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 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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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.

tr.gifGif soucre Character Reference L01 I have been trying to understand the range of characters of 8-10 year olds. I watched Tracy Beaker episodes of Tracy as a ten year old. I think what it really showed was how a ten year old can still be dominating and powerful. They are not necessarily shy and small. So when creating it I can play on how powerful my character feels.

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LO1: I created this moodboard to help me consider the clothes that the character is wearing. I tried to look at clothes to be worn in the cold night but remembering the character is a child, hence the colourful clothes. The National Trust suggested wearing dark clothes when trying to view animals as it makes the animals less likely to run. I also don’t want anything too complicated as the less details the more time I have.

L02: Designing the character

Sketchbook Pages 

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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – I wanted to use watercolour to bring the character alive so the majority of these sketches are done with pencil and watercolour. I don’t like the characters here, the one at the bottom with long nose is charming however.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I don’t like the sketch on the left as annotated, it is creepy. The ones on the right however are interesting in their pale skin and dark hair, it could make for a nice play with light in the dark – skin could be luminated in the dark.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I like the lip/skin colour here I think the image on the left again does not work – face could be pushed but greater.

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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – Trying to play around with posing the character I like the sweetness to her face and the simplicity of it.
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LO2: Author’s Own Image I really like this image the character is expressive to show an admiration to the Badger she is about to lower her self to. The Badger sketch is not good at all but it was quickly sketched, proving how I need to understand the Badger’s body before trying to tackle.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I needed to also think about how this character could be presented in the dark – the colour will be ultimately lost when outside in the dark.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I do not like the characters on this page, playing around with variation of the face, the one at the bottom is much to complicated.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – I do like the characters here they are expressive and show quirks. I’d like to explore re-visiting one of these characters maybe.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page -I like this character although I feel the face is much too complicated, but could be reworked simpler. The great thing is even if I don’t use these characters I am learning to understand how to create a character which is younger. Some of these do look too old which is why I need to constantly remember to look back at the boards/research.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – I actually quite like these character especially the one on the left, you get the sense of calmness.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – I like this page, the characters are simple and quite different.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – I chose to work out different shapes and features and just being playful with how I could show the character!
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page (Got some blue paint on the character in the right hand side). I do like these characters especially the top left, I ended up with going with a different character in the end just because I favoured the circular features more in my final chosen design. Maybe I can revisit this character another time.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page I felt I needed to push the variety of the features some more looking at long and circular helped me to continue to create a range of different looking characters.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page Looking at these pages goes to show the many different variations I played with, these characters are really different to some of my other designs, If I could re do the designing process I would perhaps continue pushing different shapes further, especially in the body. I wanted the body to be awkward and small.
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L02: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page When designing i tried to experiment with different facial expressions and starting with more circular features. I liked using the watercolour as it brought my design to life and allowed me to think about how the final look could look when animating.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page Here is a sketch with a Badger, this isn’t the Badger design but I wanted to begin introducing the two characters together. I like this illustration but I am not fond of the Badger’s face.
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L02: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I like this page I think all characters have a unique face. I ended up preferring my final character more however because it had a more childlike cheekiness, I think some off the characters on this page could seem too old for my character.
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L02: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I don’t like this page, these were some of my first drawings but they all look rather older than the age I was going for. I am glad I continued with younger looking characters. The only character I like is the bottom left, which I explored further.
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L02: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I don’t like this page, The characters did not work, I like the short haired character, the rounded face and lips make the character seem cuter. I could push the rounder face to make that character more effective.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I really liked a lot of these characters, my favourite on this page is the bottom right. Weirdly this character was based on a young Roger Daltry, I saw a picture of him as a child, and I wanted to get his cheeky youthful face.  The others are also goof but are slightly more complicated.
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LO2; Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – Here I begun to be a bit more simple, using lines and shapes. As I said before doing this will help me work faster.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – This is one of the first characters I created, I liked it at the time but looking now I can see the character looks too old, The look could be easily changed to make her appear slightly younger however. But in the end I decided on a simpler, younger character.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  I wanted to begin to understand how my character could pose, how I would get her personality across. I used images and movie reference from actors in films featuring characters similar age to mine. I weirdly like the top left character I think she looks really sweet and energetic. I played with having more circular eyes and face in this. I also like to play with colour when watercoloring, contrasting the orange hair to the blue jumper.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – Here is a sheet of body poses to show my characters body as well as practicing different poses.  A lot on this page was created using films and images on pintrest to help me.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page This page is really rough and allowed me to begin to think about the sizing of head for instance to body. How to show the age of 8-10 years old.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page These poses really helped me with practicing the child’s body and having fun of showing the child’s inner craziness! I used images of myself at this age to further think about how my character could act.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page These rough poses really helped me when it came to animating and during my animatic stages.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – This page  is one of my favourites because the poses play with leaning and the different ways a child rests. It makes me want to explore how a child sits as some of my scene has my child waiting and sitting.
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L02: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page –  When drawing some of the poses I got ideas of the character, for instance here I wanted her goofy someone who picks up caterpillars. This is actually something I did as a child, I want it to feed into my animation.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page Understanding the body will help me when it comes to animating, therefore drawing so many of these sheets will help me greatly when it comes to key posing.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page I really liked exploring how energetic and often fidgety choosing for children.  It reminds me of how I never used to be able to sit down in one place.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – Pencil sketches in my sketchbook.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  – I reworked some of the characters playing with body types and hair. As it is still early the character could adapt and change more. This is one of the characters I was thinking of pursuing. I liked using a circular face and nos. However in the end I didn’t go with this character.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page As well as showing some poses I showed the different angles of the face. I love the circular features in this particular design. (This was one of my top favourites for my character. )
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – This was another character who I really liked, it ended up looking similar to my character other character so I played around with combining the two. I particularly like the auburn hair.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  This design was reworked again, I like the simplicity of this character and the auburn colour to the hair. Choosing a design like this could save me time when animating.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I love this mid talk face at the top, this character was another one I explored.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page This character pushes the length of the nose, It is different to some of the other drawings and as you can see i explored just using dots for the eyes. I think this character would be fun to continue to explore.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I tested using a circular face/features for this character using some the advice from Pixar.  I did end up doing quite a big nose in my chosen character.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – The profile did not work here. I ended up not choosing this one because I felt like the other design was more dynamic and simpler.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I do not like this character sadly it did not turn out the way I would like.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – This one is not the best character design but I like the essence of the character in this drawing.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I do not like how this design turned out but it plays with the colour scheme I previously really liked with the orange and blue.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – This character was great to explore, I don’t like it that much however and I feel other characters work better. I do like how the character has the rosy cheeks and playing on the pale skin of a red headed child.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page  Creating a simple character here is great, again however I like other characters a little bit more as they have more quirk to their faces.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – I like this character but I think it is less  charming and a bit more creepy – I think it’s the large mouth.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – As well as exploring some of my favourite characters i was able to continue working on posing.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Page – Although this page is messy I has a lot of fun doing these water coloured character designs. Watercoloring is actually something I really wanted to get better at.
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LO2: I compiled all my favourites to one page so I could have a better overview. Which ended up looking like this. From this stage I created a presentation to help me scrap and choose my favourites.
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L02: I had reworked quite a few, to cut it down I created a presentation with my top ten favourite characters see here with all the versions of the character lined up. This way I could sort out which ones I liked the best and which ones I could scrap. This helped me visually see everything in one place. I was also able to get feedback on asking people which one they felt worked the best.

