Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/30 Checkpoint

I managed to have a really rough edit for class today of the entire animation. It could be timed out slower and the characters could have more personality in their keyframes because at times you would just see the keyframes acting and not a character. There needs to be some more pausing with her character at the beginning and in the 4th scene between the city and the forest. The lens flare at the end just looks like an awful lens flare and needs to be tweaked. The moment of the floating orb looks stilted and moves abruptly instead of gliding-like.

Besides these problems I didn't do my text tags for my DVD portfolio that I wanted done for today. This means that again I didn't quite meet my deadline and that by Thursday Dec. 2nd I need to have edited the final project along with creating all of my text/synopsis/tags for my DVD portfolio.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

11/23 Tuesday Scene 1 and 2 rough edit


11/23 Tuesday

I realize at this point that I am behind. Out of the five scenes I need to make I only have two so far. What has been taking me so long to make is the walk and run cycles and organizing the main composition in a way that I can nest other comps and slide all of my pieces horizontally across the screen. I know that my deadline for today was to have a rough version of the entire piece. I realize that I have to now double up over break to get back on schedule. So for next Tuesday the 30th of November I'll have to have my full rough edit along with the first 4 rendered projects and all of the text for my DVD. I see this as do-able because know that I've tackled all of the set up issues of run cycles and building my composition, the next three scenes won't provide as many problems and I have pervious comps I can nest to make the process faster. Also I can do the text summaries and biography at home in a text document.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

11/18 Checkpoint

I realize that I did not meet my checkpoint goal today of animating to part 7 in my storyboard and only made it to part 5. Also the part I animated as always can be improved and is not the final version of that part (which is why I left my calendar open so I can edit and tweak). I did get her running composition made which since it will be used frequently will help with repeating actions as there is a lot of running involved. Looking at the seconds I have so far again I would like to add some more subtle development of her character at the beginning suchas her studying more of the environment before she starts running. She could look around more and plausibly walk around in the first scene to get a feel of the buildings. With all of this in consideration along with whatever is said in critique I still am aiming for the same goals in my calendar despite being a scene behind. I will just have to work that much harder but I feel that having some of the initial keyframing and setting up along with further undersading how I'm going to build the rest of my parts has helped the process movealong faster. I don't feel that it will set me back greatly. Also I edited my Moon Boy; mostly his skin:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Character desgins

After looking and critiquing I've decided that my boy character needs some revisions. His colors don't have to be all blue and it makes him look like some sort of weird phantom that is foreign to her warm tones (in a bad way). He needs to look like he has some flesh tones in the skin. He will still have gray/blue hair but he needs to look more human and less ghost/alien and it doesn't have to be pushed so hard that he is this blue Moon Boy; he can just happen to have some blue tones like she has some red ones. Also they look like a weird brother and sister relationship. I think I made them exist, outline-wisre, in way too much harmony. I really just need to change the shape of his head and the mouth a little (possibly even the eyes a little thinner or more squared).

November 16th

I created the rest of my Photoshop assets for today. The biggest problem I had was with Moon Boy and not trying to make him look like a something from Avatar or the Smurfs since he is blueish in tone. I think maybe I should try to make another version where he has a blue outline and silver colored clothes. I think by having so much concentrated blue he just looks like some weird alien character and not what I intend. Also I made a couple of different tree pieces where I'd just copy and paste them but I think I made need to make more and make them more varied so they won't just look excessively repeated. I decided to take out the curtains since it was mentioned in class that they weren't needed. Also I plan to drop the stage lower in the view so it won't hog up as much space.


