animation studio I am inspired by means I would having gain a contact if she comes. Her website itself is stunning, and really helped me think about being more creative and illustrative with my own one. Below you can see from some of the printscreen’s from her Blog how Gemma describes herself.

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Image source  – Above you can see the different areas Gemma works as, illustrator, story artist and 2D animator I love the work Gemma creates and I really hope she attends the degree show as her work is so beautiful.
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Image source  She works at Lupus film you can see here, there most recent thing on her Showreel is Going on a Bear Hunt a piece of animation that has fueled my FMP and really inspired me. It shows the breakdown of her work and the stages she worked on. Roberts would be a great contact to know and would be able to give me some advice into getting into the 2D animation world.

Max Lang

Max Lang is a very talented director and story artist. Winning a BAFTA and nominated for an Oscar for a Room on the broom, it’s a long shot that he will come. However if he does it would be hugely beneficial to everyone. Some of my favourites he has worked on is The Gruffalo. I like the British animation focus that he creates and there is something charming about all his pieces.

https://www.studioaka.co.uk/Artists/maxlang

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Gif source Max Lang worked on The Gruffalo.

Magic Light pictures

http://www.magiclightpictures.com

I also invited Magic Light Pictures, a studio which no one had invited yet on the sheet. I really love the work Magic light Pictures work on. The Roahl Dahl revolting rhymes they had worked on over Christmas was so beautiful and hilarious! I wanted to invite them as they create magical pieces which inspire me and create masterful character animation.

Izzy burton – Blue Zoo

I had intended to invite Izzy Butron to degree show after being in contact with her during my Portfolio unit. She is a concept artist at Blue Zoo, and creates beautiful masterpieces that show great understanding in colour and composition. I wanted to invite her to extend my contact however someone had already her on the sheet! I am glad that there is a variety of people everyone contributed to put on.

Image source 

Image source  – A beautiful demonstration of using colours and contrast, these speed paints are some of the work Izzy produces. I really admire her ability to work so quickly yet make such powerful works. I would like to see her in person to ask about her experiences and further network with her in person. 
Image source I really love this picture which is atmospheric and calming;. Burton would be a valuable person to come to our degree show as she offers experience in concept art another side of industry I am considering. 

Research and Development

 LO1, LO2 R&D

Aim

  • Develop and create a piece of effective animal animation.
  • To challenge myself, to put character into my quadruped.

I am challenging myself by creating my first quadruped piece of animation, that being the Badger in my animation. I want to use my down time to take time to understand how a Badger moves and help me into putting character into my animation.

LO1: I used Lynda this term to create a playlist called FMP ( see below.) As well as using several book as aid in my research into effective quadruped I used this short course – Animal walk cycles with Dermot O’ Connor. What I really liked about this course is that it not only gives an anatomically correct walk, but shows a custom made walk. It teaches you how to be playful with pushing the animals character’s across.

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Video source – LO1: The video introduces the course by explaining the ability to understand the anatomy of the creature you are choosing to animate. And how it is similar to the human joints.
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LO1: The course looked at Eadweard Muybridge and how he used 24 frames to help capture the movement in a second, weird how this structure is still being used – I am infact animating 24 frames per second as well! Muybridge’s photography break through meant the identification of the way animals move were finally understood in ways previously not known.
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LO1: In this video of a run cycle of a dog we can O’Connor demonstrates how much movement really is in each joint and section of the dog. It puts into perspective how many arcs and flow are needed to create that natural and flowly movements. For instance in this video it suggests expanding and reducing the torso like a elastic band when the dog is running. This was something I didn’t realise I would need to do but watching this video it makes more sense. It also pushed me to watch more of Badger reference video and understand what parts move in what ways.
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LO1: This was my favourite video in the course as it shows how to create a custom walk. And a walk that plays with how to put a soul into your animal and not just the mechanics. In this walk O’Connor plays with a “comical trot”. What this video showed me is that the animation dosen’t have to be completely anatomically correct when it comes to animating a creature. It is about playing and getting the character across, even if it is not exactly realistic in it’s movement.

Animator’s Survival Guide

animatorguide2.jpg LO1: Animator’s Survival guide Page 330 Scanned in by myself  Here on this page was useful they used different colours to help show the different elements and to prevent confusing the different sections. I think in the same way the course on Lynda did it shows how the body mechanics needs certain rhythms to push the animation.

animators3.jpgLO1: Author’s scanned in page 327 of The Animator’s survival guide.  This page helped me consider how to break down  my animator. suggesting to begin with the contact positions and then considering the motions such as the movement and the weight. I hope to show the weight of my character.

animatorsguide1.jpgLO1: Scanned in page 328 of Animator’s survival guide. This page in Animator’s survival guide began to discuss the ideals of animal animation. It suggested looking at Muybridge’s photos as well in the same way the course on Lynda did. Sadly their is no Badger shots but perhaps looking at animals of similar family or build could help me.

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LO1: Scanned in page 332 from The Animator’s Survival guide. What was useful for me when researching was not only looking at realistic movements but how to be creative and playful. I like in this chart how this character’s walk cycle has been conducted. This isn’t something any animal would walk like but it exaggerates the character.

LO1: It is important to remember the animal’s body when getting a character across. You can use it to emphasize the character’s personality. For instance studying how Kaa from the Jungle book uses his body to emphasize his creepy hypnotizing ways is really great! I love how he can contort and create shapes. 

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Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. 

illusions1.jpgLO1: Scanned from Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. The Illusion of Life has an array of useful and inspirational material to look through. On this page it notes about how to get an animals character across. I highlighted the section to which it suggests a Cat is more expressive with it’s eyes and a Dog is more expressive with it’s body language ( Which I believe is the same for the Badger.) The way we make our characters can help play with their species as well as their personality. (We want to represent the animals correctly.)

illusions2.jpgLO1:  Scanned from Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. As well as having this beautiful animation breakdown of Shere Khan; this page emphasises how studying animal movement can allow you to begin to be more creative without relying on reference. I feel right now I need to study the Badger movements so I am not just relying on the reference. I like the tip at the end (highlighted at the bottom) that suggests playing with the leg pattern to create a different emotion : such as sleepiness.

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LO1:  Scanned from Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas This page was scanned in not for any advice but for the amazing breakdown of Lucifer. I like how they have squashed the cat’s body (even his tail) to provide for the sinister hunter. As well as being fluid it replicates a similar behaviour in how Cat’s move.
Image Source   LO1: The research from many animators suggested to look at Muybridge’s photo sequences. Sadly he never did a badger, but he did do several animals which are similar in movements. Specifically the fourth one in demonstrates a similarity to how the Badger runs. It can’t be used too closely but it shows how to remember using the head to demonstrate movements as well as how the pelvic moves. 

Image source LO1: The racoon is similar to the Badger in the way it leads it’s movements with it’s nose. This is really similar to how the Badger moves, what I will take away from this is how the Racoon turns it’s head and the way the Racoon’s paws help it balance when it turns.

The Badger A.K.A Meles Meles

LO1: Below is some videos I used as a reference for understanding the Badger as we as when I was creating it’s character design. The Badger is playful and charismatic! In my research I discovered that Badger’s are not hunters but foragers or as the Badger’s trust put it “opportunists”. This shows how they are not hunting on prey but searching for anything that can be eaten. Information Source

Skeleton structure of the Badger

LO1: To understand how a Badger moves and to understand the shapes of a Badger I collected some images of the skeleton and anatomy of Meles Meles (European Badger) to which my animation is based on.  

Image source Here is an illustration depicting the skeleton with the external fur to see how the skeleton holds up the Badger. This image helped me understand how for instance the leg joints effect what muscles, helping me think of what shapes. It also emphasises the small head and the rounder body.
Image source LO1: Here is another image of a skeleton, what I liked about this diagram is the words written at the bottom. “This shows very well the typical posture of the animal”. Indeed from my research this rounded posture is evident of the Badger’s in all the reference videos. I would love to play with this shape. “Head down and body near the ground” Again it emphasises the shallow body of the Badger.
Image source LO2:  I liked this angle of the skeleton of the Badger. It shows the length of the neck in accordance to the feet, the size of the tail. The skull in this image how its triangular point which it looks from the front too.

Collecting Reference. 

LO1, LO2:  All the above research is useful, but actually watching the Badger is the most useful way to observe mannerism and ways of moving. I collected some of  my favourite into a Playlist on YouTube.

LO2: Above is another video which helped me when it came to looking for useful video reference. Different to the other videos which leave food out this one focuses on casual Badger behavior.

LO1, 2: Above is my favourite video, 30 minutes long, it showed great footage of Badger’s. I was able to collect several pieces of reference to aid me when Animating. YouTube is particularly useful as it allows me to slow down the footage.  What I noted is the way the nose leads alot of the movement even in the way it smells the air. I have fallen in love with how playful the Badger is!

“That most ancient Briton of English beasts.”

I like the above description in a poem titled The Combe, I read by Edward Thomas. It adds to that air of mystery I want to achieve with my character.

 

Stop the Cull. 

LO1: In 2013 the government put into place culling of Badger’s to prevent the spread of bovine TB to cattle. This cull is continuing and spread to other counties and to Wales. According to the Badger’s trust 80% of the Badger’s killed in the Cull have not been infected with TB. The more I have done research into Badger’s for this project the more I have grown passionate on this topic. Badger’s and their protection is important, and should be accessed. Culling Badger’s are not the only way to prevent this disease.

Image Source LO1:  Brian May of Queen is passionate advocate of the prevention of culling Badger’s.
Image Source – LO1: The support of many marches and protest have been taken place this year to demonstrate the support for Badger’s.

LO1: “Just a couple times a week, put your iPad away, put it down on the table and say i’m going for a walk. Whether it’s the park the common, the neighbouring woods, someone else’s grounds, someone else’s garden and have a little look around and see what you find. Might not be a fox, might not be a badger. Might be a beetle. Might be a butterfly. Everything in nature is special.” – Virginia Mckenna (Born free foundation.)

LO1: In the video above the many famous conservationists and members of various charities discuss the first time of seeing a Badger. Many whom were young. What I took away from this video is the way they described their inner feelings. There are children who speak of their favourite things about seeing a Badger. It shows the excitement and the mystery of this animal who is nocturnal and live under ground making themselves “unaccessible” to the world.

LO1: There is a great debate between farmers, who proclaim it is the Badger’s spreading this disease. Above is a documentary that sheds some light onto this vast debate between the righteousness of culling Badger’s or not.

References of good character animation.

Below are some GIFS of some quadruped animation which I really love. Breaking down these shots I can begin to understand why they are effective and how the animators were able to play and push with the animals.

Gif source  LO1: In this shot form Fox and the hound we can see Copper the hound disobey his “master” to protect his friend Todd. What I like about this shot is the timing of the motion of the front and back leg when he makes the decision to go forward. This slower and more considered movement shows the uncertainty of Copper’s feelings.  (Film: The Fox and the Hound – 1981)
Gif source LO1:  I have always loved the Aristocats for the vibrant characters. My favourite relationship to watch is the three siblings and how they argue with each other. The character Marie is my favourite for her lady like tendency. What this shows is the diversity of the characters and how they move. It isn’t as if they are set to one “cat like walk” but the animators have a way to utilise their personality. (Film – The Aristocats – 1970)

Gif source LO1:  I 

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Gif source LO1 –  I have previously stated how I am inspired by Beatrix Potter’s stories. In the 90’s the animation series was released and being a child of this decade I remember watching it and being amazed. Watching it as an adult I appreciate how beautifully the series was created, especially the style. I am really inspired by this series.

LO1: I discovered these ballet interpretation of Beatrix Potter’s tales. What I love about them is the way the ballet dancers take on an interpretation of the animals movements. Although it is essentially a dance, their is something poetic to the movements which has this beautiful fluidity and flow of action. It helps me to not be so rigid but play with the stereotypical behaviour.

Gif Source  LO1:  As I said above looking at how dancers have taken on the rolls of a squirrel for instance can show how you can create rhythm in the squirrel movements. I like how humour has been put in this specific GIF, it reminds me to experiment and play with the characteristics.
LO1: Here is another squirrel from a Ballet, It plays with the humanisation which Beatrix Potter does in her tales anyway. I love the way movements has been put into to create humour and emotion. Especially as humans we can’t exactly communicate with animals we can only view their body language.

Gif source – LO1: 
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Ghibli Animals 

LO1: I love Ghibli animation for it’s beauty and its magnificent stories. The way character’s are crafted are particularly wondrous. Below are some GIFs which demonstrate how they animate animals in a brilliant way.

Gif source LO1 : The anticipation in this shot to discover what he is looking at is really great. Although really simple, Ghibli gives as an example of how pacing a shot can work amazingly!  Film – The Cat returns.
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Gif source LO1: Here is an amazing example in My Neighbour Totoro. The Cat Bus is a great example of a creature creation. I love how the cat becomes more menacing, helped with the light and shots. The animation is also something which is simple but very powerful to evoking that uneasy feeling.
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Gif source LO1: The two GIFS above show how simple expressions can still give the animation of the character so much personality. I like how pushing the eyes and smile cane creating this appealing character who you can’t help but know he is a good person. i have several shots that rely on my character’s expression to carry it across. It is useful to understand why these work to help me when it comes to my animation.
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Gif source LO1: As previously mentioned the Cat Bus in My Neighbour Tototoro is a perfect example of creating a quadruped. The animation plays with the timing of the legs. Because after all when you have ten legs they are going to propel you faster. I like how simple this shot is and it’s ability to still replicate how a cat would move.
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Gif source LO1: Weight. This shot shows how to play with weight using the other elements of the shot to propel it. Weight is a principle which can separate further the differences between my characters.
Gif source LO1: Observing these Gifs while animating have allowed me to rein back at time when I feel I put too much into one shot. I like seeing the simplicity and the charm in these quick bites of animation. In this Gif we can see another animation principle put to use – Exaggeration.  Although he is roaring their is such a likability that Totoro remains not scary. I love the colours in this shot especially as my piece is set at night also; it’ great to see another interpretation.
Gif source LO1: Howls Moving Castle is another masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki, Heen the dog the servant of Madam Suliman, featured in this Gif. I love the energy and shape of Heen. His run here is really amazing to see how the pelvic move and the head to demonstrate the hectic race.
Gif source LO1:  Here is another Gif of Heen the Dog from Howl’s moving castle. He is often animated doing this exact animation. I like how timing has been used here to exaggerate his energy. I love the facial animation as well, theirs age and sophistication rather than cuteness which is what you see a lot in animal animation. I also think it’s great to see how he pushes of from his fee.
Gif source LO1: Again here is another animation of Heen doing the same rotation, (part of his character) this time we see him squash into the stairwell. What I like about this one is the humor in the action.
Gif source  This GIF is around 4 seconds long but it uses a great range of emotion and action. I love how his shock literally blows his ears open. And before he can contemplate what to do he has to do that Heen rotation mentioned above.
Gif source LO1: Heen really is an amazing creature to look at. His design is basically a rectangle but the way the ears have been used o give emotion and in this one propel him to catch up with Sophie is so humorous!  I love this GIF , he rolls of Sophie’ shoulder numbly and their is something charistmastic about him. I like the different approach to this character.

