Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Concept Artwork: Salon Chair

Another prop design. The props in my story aren't particularly exciting, being simple, everyday objects, but its still a nice opportunity to practice painting. I'm trying to loosen up more so in the way that I work, so I've been attempting a more ruthless, painterly approach when creating these generally bland objects. Any practice is good practice!

Concept Artwork: Looking Into the Attic

This is a view into the attic through the main window, detailing the use of the umbrella to conduct electricity. Once again, not an overly phenomenal painting, but its all practice!

Character Design: Frankie Turnaround

This is my turnaround for Frankie. I made an attempt to simply colour a hand drawn sketch, but it hasn't turned out brilliantly. Still, its all a learning experience after all and I'm glad I tried it anyway, even if it could have gone a lot better.

Final Maya Pre-Viz with Titles and Music

Final Animatic with Titles and Music

Finally my animatic is sorted! I'm pretty happy with the end result, now I just need to recreate these effects in my pre-viz and then its simply a case of sorting out my concept artwork. Hurrah!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Updated Animatic (Still No Music! Argh!)

This is my animatic improved somewhat with more interesting transitions between shots. At some parts it works, and in others it feels a little forced, but that's easily fixed when I finally figure out where the transitions aren't suitable.

I still haven't settled on any incidental music to play in the background. Ideally I'll use something royalty-free, but if push comes to shove, I've thought about either of these (both copyrighted, but I may get lucky!)

We Call Them Pirates Out Here- Mark Mothersbaugh: A fast paced piece that works quite nicely with the fast cuts throughout the first half of the animatic

Cerebrawl- Laura Shigihara: A kind of playful little tune that reflects the implied evil of Frankie in a cutesy fashion

Also, if it feels suitable, I may shift the music after the reveal, but I'll figure that out once I have a suitable track for the rest of the animatic.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Submission Disc

Concept Artwork: Umbrella

Concept Artwork: Hood Hairdryer

This is my concept for the hood-style hairdryer that is in Frankie's salon.
As you can probably tell, painting isn't really my thing (and I'd go so far as to say I really don't like painting that much), but this could have gone a lot worse and it does its job, so I'm pretty happy with it.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Character Design: Pampered Hamster

This started out as a shot for my storyboard (and it still is in there), but I liked it so much that I thought I'd upload it separately as part of my character design stuff.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Storyboard Progress- Scene Three

These are the shots for scene three of my storyboard (minus two shots. I have them sketched out but not inked etc. I had to stop at some point! My head was beginning to swell as if I was losing an argument with a Scanner.)

Storyboard Progress- Scenes One and Two

These are the final shots for the first two scenes. They sum up the action pretty simply, but I will probably develop some in-between's just to make the shots a little more dynamic in the animatic and to help each shot segue into the next.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Storyboard Animatic: Progress 21/2/12

This is an early draft of the first two scenes of my storyboard animatic. Only the basic sounds from the Maya animatic have been included, and a couple of shots are yet to be added, but it has given me an idea as to how much information I can put on screen within the required time. Even though the shots are very sharp, the basic story appears to be coherent (although that may simply be down to the fact that I know where everything should be anyway).
Still, things are looking good, and I should have next scene sorted by tomorrow, as well as the Maya version.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Psycho Film Review

Psycho (1960) Film Review

Friday, 17 February 2012

Maya Animatic: Progress on Scene One

Scene one is practically complete at this point, although it has brought up a fairly massive issue.
This scene alone is 25 seconds long, pretty much taking half of my total time simple opening the story. I need to seriously whittle this down otherwise I'll be exceeding the total length considerably. This will pretty much remove all of the humour within the first scene, but if thats what it takes to cut it down to a reasonable length, I may have to do so.
Either way, here is the (pretty much) finished scene one.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Maya Animatic: Making a Start

Seeing as I'd already got a rough storyboard of the first scene ready, I figured I'd start to put the animatic of this scene together in Maya.
Its only a few seconds long so far, and there is a section missing as I put together two separate sections using the same setup to save some effort, but still, it seems to be coming together pretty smoothly. I look forward to creating the rest of it!

Life Drawing 14/2/12

An Attempt to Up Frankie's Cuteness

My previous drafts for Frankie's facial appearance were a slight improvement, but the emphasis on Frankie being a child wasn't present enough.
To resolve this, I've looked at various examples of what makes a character cute, and whilst these are somewhat more childlike, they're still not right. They're missing a key element that I can't quite put my finger on.
Here are some of my revised Frankie designs.
 This was the first design I developed, keeping principles of cuteness in mind. I like this design, but I felt the design wasn't childlike enough. 