Favourite character

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Final Character and Expression Sheet

L02: Below is my final character, I ended up calling this character Hazel, partly in honour of Watership Down (I’m currently reading this book.) The watercolour variations below are really charming and I hope this style can be replicated digitally.  My weakness is digitally painting and something I hope over the course of the project I play more with and continue to improve. Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 13.43.17.png

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LO2: This is a rough sketch I did, I want to keep an account of all my drawings here, although these are Quick sketches of the character, I wanted to think of how the face would look from different angles.

LO2: To complete that a little bit better, below I created a quick digital turnaround of my character.

 

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LO2:  I began by using Line art, I wanted to see if I could carry other the watercolour original designs so I used a pencil brush. I like the roughness of these digital drawings.   
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LO2: Coloured character turn – I added a watercolour brush fill again to try to re create the watercolour charm. I actually surprisingly really happy with the result. Some things to consider however is that this brush can be transparent so I would have to fill in the character twice to ensure it dosen’t relay the background through.
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LO2: I wanted to experiment with the light as the character turns, so using layer effects I created this piece. It was a fun experiment which I enjoyed playing with. Lighting is something which I want to improve as it is a weakness of mine.
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LO2: I added a bluey filter trying to add darker tones for the night scenes with the light.
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L02: Blue filter without light. I think it is important to play with how I could set atmosphere. I don’t want anything of my animation to be too dark as it will be screen at my degree show and I am not sure the balance of the screen values.

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LO2: It is important to understand my character further than how she looks but who she is actually. Above is a little document emphasising my characters flaws and virtues. I wanted to represent these further from the story, for instance (Isn’t squeamish – she picks up worms and steps in mud, she sits inside a tree by herself) She isn’t afraid to learn more, infact thats what she is a discoverer. The flaws of my character is how she is easily anxious and on edge, she gets freaked out by the owls and she wishes she could be braver. I liked to see those little pieces of determination when considering to animate her. I also used my own experiences at this age to help fit these characteristics utilising the advice given to me in the story workshop.

LO2:  As I am doing my animation in 2D it’s important not to keep my drawings of my character always flat, I created a 3D clay model, which will allow me to not be stuct to one perspective but play with the different angles. This will allow me to quickly storyboard different angles as well. You can see on the video above an older one I did previously. 

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LO2: You can see from this picture how I not only used my character sheets to help me get the character’s likeness, but also a picture of myself as a child. This clay bust has actually really helped me down the line. 
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LO2: Here is a photograph of the head before I put it on the body,,

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LO2: A portrait photograph of the bust aid.


Developing the Badger (Quadraped – R&D)

LO1, 2: My R&D for this project is to create an effective quadruped animation. This is a challenge as it is my first time animating a non-human character, but I am looking forward to trying!

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L01: Moodboard of the Badger, I used Pintrest again to create a board here are a few combined into a Moodboard. The Moodboard shows how the character stretches, how it bends face on and profile. This was important in understanding how to play with animating the character later down in the process.

LO1: I have a Badger in my story. The badger will be animated more in depth than the other animals featuring in my animation. Sadly I haven’t gotten the chance to see them close in person, but I created an FMP playlist that has allowed me to collate and find reference video like below. It was important to watch variations of videos to see how they move, how they act, and to exaggerate and play on their character. From watching a variation of videos I have discovered how the Badger is really a playful character!

LO1: The below video shows the Badger cubs being excited and funny. It had helped me indeed further install a character and characteristics for the Badger featuring in my animation. It also helps me understand the movements such as how they lead with their nose in most movements.

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Image Source LO1: I love the exaggeration of their shape to create this broad shoulder villian done by Beatrix Potter. Her illustrations are really inspiring to me,

LO1: Beatrix Potter as well as other illustrators, have drawn Badgers, their interpretations are beautiful and show the essence of their creatures. Although Potter creates the Badger as more of a rough criminal character it would be interesting to play around with its personality; I want my character to be more omnipresent and charming.

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L01: I purchased this book, which was a great find and a marvellous read about some of the many wildlife native to Britain. I knew that this book would be helpful in understanding more about the Badger as well as possible other animals in Britain. Being informed on certain things could help aid me when it comes to designing the character.
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LO1: Here you can see a page about the Badger, AKA. Meles Meles (Latin name). They eat mainly small mammals and worms. These creatures live in burrows called Setts and are actually surprisingly really clean even digging another pit for their waste. I loved researching into the different aspects of the animation, it makes me more and more passionate about the characters.

First time designing a non- human character

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LO1: Author’s Own Image As it is my first time creating a creature which isn’t human (for an animation) I tried to take some time as mentioned above watching videos and reference. Understanding how the character moves what the limitations of their character is. Researching and learning about the creature can help me build a characters personality and appearance. I did some research into Anatomy and the way they move. The sketch of the skeleton is slightly off because the spine is more arched than that which I drew above.
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Image Source  LO1: A Badger skeleton shows their shapes. They have really arched round backs that creates a D shape. The heads are rounded off and their tales are small! These elements helped me understand further what they look like with fur and flesh. Some other elements is how long their claws are. There heads are very slender from the side and almost triangler looking front on. Their fur hands down low and they have short legs, almost as if they are wearing cloaks!
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Image Source  LO1: They have really beautiful flow lines that range from the tip of their tales to their neck and then another arch. This can be great to play with when animating using this flow.
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LO2: Author’s Own Sketchbook Badger’s have a tiny eye’s but massive noses. Their hair is coarse and they are quite shallow to the ground (shorter legs). I used pencil here to quickly capture the shapes and fur. I like the idea of having little eyes and massive noses as their smell is so much more advanced than ours (800x!)
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Author’s Own Sketchbook: LO2: Badger’s love worms, although Omnivore’s they love nothing more than snacking on worms when it has just rained. I used a youtube video to help me sketch these. I like the texture of the fur here, and again the little eyes.
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Author’s Own Sketchbook LO2:-I tried to quickly capture the shapes here, they have quite sloped and round faces, different to an animal like a fox the nose rounds off. Making them more dynamic for shape theory (rounder =cuter) If I did want the badger to seem intimidating to my character  how could I push the shape?
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Authour’s Own Sketchbook – LO2: Here are some more quick sketches, I was watching quite a few documentary/info video’s about our Badgers which allowed me to draw and learn at the same time.
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Authour’s Own sketchbookLO2: I am worried of how to give the animal expression in a human way which is something I hope to understand better. I want to look at some development to some animal characters and how they carried this across. Body language could be another way of getting emotion across however.
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Author’s Own Sketchbook – LO2: Here’s a drawing of a cub, here you can really see the round qualities. The distinctive arch of the back and sloping forehead demonstrates again how it adds to the cuteness of these creatures. (Circular shapes makes it easy to rest on the design)