Jiji – Analysing Jiji’s animation 

LO1: Jiji is one of my favourite animal characters in a Ghibli film. As well as being able to actually talk unlike most of the others, he has a lot of charm in the way he is animated. Below are some GIFS which show a variety of movement from Jiji.

Gif source LO1: In this one, I like the timing between the two characters, we have Kiki the girl to the left, walking at a relatively normal pace and then Jiji walking even quicker to catch up with her. This is something I want to remember when animating my character and the Badger. The diversity in the pace and the weight as well. I like how simple yet humorous this is.
Gif source LO1:  Jiji in this shot is particularly lovable. He acts tough, nearly gets knocked over by a broom and then regains his cool and looks back for good measure. I really love this shot from the pattering side step of the feet to the subtle turn back. I think this is a great piece of natural animation. On a side night the shot itself is really beautiful, we do no see Kiki but in this scene Kiki is sad missing a party she really wanted to go to after feeling isolated. The shot makes us look at Jiji first but when we glance to the puddle we see Kiki walk away. This shot is really powerful.
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Gif source LO1: What I like about this shot is how Kiki (the girl) is expressionless. Although we know she is sad she doesn’t show it. Instead Jiji is used here to add tension and another layer of sadness. That is what is great about having another character sometimes, it allows for adding more complexity to one shot. This is a beautiful shot, and I would love to explore using that interaction in my own animation.
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LO1: Below is the Lily Allens Music video for the Christmas advert for John Lewis. The music video breaks down the animation process. What is great about it is it shows the amount of work put into the animation. There are several amazing quadruped animations, really capturing the animals essence rather than a human character. I wanted my Badger to still be really animalistic therefore it was great to see a representation of an animation that crafted their quadrupeds in such a way. It also is just so heartbreaking when the bear sees the Christmas tree for the first time. So beautiful.

Creating my own MuyBridge line up

LO1: The research above showed me how important reference could be. I used a lot of video references to assist me with working on my quadruped walk. This really helped me when it came to me animating.

Original Youtube Video Source LO1: I print screened this section of the Badger walking off screen as it was similar to a section from my animatic. I used a Grid in the way Muybridge did for his images to see the dips and movement in the Badger’s walk. This is the images lined up (Not accurate timing) But it is so helpful for me to understand the way the Badger walks.

IMAGES

Youtube Video source LO1: Here are all the images together with the grid. Looking at these images I can see how tension and weight have been distributed. The shot was similar to my animatic  for my Badger. Badger’s have really short legs for digging so at times it is hard to make them out. Dissecting my video reference has helped me when it comes to that specific aspect such as where the foot is placed.

Observational Sketches.

LO1, LO2: I studied several videos to help me observe the movements of a badger. By doing these studies it should help me in creating a playful piece of character animation. Sketching is a really great way for me to understand gestures and quirks of the badger.

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LO2, LO1: Author’s Own Here are some observational sketches. I wanted to understand some of the characteristics of a Badger.  What I like about this page is the variety of the shape of the Badger. They can become squished into little circle balls, become rectangular by stretching forward. They can extend their heads and have long legs and shrink down and become very short legs and low down bodies. There is a lot of room to be playful!

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LO1, LO2 Author’s Own  Here are some quick sketches what you get from this is they are really circular and short animals.
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LO1, LO2 : I like the posing of some of the drawings, the strong lines play with the circular bodies and I think this could create some nice contrast when I come to animating. Some of these drawings are not as successful but I have put all here to show how some are not anatomically correct to help me see what works and what dosen’t.
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LO1, LO2 Author’s Own Here are some more sketches, again some of the perspectives are off which shows when I come to drawing i need to utilise my tools to ensure the perspective looks right and works well. It is good that I tried to play with perspective however.

The character.

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I mentioned in my research tab a bit about my character’s personality. I want my Badger to be animalistic, inviting and omnipresent. When coming to animate I need to consider these personality traits. Totoro for instance reacts and is animated in a way that makes him mysterious. I need to take this same philosophy and drive it into my animating.

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LO1: i also had filmed reference of myself pretending to be my a Badger (It is too embarrassing to put here!!) But here is a screenshot of it. I did this so I could understand the timing and pacing. I wanted to see where I could add anticipation. For instance sniffing and suddenly turning quickly.

LO2: Using my observations of the body structure and the quirks of a badger I tried to put it into my animating. I wanted to have Badger qualities. For instance on my research I discovered Badgers have a nose 800x more powerful than our own. Which is insane! But also allowed me to understand how useful the nose is to a badger.

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Author’s Own LO2: I used the nose as the driving source for the Badger movements. Below you can see my line art animation how the Badger is using his nose to inspect VS his eyes. In this shot the Badger is silhouetted other than his nose which enters into the light (Red line indicating where light will be.) 

 

LO2: When working out my Badger walk I wanted to ensure that I understood the structure of the bones. How the paws bend the amount of volume distributed and muscles. Using the reference I was really able to achieve a walk which took all those things into consideration.

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L02: When animating I tried to understand muscles and how the Badger would move. You can see here an example. 
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LO2: Here is another shot of the bones coming through at the beginning. Because I did a lot of observation I was able to see how the Badger moves its pelvis and shoulder area. It was bits like this that made my Quadruped seem more natural. 

LO2: I ended up using the leaves as an extension of the Badger’s Expression. Two Oak leaves became sort of eyebrows. I worked with playing with them and overlapping them to bring a little humour. LO5: Alice gave me feedback on my animation and really helped me out in adding a bit of humour. In this section the Badger’s eyebrows fall onto his eyes when he bowing.  I had originally squashed them down but Alice was able to suggest a different perspective that made it even better! These little pieces of animation gave my Badger more personality.

 

LO2: In order to make my animation seem like my characters personality I considered how my character would internally think and process things. I wanted my character to be mysterious and inviting. Therefore a lot of the reactions are slow, this way it emphasises not knowing what the Badger is going to do next.

 

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Author’s Own Gif  Here is the animation final shot. 
LO2: You can see there was a lot of different elements to this shot, from the background, lighting, leaves, worms, Badger, snails, lanterns, shadows. The leaves took 10 hours to do in itself. There was so much to do. This is one of my longest shots also being at 6 seconds and therefore it took much longer than I had anticipated. What I do like about this shot is the amount of detail in it. I spent a long time working on the Badger and I am happy with how I progressed. Somethings I want to get better at however is pushing the poses. Looking back at it I feel I could have pushed the Badger’s bow even more.

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LO2: I wanted my animation to have texture. So for the Badger and elements of the Girl (such as jumper) the character has a watercolour effect. It meant my colouring time was basically doubled. But the effect creates this rich textured movement which I had wanted to create using my style boards as inspiration. Here you can see how I had to highlight the piece red to help me clean up the colouring. 

Bibliography

Index

  1. Bibliography

2. Moodboard Image Reference


Bibliography

Schedules

LO1: Research

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/six-sheep-and-a-goat-who-are-saving-nature

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/projects/saving-the-large-blue-butterfly-at-collard-hill

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/a-helping-hand-for-the-wild-asparagus-

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stackpole/features/protecting-otters-and-bats-at-stackpole

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/identifying-ancient-trees

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/articles/2007/04/04/gardens_stmichaelsmount_feature.shtml

http://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk/history-legends/myths-legends/

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/news/2016-a-review-of-the-years-weather-and-wildlife

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/greener-uk—playing-our-part-for-the-environment

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/the-state-of-nature-report-2016

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/making-more-space-for-nature-in-cornwall

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kinder-edale-and-the-dark-peak/features/high-peak-moors-vision-and-plan-in-the-dark-peak

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/where-have-all-the-lapwings-gone

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/making-more-space-for-nature-in-cornwall

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kinder-edale-and-the-dark-peak/features/high-peak-moors-vision-and-plan-in-the-dark-peak    ‘Treegeneration’ project

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/the-state-of-nature-report-2016https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/where-have-all-the-lapwings-gone

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/the-secret-garden

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/the-secret-garden/user-reviews/child

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/aug/05/secret-garden-frances-hodgson-burnett

https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/apr/12/review-frances-hodgson-burnett-the-secret-garden

http://hoaxes.org/photo_database/image/the_cottingley_fairies/

 

Videos Mentioned

FairyTale: A True Story (7/10) Movie CLIP – Finishing the Fairy House (1997)

Final Piece

Collaboration

http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles/3072_concept_artist

http://www.filmdesigners.co.uk/gallery

Videos Mentioned

Video 1 – Colour in storytelling

Video 2 –  Composition in Storytelling

Report

Events/Competitions/Live briefs


Image Reference

Schedules

LO1: Research

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Moodboard 1a Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 8, Image 9
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Moodboard 1b Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9
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Moodboard 1c Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8
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Moodboard 1d Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7

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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12
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Image 1 ( My own Illustration), Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9, Image 10, Image 11, Image 12
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7 
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9, Image 10 
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7 
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8
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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9, Image 10, Image 11

Development 

Final Piece

Collaboration

Moodboard Image Sources:

Moodboard.jpg
Image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5, image 6, image 7, image 8, image 9

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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7 

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Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8

Report

Events/Competitions/Live briefs

Colloboration


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LO5: Image Sources: Screenshot from Facebook chat

LO5: Ed approached me and Alice to make some Concept Art for his Final Major Project film. The film is a crime genre which is something I have never done any type of concept on this  genre before. Previous to this I am used to working on concept art for animation, however I am a keen ‘filmaholic’, often watching Hitchcock to get my thrill of crime themed genre. I wanted to do some research into concept art for TV and film to see whether it was any different to that of animation.

LO2: On Creative Skillset it explains how working in the art department as a concept artist can be really rewarding, as well as testing. Your prime job is to visualise, and:

  • “producing the illustrations that help Production Designers realise their vision”. Source

LO2: The skills in which can be advantageous to have whilst designing for TV/Film/VFX, are the following:

  • have up-to-date knowledge of computer illustration software packages
  • be skilled in film imagery
  • understand what Directors, Directors of Photography and Editors require from a scene
  • have excellent illustration skills
  • be a strong communicator
  • visualise perspective and 3D space
  • have a keen interest in design, architecture and film
  • visually interpret other people’s ideas
  • be flexible and adapt to change when asked
  • work as part of a team
  • know about relevant health and safety legislation and procedures

{Source}

LO2: Like in Animation, working as a concept artist on film/TV/VFX you are a part of pre-production stage – meaning you can get 6 months or more to concept prior to the film taking place. As a concept artist you would be working alongside draughtsmen, researchers and production designers.

LO2: It is important for the designs to be: “clear, accurate and striking” so to inspire and move the pipeline forward. Concept artist may be used in order to find more financial or distributor backers.

LO2: On the British Film Designers Guild they showcase some brilliant work done by concept artists for Film.

Malcolm Stone – Production designer, Art Director download.pngdownload (1).png

LO2: What is clear is the imagination ans the detail of this concept art, it is lovely to see how these colour palettes ended up being worked into the films. It shows how impactful concept art can be to the direction of the film.

Image Sources for the above two images

Tim Hutchinson

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LO2: Tim Hutchinson born in 1948 created many great production sets, working on the team for the 1975 Tommy, which have some beautiful sets. The design above shows again the clarity as well as a consideration to colour. This is something to consider when thinking of presenting concepts to Ed. Image Source

One scene from a film can denote a lot, it is an advantage to understand the framing and techniques.

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GIF Image Source This Gif Shows a sequence from Tommy 1975. LO2: We can see how the design is really strong. Tommy, framed in the centre denotes power and the colours surrounding this shot emphasises the changing of the scene, as the red literally pushes the dark away.

Elliot ‘Scotty’ Scott

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LO2: Finally here is some work created by Elliot ‘Scotty’ Scott, for Indiana Jones franchise. Again the colour is crafted to propose doom and tension. The concept artist show clear knowledge of film and utilise the skill to propose shots that presents a story in a way. This is something I would like to understand further as I feel I still need to continue to develop a understanding in framing. Image Source for the two images.

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Research Sources:

http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles/3072_concept_artist

http://www.filmdesigners.co.uk/gallery

LO2: Researching into Colour theory and Composition

LO1, LO2: Colour shouldn’t be ignored, understanding the psychology of colour allows you to invoke feelings, using it to promote a characters feeling, hue:colour, saturation:it’s intensity, value: low value darker, colour has become more complex – LOOK INTO COLOUR HARMONY (Colour theory to understand how to create a balance or misbalance in a shot.) Balance the colour or playing the balance by using a colour which isn’t fitted in creates an effective way for the eyes to settle. Repeating colours throughout a story to run a consistent psychology theme such as in the Godfather orange is symbolised for death. Association helps reinforce another ideology from the colours a character wears to it’s environment.

Staging, framing, depth and balance.

LO1, LO2: Composition is the most fundamental principles. Why we place things the way we do. What should the audience be looking at? Using compositional influencers can help guide the eyes of viewers. Such as frame within frames! Allowing you to ignore smaller details and focus on the filmmakers intentions. As well as using frames using lines of perspective can help vastly to direct the eyes. Using objects can also help in storytelling, Alfred Hitchcock: “…the size of an object in the frame should equal it’s importance in the story.”

Using the frame to show the power or the vulnerability of a character. Show the control either by having a balance or a central dominance to show power.

Using Negative space can show emptiness or the distance they need travel. It can show the mood in the one shot.

Movement exists in storytelling, meaning you can reframe, complimenting it’s prior shot. It can cause contrast.

