Updated the storyboard, edited some facial expressions, and fully morphed it into a fried egg shape.
**All files are in NAS: folder titled “ck1925_DSFA_FA17_A3PROGRESS”
I first redid my hair because before, I had too little hair strands that was giving me bald spots even with full volume:
Applied hair groups:
Cleaned up the hair in Outliner:
Connecting to Maya and importing expressions to keyframe:
Cha Mi Kim
My definition of a minimum viable product was “something that gets the job done with the least amount of resources (time, effort, money). There is no excess– the simplest way to present and solve the problem.” For the most part, I think my definition still stands, but my understanding of the whole process changed. At first, I thought it was a one-step process, but I realized we cut down and changed our prototype and project during every step of the process.
Instead of inventing a new product, we improved already existing products and changed its usage and delivery. We changed our target audience quite a lot, because at first, we were going to just sell the projectors to individuals for their personal homes. But (during the meeting) , going back to the problem we wanted to solve, it made more sense to implement it in a work/study space. That’s is where people are most stressed but have the least amount of resources to solve the issue. We also changed the product then, because we thought the service was the core component of the problem solving, not the physical projector. Once we had a set customer, we could really focus in on the core problem and solution. We then moved all the other features we wanted to keep to “extra features.”
I think our prototype ended up being the perfect example of an MVP, because it created the space we wanted with the absolute bare min components (projector in a room). We also dragged in a beanbag and found a carpet which I think helped the room feel a lot more cozy.
What do wish you had more time to continue working on?
I wish we had more time to continue prototyping. We could only open up the space for a couple hours the one day during midterms, so we only got about 10 responses. I think having a lot more people come in and experience the space would help us with design (+implementation) improvements. Their responses could also help us root out potential problems we aren’t noticing right now.
What are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of our business model because it took a long time to get there (from a thing to a service). I’ve never had to set up a business plan, so going through the process of who our client was and how we direct our product and pitch was really helpful. When we got to the business model canvas, it was really easy for us to fill out, which, to me, meant we did a good job of cleaning up our project (narrowing down our problem and solution clearly). It was also nice to have things organized on one sheet that forced us to be concise.
What was your most surprising discovery (if any!)?
This isn’t much of a discovery, but the interview method was really interesting to me. I thought the interview process would be based on asking questions about the product, but instead, we weren’t allowed to talk about the product–only focus on the demand/need. This was a step I would have completely written off before the class, because we tend to make dangerous assumptions that go unchecked.
Another surprising thing about the project was that the prototype got positive feedback. I was still pretty skeptical as we were setting it up and kept thinking this wasn’t enough. I kept thinking “it would be so much better if we had X” (although that defeats the purpose of the prototype). But even with just the projector and a small room, people still go the effect we were going for, which I was happy about.
The fairy tale I chose is a Korean origin story, and I modified it by reversing the characters of my story: instead of the two children getting chased by the tiger, the biggest and scariest threat at the time, I had two tigers getting chased by a hunter, the biggest and scariest threat of our time. To keep the Korean elements in tact, I used traditional Korean palettes for each character, and to give my animation a story book/paper feel, I used low poly/geo shapes for the models.
Initially, I had four characters. Two tigers as the protagonist, the mother to set up the scene, and the hunter as the antagonist. However, when I started modeling and story boarding, I found it was going to be a lot more work than I anticipated, so I cut out all the non-essentials. I got rid of the mother completely, and decided to indicate the hunter’s presence only with bullets and gun sounds. I also cut down a lot of scenes from my initial story board to simplify the overall story and the number of animations I has to make.
I realized it didn’t make sense to have sun and moon like lights if they were going to turn into the sun and the moon at the end of the story, so I created an environment with non-realistic skyscapes. I kept the overall texture and color theme when creating the environment.
During the final critique, Sarah mentioned parallel shots for the beginning and ending scenes to show the closeness of the tigers, which I really liked, so I changed my camera angle to first show the tigers playing in a circle very close to each other, and kept the last scene of the distant sun and moon. At first, I will have the title page with the words “Sun and Moon” and fade it out to have the second “o” of “moon” turn into the position the tigers are playing.
As mentioned in class, please disregard the weird positions of the models (I couldn’t fix the glitch at the time). Also, some grass are floating in the screenshots, but all of that is fixed.
