Sunday, 19 April 2015

All the problems of 2 characters and a setting

I just thought I'd make a post here where I catalogued all of the problems I had through out the two characters and a settings project and what I have done so far to solve them because honestly there have been so many and I don't want anyone to think my film is less than I wanted through my own choice. There's still some things I want to work on and that I'm unhappy with but I'll get to that once I've finished the film. Which will definitely be by the end of the week because of the final hand in on Friday.

Ok so the first problem I had was that my characters needed to inhabit the same space while not being anything similar in composition or style. Initially I thought that it would be as simple as one live action character and one photoshop drawn character. So that's what I did, however at this late stage in the game I still don't think they look quite right and It really didm't turn out that simple.

My next problem came when I tried to animate the shadow using the puppet pin tool on after effects, which typically gives this great warping appearance that worked perfectly on my text shadow earlier but it really didn't work as well on the real thing because I couldn't actually apply a mask to create the pins on a transparent image like the shadow mostly was. Following this I knew I had some options;

  1. To draw him out frame by frame in photoshop and just attempt to get the same shifting effect I wanted.
  2. Create a small mostly opaque background to stop the layer being transparent and try the pin tool again.
  3. Or rearrange the scenes so that I could still use the pin tool.
I immediately avoided the last idea as I really didn't want to not have my characters on the screen at the same time as each other because that would entirely defeat the point of two characters and a setting. I didn't really want to try the second either because I was 100% sure that it would either not work or it would change the light balance at certain points of the film that would be difficult and time consuming to re adjust.
So I opted for mostly option one and a little bit of option two (as I had one scene where this would apply without trouble.) However the problem now seems that these two options don't merge together very well. I've watched it back 100 times now and I'm still not sure that I like the part where I use the pin tool as against the parts where I just hand draw it. It's a shame really because that was the original plan and due to it's mostly impractical nature, the only place I actually used it looks wrong now. So I'm going to show it to a few people and see what they think before I remove just to check I'm not being to harsh with my editing decisions. 

In addition to this I had one major problem with my stop motion animation. He was to heavy to stand on just one leg. Which meant I had to remove a part of the script where he kicked something and gave himself a fright and lead to him seeing his own shadow as a threat. I pretty much improvised on the spot for this one and I'm still hoping the entire film made sense in the end. But in actuality because it's inside this child's head I don't know how much logic you can apply to a child's imagination to make it make sense. Also I'm not sure it needs explained until the end. So that's how I got around that one.

My biggest concern at the moment is that the whole thing doesn't actually make any sense. I'm still worried about the big reveal not being pushed enough but that's another thing I'll ask some people tomorrow when I see them and hope I can fix all the problems by the end of the week. As that's all the time I have for this. 

I still don't have music as well. I'm really hoping I can get Andy's help or someone else's because it's a very small piece and not all of it needs music and really it need not be complicated as it just needs to change tension levels with the character. That's all I need and hopefully I can get someone to help me out...

All in all at this point I'm still a bit stressed.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Ferrofluid jewellery

Check it out yo! I finished the film and honestly I'm pretty happy with it. Turned out good. Maybe runs a bit long in a few places but I'm actually very pleased with it. Go us for being awesome! I think it feels intelligent, it's not long enough that you get bored with it. The language isn't too complicated so it's understandable. Yup definitely pleased with it. I think the style is very sophisticated as well. I was a bit worried it might look childish if we were using black plasticine so the textured grey background adds a bit of sophistication. I also thing limiting the colour pallet means that you can concentrate on the actual content of the piece and not get distracted by bright colours and pretty pictures. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The jewellery collaborative

Ok so as mentioned the last few weeks we've been doing a collaborative with jewellery. There' been me, Ana and Vas from jewellery working on it.

At the start of the project we sat down and thought about what kind of jewellery we could make. The aim of the project was to enhance our understanding of one of the pieces by the inclusion of the other. So without the film the jewellery would make less sense than it could and vis versa. So we immediately knew we wanted to create a piece of jewellery that animated itself. Meaning to say kinetic jewellery. Here's another link to my pinterest with all my ideas through out the project in them because there are a few pieces in there that we looked at to start out with:

So we thought about it for a while and were really intrigued by the idea of these necklaces that the image moves across when you turn your head. We liked the idea that it was propelled by something that you do all the time anyway. It was quite whimsical and we liked that. We however felt that because of their simplicity there wasn't anywhere for Ana and I to add anything to them through film.

Then Vas suggested we do something with ferrofluid which is something she'd used in a previous project. We instantly loved the idea and it went down really well with the staff. As things progressed the idea became how far we can push this magnetism connection and we decided it would be cool if the jewellery not only reacted to the wearers heart beat as stimulus but also other pieces of the same jewellery. So now we had several ideas to through around and the project developed in to an exploration of these ideas and themes. We knew we'd never be able to achieve all we wanted in the time we had so we decided to use that to our strength, our film now had purpose and that purpose was to fill in the gaps!

The first thing I did as a film maker was make a script. I wrote down what needed to be explained and what needed a visual interpretation to make the jewellery make sense. I wrote it out and then cut it down to a reasonable length. Then once I was happy with terminology and flow I storyboarded it out. When it came to animating admittedly I change several scenes and added things into the gaps but that always happens.

I then handed the script over to a friend and recorded him speaking it through. Once this was done there was just animating and live footage to be shot and edited.

I just finished that yesterday. Although I'm still wrestling in my head whether I'm happy with the backgrounds. I think I am, I think it adds a sophisticated edge. But with the deadline being the first day back I have no way to confirm these things with my team and I really just have to trust myself on this one...  I think I'll watch it again and make sure I'm definitely happy then submit it. Ana doesn't know anything about editing anyway and I think Vas will just be delighted about it.

So all in all thats the end of the jewellery project!