Week 4 Summary

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.

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Week 3 Summary

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.

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The Wind Rises Scene Analysis

‘The Wind Rises’ is one of my favourite films. It’s a fictionalised biography of Jiro Horikoshi, the designer of the Japanese Zero fighter. Turned into a period melodrama, the story is brought alive by the dreams of Jiro the protagonist where he is joined by an Italian aircraft designer who mentors him into his career.

One particular scene really stuck with me from the first time I saw it; Jiro’s first task at the Mitsubishi company designing a part of the wing. It’s the first time he puts his imagination to work, actually designing air planes.¬†Being introduced by his nagging boss to the team as ‘This genius we’ve been hearing all about’ we then see that demonstrated.

The Composition & Editing

The scene starts slowly with Jiro getting himself set up for work at his desk. The shots are long and uneventful, setting a very naturalistic atmosphere. The boss, Kurokawa is keeping a keen eye on the new employee from underneath his rolled up work.

As the scene begins to speed up and as he gets into his work, we go through a stunning transition from the office to Jiro’s imagination with a close up of his forehead with the plane he’s working on overlayed.

TWR- Thinking Planes

All of a sudden, we’re flying along side the plane, inspecting the wing, but something isn’t right. One of the struts breaks and the plane turns to a plummeting ball of wreckage. The most beautiful part of this sequence is the transition back to the office.

The idea of the desk falling with the air plane while Jiro makes notes is terrific and is so well completed by the sky fading back to the office and the papers settling down from the wind.

The Score

The score in the scene creates the impression of all Jiro’s thoughts coming together. It starts off fractured, only a few out of time strings to begin with, stopping and starting. But as the pace picks up, more instruments come into the mix, then the piece finally becomes complete as we enter Jiro’s head. It’s a very uplifting and wonderful piece that reflects the passion and enthusiasm Jiro has as he works.

The Mise-En-Scene

The scene starts with the calm view of ships from the window by Jiro’s desk, transitioning us from the previous scene. But once Jiro’s thought process has begun and the pace of the scene has picked up we return to this view and the wind has picked up; White horses appear on the waves and the sails are now full. This mirrors what’s going on in Jiro’s head, a storm of ideas and calculations.

The work space is very lovingly designed, desks set up with authentic design tools, littered with pencil shavings and ash trays. The bins are full and the boss is struggling to work on a rolled up piece of paper. It’s all just so believable and tactile.

TWR - At Work

Style Again

Previously looking at ‘The Illusionist’ for inspiration on how to style my animation, I realised that the quality of work I was looking at is reserved for projects that span far longer than my meagre 4 weeks and for people far more talented than me.

So taking what I could from the stunning background art and rich, sepia pallet, I continued my search for something that better suited my time limit and type of story. I began looking at short films that had been created in TV Paint, but nothing particularly grabbed me, as most kept to a fairly standard style. One thing I did notice as being quite popular was changing the line art to different colours.

But extending my research to 2D shorts outside of TV Paint, I rediscovered the monk and the fish. I really admire the wonderful simplicity of both the animation and the art in this film. The contrast of the very bold, black lines against the watercolour is very effective and the quick, sharp, bouncing animation of the characters is enchanting.

The Monk & The Fish

Although it’s far to late to consider incorporating that style of animation in my film, I’m beginning to think that the art style would be somewhat ideal for this project. Lighting would be far easier to achieve as pretty well everything that isn’t in the spotlight would only have to be implied with dashes of colour. This kills my fear of having to draw all the seating!

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Here’s my initial attempt at drawing the wand and the hat in this style. I really like how the hat has come out but the wand is so simple, it’s hard to really transform. I’ll have to play with this a lot more to really find the look.

Style Frame.png

Sound Plan

Today I put on paper the rough plan for sound in my inanimate objects project. I used timecode from my animatic, but it’s likely to change.

Sound Rough.jpg

I’ve put in dialogue as a guide for the mumbling that I’m planning on putting in, Vic Reeves club singer style.

 

Week 2 Summary

I found this video just before starting my rough animations. It proved very helpful, seeing how this stage would work in a professional environment.