*The yellow line is the camera path, red and blue lines are the tiger paths, with blue being the one that trips*
There will be music, fast and slow (ominous, etc) depending on the situation. Will also add bullet sound effects for when they hear the sound and stop, and as they run. It’ll fade out to indicate they are moving further and further away from danger as they move up with the rope. No dialogue.
Here are the playblasts to the animations that are needed (they will be looped as needed):
**ropes that didn’t show up for the screenshots the other night:
Because I have the paths and animations done, I just need to layer the animations into the characters (fix a couple in between frames as needed) and render.
I definitely plan on rendering it out in full, then adding in the title page, credits, and sound post production in After Effects (will keep you posted).
I really enjoyed going through this class because it took me through the entire process from coming up with a story to producing a product. Being forced to question these stories and really taking them apart was something that I had to learn to do, because I was so worried about “ruining the original story.” And although I either changed or heavily simplified most of the elements, I feel like we can still quite obviously see the remnants of the original story. I really like that my current animation can be traced back to the original, but also be a different enough of a story to be called its own.
Story boarding was another thing I’ve never done, and I realized I overlooked so many frames and scene changes. I first thought it was going to be 6-8 panels but it was a lot more, and I am still at 24 panels after cutting it off by a lot. I had to question the distance and placement of the characters in each shot and why, and having to visualize and actualize it on paper helped out a lot. I decided to lower the camera to level it with the tigers for a sense of vulnerability, and kept it to be in “one shot,” so it feels like you are really following them, instead of it having multiple points of views or jump cuts.
Taking out the hunter and only alluding to him with sound and bullets was something that took me a long time to do, but I also like the idea of not having to literally show everything that is happening to the viewer. I wanted the character to be vague and general so I had it modeled without much of a face/characteristics, but I think leaving it to the viewer has a stronger effect (and less for me to animate).
I’ve only thought about CG in terms of media and entertainment, so putting it into the context of the Sweetie Project, a project designed to catch pedophiles, was fascinating. It’s frustrating to see that despite catching hundreds of men who contacted and offered money for underage sex acts, it’s not as easy as simply persecuting them because the acts technically weren’t against a real person (although it should count because they didn’t know the children weren’t real).
The idea of “intrusive surveillance” was interesting to me because while privacy is important , I feel like this project wasn’t necessarily “intrusive” because they were the ones that approached the project. Although I see the dangers of non-professional investigations, overall, I feel like this project was carefully laid out and successful, so I’m here for it.
The animation and modeling itself, while impressive (understanding what making that would have entailed with technology available at the time), showed me once again how fast these programs and CG improve, and also how fast we adjust our expectations. While those men fell for those virtual children then, most probably won’t fall for it now; if we ever wanted to work in this field, we’d have to constantly be keeping up.
In “To Be or Not to Be Eaten: The Survival of Traditional Storytelling,” Zipes begins with a quote form The Body Never Lies which comments on the practice of sacrificing children, and how that used to be deeply rooted in our cultures and even now, it isn’t completely gone–it’s now in the form of having to respect and honor our parents without question. Zipes continues throughout the chapter to comment on the role of tradition in fairy tales. He argues that if we don’t question problematic traditions and ideals these stories are rooted in, then we lose preserving the imaginative vision and put our children at risk (reaffirming and teaching values that shouldn’t be followed).
The section that stood out to me most was when he talked about cannibalism and child abuse through Hansel and Gretel and Abraham. This was a fun section to think through because I realized I never once questioned the witch wanting to eat Hansel and Gretel. I just accepted it as “just how she was.” But when I was raised Christian and heard the story of Abraham, I remember feeling weird about Abraham. I know I was supposed to learn from Abraham and his courageous faith, but I was more horrified at the experience the son probably went through.
I think the discrepancy comes from two places: 1. Abraham was the actual father while the witch was a stranger–it seemed more acceptable for a stranger to want to be horrible vs your own father being okay with sacrificing your life. 2. The story of Abraham was told as a ‘real life event’ while Hansel and Gretel was clearly a story that takes place in another world. I understood Hansel and Gretel was telling me strangers are scary, but I also knew witches weren’t real, but the story of Abraham made ‘evil parents’ real.
