ANI230: Progress Journal Week 4

Hello readers! Update log 4 of my progress journals has more art! Once again I recorded 27 and a half hours for Studio 3.

Toggl Week 4

For World Builder I finished concepting my scene and I used the layers of that for the previs.

Shot 3 concept

Perhaps the cloth on Lasaraleen’s litter is too bright? I’m not sure. Though the crowd and the slaves look creepy. The background is really nice though.

I also started doing a concept for the second shot of the World Builder Project.

Shot 2 concept

I used an unmodified version of the building from my shot to find my base colours again, then I just started drawing the walls again.

For the rest of my hours I was exprerimenting with different brushes in photoshop, and finding tutorials for digital painting. I found a two part series on YouTube with some good tips that really work for any version of Photoshop.

At I tried guessing what brushes WalkingMelonsAAA used and came up with this:

Brush Test - Mixer Brush

This was using the mixing brush tool, and was really fun to make, though I’ve stopped using this tool now in favor of the texture brush that is used in the videos above.

Cordelia Rough Sketch

I really like the pastel brush. It’s easy to use and makes backgrounds look really nice. The tutorial above was used to make my concept art for World Builder as well.

That is all for week 4, and this update log. I hope to have more to show next time.

Until then!

~Icetail~

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ANI230: Progress Journal Week 3

Hello dear readers! The third act of my progress report is here now. This week three had about 27 and a half hours recorded for Studio 3 projects.

Toggl Week 3

In week three, for World Builder, I finished the storyboard for my team.

wb_storyboard_finalOLD

I also started doing concept art, however, I decided that Aravis didn’t need a front pose design since she is never facing the camera.

WB_Aravis_Concept_Draft

The eyes are really unnerving in the picture. With the clothes, I was trying to show that Aravis was wearing men’s clothes while still showing that she is female.

From the storyboard I created a very rough animatic, which only showed each frame with timing, no movement.

We also started looking at our specialisation projects, however it was just brainstorming what we would be doing for it and nothing more.

And finally, outside of assessment work, just for my body of work this trimester, I continued on my image “Hiding from the Maids” which I started last trimester.

Hiding From the Maids Progress

In it I fixed Cordelia’s proportions slightly, and gave her base colour. I also added more detail to both Cordelia and Peony. I noticed that there were missing lines all over the place, so I rectified that.

That is all for my progress report, any other time that I haven’t covered was spent in class, learning. I’ll have a new report next Sunday, hopefully.

~Icetail~

ANI230: Progress Journal Week 2

Hello everyone, I’m back with the 2.0 patch of my progress journal, which was last week. Last week was more interesting than week one, as my understanding of how Toggl worked grew. I had 31 and a half hours recorded for Studio 3. As this is a blog for Studio 3, I shan’t be talking about the time spent on my final project.

Toggl Week 2

In these 31.5 hours I finished off the Author and Source material research that I needed for the World Builder project. It was a lot of just finishing looking over the book, and finding out what themes the book had.

themesandsymbolism

Some of these things, I already knew, but it was fun to discover all the others that I hadn’t noticed before.

I also started and completed my first set of thumbnails for World Builders.

WB_Thumbnails_Rebekah

I talk about my thumbnails for a paragraph in my shot deconstuction, and as I mentioned there, my scene for World Builder is the beginning of chapter 7 in ‘The Horse and His Boy’, which focuses on the point of view of Aravis, the main female protagonist. I was trying to imagine the different ways that the scene could be framed. While I also found out that I can’t draw horses, I also discovered that some angles didn’t encaptulate my vision for this scene. However I do suppose that these are only thumbnails, and have much work to be done on them.

Other than my Shot Deconstructio, I made a rough version of my team’s storyboard.

WB_Storyboard_Pass1.png

There was a general agreement between myself and my teammate that we would both like to add a second, smaller and shorter, scene to the ends of each of our shots if we have time, that gives a little more story and helps everything lead into each other.