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LO1, LO2 Moodboard Image source: Bibliography For this collaboration project I wanted to also see how I could tackle create concept art for an environment. These were some of the creators work which I really loved. Ranging from Hayao Miyazaki to 101 Dalmatian. I need to be clear and bold.
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LO2: As well as reading the script I used pintrest to collate reference material. Somethings I would like to improve on is how I use light in the scene. To help me with the task I looked at a lot of black and white photography which I find helps me understand the shot easier. I specifically looked at Man Ray who uses shadows and light to enhance the atmosphere of his shot.

LO2: I began by reading the script with Alice, and highlighting all the murder scenes. We shared the several scenes with each other and set out on creating some concept art.

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Author’s Own Image  LO2: I wasn’t sure whether I should create something digitally or by hand. I usually create concept art by hand as I feel more free. But I feel I could benefit working on my digital art. Above is a quick piece of rough concept art as experimentation. It took me about 30-50 minutes to create. I didn’t like it and there still needs more lighting added. But it is good to show here my experimentation.
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Author’s Own Image LO2: I then tried to test creating some art by hand these two took me about an hour. I wanted to see if I could make something by hand. Again these two are not the most detailed pieces but it allowed me to experiment and practice.

Murder Scene 1

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Author’s Own Image LO2: Here is a piece of concept art that I did for one of the murder scenes. I was really loose with this piece and quite flat on. I wanted to further experiment with this scene. But I like the watercolour look.
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Author’s Own Image LO2: Here is some of my notes whilst reading the script alongside some of my thumb nailing. Working quickly with thumb nailing helps me understand and workout the composition.
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Author’s Own Image LO2: Here is one of the many pages of thumb nailing, as I said they are rough but clear enough for me to see how I could work with positioning the room and the body. It helps me see what works and what does not work. For instance some pieces are overly detailed and some too simple.
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Author’s Own Image LO2: Here is another page of thumbnails, I wanted to begin thinking about light in this page, you can see how using light can create tension but also draw the eye to what you like, I like create shadows over the dead body as it draws the attention to it.
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Author’s Own Image LO2: I felt like I wanted to understand more about how to work with concept art effectively. So I used Alice’s Art of Disney book, it was really helpful and I was able to remember the flow of the eye. How all objects can direct your attention.

Rough Framing Thumbnails with colour

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Author’s Own Images –  LO2:  Here is some more experimentaion, coming away from the thumbnails I wanted to play with blocking colour and shapes and light quickly. Applying quick colour on Photoshop means I can see if it works or can’t. I like the shadows created in the first shot. The colour however to me is not as good as it could be I may need to create a moodboard to create that chilling atmosphere.
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Author’s Own Image – LO2: Above is a set of 4 more quick colour applied to the rough thumbnails. What is great is being able to experiment with the positioning and how it looks on screen. The colour however is the thing which I need to play around with.
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Author’s Own Image LO2: Above is a quick watercoloured thumbnail again. I like playing around with experimentation with the shot as I want to consider the different ways that the shot could be seen.
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Author’s Own Image – LO2: Lastly here are two of the small watercolour thumbnails  that were above I actually really like the feel of these two therefore I may consider creating it in this style a bit bigger.
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Author’s own-LO5, LO2: Quick colour tests using photoshop

LO2, LO5: After doing all this experimentation I would like to now finalise one, before that I want to create a colour moodboard based on the research of colour theory as this is where I feel I may be slightly struggling with. I wanted to combine the eerie feeling but also inject ironic humour of it being so like the Wizard of Oz which is a colourful world.

LO5, LO1,LO2: I wanted to understand how light appears inside, therefore i have been trying to observe how it appears and photographing it. Using these images will help me illustrate the scene correctly.

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Author’s Own LO5, LO3: Here is a final piece to this shot for Ed, I really like this concept piece, I was playful with the colours. Futhermore I like the composition I ended up going with. The body sprawled out closer creates the biggest object in the room for you to look at. The detectives dwarfed in the backgrounds shows how they are feeling smaller with each murder. Also the head detective looks back in contemplation.

Shot 2

LO2: Shot two is the next murder I was assigned to draw, this time the setting is in a field with a man attached to a cross pole. I felt a little more at home drawing outside especially after the wind witch project last term. But of course I still need to teach myself to draw and understand lighting etc.

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Image sources in Bibliography LO2, LO5: I created this moodboard to get inspiration for the setting. Which was a large open field on the suburbs of London. Some of these aren’t specifically from that location but as I live in the suburbs of London I have some knowledge of what the fields can look like. Furthermore the dead body is tied to a cross pole which I didn’t realise what it was. On further research I discovered it was like a horse hurdle.
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Author’s Own LO2, LO5: I firstly began doing some quick thumbnails of fields, playing around with composition and using images to help me. I don’t want to be just a flat drawing, therefore perspective is something I want to continue to develop. These drawings have been done with ink and water.
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Author’s Own LO2, LO5: As previously stated I didn’t know what a cross bar here were some of the quick sketches I did of them, to understand how they sit on the ground. When researching my drawings are incorrect in the fact the bottom poles should be resting on the floor. This is why it is important to understand the smallest of details!
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Author’s Own LO2, LO5: The next stage for me now is to work out the composition and how the character will be sitting in the scene. When I have done that I can finalise and begin to think about colour and how the character will play in the shot.
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Author’s Own LO2, LO5: I continued to work with playing with the composition of the field shot, whether the shot is further away or close up is something I need to think about as well. I played with the idea of having a low angle of the body with birds in the sky ready to attack which plays on the idea that the low angle signifies power. (Last image on the right top corner.)
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Author’s Own LO5, LO4. I created this piece in around 30 minutes, It’s not my favourite piece but it has allowed me to push myself to make pieces quickly.

Shot 3

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Image sources in Bibliography  LO1. LO5: The next scene features a man foaming to death in an interrogation room. Using pintrest you can see a moodboard I created  to help me think about camera angles, lighting and also body posing. Using this I started to quickly thumbnail some ideas.
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Author’s Own Image LO2, LO5: I wanted it to flow quite simply so I used simple lines to get my ideas across. Choosing upon my favourite I created the two pieces below.

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LO5: The pieces took around an hour/hour an half to create, I wanted to play with having a low angle on the clearly vulnerable perspective, as well as having a more eye level angle you can see underneath. I would have liked to have some more time to play with this shot more.

L05,6: Here is the feedback gave me about the pieces. He seem to like them a lot. Also he asked whether he could include the concept art in an aid to raise more money for his campaign to get funding, which is rather cool! I still do not like this work, and I wish I could redo some of it. But I gave myself the challenge of working to tighter deadlines, shorter turnarounds and learning about the framing, light etc.

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L05: Feedback from Ed.
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LO5: Message from Ed, explaining how he is using the concept art.

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LO5/6: Ed got back to us several days later now saying that he has changed the endings, meaning a lot of the murders I did concepts for have changed. This puts me back behind the concepts when I was just on top of my work. I will need to schedule my own time for my project first however, because I am behind in my own idea. Changes are something however that need to be considered whenever I budget my time.

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L05: I scheduled some time and was able to make this piece, with every piece I find myself getting more and more confident with working faster and with watercolors. This took me around 25-30 minutes to create not including the designing time. But it shows how I am improving with my time efficiency which makes this collaboration worthwhile in itself.

LO5: After this stage Ed and his team created an INDIEGOGO page to raise a £3000 budget. I am excited to see how it comes together after reading the script I am excited it to see it to production! A video promotes the reward of winning one of my paintings! Also you can see below “By the Books” name using my piece of concept art.

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Author’s own printscreen – LO5 : Using my illustrations Ed was able to bring some visualisation to his work for money raising.
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Authour’s Own Image LO5: I created another updated piece of concept art after a script change, which changed one of the murders I did previously. I tried to play with the colour using the red to emphasise the murder and the reference to the wizard of Oz scene it is based on.
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Author’s Own Image LO5: – Mini illustration secretly painted into the Concept art! (Dorothy in the poppy field.)

Some of the final pieces of concepts

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LO5: Author’s Own Image – Here are some of the final concept art showing three different murders I worked on. Alice is also collaborating working on three others murders in the script. Overall doing this project has helped me to use watercolours more which I want to continue to use, it has helped me work with a different discipline and work fast paced which I feel I have done well with this. I want to continue learning how to create more concept art effectively and creating an enticing visualisation. I also need to put in space on my schedule for any changes required.

Helping Alice with Shadid’s storyboarding

Alice and me were approached by Lisa and Shadid to storyboard however Lisa did not need a storyboard in the end so I helped Alice to complete some storyboards for Shadid.

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Author’s Own LO2, LO5: I was not sure how to present storyboards, as I work usually roughly and with pen, I experimented here adding shading digitally to make these rough thumbnails more pleasing to the eye. Working in black and white the quickness and not to limit their colour choice. It’s a skill I would like to continue to develop as it helps me visualise my own ideas.
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Author’s Own LO2, LO5: Using some more rough thumbnails I experimented with quickly shading the storyboard to make some elements clearer for the shot. However after seeing Alice creating digitally made pieces I thought it would be best for me to keep the storyboard cohesive.
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LO2, 5: Author’s Own Image: I used these really rough thumbnails by cutting them out and repositioning/replacing them . This helped me to visualise how much time I needed and the positioning of the shot. I created clearer shots below that I shaded to experiment with a different way of doing just digital art.
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LO5: Authour’s Own Image  *Above and below image* I used pen to draw the shots simpler, to later add colour. This approach speeded up the time as we were going over our schedule doing this. I actually found this way easier to do, and also still effectively show the story. I shall use

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; LO5: Author’s Own Image: Alice helped me while storyboarding as she had been working longer on the piece than me, she helped me consider floor pans and the brief easier. This communication was key for us to work together to get this project done.

The final Storyboards

LO5: We researched how animation storyboards has been put together to put ours together, formatting it the same meant it didn’t really matter the styles were done by two people. We added important information and audio underneath. Seeing it all together was great! I am glad I took part in this as it helped me see how demanding storyboarding can be but also how rewarding it is to actually visualise the words into imagery.

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LO5: Author’s Own Image – Scene 1 (Digital painted.)
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LO5: Author’s Own image – Scene 2 (Digital painted.) Me and Alice put the storyboards into these sheets, with writing of the SFX and audio. This creates a more professional look to the storyboards which I had discovered when we were looking at industry storyboards.
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LO5: Authors Own Image – Scene 3 (Hand drawn, digital painted.) Looking at this one, there is a sort of charm to it’s roughness however the I feel the digitally painted are more professional. I felt I was able to draw quicker however for these ones. As time was running out I am glad I was able to complete the storyboard section I was assigned.

Communication.

LO5: It was important we stayed in contact with Shadid as well as each other, we divided the shots so that we could work efficiently and use our strengths. Alice is really good at posing and working/understanding these poses for the fight scene. Her doing these scenes meant I could work more quickly on the simpler environmental shots. Me and Alice used Google Drive to share our progress with Shadid showing JPEGS, PDF versions and separate images for Shadid to use for creating his animatic. This drive was also useful when Shaid shared his script.

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Screenshot of Storyboard Folder
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Screenshot of Storyboard folders for separate images – There was a lot of files  for separate images (around 160+) therefore having an organised system was vital.

Shadid’s Info Package 

LO5: Shadid shared his script, designs, motion library and shot reference for us which was extremely useful. His organisation allowed us to stay on track with what he wanted. He was very detailed meaning he already knew what he wanted and we didn’t need to figure out so much saving us some time.

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LO5: Screenshot of Shadid’s script with Images/GIF as reference for shot.
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LO5: Screenshot of script with diagram – We used this diagram to interpret his script code, this organisation made it clearer the shots he wanted us to draw. He also shared a “motion library” which Alice used whilst doing the fight scene.
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LO5: Screenshot of character designs- He also showed us a his designs for that character, during storyboarding the character did change look so we didn’t really need to follow this. A lot of the storyboard isn’t too detailed which is what was suggested (to not overcomplicate it) But it was useful to understand nationality/culture.


Giving feedback to Lisa’s Pre-vis

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LO5: Screenshot of Facebook Message of Lisa asking me to give her some feedback, Using Facebook meant we could see when we were both online, and also see when the message was received.  As Lisa and me are friends it also allows for a less formal approach to collaborating.

LO5: Lisa approached me to give some feedback to her Pre-Vis which she had uploaded on Youtube privately for me to view.

LO5: Above is the Pre Vis, which is still in it’s early stages, however I was able to give some feedback. I gave it several watches and it was already very simple and got across the concept which she has explained previously to me. (It may have been better for me not to have known.) The animation was simple and there was slight cuts. I gave my feedback on the sheet below.

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LO5: Screenshot of sheet sent to Lisa – I sent a sheet of suggestions, you can see below them cropped in half for you to see clearer.
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LO5: Author’s own sheet – I felt that Lisa could be more playful with using the amazing environment built, using these neurons frame the character could impose the feeling of distortion more. There was some shots such as the holding hands one that didn’t need to be zooming in and took away from the next extreme zoom in.
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Author’s own sheet – LO5:  I emphasised contrast, she should use this in the real environment and the abstract one. Suggesting contrast really emphases the story even more. I also felt like a shot with the character dwarfed by this wall of light could add more liveliness to the piece.

LO5: Lisa said she liked the ideas especially the scene with framing the character, I am glad she liked my suggestions, the communication was easy using facebook as well as speaking to her in person it was great to analyse a story and submit ideas, I hope to do this for my own as well.



Working with Alice

L05: Me and Alice are really lucky we are able to discuss so many ideas that it would be silly if we didn’t utilise each other in our projects. We worked a long side in working. We often scheduled meetings so that we could give constructive feedback and advice.

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L05, LO6: Here you can see one of my weekly schedules. Me and Alice were keeping strict schedules this week to catch up with some of the things we needed to get on top of. We used a 30 minute meeting each day to discuss 15 minutes any problems we were having. Alice have different strengths and come up with different ideas to myself.

LO5: As well as helping advice, we helped each other by making sure we both weren’t spending to long one one thing. It was really great to have that constant bouncing of ideas. It makes me appreciate working in an environment where I am not always stuck with just me. We really do inspire each other and I am happy for this close relationship during my FMP.

LO5: As well as advising and working together on feedback Alice helped create concepts for me. I wanted her to work on mine because I am in awe of her characters, they have so much shape and she really pushes and plays with their look.