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Author’s Own SketchbookLO2: I spent a session playing around with how I could present the character, here is a page using watercolour and pencil. I feel the bottom one dosen’t look like a badger, but it has a cute expressive face which the one in the middle dosen’t. Although that one does look more mysteries. The Badger loves to use it’s nose so I love the pose of outstretching it’s nose .
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Author’s Own SketchbookLO2: Here are some more characters, I wanted the character to look English so I began to play around with how to show it. I don’t like the top one, the bottom two are playful with the form of a badger. I love playing with the small eyes.
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Author’s Own Sketchbook – LO2: I don’t like any on this page but it is fun to play around with pushing it further and further. The one at the top is literally a little ball of fluff, which actually could help me take some shortcuts in animating which is something in which Dan suggested I think about.
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Author’s Own Sketchbook –  LO2: I do not like this at all but I am showing it to show how a character can look wrong, the representation to me is just not as strong or flowy and much too detailed.
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Author’s Own Sketchbook – LO2: Similar to the comment above some of these don’t remind me of a Badger, although it experiments with different shapes I do not really like any of these.
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Author’s Own Sketchbook –  LO2: I like the little fingers the badger has here! I like the shape of these two. Playing around with the shape of the pupil can also change the look of the character quite easily!

The Chosen Character

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LO2: I decided to go with this character showing the little eyes and big nose. Putting together some of the posing on this sheet for my body shots, I will try to create a finalised version. I liked this character the best because it had this charm, I liked how the eyes are too expressive so you aren’t sure what the Badger is thinking, also it pushes me to use the body of the Badger more instead of relying on the face which I think I do quite a lot. 
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LO2: I carried out continually trying to understand the different ways the Badger moves and can use his body. The more I did these body poses for my character design the more confident I was about animating the Badger.
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LO2: I love this design. I wanted my character to be based on Morris dancers and theGreen Man. To add to the parade and create more air of mystery. The green man is the enigma of many countries including Britain. Cloaked in oak leaves (a logo for the national trust) I could play with this mysterious figure more. 
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L02: I love how colourful the character is with these pieces of ribbons and oak leaves, however I know it could possibly take too long to ensure all the colours are matched up through the animating process so below I began to play with just the oak leaves incase the process does take too long. 

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LO2: I played wanted to experiment drawing the character digitally  ( a weakness pointed out previously) I like the look here, using a pencil brush and Broad watercolour brush from Kyle Webster I created this look. 
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LO2: I tried to play with the different angles, although the character has a little more of a slope in the forehead, I like this drawing and the badger’s cheeky grin. 
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L02: Here the character is profile, using only the oak leaves as I suggested to create a look of costume. I was also thinking of having only a crown/mask of oak leaves as well. 
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LO2: I want to keep pushing the different angles including this one of seeing the character above, as I am doing my animation in 2D I think it is important to always push and learn about perspective drawing.
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LO2: This drawing is not accurate, but I put it here to show how it is important to remember the shape of my character, although I like the looseness of the legs the body is not correct.

Final Character Body shots. 

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LO2: Above I created some digital final drawings of my character, playing with the brushes on photoshop I have come to settle on using a pencil outline with a watercolour fill as I want to have a watercolour inspired look for all characters. LO6: Dan told me to remember about the shape of the Badger and ensure it is consistent when drawing its volume. My mistake in this drawing is some of the stripes on the head are different from one to another, I will not make this mistake when animating. Overall I am really happy with how the Badger’s turned out and I have received quite a few compliments on them including the National Trust! L06: (See collaboration tab to see what they said!) 

Character Synopsis 

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Author’s Own image LO2: Above is the synopsis of my Badger character. I created this in the same way I did for my character Hazel. I write all the flaws and virtues, this helps me when thinking of animating and why my character would act in such a way. Neil Gaiman wrote advice that when writing jokes write to make yourself laugh, I wanted to play on the worm Badger relationship. Hence his greedy nature. I wanted his virtue to be inviting and feel godly. Some other aspects to his character is ho he is more animal than human, he is driven by instinct.
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Author’s own Image – LO2  Here is a rough piece of concept art I did, I tried to take about 20- 30 minutes of this concept art. I wish it was more refined but what I do like about this piece of concept art is the colours I chose. The sky is a regal blue which compliments the colourful badger adorned in ribbons.

The OWLS!

L02:  When telling Dan my story idea he suggested adding an owl to give the piece more tension and anticipation. I was really happy with this advice as I really wanted to slip one in somewhere but wasn’t sure where. With that advice I wasn’t even really sure what owl to put in my animation. I booked to go see several owls!

L01: Visiting the owls.

LO1: I am hoping to use an Owl in my story, further suggested by Dan to add tension to my story, I decided to go and see the creatures in person. I booked at a local National Trust venue to see the owls in all there glory! And it was a really amazing experience. Not only was I bombarded with array of facts about anatomy and behaviour, I was able to see how the owls moved which is important for when I come to animate them. In the video below you can see me holding the Barn Owl, as the man who looks after the owls informs me it takes 5000 feathers to create that ruff around the Owls head!! I defiantly want to pay homage to that in my design.

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Author’s Own Image –LO1: Here I am with Sherbet the Barn Owl. A species of British owl ( one of five) All five are all under concern, therefore I really want to use a Barn owl to bring awareness
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Author’s Own Image – LO1: One of the Owl keepers spoke extensively about the owls, here he is showing me how to identify a female from a male Barn owl (Black spots on the white area of the chest.) DSC_0403.JPG

Author’s Own LO1: It was really amazing to see the detail’s of the bird such as their feet which have weird groves that allow them to slot into the groves of the tree.

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Author’s Own Image – LO1: Barn Owls are one of the Owls native to Britain. I fell in love with them ( actual evidence of this in this photograph!) But in all seriousness they are very elegant and myterious animals and I felt that this was
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Author’s Own Image – LO1: They really are intelligent animals, who are observant and have so many “superpower” including their incredible panoramic sight.

LO1: Below are several pictures I took as well as some my sister took, these pictures will help me to design the character, understand the colour and showcase the incredible variety of owls!