Nov. -Tues 16th (have all assets done)
-Thurs 18th (get to scene 7 in storyboard)
-Tues 23rd (get to part 14 in storyboard)
Tues 30th (have all initial animating done for critique)

*Dec. - Thurs 2nd (Work on editing first half of projects for DVD portfolio)
Tues 7th (edit last half of projects for DVD portfolio)
Thurs 9th (turn in DVD portfolio)

*for class continue to also improve this Final project.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Final Project Aesthetics Scene

For this assignment we just need to have our enough assets made to create a scene to test how the overall aesthetics will look for our final. This doesn't mean that this didn't require some work and thought. I decided to change my Star Girl's outline from black to a reddish-brown because the heavy weight didn't mix well with the backgrounds and scenery I made for my other pieces. The biggest problem I think I have right now is trying to figure out how to make the CC Particle Effect not look like a glow effect.

I think I need to add more layered textures to the trees and add more trees to make it look haunting and like a forest. I think I need to add more buildings in the background layer to emphasize the fading away of the city. Also the more I look at it, the "stars" in the sky are too small and need to be slightly bigger but not so much as they distract the viewer or crowd the scene. I think I need to have a further distance from the city and the tree line. Also I wonder if there should be some sort of fog effect around the trees. And furthermore if they should have some sort of line weight to them. The yellow tree could be pushed back further into space to show depth and the color hue could be toned down because the yellow is pretty distracting.

Inspired by:
This is a shot from a animation that Erik Nakamura and Saelee Oh. Saelee Oh does a lot of cut paper work and I just was drawn to this piece because even though the individual assets are flat the shadows and layering add a lot of depth.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Changes/additions to storyboard

So I added some more scenes to my storyboard to better explain the action and help me visually with the space I'm trying to design. I added in a kiss at the end like what was suggested in class and I also changed the scene around #7 because having them switch paths is confusing for this linear space. I also wanted to show that I'm comparing the idea of space and perspective purposefully to the unreality of Medieval paintings and their distortions. Hopefully this will shed some light on what I seemed to have not communicated Thursday about how there is a foreground and background and how they relate to each other. Also here's my 3 Act Structure Diagram:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Final Project Pitch

My final project will be a narrative. I looked to my theme of finding and balancing a child's perspective with an adult mind to draft my story. I found that I still like these ideas of going on a journey in search of truth, hope and the extraordinary.

Pitch: A girl discovers a mysterious glowing aura and decides to follow it through a city and into a forest. Along the way she notices that a boy is also following the force to find at the end of their journey that they have this understanding of truth in common. It all takes place on a stage with the girl and boy appearing as puppets.

Visuals: Aesthetically I want the piece to feel like a stage and the char
acters to look and behave like puppets. They will have shadow effects applied to their bodies to make them appear as 3-D objects as will rest of the sets. The stage pieces will be revealed in layers and they will always appear from below or slide "off" the stage as the sets change.

I want the characters to finally look like this piece with its 3-D qualities and textures.
Also the character himself behaves and looks very much like a puppet.

I want the color palette to try to resemble this in a way, meaning I found the use of lighting, shadows and color interesting. I also would like to incorporate the layers on the ground; not necessarily the stitching but layering up the ground sets to make them look like cutout collage.

This is an illustration of a city by Lane Smith and I really enjoy the abstract representation of the buildings with outlining them in blacks and whites and filling them in with texture blocks. I was wanting to utilize a series of purple hues while the ground would be reds. The image above the Lane Smith one is a background form the animated show Samurai Jack which had stunning visuals. I want the trees to resemble that odd twig form with spindly branches popping out.

I enjoy the real light show this piece puts on. I don't intend my "glow" and particles to take up as much space as this video has and in reality it'll only be a single orb with trailing sparkles waving across the screen but the animator's use of blurring and dispersing is something to think on and draw from.

