Emergency… Emergency!

New term. New Brief! Oh how exciting. I don’t mean that sarcastically by the way, I’m actually quite excited for this brief, because we get to work with actual clients!!! So I can get an actual taste of what working with clients will be like when I’m working in the industry.

We were visited by the clients yesterday, and they each presented their briefs and show us what they wanted from us. There were a lot of interesting briefs, ones ranging from a Music video, to preparation for a colonoscopy, even one for creating ideas for a movie in china. Ultimately my group, which consists of Adam Cox and Lydia Ayoubi, chose to go for an animation about what to do when an emergency vehicle is approaching behind you. As boring as it sounds to the others it appealed to us more creatively more than the other briefs, we could picture how we could approach in several ways compared to the others. So once that was decided we started generating ideas.

The brief wants us to create a sort of tutorial video of what to do when a blue light vehicle is approaching, so we figured that we were going to do an animation where we would show a variety of scenarios that drivers would be put in, and show what to do and what not do, this way we can present the information that is required for divers to know about as well as giving us opportunities to make the video humorous as well.

 

Target Audience

Our clients informed us that the Target Audience for the animation should be aimed at learner drivers as well as new and existing drivers, so an age bracket of 16-30.

The Look

Image result for dumb ways to die

YouTube. 2017. Dumb Ways to Die – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJNR2EpS0jw. [Accessed 22 April 2017].

As we talked to our clients they informed us that they would like the video to have a style similar to the game ‘Dumb ways to Die’, mostly because they weren’t too bothered with a super realistic characters and that the ‘D.W.T.D’ style is quite appealing. Plus with our TA being learner drivers and existing drivers we want an appealing style so that people will be interested in the video.

Figure It Out

I’ve done some character designs and idea generating today. WHOOP!

RoughCharacterDesigns

I was pretty confused with the brief before today. I wasn’t sure which approach to take whether to do a pitch or a discussion between two characters. Although the pitch was the easiest to do, it’ll be quite difficult to write 1250 words without rambling. As for the discussion, it’ll be difficult to include topics about Cinematography and Film Language without forcing it.

StoryIdeas

So I discussed with Jemma, and after some thought, we came up with a great approach. Instead of doing one or the other, I can try combine the two approaches in a way. I’d write the discussion between a Human and a Toon, with some minor references to other Live-Action meets Cartoon films. After that’s done I will make a Storyboard of the short scene, and name and list all the camera movements I will use, on top of that some character sketches and designs with notes about the way they look.

So I started thinking of the story that will unfold. I came up with a few good ideas, but the idea of having a toon con-man trying to sell false goods to an outsider, kind of stuck with me. It reminded me of Stan Pines from Gravity Falls, and his constant quest to con the town and get rich.

CharacterConcept

Here’s a sketch on the Con-Man Toon. I really like the design of this character and really shows that I’ve managed to adapt my own style. I’ve also took inspiration from Reaver from the Fable Series, another con-man but a lot more dangerous than Stan from GF. Although I like the character, Reavers personality is not something I want my character to have. My character is not exactly a successful con-man, and the shop that he owns isn’t the most popular. Although if a customer walks in, he does his best to dress to impress.

Image result for Stan pines

Gravity Falls: Stan Pines May Die In S02E19! | moviepilot.com. 2017. Gravity Falls: Stan Pines May Die In S02E19! | moviepilot.com. [ONLINE] Available at: https://moviepilot.com/posts/3653454. [Accessed 23 March 2017].

Image result for Reaver fable

The Fable Wiki. 2017. Reaver | The Fable Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://fable.wikia.com/wiki/Reaver. [Accessed 23 March 2017].

You’re still not finished… MWHAHAHA!!!

So at the end of last week, I was in quite the Happy state. I’ve finally finished the 10 Week project that had been the bane of my existence for quite some time, Easters just around the corner, and I was celebrating my 21st Birthday with friends and lots and lots of alcohol… But it wouldn’t be a complete term in Animation at Nottingham Trent University if there wasn’t a mini project after a really big one, just to trick you into thinking you were actually done… fool…

Anyway I’m rambling. So our contextual assignment of the year is called Toon vs Actor, where we must discuss mixing the real with the unreal or vise versa. It’s a very open project with many different approaches we can take, as long as we can discuss about various Film Languages and Cinematography techniques in our approaches.

