Into the woods – Thesis Film – Lighting Research

Looking at what lighting I want to achieve:

I spoke to Debra the other day about what research I should do for the blog, as I felt as if I needed to do some more research for the film but I didn’t know where to focus it. She told me do Visual Research into the environment of my film and talk about what I could include, what inspires me, why I want to include it, etc… as well as talk a bit more about the lighting.

Image result for firewatch screenshots
Campo Santo. 2017. Campo Santo. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2017].
As I’ve said before the lighting I wanted to try and replicate is something similar to that of Firewatch. They have a nice Orange/Teal colour palette going on, and the lighting complements the outdoors theme of the game, but I feel as if it doesn’t quite fit the style of the characters that I have, unless I add a bit more detail to them which I don’t want to do.

Image result for firewatch screenshots
Beautiful Pixels. 2017. Firewatch — Pyromance • Beautiful Pixels. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2017].
Image result for adventure time woods
Adventure Time Wik. 2017. Image – Bg Stock Woods.png \ Adventure Time Wiki \ FANDOM powered by Wikia. . [Acessed 12 November 2017
So I decided to have a look at other examples, and eventually ended up looking at some images of the woods of Adventure Time, and seen as my style is very similar to AT I figured it’ll be a good example to replicate, and it looks easier to achieve as well.

Image result for adventure time woods
Adventure Time Wiki. 2017. Image – Hair Fall-Off Path.jpg \ Adventure Time Wiki \ FANDOM powered by Wikia [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 November 2017].
Reference of people walking through Forests:

To help with how I’m going to make my trees as well as how dense I want the woodland to be, I going look at some examples of people walking in forest and woodlands just get an idea of how my characters are going to journey the woodland of my film.

Image result for people walking through the woods
A Walk through the Woods | SOLETOPIA. 2017. A Walk through the Woods | SOLETOPIA. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 November 2017].
One way I could approach is have them walking straight through woodland, have the trees very tall and skinny with a lot of bushy areas to block their view. But I feel as if this would be unnecessary and would take too much time to do.

Image result for characters walking through forest
Fanpop, Inc.. 2017. Post a character walking in as well as strolling through the woodland or forest – Anime Answers – Fanpop. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 12 November 2017].
Another way I could approach it is a path cutting through the forest that the brothers can walk down. This was my original idea, and I’m going use it, but thanks to looking at some examples I know how dense to make the forests and what style of trees I can use.



Welcome to the FOREST!!! – Thesis Film – Environment/Modelling

Forest with Sky

I’m going to start making the environments for my film, seen as the story is near completion. I first started with the woodland in which we start the film.

Maya view. Tree split into sections

So far it’s been an easy process, just a lot of simple modelling and duplicating, but it’s looking good so far. I need to throw some lighting in there and see what it looks like, but yeah…

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An Idea of what I could try to achieve with the Path – CGTrader. 2017. 3D asset Summer Forest | CGTrader. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 October 2017].
I’ve also had a look at some examples of forest environments. I like this one because as much as it has a simplistic it has a lot detail to it. If my current environment doesn’t work out I may try and tackle something like this.

Story BBBBBBBBEEEEEEEEEEAT!!! – Thesis Film – Storytelling/Story Beat/Research

For past couple of weeks I’ve being trying to nail down the structure of my story for the film. I’ve been bouncing around with how the story will start, what trials the brothers will face and how many? And how will it end. I’ve always known what I wanted to happen in the film, but nothing really linked together. So to help this we were told to do a Story Beat of our film and list the key events and split them into Acts and list where out Turning Points/Climax/Resolutions, this way we could look at what our story was at, and where we could improve it. Which worked because I managed to sort it out and I now a strong Skeletal structure to my story:


  • Shay and Kodi have set out on an adventure
  • Shay leads the duo with a map, while Kodi trails behind (Shay seeks for adventure and reward but has to reluctantly bring his brother along, Kodi wants to prove to Shay that he is capable to join him)
  • Kodi trips over a branch
  • Shay sighs and returns to map
  • Kodi feels ashamed and hangs his head
  • Kodi then trips down a slope
  • Shay runs after him
  • Brothers stumble onto the temple (Turning Point)


  • The two enter the temple
  • As they enter Kodi steps on a pressure plates and sets off a chain-reaction
  • Brothers are faced with temples first challenge
  • Shay is confident to do this without Kodi, and pushes him aside
  • Shay overcomes 1st Challenge
  • Temple’s Second challenge arrives and is slightly more difficult
  • Shay demonstrates some nervousness but is confident and keeps Kodi back
  • Shay Overcomes 2nd challenge
  • Temple’s Final Challenge arrives and proves to be too difficult for Shay
  • Shay wants to retreat
  • Kodi has a plan
  • Both overcome the challenge (Climax)


  • Brothers are rewarded and leave the temple
  • Shay embraces Kodi
  • The brother walk back towards the forest, Kodi slightly ahead of Shay (Resolution)

I also did some research into story structure such as Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero Journey’ and Chris Volger’s Adaptation of JC’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ – hero’s journey. 2017. hero’s journey. [ONLINE] Available at:’s_journey.htm. [Accessed 28 October 2017]. Which talk about and outline the structure of a story, something similar to what I did back in college, from it’s basic form of hero’s call to adventure. This helped me out because I could look at my story and see what I already had and then add it to my story.

Image result for joseph campbell narrative
Hero’s journey – Wikipedia. 2017. Hero’s journey – Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 October 2017]

Let me Inspire you – Thesis Film – Inspiration Research

Over the weekend, I completed a small assignment that our lecturer Jeremy asked us to think about. We had to think about what we want to do in terms of the various areas that will go towards the film E.G. Animation Direction, Art Direction, Cinematic Direction, etc… So when I was coming up with answers to the questions, I figured I might as well talk about some of the answers to the question in a blog post as part of research to project.

