Thursday, 27 May 2010
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Well for this project I had to create an animatic, that is a moving story board with sound, that told a story for either; a public information short, a product for sale or something else, I decided to create a public information piece on the topic of rail safety.
After doing some research I decided to narrow this topic down from a complete overview on railway safety to the dangers of level crossing. One of the plot’s I considered was the idea of an alien coming down to earth and having a bunch of children try to explain the dangers of the level crossings, but after testing my character designs out on my younger cousins, I re-approached the plot and altered it to a more friendly looking character.
The next character I created was a cartoon/ manga stylized cat. I again used my cousins as test subjects, and the over all opinion was that they loved the character and found it “cute”.
The next stage of this project was a little harder, as my normal style of working is to create the characters after I have the more than a general overview of the plot, but after sitting down with the family and finding out what, if anything, they knew of the dangers of level crossings the, I worked out a first draft. After a number of rewrites I settled on a finished story.
The general overview of this story followed the main character of the cat as it was taken on a car trip by it’s owner, a Sunday drive if you like, that took it over a set of level crossing points in the country side, as a demonic looking train races down to try and catch the car as it crosses the points.
As I aimed the story at an age group of 5 – 11 year olds I decided not to have the train crash into the car, as this would be to graphic for the younger end of the age range, but would still show a live action still of what happens when a something is hit by a train.
For this project I had to create a number of short animations; a 2D walk cycle, a 2D perspective walk, a 3D walk and run cycle and have a lamp interact with an object, kind of like the ‘Pixar Lamp’.
The 2D cycles where fairly easy to do as I was using some existing characters, and had video an life drawing reference for different types of walk; runs, shuffles etc.
The 3D work was a bit more challenging as I had to learn a new program, Maya, but thanks to the tutorials in the help menu and the taught sessions, I was able to learn this program.
The walk and run cycles for the 3D section of the work involved using a generic blue character, that had no life or easy moving parts to it which I came to hate, but the lamp, or lampie as I came to call it was more fun to use.
From the tutorials in the help menu I created a Greek styled temple. I then did a short thumb nail story board to work out how to have the lamp would enter the temple and exit the temple again.
Overall I fell that this project was useful, and I would like to do another project in Maya, mainly for my show real, as I felt it lends it’s self well to the genra of animation I like the most, science fiction.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
To start with on this project I was going to use a human character based off one of my existing characters, Jon Andrews, after he survives the explosion of his ship, the SS Phoenix, but after quite a bit of development work, I decided to keep the story line for this project but alter the character to a more alien looking, so I changed the character to a new one called Mars Andrews.
To start with on this project I first created a storyboard completely digitally with photo shop and comic life, but after a number of thumbnails and development sketches I created a storyboard that was 45 panels long.
In order to create my new character I looked at a number of 1990’s cartoons, from Chip n Dale rescue rangers to Bucky O’Hear, and the Toad Wars. As the original version of the storyboard involved a flash back to before the ship exploded I had to edit the ending so that the main character in the story was rescued as not to leave it open ended.
What did I find interesting in this project?
The must challenging element I found while I was working on this project was learning to use Flash, and I thought learning Maya was hard to learn, but I feel that I have managed to create something that is ok, but as this is the first major piece of animation that I have done, it even has lip syncing in major achievement for me as I missed it last year. I have also added a simple sound track created using a heartbeat, downloaded from http://www.findsounds.com/ISAPI/search.dll, even though the effect was only three seconds I edited and extended it usingAudacity so that it was five times longer than I needed it.
One thing I would like to do on this project if I could repeat this project is to create it like a traditional piece of Anime, all hand drawn and coloured using markers or pencil, to give it a more realistic effect, or maybe go back to my original concept of a human character.
The video can be found here Space Dog Video.