Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Artist's Toolkit: Animation & Character - Final Submission

Fantastic Voyage: Title Screen

This is the final title screen. The animations are a little fast, but I think that suits the target audience, so I am pretty pleased with it.This clip is only a second long, but it will be 2 seconds long in the final animation.

Fantastic Voyage: Final Pre-Viz - (No Music)

This is the final pre-viz, but I am yet to find/choose the right music, but it does still have the sound effects. There are a few minor things that are different to the animatic, but overall I am quite pleased with it.

I will now try to find the appropriate soundtrack that will work with the animation. I will, obviously, then need to add it to both the Pre-Viz and Animatic.

Fantastic Voyage: Book of Badges - Colour Experiments

While creating the Pre-Viz for the third scene, I realised that I needed to create the book. As the book will be in 2D in the final animation, there is no point in modelling it out, so I decided to use the same method as the bike, where I'd show it on a cube, through a UV. I made some colour experiments, but they are only to see what colour the book should be. I think the red one would be best, because it would show a link between the book and the bike.

Fantastic Voyage: Pre-Viz - Scene #2

This is the pre-viz for the second scene. It was pretty much the same as the first scene, so it was straight forward to make, as it is just one camera shot. The third scene will be a lot more complicated, as there are will be more camera shots involved.

Fantastic Voyage: Pre-Viz - Scene #1

This is the first scene of the pre-viz. I used the characters that were in the Pre-Viz section of the tutorials, and edited the shaders to make the boy wear the boy scout clothing. Like the bike, it looks quite weird, but it does demonstrate the scene well.

Fantastic Voyage: UVs & Texturing - #5

I have added the new UV for the fllor in the third setting. It is roughly the same as the previous one, but as it was remade completely, I needed to make a UV. The path in each setting is meant to look "worn out" and a bit messy, this is because it will show that the path is used frequently and so, therefore, is the forest.

Quick Render with the new UV

Floor UV

Fantastic Voyage: Recreating Scene #3

After modelling the first and second setting to much higher standards than the third setting, I removed and tweaks somethings to make the third scene look more impressive. The third setting is the most important as most of the animation will take place there, including the life cycle. I still need to add a UV to the floor, as that is one of the things I removed, and I still need to add the slime mold to the tree - In addition, to add the pen lines to the textures.. Below are some renders of how the third scene looks so far:

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Fantastic Voyage: Preparation for Pre-Viz - Scene #2

As I said in the previous post, I added the same "bike" to this scene as it will be used in the pre-viz. It, obviously, looks a little strange, but I like how the Pre-Viz will be quite comical and fun on it's own.

Fantastic Voyage: Preparation for Pre-Viz - Scene #1

I have made a quick playblast of what I've done in preparation for the final pre-viz. I made a cube and applied a UV that has the bike design, that I made. This is very silly in itself and has a fun look to it, which obviously helps due to the target audience. I have done the same for the second scene and that will be the next post.

After looking at the feedback, I chose the red bike. It looked the most suitable for the boy and will stand out more, in comparison to the other colours.

Below is the bike and UV that I used:

Bike UV

Fantastic Voyage: Title Screen - Colour Experiments

I have done some quick colour experiments for the title screen, using the same title screen that I used in the animatic/story board. For the final version, the background will be a 3D object, and the writing will be in 2D, with the colour in the writing subtly moving around.

Fantastic Voyage: Adding the Sky - Scene #2

Using the same sky UV that I used for the first setting, this is a quick animation test showing the sky in the second setting. As you can, see I added some more trees behind the ones in front, because it looked a little empty.

Fantastic Voyage: Adding the Sky - Scene #1

I have started to add the sky to the scenes. I have only added them to the first and second setting, so far, as the third setting needs a bit more done to it, in comparison to the first two settings. I decided to remove the clouds, as I felt it would look neater with a nice, clear sky.

Sky UV

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Fantastic Voyage: Practice Camera Animation - Scene #2

This is another practice of the camera animation, but for the second setting. It wasn't as easy to animate in comparison to the first practice, but it does give a good idea of what it will roughly look like in the final animation.

Fantastic Voyage: Practice Camera Animation - Scene #1

This is a quick animation showing how the camera will move in the first shot. It matches the animatic. I will make it pause at the end, for a couple more seconds, so that we see the boy arrive and leave the screen on his bike.

Fantastic Voyage: UVs & Texturing - #4

Below is a picture showing my progress of making the third setting. It needs a lot more work to be done to it, compared to the other two. It is looking a bit bare at the moment and doesn't have much detail to it.

The floor, with the path

The hill

Textures for the tree:

Fantastic Voyage: UVs & Texturing - #3

Using the UVs that I made yesterday, and some that I needed to make for this setting, below is my progress of the second setting, so far. I quite like how this looks at the moment, like the first setting I will add the pen lines that the intended 1950s style has, and I will fix the path as it has that perfectly straight line running along side it.

Setting #2

Floor Uv

Fantastic Voyage: Character Bio - Boy Scout

Even though he doesn't say anything in the animation, this is the character bio for the boy scout. I had to create some details, and had a little bit of fun with it, in truth.

Fantastic Voyage: Final Script

This is the final script for the animation. It felt a little strange writing a script that has no dialogue and so I found it a little repetitive with what I was writing, as I wrote "The camera" a lot in this script. Despite this it does match the storyboard, and explain how it plays out quite well.

Fantastic Voyage: Storyboard

This is the storyboard for the animation. It is quite simple, but manages to show the animation will play out well. It is a little confusing when trying to show the boy taking notes during the life cycle, but apart from that, I think it is relatively easy to understand.

