ANI230: Progress Journal Week 8

Hey everyone! This is the eighth stone monolith in my progress journals. In week 8 I recorded 31 hours of work on Studio 3.

Toggl Week 8

For my specialisation I continued with my composition test, looking at videos about composition.

These videos emphasised several important points, such as contrast, framing and balance in an image. Using what I learnt from these videos I added to my composition test drawing.

Composition Test coloured

I’m trying to make the focus of the image the stone in the forest clearing, so while everything around the stone is a tone of olive/forest green, the stone itself is an ochre. I also tried to bring in leading lines with the tree branch, however I don’t know how well it worked at current. I will be looking at texture brushes in photoshop next while I start on lighting. I might perhaps start a new image as well.

In my body of work, a few hours were taken up by filling out my transferable skills sheet, however the majority of the hours for my body of work were spent on two projects of mine. The first project, my contest image.

Progress.png

Chara and Mettaton are shaded now. Just to finish the shading on Frisk, and mess around with the background however I wish and I will be able to submit this to the AU Creation Contest. I have plenty of time, but I hope to finish it soon so I can get back to my images of Cordelia from Fire Emblem and Peony from Tales of the Abyss. And… I just realised that I haven’t given shading to Mettaton’s boot…. opps. I better fix that.

The second project is a comic for World of Warcraft, in light of their annouced expansion Battle for Azeroth. I want to keep the details of the project a secret for as long as I can, so I shan’t explain too much.

WoW Comic planning NO SPOILERS.PNG

No spoilers. I planned out what I would have in each frame and ended up with 9 frames. My specialisation research will be able to help me with the composition of each frame. I’m also trying to decide if I should throw in a cameo appearance of a character from a different game.

Other than what I’ve stated in this blog, there was the Post Mortem of World Builder that was finished. Go check that out if you haven’t already. And feel free to drop a comment below! Until next time!

~Icetail~

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Character Creation: Research

I need a character for a story I’m writing, but I haven’t been the greatest at character creation, I’ve just made vague descriptions, never really ironing out details and making it up as I go along. This isn’t a very efficient way of designing characters. So, some research is needed to improve my skill, and, as conscequence, improve my characters.

IllidanA most of the sources I have looked at tell me one thing consistently: make your characters unique. In the words of Andra who wrote ‘10 Quick Tips to Help You Design Characters Like a Pro‘, “ideally, you should design your character so you can recognize them even if they were naked and bald.” Hmm… lets apply this to my Original Character that I am using in a fanfiction at the moment. Lythia Balfour is blonde, wears a military uniform similar to the character Jade Curtiss, has violet eyes, and is technically blind. Not that unique, I haven’t ever mentioned her having scars of any kind, though being in the military she is bound to have some. I haven’t even drawn her once. Okay, well lets compare Lythia to another character, already designed, completely unrelated; Illidan Stormrage from World of Warcraft. No need to look far, I have him as this paragraph’s image. Lets see, discounting purple skin, since that is a Night Elf trait, he has black hair, unique to him (for his race), his tattoos are unique to him. Horns, wings that are always present? Definitely unique. A tad less unique since the release of World of Warcraft: Legion, but the edition of Demon Hunters into the game, hasn’t subtracted much from the unique appearance of Illidan, as the character customization screen doesn’t allow customization that looks like Illidan (really, any unique character is impossible to replicate without mods).

linaren_darkshard_by_frostieheart-d9n643qAnother tip that I have read consistently? Colour. Choose your colours wisely. Colour is important for characters, you want to use the right colours, and you don’t want to use too many colours. “Typically, dark colours such as black, purples and greys depict baddies with malevolent intentions. Light colours such as white, blues, pinks and yellows express innocence, good and purity. Comic-book reds, yellows and blues might go some way to giving hero qualities to a character design,” as stated in the article ‘20 top character design tips‘ written by the staff of Creative Bloq. Seems easy right? Well, not really, lets look at another one of my characters; Linaren Darkshard. (This paragraph’s image). As can be seen, she is exhibiting colours that are highly saturated and clash as a consequence of this. While I acknowledge that I created Linaren for a high school surrealism art assignment, I can’t do much more with her than that, and that somewhat bugs me. I might end up redesigning Linaren eventually.

One particular article shared dos and don’ts for character creation. The one ‘don’t’ that I noted the most was “Inconsistency in your characters will jar your readers mightily.” Well… to the guys at Reader’s Digest…. I humbly apologise. I have noted inconsistencies in many of my characters, no matter how much I avoid them. I have failed you all. The main inconsistency… in my OC Lythia. Recently in her story, I revealed that she is blind, but I didn’t really explain how she could see very well. The explanation was flakey and I’m sorry to admit that I am probably never going to fix that. HOWEVER! I will take note of this fact for future reference. Planning is important. I should probably learn to stop writing half baked ideas and fully flesh them out before beginning my plan ((But… It works with drawing!! Why can’t I do the same for writing??”)).

