Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Looking at a storyboard artist...

The main role of the storyboard artist is to interpret and present a script visually telling the story in a clear way that an audience can understand having no knowledge of the text. They illustrate the narrative, updating their work frequently to adhere to the directors comments and changes to the scripts. They should have good story-telling skills, be film literate, able to work individually and as part of a team, with good drawing skills adapting to a wide range of styles following established models. They should be computer literate as more recently storyboards have been created digitally as story reels. The goal of the storyboard is to iron out any kinks in the storyline early on before the film is put into production. Every pose/position of the acting has to be drawn out and a typical Pixar film would have between 50 to 75 000 storyboards for an entire production.

Llyn Hunter has been working in the industry as a storyboard artist for 18 years and has worked for many of the big studios on well-known films and TV cartoons including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Animaniacs and Baby Loony Toons. She explains that storyboards work as the blueprint for the cartoons with everyone referring back to them to make sure everything is working together. Her favourite cartoons to work on were Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain because her roots are in old time Warner Bros., which is what she grew up with. The negatives of being a storyboard artist for her, are that everybody wants as much work done in as little time and pay as possible, as well as the jobs being harder to find. Her advice for anyone getting into storyboarding is to learn the computer programs as everyone is switching to it, and that nothing gets you a job better then getting the gofer job in a studio – just be in the environment and work up.
Some examples of her work:






A storyboard artist that worked more recently on Wall-E is Derek Thompson who essentially re-drew the movie over and over again for several years. The goal of this was to map out the story so that in production they can re-create it cinematically. Storyboarding for Wall-E took more than 125,000 drawings with a team of around 6 the majority of the time. ‘It’s not a glamour job where you get to see your finished thing up on screen – it’s very skeletal.’

Bits and Bobs...

Animation Roles... I found this seminar really interesting as I'd really like to find out more about each of the areas of animation and the various roles necessary to put together an animation. It also made me realise that there are certain areas I think that I would really enjoy doing a lot more then others. For example the pre-production stuff we saw looked really good as I really enjoy the drawing and designing side of things, creating characters and putting ideas together. I think from these seminars I will hopefully learn more aout the processes and perhaps find an area I would like to focus on in the future.

Stop motion workshop... I was really excited about doing some more stop-motion animation. I was able to do a little bit on my art foundation course and did it for my final major project, however from the workshop today I realised how little practise I had at it previously and how important it is to learn the basic movements you need before trying to do a major piece on it. We learnt about the puppets and the armatures used to create them. We then did some stop motion making the puppets bend and stand up. I love seeing stop-motion come together and puppets come alive after such a slow animation process. I would definately like to learn alot more about this style of animation and to experiment and use it more in the future. However I unfortunately don't think it would be the correct medium to use for the Ident project we are working on at the moment, it would also take quite some time to create a character or objects that could be used for stop motion animation. I tried to put a few examples of my previous stop motion attempts up on here including my final piece for my foundation but I couldn't get them to load properly...however, all are pretty basic, and were made in a dark room with very little help..so definately can't wait to practise more in an easier environment...

video

Flash...This workshop was the first time I'd used Flash and it was really interesting to see what was possible. I was quite glad to see that most of the tools are very similar to paint/photoshop style stuff and the timeline seems quite simple to use and get to grips with. I think after a few more workshops and when I have learnt more about it I could really get to like working in Flash, and would quite like to use it for part of the Ident project. Ident... I'm much more confident about my idea for an ident now and the style I want to do it in. I came up with a few different ideas, some of which I tried out, but none of which I thought were strong enough or original enough for the Ident. Taking the basics of these ideas I did a brainstorm and ended up with a list of quite random words, some of which came together well and gave me an idea for the ident. Below are the images I will use and talk through for the pitch...









Sunday, 22 February 2009

a quick idea..

I have tried out one of my drawn ideas quickly in maya, just to see what it could look like and how effective or not it is, playblast below...

video

The speed definately needs to be changed a bit to make it really slow at the beginning, panning around a really nice scene with the train suddenly bursting onto the screen. The logo would also be on the front of the train therefore ending centre screen pushing the camera backwards. I'm not too sure about this idea yet, it's a possibility and I think it could work when produced a lot better and in much more detail, but it's an idea for now and I'll keep going with different ideas...

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Live @ 5 and Chew tv...

