The aims of this term was to begin the pre-production stage of making an animated short film. I came back after the summer break with a rough idea of what I wanted to make a film about. After producing some initial thumbnail storyboards I had some visuals of the themes, concepts and structure I wanted my film to be based on. My first idea was to use a cellist performing to classical music as a way of taking his anger out on career path or his menial job. I had the idea of the cello eventually being destroyed as a metaphor of the characters feelings and emotions towards his situation. I tried to develop this idea further into a solid narrative but found it difficult to construct a strong story in order to give the film meaning. I came to a decision to revert back to my first idea of buildings or urban scenery being destroyed in synchronisation to classical music. After weeks of drawing up thumbnails and developing a solid narrative I had a rough outline of my film and the form it was going to take. As this animation revolves around the audio I found it beneficial to start putting the main scenes onto a timeline to visualise the structure. I began adding scenes until I eventually had a rough version of an animatic which i was happy with. After this I realised that this production would need time put aside for the making of the puppet, sets and props. This being in the medium of stop-motion everything must physically made. I immediately began the design making process which was very time consuming. I often ran into problems in regards to the possibilities of shots and the design of sets. I sometimes had to avoid ideas for shots because of the time scale I have to work with. I started with the puppet and sculpting the head. I took time to figure out how the head was going to be animated, playing around with ways that I am going to use replacement faces for facial expressions. I also made maquettes, models and drawings figuring out the scale and ways in which these would be shot on camera. This making process involved a great deal of trial and error, sometimes things did not go to plan and I would have to rethink the design and re build things. I sometimes even had to change aspects of the design for efficiency reasons, for example, I was able to combined 3-4 different sets into the one which means that I would only have to produce one model rather than 4 different models of the same space. A good example of this is the different areas inside of the crane cabin which I was able to combine into the one set. Over all I feel that this term has been successful even after getting off to a slow start and some hold backs from the leading narrative. I feel that the development process of designing and making is taking longer than expected and needs to move quicker if everything is going to be ready for the animation stage. I believe that the difficult part of problem solving is over, with all the main designs done I can now proceed quickly into prepping the scenes ready to animate before the start of the next term. I think that I could have produced more test animation especially focusing on animating the demolition scene as i feel this will prove the most challenging. I could have also experimented with mould making and casting techniques earlier in the term so that these skills would improve and ultimately be evident in the finished, working puppet. On the whole I think that I have dealt with the pressures of this project but need to start picking up the pace so that the making process is completed and ready to animated before next term.
Over the summer holidays the ideas that I had for my final project have slightly changed. My summative assessment feedback last term revealed that my ideas for the project could be quite strong, however, a clear story line had to be put in place in order to achieve the outcome i was hoping for. Over the summer break I tried to gather more ideas and work out a rough narrative which would underpin this animation.
I knew I still wanted to work with the idea of using classical music to base this animation but i needed to figure out if i was still going to incorporate the idea of the main character becoming frustrated, using the classical music as a form of escapism to express all his emotions. The idea of this originally came from an animation short film called ‘Preston'(2016). Here is a link to a post which I created reviewing and annotating this short film in more depth:
Over the summer I thought a lot about how I could use this idea of escapism within classical music to form a strong narrative around a single character. I came to the decision that I was going to this idea to create a narrative based around the misery and frustration in menial jobs. It was my intention to base my narrative of the escapism within menial jobs. This aspect would give the narrative meaning while the classical music aspect would enhance the story and provide an idea to work with. I began producing a rough story board, integrating some ideas of scenes I would like to use. Below is my initial storyboard for the animation:
It is my intentions to include the role of a percussionist as a base for this narrative. In order to effectively show this, I will need to examine how a percussionist plays the cymbals as part of a live orchestra. I found footage of this from YouTube which is beneficial when looking at movement and also timing. It could also give be helpful in looking for a fitting audio for my project.
It was my intentions to use harsh shadows and lighting to make the subjects stand out. I wanted to capture the feeling of the sports balls being in the spotlight for the first scenes. In order to create this effect I needed to look at different lighting setups. I found many lighting setup diagrams which were specific to photography, I found these very helpful. I found that a curved backdrop can be very effective and allow for a smoother background.
Examples of lighting setup within my own work
Below is the lighting setup which i used within my animation. I used a diffused light angled at 45 degrees, to evenly light the subject, along with 3 spotlights lighting each ball to make them appear in a harsh down lighting.
This is a wider angle of all the models and scenery with the curved backdrop placed behind.
After thinking about the main concept of the animation I conducted some research on other popular sports channels which use the textures, forms and shapes of the equipment as the main subject of their title sequences.
I came across a sports ident on YouTube which creatively uses the equipment as a concept for the animation. In the video below the textures of the balls appear to wrap around and collide with one another, effectively changing the sport each time. This idea of quickly changing from each sport (being represented by the ball) is what i want to use within my own animation.
The method here appears to be CG which is rendered as very realistic imagery. I intend to recreate this kind of effect using studio lighting within the CG software to make the visuals as realistic as possible. I will play around with the material properties within the software to achieve realistic colour and textures. I will also try to use creative movement within the animation to transition each scene or link them with one another.
The brief for this project specifically stated that the main animation had to be between 5-10 seconds long. This short time frame meant that I had to use quick cuts to capture as much information as I could. In regards to sport ans physical activity I decided that the animation had to include lots of movement and action. I planed to use lots of camera movement and action music to have a greater impact on the target audience.
Although this animation could be seen as too short to have a narrative, i think that some sort of narrative must be shown to give the animation meaning and structure. For this I began to think about the relationship between the CardiffMet sport channel and its viewers. I created a rough storyboard based on the ideas that i had for each scene. The scenes below show different sporting equipment one after another in studio lighting, they then all come together and stop around the main subject which would be a television. The main idea of this was to characterise these basketball, rugby ball and tennis ball and have them represent how viewers from different sporting backgrounds come together and tune into the channel.