There are 2 optional approaches that I may take with this assignment. 1 is a proposal for a Live action meets animation movie like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, or Space Jam, where I discuss how I would go about creating the film in terms of camera techniques and shots, as well as talking about the narrative. Option 2 is something similar to last terms assignment with having two characters in a discussion, presenting evidence to back up there points. I was thinking of having an Actor and a Toon discussing/arguing about each others forms of media.

YouTube. 2017. Who Framed Roger Rabbit – Trailer (HD) (1988) – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpDaNqSXxp0. [Accessed 21 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Space Jam (1996) Official Trailer – Michael Jordan, Bill Murray Movie HD – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKNy-MWjkcU. [Accessed 21 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Looney Tunes Back IN Action Trailer – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ0nFSDObX0. [Accessed 21 March 2017].

Here we have a few references I’ve dug up from memory in regards to my first option. These are okay references in terms of mixing Live Action and Reality,  and they give me a good indication of some of the techniques that each films use, like the video below.

YouTube. 2017. The Making of Who Framed Roger Rabbit – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty4xkdBbnOk. [Accessed 21 March 2017].

As for the 2nd option I was thinking the two characters are in the unreal world, maybe the Actor gets stuck somehow, and meets up with the toon, which’ll lead to the discussion.

Image result for adventure time world

Pinterest. 2017. 1000+ images about Adventure time on Pinterest | Its always, Dolphins and The pillow. [ONLINE] Available at: https://uk.pinterest.com/nosleeparcade/adventure-time/. [Accessed 21 March 2017].

Star vs. the Forces of Evil Wiki. 2017. Mewni | Star vs. the Forces of Evil Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://starvstheforcesofevil.wikia.com/wiki/Mewni. [Accessed 21 March 2017].

Image result for gravity falls mabel world

The Entertainment Nut. 2017. Episode Review: Gravity Falls (Season 2, Episode 19) – Weirdmageddon, Part 2 | The Entertainment Nut. [ONLINE] Available at: https://theentertainmentnut.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/episode-review-gravity-falls-season-2-episode-19-weirdmageddon-part-2/. [Accessed 21 March 2017].

In the discussion between the Actor and the Toon, they will journey through the world that the Toon lives in. This’ll be one of the discussion points that the Actor will make, saying the world that the Toon lives in is crazy and dangerous, or something like this. Something similar to the world of Adventure Time, or The Kingdom of Mewni from Star vs The Forces of Evil or even Mabel Land from Gravity Falls, places which are full of weird and wonderful things that wouldn’t happen in the real world.

A new look

So if you’ve been following my blog recently you know that I’ve been having a bit of trouble coming up with, and deciding on a solid overall plot to what will happen in my next animation.

To fix this I went and had a word with Debra and Andy, to see whether or not they could help me with deciding which story elements were the best. And after some discussion we came up with, what I strongly believe to be a solid story plan. The robbers will enter through an air vent like normal, but as they enter they must pass a laser grid and try and snag the diamond, that is protected by a guard dog, with a fishing rod. But unfortunately they accidentally set of the alarm as well as the dog, and so they need to work together to get out of there with the Diamond.

With this idea I have a lot of opportunities to create suspense as well as tension within the first half of the animation, and then pick it up in the second when they’re being chased.

teddyandpatrick

Plus as a side note I’ve re-designed my two bank robbers, so that the two of them looked different from one another, as well as give them names and traits. Although in the image above I didn’t update they’re traits as I’ve switched Teddy from being the smart and clever one to being the short tempered but creative one, and Patrick the smart and calm one. Something similar to Spike and Whitey from Flushed Away

Image result for flushed away spike and whitey

Flushed Away Wiki. 2017. Image – Whitey and Spike Promo.jpg | Flushed Away Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://flushedaway.wikia.com/wiki/File:Whitey_and_Spike_Promo.jpg. [Accessed 19 January 2017]

Also I did a little sketch of Daenerys from Game of Thrones in a Disney style whilst I was watching GoT. You’re welcome.

