LO5: Ed approached me and Alice to make some Concept Art for his Final Major Project film. The film is a crime genre which is something I have never done any type of concept on this genre before. Previous to this I am used to working on concept art for animation, however I am a keen ‘filmaholic’, often watching Hitchcock to get my thrill of crime themed genre. I wanted to do some research into concept art for TV and film to see whether it was any different to that of animation.
LO2: On Creative Skillset it explains how working in the art department as a concept artist can be really rewarding, as well as testing. Your prime job is to visualise, and:
“producing the illustrations that help Production Designers realise their vision”. Source
LO2: The skills in which can be advantageous to have whilst designing for TV/Film/VFX, are the following:
have up-to-date knowledge of computer illustration software packages
be skilled in film imagery
understand what Directors, Directors of Photography and Editors require from a scene
have excellent illustration skills
be a strong communicator
visualise perspective and 3D space
have a keen interest in design, architecture and film
visually interpret other people’s ideas
be flexible and adapt to change when asked
work as part of a team
know about relevant health and safety legislation and procedures
LO2: Like in Animation, working as a concept artist on film/TV/VFX you are a part of pre-production stage – meaning you can get 6 months or more to concept prior to the film taking place. As a concept artist you would be working alongside draughtsmen, researchers and production designers.
LO2: It is important for the designs to be: “clear, accurate and striking” so to inspire and move the pipeline forward. Concept artist may be used in order to find more financial or distributor backers.
LO2: On the British Film Designers Guild they showcase some brilliant work done by concept artists for Film.
Malcolm Stone – Production designer, Art Director
LO2: What is clear is the imagination ans the detail of this concept art, it is lovely to see how these colour palettes ended up being worked into the films. It shows how impactful concept art can be to the direction of the film.
LO2: Tim Hutchinson born in 1948 created many great production sets, working on the team for the 1975 Tommy, which have some beautiful sets. The design above shows again the clarity as well as a consideration to colour. This is something to consider when thinking of presenting concepts to Ed. Image Source
One scene from a film can denote a lot, it is an advantage to understand the framing and techniques.
LO2: Researching into Colour theory and Composition
LO1, LO2: Colour shouldn’t be ignored, understanding the psychology of colour allows you to invoke feelings, using it to promote a characters feeling, hue:colour, saturation:it’s intensity, value: low value darker, colour has become more complex – LOOK INTO COLOUR HARMONY (Colour theory to understand how to create a balance or misbalance in a shot.) Balance the colour or playing the balance by using a colour which isn’t fitted in creates an effective way for the eyes to settle. Repeating colours throughout a story to run a consistent psychology theme such as in the Godfather orange is symbolised for death. Association helps reinforce another ideology from the colours a character wears to it’s environment.
Staging, framing, depth and balance.
LO1, LO2: Composition is the most fundamental principles. Why we place things the way we do. What should the audience be looking at? Using compositional influencers can help guide the eyes of viewers. Such as frame within frames! Allowing you to ignore smaller details and focus on the filmmakers intentions. As well as using frames using lines of perspective can help vastly to direct the eyes. Using objects can also help in storytelling, Alfred Hitchcock: “…the size of an object in the frame should equal it’s importance in the story.”
Using the frame to show the power or the vulnerability of a character. Show the control either by having a balance or a central dominance to show power.
Using Negative space can show emptiness or the distance they need travel. It can show the mood in the one shot.
Movement exists in storytelling, meaning you can reframe, complimenting it’s prior shot. It can cause contrast.
LO2: I began by reading the script with Alice, and highlighting all the murder scenes. We shared the several scenes with each other and set out on creating some concept art.
Murder Scene 1
Rough Framing Thumbnails with colour
LO2, LO5: After doing all this experimentation I would like to now finalise one, before that I want to create a colour moodboard based on the research of colour theory as this is where I feel I may be slightly struggling with. I wanted to combine the eerie feeling but also inject ironic humour of it being so like the Wizard of Oz which is a colourful world.
LO5, LO1,LO2: I wanted to understand how light appears inside, therefore i have been trying to observe how it appears and photographing it. Using these images will help me illustrate the scene correctly.
LO2: Shot two is the next murder I was assigned to draw, this time the setting is in a field with a man attached to a cross pole. I felt a little more at home drawing outside especially after the wind witch project last term. But of course I still need to teach myself to draw and understand lighting etc.
LO5: The pieces took around an hour/hour an half to create, I wanted to play with having a low angle on the clearly vulnerable perspective, as well as having a more eye level angle you can see underneath. I would have liked to have some more time to play with this shot more.
