Beavers in the light of the new morn. Here’s the style frame for shot 6 that I will be animating for my 10 seconds of goodness for hand in.
Beware, the blood moon!
Here’s my fifth iteration of the beaver animatic. This version is apocalyptic, introducing a blood moon to make the devastation sequence a bit more dramatic, as suggested in my feedback from my presentation a while back.
I’ve sliced shot 6 into two parts in order to make the animation process a bit easier and more achievable. The original shot zooming up the hill was faster than I would have realistically been able to achieve and I think it would have come out rushed. With the new version, we get to spend more time on the long shot (which has become a flooded landscape) and then jump to the close up which is now going to match-shot into the beaver reality sequence.
I think the flooding and blood moon help convey the idea that the devastation sequence is a totally over the top and unrealistic. The added detail of the fish being swapped for a twig in the match shot, I hope, conveys the idea that in reality, beavers don’t eat fish.
Here’s some horrid tests of the beaver diving sequence.
The first I thought was more problematic than I think it is on reflection, but could do with some refinement in the tail department. It could also be a little slower.
The second is better with the tail but quite poor everywhere else. The hand movement is confused and the whole character is really quite inconsistent. I changed the angle of the dive in relation to the shot in order to add some depth but I’m thinking now I was better off with more of a 2D direction to the beaver.
I’ve been referencing some videos on YouTube of beavers swimming underwater. I’ve found that Beavers tend not to use their front legs when swimming, just their tail and hind legs. I think in the final rough, I will keep the front paws tucked away.
Gotta love beavers. The grind continues.
Here’s a selection of styleframes I worked up for the first shot I plan to animate for my 10 seconds of finished animation. One plays with depth and blurring a bit while another has a darker background. My main feature has been touched up in Photoshop.
I realise after a little hiatus (three weeks ignoring it) I really should crack on with this project. My first move is to begin animating this sequence as it’s the least likely to change, while the other shots need a bit more designing and reconsidering.
Here’s a little animation test I conducted today based on Amy’s colour script panel of Elm hill featuring boiling lines and falling leaves. I left the character animation out for now but I think I’ll get that in for submission.
Amy took the liberty of reframing this shot from how I envisioned it in the storyboard to better compose her vision of the scene, given that she’ll be animating this section in the final version.
I took my collaged storyboard and made this animatic with a hastily recorded reading of the poem. It’s somewhat successful with the pacing and tone, but there’s quite a lot wrong too.
From a story perspective, the jump from the opening straight to the signs feels quite abrupt. I feel there may be a missing sequence about settling in the city? Considering I’ve already dropped the castle scene from this edit, we could afford to drop back two more scenes in a new sequence here? Something about tower blocks and terraces.
We’re definitely gonna need some kind of music/sound track at some point.
Amy immediately made it clear she was sceptical about the transition from the train station sign to the skyline arguing that we wouldn’t ever be able to make it work. She had some thoughts about transitions from shot to shot during the bulk of the film perhaps being delicate wipes and fades, maybe even illustrating themselves. I said this is definitely something we’ll experiment with.
Another thing Amy suggested was changing ‘I’ll miss you’ to ‘We’ll miss you’ to make it more inclusive.
Here’s my first iteration of a storyboard for the love letters project. I’ve more or less collaged this together from the group’s drawings and my own to create a narrative that works with the script I wrote at the beginning of last week. It in no way reflects the final style, only narrative order and composition.
The first section introduces the city from the train station sign to the skyline. I’ve put together that collaged, stylised version of the skyline together so it can be illustrated in that composition.
Then we go through some of the best street names, each will be visited by an illustration of their street sign in situation. This section, despite taking up half the storyboard, will be quick cut and not particularly long.
Then we hit the section that explores the lanes. The bits that match up to the script here are the Thorns panel that should appear on ‘Everything I could ever need’, Wensum Park on ‘All the geese I could ever feed’ and The Mischeif on ‘All the tequila I could ever drink’.
We fade into night time on the puppet man who matches with ‘The perfect madness of a rural city’. Through Grosvenor’s and the city view, they will be connected by the fireworks display.
As we decide to edit the poem and sequencing of the narrative, I’m sure this will change. Personally, I feel the mischief shot feels out of place being a night time scene between two day time ones and I feel the snowy castle shot may be out of place too and may need replacing. The signs section may feel better placed in the middle of the film.
But right now, we’re running with it. Amy has begun translating the scenes from my storyboard into the style she’s decided works best based upon my panel of the Thorn’s shot. She liked how the yellow of the paper shone through and thought the red of the Thorn’s shop front was a good colour to base the colour script off.
In writing this script, I have taken it upon myself as director to disregard the group’s narrative order that was noted on a piece of paper in my absence (poor effort on my part there) and establish a solid new running order in order to get the project moving on rails. This will inform the storyboard I create this week.
What I’ve taken from the group’s ideas is create a narrative that somewhat matches their concept of a seasonal ‘year in the city’. Instead I’ve made a narrative based around a solar, day night format, starting in the morning and finishing in the night with the fireworks.
I’ve added an introduction based around the train references in the poem, leading the audience into the city and giving us a place to start. I’ve also added a shot of the city skyline at the beginning that can be recycled at the end with a night time version of the same shot. Nice and efficient.
These changes got some friction when I announced them on the group chat, but I’m sure they’ll come around in due time.
My attendance has been poor because I went to Leeds for a long weekend to go get the soundtrack recorded for my beaver project and missed a meeting and a session. It wont happen again. Promise!