This is an incredibly poor revision of the previous design, emphasising the cheeks and making the features smaller. The chubby approach is a technique that is effective in tons of different examples, but not so much in this one.

This is a side profile of the first example. I really like this once again, but Frankie somehow looks even older here, totally going against what I was attempting to achieve. Also, it just seemed weirdly reminiscent of Thing One and Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat... just a side note.

I went ahead and coloured the above design in Photoshop, simply to get an idea of how it would appear as a complete illustration, and as is usually the case, it looks way better as a pencil drawing. Plus, it looks like a slightly rounder Jon Arbuckle from Garfield. I seem to be drawing influence subconsciously...

Just a quick attempt of a 3/4 view of Frankie. It kind of works... but not massively. I'll try again.

I needed to see how the head sat upon the body, otherwise I'd be investing time in developing a head that looks silly with the rest of the body. It seems to work quite nicely, and this head in particular seems to have a good level of cuteness. and once again, I can see yet another existing character in this design, in this case, it's Horrid Henry's brother, Perfect Peter.

Another attempt at inking the pencil drawing. Although this is very rough, it seems to be that the design works quite nicely as just line art, a good sign as this means it should work effectively in the storyboards.

Intro to Pre-Viz: Camera Shake

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Some Basic Character Design Revisions

In response to my OGR feedback, I've attempted to develop my basic idea for the design for Frankie in relation to the techniques presented in Preston Blair's book, Cartoon Animation.
Whilst they're very basic and there is still a hint of style-creepiness present, I feel they're certainly a step in the right direction.

Intro to Pre-Viz- Camera Coverage: Camera Manager Script

Intro to Animation: Paper Clip Chain

Monday, 13 February 2012

Storytelling Online Greenlight Review: Part Two

Storytelling Online Greenlight Review Part Two

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Storytelling Online Greenlight Review: Part One

Storytelling Online Greenlight Review Part One

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Potential 'Third Act' Scenarios

These scenarios are simply the 'reveal' of the events occurring in the previous two acts. The first act is practically the same as its always been, although the second act has been adjusted in order to place more emphasis on the 'reveal' of the third act. The actions carried out in the second act are deliberately obscured from the audience's perspective, taking advantage of misdirection and providing the audience with a third act that was totally unexpected. These are ideas for what this process could result in.

·       All of Frankie’s actions leading up to this point result in the laboratory being revealed as some form of animal beauty salon, à la Edward Scissorhands. (Alternative could reveal the laboratory to be a veterinary surgery. The lead up would be exactly the same, with the reveal being slightly different)(Bonus ‘botox’ gag may be included, depending on how suitable the balance between hilarity and horror is).
·       Frankie is revealed to be crafting a birdhouse for his newly purchased pet budgie (Could apply to a variety of scenarios, such a fish tank for his new fish, a vivarium for his new chameleon, etc).
·       Frankie fulfills a relatively mundane task (such as serving a meal, turning the page of a book, etc.) using machinery powered solely by kinetic energy generated by running hamsters (or other animals) on a series of treadmills (in a Rube Goldberg-style scenario).
·       Frankie’s efforts result in him finally successfully opening a tin of food for his pet cat (Much like the opening sequence in Back to the Future).

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Early Design Concepts for 'Frankie'

The general idea behind Frankie's appearance is he is a child in adult clothing, being unlikely that a child his age would be able to get hold of a suitably sized lab coat. 

A rough example of the length of the lab coat on Frankie (although this sketch is not 'child-like' enough. He is sized more like a teenager and less of a child). 

This is a side profile of how the lab coat will appear when he is walking along. Everything trails along behind him, much like the way 'Maggie Simpson' moves around.  

In scenes where Frankie is operating something with his hands (which is the vast majority of the story), he will be seen with his sleeves rolled up, both because it gets the sleeves out of the way and generally makes him look like less of a 'ghost'. The cuteness/humour factor that comes from him dragging the coat along is a good thing, but it will outstay its welcome if this is overused.  

Just a simple example of Frankie's facial appearance with his goggles worn on his head and being used. At the moment, he is looking very 'Calvin and Hobbes', but this appears to help emphasise the fact that he is a child, and it can also contribute to somewhat of a pun in which his goggles significantly magnify his eyes, giving him a more humorous appearance. 