L05,6: Here is the feedback gave me about the pieces. He seem to like them a lot. Also he asked whether he could include the concept art in an aid to raise more money for his campaign to get funding, which is rather cool! I still do not like this work, and I wish I could redo some of it. But I gave myself the challenge of working to tighter deadlines, shorter turnarounds and learning about the framing, light etc.
LO5/6: Ed got back to us several days later now saying that he has changed the endings, meaning a lot of the murders I did concepts for have changed. This puts me back behind the concepts when I was just on top of my work. I will need to schedule my own time for my project first however, because I am behind in my own idea. Changes are something however that need to be considered whenever I budget my time.
LO5: After this stage Ed and his team created an INDIEGOGO page to raise a £3000 budget. I am excited to see how it comes together after reading the script I am excited it to see it to production! A video promotes the reward of winning one of my paintings! Also you can see below “By the Books” name using my piece of concept art.
Some of the final pieces of concepts
Helping Alice with Shadid’s storyboarding
Alice and me were approached by Lisa and Shadid to storyboard however Lisa did not need a storyboard in the end so I helped Alice to complete some storyboards for Shadid.
The final Storyboards
LO5: We researched how animation storyboards has been put together to put ours together, formatting it the same meant it didn’t really matter the styles were done by two people. We added important information and audio underneath. Seeing it all together was great! I am glad I took part in this as it helped me see how demanding storyboarding can be but also how rewarding it is to actually visualise the words into imagery.
LO5: It was important we stayed in contact with Shadid as well as each other, we divided the shots so that we could work efficiently and use our strengths. Alice is really good at posing and working/understanding these poses for the fight scene. Her doing these scenes meant I could work more quickly on the simpler environmental shots. Me and Alice used Google Drive to share our progress with Shadid showing JPEGS, PDF versions and separate images for Shadid to use for creating his animatic. This drive was also useful when Shaid shared his script.
Shadid’s Info Package
LO5: Shadid shared his script, designs, motion library and shot reference for us which was extremely useful. His organisation allowed us to stay on track with what he wanted. He was very detailed meaning he already knew what he wanted and we didn’t need to figure out so much saving us some time.
Giving feedback to Lisa’s Pre-vis
LO5: Lisa approached me to give some feedback to her Pre-Vis which she had uploaded on Youtube privately for me to view.
LO5: Above is the Pre Vis, which is still in it’s early stages, however I was able to give some feedback. I gave it several watches and it was already very simple and got across the concept which she has explained previously to me. (It may have been better for me not to have known.) The animation was simple and there was slight cuts. I gave my feedback on the sheet below.
LO5: Lisa said she liked the ideas especially the scene with framing the character, I am glad she liked my suggestions, the communication was easy using facebook as well as speaking to her in person it was great to analyse a story and submit ideas, I hope to do this for my own as well.
Working with Alice
L05: Me and Alice are really lucky we are able to discuss so many ideas that it would be silly if we didn’t utilise each other in our projects. We worked a long side in working. We often scheduled meetings so that we could give constructive feedback and advice.
LO5: As well as helping advice, we helped each other by making sure we both weren’t spending to long one one thing. It was really great to have that constant bouncing of ideas. It makes me appreciate working in an environment where I am not always stuck with just me. We really do inspire each other and I am happy for this close relationship during my FMP.
LO5: As well as advising and working together on feedback Alice helped create concepts for me. I wanted her to work on mine because I am in awe of her characters, they have so much shape and she really pushes and plays with their look.
LO5: Filming reference is really important to the animation process, it can help aid you and see how you can push poses. Alice and me often give each other help with a different intepretation. It really helps me think of different ideas and see another take on my character.
Author’s own screenshots of film reference LO5: Here you can see Alice, I filmed lots of different ways she thought my character acted. I actually found these films more useful than the ones I did. Alice really posed a way a child would and played with the emotions; I think sometimes it really is helpful to see other ways of acting and different options.
Alice’s photographs LO5: In these images you can see me posing for Alice’s character. She needed help trying to get across her characters softness and age. So we both took turns trying to think how she would act and why. She now has an image bank to help her consider the way her character could pose.
Contacting the National Trust
My animation was inspired by the National Trust, being based on there 50 things to do before your 11 3/4 I wanted to ask them if I could use their logo on the end of my animation. I reached out to them asking them as well as introducing myself.
