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UP650043 Production Diary Animatics and Storyboards

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    Production Diary

    Animatics and Storyboards

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    Building upon the production diary that I completed in my advanced pre-production I decided to

    strengthen the story, backgrounds and character designs for my final animation as I wasnt

    completely happy with it. Also, I received advice from the lecturers in terms of how I could portray

    the characters better in the animation. For example, in the new story, I was told that as well as

    showing the boy going on a journey that mimics his dads legacy, I should show how he develops in

    the story too. Does he gain something? What does he learn? What is the theme of the animation?

    With this in mind, I changed the animatic (shown above) and decided to make a couple of scenes

    that would show his adventure to going to the mountain that his dad never had a chance to visit. As

    well as this, I wanted to show how the boy copes during his journey as I didnt want it to be an easy

    adventure, for example, when he climbs the tree he is scared of heights, but he overcomes this. This

    continues throughout the story as he gradually learns how to cope in these new surroundings that

    he is not used to. As a person he is growing too as he is learning new things and discovering new

    things. Nearer to the end of the story, the boy arrives at the mountain but despite being happy

    about getting there, he still feels sad that his dad isnt with him. Thats when I thought that it would

    be nice if his dad then appeared because then he is overcoming this loneliness/sadness and it ends

    happily with them reunited. The strong bond between Father and Son. Originally, my story consisted

    of the boy just going on a plane, on a train, etc but I thought that this was a bit boring so I decided

    to make it more of an adventure. Then, in the animatic that I did for my final pre-production, I had a

    story where the boy went to a temple in order to save his dad. Even though this idea had potential, I

    thought that it would be too long to do and it wouldnt be executed well enough in the time we had.

    Then, in January 2015, I decided that I would re-address the story, and the pictures in the new

    animatic above, show this. Although, some of the scenes were still adjusted in order to fit the story

    and time limit.

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    Here, I have displayed images that I drew for some earlier storyboards whilst I was trying to finalise

    the story for my final project. The story that I originally wanted to do was the son looking for his

    missing explorer dad and the images above show the opening scene where he finds it stated in a

    newspaper. Even though this was a good idea, I wasnt quite sure how to develop it, so instead I

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    changed it so that the boy was alone at the beginning as it created that sense of loss. At this point

    though, I had finalised what I wanted the boy and dad to look like and decided to design what the

    room would look like and what sort of lighting I would use. I thought that if the opening scene had

    quite dark lighting, it would highlight his loss/loneliness.

    Character Designs

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    Above, I have included images of the finalised character designs that I completed after my pre-

    production. Even though I was happy with the designs in my pre-production, I wanted to improve

    them further as I thought that my drawing skills were slowly getting better. For example, after

    receiving help in how to draw proportion and researching different styles etc I found that I was

    able to create a lot stronger designs. Furthermore, by researching more into colour

    schemes/palettes and how to draw characters in different ages, styles etc I found that I could fit

    this more in the story so that it looked more consistent. In terms of the style that I have done my

    animation and characters, I mainly looked at anime for reference as I really like the style. Although, I

    did try to include some cartoon aspects too. In particular, I found that by drawing these turnaround

    and expression sheets, it really helped me to develop the characters so that when I animated them, I

    could express what they are like and get the right mood/expression across. Also, I found that by

    acting out certain expressions/poses too, really helped in my animations.

    Old Scenery

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    Displayed above are the first examples that I did of the backgrounds for my animations. As my final

    story would mainly be based in the woods/forest, I thought that by using mainly blues, greens,

    purples etc would look best for my animation as it fitted the plot/mood of the story and it

    mimicked the colour palettes of my characters. Although, even though I developed these in detail, I

    was still not happy with them as it didnt feel believable and didnt fit the style I wanted to go for.

    Although, one plus that I gained from this experience was the fact that I learned a lot more about

    perspective and how to position the backgrounds. I gained this knowledge by looking at other

    animations/films for inspiration and researched more about the rule of thirds.

    Once I had researched about backgrounds, I then began looking at research in order to improve the

    colour palettes and styles of my backgrounds. To begin with, I used a site called Adobe color and

    this was extremely helpful in the background and character designing stages of my animation. Once I

    had a base colour that I thought would fit a particular feature, I would then go to the

    complementary or triad colours in order to see what colour palettes would go with it. This was

    extremely useful and has taught me a lot about colour theory and what colours go with what.

    Furthermore, I found an animation that contained background colours that I thought would fit the

    style of my animation, so I gained inspiration from them.

    Here are some examples of some of the scenery reference that I found in order to gain a better

    understanding of how to create backgrounds and what colour palettes work well together. With this

    in mind, I then began to experiment and created some of my own.

    New Backgrounds

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    Here, I have displayed the first few backgrounds that I created using the inspiration that I gained

    from my research/references. Already, I noticed a massive difference in the quality of the work I was

    producing and I learnt so much in the time that I researched this. It was a great learning curve and I

    found that the more backgrounds I was producing, it helped me to learn more about shadows,

    lighting and what colours would look good in particular scenes. For example, in the first image I

    wasnt quite sure what colours to use in order to portray the mood/theme of the scene. However,

    once I looked at the references I had gathered, I concluded that using purples and blues would be

    best to portray the sad/lonely scene as well as showing that it was night time. In terms of the

    perspective, I looked at different tutorials/references of how to draw different perspectives so this

    helped me for creating the backgrounds too. Furthermore, when I was creating these backgrounds in

    Photoshop, I found a great brush to use that had a really nice texture and this became the brush that

    I used for the shading. As well as the textured brush, I used a hard brush in order to mark out the

    basic colours and lighting. Also, from attending extra classes in concept art, I learnt how to use the

    lasso tool in order to only shade whatever was in the shape you drew with it. This was a valuable

    skills that I learnt as I was able to create really nice shapes with textures. For example, I did this a lot

    for the trees. Using different filters and renders was a nice addition too that I learnt in my

    development as I could adjust the background so that it fitted better in the scene. For example, for

    scenes that had a sunset, I used a red lens flare so that the sun could be highlighted more.

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    Animation Passes

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    Lastly, here I have illustrated screenshots that I had taken from the animation passes that I did for

    each scene. Mainly, for the first 4-5 weeks of production, I mapped out all the animation that I

    would include for each scene. Whilst I did this, I created my own reference so that I had a better

    understanding of how the characters would move. Also, the first drawings that I did for the

    animation were very sketchy as I was still developing the story at this time. Once I had gained the

    basic animation and sketches of all my scenes, I then began to neaten them up. These are the

    sketches that are shown above. Even though these were the clean ups, I still wasnt completely

    happy with them, so I neatened them up more and adjusted any animation that I thought didnt look

    quite right. In particular, in the first scene of my animation when the boy looks down sadly after

    looking at the pictures of his dad, I didnt like how I had drawn the details for his face, so I addressed

    this. Once I had completely cleaned up all the animation and sketches, I then began to do the final

    lining for the next 7-8 weeks. As well as the previous clean up, this was the longest process for me as

    I wanted everything to look consistent before I started colouring. In the final 2 weeks, I finished

    painting all of my backgrounds and began to colour all the frames in every scene and then did the

    second shading. This was particularly difficult because the shading had to look consistent and be in

    the correct place to correlate the lighting in the backgrounds. This was hard to do, but as I went

    along, I found it easier to do and I learnt more about how to shade in terms of the lighting. For

    example, before I did the shading in Flash, I would first get the main colours of the background in

    Photoshop, and then paint them onto the character with a low opacity so then I knew exactly what

    colours to use in a specific scene.