Think, Think, Think….

I pitched my idea plan to my class, which was a success. A lot of people liked the idea, saying that has a lot of promise, with great potential for various gags and jokes. But there are a few improvements that the class picked up on, that I am going to need to think about.

One of the comments were about my characters, although they’re really good looking characters, they both look exactly the same despite having different coloured gloves. To fix this I decided that Red will have a Red ski mask, and be quite well built, where as Blu will have a Blue ski mask and be a lot skinnier and smaller than Red. Something similar to Laurel and Hardy, who both have different character traits that people can recognise them by.

Image result for laurel and hardy

Laurel & Hardy in Cobh – Cobh Cobh. 2017. Laurel & Hardy in Cobh – Cobh Cobh. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.visitcobh.com/index.php/2009/10/20/laurel-hardy-in-cobh/. [Accessed 16 January 2017].

The other comment was that my story was really fleshed out like it should’ve been. What they meant was that although I had the overall idea, I don’t consider on what will happen and when. So to fix I’ve been spending today just brain storming what will happen during animation, obviously I had the beginning, but I had no idea what the obstacle is and how they would get to the objective. I like the thought off one of y characters having to lower the other one to get the diamond, something similar to the first Mission: Impossible movie, it’ll be a nice gag in itself as well as reference to it.

Image result for mission impossible

Mental Floss UK. 2017. 16 Feasible Facts About the ‘Mission: Impossible’ Movies | Mental Floss UK. [ONLINE] Available at: http://mentalfloss.com/article/66706/16-feasible-facts-about-mission-impossible-movies. [Accessed 16 January 2017].

But these are just ideas at the moment. I’m going to have to have a word with Andy and my tutors about my story ideas see if they can help me.

Getting back into the routine

First of I would like to say I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. And secondly I’ve got a brand new project that will most likely isolate me from having a social life. Ah the joys of being a uni student.

Anyway the new project is quite a good one. The project is to have 2 character who have to work together to overcome an obstacle.

Here’s a few notes from my lecture about what ideas I have:

notesnotes-2

So if you could read my terrible handwriting, I managed to come up with a few ideas of how I want to approach this assignment. Either 2 workers, working together to move something. A heist gone wrong. 2 people trying to communicate with one another. So far these are just ideas I’m going to expand upon them more tomorrow.

YouTube. 2017. Friends Funny Scene – PIVOT!!!!! – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tam7KO4qhUI. [Accessed 09 January 2017].

This is a fun scene from ‘Friends’ its not a very good example of 2 characters working together, but I like the idea of one character thinking that they know what they’re doing, but they really don’t.

Whilst writing the notes a thought came to mind. I’m debating whether or not to have dialogue, although having dialogue will provide some good fun for the audience, having no dialogue may provide to be the better solution.

YouTube. 2017. Training Daze – Episode 5 – Red vs. Blue Season 12 – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaIuPO_DS-c. [Accessed 09 January 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Stupid Soldiers – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRQTAKtanjc. [Accessed 09 January 2017].

I’ve looked at a few good examples with scenes where there’s no dialogue, and the characters communicate with hand gestures and ‘other things’. It’s seems to be quite effective and provides good entertainment. This will help me with my choice of having no dialogue or having dialogue.

Concept and stuff

Meet Sebastian and Prof. Vantergaar.

When I designed the characters I didn’t want to create to human characters like I normally would have done, so I decided to make them aliens. And they look pretty good.

conceptforbutlermindmapofnamescharacterexpression

I decided to give Sebastian a big body type, and the Professor a skinny body type. This way I (hopefully) give the impression that Sebastian can look after himself, whereas the Professor can’t (obvioulsy) and has to rely on him most of the time. I’ll have the dynamic pose done by tomorrow ready for the deadline.

