This week, I completed my storyboard and added more movements to the mood board.
After talking to Professor Tim, I found that my story does not have a consistent style. So this week, I started to try some similar style drawing like the Cat and star picture.(autumn scene)
I haven’t deleted some of the testings I have tried because I am still finding which one is the best style for my animation.
Tool: Adobe Animate, Adobe After Effect
For this week’s progress, mainly, I wanted to review the skills and techniques we have learnt in the lab. After taking Wednesday’s class, I found the AE was particularly amazing and quite efficient to deal with motion (especially for fixed images.)
Moreover, the new skill of drawing and sketching with different layers are also very helpful and time-saving. I also tried this in my short demo to test the differences between the real photos and the drawings. I think the drawings are quite good with black and white, and it reveals some feelings of combining modern construction with the history and the track of time. I really enjoyed drawing and sketching with the new techniques.
For the next stage for me, my plan is to collect more pics, sounds, videos about the thesis I want to express, and the story of Shanghai I wanted to tell, both during the holiday this weekend and while I am doing the Street Food project around Shanghai.
I am glad I did these trials now, so I see that green screening won’t work very well with my project. Because the paper house and tree have too much shadow – that I love the most in them, keying doesn’t work out well. Also, I played around with the lighting too, tried some ways how they would look like. Even though, the green screen failed, I found some cool ways to light my little forest.
(I want to use autumn colours, mainly brown, yellow and green.
Though I do not have work with rotoscoping yet, I plan to implement more advanced shots of body movements in the future. The technique work I currently have involves using a tablet and Animate CC to illustrate the style I plan on working with – solid colors, a slightly sketchy background, and fluidity.
The final animation story is refined from my storyboard into an abstract interpretation of personal vices. Though I don’t smoke, I use the metaphor of other people smoking to tie into how even if I don’t smoke cigarettes, I smoke bad memories, insecurities, anger, and other bad habits. Even though I shouldn’t, I inhale and exhale deadly things. These metaphors are essentially grounded in the animatic I created last week, except the overall story will be based on a central scene, and the abstract animations are focused on one particular emotion: shame. Shame of not having control of personal vices, and the way that can be illustrated in a scene on a late night balcony, smoking with friends.
The first animation is a sketch, considering how to potentially implement words into the animation in a more poetic sense. I wanted to create an animation that visualizes the idea of overthought.
The 10-second animation is a more polished version of the metaphor of drinking bad memories that I will incorporate in my film. The bottle will soon shrink down, revealing piles of bottles all around a figure slumped over in a chair. The liquids each have dark memories sealed in them, not to be opened, but returned back to in shame.
I like the idea of having a lot of white space, and the central part of the animation is really simple lines revealing shots in the center. I might explore changing the color of the background, but otherwise keeping simple, solid shapes as the way of showing scenes.
FINAL SHOT SCENE:
- balcony: outside apartment, overlooking city. 4 or five kids sitting in chairs.
- close up 1: face smiling and moving out of shot, right as they pull cigarette out of mouth
- close up 2: hand flicking cigarette so ash falls
- In the midst of these shots is an ever so faint script of words saying “I don’t smoke” repeatedly
- Distorted figure not smoking, outline shaking constantly. Figure has a cross on their shoulder.
- Close up: figure’s face becomes clear, they change their position from looking down to looking over, each frame of movement visible, leaving a trail.
- Trail leads to new transition of a guy leaning against a wall with a cigarette. His shape transitions into a bottle (above) that becomes filled .
- The bottle turns into rows and rows of bottles that move down the screen ultimately to a hand reaching out.
- The bottles then turn into hand sanitizer, sugar, money, a phone, all rapidly moving in unison, until ulimately becoming a cigarette. The outstretched hand takes the cigarette and lifts it, revealing a face. the face inhales what is not smoke but words. Words of shame, guilt, personal cries for help, feeling trapped and addicted, all being inhaled and creating the shape and outline of the smoker.
- Face moves from looking to the side to facing the audience.
- Zoom out, figure is in a cellar with bottles and bottles of shame. Each filled with bad memories and addictions.
- Bottles transform into past selves, younger children, and blue ghosts, representing the future. They tower over the figure and cast even more shame.
- Figure collapses, words composing the figure splay out into smoke
- Smoke moves into the root of a tip of a cigarette, showing the hand of the figure again, on the balcony, with the cigarette.
- Scene of smoking again, with the words “I don’t smoke.”
- Figure is crying, inhales. Then camera moves away from the hand to the balcony, where there’s an ashtray.
- scene fades, leaving the words “I don’t smoke” which then also fade.
I anticipate this narrative to change as I work, but this gives me enough work to do an animations to create until the story is fully sharpened
This time I used figures that drew by myself instead of using others’ pictures. In the last assignment, I have ready test several functions of Aftereffects, and it worked pretty well. This time I also used composition as one of my recourses to add into the main composition. Though it lower down the speed when the software manipulated it, it appears to be smooth and perfect when I export it. For this scene, I put few objects and used the timing function, though it appeared that they are zoomed out together, actually they just fellow their own path. And I also added sound to it. So this might be my first scene, and the style will keep the same in the fellowing scenes.
This week I roughly finished the first part —— heart and city. It is composed of two elements: the heart and the cardiogram. For the heart, I drew the picture in Photoshop and made it zoom in and out with After Effects. In terms of the cardiogram, I used the effect of vegas so that the line could “flash”.
I also started to work on the walking cycle in the part of eyes. I drew six frames of the character and put them into Animate, but the walking was not natural enough right now. I need to add some in-betweens later to make it walk more smoothly.
Here is the link to my moodboard: https://francief.tumblr.com/
Updated on Tumblr.
My main goal for this week was to determine the software and techniques I’d like to use for my animation. At first, I had two possible techniques in mind: hand-drawn animation and digital animation.
At first, I was leaning more towards hand-drawn animation because I like the style that some hand-drawn animations have. I tested this technique by creating stills of what I wanted my animation to look like and then scanning them.
After scanning them and looking at the stills, I realized that it was much better to use a tablet and draw with it. This was mainly because it’s easier to make the animation as there’s onion skinning and you can be constantly checking if the animation is working unlike with hand drawn animation. Another reason why I decided to switch to digital is that I didn’t like the quality of the scanning. It added a graininess to my drawings that I didn’t like.
For my digital animation, I used Adobe Animate and After Effects. It was definitely easier to work with these two softwares than just my pencil and paper.
Here’s a short test animation I made:
I definitely felt more comfortable with this technique so I’ll keep using it as I continue working on my animation.
Here is a link to my animation on checking the different styles of movement of the train:
This week I spent a lot of time designing the style of the animation and looking how the train design would look on the projector. You can see different sketches below. It took me a while to figure out how to show that these are separate carriages, but still leaving the style minimalistic.