Image result for Lumberjanes
Using Graphic Novels in Education: Lumberjanes | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. 2017. Using Graphic Novels in Education: Lumberjanes | Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].
Lumberjanes Style: I have used Lumberjanes style to influence the look of my characters Shay and Kodi. It has a very simplistic style, similar to Adventure Time (Mostly because the writer and artist of the Comic Noelle Stevenson, worked on Adventure Time as well) but they have more detailed within the characters, plus they have exaggerated expression and poses similar to AT.

Image result for Lumberjanes 2017. No page title. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].
Image result for Firewatch
Firewatch. 2017. Campo Santo – Firewatch. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].
Firewatch: I’ve been thinking the lighting for the Film. I’ve not been 100% committed to the lighting within some of my last projects, mostly due to the fact I didn’t really give much thought into them. But for this project I wanted to change that, and so I looked at the environment that I wanted to create for the film and the world it is based, which I’ll discuss more in future blog posts, but to simply it the world that film is based is set in a fantasy world during a time after medieval times but before the industrial era. The boys live in the country, and thus the Sun is a prime light source throughout the day, so I want to have the lighting to have a warm look to it. Something similar to Firewtach, which have some of the best lighting I’ve ever seen in a video game, and it compliments well with the simplistic environments. So with this I want try and achieve something similar to this.

Image result for Firewatch
PCWorld. 2017. Firewatch review: Lots of smoke, but no spark | PCWorld. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16 October 2017].

Epic High-Fives – Thesis Film – Research Sibling Relationships

In regards to the first post that I made about how I talked about the relationship between my two characters. I thought I’d research in to some sibling relationships between animated characters, and see how animators and writers portray that relationship within their respected shows.

Image result for finn and jake
Video Games Fanon Wiki. 2017. Finn and Jake (CN:PTE2) | Video Games Fanon Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017].
Image result for finn and jake bro gif
GIPHY. 2017. Bro Time GIFs – Find & Share on GIPHY. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017].
 Finn and Jake, the broiest bro’s I’ve ever seen in a TV show ever. The relationship between the two brothers is a close one to say the least, the two not only live together, they fight bad guys and save the land of ooo side by side too. I love relationship between Finn and Jake, nothing come between the two and they’ve always got each others back, in the tough times and the good.


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DeviantArt. 2017. Gravity Falls – Dipper and Mabel by GlancoJusticar on DeviantArt. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017]
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PopKey. 2017. gravity falls, dipper, mabel, pat pat, pat animated GIF | PopKey. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 03 October 2017].
Dipper and Mabel, like Finn and Jake these two twins have a close relationship as well, but what’s different about these two is there personalities. What I mean is that Finn and Jake are both optimistic, lazy or brave near enough at the same time. Where as with the twins, Dipper is the responsible and mature one, and Mabel is more of the Happy-Go-Lucky, immature one. But despite there different personalities they’re both still there for one another.

With these examples I’m going apply these relationships to the boys. I think I’ll take more influence from Dipper and Mabel seen as their relationship is very similar to what I wanted to do with the boys in the first place.


1 last project

New project!!! So before I can click my shoes like a beautiful ballerina and enjoy the British summer, I’ve got one last project to do before I finish 2nd year.

Our project is called “Promo Kit” where we are to write an essay on promoting an animated feature and what methods would we take and why. This is quite a useful project because we can tie it in to our 3rd year animation, by talking about how we would promote our 3rd year projects to our audience.


So far I’ve done a bit of research into looking at the best example of advertising in movies as well as looking at “5 reasons to why Gravity Falls (one of the inspirations for my animation) is great”.

The Hollywood Reporter. 2017. 10 Best Marketing Campaigns for Movies & TV Shows of 2016 | Hollywood Reporter. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 05 June 2017].
If the name isn’t obvious, this website talks about the best examples of marketing from a variety of movies like Deadpool or The Jungle Book. It’s very helpful website, I can discuss some of the techniques which some of these films used and possibly apply it to my marketing approach.

Geek and Sundry. 2017. Five Reasons Gravity Falls Is The Best Thing Ever | Geek and Sundry. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 05 June 2017].
Within this post the writer discusses about what the made the show so popular and why it succeeded. This isn’t a good example about marketing, but it’s good example when talking about target audiences. One of the things that made this show so successful was because of it’s characters and how some of the themes it explored, from sibling conflicts, to first crushes, or even obsession, and it appealed to a lot audiences despite the age of the viewer. Something that I will discuss and talk about within the essay.

It’s only a bit of research but I’m pursuing more websites and looking at different examples in marketing and appealing target audiences so I will have plenty to talk about with the submission.



My next objective is to continue with research, maybe look at some of the links that Jemma has provided. I also want to to somewhat start the essay by thinking about the structure of the essay e.g. what each paragraph will talk about and how many words I’ll cap myself with. As well as I’ll definitely create a concept of the poster that I need to do.


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: [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!


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.


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.


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! | 2017. Gravity Falls: Stan Pines May Die In S02E19! | [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 23 March 2017].

Image result for Reaver fable

The Fable Wiki. 2017. Reaver | The Fable Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. [ONLINE] Available at: [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: [Accessed 21 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Space Jam (1996) Official Trailer – Michael Jordan, Bill Murray Movie HD – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 March 2017].

YouTube. 2017. Looney Tunes Back IN Action Trailer – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [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: [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: [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: [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: [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.

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