Summary: The piece opens with a curtain folding back to reveal a stage with a backlight starry night. A city pops up from below the stage in layer pieces. One of the buildings has a small door on it that opens as the main Rainbow girl walks onto the set. She looks at the buildings off to her left as a mysterious glowing orb flows in from the right. She turns her head and notices it only to watch it move off screen on the right. She proceeds to follow it as the entire "set" moves to the left to reveal the next scene. As Rainbow girl follows the orb she sees that a Blue boy in the background of the set also noticing the the orb and following it. As the set moves to the left again, both the girl and boy are following the light but with her in the background and him in the foreground. The next scene shows the city trailing off and into a forest. The girl runs to the middle and stops realizing that she lost track of the light. It suddenly comes from the left and continues into the forest with her following again. The next scene shows the light hovering in a clearing in the forest. As she runs up tot he light the foreground trees scale back to reveal that the boy is across the clearing also having found the light. They both slowly walk towards the light transfixed and then notice each other. The light then glows brighter engulfing the stage set. Finally it dies away and the set goes with it. The curtains close on the stage.

Final Project Storyboard Pitch

As always this is subject to change:

-the city parts (background) rise up from behind the stage scene.
-more of the buildings rise up from the background and you notice one of the foreground houses has a door.

-the door opens to reveal the main character, Star Girl.

-A particle glow comes in from the left and flows to the right off-screen, as she notices and follows. -she exits the frame.

-the next scene (as the background layers slide down) reveals the Moon Boy who is preoccupied with watching the orb.

-Star Girl enters the frame and notices the orb and the boy.
-The orb moves off-screen and both of them start to follow it while remaining on separate grounds (i.e.) Foreground and background)

_She finally leaves the frame.
-The next scene slides into view and the particle is still ahead of them; she enters into theframe first.

_He finally enters the frame.

-The shot ends with him leaving the frame as they all race right.
-The scene slides left to show that the houses are coming to an end and a forest is beginning. The orb isn't suppose to be in this shot.

-She comes to a halt and ponders her surroundings and tries to find the orb again.
-The orb enter from the left again to travel to the right into the forest. She watches and then after contemplating follows it.
-The scene shifts to the left and then once the orb is revealed in the middle the trees in the foreground move off to the sides to open up the scene.

-They both walk foreword and see each other.

They both come forward and kiss.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Final Project Ideas

1. I still want to see if I can try to make a project about a girl with rainbow stars for feet who is looking for a blue moon boy. I love the idea and I think aesthetically it would be interesting to be set like a play unfolding. I would want them to look like puppets with hinges or strings of some sort moving along this moving set piece. I would want a city to literally grow up and move around her. She would see the boy in the distance but loose track of him. At first she notices some sort of particle /fairy dust floating in the "city" that glows like she does, which she follows and sees a blue boy who also glows. She sees him follow the fairy dust further but he doesn't look back to see her. She follows the glow dust to a clearing where the boy is standing and they both notice that they glow together. I know it sounds like a lame story about a girl just chasing after some guy but I'd want it to be told from her side but imply that while she was searching, he was as well and that it lead them to each other. I envision many particle and glow effects along with character pegging and using layered compositions to move the scenery. Also I'd want to employ many drop shadows and the use of limited 3-D space to allow for the viewer to "see" how the set was "made".

2. I would want to continue with my trailer trash Disney princesses. I would like to try to make a single video focusing on just Snow White or try to tell a story about Snow moving in with Cinderella and the possible shenanigans they get into. With this idea I could also try to come up with other story-lines like a hoarding Little Mermaid, an alcoholic Bell, or drugged out Alice. Those ideas are obviously a little more cliche and need some more thought but still possibilities that could use further development. I could always tell the story from just Snow White like I had in my original story back in project 5 but just cut out all of the scenes with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and use the same ideas.

3. I was thinking about continuing the little creepy video game doll I made at the beginning but now with a greater understanding of compositions, pegging, effects etc. I could continue to make the whole level or add more story content to feel like a hybrid of video game symbols but more story driven. I realize now that I was just trying to do too much with little knowledge and that it should look less like watching a video game as opposed to being emerged in one. I would try to tell the whole "level" with some sort of final confrontation/ boss at the end. I think I would keep a similar style but obviously expand upon it and make it more detailed and creepier with effects and more layered backgrounds. I foresee making some backgrounds with preset animating in them and then blurring them out and bringing them in as compositions to make them look off in the distance with a clear background and foreground.