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LO5: Here you can see some of the hand drawn designs playing with colour and personality.  I really love how she used watercolour in these drawings, it helped keep in key some of the designs I had been doing for my project.
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LO5: Here are the final creations, I love how she professionally put together different shapes and personality of a snail and the way they push their body. She also really got across the weight of the shell in the bottom right drawing.  I was so happy with these.
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LO5: She also took time to create some concept art playing with colour and light. This is something I find myself struggling with. I love how she used the colours in this piece and it really did inspire and impact some colour choices I later went on to make.

LO5: Filming reference is really important to the animation process, it can help aid you and see how you can push poses. Alice and me often give each other help with a different intepretation. It really helps me think of different ideas and see another take on my character.

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Author’s own screenshots of film reference LO5: Here you can see Alice, I filmed lots of different ways she thought my character acted. I actually found these films more useful than the ones I did. Alice really posed a way a child would and played with the emotions; I think sometimes it really is helpful to see other ways of acting and different options.

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Alice’s photographs LO5: In these images you can see me posing for Alice’s character. She needed help trying to get across her characters softness and age. So we both took turns trying to think how she would act and why. She now has an image bank to help her consider the way her character could pose.

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LO5: Author’s Own image – I also designed a character for Alice, a brown trout! It was so fun drawing these creatures and taking a break from my own project. I used watercolour as I have been trying to get better at this technique. I am really happy how they came out. I used some of Alice’s eel designs to help me with the style. The eel has an overbite so I wanted to play with extending the lip so it hangs over. Alice was really happy with this design! 

Contacting the National Trust

My animation was inspired by the National Trust, being based on there 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 I wanted to ask them if I could use their logo on the end of my animation. I reached out to them asking them as well as introducing myself.

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LO5: Here is the email I constructed. I used the press email as it was the most relevant people I would need to ask. I wanted to show my appreciation as well as give them a taster of my animation so I sent two pieces of concept art. I wasn’t sure how long it would take for them to get back. 
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LO5: The next day I received a reply! Chris who works as the business support co-ordinator replied with the National Trust approval for me to use it and also they complimented my work! I’m really happy I could use it so it brings the message I wanted to get across in the animation. It gives it some more relevance. 
LO5: Image Soource As I said previously, using the logo brings the awareness I wanted for this amazing checklist for children to go take a look!.


Sound Design 

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Image Source

LO1: For my animation I need music and sound to help bring my story further to life. Animation unlike film/TV have no production sound (unless using a piece of existing music), which means sound design are working from a blank sheet. This means it is important to understand this process at this research stage. We had sound production come into animation so we could get a greater understanding. It really help me think about how much pipeline there is for music, and how many sound artist roles their are in industry.  Sound has the power to set the mood. Showing if a piece is a  comedy, a drama, a horror. So understanding the genre of my piece could be another piece of information to define to music and sound. 

LO1: We want the music to tell the story, build tension. Some things which the sound suggested in improving working pipeline is:

  • Early conversations are better.
  • Tell us about time of day or geography.
  • The shot/scene is not how you wanted it – May not communicate where we are well enough, sound can be the saviour! What does it sound like?
  • Emphasise certain characters and bring our attention to certain things onscreen. Hear something then we see it.

LO1:  Learning this it emphasises how I really need to have early conversations, before production in order for sound and music not to be under pressure. I need to understand the location – My animation is a night time which is completely different to day time. I also need to tell them the story, what the characters are like, the high points and the lowest points. When I come to make a shared drive I should make sure to have this at the ready for them to look at as well as having meetings.


The elements of the Soundtrack 

Foli sounds– Recreating sounds, movement in the film, (Jack Foli invented it)

Dialogue – Voice over, character, voice of god,

Music

1.Composed music  – original SCOR

2.Source music – Existing music (Rights associated with that.)

The sound team

  • Recording sound dialogue – Production sound mixer
  • Boom operator – Microphone
  • Sound assistant
  • Dialogue / ADR editor – Puts sound together
  • Foley Recordist/ Artist / Edit ( Someone who records and someone who edits it together.)
  • Sound effects editorS
  • Sound designer
  • Supervising sound editor
  • Sound re-recording mixer/ Dubber Mixer
  • Composer/ Music Editor.
  • Director/ Producer (You)

The soundtrack can be split into two main areas:

(Diegetic sound) Realistic Sound – Making us believe what we see.  Sound that comes from within the scene (Radio, TV, Band playing)

(In animation there is a world you are recreating. You need to communicate that world in every aspect of the film.)

Non- Diegetic sound (Non Realistic sound) – Emotional, atmospheric level. Sound that does not come from within the scene. (Voiceover etc)


What is there term sound design in relation to animation?

The sound designer will be the point of contact for the director to discuss the story of your work. How will the soundtrack help communicate that story. Sound design will usually be more concerned with non digetic sound working in a more musical way than the realist side of the sound track.



Sound and Music Inspiration


LO1: Over Christmas there was so much great animation, especially British made animation. (Ernest and Ethel, Revolting Rhymes and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.)  One of the animations which I especially loved was We’re going on a Bear Hunt. See above the video – a better version of the animation is available on channel 4 online see here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/were-going-on-a-bear-hunt/on-demand/65382-001 . The animation was really beautiful, if we look at how music is introduced is really beautiful. I want my animation to be nostalgic to Britain, this quintessentially British story has been captured beautifully. It uses very soft instrumental, with atmospheric sound noises.

LO1: I’ve already discussed this series which I used to watch as a child, the opening again uses a blend of melody and noises. The beautiful score is embellished with a loud drip from a flower and natural noises. I think it is important as I am doing the national trust that I consider the natural world, the activity (the night walk) should be conveyed in the music and sound too.  To summarise it uses a Melody and with crisp and stodgy sounds.

LO1: Something which I really want to convey to sound is I want it to be truthful, look at how the night is, what is the sounds of a Badger in different emotional situations ( Playful noises, stressed noises). Badgers are really vocal animals so it would be great to contribute this to my animation. Above is a video of Badgers eating peanuts the noise is really satisfying!

Preparing Music and Sound Info areas. 

LO5: Working with Music and Sound is really important to my animation, I spent a day preparing everything ready in “info packs” using google drive. Creating this area means they can see the work I upload and vice versa. Also I asked them as a place for them to upload and even back up work. This way there won’t be any loss of work on their side either. These info packs are really important to inspire and give them important info.

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LO5, LO6: I created a new folder and put these two info packs labelled Music and Sound folder. Then I shared each folder to the Music and Sound person.
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LO5, LO6: The folder has nearly similar content, the deadlines were slightly different, the briefs were different, and I included a broken down script with sound cues. These items needed to be different as I needed different things. However the other folders included the same concept art and moodboards. I also had the brief in the main area for them to go to easily. The script with storyboard aid clarified and the deadline. The other items are placed into organised folders.
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L05, LO6: Here you can see the timetable I gave to the music student, Billy. I asked them to review and tell me if this could fit into their schedule. Luckily Billy said he could get it done within this deadline. Although this was not strict it gave them a timescale of the time I needed it done; and it also meant they could get the work in process.
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LO5, LO6: I had a folder for my Animatic, for the students to download and sync the sound/ music.
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LO5, LO6: In the same way as an animator I need visual reference to inspire myself so do the Music and Sound. I put as much concept art in this place to give the students something to think about when working on the piece. I wanted them to be inspired by it and to help them with the feeling of the piece.
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LO5, L06: I also added some Moodboards which I created to help me when I was coming up with the story. It can help them get across the sense of feeling I was after. For instance the second moodboard you can see the parades and Mayday look of the parade. This could give them ideas of looking at sounds/music from these situations.
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L05, LO6: Here I left a space for them to add their versions to show me. I could then perhaps leave a document with changes for them to review or for them to add.

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LO5, LO6: Here I showed the character script, to tell them how the characters act and their personality, a plain script with just the events and the storyboards for them to view.

LO5, LO6: A brief provides for direction and reminds them of such things as the target audience the premise of the story and any ideas I had. I created two different briefs the covering sheet was the same listing the information; the second was different tailored to their different jobs.

The Briefs

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LO5, LO6: I used this page to explain/reiterate the premise and contact information of ways they can contact me. This page was the same for both students.
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LO5, LO6: The beginning explaining the stories was given to both. The Brief was different. I listed important things to consider such as the time of the day, any influences. I wasn’t really sure what I was after so I wanted them to be creative. I showed two piece of music I liked. The first because of the balance of music and sound to represent nature. And the second for the folky music which I liked the instruments. I emphasised however that this was just my ideas and they could create something different.
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LO5, LO6: The sound brief was different, I wanted to ask them Joe to think about the accuracy of the wildlife. Also to look at the Badger and play with how vocal they are, this could be played with to help add terror to the scary sections and so forth. I wanted to emphasise how i love satisfying noises – stodgy noises. I especially loved hearing these as a child so I wanted this in my animation. I wanted to tell Joe that he may need to sync up the animation with sound once again once finished.
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LO5: On the last page of the brief I put my own inspirations to show them what I like. This could be another way for them to research as well if they wanted.

“The Music Man” – AKA Billy 

LO5: Billy was the only music student to reply to my brief I sent out. I was so happy however because he seemed enthusiastic and actually had his own ideas prior to us discussing.

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LO5: Billy’s response to my email!
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LO5: I sent out my info pack and all the information I had took time to create. I gave both students to choose to contact me via gmail or on facebook. Billy used facebook to discuss things with me. This has it’s advantages we can quickly discuss and see when each other are online. My sound student on the other hand only used gmail.

Sound – Joe

L05: I got 4 responses to my initial email for sound, which I was so shocked with. I wasn’t sure who to pick. Joe was the only student to have samples of his work. He was also professional in his email and was the second quickest to respond to my email. He also had the time to work on my project as he was finishing his own project. In the end I went for Joe and I am so happy I did!

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LO5: The initial email I got back from Joe.
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LO5: I sent out my email with all the information,  including the brief, storyboards, deadlines and brief. I shared the folder with Joe as well.
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LO5: Joe was a pleasure to work with, he responded to all my emails so quick; and with enthusiasm. He made me feel better about suggestions and was very professional.
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LO5: By the next day he had already sent me a rough draft! The first draft was also really good. I did have some changes but he was really great to tell me to be brutally honest and made me comfortable to let me ask changes of him.
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LO5: Here you can see my first set of changes, I wanted to change certain noises, emphasise certain sounds and also praise the sections I like. Joe responded quickly and positivity took them. Considering I gave him a week to get the first changes I was really happy.

Feedback

LO5: Dan’s Feedback (One to one tutorial) 11/01/16

Look at trends, look at it from a child’s perspective (Age group)

Different categories at the National Trust – History/ Nature

Passionate child’s animation, Think about it promoting it as a child. Flesh it out.

Why educate children? Nature, good health, historic. Looking at the news.

Perhaps it could be a 40-60 sec advert with 4-6 key areas combined.

For next week: Think about 3 Alternative ideas. 

For instance:

  1. Promote National Trust
  2. Rehashing History
  3. Global Warming – Need protection
  4. Save National Trust
  5. Beatrice Potter
  6. Children and the outdoors

You need to think about the message you are trying to present

Do you want a message to inform, do you want to relive history, Campaign, awareness.

Think about contacting the National Trust or/ and Filmmaker David Bond

Try Sparking interest

L05: Listening to this feedback has been important, because it is forcing me to narrow my idea which at this point I know is already too broad. I wanted to show that I needed to research and Dan agrees this is a good place to start with. I believe once really understanding the beliefs and ideas, the stories and the history will allow me to think of better ideas! I like the idea of coming up with three different ideas as it will implore me to see possibilities.


LO5: Dan’s Feedback (One to one tutorial) 18/01/16

LO5: This week I have showed some of the collaboration work I have begun. The three ideas that I came up with from last weeks feedback, I created a presentation to show Dan that showed the three ideas.

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Idea 1
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Idea 2
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Idea 3

We both agreed Idea 1 was the best idea to use. The next stage is to pin down a story. My task for next week/end of this week is to email with a couple of story ideas with visuals.

Dan said to consider:

Do you want a body of text to show the campaign for the National Trust (L05: I said maybe at the end this is something useful to consider and maybe getting in touch with the National Trust could even help me inform this.) 

Think about the child you are going to feature : What gender – Maybe research who are more likely to take on some of the activities are there a diversity. This could be another layer of how to show a different perspective view. Also what characteristic of the child? What is there personality – would they be shy this could impact how the story is.

What are the other characters? Could it be an animal like a goose. If so begin to look into quadraped animation.

Look up Aaron Blaise : https://creatureartteacher.com/

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Image Source: Screenshot from Google
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LO5: Using Dan’s advice and have subscribed to Blaise’s website to begin to understand creature animation and the diversity of bipeds. This could help me inform my production of my final piece. Image source: Screenshot of Creatureartteacher.com

For the end of this week/ Start of next week

  • Please can you send: Your Blog link
  • Alternative story ideas with visuals of the chosen Idea 1
  • Raymond Briggs Letter

13/02/17 

Feedback from Dan 

Hi Victoria,

Thanks for sending the attachments, treasure those!!! Fantastic.
Thanks also for the update. I had a look at your presentation slides and like the overall premise and feel to it. Can I suggest utilising the owl more? Perhaps instead of the moths or just a single shot of it in a tree with its eyes lighting up in the rising action part, to create more tension and fear. Nice sound effects will help too.
As for the reference a source link is fine for the blog, but the report will need to be Harvard reference.
In regards to the live briefs, I shared the TT episodes with the class last week, so have a look and let me know what you can do. I will also let you know of the Beano visit so you can attend the talk.
Keep up the great work.
Dan


Formative Feedback

(Noted by Alice:)
Contact young children
Like watercolour look
Badger look
Waiting and the resolve
See the badger should be the end, we are all experiencing with the child the seen, Experiment and focus on the end
Doesn’t have to beginning, middle and end
Nice facts throughout
Neutral respect to man

The designs were charming, Charming


I was really pleased with my feedback. I was especially happy the designs were well received! Dan calling them Charming made me really happy! The main focus which I agree on is finalising the ending. I am giving myself the end of March to finalise the last bits before the April Animating sessions begins! Below is the brief overview of what I aiming to get done each month.
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Schedule. 

