Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Progress Update

Still just working on my background images, i intend to have them fully finish at the end of next week and am currently on schedule todo so. I hit a bump when my portable hard drive corrupted and I lost about 6 hours of work the week before last.

I'm finally begging to like the images t
hat I'm producing,the mood board I created in pre-production has been a great help, Iv stuck that up on my bedroom wall along with my storyboards, character designs and concept art to keep myself thinking about the animation.

Having the storyboards up on the wall whilst drawing my backgrounds has been a great help for really quick referencing, and keeping the entire sequence of images in mind when thinking of what I actually need to prod
uce in regards to consistency and re-use of certain elements.

I have constructed a few clouds that I can re-use and combine in different ways so they look different so currently I am just working on their composition. I have also downloaded some
ground texture brushes for photoshop that I am now overlaying over my original simpler grounds and have been able toskew the image to create a good sense of depth in the shots.

Originally I just used the eraser at varying levels of opacity to create depth in the ground detail (less as it reaches into the distance). However I am now using layer masks in combination with the gradient tool to create an adjustable gradient of transparency which allows me to easily edit and re-edit the gradient opacity of the detail. Comparing the 2 techniques together, they both have their advantagesand disadvantages,so I think I'll use a combinationof the 2 for themost part to create the ground textures.

Here's 2 background images in the early stages:

and later stages:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

24/8/11 Production Report

Produciton Report (500 words)

So far in production I have been working on my backgrounds, compiling a rough sound track and fidling around testing a heat wave effect.

The main set back I have had with my backgrounds is settling on a look for them as I want them to be a distinguishing feature of my animation. The backgrounds are made up of 3 main elements- ground, sky and clouds. Firstly the general texture and colour pallet of the ground was what I was working on. I initally started with a range of 5 to 6 intitial colours and merged them and then worked towards limited my initial pallet to 3 main colours wich I think works better.

Seondly and what I am still working on is generating a texture within the ground using filters, I found the film grain filter to be effective in adding texture to the surface of the ground and the poster texture filter for adding depth in the various heights of the ground however... although the film grain filter addes a nice subtle spoted difference to the ground the colours it produces are not desirable as they do not fit within the grounds original pallet. The poster edge filter works on the difference of colour to add an outline to it so although it adds a nice depth to the ground as the ground reaches towards the horizon and more differences in colour are seen to give a feeling of distance, the poster edge filter adds more detail in the distance rather than the foreground and this is the exact opposite of what I am aiming for. Neither of these filters can be adjusted to counter act these effects.

Initially when drawing the skys for my animation I was solely using the paintbrush tool overlaying it over a photo of a sky I had tweaked the colours of using the colour balance and brightness and contrast. However finding images that matched each other and also fit the compostition of clouds that I wanted for various shots prooved to be very hard, although 1 or 2 would look great I could not find and produce an equal grade images for the skys. SO I opted to draw the skys myself, this gave them a simplier look which I'm not sure wether I like better or not but is alot eaiser to create especially with contenuity between shots. I downloaded and experimented with cloud photoshop brushes (thanks josie) which I like the effect of as the transparentys work well and I can create a layered effect.

For the colour of the sky replacing the photo backdrops I used the gradient tool too create a yellow glow near the horizon and slowly fade to the main orange colour of the sky. Overlaping this I put a gradient of orange to light orange from right to left in a document 3 times wider than my shot sizes so each shot I had a near 360 panoramic image to copy and paste from the get the right sky for the backgroudn of each shot whilst having subtle colour changes throughout, this creates a great consistency which I am very happy with and on a whole looks a lot better than the photo technique I intially had tried.

As for the rough sound track, I have the rights to the Brian Jonestown Massacre song "you look great when I'm fucked up". This will be the main sound for my film as I want a film clip kidn of feel for it, the track will be shown un interupted and un-edited. To accompany the song I have started to compile some sound effects for the animation like a gun shot, breathing, fire crackling to add to the sound scape.

I am yet to create the images that I intend to use the heat wave effect on but intitial testing (thanks for the help jack) I am really happy with, substituting the final images into the after effects project and a bit of tweaking should pose no major problems.