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Author’s Own Image LO1: The colour of the eyes is a clue of what time the owl hunts. A barn owl like this or any Owl with black eyes hunts at night!
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Author’s Own Image LO1: An Owl with orange or yellow eyes hunts at dusk or dawn.
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Author’s Own Image – LO1: Yellow eyes hunt in the dusk/dawn. Small Owls are rather vicious owls! Taking on seagulls.
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Author’s Own Image: LO1: This eagle owl have tuffs, some owl species have developed this as some prey recognise the circular face shape of an owl, having these tuffs confuses that recognition.
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Author’s Own Image LO1: This is a black barn owl which is really rare, usually if a black barn owl is born it is usually killed straight away however these types of barn owl are being conserved meaning a greater community are surviving.
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LO2: I had explored drawing some owls before the visit, and weirdly the expressions here actually really do fit with the mysterious and mischievous owl! I want to explore using a barn owl however, so I shall do some more sketches and play around with how the character turns out! (So fun to explore all these creatures!)
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L01: As well as my own photographs and experience with the owls I used Pintrest to gather more reference imagery, for instance how the birds fly and interact with others. It is so great the amount of resources and this will continue to help me create an owl character .
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L02: Authour’s Own Sketchbook – I used my sketchbook to play around with the different representations. Here are some sketches done in pencil. I love the bottom two characters who play with the ruff around the face.
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Authour’s Own Sketchbook L02: Owls create beautiful poses that are kind of freaky anyway, which fits my story of the owls slightly freaking her out. I think there are so many elements to play with. I wanted to keep playing with the circular shape of owls to create that discord of calm (yet weird – but not to the freaky level of the Badger in the story.)
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Authour’s Own sketchbook – L02: The owls in my story aren’t meant to be that animated and more slight spooky animation. These designs are a little detailed but I love the right’s legs/feet!
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Authour’s Own sketchbook L02: I like playing with the variations of the face, how you can push the owls features, push the eyes apart.
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Author’s own LO2: Playing with adding colour digitally, this is really bright and when it comes to my animation the setting will be darker, I just wanted to see how the colour could look with the brush (Watercolour paint brush) I am happy with the soft look of the piece, The lines could be more pencil like to give it that texture.

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Author’s Own – LO2: Mini Banner story – I just created this tiny mini comic of an owl putting up a banner inside a tree. I liked the idea of as soon as the girl turned her back the owl was straight up with them decorations. It just helped me think of character and how the Owl could move/ pick up things.
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Authour’s Own L02: I created this character sheet to understand how the different owls will appear in my film. As a side character and not a lot of time left to plan the animation I have not explored the character much further. The Owls are great in the story for directing the character a long her journey, they make her feel on edge but also later show her what she is meant to be doing. (Bowing to the Worm King)  Overall it has been so amazing to get hands on experience with the beautiful animals and If I had more time I would play further with the look.

Worms and Snails

L01: Two other creatures which are featuring in my animation are worms and snails. Both are creatures that are staples of British wildlife. Both are also conveniently night walkers. The worm itself is nicknamed “night crawler” for there activity at night.  Some Videos below helped me build up a bit of knowledge about the earth worm. One of the reasons why I wanted to introduce the worms and snails is because they were both creatures as I child I would investigate closer. They were simply in the garden and I would watch them and inspect them. This is an element I wanted to put into my animation. Another reason was to play on the Badger Vs Worm relationship, worms being the favourite meal for Badgers. I wanted to flip that relationship and have a sort of worm king that put worms into a trance and ultimately his humble servants.

L01: The above video features, “Emma Sherlock, the curator of free-living worms at the Natural History Museum London” (Source) As well as being a really great video about worms and their activity here in Britain. I love Sherlock’s passion and enthusiasm. There are some great shots of Emma amongst the grass. There is a scene in my animation where Hazel (Main character) picks up the worm without feeling disgust; this video is really good reference for my characters enthusiasm of learning.

LO1: Using youtube as reference I have been able to find videos which have helped in my pursuit of animating. In the video above the muscles of the worm explains how worms move. Contracting their muscles to elongate themselves, (long and skinny to shot and plump). This is how they take strides.

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Author’s Own LO1: Mini diagram – to show the main shapes of a worm. Using their muscles to contract and expand they create strides.
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L01: Authour’s own image – When I was gardening I found some worms to look at to see how they move in person. It made me think back to when I was a child and I often inspecting them.
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L01, Authour’s Own image – When researching that wiggle that worms do is actual a reaction to being touched/in danger.

LO1: Above is a selection of some of the footage I took in order to get some reference to how a worm moves ready for my animation, It was the best footage and I did go to YouTube to get a greater understanding of their movements. But it allowed me to have a first person view of them. It also brings me back to that child like presence of inspecting.

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Image source     – LO1: A little fact I discovered on researching worms in Britain is that there are around 29 species of earth worm. Above you can see some of the variations. Although this isn’t going to make it into the animation, I was thinking of maybe trying to put all these worms into my animation which features lots of snails and worms.

L05: Collaborating with Alice for creating a snail design. 

LO5: I wanted to work with Alice on her project, we are both doing 2D animations meaning we have helped and learnt from each other. We can be really honest with each other. I really wanted Alice to have an input into my character designs in some way, we decided we would design a character for each other. Alice created these snails for me.

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Alice Geary’s Sketchbook L05 They are really charming and fit my other character looks, using snails she explored how she could represent them. I especially love the colour on the lowest watercolored one. What I really like about them which I think I could learn from, is the way she broke it down into shapes, this is something I will continue to develop for myself.
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Alice Geary’s character designs. L05: Here are some digital versions of her snail. The designs are really beautiful, I especially love the variation of the different perspectives and shapes. I am happy with these designs, it is a simple character which can easily be repeated multiple times. These characters will add atmosphere to the animation. I later decided to add lanterns to these snails to create a more interesting atmosphere for the parade.

Quick Snail Animation Test

Author’s Own L02: My animation will feature lots of snails and worms following the Badger, I wanted to test using the puppet tool in After effects to see if I could possibly add another way of animating these creatures. The animation itself fits well to the way snails move however I am not sure if I particularly find it as charming as hand drawn animation. What I would do is work out the shadows and lighting if integrated into the comp after animating.

Designing the lanterns for my snails

LO2: In my story the snails are used to add to the parade, having lanterns on the back. I created a Pintrest to collect some of my inspirations.