Returning back from easter

 Dan’s feedback
– Consider the title name, and the message to be conveyed. How will you make it clear it is inspired by the national trust 50 things to do before your 11 and 3/4
– Think about contacting the national trust to ask permission to use logo perhaps
– Maybe i could put the quotes I found at the beginning of the animation.
-Think about how long the colouring will take
– The schedule for shots is really good

Feedback and Schedules

LO6: Scheduling is one of the most important tools that will aid me in getting my animation completed. One of my weaknesses is giving myself too much time in one area; therefore using schedules and sticking to them will help me to stay organised and on track. I like using schedules and To Do lists, it is something I have been doing since starting uni. Therefore I naturally created lots of them to help me.

First Gantt chart prior to Christmas

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LO6: This is the initial Gantt Chart I created before Christmas on my presentation. Looking at it now it lacked a lot of detail and therefore I chose to update it in this new term which you can see below. It does however show an indication of the months and how much I need to consider. By having a more detailed Gantt chart however gives you a visual guide to how much time for every task. Especially when working with others allowing them to see what is needed to get done.

Second version of Gantt chart

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LO6: Key management is something emphasised in the brief. I wanted to create this Gantt Chart to really focus my time on energy on staying on top of and organised. As I have chosen to work in 2D, the organisation needs to be kept on check so that I have that huge stage of production I know I will need. Above you can see 4 grey boxes (With colour strips within them). The first on the left is the time I am giving myself for pre-production. The next is for production and the last for post-production. The smaller one at the bottom is not pinpointed exactly as it is my collaboration work. This could be edited as I go on. Any changes will be noted here.

Updated Gantt Chart 

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LO6: At formative I have made a new up to date Gantt chart. I had originally given myself 1 month to get preproduction up to date. I have now extended that to much longer just because alongside my FMP project I have been working on other people’s project meaning I couldn’t commit all my work time just to my own development. However at formative I almost where I need to be which is great. I realised I was behind, this was because of spending too long on certain aspects such as story development. However by allocating more time I am able to utilise my time more wisely. I think it is important to reexamine where you are in scheduling so you can understand why you were taking longer on certain things over others.

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LO6: From the beginning of term I decided to use google to create a To-Do list which I am trying to use every start of the day. It is really useful to set myself targets to hit as it pushes me to stay organised and on track of what I need to do.

Daily Schedules

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LO6: I used these schedules when their was a lot to fit in one day, I didn’t fill in every day as somedays I needed to catch up. Filling in these schedules however really made me feel better. It gave me something to hit and work on. This was one of mine where I went a bit crazy with the emoji. But making a boring spreadsheet schedule into something visually humorous speaks to me more. Note my favourite section at the bottom left; where for some reason I gave a pep talk to my future self. Looking back I wished I had made these consistently, this is something to note for next time.
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LO6: In other weeks I fully filled in these schedules, this week I added it in every morning and it shows how I used these to constructively set time to do things. Different to a Gantt chart using these schedules directed me daily of the tasks to do and gave me time frames. I was able usually to hit these tasks sometimes however in this instance it took me longer than I anticipated do to my animatic. However that animatic was incredibly important to me progressing. I used it as a clean storyboard, to send to music and sound and to work from. Therefore it shows you can be wrong on the timings of how long something can take.
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L06: Here is another example of a weekly schedule I carried out. What I wanted to note from this one is the meditation section. Me and Alice decided to start meditating and use the morning to stretch. Especially as we were trying to work hard to get on track. I enjoyed meditating and it will be something I want to continue to practice. Stretching gave my muscle the needed stretch especially as I have been hunched over my desk or sat with my laptop. Its important to remember to give yourself places to relax during projects, especially when you feel as thought everything is piling up.
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L06, LO5: Dan suggested before we broke up for formative that we worked 9 to 5 like we would if we worked. Usually I would work around 11 – 2am and this point therefore I wanted to shape it up and try an earlier time to get things done. I carried out this for several weeks and preferred working like this. Although I still work many more hours I aim to get up earlier now at 6-8am and go to bed at 12-2am. I really want to catch up therefore breaking up my day with breaks and time off allowed me to work at a pace with more concentration.

To do lists.

I created lots of to do lists, many of them i random notebooks and scraps of paper. There is just something so satisfying of being able to cross it out physically. But as well as my hand I used my note pad on my Mac to create checklists so all my notes were together.

I created a new not with every shot I needed to do along with a small checklist to visually see which one’s I had worked on and what one’s I needed to work on.

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LO6, Author’s own screenshot of shot checklist It showed what thing’s I needed to catch up on.
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LO6, Author’s own screenshot of shot checklist It showed what thing’s I had completed!
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LO6, Author’s own screenshot of shot checklist It showed what I had yet to start. It was also satisfying to be able to check of the things I had worked on.

LO6: Below are more of my checklists, my daily targets. Some of these were also for showing what I needed to send to people. Helping me organise what I needed to get done.

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LO6: Checklist of what to send to sound and music, confirming files were all sent correctly. Author’s own.
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LO6: Author’s Own checklist of what to do, daily targets.
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LO6: Author’s Own checklist of what to do, daily targets.
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LO6: Author’s Own checklist of what to do, daily targets.
Image source  LO6: Yes I admit it, I AM someone who like’s to look at quotes. In this project I had a Pintrest board for  Meditation. This quote reminds me not to expect perfection as it dosen’t exist. Sometimes I put pressure on myself because it didn’t come out the way I want it to. What is important is to love the journey.
Image source LO6: I think it is powerful to remember if something dosen’t end up going right or I do not make something in time. It dosen’t mean I failed. After all I can only improve.

“Up from ashes grow the roses of success…”

LO6:  Staying motivated is really important, I explained some of the ways I did that above, meditating, reading quotes, watching inspirational work. It is SO very important to learn from any mistakes I make. It dosen’t matter if something goes completely wrong or ends up looking terrible because once I have made such mistakes I can grow into something better. Above is a motivational song straight from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. To remember that up from the ashes grow the roses of success! It reminds me that actually facing mistakes and failure means you can learn even more than if I did not.

IMG_8185.JPGLO6: I used a wall in my bedroom also to help organise my time. I put a wall of inspiration.  At the top are artists who inspire me. In the middle was the weeks we have left and under that my storyboard. Having this basically face me made me conscious of the time I had left and what I had left to do. This wall was really effective. I look at it everyday and it allows me to plan what I need to do for the next day.

As previously discussed in my Research and development tab preparing my animatic to be carried into production was important. I spent sometime actually analysing timing and blocking out how hard, medium or easy a shot was. Leaving the easier shots to the end and working on the harder ones first would mean I wouldn’t be rushing the complex shots. This project management allowed me to think about how long it would take me and ultimately see if it was realistic.

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LO6: Author’s own storyboard – Dissecting into time, hardness and shots.
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LO6: Author’s own storyboard – Dissecting into time, hardness and shots.
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LO6: Author’s own storyboard – Dissecting into time, hardness and shots.
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LO6: Author’s own storyboard – Dissecting into time, hardness and shots.

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Workflow and Naming conventions

LO6: As well as the creative side of animating it is important I will be backing up my work. This will limit any casualties that could happen. I will be backing the files on my hard drive, google docs and main computer. I will ensure work is backed up everyday/ every big change on my hard drive. Will upload to an organised area on google docs.

LO6: Using a sketched up plan I have organised my google docs ready to upload everything incase of emergencies. I have split it into five main areas. Seen below.

  1.  Pre Production > Concept art [Environmental, Character designs, Moodboards],  My photos, Scripts, Storyboards and Animatics [Storyboard Versions, Final Storyboard, Animatic Versions, Final Animatic.]
  2. ProductionAnimation Files [Shot 01, Shot 02, Shot 03….etc]
  3. Post Production > Comp
  4. Sound and Music  >  Info Packs [Script, Storyboard, animatic, inspirational moodboards, Concept art.] Music Versions, Sound Versions, Final Sound, Final Music. 
  5. Collaboration Projects  > Shadid, Alice, Ed, Lisa

LO6: Having this extra security is another way to prevent any time wasted which is very important when it comes to scheduling. Below you can see my folders in my google doc prepared.

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LO6: Here are my main folders. When it came to collaboration I made a whole folder for music and sound also to save there version here. Encouraging them to do this they would not have any loss of work.
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LO6: Here you can see how I have split the preproduction into different sections keeping my back up files clean and organised.
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LO6: In my production folder I put all my animation files. This was the most crucial thing I was backing up. I wanted to ensure I always had these files backed up. 🦋
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LO6:  Here you can see an example of the back ups in place with this shot of the owls. What I like about Google Docs is how easily I can see the different versions and the security of knowing I can access them anywhere. For instance if my computer broke and I needed to access the files on my hard drive quickly on Alice’s laptop or the other laptop in my home I wouldn’t be able to as my hard drive is only compatible with Macs. However I could access the google drive from any computer.

As well as backing up my files on google docs I used my Hard drive as well. 

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LO6: Author’s own Hard drive backup is another place which I can utilise working with my files. I need to make sure that the files will be saved. Furthermore ensuring I safely remove at all times and the hard drive is labelled incase lost.
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LO6: Author’s own screenshot Here is a screenshot showing how many passes I backed up my work. I try to copy in files every day but every so often I like to save the whole folder. Adding the date means I have versions that could be useful incase a specific file got corrupted. I have done this because this has happened to me previously. Also using my hard drive I can put lots of my reference videos keeping my main laptop free of room.
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LO6: Author’s own Labelling my hard drive is an extra precaution that means if I do loose my hard drive (and my computer broke) I would have an extra layer of security.

 Naming Conventions

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LO6:  Here you can see a page from my sketchbook author’s own  where I was trying to figure out a way of naming conventions. LO5: Sanjay and Dev both drummed into us the importance of naming and having your files professional. Therefore I wanted to do a little research to ensure I am organised in a way that if any files are corrupted, saved over or lost I have another back up.

LO6: Before I begin the animation I want to put into place organising Workflow and naming conventions. I know from previous animations that there is going to be a lot of files. I have been doing a little research into effective file naming  in order to keep it precise. Some tips which was advised was to choose a naming convention and use it consistently. Sorting this out now will mean I can find files quickly and it will ensure I am not stressed with a messy files. From some research I have done they suggest that you save a readme.File which explains the naming convention to yourself. I want to ensure the file name isn’t too long, but clear with information I need.


Animating name structure

Name of Shot|_|Version|_|Description|.File type

e.g  Shot001_version001_keyanimation.PSD

(If I was animating with someone else I would extend this to

Name of Shot|_|Version|_|Description|Date|Intials .File type

e.g  Shot001_version001_keyanimation_3/04/17_VG.PSD

Above you can see the naming convention I settled on. Using this formula throughout will keep my workspace professional and organised. I do not want to have extra stress of a messy file space.

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L06: I will save each shot it’s own folder, correlating to it’s file naming meaning I can swiftly find files. In order to remember the shots I am working on I put a screenshot labelled of my storyboard with the shot name in the file folder. You can see below my screenshot that I have put in my folder to help me when organising. It keeps my folder organised. If I had to pass this on to someone else I would be confident that they understand what to name it and where to put each shot.

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LO6: Author’s own screenshot of shot analyse for organisation.
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L06: Here you can see a Shot folder using the naming conventions. I am really happy I took the time to organise this as I usually just name it sillily. This is something i will forever continue to do now.

Scheduling Collaboration

LO6: When scheduling myself I need to take into consideration how I work, and the time I need. It is about being efficient but being realistic. Around 3 people have approached me on either doing concept work or storyboarding or visual development thus far. I am a bit worried that it could be too much; meaning organising my time is not only vital but a way to allow myself not to feel overwhelmed. I have created “to do lists” which I am trying to tackle daily.

LO6: Working as a collaboration communication is very important, we have been using Facebook currently to communicate between the Film student and ourselves. Shadid and Lisa I have discussed face to face in meetings. This has been equally as useful as I can hear some of there proposals.

LO6: When working in these collaborations I have aimed to be honest, as well as ask for deadlines so that I can realistically make time to work on others as well as my own.

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LO6: Updating my Gantt chart every time there is a deadline is a way to prepare the work. Alice and me was asked jointly to work on Shadid’s and Lisa’s. However we have spoken about perhaps working separately on the two.

Tutorials and feedback has been important to allow me to gain perspectives and advice. I think it is great for someone else to give their point of view. During this project I have had several feedback below are some of the feedback.

LO5: Dan’s Feedback (One to one tutorial) 11/01/16

LO5, LO6: At my first tutorial I had a vague idea for my animation I knew that the piece was going to be inspired by the National Trust. The meeting was really helpful for making me be more specific. Dan gave me advice to which I was able to finalize my idea, which I was really grateful for! Below are Dan suggested the following:

  • Look at trends, look at it from a child’s perspective (Age group)
  • Different categories at the National Trust – History/ Nature
  • Passionate child’s animation, Think about it promoting it as a child. Flesh it out.
  • Why educate children? Nature, good health, historic. Looking at the news.
  • Perhaps it could be a 40-60 sec advert with 4-6 key areas combined.

LO6, LO5: These early questions really helped me, I began to look at my stories from child’s perspective. I did a huge amount of research in to the National Trust; and answering and exploring these questions really helped.

For next week: Think about 3 Alternative ideas for the animation. 

For instance:

  1. Promote National Trust
  2. Rehashing History
  3. Global Warming – Need protection
  4. Save National Trust
  5. Beatrice Potter
  6. Children and the outdoors

You need to think about the message you are trying to present

Do you want a message to inform, do you want to relive history, Campaign, awareness.

Think about contacting the National Trust or/ and Filmmaker David Bond.

LO5, LO6: In the end the message I wanted to show is children and the outdoors. As well as campaigning conservation and it’s importance in Britain.

“Try Sparking interest”

L05: Listening to this feedback has been important, because it is forcing me to narrow my idea which at this point I know is already too broad. I wanted to show that I needed to research and Dan agrees this is a good place to start with. I believe once really understanding the beliefs and ideas, the stories and the history will allow me to think of better ideas! I like Dan’s suggestions of coming up with three different ideas as it will implore me to see possibilities.


LO5: Dan’s Feedback (One to one tutorial) 18/01/16

LO5: This week I have showed some of the collaboration work I have begun. The three ideas that I came up with from last weeks feedback, I created a presentation to show Dan that showed the three ideas. This presentation allowed me to communicate my ideas to Dan, below part of my presentation and the ultimate chosen idea.

