Monday, February 28, 2011

Blowing in the Wind

My first glimpse at 3D this semester :D I played around with some cloth physics to try and simulate the sheets blowing in the wind at the end of the animation. These are two of the results, quite similar but the one on the right looks slightly heavier and possibly more sheet-like?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Storyboard Updates: Boy Introduction

Struggling on with these boards, had a breakthrough just last night with one of the scenes so I drew some new roughs.  We were struggling with the layout for the introduction of the boy at the swing, and how in God's name we were going to get the girl stained red without having to force her to run through the puddle of red the ball had made.  Instead we've gone for her being splashed by the ball as it bounces nearby.  It fixes everything, and looks a lot nice, AND we get to have a bouncing ball in the sequence.  Animation 101 here we come!

- Lynne

Girl Development

Thought I better start looking at characters that are not the mother for a change.  We kinda always figured, from really early on, that the mother and daughter would be the spit of one other, so that when I finally got the mother nailed (weeeeeey), the daughter would be really easy to design.  

We were thinking the kids are maybe about 7-8ish, so I've been trying a couple different designs in an attempt to make her stereotypically childlike.  Proved a lot more difficult than I thought, and I'm actually thinking that her original design makes her look the youngest.  When I tried adding alicebands and bows to her hair it simply made her look older, which's weird.  I am contemplating freckles though... they were about the only think I was really happy with, but they could be an actual nightmare to animate.  We'll see.  Next up, Boy developments.

- Lynne

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3D Kitchen Environment

So, we decided incredibly early on that the environment inside the washing machine was going to be only 2D, whereas the outside the washing machine world will be all photo-realistic 3D.  We thought it's be nice to create these two contrasting world to really hit-home that the washing machine world is make-believe or imagined, while the other is reality. 

Our resident 3D expert, Jamie Bell, is taking charge of the entirety of the 3D world, including modelling the kitchen with all it's utensils and props, the Mum and the Girl (who we're thinking of naming Lenor and Surf after, obviously, the washing powder brands), an outside-the-window world of the playground and possible some washing hanging out on the line.  He's gonna have all the fun in the world getting all that made AND animating the Mum, the girl, the washing machine, the washing on the line and the camera.  Good luck JB.

Anyway, here's some scans from his R&D sketchbook of his work so far.  Like I was saying, we've been working purely on storyboards this last wee while so a lot of development work has been put on hold.  Hopefully we'll be back to it once the boards are handed in on the 7th March.

- Lynne

Street View

Staying with the whole Dr. Seuss vibe, and the fact that the 2D animation is now taking place in the mind of the little girl, we've decided to make the street more organic and bendy and curvy and very, very childlike.  Suba's drew out this street view today as an example of the new, curvaceous environment and how it affects the buildings, etc.

During the group meeting we had today we also thought it would be cool to have the backgrounds quite plain to begin with, and as the colour spreads through the environment it will add detail, such as brick work in the walls or leaves on the trees.  Kat Bambi is playing around with all the AE colour bleeding so hopefully she'll get back to us as to whether this will be possible or not.  Think she's going to be filming colour tests for our intro sequence tomorrow so we'll maybe have some of her stuff to put up soon.


- Lynne

Bruce Block Graphs

While the gang and I were working out the staging for the storyboards last week we worked quite closely with my notes from the Dublin Bruce Block experience.  Trying to get deep space and flat space and such things into the scene took a bit of getting your head around, so to make things easier Jamie Bell took the time to work out some Bruce Block graphs of story vs. depth and story vs. colour:

When you actually lay it out on paper and see where the intensity of a story needs to be build, it becomes so much easier to work his teachings into the frame.  Highly recommended practice for all animations.

- Lynne

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rough Storyboard Thumbnails

I dare anyone to try and make head or tail out of this, is you can you are a true story-reading genius, 'cause even we get confused by it.  These are our rough thumbnails for our storyboards (first draft boards are due in on Montag at 4.00pm) which we're in the process of drawing out onto wee A5 bits of paper and sticking to the seminar room wall.  

Our Irish counterparts will be glad to hear we've been trying our damnedest to adhere to the teachings of the glorious Bruce Block, contrasting deep space with flat and playing with the colour wheel to achieve maximum intensity in our story.  We even managed to get about 10 boards in before reworking them all to create better contrast and affinity between our scenes.  That trip was definitely money well spent on us.

I'll try and get our first draft boards boards scanned up here by next week so you can see the progress of our story.  We've changed a couple things about, and reworked the script a little, so I'll maybe try and get the new copy of that up too.

Till then.

- Lynne

Mum Debate

Right, I'm really having to get down to actually choosing how the Mum is going to look in this animation, and I have her whittled down to a couple different ideas.  Within our group, however,  I'm getting a lot of differing opinions as to which one everyone likes/dislikes, etc, so I'm going to throw her out there and see what everyone else thinks.

