Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Production Journal Review

Running pretty far behind at the moment, really going to need to slog out the last couple of weeks. I've changed the animation style from hand drawn to flash to speed things up, I much prefer the hand drawn style but for the sake of getting it done I've opted for flash.

Currently I'm animating the expression changes of the characters for the close up shots, I have 2 expression changes done (with out color) and 2 to go, I've found the second expression I did looked a lot better than the first so hopefully I can expect the last 2 to look look great. It took me 1 day per expression to get it fully complete in B+W which means I should be done and ready for color after the w/e.

If each shot with body movement in it takes aprox 1 day per shot to complete then time will be tight but I should have enough to color and do special effects, focus pulls, etc.

I had a quick look into rotoscoping the explosion shot last night, the style does not fully suit the flash tweening that I have used for the face expressions. I'l rotoscope it if needed but I'm going to have a quick attempt to see if I can animate it using tweens instead.

I began animating the backgrounds in after effects, I've hit 3 unforeseen problems.
1) The composition of the shot looks fine in photoshop but having moved the clouds and cloud shadows across the ground the comp changes into something less desirable. This is not a major problem but I would like to find a solution
2) Moving the cloud shadows across the ground and keeping the shape in realistic perspective is harder than i thought.
3) I wanted to have the cloud shadows movement subtle but defiantly noticeable, its been hard to find the right balance for this. I've been experimenting with raising/lower the opacity of the clouds and the speed which they move at.

I think I will end up doing the character color in flash, I would have preferred to color them with a lot more detail in photoshop but that would have been a very lengthy process. The up side of this however is I kind of like the solid colors for characters, detailed backgrounds combination to pull focus to the characters and help them stand out in each shot.

Running out of internet for the month has been a major hassle for quickly looking up tutorials on the net to over come smalls problems and speed up some of my processes. Also not having the latest version of flash and after effects has become a major hassle. I can not work on my running comp at home at all and I can not work on the flash files once I have worked on them at uni.

Overall the project has grown different to my vision leading me to be less motivated and I do not enjoy the work as much as I might've hoped however despite being nervous about the time frame and potential set backs I am very relieved to be able to see myself finishing the project with it looking decent and on time. I predict once the project is completed and I can no longer work on it I will look at it in a different light and hopfully like it more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Production Report 2

I've begun drawing my characters into the frames of the shots and done a couple of full colour tests, its incouraging to see what a frame from the film will look like. I've done a rough intro sequence to lay out my ideas and now just need to tidy it up, I also experimented with the sound for the film in the intro. I really need to start geting stuck into the animation. Geting cs5 or a at least the new version of after affects so i can work from home has been a hasle, havnt got it yet. I've got to print out a few for of the backgrounds to work out what size to draw the characters but besides that I'v just got ALOT of drawing to do.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Forgot to mention

Forgot to mention a slight problem I've had over the last week is the uni has updated their edition of cs from 4 to 5, Photoshop has been fine but I need to update the software at home before I can work on any of my after effects projects. Hopefully I can get CS5 asap

Where I'm up to ATM

I've finished all my backgrounds with the exception of in-larging my shot 1 canvas slightly so when the camera move happens there is no blank space in screen. Currently I'm importing all my backgrounds into the running comp after effects project, I've almost got them all in ready to start the zooms, camera moves and moving the clouds and shadows around. I'm 1 week behind where I aimed to be at the start of the semester, Im hoping I'll make this up and make some additional progress with work over the holidays at the end of next friday. I'm very aware and a bit worried about running out of time for the actual animation of the project.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I'v basically meet my milestone of having a rough sound track and backgrounds complete. I'm slightly behind as I don't think I'l get the last shot completely done by the end of tomorrow but who knows with a bit of luck I might.

Having a song already sorted is great, I'm really glad I put the effort into this early not only because I didn't need to try get sounds or songs in a rush now when I'm trying to do my backgrounds but also because having a song to work from has been great in coming up with the imagery and setting the pass and feel of the animation.

Here's some more thumbnails of the backgrounds:

Thoughts for sound

Doing the essay on sound design has lead me to re-listen to the track that I got the rights to use for the animation (Brian Jonestown Massacre's - You look great when I'm fucked up). Having my backgrounds near complete and flicking through them to the song is giving my a clearer idea of what the final thing is going to feel/look like.

I'm thinking of trying to get the rights to the Arcade Fire's track- My body is a cage, its really dramatic and I think it would add to the tension and release of the animation when the Sheriff is shot, its got a great kick in it, but I don't like my chances of getting the rights so I'll see how that goes.

I picked up a folder of great sounds from Darren the other week, I haven't sorted through them all yet but there is a lot of explosion sound bytes I'm sure I'l find 1 or 2 for the gun shot and tear explosion which will save me hours and hours of searching the net. I've already spent a few all up searching the net for sounds. Finding quality free samples is pretty hard.

Last background Trouble

Trying to complete my last background image but its proving difficult, the foreground, mid ground, background trick to create depth in the image is what I'm trying to achieve but I can't find any images or draw anything that seems to fit. I put a couple of hours into this yesterday to no avail, I'm going to ask Jack for some help in tomorrows class.