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Image references LO2:  Some of my inspirations for the snail parade decor are above. I wanted the snails to have lanterns to make the girl look up and add to the wonder of this particular scene. I used some of the inspirations for the Badger look. I ended up looking at Japanese Lantern for inspirations as I really love the rice paper they use. It was also really good research into how the lights could be used in the scene.
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Author’s Own – Snail Parade designs.  LO2:  Here you can see some designs I wanted to play with the lanterns on the backs of the snails. I used some of my research to play with how I could show the parade. I played with flowers on the backs of shells, grass draped over snails and colourful lanterns.
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Author’s Own –LO2: I tried to play with some natural elements using grass and ferns to drape over the snails. I liked this playful element because it adds a more wondrous atmosphere to the snails. I had originally planned on just having lanterns but I glad I did experiment with pushing these characters. Also as I am aiming it at children I want every aspect to be creative and excite my target audience. Although this is only a little detail of the animation it adds more to the story and makes you want to understand what is going on.
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Alice’s sketchbooks . LO5 – Alice helped out with coming up with some of her designs;  I really like these designs. She played with lights coming out of actual flowers and different shapes and textures such as moss and foliage.
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Alice’s sketchbook – LO5 – Alice created another sheet, I really love the use of the lantern which is actually meant to be made out of grass! I think it is always amazing to get another interpretation other than the one I have in my mind.


Concepting some Ideas

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Author’s Own LO2: Having pinned down the story I began to play with the different settings by concepting ideas,I used primary research of photos I had taken to help me remember perspective. I like the pencil and watercolor look as a medium therefore I took time to try and test backgrounds and story ideas.
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Author’s Own L02:  I added watercolor to the sketch above as to get an idea of colour, and add atmosphere to the concept art. I like the watercolor look as I previously mentioned I would love to carry that look into my final animation. I would like to explore colour in greater detail as it can alter the atmosphere of my animation.
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Author’s own image LO2: I wanted to explore different ways I could show the parade, either with a banner or a magical stick, in the end I went for a mixture of this. What I do like about this illustration is the atmosphere and the colour tone. The way the yellow draws our eyes to the Badger. I also really like how the grass hangs over the Sett like a curtain.

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Authour’s own – LO2: I played around with having the two characters together, I don’t like this piece of concept art as I feel the colours are rather dull. If you were to compare this one with the one above it, this one lacks that burst of energetic colour. I hope to keep working on the colour.

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Author’s own LO2:Here is another piece of earlyish concept art. I was playing with the idea of the Badger being a “worm king” – Worms making up 60% of their diet it played with this relationship. Some of these worms are a bit too long for the perspective but I liked playing with the foreground worm. 
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Author’s own – LO2  This was another piece of concept art playing with the worm king, sitting on top of his “throne” of heather on top of his sett. Looking back on this I wish I played with the heather adding more colour. At this stage I was struggling with how I was going to do the night colours, again looking at this the night sky look quite dull. I do like however the softness the watercolour has created. I hope to recreate this watercolour look in my actual animation,

Landscape studies of photographs on pintrest

LO1: I wanted to have some time to study colour, using Pintrest, I have made a whole board for ideas for my story. Using some photography pictures on pintrest of sunset and night time i have played around by making these watercolors. Each image I limited myself to 20-30 minutes hence why some of them are really simple! Some of them are really successful where others are not so. But it has helped me to consider what I need to think about for my animation.

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LO1: Based on this Image Reference  This was the first watercolor I did, I don’t like it because of the colours, the sky ended up looking brown instead of a golden yellow but that was down to my colour mixing. I do like  the atmosphere of the piece and as my first go at this task it isn’t too bad. (As I said I used photographs to help me, this is not my own design – I wanted to improve how quickly I could concept with watercolor and playing with colour.)
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LO1: Based on this Image Reference  Here you can see another watercolour I did using a photography. Doing this one really help me consider how I was going to use colour. The vibrant sky is really magical and only using 3 colours with different shades helps add balance.
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LO1: Based on this Image Reference  I ended up creating this piece in 20 minutes. I like how this piece came out, the colours and quaint but I think it was the roof of the building that allowed it to be more exciting. This being identified when it comes to my own animation which is set outside I need to balance the green/ enhance it so it is more appealing.
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LO1: Based on this Image Reference  This watercolour was more playful with the original photograph it allowed me to push and play with the colours of light adding pinks and greens. It was fun to do and another 20 minutes well used!

LO1: After looking at sun set I wanted to tackle night with the watercolour, using the references I found online. I don’t like how they turned out, the watercolour came out really light when dried

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LO1: Based on this Image Reference   As I said above the watercolour dried quite light so variation in tones would improve this, I like how whimsical the illustration is.
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L01: Based on this Image Reference  This is really simple and not that effective, I do not like how flat it looks and lack of colour. I want to take my own pictures in future.
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LO1: Based on this Image Reference This again is another one I do not like (I need to understand the night colouring more.) I think it does have a nice charm the colours are quite washed out. I like vibrancy of some of the concept at I did above.
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Based on this Image Reference 

Environmental Design

L01, LO2: For the environment I want it to be outside, in the outdoor splendor. I do not want the area to be surrounded by trees but on the border or more land area as well. I decided to go out alongside Alice to do some sketching in and around our area. This allows me to see different perspectives, which doesn’t limit me to just photographs online.

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Authour’s Own – LO1 Me searching for elements to draw, I really enjoyed this day, and it gave me fresh ideas. I think it is important to use other resources and actually seeing things to spark ideas.
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Authour’s Own – LO1, LO2: Me drawing outside.  I tried to draw quickly, to grasp the shapes and lines. I then photographed many spots as well to come back to and reference. I have been photographing several elements whilst doing my FMP and keeping them together in a reference folder ready to finalize the planning of the environment.
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Authour’s Own, LO1, LO2: Used ink and watercolor for these drawings, I can use these materials quickly to pick up things.  I think it is important to also plot down more detailed diagrams however to help later.
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Authour’s Own, LO1, LO2: I used this particular page just to take down shapes using watercolour to block out the silhouettes. It isn’t the best page but it did help me free up and draw more loose. I feel sometimes I don’t push the shapes in my drawing which is why I began to construct my drawings in this way.
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Authour’s Own – LO1, LO2: Continuing on from the previous picture; I used black marker to show the silhouettes. I wish I did this more as looking at it now it makes it easier to identify the lines.
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Authour’s Own LO1, LO2: I like this page of illustrations. The style is really simple but it is still clear enough to identify the different plants. In the animation Ethel and Ernest they used hand drawn elements on to their digital/3D backgrounds to keep that traditional look. This could be a way of me experimenting with the background, taking hand draw bits and layering them.
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Authour’s Own – LO1: The positive to taking so many pictures and beginning an image bank means I can really study the different textures and shapes further. Even how the colour looks. I can also play with framing ready for storyboard.
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Authour’s Own – LO1, LO2: I love this really quick sketch I did of a tree just capturing it in 30-40 seconds.
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Authour’s Own photograph – LO1: I love this heather plant, (I believe it’s heather). It is a plant which looks beautiful and sturdy and is something I am considering putting into my animation. It has this freshness and childlike quality, as well as adding a burst of colour.
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Authour’s Own Photograph – LO1: Heather, beautiful texture and burst colour.
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Authour’s Own –LO1, LO2: Another element I liked was the ivy taking over the trees. Like the trees are growing even more savage and wild. I like the simplicity of these drawings.
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Authour’s own photograph –LO1: This shot shows how even one little corner of the huge gardens have so much detail and variety – from the moss covered stones to the spidery plants and decaying leaves. I like the little details and it could really help adding another layer of charm to my animation.
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Authour’s own – LO1: Texture study of a variety of trees,
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Author’s own image – LO1 LO2 Texture of foliage with pencil,
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Authour’s Own image – LO1, LO2: We used our day to the full with a picnic and picnic blanket we were able to move around the place freely and pick up on many different elements. For instance the abundance of daisies the diverse about of nature. I had a lot of fun just drawing and understanding the diversity.
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Authour’s Own – LO1, LO2: Watercolour detail from above. I think there is a real freedom to breaking down the environment and understanding it in life which you can’t always get in a photograph. How they are in the wind, in shadow and in light. Thats why it was great to spend the day in an around environments.
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Authour’s Own image – LO1: I found some flowers and bits as well which allowed me to study with the flowers in closer detail.

