Wednesday, 23 February 2011

More backgrounds

I've spent the past two days producing some more backgrounds using the new Wacom Cintiq's in the studio, these were amazing to use and made my work so much quicker and precise. I've also experiemented with gradiant fills here to enhance the light shining into the cave.

Friday, 11 February 2011

2011 Showreel

I spent today editing and updating my showreel, It was pretty cool to be able to stick work in with the BBC watermark in the top left hand corner!
Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to bolster my showreel with some of my new 2D work for my film.

Monday, 7 February 2011

An Evaluation...

Since Christmas, my feelings towards this half of the project have been mixed. Most of my time since the last presentation has been devoted to my dissertation, because of this I fell behind right after the dissertation hand in date. However, even though I lost some time working on this project, I feel that in the past few weeks I have made Massive leaps forward in terms of motivation and drawing skills. As mentioned earlier in the blog, over the past two weeks, I have made a solid descision to come into university every day and from opening to closing. This has meant that I have been in an exciting and productive atmosphere all day, every day. In these past two weeks I have developed what I believe to be a coherant and unique aesthetic style. Developing this style for my animation has meant constant drawing, this has greatly improved my drawing skill. Another skill area that has improved due to my recent mindset change has been my technical skill with regards to photoshop and premiere pro. I made full use of the new computer equipment and have gained experience using the graphics tablet and photoshop. I believe that this is evident on my blog.
Although I feel that my drawing and compositing skills have improved, there are areas that have not have been so successfull. Due to not revising my storyboard and animatic right after that last feedback/crit, It has meant that I have devoted a lot of time closer to the deadline to this task. This meant that there were no safeguards in place if there were any problems with premiere. During the exporting phase, I found that premiere was exporting in extremely low quality. This lead to a mad rush at the end to get to campus on time to use the faster, newer machines to export.
Also, due to not sorting the aesthetic and character designs for my film,

Sunday, 6 February 2011

More Storyboard Shading

Yesterday I continued to add lighting and detail to some more of my Animatic frames, I also begun drawing some of the more basic frames and animation.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Animatic frames

I spent the rest of today drawing and shading some of my animatic frames. Because I won't be able to shade all of them in time for the animtic presentation, I plan to spend the rest of this evening and tomorrow drawing out all of the remaining backgrounds and then choosing a select few to fully shade. The rest will be partially shaded and highlighted to show lighting. I will then spend sunday blocking in my character and key framing a few select scenes.
Today was especially exciting as I was using a brand new graphics tablet (which was much bigger than the one I used for my other art this week) and I had an additional monitor. Plus, I've been drawing and colouring in 720p HD, so it should look great when Its presented.

Section 3 storyboards

Section three has now been storyboarded, I've decided to give drawing my animatic frames straight into photoshop a try as I've just been given use of a new, larger Intuos 4 graphics tablet (with the cintiq's being installed as we speak!).

Section 2 storyboards

Section 2 has now been completely thumbnailed, this has given me a better grasp of the story and its pace. The next step is storyboarding section three (which will not take long), then re-drawing all the frames and adding detail/lighting for my animatic.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Due to my last Animatic not achieving what It set out to do I decided to do something crazy, nay, suicidal. I've started a new storyboard/animatic from scratch...

With the presentation deadline looming and my distinct lack of ANY form of linetests i've decided that a clear animatic, that shows an effective and varied use of camera angles and lighting is the best course. I've been really motivated over the past few weeks and have really pushed myself to work long ours in the studio every day. It is the only way I will be able to get this film finished on time.
Before I started storyboarding I made pages of notes detailing the characters, setting, locations, motivations, plot points and much more background information. I've really tried to flesh out my idea as best I can. Then, from these notes I have begun work on what I consider to be my best storyboard to date. I have seperated my storyboard into three segments to help me manage my time and get a grasp upon the timing and pace of the story. By thumbnailing my storyboard first, it has allowed me to really think about where my story is going and which different cinematograpy techniques to use.
Below are the notes I have made on my story and the first thumbnailed section of the storyboard. I intend to work on into the night until all three sections have been thumbnailed.

Tomorrow I shall Draw each panel in a larger format, scan into photoshop and add light, shadow and detail. This work will most likely lead on to saturday, when I plan to compile the segments in Adobe Premiere to create my animatic. This leaves sunday morning to tie up any loose ends and to create one well animated linetest that I can hopefull place over one of my detailed backgrounds to show that I can inideed animate this film in the timeframe given. Sunday evening/early monday morning shall then be left to tie up any loose ends regarding the professional practice module.
I know that I am further behind than many of my classmates who are working in 2D, However, I feel that this time has been extremely well spent. These past two weeks I have refined the Aesthetic style of my film, created and refined my main character, finalised my story, and created my storyboard. More importantly however, I have gained massive ammounts of motivation and I have re-kindled my love for sequential and animated storytelling. I expect that come monday, many of my tutors and classmates will remain skeptical with regards to my ability to produce this film on time. However, In these past two weeks I have learned an incredible ammount about myself and about animation in general. It has given me a new drive and determination to finish what i've started. Let's Do this!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

'The Children Who Built Victorian Britain'

Last night the documentary I created an animated segment for entitled 'The Children Who Built Victorian Britain' was shown on BBC4. It was great to see something I created finally get to broadcast and the creation process taught me a lot about what it's like working for live a live client. You can watch my clip along with a selection of others from the programme Here.
The program will be repeated again at 7:30pm on BBC4 and is still available on BBC iPlayer.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Final Character Design?

I think I've finally hit a breakthrough, hopefully this will work as my main character. Usinig the sketches I did yesterday as inspiration, I combined all of the best parts that worked and created this image.
Although Some of the colouring needs changed (character looks a little ghostly, needs better skin tones, texture levels need sorted, the hands are far too small), overall, I think its the best one that i've done. I think this design conveys the characters 'feel' the best out of all of the designs that I have done.

Further Character designs

Siince doing more experiments with the backgrounds for my animation, I've had to adapt my character designs to fit. This was extremely hard and took a whole day just to make anything even resembling progress.
This was the first set of designs, I began by drawing some thumbnail sillouettes to get an idea of the 'feel' I wanted the character to have by trying out different poses from the animation. Using photographs from the internet as reference I tried to give the character a scruffy look, this didn't really work. I don't really like any of the drawings on these pages at all, non of them seem to work at all. I've decided to change the character slightly from what I originally planned, he's no longer a fisherman, now he's something of a scrawny shy person. I wanted the fact that this shy and weedy person killing someone is something that the audience does not expect, I wanted to make the fact that the character had it in him to kill another human being to be something that makes him afraid and drives his madness.
These pages are slightly better, I've pushed the period clothing more so that the story can be placed in an identifiable time. I've spent a lot of time experimenting with different face shapes and facial features that will help describe my character better at a glance. Allthough these pages are definetly better than the others, the images still arent as effective as they could be. The characters on this page are far too well built to be considered shy and weak.

With the drawings on the left I've tried to make the cheekbones more pronounced and i've tried to make him look physically weaker. I'm not really happy with the drawings on the left because the pointed facial features and the facial hair make it harder for the audience to relate to him as a protagonist. I want the audience to be shocked that he has left a man for dead. I want the audience to invest in the character and then have their emotional connection turned on its head.
The drawings on the right hand page are a lot better, I have elongated the face and added glasses to make him look more studious (the glasses can then be dropped in the water and used as a plot device). These drawings are definetly heading in the right direction and have provided me with a few ways that I can adapt and tweak some of the story elements to make them more effective.