Monday, 31 January 2011

Character planning

After many rough sketches, I have finally decided how my main human character (I've chosen the name Ana for her) is going to look. I wanted her to appear very timid and unsure about herself, with a delicate frame and an almost fragile sense of 'femininity.' I sketched out the main outline of her features in my sketchbook, then scanned the image into photoshop and added additional detail and some colour. Here are some pages from my sketchbook which show my progression on Ana.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Character Design!

Due to the indcredibly detailed style of Alphonse Mucha's paintings, Im'm not really sure how my main female character should look. I could make her look realistic which would link more to his style, but sometimes too-realistic characters can look a bit dull and wooden. Then again if I make the character too abstract then it wont fit into the general style that I need to focus on.. hmm, tis a tricky one! I spent yesterday doodling some potential ideas for how I want her face to look, some are more stylised than others but I think that most of them could work well. Oo also here's a life drawing from this week, I'm definetly not putting the others up because they are truly terrible! :s

Pre-Production Research

I've spent the last week looking into the words I've been given for my pre-production bible and so far I'm pretty happy with them al. The only one I'm a bit stuck on is satire, because it usually leans toward political humour which isn't really what I want to focus on. But after looking into more definitions of the word, it doesn't have to just be poking fun at politics and can just be used to parody a specific subject by ridiculing its ideas in an exaggerated fashion. A good quote to sum satire up would be 'First it makes people laugh, then it makes them think.' Therefore, I think I am going to focus on making a parody of British culture and how uptight and reserved we can be towards strangers.
To map out all of my thoughts, I drew out a detailed spider diagram which helped me visualise what ideas were worth going into more depth, and which ones weren't going anywhere. I also collected some images of Alphonse Mucha's work and attempted to try out his style through little doodles. Here are some pages from my sketch book :)

Plot for Pre-Production

Rightio, after a lot of alterations and scribbling-outs I have finally settled on an idea for my Pre-Production bible story line.. here it goes!:

The main character will be a girl who has moved from abroad (not sure where yet) to Britain, and is struggling to get to grips with the stuffy 'alien' culture. In an attempt to feel welcome, she visits a fairground where the bright lights and laughter feel welcoming and almost like home. In a moment of reckless thrill, she decides to ride on the biggest rollercoaster to try and feel alive, but instead the sheer force of the ride actually tears her 'astral body/spirit' from her physical form due to the current fragile nature of her mind and heart.
Detatched and alone, her astral body is bemused by it's surroundings and doesn't have a clue where it's human has gone. With no other options it attempts to seek out it's lost human, in the meantime desperately trying to fit in with and understand the British culture and all the while making a parody of what is supposidly the 'right' way to act in this country (e.g having to excuse yourself from the table, the correct way to hold a knife and fork, love of gossip, etc.)
Mirroring the astral body's feeling of loss, the unattatched human becomes a blank being seeing as part of her is missing. She keeps her head down and gets on with her empty life by echoeing her astral body's attempts at fitting into british lifestyle.
Both struggle without the other, and in a desperate attempt to feel warmth and joy again they both simultaniously seek out the same fairground where they lost each other once again. Both characters long to feel whole again, and they both get their wish when they are re-united at last by the entrance of the rollercoaster...

A bit long-winded, I know!, but it does use all of the words I have to include within the plot thank goodness! I was thinking it could be a one-off film rather than a series, and I thought it might be nice to not have any dialogue, just gentle music (possibly piano?) and some sound effects.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Alphonse Mucha

For my pre-production bible style I was given the theme of an 'Alphonse Mucha' type of drawing technique, which consists of incredible detail and subtle colour.
Alphonse Mucha was a Czech art nouveau painter and art decorator who focused mainly on drawing women in a beautifully feminine intricate fashion. After looking through his work I am really happy that I have this style to work on because it is exactly what I love.. detail and lovely colours! Mucha also uses quite a lot of gold in his paintings which really interests me because in my A-level artwork I focused my projects around gustav klimt and used stylised swirling patterns and gold leaf in my paintings which worked really well and echoed Mucha's style. Although transferring his style to animation would probably be very tricky due to the detail, focusing on Alphonse Mucha's work could potentially lead to some very unique and dramatic design ideas. Here are a few examples of his paintings...

Life Drawing

I've just realised that I've hardly ever put my life drawings on my blog and I've managed to lose quite a few of them :( I will have to put them straight on here as soon as I get back home!
Here are some from this weeks session :)

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Pre-Production words!

To make the pre-production project a bit more varied, we had to pick cards from four different piles, each one focusing on a specific catagory: character, setting, show and style. On each card is a certain word that relates to one of the catagories mentioned, and with these words we have to create an engaging and dynamic pre-production bible idea. We don't have to use the words in a completely literal sense, but we do have to incorporate them into each of the catagories that I mentioned earlier. The words that I received were:

Character: Astral body
Setting: Fairground
Show: Satire
Style: Alphonse mucha

I'm quite excited about this project because my drawing skills have got a tad bit rusty over the past few months and there's sill so much I need to learn about the pre-production side of animation. I'm pretty happy with these words, though its a bit tricky trying to find a way to get them all to link!

Pre Production fandango!

Rightio, after hearing all about the projects for this term, it sounds like it's gonna be a busy one!
We have been given the choice of either focusing on pre-production or post production, each with a different brief and specific criterias. With the pre-production project, we have to produce a detailed production bible for an idea that has been formed from four cards that we had to pick at random, all of which had certain words printed on them relating to important categories (show, character, setting, style.)
The post-production brief is a group project, however it doesn't have to evolve around a specific story. Instead it focuses on the art of special effects and shows how much can be achieved through specific programmes and dynamic ideas.
I have spent this past week trying to decide which one to pick which has been difficult! I am particularly interested in the pre-production side of animation and my strengths lie in this area, but I wasn't sure whether nor not I was just staying too much in my comfort zone. On the other hand, I would absolutely love to learn all about the post production side of animation because I think it's such a useful thing to know how to do and the potential for what you can achieve is incredible. But in some ways I think that this project would be completely throwing myself in the deep end, which admittedly can be the best thing to do, but I can see myself panicking and giving up on the whole project due to frustration and lack of inspiration.. sounds pathetic I know! I think whjat I will do is focus on the pre-production project, because there is still so much I need to learn about that side of animation since I feel my drawing skills have got extremely rusty! But I will also attend the post production sessions to learn as much as I can and practise in my own time.

New Term= Kick up the bum!

Yep, it is now another start to a new term, and once again my blog has become lonely by my lack of attention to it! I should have made one of my new years resolutions to regularly update my blog with pretty piccies and visual loveliness! But nevermind, new term means new motivation!(hopefully!) I'm realising how many programmes I still have not got to grips with and this is worrying me, so over the next few weeks I am going to do loads of tutorials on photoshop, after effects etc until I feel comfortable using them on my own without having a nervous breakdown!
Right, lets get cracking! :)