Trip to Somerset

I took a mini trip to Somerset which was one the places where I was planning on setting the story as their is a great population of Badgers here. On the way sadly we saw 4-5 badgers dead on the side of the road which was really sad and the first time I had seen one in the wild. Below are some pictures which caught my eye and I wanted to photograph for inspiration.

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Authour’s Own photograph – LO1: Quaint thatched cottage among trees.
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Authour’s Own image –LO1: a grouping of trees in front of a vast field.
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Authour’s Own Image – LO1: Magnificent lonely tree among fields and gate details.
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Authour’s Own image –LO1: Brick wall with weeds growing through the cracks.
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Authour’s Own – LO1, LO2 An illustrations I did which I’m not really happy with showing some of the detail, I’d like to redo some more elements.

Background tests

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Author’s own image –LO2: + I do not like this test at all, and at this point I was growing worried of the colours and the look of my piece. This as done digitally and I did not like it. I tried to recreate the shot below by hand.
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Author’s Own image – LO2: Using watercolor I tried to quickly test doing a background with watercolor. This is a technique many animation studios use. I added the snails and worms and lighting after to play around how I could manipulate my own drawing.
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Authors own image – LO2 – Some of the research into concept at made me consider how I could use the illustration to guide people’s eyes to where I hoped them to look. With the arrows you can see how I placed certain elements in specific areas to guide the eyes of the audience.  think it isn’t the best variation but it is a starting point.
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Alice Geary’s Concept art (Colloboration) LO5Alice helped me out with some concept art tackling colour and atmosphere, I really love this piece, especially how she played with the foreground and light. The colour tones she chose are really beautiful and atmospheric. Working with someone allows you not to be so engulfed in everything and allows you to look at something with fresh perspective, for instance the banners the snails are carrying are so creative, I wondered why I didn’t come up with that! Really happy with this. 

Designing the trees

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Author’s Own image – LO2 – Trees will host my main character as well as the owls in my story, therefore I have tried to photograph and take inspiration from many primary visits I have. Recording them has helped me when it comes to creating the final look.
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Author’s Own Image – LO1 – A visit to Oxford saw me discover some amazing trees, they helped me consider the textures as well as the scale of the magnificent giants. My character sits inside a tree. You can see how I can take inspiration from this tree that I discovered.
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Author’s Own image – LO1 –  I prefer seeing things in real life as I can choose the aspect I want to see close up. Especially as I am doing my animation in 2D having a tree like this means I can get ideas for shots and how I could integrate them into my work.

Layout

LO2 – I wanted to plot out the map of my story. The story takes place on the edge of a woody place near a field and the characters home. Below you can see some of the rough maps I did. Using this will help me direct the story when storyboarding. I would like to create a neater version after with more detailed diagram of any tree I need to draw etc. This way when it comes to drawing the backgrounds it will help me greatly.

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Author’s own – LO2 –  Watercolored layout map
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Author’s own – LO2 – Watercolored layout map.

Colour Script and using colour in story development.

LO1: Colour has been an important tool for filmmakers to set a story for the audience. It is another way of getting an idea across. The use of colours drums into our psychological subconscious; we as children learn the fundamental symbolism for such colours. Our common understanding allows us to set an atmosphere. And even more uniquely disrupt these colour associations.

LO1: I discussed the above video in my collaboration Tab as well. But to apply it to my animation it is important to remember some of the useful things about what is shown. It reminds us that you can use colour to either harmonise or cause disruption. You can use it to associate certain feelings of a person, show how a person has developed over a story and also to subconsciously give clues to the emotion of the scene. Colour is very powerful and something I should be considering.

L01: In animation the ability to warp colour scripts are even easier, but it also comes with the responsibility of utilising colour to aid the story. Below are two shots from the film Song of the Sea by Cartoon Saloon.

Enter a caption LO1: In this shot we see Saoirse and Ben in a drab city, a city they don’t want to be in. The  muddy colours emphasises this further when compared to the scene below.
Image Source  LO1: This scene which plays on the magical folklore which in the scene are true are emphasised further with the royal purple and magical turquoise. The colours in this scene enhance the momentum shot. Working together to create this scene where magic feels as though it exists. My animation also plays on a magical quality therefore I should be thinking how i could play with my story through the use of colour.

LO2: I had several ideas of how to play with the colour, in the end I decided to play with using shades of blue colours which gives me an ability to play with contrasting with brighter colours for when the Snails walk past with Lanterns. I created a Moodboard below to give me some help when it comes to adding colour. I liked the richness of the colour and how it can easily be balanced to create a magical feeling. Some films which play on this are Harry Potter and My Neighbour Totoro.

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Author’s made Colour Script Moodboard LO1, LO2 As discussed above here is a colour script moodboard that will help me when it comes to colouring my animation.

In the words of David Bowie “Blue, Blue, Electric Blue thats the colour of my”..animation

LO2: I wanted to give some reasons as to why I chose to go with blue as one of the main colours for my animation.

Image source  LO1: Different key aspects of colour. (The hue for mine is Blue!) This was a great tool to remind me of the key terms for colour discussed in the colour in storytelling video above as well.

Blue and it’s connotation

LO1: Colour theory allows a colour to transcend certain feelings to an audience. Using this tool we can strengthen the story moments further. I want to understand the colour Blue and how changing it’s intensity and Hue we can further express the way we apply it to an emotional situation. Blue can represent many feelings for instance peace, spiritualism, tranquil, cold, anxiety, sadness, isolation, water, trust, loyalty, trust, cruelty. When you think of it in this way it explain how changing the saturation and value can have very different meanings.

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Useful source

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LO1: In the Shawshank redemption (1994) blue has been used to represent isolation and sadness in the prison shots. From the colour of their shirts to the value of the blue we see this coldness. However the colour’s value changes until at the end *spoiler alert* Andy Dufresne escapes and makes it to his freedom. See below images that demonstrate the colour change to add to the characters emotional freedom and captivity.