Youtube link for Effects


Effects Fiasco

A. Part 1 Particle Explosion

Tutorial used : http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorial/particle_explosion/

Background: added a solid layer with a Ramp effect to basically include a gradient on the background.

Text: Scaled up the words and then used a Forced Motion Blur on them to make them shatter.

Particle1: the first particle generator was created using the Particle World and a eventual Lens Blur and Curves effect. I linked up (an expression) the Birth Rate (Particle World) to the position I use later in the Control slider layer. I also linked up (used an expression) the X,Y, and Z positions to the corresponding X,Y, and Z positions of the later CCNull layer. ( I have technically 5 particle layers that all use the Particle World effect of various sizes and colors; the ones named Sprites however are linked to using a glow.png as the image instead of the particles found in After Effects for brighter "glows" and automatically larger spheres).

Control Slider: I used the Slider effect and adjusted keyframes along the timeline that have the Particle World(s) linked to them to create the bursting and dying of the particles.

CCNull: This layer actually has nothing on it but I had to copy the expression information from my other composition (3DRoom) in order to use an expression to attach the X,Y, & Z in the Particle(s) to something; in this case a blank null object.

Part 2 3-D Room with Strobe Light (this actually had to be made before finishing the Particle Explosion because it relies on the 3-D information found in the expressions on the layers in this composition).

Background(s): I had to take a Black/White jpeg and utilizing the Unified Camera Tool and Rotation Tool to position and copy them into 3-D space to create a room. To extend the room I added a Motion Tile and changed the Output Width to 500 to make the hallway extend. I also set up an exposure on the back wall to tone down how "hot" and bright it was.

Camera: I moved the camera along the Z space and pickwicked the Position to move back in space.

Light: I added a light source in the middle of the room and added the Wiggler to allow for it to flicker while in motion.

Text: I moved the text up and allowed for it to appear by changing the opacity levels. I pickwicked it and added Wiggler expressions to allow the words to hesitate and "float" back after the camera stops zooming in.

Particles (strobe): I used another Particle World and the Glow effect. I attached the strobe light to a null object in order to move it around in Z space successfully. I then added to the Wiggler effect to allow to dip and dive.

The tutorials (vidoecopilot.com) themselves were okay as far as videos go when Andrew Kramer finally got around to talking about After Effects instead of telling lame jokes. He's either really cocky or really lonely but he did have a nice speaking voice and the audio was sharp and clear the whole time. Sometimes it would throw me for a loop when he used something in the older versions and I couldn't find it in the current one, but it's to be expected with older tutorials. His (company sponsored) videos were no where near as bad as when I tried to watch this user created video off of creativecow.com. I know that all the videos on that site aren't like this one I saw but since its open for user content sometimes really old a poor quality videos stay on there. This one that I looked up was about making 3-D text but it was sooo old like, windows '98 old. It looked like it was made in the first After Effects. Whoever the guy was had a horribly dry voice that didn't help when combined with poor audio quality. His "solution" to making text appear "3-D" was to simply copy and paste the text about twenty times and displace each layer to make it look 3-D. So after having view that and a horrible one on Youtube that didn't even bother to full screen the video (so you were forced to just follow their mouse the whole time) I found Andrew's little annoying comments not to be so bothersome. He actually moved slow enough to where you could have it playing and work at the same time in some moments. He would occasionally playback his progress so you could compare your's to his to make sure you doing it correctly. Another detail that I which was addressed in Andrew's was the fact that half way through the video I realized that I couldn't make the particle effect by just watching one video but was forced to build the 3-D room. That would have been a helpful notice under the video. Also he used a plug-in blur effect that made some of his particles look and move differently but there was no description like in others of plug-ins. Granted it wasn't completely necessary like other tutorials to make the video but it still would have also been nice to say beforehand that without it your video will look slightly different.