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LO6, Author’s own slideshow Idea 1:  This was the first idea I had. The premise of this animation was to inspire children to explore the ideas.  I liked this idea and initially before seeing Dan this was my favourite one. He ended up liking this one the best also.
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LO6, Author’s own slideshowbIdea 2 – This idea was to choose a specific place and create an animation about it. I loved this idea also. But I felt the top one allowed me to inspire children.
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LO6 Author’s own slideshow Idea 3 – The last idea was to tackle some of the declining animals in the British Aisle above you can see some of the creatures in danger of declining numbers.

LO5, LO6: We both agreed Idea 1 was the best idea to use. The next stage is to pin down a story. My task for next week/end of this week is to email with a couple of story ideas with visuals.

Dan said to consider:

Do you want a body of text to show the campaign for the National Trust (L05: I said maybe at the end of the animation, this is something useful to consider and maybe getting in touch with the National Trust could even help me inform this.) 

Think about the child you are going to feature : What gender – Maybe research who are more likely to take on some of the activities are there a diversity. This could be another layer of how to show a different perspective view. Also what characteristic of the child? What is there personality – would they be shy this could impact how the story is.

What are the other characters? Could it be an animal like a goose. If so begin to look into quadraped animation.

Look up Aaron Blaise : https://creatureartteacher.com/

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Image Source: Screenshot from Google
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LO5: Using Dan’s advice and have subscribed to Blaise’s website to begin to understand creature animation and the diversity of bipeds. This could help me inform my production of my final piece. Image source: Screenshot of Creatureartteacher.com

For the end of this week/ Start of next week

  • Please can you send: Your Blog link
  • Alternative story ideas with visuals of the chosen Idea 1
  • Raymond Briggs Letter

LO5, LO6: As well as tutorials in class, Dan kindly gave me permission to email him my progress and use the hours to get there and back to uni. Below you can see my email and Dan’s response to my email.

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LO5, LO6: Author’s Own Screenshot of email to Dan, I used Google drive to help me send presentations to Dan and share my ideas in a more visual way.

13/02/17 

Feedback from Dan 

Hi Victoria,

Thanks for sending the attachments, treasure those!!! Fantastic.
Thanks also for the update. I had a look at your presentation slides and like the overall premise and feel to it. Can I suggest utilising the owl more? Perhaps instead of the moths or just a single shot of it in a tree with its eyes lighting up in the rising action part, to create more tension and fear. Nice sound effects will help too.
As for the reference a source link is fine for the blog, but the report will need to be Harvard reference.
In regards to the live briefs, I shared the TT episodes with the class last week, so have a look and let me know what you can do. I will also let you know of the Beano visit so you can attend the talk.
Keep up the great work.
Dan
LO5, LO6: Dan’s advice was really helpful for me in continuing my story development. I had wanted to add an Owl and I am glad Dan suggested playing with using an owl to add tension to the story. This really helped me improve my story and in the end the owls being in the animation added to the anticipation and added an extra layer of tension. Dan also suggested to think about sound effects, It made me begin to think about what sort of sounds I wanted. I began to collate some inspirational sound sources after this email ready to send to the sound man.

Formative Feedback

(Noted down by Alice:)

  • Think about contacting young children for feedback
  • Tutor’s like water colour look
  • The Badger look is really nice
  • Thinking about the story break it down to waiting and the resolve
  • See the badger should be the end, we are all experiencing with the child the seen, Experiment and focus on the end
  • Doesn’t have to beginning, middle and end
  • Nice facts throughout the presentation
  • Neutral respect to man and animals

“The designs were charming, Charming”

LO6, LO5: I was really pleased with my feedback. I was especially happy the designs were well received! Dan calling them Charming made me really happy! The main focus which I agree on is finalizing the ending. I am giving myself the end of March to finalize the last bits before the April Animating sessions begins! Below is the brief overview of what I aiming to get done each month from my formative presentation. It was great to get some feedback from Sanjay and Dev also. They gave me suggestions of how to round of the ending of my piece; After talking to the tutor’s I identified the weakness of the story and improve it. I am so happy with how I ended it, focusing on the Neutral respect to man and animals. I wanted to sow that animals are not here for our entertainment but equal to us. Therefore the Badger runs off abruptly, in a way an animal would.
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LO6: Rough Schedule in my formative presentation

 Dan’s feedback after Easter

LO5, LO6: Dan gave me more suggestions on another tutorial. He suggested the following:
  • Consider the title name, and the message to be conveyed. How will you make it clear it is inspired by the national trust 50 things to do before your 11 and 3/4
  • Think about contacting the national trust to ask permission to use logo perhaps
  • Maybe I could put the quotes I found at the beginning of the animation.
  • Think about how long the coloring will take
  • The schedule for shots is really good

LO5, LO6 After this tutorial it gave me more construction directions. Dan made me consider the titles and credits. This is something I had yet to really confirm but I did it when I got home that day. After I made the decision on that I emailed Sound/Music with a completed email. Colouring was something I needed to think about and I did take the time to appreciate ow long i would take. I made me try and take shortcuts and work quickly at this. I emailed the National Trust after this meeting and they said I could use the logo which I was so happy about!

Dan’s Updates

LO5, LO6: As stated above Dan allowed me to email my progress to save me time to travelling to uni which I was grateful for. Sometimes I emailed and didn’t get a response but it still allowed Dan to see my progress, especially when I am animating and I want to let him know how I am getting on.  Below are the emails that I didn’t get a response from. But when I saw him later in class he referenced them in talking.

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Author’s Own print screen of email to Dan with my updated progress.
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LO5, LO6: Author’s Own Print screen of  my email updating Dan what I am doing.

Cache Data

When animating in 2D Cache builds up a lot. On my last 2D animation I had 100 GB in Cache in adobe. I didn’t realise I had to clean it up. This time round I was notified and got rid of 30 GB of Cache.


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Author’s Own It was important for me to schedule in time to remember to delete and organise this cache because it quickly builds up when I animate. I need to schedule organisation to help me work smoother. 
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Author’s Own This Printscreen shows some of the cache files in my Adobe After Effects it racked up to be 30GB in size and therefore giving me the extra needed space. 
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Author’s Own – Time management will allow me to ensure that I have made time to check Cache folders weekly from animating now on.

Research with development (LO1,LO2)

 LO1: Initial Research

Initial Presentation Pitch Before Christmas.

Before Christmas we were asked to pitch our ideas to the class, to share our skills and our projects incase anyone would like to collaborate. Below is the initial pitch I did. Looking at it now in the first week back, I can see that it is quite vague but the essence of the idea is clear! I want to make an animation based on the amazing work the National Trust create.

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Slide 1 of  5 (Image = Author’s Own photography) Here is the idea broken down. I still want to carry on with idea of keeping the animation not to long. I still want to create a 2D piece.
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LO1: Moodboard 1a Slide 2 of 5 Images referenced in Bibliography I created a moodboard to show the class the organisation which I am intending to represent or embody. My favourite image here is the one with the child in the mud.
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LO1: Moodboard 1b Slide 3 of 5 Images referenced in Bibliography I wanted to show the class some ideas for characters, from historic/magical to child. I like the air of mysterious and whimsical with which so much of the National Trust seem to show in the many house they conserve.
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LO1: Moodboard 1c Slide 4 of 5 Images referenced in Bibliography The style of the animation will be in 2D,  I will be inspired by Beatrix Potter who left many of acres to the National Trust and in doing so continue to make the conservation greatly known. The piece may end up looking more sketchy and flowy.
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LO1: Moodboard 1d Slide 5 of 5 Images referenced in Bibliography Finally I created this moodboard to show how the story could be depicted, legends and strength. I have a passion for storytelling so showing how I could apply magical storytelling this project was why I showed this particular Moodboard.

LO1: Why I chose this as my initial project. 

When I was younger my family holidayed around the UK, because of this I was able to see a lot of the British countryside and learn about the history! I have now grown into a bigger history lover and a supporter of nature conservation. The National Trust is an organisation that I often end up walking (walks) or visiting. Below you can see some of the places I have seen down to the conservation that the National Trust believe in.Hove

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LO1: Higher Sharpnose Point – National Trust Coastal walk Authors own 



LO1: Visiting Hall Place – National Trust

LO1: I decided to set some time a side to actually go out and explore. I wanted to draw from life and get away from the screen. I had intended to draw more of the landscape but I ended up being swayed by the devilish personality of the geese. Hence why I was deterred by the landscape to the wildlife! It was great to begin to think about what I could possibly draw and research further.

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Author’s own gif – L01 Wildlife at Hall Place. There was so many different wildlife, there were children feeding the ducks and geese and birdwatchers watching the birds by the River Cray. It was defiantly a place to appreciate some non-humans. It was great inspiration to see the place filled with diverse characters who weren’t human. This could potentially be a different character I could choose.
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Author’s OwnLO1: Watercolour sketch of the Geese at Hall Place I will be creating a character at some point for this animation, what the character does not have to be human. I like the idea of playing on using an animal alongside a character or as the character.
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Author’s OwnLO1: Watercolour gesture drawing of the geese at Hall place. Sketching the animals and the landscape helps to improve my skills of drawing which is no where near perfect. Its all about practice! As I am doing quite a lot of drawing this term it’s great to get the practice in.
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Author’s OwnLO1: Sketches at Hall place. (Garden, house, geese and people.)
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Author’s OwnLO1: Pencil sketches of geese at Hall Place. I like how I did the big geese here especially the shapes and flow of the body. I hope to keep practicing and possibly come back to draw more Geese.
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Author’s OwnLO1: Pencil sketches of the Geese at Hall Place
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Author’s OwnLO1: Pencil sketch of geese at Hall Place.
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Author’s own photograph LO1: I discovered this picture of me around 7/8 with geese which fits with the age target of 50 things to do before your 11 3/4.

LO5: After receiving feedback from Dan to come up with three different ideas on this subject and to define and choose. LO1: I began researching! I created the below spider diagram as I did some research on the National Trust. Doing this research has further allowed me to understand the role of the National trust beyond being just as a visitor but to fully appreciate the amount of work they do (Which is a lot!). From Protecting 775 acres of coastline, protecting wildlife and endangered plants. They go a head and implore people to write, draw, grow, go wild, create stories, plant and just be creative a free. It is a perfect embodiment of just living life freely.

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Author’s Own LO1: Spider Diagram of exploration of ideas.

What the National Trust believe in

“Special Places forever, for everyone.”

LO1: This phrase was used over and over on the website, summarising the preservation of beauty for every generation.

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Source LO1: Above is a screen grab from the National Trust. The reason why I have included this here is because it simply points out what the National Trust believe in. This has helped me categorised down the organisations main causes for me to further research. I could make an animation out of any of these sectors so it will be down to this research that will make me choose. I really love the idea of connecting children to nature as it could be really creative, it also has the age target already chosen.

LO1: The Wild Network.

LO1: The National Trust have teamed up with many other organisation in founding ‘The Wild network’. The network seeks to inspire children to swap time indoors to outdoors. There was an argument that parent’s feel this is an attack on them see below. But the idea is to just reboot a sense of wildness and inspiration to children. I think it is important to inspire children not talk down to parents.

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National Trust Website Screen-grab LO1: The National Trust have created a campaign in which to inspire children to become more wild. I love this idea, it creates beautiful imagery of wild half animal children! The best thing is children helped choose the 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4. This is most definitely something I am going to continue looking into.
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National Trust Website Screen grab LO1: Here is some of the ideas for children, each one in itself could be its own animation which is something to think about when pinning the story down.

LO1: National Trust have shown on their website a dedication to gently reminding the government to consider the environment after now leaving the EU, who were responsible to many of the environment plans.  Source

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LO1: It could be another angle showing why we need to push for the Government backing for continuing to back environmental plans. Greener UK
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LO1: Above is a screenshot of what they would like the Government to carry out. It is important post Brexit to understand the implications of environmental change. Although it doesn’t mean it could be worst it could be better to suit the environment of Britain as well.

LO1: Another area to which the National Trust look after is wildlife, plants, insects. The Trust believe in understanding and assessing the decline in species on our shores.

Of almost 8,000 species assessed by the report, one in ten are at risk of disappearing from our shores altogether. Source

LO1: A decline of Bats, butterflies and birds are what the National Trust what to improve, and this has been achieved over and over by the National Trust. By understanding and utilising farming the National Trust have abled to show it is possible. The phrase they kept repeating is perfect here: Special place, forever, for everyone. We need to keep these beautiful species alive for every generation.

National Trust report in the benefit of nature for children

LO1: Above you can see a video the National Trust created to promote their campaign. It shows how they are trying to aim this content to younger viewers, therefore showing my animation I need to target it at the level of children.


LO1: Films to look more closely at.  – Filmic Language

LO1: The Secret Garden (1993)

LO1: The Secret Garden is a book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett published in 1911. The book and later the films adaption, is based around the story of children who become changed and healed from nature. It is a film which I was obsessed with as a child, and is very beautiful. The story is about self discovery, both children are unloved from a young age and because of this, are spoilt or ‘bratty’. Through new relationships and the love of a secret garden the children come together and grow.

LO1: The film has beautiful shots with children interacting with nature and how the nature is captured is beautiful. The story uses the garden as a metaphor for the healing place. The shots show how the garden is represented as this magical realm where anything can happen.

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Image Source  LO1: The film begins feeling dark and isolating. Mary (the main character) is left with her own dark feelings. What is quite refreshing in this story has it shows the complex feelings of a child, these children were neglected of love meaning they had a lot of hate in the beginning of the film.
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Image Source LO1: In this shot the framing shows the darkness literally pinning her to the wall. The colours of blue and black are cold and lonely. These sort of shots really emphasise how the characters are feeling, and also help contrast to the later scenes in the film. This is something to remember when visualising my own animation.
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Image Source LO1: Talking about contrast, here you can see how later in the film, Mary helps bring the garden to life and the whole screen is bright and colourful. The detail is incredible and is so impactful in representing how the characters have grown.
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Image Source LO1: Even though in many areas of the film the pacing is slow, it allows you to appreciate the interaction and the peaceful connection the characters have unlike their troubled feelings. The pacing then, also has a contrast to the beginning.
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Image Source LO1: I also love the curiosity and discovery, it’s great to see how children do suffer with there own internal feelings, especially as the age range for this project is looking at 11 3/4 (or younger), which is older than that of the characters in this film.