Zipes delves into why Abraham was respected despite his obvious child abuse. He then brings in the aspect of patriarchy. In the interview with Mr. Feiler, Mimi interrupts Mr. Feiler to say the mother would have had a different approach, and that Abraham shouldn’t have been so quick to sacrifice his children. Again, this was an example of old traditions that should be reevaluated to make sure these stories don’t reinforce harmful practices and values, which I agree with. These values are instilled at a young age, and it’s important to provide love and nurture when they’re young.
Philip Pullman Rewrites The Brothers Grimm:
In this interview, Pullman talks about his process and thoughts on Grimm fairy tales and the role of morality in fairy tales. The general image we get when we imagine the Brothers Grimm collecting stories is through adventurous oral encounters, but in fact, they were academics. The reason it feels like they collected them through wild interactions is because they “are a sort of snapshot of something in movement.” I heavily relate to this characterization of fairy tales–even the ones I read, they feel like a story told, not a story read. Pullman also talks about how these fairy tales are driven by morality because we are moral beings. We want the good guys rewarded and the bad guys punished–a sentiment that makes me angry when stories don’t pan out this way (which reminds me of an article about why Korean Dramas are so popular despite it being predictable: people want to see the good guy on top and it’s satisfying to have your guesses confirmed). My favorite part about the interview was the difference in writing style. Grimm used a lot of adverbs but Pullman says he cut down as many as he could. I’ve only read fairy tales in Korean, so thinking about the style of fairy tale writing (which I haven’t thought of outside of Korean context) was interesting.
The Challenge of Retelling Grimms’ Fairy Tales:
Pullman writes about how the Grimms collected and rendered the stories, and how he interpreted the same stories. He talks about wanting to create the clearest versions of the most interesting stories, and goes through characterizations he deems important in fairy tale/story telling: conventional stock figures, celerity, absence of imagery and description, way of writing that isn’t text, and tone. Each all relate back to his idea of “clarity”: The characters are straight forward and one dimensional, timeline is sped up, descriptions are simple and limited, story is written as if it was told, and his last advice regarding tone: the most you can do is aim for clarity. The concept of “they are too easy for children and too difficult for adults” really rang true for me (and often how I feel about Dr. Seuss books). Growing up, I never considered these stories to be simple, or to “lack in depth description” because in my head, I have a very clear and detailed image of what I imaged these places to be (plated with gold, sparkling shoes, etc). But, now I think the focus of the story on the moral and less on the details of the imagery helped me create my own world (it didn’t occur to me until recently that my idea of a certain fairy tale might be completely different than someone else’s–unless we’re talking about a Disney movie).
Zipes explores the origin of fairy tales, which reminded me of the “Everything is a remix” theme which is seen in all other genres. Having read many different variations of the same story from different cultures, I wasn’t very surprised, but questioning the assumption that fairy tales were spread orally was a bit new. Because I imagined these stories being passed down (esp because these stories were being told to children, who then would grow up and tell the same stories), I assumed it was an oral tradition, not a written one.
The idea of a story evolving to fit a situation/environment to induce wonder makes sense, and reminded me of Jiayi saying she didn’t know what a ballroom when it was mentioned in certain stories. Zipes says these changes make it difficult to pin down the ideological meaning of these stories.
He also makes a point about how our view of fairy tales changed. We often assume these stories are only for gullible people, but back in the day, everyone believed in magic. This doesn’t make them stupid–they knew to tell from probable and improbable, but they also had a connection to these stories, which is why these stories were able to survive for long. When the church came along, they recreated, then reclassified the “probable” and the “improbable.” And to make it “improbable,” they feminized it to dismiss the stories they didn’t want circulating. Origins of how things became feminized is so interesting to me, because even though fairy tales and these stories are considered “girly” today, men dominate the actual field (like many others).
He then examines the spread and effect of fairy tales in Europe and North America, such as the German translations of ‘”French” fairy tales. The most interesting note in these sections were how the Grimms initially thought they were doing a “German collection,” but later realized these tales were just pan-European with various mutual influences. I thought the story of Korean Cinderella was a very traditional Korean story because it had traditional Korean names, clothes, culture, and food in it, but it was just a variant of all the other Cinderella stories. In the twentieth century, fairy tales represented a more “idealized concept of childhood,” which is what I grew up with, and I can’t decide whether growing up with unsanitized versions would have been necessarily bad for my childhood.