Due to being really ill the Sunday and Monday of the live at five I was timetabled to do, I missed my groups day on duty and working for the day with the broadcast journalism students. I'm really annoyed I couldn't be there as I feel I need to get to grips with After Effects a little better and it would be really good to see it all in action and actually going towards something with a set time and deadline. So that I know what it is like and get a feel for it, I'm hoping I can help out with the next group on monday, even if I don't get a chance to do much, it would be nice to help out as much as I can and see how everything works and comes together.

Chew Tv...

I'm quite excited about the new brief we have been given to make an ident for Chew TV. There seems to be quite a lot of freedom when it comes to coming up with ideas, and from speaking to others and seeing a few peoples initial ideas it seems there are going to be a huge range of ideas.
At the moment I have looked up quite a few existing idents, and taken into account the style/colouring of the chewtv logo and what they are aiming for with their new website design etc. I have quickly drawn up a few ideas as shown below...















Although I have a few ideas, I'm not sure how well they would actually work for what ChewTV want or how they would be done. I'm really interested in stop motion animation and can't wait to learn more about it and practise it a bit more.I would really like to incorporate this somehow into my idea, however I'm not sure that it would really fit for the ident. For example I could imagine creating the monster character above and doing a stopmotion piece using that idea,perhaps combining it with a 3D background, however for what the tv channel want it doesn't really fit well with the age range or the new look they are going for. I generally got the feeling they were after something more spacey, whizzy based on the colours, quite a graphic style.
I think I'll continue to develop a few different ideas, try to combine them so that I'm doing what I want but making sure I include what the company want and maybe try a few out before I decide on one to pitch to the ChewTV man.

Thursday, 12 February 2009



Horray, finished things at last! Was really good to get the essay handed in so I could forget about it...dreading getting it back though!
I have added some lights and a few other objects into my 3D environment as shown in the photo above. It is definately looking better then before, however I could still improve it and make a lot of changes.

Compared to my original drawing of the attic (which now I think looks more like a garage :S) there are a few differences. I added in a rocking horse and bike and a few other objects just to have more practise with modelling and to try a few different things. I also had to change the way the light was coming into the image. I had planned to use a beam of light shining in to light up one area of the image in particular. I tried to do this using a spotlight, but I don't really know how to create a light beam through the room. I tried various ways, but couldn't work it out so in the end I created a little light towards the back of the room that I could have a main light source from, as well as having other spotlights around the room.
If I were to change the room, I think I would spend longer trying to get the modelling better.Although I tried to create some different objects, most of them are just cubes and look pretty simple and lack the intricate details they could have to make them look better. I would also spend more time choosing the materials and textures to attribute to the objects to make them appear a little more realistic.
I'm definately going to read up more about the 3D side of things and what's possible, and what everything does in Maya. I enjoyed this part more then I thought I would and I found I was able to do more then I first anticipated, however I'll admit to getting frustrated with a few things!Ultimately I'm pleased with the outcome.
I managed to get my drawn backgrounds done well on time to give myself longer to do the 3D parts I was less sure about. I would have liked to have put more towards my 2D portfolio in terms of my own self led work and projects, however I will definately continue this and build it up over the next term whenever I can.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Getting there...





Above are a couple more background designs I did. The orange one I tried to use analogous colouring going from dark browns/reds through to oranges and yellows. I think as an image it works, however I'm not sure that the colouring is correct. To gain more depth I think there needs to be a bigger distinction between the foreground and background colouring, making the hills in the distance lighter and a little colder possibly adding in a slight touch of blue.I was quite weary of using too many colours, however I think the second one using blues is more monochromatic and could be quite effective as a background. I think the front could be changed into a path or something more useful as it looks a little flat at the bottom. This could also give it better perspective.

So far I think they essay is coming along ok. I have pretty much written it as a detailed plan and just need to link everything together properly. After the tutorial today I think I need to add more into the essay about one particular film. I have quite a few different references relating to theories and quotes, however from what was said today it seems like the essay should be more like a case study then answering the question with ideas and theories. As I've already got most of the text together I can hopefully add to the one of the films I've already mentioned in more detail rather then completely change my essay.

I've had a go at the 3D room based on my interior background (the attic one in previous post)..it took a lot of mistakes, deletes and desperately trying to remember what Georg said to click on in the lessons, but I have something at least. It looks a lot better then I thought it would but a lot of the objects are pretty rough and have odd texturing and colouring. I also need to change the lighting around once I've learnt how to do it, and hopefully it will come together a little more over the next week or so..this is it so far...