Image source LO1: In the Shawshank redemption blue is used to evoke coldness and isolation. This is true in the story and the tone of the colour show these emotions.
Image source LO1: After crawling through the waste pipes and being imprisoned for many years innocently. We see this break through with the relief of his freedom. The colour becomes more intense to create a somewhat peaceful feeling, almost spiritual. You feel the blue now in a way that feels like pure joy and freedom. 
Image source  LO1: At the end of the scene we see the most vibrant colours, showing the ultimate happiness. Blue now is used to show Dufresne at his most happy. The evolution of blue emphasize the journey of the character and the tension of the story moments. It is the most peaceful blue and translates the happy ending

Harry Potter and the colour Blue. 

LO1: Harry Potter uses the colour blue throughout the series beginning with the first films. Blue is played with to represent magic, danger, peace and isolation. Below are several examples of the use of blue in the film franchise.

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Image source LO1: In the first film we see Harry Potter, the blue in the first film, is much darker and rich. Althought used in many dangerous and unsettling scenes, there is a warmth that in the later films you will notice is drained from it. In the above scene we see Harry looking at his parents for one of the first times as full sized moving people. The shot is poetic and magical. Yet there is still an air of sadness. I think this blue is very powerful in conveying such.
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Image source  L01: As the films progress to the stories climax in Deathly Hallow Part 2 we see Harry’s isolation and sadness. He believes he is causing death and the colours become more and more dull. The once purple blues becoming grey and pale. The use of blue is nostalgic of the original films but show it’s being played with to emphasize to the difference in the isolation.
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Image source  LO1:  I wanted to discuss in Harry Potter, this shot shows the use of blue and the contrast of vivid gold. In this scene the main characters are literally out of their comfort zones in disguise in the ministry of magic. This strong contrast emphasizes how much they stand out compared to the more familiar of blues. Also yellow has a connotation of adrenaline which is present in this scene.
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Image source   LO1: One of the saddest moments in the Harry Potter series is discovering Snapes unconditional love for his mother. In this heartbreaking scene it shows some of the lightest scenes in the film. Showing how the colour has been played with, using a dark story moment, but using light olours to tell it. It creates a coldess and sadness in a different way to other blues used in the film series.

Ever After

LO1: Ever After is a film I mentioned previously for the camera angles. The colours they use add elements of magic in a film that has not magic in it. I love the purply blues. You can see in the below Gifs, this scene happens within the same ten minutes but the colours go from these rich purple and royal blue to cold and duller.

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Gif source  LO1: We see here the purply blues that add to the beautiful entrance. This is to show how the character, Danielle, is feeling. Powerful and magical in this Cinderella re make.
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Gif source  LO1: Her cruel reveal leaves the character heart broken, the colour now drained emphasizes her sadness.

LO1: A beautiful animation is the Prince of Egypt, in this scene we see Moses recoiling into the shadows this shot proves helpful for a scene in my animatic, when the Badger steps out of the shadow. As well as this, the way the scene is coloured with deep blues and glimpse of contrasting yellow. The scenes result in these dramatic and tense emotional sequence. This is my favourite scene in Prince of Egypt as we see the character faced with his whole life being a lie.

LO1: I was initially worried about the look of the piece because I didn’t want it too dark that at the degree show the piece wouldn’t be able to see it. I did lots of research into paintings, films, prints and animations that played with night scenes. One of my inspirations was Japanese woodblock prints, a lot of these prints focused on the night scene. They created these beautiful prints which almost looked bright enough to be day. What I learnt from this was making night look more magical instead of dark and scary.

Image source  Tsuchiya Koitsu Maizuru Harbor at night 1939 LO1: This beautiful composed wood block print demonstrates the light blues used to create this enchanted world. These were the sort of images that started to inspire me to think of using shades of blue to inspire my animation.
Image source  Arai Yoshimune Japanese Woodblock Print –  LO1: In this woodcut the colours almost look as bright as day with that giant moon. It goes to show the night dosen’t have to be stereotypically dark it can be explored in  more magical and light ways.
Image source Eijiro Kobayashi Hasegawa Night Scenes Sumida – LO1 : What I quickly began to realise is blue can represent peace and tranquility. In this shot the colour blue contrasts beautifully with the light. You can see it in this specific illustration, the peaches and oranges draw your eyes to it. I love this piece and it helped me understand how I can bring such a calming sense to a piece.

The intensity of Blue 

LO1: In my neighbour Totoro by Ghibli the animation uses Blue in different intensities to understand the different emotional reflections of each shot. Below are two GIFS from different points from the film to explain this concept further. This film really helped me to understand how to use colour in an animation and utilise the shades to play with the story.

Gif source  LO1: In this shot we see the magical, dreamlike sequence which is further emphasised by the warmer blues and it’s lightness. Manipulating the blue in this way has created a safer environment.
Gif sourceLO1: If we compare the above GIF with this one now, this time you can see how the intensity of the blue has grown much darker, creating a much more dangerous feel. The blue removes that blissful childlike feeling and made the piece feel colder. What I have learnt from this example is playing with the intensity of the colour to add drama to the sequence.

Colour Wheel 

Image source  : LO1: The colour wheel can help you understand the colours which contrast and work to be aesthetically pleasing. Using this wheel has helped me decide complimentary colours. For instance the Lanterns the snails are carrying which I want to contrast to the blue. I can use the opposite of the blue value here to help me decide that oranges and yellows. There are many different ways to disrupt the colour harmony and have a beautiful effect for the film.
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LO2: Tetradic Color Scheme For the night scenes I have chosen to explore a tetradic colour scheme which uses two pair’s of complimentary colours. I wanted to explore blue and yellow as well as blending colours from the nature as accents. Using this colour scheme I have to power to use a range of shades that compliment each other creating harmony.  To disrupt this harmony during the more scary scenes I could use two shades with more strength . I can use the colour to emphasise story moments and that is what is so great about using such a tool!!
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LO2: Triadic Colour scheme  For the opening which sees the sunset I am using a triadic colour scheme.In such a colour scheme using one colour especially and using the two others to accentuate is powerful. I will be focusing on those strong oranges to help contrast the next scenes.


Lighting

LO1:  Like colour, lighting can be used to craft a story. Lighting can set an atmosphere, demonstrate setting and create tension. I wanted to gather some good examples of lighting that could help me when it came to lighting my story.

I know that there are two key feelings I want to convey,

Feeling uneasy and a feeling of magic/wonder.

LO1: Using the below research it should help me to construct a better understanding how to use effective lighting and to enhance these atmospheres I want to get across for my animation.