This week saw me move forward with finishing the animatic and begin the rough animation. This has pushed me to really figure out how the characters will behave and perform. I’ve only really looked at the wand this week but I have nailed down his performance in the first shot, really working the idea that he’s a very dramatic and lively performer. I do need to hurry up with completing the rough animation in the next few days.

I also looked at style, making a very rough initial style frame, thinking about lighting and colour. After this, I looked at the Illusionist to look at the background art, pallet and lighting in the theatre scenes. I have always imagined it being in a very elaborate theatre to match the wand’s grand personality. To further my research, I plan on looking at other short animations made in TVPaint to see how they’ve used the software’s different brushes and abilities to create a style.

Again, I have put off doing anything related to the film language project which I need to swiftly change. Due to the lack of any urgency with the project, I’ve got a bit lazy.

Gigglebug

I was doing a little research around TVPaint and came across the ‘Gigglebug Behind The Scenes’ TVPaint series on YouTube. It gives you a good look at the studio in the videos and one thing I found interesting is that the animators kept a keyboard mounted on their Cintiqs. I’ve just started using a knock-off Cintiq myself at home and thought it was quite an interesting idea.

gigglebug.JPG

Throughout the video, they explain their work flow doing the rough animation. There are a whole load of useful tools in the software I wasn’t aware of like the notes bar, the sketch panel and project view. I was surprised how much all of the animators used the rotate function while drawing frames. It’s not something I’ve ever done or even considered necessary when digital drawing but it make a lot of sense to me now. One of the animators also shared a shortcut to collapse the timeline bar to give you more drawing space which is very handy.

 

 

Tutorial Feedback

Jon gave me some good feedback on my animatic today, praising my composition in the first two shots but also pointing out where my continuity had gone wrong in the third shot.

I had mistakenly drawn the feather on the wrong side of the hat when he sat down on the chair again in the third shot. This changed the composition of it quite dramatically, making the feather and wand appear very close together.

Jon suggested that it makes a stronger connection between the feather and wand so helped explain my ending so it’s improved the idea in more way than one.

I also adjusted the height of the stage in the composition as it looked a bit naff cutting right across the middle of the screen and the wand was far too high up.

We also talked about the issue of a style for the project. I had begun to look at the theatre scenes from ‘The Illusionist’ to look at the backgrounds and lighting. I hadn’t really considered whether I was going to use black outlines and what kind of pallet I would use so I have a lot to think about there.

 

Style

Thinking about the style for my inanimate film, I could help keep thinking back to The Illusionist. I’ll definitely be taking the classical theatre style from this and I can probably learn a lot about lighting from many of the scenes in this too. I quite like the gloomy, smoky almost stale atmosphere you get from this particular picture.

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Here’s a quick mockup I’ve made based on the animatic.

Background Mock-Up.jpg

I’d like to make it a bit more elaborate, but it’s a little unnecessary although it would help the grand showmanship of the wand.

Week 1 Summary

Mhari’s initial lecture on film language was a quite a roller coaster. We touched upon many devices and bits of terminology. She emphasised the importance of having a large vocabulary of film language terms to enable us to label and recognise what we see on screen.

I had a slow start to the inanimate objects brief as I struggled to grasp the brief. I came to Thursdays lecture with a rough storyboard about a hat with a feather in it’s ribbon. As soon as the session started, everything became clear and I bashed out 3 versions of my animatic, each better than the last. I came out confident with my idea and an animatic I only need to refine now. During the session, I didn’t really have any idea of how to compose my shots in relation to the characters and I ended up with a fairly flat and confusing first pass. Because of a lack of exposition and poor framing, it wasn’t clear if there was a conflict at all or what the resolution was. After Helen had talked to me, I realized I had to portray the story from the position of the hat for my particular conflict to make sense.

From here, I just need to work a little more on the wand’s performance as a whole and make the hat seem a little more stroppy then get some lighting in. Thinking about research, I still need to find a style for the whole thing so I will look at some 2D shorts, preferably animated in TVPaint.