Monday, 4 February 2013

Fridge time

Started on my first bit of actual animation last week (despite having about 16 backgrounds still to complete (or start...)

Here's a still from earlier on in the week

Friday, 25 January 2013

Hint of red

Although I love the idea of keeping a mostly black-and-white colour pallette (though the supermarket scenes have some muted yellows/oranges in), the first scene is looking a bit too bland. I experimented with adding a hint of red and really love the effect. New background for shot 5 done too.

Rotoscope test

Here is a test I did of the rotocsope technique. I chose a woman running as I thought a fast movement would be best to test. I like the smoothness and fluidity of it which I feel contrasts nicely with the hand-made feel of the rest of the background. I need to check with my tutor about the appropriateness of rotoscoping as otherwise I will still shoot video footage but will use it for second-hand reference rather than exact rotoscoping.


Things to sort:
 - White card looks too stark, add more papery bumpy texture
- I've lightened some darker objects but some still look a bit too black, change these
- (need to fill in shelves obviously)
- change the colour of her top as it's too similar to newspaper
- change hair colour?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Supermarket setting style

Have been struggling with getting the supermarket right but I changed the angle of some shots to make it lower angle and this seems to work better. Have made things on the shelves more separate and defined objects so it looks more detailed.



Friday, 18 January 2013

Recent stills

These are ones that I have worked on since January (as all previous work had been completed before Christmas for an earlier hand in of pre-production work. Here I'm looking at using newspaper as a prominent texture, mixed up with plain card and fabrics...

Too much blue...
Good background, look at layout/ mis-en-scene though
Okay background though looks grimy, odd connotations?
Pattern too big and dwarfs the scene and confuses viewer, could try it smalller and darker?
This one looks nice though perhaps gives impression of it being nighttime?
Original felt idea, I like how it looks more homemade and cosy but will this fit with other scenes?
This pattern works well, need to look at having something behind table, like above maybe as it looks a bit bare?
Pretty but doesn't really work.
Interesting faded grey texture, potentially could work
Bit too girly maybe...

Also been looking at 'fake' light i.e. using masks to create paler, yellow light 'beams' without having a proper light there and I think I will use this technique for my final film as it progresses. I've decided the ones that look and work the best are smaller repeated patterns which are dark in colour so I will look at more of these to come up with the final background texture. I also need to bear in mind that all the backgrounds (approx 30) need to be linked in some way so as to seem consistent throughout the film.
I'm thinking of having the backgrounds in black and white / grayscale to tie in with the newspaper and then have the characters in colour... this would be a way of linking the backgrounds.

Other possible links

- consistent colour
- consistent pattern e.g floral
- consistent secondary texture e.g. different patterns laid over the top of a woolly fabric each time

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Initial styled test shots

Here are a few test shots looking at style and technique and might look a bit like the final thing...

Lots of newspaper layers...this looks too confusing but like the idea of having newspaper as a prominent layer... relates to media coverage (lack of?) and can use real life trafficking articles


Using a mask to create a character made of a texture, over the top of another texture. No shadow but maybe it needs one. Like the floral print but need to find own version or scan one :)

Initial style ideas and tests

Here are some initial styled stills looking at the use of texture and technique in AE.

 Too dark and not enough colour, but light looks mysterious

 Too sickly looking, sideboard up or get rid of it behind chair?

 Like how the chair and table look closer up and everything else is pushed back.
 Need to look at facial features as the eyebrows look like eyes... what features to use?
Stuff on shelves doesn't look as effective when recessed behind the newspaper. Lighting is good though

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Here's the working animatic (in lower resolution):

Monday, 14 January 2013


Here are the finished working storyboards for my film:

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Here I've collected some of my main influences for this project all of which I really love and text is taken from my interim report on reference materials and pre-production work:

'Robes of War' (2008), is an emotive depiction of the devastating effects of war on a woman. The serious topic and use of metamorphosis and symbolism are aspects I want to include in my film. Although the style is more abstract than my intended film, I am keen to portray the traffickers in similar smeary, fluid way to show how they manipulate and escape people and the law. There is no dialogue or foleys in the film, just dramatic music to convey the pace and emotion and I think this works really effectively. The music here is my main reason for this influence as my film will have no (or extremely little) dialogue and dramatic music, although I am also hoping to include foleys.

ROBES OF WAR from National Film Board of Canada on Vimeo.

I decided to utilise material textures for my film to echo the themes of consumerism, for example using food or clothing textures. My main reference example is 'The Thomas Beale Cipher' (2010) which uses an interesting 2D paper-like effect technique. Particularly I like the way the textures move subtly within the character – the character moves over the top of the texture rather than ‘with’ it, so there is constantly something moving within the frame. I am going to employ this technique in my piece. Although lots of different textures are used the colour palette is consistent and seems mysterious which ties all the scenes together well. I also like the fluid animation style which was done using rotoscoping. I would like to get a similar fluid motion in my film but I think I will use video footage to reference rather than complete rotoscoping.

The Thomas Beale Cipher from Andrew S Allen on Vimeo.

'The Dog who was a Cat Inside' (2002) is a story about a dog who has an uncooperative cat 'living' inside him and it relates how they deal with each other through gentle humour. It can be interpreted as relating to friendships and even self-worth and I think it deals with these sensitive issues cleverly and sympathetically. Here the characters are truly flat 2D, so much so that when the turn to the side they 'disappear'. The backgrounds are also highly stylised and created as 2D boxes in a 3D space. Interesting camera angles show these off well and this is something I may utilise in my film. 

The Dog Who Was A Cat Inside from Trunk Animation on Vimeo.

Pixar's 'Day and Night' (2010) has an interesting technique, where the story is told within the two textures of the two main characters; so the characters are the background as well as themselves. The character texture changes depending on the mini-story being told and the characters move over the top of their individual texture. 2D is used for the character outlines and the inside scenes have been rendered in 3D. Although initially I found the concept a bit confusing because it's so unusual, it is very effective at getting across the different emotions of the characters, especially when matched so well to the backgrounds.

Day & Night by Pixar 2010 from Tapua on Vimeo.