First off, should she be a wee stout sort of woman (very typical household Mum stereotype) or long and slender (based on my actually Mother, who is 5'10 and slim):

Secondly, what's the general consensus on the lack of detail for feet and facial expressions?  The characters, so far, are all noseless, have only pupils for eyes, and walk with stumps for legs.  Does this detract from the characters?  It doesn't sound appealing when you read that sentence, but when they're on the page, I find I quite like the style.  It makes them quite doll-like, which I guess is the direction we kinda wanted to go in the first place.

Lastly, how much detail aught to be put in the face?  Some of the guys prefer her without the definition between her face and her hair, whereas some prefer the line there.  I threw in a half/half one too as a compromise, and it annoyingly also works quite well.  

I tried to do a semi-turnaround of the head for the bottom three pictures but failed miserably.  I managed to turn her head slightly but not her hair at all.  That needs to get worked on.

Anyway, these are your options.  Answers on a postcard please.

- Lynne

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Environments (Getting Closer!)

Getting closer to the final design, but still need to play with colour and the layout of the environments.

Inspired by Dr Seuss illustrations but adding my own style.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Backgrounds

Some more of Susan's beautiful backgrounds!  We're slowly but surely reaching the style that we want for the final environment.  Susan's been doing a lot of research into Dr. Seuss and incorporating his style into her own.  She's coming up with some pretty stunning results that we're all incredibly excited about.  She's currently working on some more finalised pieces just now, so when they're ready we'll get them up for your viewing pleasure.

- Lynne

Colour Tree

Bambi has been recently playing about with colour bleeding and ink staining to try and get used to the way it flows and works.  She's going to be doing all the fancy After Effects trickery with colour in post so all the research she does now will pay off for when that part comes around.  

So, we have this one stunning scene we're very excited about getting in the animation.  It's with the kids in the playground and they're on a roundabout under this big, white cherry blossom tree.  As they spin the colour bleeds from the boy and cascades upwards into the leaves of the tree turning them pink.  Bambi's been playing about with some colour and concept art for the tree and came up with a really cool drawing:

I am so excited for this scene, it's going to be absolutely stunning.  We'll hopefully get more colour concepts up soon!

- Lynne

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moar Potential Mum Drawings

This be what I've been drawing recently yo!  Drawings of Mum first 'cause we kinda figured that once we got her nailed (WEEEEEY) then the wee girl will just be a smaller version.  We like a couple of things from each Mum so might try to blend them together into one big, super Mum.  Don't really know yet either as to how simplistic I'm going to make the body shapes, if that's what we're doing at all.  This is still all very much working progress.

Our favourite so far is the one on the bottom left in the first picture, although we really liked the flare-like legs on the Mum in the top right, but felt that she was too sexy for a mother character.  Might give the wee Boy flares instead and give them all a wee seventies feel.  Dunno, we shall see.  Threw in a wee drawing of the girl as well to see how she looks in this new style.  Really starting to like how it's coming along.

Also been playing around with some heads.  Some silly, some serious.  General consensus here is that we like the oval and square, and the rest simply don't work for one reason or another.  Our top likes and dislikes for the Mum's in the first picture are listed here too.  We'll hopefully get them whittled down by next week for rough storyboards, then finalised for final boards a fortnight after that.

Again, please feel free to fire any comments/crits our way.  Every little helps (to quote Tesco).

- Lynne

Monday, February 7, 2011

Character Inspiration

Been having a wee conundrum with myself and my ability to not be able to draw humanoid figures without making them look human.  That was a weird sentence... but basically we want the characters to have arms, legs, head and body, but not make them look like yer bog standard human.  Make sense?  We kinda agreed that we'd very much like them to look like this:

But, obviously, without blatantly ripping off that idea.  Another very similar character would be No Face from Spirited Away.  So, spent today looking at a Pictoplasma character design book and picked out a whole bunch that I really liked.  

The one on the moodboard we all agreed we liked was the big red guy, top middle.  Gonna try and work out some rough character ideas this week for storyboards, which're also this week.  Also looking at POSSIBLY getting a hold of the uni's multiplane camera for doing our backgrounds, but we'll only find out tomorrow at our production meeting if this is going to be possible.  Hopefully have some feedback on that soon!

- Lynne

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Current Production Roles

These are the production roles we've decided to adopt for the next 16 months.  Got a slagging 'cause I said I was gonna upload them, but I felt, for posterities sake that it belongs up here with everything else.  Enjoy!

- Lynne

Inspiration Boards

Sooooo I'm going to inundate you with all of our moodboards to date.  There's a lot on colour, ink, character influence, general influence, environment influence and overall styles we like.  We've made a massive moodboard for our wall which incorporates most of these, and I've filled my sketchbooks with all the characters we like too.  It's all slowly coming together!