So with all these tips, written here, and unmentioned, but on the articles, what should I do?

Well, lets start simple, outline what kind of character I’m looking for:

  • Female
  • Dancer or Musician
  • Traveller

Okay, so with that, I can start designing. So I should ask myself these questions:

  • Who is she?
  • What’s her story?
  • What’s ethnicity does she belong to?
  • What colours does she wear the most?
  • What style of clothing does she like wearing?
  • What’s her name?
  • Personality?
  • What are her goals?

And with that, I can start drawing ideas. Perhaps I’ll end up with a pink skinned alien girl wearing a lime green tutu. Hehehe, as fun as that sounds, I suppose we shall see. It’s been a long week. See you all next time~

~Icetail~

Reference List
10 Quick Tips to Help You Design Characters Like a Pro. (2017). PiXEL77. Retrieved 31 March 2017, from https://www.pixel77.com/10-tips-design-characters-pro/
Staff, C. (2017). 20 top character design tips. Creative Bloq. Retrieved 31 March 2017, from http://www.creativebloq.com/character-design/tips-5132643
Marks, C.S. (2017). Five Traps and Tips for Character Development. Liferichpublishing.com. Retrieved 31 March 2017, from http://www.liferichpublishing.com/AuthorResources/Fiction/Five-Traps-and-Tips-for-Character-Development.aspx

Reflective Blog Task – Collaborating With Fans

Blogging my gained knowledge from class is a very interesting thing – something I haven’t really done before. In my final assessment for CIU111 (Overview of Industry) I have to write three reflective blog posts, each one on one of the weekly lectures that we have received in class during this trimester. This post will focus on our lecture two weeks ago, on collaborating with fans.

Related image

Old DA logo

I thoroughly enjoy interacting with other fans of media works that I myself am a fan of, as well as communicating with the fans of my own work, be it fan art/fiction or my own personal stuff. The fans are a large community of people who, for lack of any simpler term, stalk the social media profiles of creators, looking to comment on art, talk with other fans or simply discover the next big project of the creator. There are many places to do this, like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and my personal favourite at the moment; DeviantArt. The popular art sharing website allows fans to follow each other, and the profiles of any famous artist who has an account, as well as keep track of popular trends in the DeviantArt community, through DA headquarters.

However in the lecture, I took note of three subtitles in particular:

Crowdfunding

Fan Approval

Fan Response

These three titles stood out for different reasons.

Lets start with crowdfunding. I first heard the term when watching a video from YandereDev, talking about his different solutions to speeding up the creation the game currently designated ‘Yandere Simulator’. In this video, YandereDev talks about how he plans on using a crowdfunding service such as the website Kickstarter, a site that is purely for crowdfunding projects. YandereDev’s video was the first time I ever heard the term ‘crowdfunding’. On Google, the definition of crowdfunding is as such – “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” At the time that I watched the video from YandereDev I didn’t pay much attention to the term, not really seeing how it related to me. When it was mentioned again in this lecture, I came to realise that crowdfunding is

important-information-barbados-1

With this revelation in play, I paid more attention to what crowd funding is and how it does truly relate to me and the Animation industry, and see it as a future  way to fund projects once I have completed my degree.

yuki_no_hana_cover_by_frostieheart-dagsgv9Fan Approval and Fan Response are things that I have always recognised as important, but not really from a creator’s perspective. Fan approval amongst the fans is heavily based on comments and other responses to the creative works of the fans. I have received my fair share of positive and neutral responses, as well as constructive criticism on my own fanfictions and fanart, as well as an overwhelming amount of no response. As an example of this I shall use my own fan fiction story, Yuki no Hana (translates to; Snow Blossom), which is my current work-in-progress on FanFiction.net. My constant reviewer to this story, presea221, often asks questions in their reviews that make me realise when I have erred in my typing or thought process and had to re-evaluate my story to fit in forgotten points, such as when they brought up a character they couldn’t wait to see and I noticed that I hadn’t planned for that character to show up, even though he was integral to the main plotline.

However in the industry, fan approval and response is quiet different to the interactions between fans. In the lecture I note that fan approval applies to pre-existing media, where a continuation of events in a piece of media is carried onto the next. It gets the audience involved with a media work in a way that brings the final product out in a form that the majority enjoy. Of course, one cannot please everyone, and most of the time there will be at least one person expressing their dislike of a particular aspect of the presented media. This is a part of the ‘fan response’.

wildhammer-fact-checkerFan response isn’t just negative comments however. As stated in the lecture, it is positive feedback, which sometimes can help with the decision making process when working out both where the story goes, and what happens to characters. The fans can also point out discrepancies in stories, like at BlizzCon2010 where someone stood up to point out a problem in the lore which had been overlooked by developers, or they can find bugs and glitches, an example of this being YandereDev who puts out his debug builds to his audience and asks them to email him bugs and glitches with his game, which he then fixes. Blizzard Entertainment, after BlizzCon2010, fixed the lore by putting correct characters in their places and adding an NPC, the Wildhammer Fact Checker, as a reminder to not make the same mistake.