Fantastic Voyage: Revised Animatic

Following on from the feedback from the pitch, I added the writing in the book sections that are shown between the life cycle. This is an understandable thing to add as before it wasn't giving any facts or information, necessarily. Now it will let the target audience know what each stage is known as. It is perhaps a bit too confusing and un-realistic, at the moment, as the boy is able to know what each stage is called. That is something I'll look to fix when animating. I considered adding the scene at the end where we see him receive the badge, but I decided to leave it out because I was unsure as to how and where that scene would be set.

I haven't found any music that works, as of yet, so that is my next step for the animatic. Also, when testing out how long it would take to write in the book it took over 10 seconds per image, which is obviously too long. That is another thing I'll have to resolve.

Film Review - The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Fig.1 The Blair Witch Project (1999) Movie Poster

Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick's The Blair Witch Project (1999) is a chilling pioneer for found footage films. It would be a fair argument that the film is one of the main reasons behind the growth and success in independent films. Unlike the great Horror films, there is no "monster" to be seen, but we sure do believe that there is one. Christy Lemire talks about the film's difference to other horror films in her review by saying that "The thought that Blair Witch Project just might be real makes it much scarier than any of the teen horror flicks that have stumbled along in recent years." - (Lemire, 2013)

Fig.2 Josh Leonard (Left) & Mike Williams (Right)

As the title says, the film is based on three students who are making a project about the Blair Witch. Arguably, it plays out similar to that of Hitchcock film, as it is some time into the film when all the tension is created, so it, therefore makes us wait. We expect things in the early scenes, which do not happen, and so we become afraid of things without them taking place. That is an incredible thing to say as it is remarkable how just three students with a camera can create such fear. In early scenes of the film, when we meet secondary characters, we are made aware of the belief that the Blair Witch may or may not exist in the woods. The characters appear un-convinced, as are we.

Fig.3 Heather Donahue

Perhaps, where the film succeeds the most is through the characters and their relationship. Heather Donahue is seen as the main character, which in itself is remarkable, but brilliant. In earlier films, we would expect one of the male characters to be the leader, but this choice demonstrates her desire to make the film, where as Josh Leonard and Mike Williams seem not as interested. As she is the "leader", the way her feelings progress in the film affect the other characters. As she becomes even more terrified, we see the characters start to disagree and argue with each other. They become scared of something that they have no proof of existing. The shaky camera shots highlight how the film is changing. Where as in the earlier scenes, we had steady and focused camera shots, we now start to see close ups and the shot being at an angle. Joe Morgenstern also talks about the camera shots in his review: "The scariest shots, from someone's little Hi-8 camcorder, document the students losing their bearings, giving way to panic and finally falling victim, though off screen, to some ineffably, unphotographably evil presence." - (Morgenstern, 2013). This proves that their desire to learn about the "Witch" has escaped and so now want to escape the "Witch".

Fig.4 The Woods

The Blair Witch Project has a simple idea with a simple method of film making, but is one of the greatest, and most memorable, horror films in recent years. It makes us terrified without showing us anything, but through the dramatic use of camera angles and terrified expressions of the characters, we start to believe in what is not seen. Roger Ebert refers to this in his review of the film that ""The Blair Witch Project" is a reminder that what really scares us is the stuff we can't see." - (Ebert,1999). It truly redefined found footage films and has lead to the surge in independent films in the last decade. 

Illustration List:
Fig.1 The Blair Witch Project (1999) Movie Poster - - (Accessed 28/04/2015)

Fig.2 Josh Leonard (Left) & Mike Williams (Right) - (Accessed 28/04/2015)

Fig.3 Heather Donahue - (Accessed 28/04/2015)

Fig.4 The Woods - (Accessed 28/04/2015)

Ebert, Roger (1999) - The Blair Witch Project - - (Accessed 28/04/2015)

Lemire, Christy (2013) -  The Blair Witch Project (1999) - - (Accessed 28/04/2015)

Morgenstern, Joe (2013) - The Blair Witch Project (1999) - - (Accessed 28/04/2015)

Fantastic Voyage: UVs & Texturing - #2

I have started to create the textures for the 1st setting. As it is a forest, I am able to use some of the UVs more than once, which is obviously a good thing. I have only added the water colour style at the moment, and will add the pen lines next. So far though, it is clear that some changes need to be made, both to the textures and the lighting, because it looks too yellow and too much like a sunset, which although looks good is not the intended time of day.



Tree #1

Tree #2

Tree #3

Tree #4

Tree #5

Tree Stump #1

Tree Stump #2

Tree Stump #3

Tree Stump #4

Tree Stump #5

Monday, 27 April 2015

Fantastic Voyage: Influence Map - Animation Style

Before creating the textures for the forest, I wanted to create another influence map to demonstrate the intended style, again. After searching for resources and designs that would work with the animation, I found an episode from "The Pink Panther Show" called "Pink is a many splintered thing" (1968). In the influence map below, you can see how the style of the cartoon works with the style that I am going for. With a clean, colourful character, and a sketchy/water colour background, it gives a rough idea of how the animation should look.

Fantastic Voyage: UVs & Texturing - #1

 I have started to layout the UVs by using the UV layout and the pictures below show my progress so far. The layouts are not yet positioned and scaled properly, so there is still work to be done there. However, so far I have noticed that the trees in the first and second setting work well with the layout and so it will not be quite as difficult as it will be when creating the other textures.

Setting #1

Setting #2

Setting #3