Rough draft for Script

I’ve done a rough, incomplete draft of my script. So far so good I’m going to try and implement some of the research I’ve done into the script.

Scene. Sebastian and Prof. Vestergaard are queuing at cinema to watch the recently released animation ‘Bolama’. After losing his body to a recent fight with his enemies, what’s left of his remains is now attached to his butler/subordinate Sebastian, who taking the opportunity of his new position to do something he wants. The professor is not happy.

 

Professor Vestergaard (P): “HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME!!! I should be back in my laboratory, plotting my revenge, not watching some cliché family film for kids”

Sebastian (S): “I’ve been your subordinate for decades and not once have I had the chance that I wanted to do, and now that you’ve been reduced to nothing more than a head I can finally do the things that I’ve always wanted to do. Besides not all animated films are for children, this one is supposed to have a very good narrative”

P: “I don’t care, I bet it’s just another one of those musical cartoons with a strong female protagonist, which little annoying brats will go crazy for the merchandise, just like the rest in that pitiful genre”

S: “Genre?”

P: “Yes the animation genre”

S: “How dare you. Animation is not a genre.”

 

Is animation a genre?

After a long relaxing, alcohol filled weekend, I jump out of my bed at 12:00 in the afternoon to remember that, “Oh crap I’ve still got one more project to do before the holidays start”.

So this week’s project is for us to create a 500 word script about a 2 headed/split personality character arguing whether or not animation is genre, with a dynamic pose of the character.

In today’s lecture we went over a few examples of 2 headed characters as well as a example script that Phil did about a 2 headed lizard discussing about the topic.

YouTube. 2016. Family Guy Saison 9 Clip – Road to the Multiverse – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO9Onv6waWg. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

YouTube. 2016. Monster’s University “Terry Terri and Art” – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQg3bpj5ugk&feature=youtu.be&t=13. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

These a few good examples of 2 headed characters with different personalities. In the first video we see Stewie and Brian from Family Guy visit a universe where everyone as 2 heads, one happy and one sad, and the second is the introduction to character Terry-Terri from Monster University, Terry with a Y has a serious and realistic look to things, where as Terri with an I has more of a happy optimistic look on things. These examples of 2 heads with different personalities is something I want to implement into my character, because I feel as if they are more likely to argue that way, but not only that, but because they’ll have 2 different perspectives and opinions.

Arguing For or Against

In my opinion I’m against the idea of Animation being genre, I feel it’s more a style or form of storytelling, or as Brad Bird puts it in Cartoon Brew’s article about the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson saying that animation a genre, “It’s not a genre! A Western is a genre! Animation is an art form, and it can do any genre.” Cartoon Brew. 2016. Animation Is Not A Genre: Oscar Edition. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/animation-is-not-a-genre-oscar-edition-109504.html. [Accessed 05 December 2016]. But within my script I will have the 2 arguing on different sides, I’ll focus more on the against point, but as for the conclusion I may leave as an open conclusion, I don’t know, but it will some up my point.

Image result for ratchet and clank dr nefarious

Ratchet & Clank Wiki. 2016. Image – Dr. Nefarious Crayons.png | Ratchet & Clank Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://ratchetandclank.wikia.com/wiki/File:Dr._Nefarious_Crayons.png. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

Image result for ratchet and clank lawrence

Ratchet & Clank Wiki. 2016. Lawrence | Ratchet & Clank Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://ratchetandclank.wikia.com/wiki/Lawrence. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

YouTube. 2016. Ratchet and Clank Past 115 Nefarious’s Trap – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWeNZEtUh8c. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

The inspiration of the character I’m creating will come from these 2 characters from the popular game series Ratchet and Clank. To sum up the two, Dr Nefarious is an evil robot scientist hell bent on destroying all organic life, and his butler Lawrence a witty, sarcastic servant of the mad doctor. The chemistry between the 2 of them is some of the best I’ve seen in video games, especially having this (supposed) big, evil, bad guy who is heavily reliant on his butler, and I wanted to take that concept and take it one step further where, the evil “genius” that I will create, is attached to his butlers body, making the butler more superior to his once evil overlord.