I, too, have also had my own stories thrown into my face (nicely) as reviewers point out problems with my versions of events and where I forgot certain parts of the lore I was already writing around. My unofficial beta reader, Defiance-of-Fate, will often point out mistakes I have made in a chapter before I post when I show him the document from my laptop or Samsung tablet. Defiance-of-Fate and I often go over my chapters before I post them to make sure that I still adhere to the plotline of the game/book/anime that I am writing fanfiction for, as well as not contradicting my own plotlines that I create for my stories.

world_of_warcraft___worgen_warlock_by_sandara-daf35cgThis lecture on ‘Collaborating with Fans’ also assisted me a great deal with my assessment for my CIU210 (Media Studies), where, also two weeks ago, I had to get up in front of the class and give a presentation relating to the weekly lecture for that class. Coincidentally the topic of that lecture was about Audiences, Fans and Fandoms, which had several overlapping points with this class’ lecture. I was able to draw points from this lecture into my presentation, especially when I was discussing fanart contests and events. One particular event that I brought up was the Celebrate the Classes event that happened on DeviantArt on August 19 – 31. The image to the left of this paragraph was commissioned from one of my favourite artists on DeviantArt, by DeviantArt for Blizzard Entertainment for this event.

All up, the lecture on Collaborating with Fans was quite interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It drew my attention to terms and services I had previously ignored. Now that I know their use, I shall endeavour to act upon the knowledge.

See you in a few days for my next post!

~Icetail~

References
– About — Kickstarter. Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://www.kickstarter.com/about?ref=nav
– YandereDev, A. (2016). Yandere Simulator: Past, Present, and Future. YouTube. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0yXtJuF1SI
– Week 10: Collaborating with Fans – Self-Directed Practitioners. Medium. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-10-collaborating-with-fans-c2cfff5d64fe#.cmnh2k5mz
 – DeviantArt Headquarters. (2000). DeviantArt. Retrieved 1 December 2016, from http://hq.deviantart.com/
Wildhammer Fact Checker. Wowhead. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from http://www.wowhead.com/npc=51596/wildhammer-fact-checker
– Red Shirt Guy – World of Warcraft Red Shirt – World of Warcraft convention. (2010). YouTube. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fziRzD05yI 

Blog Task – Future Predictions for Media

Recently, I went to the cinema to watch ‘Warcraft: The Beginning’ with my mum. While there we noticed how many empty seats there were. This made me wonder, how often are movie theatres almost empty these days? How often does is the theatre empty when a movie is shown? While the next logical question from there would be; does the theatre even play the movie if there is no one there to watch it, that is not important. What the important thing is this; I predict that the popularity of cinema is falling.

Warcraft movie poster

Why do I say this? Well for first things,  movies from smaller producers aren’t as well advertised anymore. I saw no trailers for the Warcraft movie unless I went searching for them. I’ve seen plenty of ads on YouTube that are trailers for Marvel movies and movies from other big studios like Dreamworks, but nothing for Warcraft. Around websites with third-party advertisement, I only once did I see an ad that was for Warcraft. I love the game World of Warcraft, and I love trying to find out everything about the game I can, but I can say that I didn’t know that this movie even existed before my mother showed me the trailer that she had managed to find. With a monopoly on advertisment, smaller studios don’t get as much publication.

Angry Birds movie posterThis brings me to my next point; the length of time some movies stay in cinemas for and how often screening are. The Angry Birds movie is only shown in Event Cinemas in Australia  at around 9:30am each morning, and not showing at all in some cinemas.  This makes getting to movies hard, since with only one screening a day,while might encourage fuller cinemas, doesn’t give people many options to work with. Traffic issues can cause people to be late for screenings, and can also discourage people from wanting to watch movies at the cinema.

Another point I would like to bring up is Netflix. Netflix has its own original programming which has started adding movies to its lists. These movies don’t get released in cinema, therefore subtracting from the appeal of going to the cinema to watch movies. While not movies like Marvel or DC cinematic universes or Star Wars, it can only be assumed that eventually those aforementioned movies, or movies like them, will eventually become available on Netflix  or other web streaming providers. Why would someone go to the cinemas when they can just stream the movie at home?

Piracy_Its_A_Crime_WideAnd this brings me to my final point; piracy.  Downloading illegal copies of a movie for free.  Why waste money going to the cinemas to view something you can get for free later once it has been placed on a piracy website?  A sad but true that is that, yes, people do breach copyright laws just to save some money and watch their favourite movies. It’s a crime, (as the picture states) but some people don’t care. And it’s piracy that is killing the popularity of cinemas the most.