That is all I have to share, I truly hope that I have more to share at the end of this week. And I do hope that I remember to record all my time down with Toggl.

Until next time!

~Icetail~

ANI230: Progress Journal Week 1

Welcome to the first edition of my progress journal, it’s purpose being to record how many hours I spend on doing work! This is actually last week’s time, I haven’t finished recording all the time for this week yet, that will be done either late Saturday or early Sunday. And for future reference, my week goes from Sunday to Saturday. Also, as a little bit of added fun, I’m going to try and call each blog for the progress journal something different in the introduction each week. This week is “First Edition”.

Toggl Week 1

In the first week of trimester, nothing much happened in regards to creating anything, it was more discussion for the World Builder project, on which book would be done by the team, who was in each team, and then after all this, research into the chosen book and the author.

The book chosen by my partner and I is “The Horse and His Boy” by C.S. Lewis. We did consider doing Dracula or one of the Ranger’s Apprentice books, however we decided against them in the end.

I was the one to do the research into C.S. Lewis, while my teammate created our moodboard and wrote out our first pass of our synopsis for our project. I discovered a few things about Lewis that I hadn’t known before, such as the information that he served in the British army until he was medically discharged, and that he hadn’t always been Christain.

Book Deconstruction

I also did our book deconstruction on our chosen scenes, the first couple of paragraphs for chapters 4 and 7, though my teammate did help me a little here.

Other than what I have mentioned already, the first week was just learning the ropes of Trello and Toggl so that I could use them for this trimester. There will be more interesting things in this week’s progress journal, I swear.

So until next time!

~Icetail~

ANI230: Shot Deconstruction

Hello all, and welcome back to my blog, and today I am deconstucting a shot from a movie so that I can use the knowledge gained for my World Builder project that is my main assessment for this trimester in Studio 3.

The film this shot is from is “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, produced by Disney in 2005, and is a fantasy film. It follows the story of the Pevensie siblings as they find their to Narnia and their adventure, where they met Aslan the Lion and fought the White Witch, eventually becoming Kings and Queens of Narnia. The scene I have chosen to deconstruct is when the White Witch gains her audience with Aslan. The Witch is carried through the camp and demands the blood of Edmund Pevensie, as he was a traitor. She however left, giving up her claim on Edmund, having recieved Aslan’s word on an alternative. The genre, fantasy, is quite prominent here, with the talking lion, the witch, creatures like minators, dwarves and ogres, and the medieval aspects.

With that out of the way, lets get down to deconstructing this. This was a really hard scene to find, so I apologise for the video quality.

Almost immediately we can see the White Witch, being paraded through the army camp, being watched on both sides by the Narnians, who are crowded in two coloums on either side of the path. The atmosphere is created through the forebodeing music, tense expressions and disgruntled background chatter. The viewer’s attention is drawn towards the White Witch as her entourage brings her foward.

attention lines

The stark contrast between the White Witch and the blacks, browns and reds around her also draws attention to her, as she is the odd one out. Even at a different camera angle, the White Witch is still the most contrasting character in the scene, standing out amongst the earthy colours. It is important for the White Witch to stand out in this scene, as she is in her enemy’s camp, to talk with Aslan. In the whole scene, Aslan and the White Witch are the most unique characters. The main characters, the Pevensie siblings have been made to stand out slightly less in this scene too, wearing outfits that fit in more with the surrounding army.

The depth in the shot is well laid out, with Aslan in the foreground, alone, with nothing else cluttering his space, the White Witch approaching in the midground, and her contrasting colour making her stand out from the soldiers surrounding her, and then the background that doesn’t steal attention from the main focus of the shot. This allows attention to remain on Aslan and the Witch while they converse.

Colour in this scene is utilised well, the Narnians are earthy browns and blacks, keeping them comfortably placed in the scene, the White Witch is stark white against this, to show that she doesn’t fit there, that she is the enemy. The colours in this scene are also used to mute out the characters who aren’t important in the shot, and bring out the characters who are. The Narnian soldiers and the White Witch’s servants are all darker colours, while Aslan is golden brown, and, to say it again, the White Witch is dressed in white, giving the two precedence in the scene.

