This is the post-mortem blog post for the World Builder project based on the book “The Horse and His Boy” in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis.
This trimester’s main project went by far better than last trimesters, and we managed to finish this project by due date, instead of having to work to the end of trimester to tie up loose ends.
One of the main issues during World Builder was keeping our art styles the same, which was often pointed out until the prescreening of our project, where we had finally kept in a similar style. The cause of this discrepancy is mainly due to opposing personal styles. My teammate is mainly a 3D animator, while my art style is influenced by anime. We had to discover an art style that we would both be able to draw, and then complete many versions of the same art before what we had matched.
The second main issue experienced during World Builder was our ability to connect to Slack to communicate progress. My teammate has dial-up internet which was disconnected everytime someone rings his house, and my internet has a slow upload speed and occasionally drops out on its own at random. There isn’t really anyone at fault here. We could have met up at SAE, however travel times make it more efficient to get as much done as possible at home, post updates to Slack when we could, and then summarise everything done at home once we met face to face at SAE. Neither of us have control over this issue.
For myself, the journey to reach the art style was an interesting one, and I was always fiddling with small details to get it to match my teammate’s. My connnectivity issues meant that I was putting off uploading some documents, that could have been uploaded earlier, until the last week of the project and ended up waiting for several hours instead of half an hour.
As a team, neither of these issues impacted our project much. We were set back slightly while still working on our style and the overall animation timing, however everything was still on track by the end of the project.
This project started with a discussion on which book we would build a world for. We discussed using “Dracula” at first, then we started brainstorming other books we could use, such as “Rangers Apprentice” and the “Amulet” comic series. Eventually we decided upon “The Horse and His Boy”, and about four scenes from the book that we could do.
From this we then had to choose a style, while we began thumbnailing potential scenes. What we wanted in style was something close to the “Harbringers” series by Blizzard Entertainment, with it’s digitally painted scenes that had minimal animation. We were told however that the art style would probably be too hard for us to attempt. We then looked at the “World of Remnant” information series by Rooster Teeth and found a nice mix of simple and detailed. We didn’t want to take all the detail away from the main characters however so we made our style somewhere between “Harbringers” and “World of Remnant”.
When we finished thumbnailing, we then moved onto our storyboard. The story started off with two scenes, the first character overlooking the city, and the second character watching the parade. This then changed to three scenes, the overlook, a reveal of the city, and the parade. At one point we wanted the first character getting kidnapped and the second character jumping onto the litter parading past, even a scene inside the litter with the curtains drawn shut, but we cut these out due to time, so that we could spend more time on our main scenes. So in the end the final story board was the two characters overlooking the city, the city reveal and then the two characters watching the parade.
After storyboarding was completed we moved onto concepting. The concept for my scene eventually turned into the final version of my assets. While concepting we also put together a rough animatic. The concepting merged slightly with the making of our proxy assets as we took the layers of our Photoshoped concpets and arranged them in After Effects.
These proxies were then gradually replaced with the final versions of each asset, and when each scene was completed they were exported and added to a Premiere Pro file. I tried to get a audio student to make music for this project, but in the end I was forced to obtain some royalty free music, which is missing from the video embedded in this post for copyright reasons.
We did however get a graphic design student, who made our awesome title card. I would not have been able to make something like that. With everything done, the video was exported, and submitted to our lecturer before we posted it to YouTube.
A Reflection on Roles in the Creative Process
ON TRANSFERABLE SKILLS:
This trimester, it was far easier to communicate with a singular teammate, instead of trying to keep track of what two or three teammates are doing. We worked well together, with very few arguments and got everything done on time. When my teammate needed help I would respond the moment I was able to, and when I asked for help, he would do the same. We took all the advice given to us and used it to improve our project.
ON THE FINAL DELIVERABLE:
Both myself and my teammate were responsible for the scenes we concepted out, so myself with scene three and my teammate with scenes one and two. We both agreed that my scene had more aspects to it, so I should focus on it, while he focused on the first two scenes.
Neither of us were offically the project lead of this project, and that worked for us, since there were only two of us, it was better for us to discuss the project and come to an agreement than for one of us to make excecutive decisions.
If I had to do this project again… I think I would fight to keep the scenes we have and then work out new scenes to add. It would be a nice challenge to try and match the style again.
That’s all for this post, this blog marks the end of World Builder. There is a chance that I will have to go back and edit this blog, but that’s okay. Anything to get the learning outcome attached to this!
Until next time!