LO1: FairyTale: A True Story (1997)

LO1: Fairytale: A True Story (1997) is a film built around the true story of ‘Cottingley fairies’ again the tale features children and nature. The film, is meant to shine a light on the ‘hoax’ from the children’s point of view. Based in a beck next to where the children lived you can see how the young girls imagined fairies.

Image Source LO1: This clip shows the interaction of the children outside in the beck, the way the light is caught in the film when outside is particularly beautiful. When it catches the light it creates the idea of a magic land.

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Image Source  LO1: This is another film which I was obsessed with as a child, and I used to want to recreate the little fairy house as children do! The film creates an oasis where anything can happen and that is a beautiful thing to capture.
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Image Source LO1: As I said above, here is an example of how the light allows the nature to literally hug the characters face. It is enchanting and could be used in bring the characters closer to nature.
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Image Source LO1:  As well as the light, the colours used in this film are something to be noted. When I read about colour theory, the innocence of childhood is usually baby blues and pinks which you can see here. The green is unfocused yet ever present.
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Image Source LO1: Here is the original photos the films are based on, it goes to show children in nature can cause a greater stir than one could expect.


Ever After – 1998

LO1: Ever after is a film that focuses on twisting the fairytale Cinderella. Some of the filmic language is very beautiful, from focusing on her floating on a lake, to the way the camera flows to see reactions. The colour signifies, magic and innocence of the character (Purples, blues and pink intwine). The whole film reflects its intention – To be magical! The story itself does not have any magic reference at all, focusing on a realistic depiction of the story with the only really magical thing is Leonardo Da Vinci who is the “Fairy godmother” in his invention. It is a great example of how I could display the National Trust without actually showing magic.

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Image Source  LO1: Danielle floating on the lake, is beautiful. The close up works in showing how relaxed the character is as well as the flowing water represents this further.
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Image Source
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Image Source LO1: The colours in the scene as mentioned above really emphasise the feeling of enchantment. The way the camera starts as a high angle all the way to the low angle here, shows how she is growing with confidence. It really is a beautiful, atmospheric shot.

Beatrix Potter

LO1: Beatrix Potter is one of my favourite artists, simply for her vibrant illustrations and beautiful tales of British animals. Because of this she is the perfect point of reference. As well as this fact she worked with the National trust and left land to it after her death. All her tales included animals and tales of their mischievousness which could help me finalise my story.

Beatrix died in 1943, leaving fifteen farms and over four thousand acres of land to the National Trust.

Source

My particular favourite tale of hers as a child, was The Tale of Samuel Whiskers seen here above. We have it on a video which we had taped back in the 90’s, which we used to watch over and over! As an adult I love her stories even more. What I wanted to reflect from Beatrix Potter’s tales is their simplicity. They aren’t complex they tell a story of a rabbit in stuck in a garden, a kitten lost in a chimney with rats trying to eat him. I like how the tales are simple – it makes it easy for children to follow but also show the essence of the tale.

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Image Source  –LO1: Beatrix Potter had away of bringing a character to life, using animals she was able to show a different perspective to animals. Her pure love of animals and the outdoors meant she later promoted conservation which is something I would love to show.
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Image Source  LO1: Beatrix Potter from a young age studied animals and botanical, illustrating was something that came with great study. The pure passion feeds into her stories. I particularly love how she plays with British wildlife in the stories she tells. I think it is important to to view the stories you love to understand why. I think part of the reason for loving her stories is because it ignited my mind with the secret worlds of wildlife.
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Image Source  L01: Potter often write to her younger family members and friend’s children with stories illustrated. She used this to tell her stories taking on human characteristics of doctor’s and nurse. They are so charming and perhaps I could use this idea (humanising animals) for my story to be inspired by the lady who helped conserve some of Britain’s outdoor beauty.
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Image Source   LO1: I love the characters she created playing on the natural circle of life. Showing flaws and imperfections but also passion and humanity. She is one of the greatest child book author’s of her time and to this day. The stories remain timeless!

L01: Story Workshop 24/01/17

L02: For my downtime I wanted to Bracket research into story developments, I have a passion for telling stories and I want to keep learning about this beautiful craft.

L01: The story workshop gave me some really useful tips to think about. What makes me and someone else different? It is how we tell a story!! Which makes the difference. It belongs to you, because it is your representation of the world. Stories need to have a universal truth, or a common ground in which audiences can relate to. But say something new, expressive. Use characters to make a connection, mould a character truthfully.

LO1: Good storytelling – lean in, makes you experience – choreograph a scene to make you seem like you are there. Take a moment and make it experimental. Looking and learning to see. Take risks, learn to understand failing is normal but take the risk to try again. I love this advice, reading this again a little down the project I think this is such important advice. I should always remember I want my audience to be immersed in this story I have created. And it dosen’t matter if by the end it isn’t perfect as long as I took the risk to try!

Make people feel things.

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Author’s Own: LO1: I quote ” More than technique – it should move your heart.” (Beautiful advice!)
  • Don’t tell the audience everything, leave work for the audience to want to know more.

LO1, L06 , LO5. In a workshop task we had to write a story, I did a child as my character and was given this advice after: When writing for a younger audience you need to stay in the moment. – I found this useful to apply to my own project which is aimed at children. Later on an exercise I tried to apply this to a story I write with Alice for this workshop. I need to make sure when I am doing my animation that I take on the perspective of my character, what she is looking at, how she is feeling. Not just as an audience looking in. 

  • Honest with who you are, creativity within yourself. To be creative means to be loose and observant!! Not to be precious, to discard and collaborate. To be unexpected and make meaning to move people. 
  • What does the character need to know, what can we keep away from them?
  • Learn to ask question? What if/Why/What could be.
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Author’s OwnLO1: Story work shop, playing a task of how to describe an apple. Some of the ideas I gave was “the oldest human species” and “animal god!” It was great to let loose and just be mad with my ideas.

Writing an introduction to a coming of age story. 

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Author’s Own – LO1: We did a task where we had to write an introduction. One of the feedback I got was when you are talking about a children, you need to stay in key with the character- so for children stay in the moment. This was really useful to me!
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Author’s own Notebook – LO1: We were told to go out into the big ole world and record and observe! It was cool, because we were not just sketching but taking in the ideas which is something I would like to do for this FMP project.
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LO1: Here is the observation for the final story me and Alice chose about a lamp post which has been picked away of paint. (See at the top- excuse the messy handwriting.)
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Author’s own – LO1: Me and Alice collaborated in writing a story which I actually really liked!!

Wednesday 25th January

Storytelling Workshop 2

Memory and how we access that.

L01: “In the particularly of your own lives you will find the sweetcorn that will feed your creative work. The little fragments we carry with us, making meaning to you.”

This piece of advice has stuck with me throughout the whole development process, I have tried to clock in to my self at the age of my character and take snippets. Such as how I used to always want to know more, picking up caterpillars and trying to pass it to my friends who would scream. 

“I want to drag you down to my memory. Explore, interrogate your memory.”

In writing you don’t have to tell, just try to express how it feel, be truthful

LO1: We were asked to bring in a photograph from our childhood. I chose the photograph below I believe I am around 8/9 in Cornwall. We were instructed to write a story that brought us back to the moment. One of the 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 is to catch a crab. Which is rather relevant as I am younger than 11!

Crab fishing

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Author’s Own image, LO1: The air is thick of fishy, raw bacon and dirty mud. Barefoot and free, plod on damp, gritty cold stone. Jealousy and anger. Sister’s kind words, scrunching face, turn away fast. Strong tug then lightness. Hooks caught on seaweed hands, twisting and locking. Moody, with wet knees and aching shins and itchy hands. My piercing eyes dodge through plaited seaweed below. Salty string, rub harshly against tiny hands. Fluorescent buckets clutter on concrete. Joy and bubbling happiness arise inside as armoured skin with shuffling claws, tug with all its might, hands and arms pang of ache. Scratchy and tough then soft and gentle.


Story Development! 

LO1, L02: After doing my dissertation on storytelling, I want to explore playing with story. I have decided to be experimental with the ideas, plus I have a passion for working with lots of story ideas, and really utilising the extensive research to fuel them. What I found specifically for the brief (50 things to do before your 11 3/4 – National trust) Is that there is so much potential for stories ideas, as the imagination of children can be endless. Making the stories even more elaborate. I want to root however the national trust root cores ( Wildlife, nature conservation, history, inspiring children, coastlines).

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LO2: Here is a screenshot of the content page of the idea. I wanted to try and understand some of my ideas by understanding the story moments and the actual story. I have begun to cut of some which may not be as strong. I want to learn to not be precious with my ideas. Therefore coming up with these story ideas really helps me.
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Author’s own sketchbook LO2: Here is an illustration to help my experimentation when coming up with my stories. Also I like to consider how long it takes to draw something briefly, as this will help me when it comes to animating. LO6: I believe this took me about 6 minutes to make.
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Author’s own sketchbook LO2:  I like to experiment with the story ideas, creating this really quick concept designs for badgers at a table. LO6: I think this piece took me about 25 minutes for both. I have been trying to work with watercolour quickly. Black and white drawings can be quicker but applying colour brings the idea to life a little more.

LO1, L02 : Playing with different variations of my sketchbook ideas, below is a story I write using the Badger Ball idea. 

Badger’s Ball. Idea #1

Bare foot over damp dirt which clings to my feet, the grass is covered with dew but I am running fast I hardly realise, I step up to a tree’s giant root and jump back down. I stop. The tree is large, yes, like the dozen of others. But this one is deformed and contorted and twisted. It harbours a giant pit, a mini cave made from wood not rock. Uncomfortable shins as I balance on the roots which dampen the trousers I wear. The smell of soil and rusty twigs clog my nose as I bend into the tree inside. Soft breath and bodies snuggled in deep. Stripes of black and white. My eyes widen with surprise, what are these creatures and why are they asleep? [Maybe not needed]

My eyes are tired and heavy. Torch heavy in hand I march to the spot I know the kingdom of the stripe creatures live. I gently shine a light, but there is no breathing, no moving…No creatures!

I roll back in defeat and look at the stars, when I turn the torch off they become clearer. When I switch it back on, moths and bats glide past. I sit up, I begin to hear a strange stringed instrument foreign to my ears. I follow it’s sound and through the thick foliage I see the strangest sight of my life. Lanterns and fireflies and banners. Badgers dressed in silk and tables filled with slugs and snails and mice tails. Music and maypoles twisting and bending round a giant branch stood up on the mossy carpet floor. I am intoxicated by it’s beauty and it’s splendour.

My eyes are watering as I am no longer blinking from the fear I will miss out. Suddenly, a tap on my back cause me to spin round. My parents shine their torch under their faces and make me jump (fall into the scene). When I look up the badgers have discarded their clothes and the maypole has vanished. They scamper into the darkness. One looking back with a faint smile on it’s chops, it look forwards and then runs into the abyss.  

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Author’s own sketchbook LO2: I started to make really rough thumbnails of possible ideas, not really in stone but just to draw any ideas in my head. Some of them are really not clear of effective but it is away for me to get the ideas out of my head.
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Author’s Own sketchbook LO2: Here is another thumbnail shots of another idea, they really help me think of how the characters would act and the compositional.

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LO1: I invested in buying this book which is for children to complete 50 things to do at night written by the National Trust, I wanted to use it in order to help me generate ideas and develop more. I ended up getting really passionate over and internally ticked off everything I had done! What it did do was show me the variations of things to do at night! I wanted to try and cover several different ideas in this book in my story!

Developing the story.

LO5, LO2: Dan suggested I created 3 ideas for my National Trust brief as it seemed too vague after the Christmas break. In the end we both decided this was the strongest idea. I was really happy with this idea too and it almost gave me so much choice to be playful and experimental. The idea was to use the 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 list on the National Trusts website to inspire my animation. Below is the idea I presented to Dan. Although the elements ended up changing it gave me a clear direction to work with.

 

[Below slideshow]

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LO1: Early moodboards of moodboard for ideas for the look of the piece. Looking back I didn’t know what it would turn out but I liked the essence of these paintings. 

 

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Dan and iagreed this was the best idea. 

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LO1: Early moodboards of moodboard for ideas for the look of the piece. Looking back I didn’t know what it would turn out but I liked the essence of these paintings. 
L01: Image source: The 50 Things to do before your 11 3/4 list created by the National Trust. This was where I was able to begin gathering my ideas. There was so much choice that it really overwhelmed me! 

 

LO2: I took some time to look through the 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 list to generate different ideas that could be used for my final story. There was so much potential for a variety of stories. I did some thumb nailing over a couple of days and created a slideshow with my favourites. I ended up favouriting the Badger’s Ball as I liked the idea of challenging myself. It was a hard decision because I could see potential in them all.

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LO2\: Story Idea 1 the badger’s Ball 
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LO2: Story idea 1  – This remained my favourite idea in the end because of the idea of the alien of night. I felt I could be playful and respectful to these night creatures. 

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 I chose the Badger’s Ball to explore.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 14.33.35.pngLO2: The Badger’s Ball is based on No.40 of the 50 thing’s to do before your 11 3/4 seen above. And on this page it suggests staking out a Badger at night. I loved the idea of playing with this alien world and playing on it’s mysteries. This was one of the reasons why I chose this idea. Also because it would challenge me to understand lighting. I am looking forward to the challenges to tackle.

Developing story to go here.  

LO1, LO2: I realised the story was too complicated for me to animate on my own so I decided to consider a different way of making a simpler story still with a child and a Badger. Below are many of the thumbnails I created I feel I spent too long on making this decision but it also did allow me to think creatively and experiment in storytelling.