Information Source 

German Expressionism

LO1: I have always admired German Expressionism for the beauty in the way they use light. The films result in looking like art in the boldness of light. Hitchcock was also inspired by this movement resulting in many of his films having the strong visual inspirations. The movement began as a result of breaking traditional “state sponsored” art academies. The movement saw playing with a simpler form as well as distorted and bold colours. To quote this useful source , to define the style it is: “a desire to startle the viewer in it’s various branches and arrangements. ” This emphasises the art form as something to shock and play with the audiences expectations.

Film still, Die Nibelungen, 1923 (Dir. Fritz Lang):
Image sourceLO1 – Film still, Die Nibelungen, 1923 (Dir. Fritz Lang) In this shot light has been used to create tension. The light draws our eyes to the character. But the use of diagonal specifically creates a sense on uneasy, strange, mysterious atmosphere. This is because diagonal lines create a feeling of unbalanced, This use of light can be seen replicated in many other films with the same eeriness.
STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR  Google Image Result for http://www.filmjourney.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/stranger.jpg:
Image source LO1: Stranger on the third floor  – In this image from the Stranger on the third floor we see the same Diagonal lines striking a uneasy feeling. Along with the character’s posture the scene is far from peaceful. The light has been used to disrupt the harmony.
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Image source LO1: Here you can see a beautiful scene from Brave that uses the Diagonal line of light to create tension, action and uneasiness. The light used in this way creates for a more dynamic and atmospheric use. It makes the shot seem more dangerous (obviously the giant bear claw is something to note.)
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Image source  LO1: Another example of this diagonal line, you can see here in this GIF of Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie. The Shadow and light both form a diagonal line that creates disruption and an uneasiness.  I like the way the shadow emphasises this cut into the Character for making for even more atmosphere.

Backlight

The Back light, is a lighting technique which can create mystery and a dream like trance.  The article I read some of the information above linked, reminded me that back in the days of Black and white film did not have colour so there light was used in more experimental ways to get a story across.

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Gif source  LO1: In Metropolis Bridgette Helme dances as Maria, in this already powerful shot we see the way the light illuminates her drapery to further inform the power of the shot. It also creates a dream like quality as the light source isn’t really identified. I think this shot is a great example to see how using one light can emphasise a dreamy trance.
Image Source LO1: In the film Hugo, We can see how a Backlight has been used to create this dreamy enlightment shot. Using such a light takes our eyes straight to them. We are hypnotised by how powerful the character is. This is something I could consider doing in my animation perhaps with the Moonlight.
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Image source  LO1: I am not sure where this picture is from, or what film. But I guess it gives me a better stand point to judge without knowing the films story. in this use of backlight, the characters have become silhouette, removing their emotions to the audience. Yet we are still intimately close enough to see their body language. This scene is powerful using the backlight has added a layer of mystery to the shot. This is something I am hoping to do with my Badger shot.

Using Natural Light

LO1: As well as using back lights and shadows. Using a viewable light source such as the sun in shot creates another way to experiment with the light sources we are used to seeing in our day to day lives.

Faust (1926) dir. F.W. Murnau
Image source  LO1: I discovered this shot upon researching into lighting in cinematography, What I like about the shot is use of the moonlight. My animation is set at night, so I could see another take on a night scene. I really liked the softness to the shot, it adds a dreaminess to the piece. The ruckenfigur adds to the mysterious shot.
Still from Der Student von Prague (1926), directed by Henrik Galeen:
Image source LO1: This Shot is similar to the one above. This time the light is diffused by this giant cloud. I really love playing on the natural light sources, this giant cloud creates a light which is dramatic and mysterious. These shots allow me to think about how I could use natural light sources to create tension and mystery.

Shadows

LO1: Shadows are used to create atmosphere, direct our eyes and to contrast light. I wanted to use shadows in my piece to give an element of mystery. I collected several examples to gain a better understanding.

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Gif source  LO1: In this shot from Rebecca shadow has been used to hide all Mrs.de Winters face other than her tears. The contrast allows for us to understand her loneliness and the true extent to the effects of the words being said to her. I love the way the shadows are soft and play on the character’s face. Using shadow and light in harmony like this allows you to decide where to get the audience to look and add tension. The Shadows softness work in key with the whispers being said to her.
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Image source  LO1: In this shot the “diagonal” light and shadow I previously discussed literally rests over the neck. Adding for uneasiness, mixed with this unstable camera creates for an unsettling shot. It shows how using shadow to cut into the characters themselves in such a harsh way as this can demonstrate the story points.
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Image source LO1: Vertigo uses lighting and shadow to add to the uneasiness. I wanted to research into lighting to help me present some of my story moments. This scene is contrasted with the light and the dark and green and the red. The scene clearly demonstrates the characters role in the story, to which she is *spoiler alert* a woman disguised as another. Hitchcock has crafted this beautiful scene using light and shadow. Showing us that lighting is a true tool to show symbolism of the character.
Lee Millers portrait of Man Ray and his lover, model and muse Ady Fidelin - The Independent:
Image source LO1: Lee Miller is a photographer who works in Black and white. In this photograph we see how the light and shadows of the foliage left behind on the subjects creates this beautiful detailed shot. I wanted to play with this foliage light in my animation,. This shot shows the connection of the two subjects.

Image result for 1926 pragueImage soure LO1: Lastly I found this image when researching and fell in love with it. The film is The student of Prague 1926. What I like about this shot is the way the shadow of this authoritative figure/watcher, is giant. More than that he is giant underneath the scene, in a way they can’t tell he is there. Ultimately creating a looming presence which creates an uneasy feeling for the audience.

LO1: I wanted to look at Lighting to assist me in getting a better understanding of how to use lighting to create a unsettling feeling. Above you can see a lot of different techniques to do this. I was impressed with so many beautiful shots from films I hadn’t even heard of (But will be added to the movie list..!) I love many of the techniques. I want to use some of these techniques in my animation at the scenes where my characters feel slightly freaked out to give it more layers. I love the use of diagonal light, and the backlight. I had a scene where my Badger will be silhouetted but not seen properly by the audience, and looking at this research has allowed me to see how other masters of the medium were able to create such atmospheric pieces. This research will help me for my animation and I hope to keep an eye out more when I watch films to notice the story tool.

LO1: As well as feeling uneasy in my animation I want my character to amazed and bewildered. I was hoping to have lanterns on my snails back to add to the parade. I wanted to look at examples of films that have a magical feel, to see how they used light to aid their stories.

All Children grow up, except one..  Peter Pan 2003

L01: This film is a beautiful adaptation of Peter Pan, the colours in this film are rich are vibrant. In many scenes light has been used to give a magical glow. I like how when their is a lot of blue a light yellow is used to contrast and enchant. (As seen below.)

Image source  Using a light yellow to break up the blue in this scene

L01: In the film above we see the scene show the use of light to add specs of enchantment. In this scene Wendy is falling in love and the light is used to ignite that idea further. What I will take away from these scenes is how they used the light to contrast the blue tones. As blue is