The light in this scene falls naturally on everyone, which prevents unnatural shadows from falling in odd places, giving more to the illusion of Narnia being a real place. The tents take advantage of the space, and are placed to create a convincing medieval style warcamp.

Now how do I bring this knowledge into my own shot? The book that my partner and I agreed on for the World Builder assessment was “The Horse and His Boy” by C.S. Lewis, the third book chronologically in “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Below I have the first pass of thumbnails created for my scene.

WB_Thumbnails_Rebekah

My main focus is the streets of Tashbaan, where Aravis, the female protagonist, discovers her old friend, and from her friend, discovers her father, whom Aravis ran away from, is in Tashbaan too. I want the focus to be on Aravis’ friend with Aravis staring on. To bring this focus more to the friend, I need to bring in more leading lines directing towards the carry litter. I also plan on giving both Aravis and her friend outfits that show their position in society, being daughters of nobles, while also fitting in with the setting of the city, being in an Ancient Persian kind of theme.

Thanks for reading this post.

~Icetail~

Reference
IMDb. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363771/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt
The white witch bows before Aslan-Chronicles of Narnia. (2011). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgl4tqw2OKs
Lewis, C. (1980). The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. London: HarperCollins.
McDonald, J. Medieval Warfare. Medievalwarfare.info. http://www.medievalwarfare.info/
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) Bloopers & Gag Reel. (2015). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBJ7hMVkDLo

Specialisation Project Post-Mortem

And for the last of my blog posts this trimester, I give you the post-mortem for my Specialisation Project. I wish that this had been the main project for this trimester, and that the group project had held less sway on our learning outcomes, then I’d spend more time researching animation techniques then worrying about how much time I have to complete a shot for someone. Though I will conceed to the point that many of our learning outcomes are all about following the project brief, going from pre to post preduction, and working with a team towards the final deliverable. Anyway, onto what this blog post is actually meant to be about.

My specialisation project this trimester focused on improving my 2D animation skills, and broadening my understanding of different techniques so that my animation look more believable. So in the end I endevoured to make this:

Night Scare

And this:

Mr Amazing Invinci-ball UPDATED

What went well, and why?

I think, in the end, what went well was my research. I found websites, articles and books that were able to give me information and recommendations that I could use and that I could easily read over several times to make sure I understood what I was doing. There were also plenty of sources of information to cross reference. The most helpful source was “The Animator’s Survival Kit” by Richard Williams, and I say that because it is a book, that I can physically hold, and bookmark. I can keep it open on the same page and not change tabs on my computer while I am animating.

Another thing that went well was the actual animation. I had a few problems with my laptop maxing out it’s memory usage, but that is such an easily fixed problem that it was merely an inconvienence. For once I didn’t focus on the look of my drawings and just focused on getting the movement right.

What didn’t go well, and why?

To continue off the animation part of the last question, there were some animations that I did focus on the look and not the movement, and the quality of these animations was blocky and very flat. This would be a case of I need quantity over quality, where I need to make more sketchy animation with good movement, rather than a few nicely lined animation with horrible movement. At the same time as having bad animation, focusing on the detail slowed down my work progress and I wasn’t able to do as much work as I had planned to do.

What else didn’t go well? My time management. With the Meet the Team project running past the due date, as well as cross-discipline work and my elective subject, I had a lot to juggle around my timetable, and I should have been able to do so, I just haven’t been able to. I haven’t worked out the right way for me to manage my time yet. I should listen to everyone who gives me a way to try out. My time management skills cut the time I spent on all of my projects, not just my specialisation.

One last thing that didn’t really work, was the study group that our lecturer had set up. Nothing happened in it, no one spoke after the initial silly chat, it was just dead, which defeated the purpose of the study chat group.

What would I do differently next time?

Next time? I would definitely start this project sooner, as to have some work ready by the time that we are starting to talk about it in class.

