Finishing Off Beat 6

 

Today saw me just about complete Beat 6 of ‘The Girl and the Beast’. This was a little more stressful as I realised that I had misinterpreted how we had divided the work and I had missed half of the beat I was supposed to be animating. That said, I think it’s probably the more imaginative of the two and I’m very pleased with it.

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This is my first attempt to make it. I animated the blood splat in TVPaint and made the assets in Photoshop with the Polygon Lasso tool. I quite liked the background being stark white. This being the turning point in the story, it seemed appropriate that it was so harsh and contrasting to the rest of the film. But Elizabeth convinced me that red was what we had planned and that it was more appropriate.

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Elizabeth also suggested I remove the glow for the final clip. So here it is stitched together with the transition to the next clip and with text.

 

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Matching Assets

For Emily’s and my beat (Beats 1 & 6) we will be using the same assets because it’s more or less the same shot. Here’s the assets I’ve created for the valley in front of the castle.

I’ve made them according to Elizabeth’s style frames, drawn with the polygon lasso. This isn’t exactly how it was storyboarded because I changed it at the animatic stage to make the shot more interesting and make better use of the camera movement. The rest of the group approved of my changes.

Here’s a screenshot of the set for beats 1 and 6.

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I’ve set all the assets up in a comp, spread in the Z axis. The castle does not appear in this screenshot because it doesn’t appear in 3D space, it only appears to. The hill the castle stands on had to animate through the Z axis in order to appear within the scene and attached to the castle.

Between each of the assets, I’ve placed a solid layer with a transparent grey gradient to create the impression of fog. This helps make the all black assets stand out from one another and creates the illusion of a great distance. Their opacity is animated to be totally transparent as the camera tracks through them and fade in as it tracks away so the image does not flicker as the camera passes through.

Matching Cameras on Beat 1

Today Emily and I started the process of integrating the 3D Castle with my AfterFX project. After watching a tutorial on vimeo, I discovered you can export the camera movement of a Maya project saved as an ASCII file and import it into AE as a composition. All I had to do was re-align my assets and import a PNG sequence of the movement in Maya.

It creates the illusion that I have the 3D model in the comp but I can’t edit any of the camera moves because the castle is ironically the only 2D asset in the comp. This makes it very difficult to match the hill to the castle exactly. I’ll make some improvements on that, then all it’ll need is some text before it’s complete.

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I shall have to repeat all this without Emily’s help on beat 6.

The Girl and the Beast Animatic

 

Here’s the animatic Elizabeth stitched together today. I animated Beat 1, 3 and 6. Obviously some shots are more developed than others, most still using assets from the storyboard but they will come alive further down the line.

It’s great to begin to see some of the transitions come together, but I think there could be some development in that department. I might address that this weekend, but it’s likely going to be spent working out how to integrate the 3D castle asset.

Beat 6 Animatic

Looking at the storyboard Elizabeth has whipped up today, I decided to make an animatic of my own beat based on that. I drew some very rough assets in Photoshop and laid them all out in a comp in After Effects and tracked a camera through the middle of them all.

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The camera move is a tad on the rough side of things, I wanted it to drop as it leaves the throne room, down to the village and finish on a high but I hadn’t quite set it up right for that.

Obviously the actual clip is going to work slightly differently when integrating 3D assets, but this was a good warm up exercise.

Voice Recording

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Edits made to the script during recording.

Voice recording didn’t go quite as planned as it was the day after our beloved Sam had left and in trying to help us, the new technician spent 45 mins arguing with Karen about how the studio worked.

In the remaining time, we got several great takes with Liam then a couple in the remaining time with me that were a bit rushed and not so good. Elizabeth volunteered to edit the final narration clip.

Eoin Duffy

Just thought I’d leave this hear because it’s appropriate to motion graphics. I’m amazed by his work because he makes such simple designs come to life more intensely than a lot of the most complex animations I’ve seen. It’s executed so perfectly in such small ways.

The nihilistic themes he works with couldn’t be more perfectly visualised. It’s interesting he chose to have a 3D animated squirrel in this one, perhaps to match the character’s complexity?

This one stands out on the merit of it’s score and general sound design. It moved me in a different way to all the others. The character doesn’t have any form of voice but they’re just as alive if not more so than the others. I think it’s in the way that he animates the eyes, which stand out in this one and ‘I Am Here’.

The Girl and the Beast

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Here’s my notes from the last two times my group and I got together. Liam and Elizabeth put their concepts for the tale together to create our very dark version of the story.

Our 6 Beats are as follows:

1 – There’s a beast that lives on a hill above the town that the villagers must pay tribute to with a young girl each year, for he dreams to have a bride.

2 – Beauty is the chosen girl this year and she’s taken up to the beast’s tower past the corpses of the girls that had gone before.

3 – Beauty realises she must out smart the beast if she is to survive and plots to win his trust and kill him.

4 – The Beast begins to see potential and intelligence in the girl and thinks she may be his destined wife.

5 – They have a wedding ceremony but when the beast takes her to dance, she slices his head from his shoulders with a dagger.

6 – The girl takes the throne for herself.

I have the beginnings of our script too:

Once in a land most cruel and unfair,
On a hill lived a beast in his ominous lair.
Below in it’s shadow lived a village in fear,
For one fair maiden would be taken each year.

In the dead of the night, a father did awaken,
To find his beautiful daughter was taken.
At the abode of the beast, as the girl neared the door,
The air whispered warnings of the maidens before.

The girl makes a plan to play the beast’s game,
She would win the beast’s trust then strike when he’s tame.
The girls gone before had ender their lives,
But this one seemed different, she might make a good wife.

The wedding was briefed, devoid of romance,
Then the beast took her hand and led her to dance.
In this moment of closeness, his defences we’re down,
Now was the time to avenge the whole town!

In an instant flashed silver and a spatter of blood,
The girl cleft his neck, his head fell with a thud.
She ascended the throne, the tormenter deceased,
And thus is the tale of the girl and the beast.

Beastly Script

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.
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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.
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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.
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