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Story 1 Author’s own sketchbook – A story of a girl walking across a Badger near a fence
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Story 3 LO2: Author’s own sketchbook – A story of a girl discovering a line of worms similar to my chosen story. 
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Story 5 Story 1 Author’s own sketchbook – A story of a girl stargazing and discovering a Badger
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Story 6 – Author’s Own – Seeing a Badger appear at sun down – Alice’s idea. 
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Story 7  – Author’s Own – A girl waking up in a Badger sett then going home 
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Story 68- Author’s Own – 
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Story 9 – I love the simplicity of this story It works with good pacing and could be fun to explore. 
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Story 10
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Story 11
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Story 12

LO2: I had chosen my favourite idea for the story which was the Badger Ball but I quickly realised there was too many characters to animate so I needed to rethink the story with a simpler amount of characters so I could take my time with the animation. Below is a powerpoint with several ideas using the Badger and the child scenario. It ranged from stargazing to drawing out a moon chart. In the end I chose to go with a story similar to the Badger Ball – “Badger Parade” I liked this idea because it kept the essence of my original idea but didn’t require me to animate lot’s of characters. Even though I discarded the other ideas their were elements which made it into the final story. Such as the “worm king” idea which saw the Badger as this magical creature that controls worms. A lot of the moodboards I created for the different story ideas remained to inspire me as well. This exploration really allowed me to be playful and push the idea. It also kept me excited to

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LO1: Studio Ghibli are never short of visually rich and beautifully made animations. In the film My Neighbour Totoro, the two girls Mei and Satsuki adventure out when visited my Totoro. The scenes prove really helpful for me in colouring and concepting. How much colour is visible in the dark. I love these scenes their is a magnificent sense of energy in their artwork and animation.

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Image Source L01: This scene is great, it has a beautiful amount of energy and the background helped me think about colouring and light. This is the thing most worrying me about working on my story. Also we see different creatures and how they may move. Again across the different ages and nature. It shows a great amount of contrast in this shot. There is a lovely transition of framing, and weight of the push of the characters. I would love to show such a variation in weight when animating.
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Image Source L01: This scene from My Neighbour Totoro is when the cat bus appears, what is great to take away from this scene is how the eyes literally light up the scene. The camera angle is incredible and I love how it dosen’t cut but continues racing towards the camera. The filmic language is something I want to consider stronger and viewing such animations as this has really inspired me!
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Image Source L01: The fading light in this scene of Mei falling over in the rain reminds me of the time I am setting my piece. The animation in this gif is 1 seconds long but is really powerful still. I really want to be able to show such beautiful flow and rhythm in the way the animators have done so in this shot. Considering my piece is one 50-1 minute long I need to think about how to get my character across simply.

LO1: Above is the scene from Robin Hood [1973]  the backgrounds here are really beautiful and show again a night scene. In this animation it has been tackled by using very light blues. When it comes to the degree show I was worried that if I created a really dark animation it wouldn’t appear clearly on screen. Here you can see how the animation dosen’t necessarily have to be dark to represent night, muting and creating lighter tones can still represent the night.

LO1: The Rescuers is an amazing animation, this scene shows a different way of representing night this time with more a merge of sunsetty dark colours. The animation is slow at pace and emphasises Penny’s wish for help.

L01: The little prince is a really bizarre and wonderful story of a boy come from his planet, to learn how to care for his rose. If you look particularly at 3:32 we can see how using the golden hour could enhance the story element. In this scene (Spoilers*) the little prince is dyeing. Carried the scene changes from the golden sky to night. This was one of my preliminary ideas.

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LO1: Thinking about adding that air of mystery could be added with filmic language. These two GIFS from the film Vertigo ( 1958) show how mystery can be captured using composition and shot style. The character is never revealed but we begin to notice her. We see elements of who she is but it is never really fully revealed in these shots. Its not necessary and it takes away that air of mystery.

L01: Maltilda (1996) was one of my favourite movies as a child, the story is great showing scenes of victory, power, adventure, kindness and cruelty. It is a film I used to and still now watch. There are several scenes which project this feeling of freedom and excitement. Above is one of them. If you rewind the clip to: 0:31, we can see how the child is represented beautifully. We feel the pure joy of the discovery of her powers. This scene is also great visual reference for when I come to animate, I love the world Matilda creates, freeing and happy.

L01: Discussing Matilda, here is another clip which I love. The ending of the film fast forward to clip: 2:36 we can feel the pure joy of childhood summer. I love the montage of clips here and this is something I should consider doing (How I layer sequences). It really reminds me of my childhood and the range of crazy things my parents would set up for me to do over the everlasting summer holiday. I like the exploration of a child and a mother figure in this scene. The music is also beautiful and freeing.

L01: Harry Potter, an amazing book, an amazing film. But the main reason why I put this in my research is because of such scenes as this. This scene is set outside at night in the forbidden forest. Its great to see different takes and perspectives of the night. This particular filmic language is much more sinister. The dark forest really is dark – using more black tones with glimmers of orange to spark up the sinister elements. When in the forest the scene turns a cold blue. This scene is also worth noting to see how the different young children act, J.K.Rowling is a master of character development. Here we can see how 4 different children can interpret the scene of being outside on their own. This makes this great visual reference for when I come to developing my character as well as animating her.

LO1: Another clip which is set at night is this scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher stone. Light is used sparingly but effectively. It is apparent in this clip with purply blues and golden oranges. It is great how light can emphasise a sense of whimsical nature.

Interacting with an animal 

My story is about a child discovering and interacting with a Badger. I wanted to look at some examples of this happening in film/TV. I like the idea of this interaction scene of meeting something/Someone for the first time.

L01: Narnia – The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe is a perfect example of how a child can stumble upon a great mystery. It is great to see the very vibrant differences in the characters. Mr Tumnus clearly more timid than Lucy. I think it is a great shot of showing the characters interacting. I think this could be a great way to show my characters getting across and animating by perhaps having a really simple scene like this one.

LO1: Above is another scene from Narnia, this time showing Lucy discovering the very wardrobe which transports her to the magical land of Narnia/ It is great to see the character reference of a child discovering a new world. Much in the way I want to propose that night is a completely new world.

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PennyRufus

L01: Lets discuss Rufus and Penny. Their friendship is so heartwarming, the animation is satisfying and shows good weight and appeal. I like the way these two characters interact. I think this is great research into how a child and animal can behave around each other. It is clear from this animation that the characters are friendly, they know each other. However my story shows the characters meeting for the first time. Also I want my badger to have an air of wildness. Not to be really tame.

L01: The two scenes above show the young wizards meeting a creature known as Buck beak. What great about this scene for reference is the nervousness of both parties. It is also a great character analyse of Harry Potter who is calm and follow whatever Hagrid says and Draco Malfoy who does as he pleases and marches into the situation. This is great to see how different character can take on the same situations.

LO1: The 1999 Tarzan, animated by Disney is rich in human and non human connection. Perfect for understanding some points in my story which sees a child and a badger interact. Its great to see the different ways animals show affection. Also this scene is set at night, which is great for me to see how they tackled the colour theme. Although blue they are able to choose a colour which is cosy and seems secure. Layered with the ever emotional Phil Collins it really is the perfect mixture for chilling, heartwarming, loveliness. 0:52+ shows a really great piece of animation of Kala (mother gorilla) resting the baby Tarzan on her feet.

Character Design

LO1: The character design for this piece is important. My main goal is to create a child between the ages of 6-11 3/4 which is the age target for my animation. The body of a child between these ages are slightly different therefore I want to understand the diversity of a child to an adult.

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Image Source LO1: Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s delivery service shows an amazingly expressive animal Gigi. Here is a great character sheet of the different expressions. I am planning to create several sheets with a variety of poses in different situations. This will also allow me to not only visually aid me, but help me develop and think about how the character will act in different situations.
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Image Source LO1: This character board of Chihiro in Spirited away is amazing. It shows the characteristic of the character in the sheet, I think creating a posing sheet like this will help me extensively when it comes to animating. Especially pushing the face with the different expressions. What also helped me when looking at these sheets is the body proportion. Chihiro is 10 years old,which fits into the age I am aiming for.
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Image Source LO1: Cartoon Saloon have created many children characters, they create these beautiful pose sheets. The characters themselves are really simple but expressive. This is important as over complicating the character not only makes it longer to animate but can make it harsher on younger viewers. Simple shapes can make the visuals more effective.
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Image Source LO1: Here is another sheet from Cartoon Salon, In the same way that Chihiro was presented, showing the different poses from the film. I love how the simple character can really be pushed which is what I need to bare in mind! It is also important to think about pushing the child’s anatomy, previously I did not exaggerate such features well enough. The head is much larger as well as the eyes.
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Image Source LO1: Pushing the face here we can see one of the triplets from Brave.  It shows the level of anger/tantrum which is something most children do. I like how we can see the shoulders hiked up and the mouth contorted even further.
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Image Source LO1: Briony May Smith created these beautiful illustrations, as an illustrator Smith creates lavish magical pieces. These illustrations of one character shows how the character comes across in different situations. I love these and like the above intend to create my own!

Developing my character.

LO1: I decided to take some time exploring how my character will look, I wanted it to be a girl aged 8/10 who lives in Britain. Below are all my sketchbook pages of exploration, I did quite a few, I wanted the character to look like it belonged in this natural nighttime environment which was some of the ideas I was going for.

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LO1: On Pintrest I created a board for children anatomy practice, this way I could understand the stature and body of a a child at the age. Some things which I learnt for instance is that children lose their bottom teeth first then around 8+ they loose their top. This is a feature which I was hoping to include. This Pintrest board really helped me when it came to creating my character designs.
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LO1: I considered films, actors to use as a point of reference as well. I wanted my character to be English in style, inspired by Beatrix Potter drawings and English illustrations. I used some of these famous people to help me design the character, they all have beautiful and charming quirks in their faces, picture of Princess Diana shows how she pulls these beautiful faces which are expressive and charming.
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LO1: I also dug up some pictures of myself at 8-10 years old, here are some! I wanted to see how I was in personality (which was hyper and mad) and to study some posing more. This proved particular important in my experimentations for the character, and using the story workshop advice of trying to drag my own memories into my work.
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LO1: This moodboard captured some of my favourite artists and inspirations for style, Briony May Smith and Quentin Blake. Both create atmospheric art which captures the essence of the character. Both invoke emotion and I love the characters simplicity. As I am doing 2D animation its important I don’t overcomplicate the character so that I save time later when I come to animate. I especially love the backgrounds Smith creates, someone I need to study more when it comes to that stage of the process.

Appeal –

LO1: Appeal is a principle of animation. It is a principle needed in order to keep the audiences interest. The protagonist and other characters all need appeal, the villains as well. The audiences need a connection, an emotional hook that helps them grasps the reasons for the journey each character takes. This is through visual look of the character to the inner feelings of the character. Their flaws and personality.

“Like all forms of story telling, the feature has to appeal to the mind as well as to the eye”. Source

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Image Source – L01: I sometime feel like I overcomplicate my drawings and I could try to strip it away, it is really true that the character appeal adds a great deal to the story. As well as the appearance the way I will be animating the character.
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Image source L01: When designing a character think about who you are aiming at. This should be apparant in the way you construct the appearance. Is it for young children? What are the shapes and colour you may need to grab their attention.

Advice I found when researching

  • What makes a good character, try analysing character which you think are good, dissect why they are appealing.
  • Colour, how can you use colour to show personality.
  • What are the characters driving force, their goals, their life and backstory?
  • Refine character with purpose.

LO1: This advice is really useful because it pushes me to think of ways of strengthing my character. For instance what is my characters driving force? In my story my character is pushing to discover more after being intoxicated with visual splendour.

Character Analyse

LO1: I want to break down characters which I think are very powerful and have  strong appeal/ personality. Analysing them I hope to get a better understanding of what makes a good character. What makes a flawed character.

L01, L05: Alice (My sister on the animation course) did a dissertation on character in animation. She has helped me greatly with passing wisdom into how character can change a story in a way of driving it to different places. She also explained how character should be explored past stereotypes. I have tried to look at characters who are not a sterotypical 8-10 year old, with more depth.

L01: I have chosen two characters to review, Mary Lennox from a Secret Garden and Shizuki Tsukishimi from Whisper of the Heart. Both of these feature young girls. Both from films I have watched dozens of time, I want to dissect what makes these characters so appealing to me.

Mary Lennox – 10 years old

LO1: Mary Lennox is a 10 year old girl from the Secret Garden written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911. I brieftly spoke of the character above. However when we think this character was written over 100 years ago it is peculiar how we are still able to enjoy and relate to such a character. Mary displays truth and honest making her universally understandable. Coming from an unloving family in India where she is neglected she grows bitter and angry. When she comes to Yorkshire to live with her uncle another empty cold house filled with staff she does not know she remains angry.  That is her flaw, how she can spite and burn people with words. It is the only thing she can do as a 10 year old girl. She is bratty and most of all hurt and lonely.

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Gif Source  LO1: The appeal of Mary is how she learns to connect with people even though her flaw (anger and bitterness) seeps out. We want to see Mary happy, we want her to connect. We may even connect to her on some level. As a ten year old girl this film shows clearly a character of this age still can deal with a battle of inner emotions.
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Gif Source LO1: Appeal therefore is not rriding only on appearance but on how the character deals with new experiences. If another child other than Mary came to their uncles house after their parents death they would have acted differently. She is strong minded and naive at the same time. I wonder why then why I loved watching the  Secret Garden when this character at the time of watching was so unlike myself. I believe it is because Mary seemed true she had flaws, infact some could the flaws is what we think of when we think of the character. She is always happy, she isn’t excited all the time. She feels deeply on a range of emotions. That is why I connected and still do connect with this character.

Shizuki Tsukishimi -14 Years old

(Slightly older than my character but it still good to break down why I like her as a character in order to help me make better characters and strengthen my skill of developing and understanding character.)

LO1: Shizuki Tsukishimi is a character from Ghibli’s – Whisper of the Heart directed by Yoshifumi Kondō. The film is about Shizuki and her journey of understanding her own ability. This character again is very true. I see much of myself in her in the way she expects so much from her ability.

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Gif Source  LO1: We see how she is hard on herself, her own inner feelings.
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Gif Source  LO1: We see how she has passion and interest.
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Gif Source  LO1: We see her own temper and anger.
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Gif Source LO1: We see her gentle nature.

LO1: In the same way of Mary Lennox, Shizuki has a range of feelings and emotions. She isn’t always happy nothing really ever goes the way she wants, even when she works tirelessly. It is her imperfections that make her so relatable. She feels real, what makes her entertaining and appealing is the way she dosen’t give up. She could lay on the floor in the way she does in the first Gif above forever. But she dosen’t she gets up she has this drive to do things. This age is especially hard for everyone when you leave the childhood fantasy behind you and begin to understand the responsibilities you need to take.

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