I would also make sure that I try and write down a to-do list, and some semblance of a schedule to follow. This should hopefully get more work done. With this, I shouldn’t feel like I’m stuck in a web of assessment.

One last thing I would do differently next time is ask for the opinions of my peers more, good advice comes from them, and ideas to improve your work. At least, that is what I have seen. If the lecturer sets up a group chat then I shall use it, ask for help and opinions, offer opinions and advice, and share the knowledge that I have aquired.

What I learnt during the project?

I learnt a few things during this project, such as lip sync and the beginnings of cloth animation. I also learnt the beginnings of facial expressions in 2D animation. But I also learnt different ways of extending my animation and making it shorter or faster. Such as giving key frames longer periods on screen, deleting some key frames that slow the animation down and are unnessasary for the movement.

One thing that I discovered was the limitations of Adobe Animate, where there isn’t a way to change the opacity of a layer. Or perhaps there is and I haven’t discovered it yet. There is no soft brush either, meaning I am stuck with hard lines.

From this I learnt about animating in Adobe Photoshop, where every layer is a new frame of animation. I didn’t get to test this myself, however I did watch one of my classmates doing this. It was very interesting to watch. Adding new frames to the animation also allows you to choose which layer is being used, so the layers don’t need to be in order. The order just makes the layers easier to find.

Future goals for skill development

My goal for future skill development, is to get to a point where I can have a few frames of smooth, coloured and shaded, finished 2D animation. To do this, I will most likely have to move on from Adobe Animate and find more animation software that gives me a greater range of tools to use, such as Anime Studio. I also want to get better at lip sync. I might grab some voiced lines from movies or cartoons that I can animate a character’s mouth to.

One last thing I learnt was the dire need that I have to learn how to draw a character that isn’t facing front on, I had much trouble drawing any character from any side view other than profile. I should do more drawings with characters in three quarter or around there side posing. It will make my animation better.

That’s all I have for this blog post. I enjoyed this trimester, and I hope to learn much more next trimester. Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and I’ll see you all next time.

~Icetail~

Cross-Discipline Post-Mortem

Hey everyone! I’m back again today to finish off the last of my blog posts! First of which, is my cross-discipline post, and I am happy to say that my cross-discipline work went better than it did last trimester. While I still had some failures in trying to find projects to join, I managed to find something with help.

Wargantuan

This project by a group of Studio 1 games students needed 3D pixel models of their main races, the Celestiant, the Treehemoth, the Graviathan, and the Coalossus. I chose to make them their Treehemoth.

The description of the character that I recieved was basically a Treant, or a living tree, much like the treants from World of Warcraft or Tree-Rex from Skylanders Giants. So that’s what I looked at for reference.

I found all these treants to take inspiration from on Google (I could have grabbed them from the games they exist in, but I’d probably would have gotten distracted.) With these images I was able to make this:

Lots of vines. Vines were hard to do, I tried to remember about gravity while drawing them out. The program used to make this model is called MagicaVoxel. It’s a 3D pixel art program. I had a lot of fun with it while making the Treehemoth, experimenting with all the different tools, and whether it was better to use my drawing tablet or my mouse. Well, I never did work out how to use this program with a mouse, so everything was done using my Wacom tablet.

This was an interesting learning experience, and I’m glad I got to do it. The game ‘Wargantuan’ can be found here.

Other Attempts

A few of my other attempts at cross-discipine work were offers to make audio visualizers for audio students. At one point I asked if I could sit in on their recording session as well so that I might be able to revise for my Signal Flow test which I had coming up in my Audio elective subject. However I wasn’t able to do this before my test. One audio student who did reply to me did keep in contact for while before he stopped communicating. It was unfortunate, however I couldn’t keep trying with dwindling time left in the trimester.

I am happy to say that I was able to do cross-discipline work this trimester, despite the failed attempts at communication, and I am happy with my Treehemoth model. I look foward to next trimester, and I also hope I have the chance to experiment more with MagicaVoxel in future.

~Icetail~