Project: Things Coming Together
For our project we have been asked to develop a 15min 3D animation. The subject/brief is “Things coming together”. We have been given four weeks to develop a fully fledged animated short film in Maya. We are also to start developing a pitch for next week, that will be presenting our ideas to the class; this will be a demonstration of our progress, showcasing our designs and our goals for what we hope to achieve within the next four weeks.
Below are some images of our creative process, we used post-it notes and a whiteboard to generate our ideas. My group and I have already begun developing our ideas, we voted for what we thought had the most potential. The Ideas we selected are as follows: 1. Gummy Bears World of Jousting 2. Ninja Food (i.e. fruits, biscuits, vegetables, etc)
Idea 2 Ninja Food
We began developing those ideas into conceptual art; to visualize our world and characters. We began researching themes that would fit into each idea. For idea 2 Ninja Food we analysed the cartoon series Samurai Jack as a main inspiration for the style and story; noting the camera angles and shots that we thought would work within the scene for our Ninja Food fighters story.
(Source image taken from:http://lounge.moviecodec.com/vs-forum/samurai-jack-versus-hst-324119/)
Above is an episode from the series that we watched and discussed together as a team. We liked the tone and the pacing of this episode, and highlighted this as an element to be included our scene.
The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Directed by Sergio Leone, 1966.
This clip above sums up what we have wanted to convey in our own tone and atmosphere for our short film i.e. wide camera angles (establishing shots) to set the scene, panning shots from shoulder angle, and close up shots for performance of emotion on the characters face.
Rather than having dialogue to narrate the sequence of events within our scene, (as having dialogue would take up far too much time for 15 secs, and we needed to have a narration) we decided to have it as non-verbal action to convey the scene.
(Source information on conveying non-verbal action: http://www.visualwriter.com/ScriptDr/Advanced/VisualCreatesMeaning.htm)
The scene is set in a dark dimly lit space, it is set in the kitchen of a house, and the characters are battling on the table in the centre of the room. We have focused the action on our characters argument.
The action is set in low lighting to highten tension and give dramatic atmosphere. This is designed to draw the attention of the audience. We want the audience to feel anticipation, to feel gripped by the action taking place. The mood will be conveyed through the tone of the scene’s environment.
When the first draft of the storyboard, we discovered weaknesses in the design. Some shots were not going to work; a tutor explained the flaws in the design.
The extreme close up shots of the worried expression of the characters, presented a confused identity. The tutor advised that a wide angle shot would help to identify which character was which. The close proximity of the characters added to the confusion.
Another problem we discovered was how to stage a shot that showed the the character splitting in two. A solution was that the audience didn’t need to see the split. We referred back to scene one’s shot, a close-up over the shoulder allowed the camera to pan to the right, character 1’s head would hide the split form.
As the camera pans across character ones face the next shot shows the character 2’s body split and his arms come out from his body.
As the camera pans to the right of character 1’s shoulder we see that character 2 is split and forms two characters. Problem solved.
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=872490129429405 – This is a link to our storyboard reference. Live action reference.
Background set layout for the animatic, to convey the night/dim light I used light and dark shades of blue. Create a beam light as if the light is coming through a window, and highlighted sections of the set up bright hue saturation to potion to main focus of the scenes.
Behind the Scenes of the Live-action Reference Stoyboard
For the sequence for the jump and the run, we used a pillow cushion to trail along with the action.
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202698940174798 – this is a link to demonstrate the technique behind the running sequence.
Gummy Bear Jousting Conceptual idea
Before we had made our decision to use the Ninja Food Fighters, we had another idea we wanted to develop as a possible story. This was Gummy Bear Jousting, and the story was based around two Gummy Bear knights, who are about to challenge one another in a jousting competition. The story was that the two characters would charge at one another astride their gummy steeds, at which some point they would both collide. One possible ending was that they collided and the horses started kissing; another was that once they had collided they would pop or get stuck on the sticks.
We did not use this idea as we felt that there would be much complication with weight and squash and stretch, we felt that this would cause a problem when trying to solve a simple solution to our problem when it came to model and rigging stage in Maya. We did not have a good solution to this problem so we all agreed that Ninja Food Fighters was our best option.
(concept created by Ryan Hollinger)
(images above created by: http://charliemaxblog.wordpress.com/)
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=785909821452058 – link to video animation test 2D gummy knight and horse.
Above are some examples from the concepts that we had talked about with this idea. My main theme of inspiration for this piece was a kind of WRECK-IT RALPH Sugar Rush style for the world. It would either include sweets or vegetables. We didn’t decide fully which as we had already moved on to our preferred idea of the Ninja Food Fighters.
Below were some photo references for the scene setup, we looked at medieval castle and jousting areas for inspiration of the scene.
(Source images taken from: http://bondpix.com/images/large/A%20Knights%20Tale%2004.jpg and http://www.bugbitten.com/images/9dd16e049becf4d5087c90a83fea403b/Just_Like_a_Year_in_Provence_BUT_better-57052/Just_Like_a_Year_in_Provence_BUT_better-2047270.jpeg)
What I had manage to do was go ahead and model a gummy bear in Maya, this was before we had chosen the story we wanted. I was going to test out rigging for the character and modeling to figure out any problems before hand. The only problem would have been the squishy form of the gummy bear.
Ninja Food Fighters: Modelling the Characters
Now that we have our idea, it is time to begin the modelling process in Maya, i.e. sets, characters and props.