LO1: For my animation I need music and sound to help bring my story further to life. Animation unlike film/TV have no production sound (unless using a piece of existing music), which means sound design are working from a blank sheet. This means it is important to understand this process at this research stage. We had sound production come into animation so we could get a greater understanding. It really help me think about how much pipeline there is for music, and how many sound artist roles their are in industry. Sound has the power to set the mood. Showing if a piece is a comedy, a drama, a horror. So understanding the genre of my piece could be another piece of information to define to music and sound.
LO1: We want the music to tell the story, build tension. Some things which the sound suggested in improving working pipeline is:
Early conversations are better.
Tell us about time of day or geography.
The shot/scene is not how you wanted it – May not communicate where we are well enough, sound can be the saviour! What does it sound like?
Emphasise certain characters and bring our attention to certain things onscreen. Hear something then we see it.
LO1: Learning this it emphasises how I really need to have early conversations, before production in order for sound and music not to be under pressure. I need to understand the location – My animation is a night time which is completely different to day time. I also need to tell them the story, what the characters are like, the high points and the lowest points. When I come to make a shared drive I should make sure to have this at the ready for them to look at as well as having meetings.
The elements of the Soundtrack
Foli sounds– Recreating sounds, movement in the film, (Jack Foli invented it)
Dialogue – Voice over, character, voice of god,
1.Composed music– original SCOR
2.Source music – Existing music (Rights associated with that.)
The sound team
Recording sound dialogue – Production sound mixer
Boom operator – Microphone
Dialogue / ADR editor – Puts sound together
Foley Recordist/ Artist / Edit ( Someone who records and someone who edits it together.)
Sound effects editorS
Supervising sound editor
Sound re-recording mixer/ Dubber Mixer
Composer/ Music Editor.
Director/ Producer (You)
The soundtrack can be split into two main areas:
(Diegetic sound) Realistic Sound – Making us believe what we see. Sound that comes from within the scene (Radio, TV, Band playing)
(In animation there is a world you are recreating. You need to communicate that world in every aspect of the film.)
Non- Diegetic sound (Non Realistic sound) – Emotional, atmospheric level. Sound that does not come from within the scene. (Voiceover etc)
What is there term sound design in relation to animation?
The sound designer will be the point of contact for the director to discuss the story of your work. How will the soundtrack help communicate that story. Sound design will usually be more concerned with non digetic sound working in a more musical way than the realist side of the sound track.
Sound and Music Inspiration
LO1: Over Christmas there was so much great animation, especially British made animation. (Ernest and Ethel, Revolting Rhymes and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.) One of the animations which I especially loved was We’re going on a Bear Hunt. See above the video – a better version of the animation is available on channel 4 online see here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/were-going-on-a-bear-hunt/on-demand/65382-001 . The animation was really beautiful, if we look at how music is introduced is really beautiful. I want my animation to be nostalgic to Britain, this quintessentially British story has been captured beautifully. It uses very soft instrumental, with atmospheric sound noises.
LO1: I’ve already discussed this series which I used to watch as a child, the opening again uses a blend of melody and noises. The beautiful score is embellished with a loud drip from a flower and natural noises. I think it is important as I am doing the national trust that I consider the natural world, the activity (the night walk) should be conveyed in the music and sound too. To summarise it uses a Melody and with crisp and stodgy sounds.
LO1: Something which I really want to convey to sound is I want it to be truthful, look at how the night is, what is the sounds of a Badger in different emotional situations ( Playful noises, stressed noises). Badgers are really vocal animals so it would be great to contribute this to my animation. Above is a video of Badgers eating peanuts the noise is really satisfying!
Preparing Music and Sound Info areas.
LO5: Working with Music and Sound is really important to my animation, I spent a day preparing everything ready in “info packs” using google drive. Creating this area means they can see the work I upload and vice versa. Also I asked them as a place for them to upload and even back up work. This way there won’t be any loss of work on their side either. These info packs are really important to inspire and give them important info.
LO5, LO6: A brief provides for direction and reminds them of such things as the target audience the premise of the story and any ideas I had. I created two different briefs the covering sheet was the same listing the information; the second was different tailored to their different jobs.
“The Music Man” – AKA Billy
LO5: Billy was the only music student to reply to my brief I sent out. I was so happy however because he seemed enthusiastic and actually had his own ideas prior to us discussing.
Sound – Joe
L05: I got 4 responses to my initial email for sound, which I was so shocked with. I wasn’t sure who to pick. Joe was the only student to have samples of his work. He was also professional in his email and was the second quickest to respond to my email. He also had the time to work on my project as he was finishing his own project. In the end I went for Joe and I am so happy I did!