Here’s my original take on the script with the timings. Hopefully this will help us work it into something new.
Once upon a time in a rural land there lived a poor merchant and his beautiful daughter, Belle. The merchant in his affection for her strived to spoil Belle, but being a clever young lady of simple taste only asked that her father bring her a rose each time he returned from his travels.
Caught in a terrible storm, the merchant sought shelter in a palace in the forest. He spent the night quite comfortably yet saw hide nor hair of his patrons. The next morning as he left through the gardens, the merchant went to pluck a rose for his daughter.
All of a sudden, a terrible beast made himself known as the master of the palace and voiced his disgust that the merchant be so ungrateful of his kindness. Before the beast could slay him, the merchant made it know he had only plucked the rose for his daughter. The beast decided to spare his life and instead take Belle as his prisoner. Quite happy to give herself up for the sake of her father, Belle went to live in the palace with the beast, leaving her father quite distraught.
Here’s my first big piece of work in motion graphics. I made this about a year and a half ago in college and was my first real use of After Effects. It really helped me get to grips with the software, so much so I still feel ahead of the game now. Looking back, it really annoys me that not all the text is included in the parallax and the timing of a lot of the shots is poor. My favourite one in the desert with the smoke and wreckage should have been far longer and I really wish I’d animated the windmills at the beginning.
A lot of what I learned here will be very useful when designing and animating our version of Beauty and the Beast as it’s using a very similar style in a very similar way. But hopefully, ‘The Girl and the Beast’ will be a lot better.
Another film from roughly the same amount of time ago is this. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of but it taught me an awful lot about After Effects and more specifically, character rigging. I designed, rigged and animated the Rabbit. I could have done with having the knowledge of the 12 principles back then but I think I applied a couple without knowing.
This week I decided to watch ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as it’s my given fairy tale for the motion graphics unit but I thought it a good opportunity to shoot two birds with one stone and analyse some camera moves while I was here.
I initially started out watching this year’s live action re-release as I thought there’d be more to think about cinematography wise, but 20 mins in I got pretty tired of auto tuned Emma Watson and so reverted to the 1991 animation.
Little did I know, this would actually be a beneficial decision and be a fairly interesting bit of research as this was the first traditional Disney animation to use computer compositing, colouring and CGI backgrounds. This gave the animators the opportunity to create what must have been a pretty groundbreaking sequence in the ballroom. We get for the first time a genuinely 3D camera move which is used to great dramatic effect in contrast of very basic pans and zooms throughout the rest of the film.
At the point in the film the technique is used, Belle and the Beast are getting intimate for the fist time, pulling each other close in an epic dance and the camera reflects this. In a particularly floaty manor, we track around the couple in a circular motion, moving in and out of close ups. We share a feeling of wonder with the characters as the world around us suddenly gains a great amount of depth. There’s even a false depth of field effect as the characters get close to the camera.
This week saw us briefed on the motion graphics project. Our group was given ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to work on an pretty well instantly decided on a simple silhouette and minimal colour style I’ve pieced together a few visual references. Next week we’re coming together to work on story ideas. I’ve watched 20 minutes of the live action Disney film and the whole of the animated Disney film. I’m hoping we wont go down such a soppy route.
I’ve been pressing on with the tie downs on shots two and three again, progress is slow. Still need to think about my backgrounds.
I looked at camera movements in the animated version of beauty and the beast, trying to fit two tasks into one but got a little carried away researching the use of 3D camera in the film.
Here’s a couple bits I made in today’s session with Jon.
The title sequence from Narcos, although primarily an accumulation of stock footage, is one of my favorite examples of motion graphics. Not only is it a very effective title sequence in terms of setting the tone of the show, but it’s visually staggering and very cleverly assembled.
I love the effect of moving photographs they use throughout the sequence with layers of text and grading. The motion tracked grid over the city is fantastic with animated inelegance notes overlayed. One of the most impressive shots, the gate of Escobar’s estate, was created from a photograph. They sliced it up, made a set in After Effects and made a 3D camera in C4D to create the final clip.
Art Of The Title
This illustrated example uses a style that is quite achievable for the given project. It’s good in this instance because it’s a sequence that actually attempts to tell a story rather than just throw a lot of imagery at you. The transitions from image to image are imaginative and the limited use of 3D demonstrates the techniques that are available to us in this project (probably because this too was animated in AE).
The coffee stained paper textures give it a brilliant warmth and the use of shadows creates bold contrast. It’s a small but very effective palette that doesn’t seem very limited at first glance.
After an interesting session recapping the structure of fairy-tales according to Propp, my group was given ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to adapt to a 60 second motion graphic. Here’s my breakdown of the story.
Beat 1: Beauty and her family loose their fortune and are forced into an agricultural lifestyle.
Beat 2: After bunking in the Beast’s castle without gratitude, Beauty’s father is given an ultimatum by the Beast.
Beat 3: Beauty forfeits herself to spare her father’s life and goes to live in the castle.
Beat 4: Beauty refuses to marry the beast and asks to return to her father for only a week.
Beat 5: She stays longer than a week.
Beat 6: She returns after ten days and saves the Beast from death and he transforms into a handsome Prince.
Unfortunately for our group, there’s quite a lot of context to this story for a 60 second film so we’re probably gonna have to gut the original story limb from limb to get this to work for our needs.
My attempt to condense the story into a 60 second script proved rather hopeless – exposition takes up 40 seconds. What we need to do is sit down and have a think about what we want to change and what kind of direction we want to take the story in before we re-write it for our own purpose.
For film language this week I looked at Giallo Films as a genre. I was looking at Slasher films but somehow slipped down the hole and found myself looking at these over dramatic Italian films about beautiful women being horrifically murdered by masked men. I never got round to watching a whole film but we’ll see how I get on.
My inanimate objects project progressed in leaps and bounds this week. I’ve now got my first shot fully tied down and coloured and my second shot tied down. I’m really pleased with how it’s looking with a full audience and background. I’ve now thrown together some sound complete with a Kevin Macleod music track which has helped people understand the plot far more than they did before.
I also had time to bash out two loops for the cinema city breif.
Here’s my project at week 4 of the pipeline. I’m glad I got it this far for presenting today.
The curtains at the back need a little love, but other than that, I’m very happy with what I have. My chosen colours and lighting seem to work at a very minimal level. The animated audience is pretty funny, especially the little prop hat. I just need to plough through the rest of the film now and tie the rest down.
For film language this week, I looked at my favourite scene in ‘The Wind Rises’ and looked at what made it such a stunning sequence. I’d never looked at it in such detail before and it was a revelation to me how many small things had gone over my head.
As for Inanimate objects, I’ve pressed on getting the rough animation down. I’ve reframed shot 3 for continuity after I put the feather on the wrong side of the hat in the animatic. I’ve moved my style research to look at ‘The Monk and the Fish’ which I think is a far more appropriate model for my animation to follow. One shot in particular inspired me to use this as reference as it demonstrated how I could put a lot less effort into the theatre backdrop.