- Lynne

Script 01

RIGHT here is the script we've settled on and will be sending to Wayne this coming Monday (7th).  Spent two days practically banging our heads off the desk to get it onto paper, but we think it is now here and fairly finalised.  Please let us know what you think, we have till our production meeting, which'll probably most likely be first thing next week, to make any changes, then it is final final finalised.


It is late morning in an entirely white-coloured world.  Nestled within the vast white countryside lies a small white village and a small white playground.  The area is populated with entirely white-coloured people and the playground is surrounded by quaint, white, English, country cottages.

A LITTLE GIRL is pushing her DOLL on a SWING. A RED BALL rolls towards her and settles in a puddle of water under THE SWING SEAT. THE BALL leaves a pink trail behind it and stains the puddle water pink. THE GIRL, never having seen colour before, is curious and cautious. She bends down to look at it and reaches out her hand to touch it. She prods THE BALL which leaves a pink imprint on the tip of her finger. While she stands fascinated by the coloured stain on her finger, a LITTLE RED BOY runs towards THE BALL. He leaves in his wake a stream of pink mist and a trail of pink footprints.

As THE BOY approaches THE BALL he notices THE GIRL but continues to hesitantly pick THE BALL up. THE BOY turns to leave and notices the footprints that he is leaving behind, he pauses. THE GIRL scurries up to him and presents her pink-stained hand.



THE GIRL’S MOTHER stands at the kitchen window, which over-looks the playground, washing the dishes. THE BALL hits the window and THE MOTHER looks up in fright. She sees a pink splat where the ball hit, which slowly spreads across the glass. She runs out the door to investigate and sees THE BALL has settled in a FLOWRBED, turning some of the flowers pink. THE MOTHER bends down and just as she is about to touch THE BALL, she hears THE GIRLs screams from the play park. Fearing for her daughter she rushes to the play park.



THE MOTHER is at the entrance of the play park, her eyes widen as she looks towards her daughter.



THE GIRL and BOY are on the ROUNDABOUT in the play park, as they spin round a spiral of pink ascends from the COLOURED CHILDREN, the colour stains the environment closest to THE ROUNDABOUT. THE GIRL is now completely pink and giggling on THE ROUNDABOUT.

THE GIRL looks over and sees THE MOTHER, as THE ROUNDABOUT slows she jumps off and runs excitedly towards HER MOTHER. She embraces HER MOTHER in a hug and the pink begins to seep onto THE MOTHER. THE MOTHER, still cradling her child, examines the freshly imprinted colour on her arm in awe.



THE BOY is pretending to be an airplane as he runs around the park. THE MOTHER releases THE GIRL as she runs away to play with THE BOY again and a crowd begins to gather around the play park as the pink continues to spread.



The clouds distort into a Perspex door of a washing machine, revealing a red sock in a white wash. In the Perspex door we can see the reflection of a MAN at the other side of the kitchen. He double-takes at the washing machine and bolts across the room to save his white wash.

Outside the kitchen window we see white sheets hanging on a washing line, blowing in the wind. A gust of wind blows the sheets up, revealing a small play park in the distance. THE MAN angrily rips the washing machine door open to expose the newly stained pink clothing.

MAN (angrily)



- Lynne

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Colour Test 01

Our FIRST day we decided to start playing around with bleeding ink, dripping it into water and onto paper.  It was terrible.  Nothing had the effect we wanted and we made quite a mess.  Real colour testing will be happening quite soon I imagine, but I thought I would post up the first attempt from my sketchbook to show how terribly we failed that first day.  The whole think looks like blood and not much else.  Not what we want.

- Lynne

Potential Alternate Storylines

Prior to our pitching session on Monday 24th January we had a WHOLE BUNCH of potential directions for our animation.  Pat Imrie, the College's resident 3D genius, suggested that we explore all avenues thoroughly, even if we've already settle on our story.  It's always good to brainstorm everything, I guess, especially when they can all be so closely interlinked, as it may influence the path you've decided to go down even if it's an entirely different theme or storyline.  Make sense?  

Well, for example, I found that when we were creating flow charts and word associations for our potential 'infection' and 'war' storylines a lot of the same words were cropping up. We're very much thinking about going for a less-intense story than war, infection or colonialisation but it's still quite interesting to see the cross-overs you get.  We've only looked into those two themes so far, but I'm thinking to maybe flow chart/word associate our current storyline to help with our wonderfully difficult script writing we've been undertaking.  Maybe it'll help.  We'll see.

Please excuse the blood-like patterns, we were trying to make the ink bleed from
red into pink on paper but it REALLY didn't have the effect we were after.

- Lynne