YouTube. 2016. LAWRENCE! – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-nz6jiF0r8. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

Image result for evil scientist

Mad Scientist Pictures – Cliparts.co. 2016. Mad Scientist Pictures – Cliparts.co. [ONLINE] Available at: http://cliparts.co/mad-scientist-pictures. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

Image result for futurama kif

Futurama Wiki. 2016. Kif Kroker | Futurama Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Kif_Kroker. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

The look I want to for, for the scientist, will be a very generic looking mad scientist, but with a weak look. As for the butler I want him to look big and tough but his personality will be calm and collective.

Image result for brutes halo

reddit. 2016. Le’t talk about Brutes : halo. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/halo/comments/342dmr/let_talk_about_brutes/. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

Image result for butler

Mail Online. 2016. Beat baggage charges by bringing a butler: How it’s cheaper to buy an extra seat than taking an extra suitcase | Daily Mail Online. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2227239/Beat-baggage-charges-bringing-butler-How-cheaper-buy-extra-seat-taking-extra-suitcase.html. [Accessed 05 December 2016].

MVIM Style research

Image result for cel shading thickImage result for cel shading thick

Intermediate Computer Graphics and OpenGL: Graphics in Video Games: Cel-Shading. 2016. Intermediate Computer Graphics and OpenGL: Graphics in Video Games: Cel-Shading. [ONLINE] Available at: http://wesleygamedesigner.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/graphics-in-video-games-cel-shading.html. [Accessed 28 October 2016].

Wikipedia. 2016. Cel shading – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cel_shading. [Accessed 28 October 2016].

I want my animation to have a cel shaded style to it. The reason for this is because the theme of the animation will be quite comical and humorous, so going for a cartoon look will definitely fit well that.

As for how I do it I will be using the Toon Shader in Maya to give my animation the cel shaded style. I’m not sure whether to have thick or thin lines, but I will experiment when I get closer to the end.

Image result for toon shader

DeviantArt. 2016. Pokeballs – Blender toon shader + Freestyle test by Aelspire on DeviantArt. [ONLINE] Available at: http://aelspire.deviantart.com/art/Pokeballs-Blender-toon-shader-Freestyle-test-407584271. [Accessed 28 October 2016].

MVIM Research

Image result for morph

Morph. 2016. Morph. [ONLINE] Available at: http://amazingmorph.com/. [Accessed 28 October 2016].

Image result for simple characters

Pinterest. 2016. 1000+ images about simple characters on Pinterest | Minimal, Bald guy and Animation. [ONLINE] Available at: https://uk.pinterest.com/dsprw/simple-characters/. [Accessed 28 October 2016].

When it comes to characters I really like those with a simplistic design to them. In my mind, with a simplistic character you can pretty much do anything with whether it be a stick man or a ball with hands. In mind of my character I want him to resemble ‘Morph’ a little bit, the big head and glove like hands will allow to save time when creating him Maya. As for his design I’m going go for the standard red shirt, blue trousers and black/grey shoes combo.

Image result for stick figureImage result for stick figure

Girl Stick Figure Running | Clipart Panda – Free Clipart Images. 2016. Girl Stick Figure Running | Clipart Panda – Free Clipart Images. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.clipartpanda.com/categories/girl-stick-figure-running. [Accessed 28 October 2016].

Clipart – Stick figure pushing. 2016. Clipart – Stick figure pushing. [ONLINE] Available at: https://openclipart.org/detail/202673/stick-figure-pushing. [Accessed 28 October 2016].

During my animation the viewer will be able to see what the character will be thinking. This will be executed in a thought bubble where a mini version acts out the various of scenarios that the character thinks off. As for it’s style, as well as what will appear in the thought bubble, will be stick figures. This is mostly due to the fact that I can animate them very easily, but also it won’t be very time constraining when making them.

In this clip of RWBY, you can see the character Nora over exaggerating about what will happen if they loose their match. This is something that my character will inherit during the end of my animation, where he begins to imagine different scenarios that could potentially ruin the date.