This is a comparison of height between Frankie and a typical adult, just to provide an idea of how small a child Frankie is. The 'Tom and Jerry' approach of adults being visible from the waist down alone is an idea which I may carry on into the final story, as it places the real focus on Frankie and the Creature. 

Updated Story Overview and Basic Logline

An ambitious, pint-sized scientist must bend the rules of nature itself in order to win his school science fair, but before he can, he must refine and perfect the process of his project.

Act I
Frankie receives parcel from delivery man. The parcel is opened, but the contents are hidden from the audience, only Frankie’s expression reveals hints to what is really within.
The parcel is taken downstairs into Frankie’s laboratory, and put to one side. A set of blueprints can be seen on Frankie’s workbench, next to what can only be described as a shopping list. The blueprints and list reveal Frankie’s plans to construct a life form from existing animals.
Frankie takes a trip to his local pet shop, gathering up the ‘components’ for his creation, bundling them into a wheelbarrow as he goes.

Act II
Frankie returns to the laboratory, unfurls his blueprints and begins to work. Being a child, the only real source of power for his device is the AA batteries he has pried from his own toys. This proves to be an inferior power source, as his machine barely begins to operate before the batteries are totally drained.
Frankie takes it upon himself to find another power source. He takes advantage of the lightning rattling around his house, and routes the electricity to his creation by opening an umbrella just outside of the window. Lightning strikes the umbrella, directing the power straight to the creature and bringing it to life.

Frankie approaches the creature, sat upon the workbench, with the parcel he received that morning. He opens it up, revealing the contents to be a brand new suit and tie.
The evening ends with Frankie and the Creature taking part in Frankie’s school science fair, both Frankie and the Creature in matching suit and ties. Frankie and the Creature are shown to be the winners, totally obliterating the repeated entries of baking soda volcano’s and potato batteries.
The story ends with Frankie and the Creature posing for a photograph for the school newspaper, rosaries pinned to their suits. 

Updated Potential Loglines
-An ambitious, pint-sized scientist plays God in order to become God of his school science fair.

-A gifted, if somewhat peculiar child repurposes man's best friend into man itself in order to be the victor of his school science fair.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Rope Film Review

Rope (1948) Film Review

Friday, 3 February 2012

Patchwork Pals- Version Two

This is an alternative version of my Patchwork Pals idea. Its frighteningly different in comparison to the first draft, with the bulk of the story being radically different. This is an amalgamation of my own thoughts and suggestions from others, and whilst its still going to need a fair amount of revision, I feel it is a more complete and rounded story than my previous effort.
One major issue with the screenplay is it is fairly long, considering we have a one minute limit. But after discussions with Freddie and Jamie, we decided its easier to whittle down a longer, more convoluted story to a shorter, more effective one than the other way around.
Its also makes the backstory I drafted up for the Frankie character fairly redundant, as the backstory was developed to conform to the previous story. Although the motivation for the character's actions differ in either story, it is much the same character.

Patchwork Pals- Version Two

Intro to Animation: Bouncing Ball Non-Centred

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Character Backstory- 'Frankie'

In order to clarify my Patchwork Pals story a little more, I've written up the backstory for the 'Frankie' character. This backstory has also led me to write an alternative opening to the screenplay, which is yet to be completed. Hopefully exploring the character more so will open the story up and make it considerably more interesting. It has also solved the issue I had with the first version of the screenplay, which was that it didn't really have a 'problem'. It was sort of just the character meandering from one place to another. Anyway, here is the short backstory I've developed for the character.

  Frankie was always a fairly curious child. His personal pursuit of knowledge was far more appealing to him than the creation macaroni pictures and the consumption of PVA glue of which his peers were known to dabble in. It was only a matter of time before Frankie moved on to greater things.
  Of course, the growth of his mental capacity didn’t make up for the lack of growth in Frankie’s legs. You see, Frankie being a child five years, three months and sixteen days meant he’d barely be able to see over the pedestal when receiving his Nobel Prize. These height issues became increasingly apparent as his projects became more and more ambitious.
  Frankie’s tolerance towards his minute stature finally shattered when his height was restricting him from even reaching the tools in his laboratory. Instead of investing in a stepladder, Frankie chose to fit his workshop with something a little more… complimentary of the setting. Specifically, a taller, less intelligent servant, with a retro, sci-fi charm, employed for the sole purpose of fetching anything higher than Frankie could ever reach.