World Builder – Post Mortem

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.

Critical Reflection

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.

Lasaraleen_Final.png

Creative Process

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.

background_Final.png

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!

~Icetail~

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ANI230: Progress Journal Week 6

Hello everyone! Progress Journal part 6. I completed 26 and a half hours for week 6 and I’m afraid I haven’t much to report.

Toggl Week 6

Other than final project, my focus was spent on finishing the assets needed for World Builder.

WB_Shot3_Progress for blog

There isn’t really much to say really, I made the final slave assets, I touched up the back crowd and gave hair to the front crowd, and that is really all I did. I updated the final deliverable. I don’t really know what else to type here.

While this was short I can assure you that week 7 will have more work in it. I can’t do anything more than sign off. World Builders has finished now, so my Post Mortem blog post will be coming in the next week for that. Now you will see a lot of specialisation work and more of my general body of work.

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

Character Creation: The Design

Vague descriptions be gone with my newest character: Seraphina. She is a dancing elf with many styles of dance in her repertoire. Her design wasn’t easy to nail down but in the end I think I did pretty good.

So meet Seraphina:

Seraphina Ref

This wasn’t just improving my character creation skills, it was also me working on my proportions (what are those?) and hands (I can’t draw hands, I know).

Sera’s design was based around the blood elves of World of Warcraft, the belly dancers of the middle eastern countries, and the Shuvani Romani Kumpania whom I have seen at the Abbey Medieval Festival here in Australia. Her pose is a mix between Celtic river dancing and ballet.

ThumbsWhen I was thumbnailing Sera, I found myself leaning more into the ballet, ballroom and the long flowing skirt style of romani dance. They worked more with what I need for my story. I liked the way the skirts would flare out as well, creating opportunities for great dynamic poses. I played more with skirts than pants in my sketchings as well. Thought in the end I went with the poofy genie style pants. In the sketches you can see below, I also played around with the star design, trying to make it a part of her. I’m not entirely sure if I succeeded in doing so, but I tried hard to make it a part of Sera.

Sketches

A major design reference that I used during this stage was Olivia from Fire Emblem Awakening. I was inspired by Olivia’s outfit, and the way it fits the character perfectly, showing her personality and is a good representation of her role in game.

When I was typing Sera’s backstory, I was trying to think of something that was interesting but not cliché. I tried to get it to a point where I could continue in a story with a good reference to personality, who she is, and what she values. I hope that I did a good job.

Name: Seraphina
Nicknames: Sera, Nina
Stage Name: Starlight Seraph
Age: 18
Occupation: Travelling dancer/Master Dancer

Race: Elf/Álfur
Eye Colour: Cyan
Skin Colour: Golden Brown
Hair Colour: Dark Red
Height: 159cm
Weight: 56 kg

Seraphina grew up surrounded by the dancers and musicians of her father’s travelling group of entertainers. There she learnt and mastered many different styles of dance, her favourite style being Ballet. When her father retired, Sera took over as leader of the group, where she continues her family legacy in front of audiences everywhere.

In Seraphina’s group, your stage name is always given to you by your audience. When performing, she earned the name ‘Starlight Seraph’ from a band of pirates who described her as being as elegant as her namesake, the angels. This name became official when Sera was performing and the same band of pirates called her that, causing the other patrons to start calling her ‘Starlight Seraph’ as well.

Sera is bound by a marriage contract with one of the pirates whom are regular audience members. This contract guarantees the protection of Sera’s travelling group. Sera likes her betrothed, but refuses to show it, often giving her suitor cold glares as he tries increasingly extravagant ways of winning her over.

Seraphina’s sister, Rhapsody, chose music over dance, and often accompanies Sera as a master musician.

In this I also tried to iron out several story points that I will use. Such as Seraphina’s relationships, and who she works for/what she works as.

All up this was a fun experience, and I hope to continue improving my work and that I finally manage to finish a story. I shall do it! I will succeed.

Please leave a comment to tell me what you think! See you all next time!

~Icetail~

Research Blog
Seraphina Ref

Animation Bachelor Update + New Projects

Okay, so I’ve been wondering for a while how to post this, which do I talk about first? My animation degree or a new personal project I’m planning (and have started). Well I decided to start with my degree.

So hello everyone!

First off: my Bachelor in Animation. I am now in my fourth trimester and I have two classes, one of which is my first Production unit. I am required to post progress updates of all projects I do in this module on my blog, so you will be seeing some more of that soon. Another thing I am meant to do for this class is refining and developing my own skills, so I’m going do be working on my drawing skills, such as anatomy and character development. Leading of from this, I now have an excuse to continue a 100 theme challenge I started a while back where I restricted myself to one of my OC’s as to develop her character. So that’s what’s happening this trimester.

Now onto my own project, somewhat unrelated, but still somewhat relevant to my degree. I had this idea a few weeks ago to make a Hunger Games and Tales of Series crossover. So I did it basically. I used a Hunger Games generator to reap selected characters from the Tales of Series and then I just generated the events that happened and screencapped them.

Here is my reaping:
tales-of-hunger-games-reaping

First I’ll be drawing just an image with all my tributes. Personally; I’m rooting for District 1 or 6 here. I will post the arena events when I get up to drawing them. Here is the progress of my first image:
the-tributes-wip

To link you to their wiki pages, from left to right we have: Giselle Oslo, Jade Curtis, Zelos Wilder, Raine Sage, Rita Mordio, Yuri Lowell, Alfred Svent, Elize Lutus, Fylk Zadeya, Alisha Diphda, Uphim Welkps, Velvet Crowe, Leon Magnus, Ilene Remembrant, Reid Hershel, Farah Oersted, Cress Albane, Arche Klein, Saleh, Claire Bennett, Emil Castagnier, Marta Lualdi, Asbel Lhant and Pascal.

In future blog posts I will be using the names that are most said in-game, not their full names (or in the case of Seraphim/Malakim, true names). Comment below to tell me who your hoping to win.

That’s all I have for now, I will post again soon when I have more of the image above complete. See you all soon!

~Icetail~

A Reintroduction To My Blog

Hello internet, I am Rebekah, and to finally do what I have never really done; I am an Animation student at SAE Creative Media Institute, studying a Bachelor or Animation. As a part of my retaking of the unit CIU110, I am “re”introducing my blog, to give better insight into who I am as a person and an animator.

Alice-in-WonderlandIn class I was asked what my current obsession is. I guess my current obsession at the moment is Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, children’s animated TV shows such as Octonauts and older kids shows like Care Bears, and then games such as Fire Emblem Fates and World of Warcraft. How very unrelated those things are! I also love anime like Blood-C, Black Butler, Charlotte and Sword Art Online (to name a few).

The reason I like these…. things…. is because they all have great stories. I love stories, love writing them, love reading them; and reading, watching and playing books, movies, anime and games helps me get inspiration for my own stories that I inevitably write.

While writing might be what I enjoy most, it isn’t something that I can make a living from right away, so I chose the next best thing; Animation. Animation can also help me visualise my stories, improving my own writing.

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you have a better idea of who I am and what animation means to me.

~Icetail38~

Image reference
Book Detail – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. (1888). Support.bl.uk. Retrieved 30 May 2016, from http://support.bl.uk/Book/Detail/b9d9746d-7f2f-4e4a-9f73-a26c00f62ff2