With all these pain made, I wish to reiterate what I stated before; I predict that in the near future, the popularity of cinemas will die. The price of watching movies at the cinema will increase and further discourage people from going, and the theatre’s seats will be emptier.It is strange to see the popularity of cinema fall after growing up around people always talking about when they will next go to see a movie. Not many people have conversation like that anymore, only talking about what the newest model of smartphone is or what the latest game releases are.  But this is the way that cinema popularity is falling. Perhaps in fifteen years its popularity will rise again.

~Icetail38~

Blog Task – My Media Use and Identity

If I had to choose three favourite forms of media, I would have to say games, anime and my paper stash. And those three things tie in so seamlessly together. The games and anime provide the inspiration which I then draw down onto my paper, or write down into stories.

World-Of-Warcraft-LogoGames are my main source of inspiration, with such captivating story that I am able to interact with, its where I go to first when I need to find more ideas. PC games such as “World of Warcraft” are good places to start, with its many different story and quest lines, its not hard to find inspiration or get lost within the story. The same is so with other games like “Legend of Zelda” games or “Fire Emblem” games for Nintendo consoles. They have such captivating stories that are well thought out and take time to complete, instead of being just “finished in one afternoon” kind of story.

Charlotte_keySomething else that can’t be completed in an afternoon (unless you are crazy) is a full season of Anime. Doesn’t stop anyone from trying to watch it all in an afternoon. Anime like Sword Art Online, Charlotte and Black Butler are another source of inspiration, but also entertainment. I love watching anime, animations in general, to find mistakes in the animation, or inconsistencies in the story. Its just funny to me when I notice one frame where the animation has been left uncoloured in some part of the image, or when there is a jump in a walk or run cycle. But other than a source of amusement, I love the art style of anime. It is amazing. I love watching the characters move around their worlds, taking in all the detail of the art style involved.

failure_means_the_loss_of_everything__sketch__by_frostieheart-da69y1pFinally we come to my paper stash. Lined paper, white paper, coloured paper, used paper, even handmade paper! I have it all. Paper is my life, because without it I wouldn’t be able to draw or write my stories (No, Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop do not travel with me everywhere, paper does.) As can be seen in my sketch to the side, I use a semi-anime art style in my drawings. This particular drawing compliments my short story “Failure Means the Loss of Everything”, showing what I envisioned when I wrote the story, and how I saw Icetail (right) and Montague (left) as they conversed.

And that is what I have to say on the topic of media. I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

If you wish to read my story that the last image is related to, please click this link to head to the last chapter of “Tragic Is Only Another Word For Pain”:
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8507009/19/Tragic-Is-Only-Another-Word-For-Pain

If you want to read more of my stories, please head over to my profile on FanFiction.net here:
https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3395518/Icetail-of-WindClan-Meta-If

And if you would like to see more of my art, please head over to my DeviantArt profile here:
http://frostieheart.deviantart.com/

Thanks for reading through this post

~Icetail38~

DISCLAIMER: World of Warcraft, Fire Emblem, The Legend of Zelda, Charlotte, Black Butler, and Sword Art Online are all owned by their respective companies. All I own is the sketch image and the story and profiles I have mentioned.

Blog Task – What Brought Me Here

Recently the game ‘Fire Emblem Fates’ came out for the 3DS in Australia and I have been playing it since it came out, already having completed the ‘Conquest’ side of the game. You might be wondering “Rebekah, what does this have to do with what brought you here??” Simply put; everything. Your next question is probably “where is here?” Well ‘here’ is SAE Qantm Creative Media institute.

157961_packshot_l_v5Games like ‘Fire Emblem Fates’, it predecessor; ‘Fire Emblem Awakening’, and even games like ‘Runescape’ and ‘World of Warcraft’, require animation to bring their characters to life. Animators use images to induce emotions and tell story in visual ways that cannot be conveyed through words. I find myself with an unadulterated fascination in using images to pull at the heartstrings of players and viewers.

A perfect example for this is the moment in ‘Fire Emblem Fates’ when you are forced to chose a side. Whether you own ‘Birthright’ or ‘Conquest’, or are waiting around for the release of the third path ‘Revelations’ (Or its already come out for you), when you are told to choose a side it is impossible to not feel conflicting emotions at the choice you have to make.

giphy-1
It is these inflicted emotions through animation and pictures that make me interested in doing animation myself. There is only so much emotion that I can drag out of my writing, and only so much emotion one can pull out of still images. The greatest emotional impact comes from animation and films, and I want to learn how to make animation like that.

~Icetail38~

“Computers don’t create computer animation any more than a pencil creates pencil animation. What creates computer animation is the artist.”

John Lasseter
BrainyQuote.com

 Reference List

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