Sunday, October 29, 2006

trying to find the grindstone

Work on my film has been exceedingly slow these past few weeks. I've come to the realization that I always like having a lot of little things to do; small projects and artworks and such. I think, though, that to get this film done by April I'm realllly going to have to cut back on them. Fortunately I don't have too many more non-grad-film related school projects to do, so I can focus in that regard at least.

The things I'm working on this weekend include:
  • starting rough animation
  • finishing my leica reel changes
    (here's three panels that I scanned together that I thought looked kind of cool when all put together for some reason:)
  • deciding once and for all whether I am doing this in HD or SD! I keep flip-flopping....I'd do it in HD, but I don't want to get to April and have to turn in my film late because I am since I have so much after effects compositing to do I'm afraid it'll slow that stage down. But at the same time it'd be nice to work in, I don't know.
  • starting to get a list of needed sounds down as I will be recording my first foley session on wednesday or thursday (or both). The sounds in my reel still are really not how I would want them, but I think I'd prefer to just start getting things how I want them than fiddle around with scratch sound forever.
Here's an image of what is technically not the first animation that I will do on this film (as I did a watercolour-boil test a few weeks ago), but it is probably the first bit of animation that has the possibility of ending up in the acual film in some way. It's one leg of a polar bear, ha ha!
My desk, while I was working:
Note the Richard Williams book for reference (that doesn't have quadriped walk cycles in it for some reason it seems!) , the loose bear skeleton for anatomy, the tea for drinking, the apple for eating, and the pencil....for drawing.

Hopefully I'll have the final draft of my leica up sometime this week!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

in between

I've taken a few days off of thinking about my leica after my weekend adventure. Today I drew and painted some stuff from reference to get back into it. Icebergs and bears, respectively. I really need to learn how to draw all sorts of (non)random things! Shoot. And: hooray!

Monday, October 02, 2006

leica reel take 2

If you're curious about my leica reel (draft the second; the first draft is incomprehensible and I will not be showing it around), it's here. It's rather large (83M I think?), so you might have to right-click and save, or else just....wait a while. It's 3:46, which makes me happy as it's right about where I wanted it to be (the first darft was 4:00, which made me a bit nervous).

I had my grad panel this morning and it went well I felt -- the faculty members had lots of good suggestions and didn't seem to get lost, even though one of them had not seen any of my lead-up work to it and didn't know what to expect. I feel like I'm getting closer here... maybe with another draft or two I'll be at the point where I can just start animating / recording sound / etc -- though I don't intend to redraw the whole leica wrists and back area already paying the price of doing that once!

One of the biggest suggestions made (I felt) was to have no music to the film, which is something that I hadn't considered before, though I did intend for the music to be a lot lighter than it is here (and less Philip-Glassy) and to be more of an ambient kind of thing rather than as "40's Melodrama"* as the scratch music is.

In any case, if you do take a gander at the reel, I'd really appreciate some feedback -- there are a few things that I'll definitely be changing (mainly with some of the images as it gets to the climax, though there's a few other places too), but it'd be good to hear what other people think as well. I'm a bit nervous showing this kind of stuff to people partly due to uncertainty about my animation skills and also because I think this project is going to mean a lot to me (not that it doesn't already), but at the same time I want it to be the best film that I can make at this point, and I don't think it's quite there yet. Critiques? Very welcome.

*that's from Marilyn. And it's so true!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

new things!

Soo....the summer is over, and fall is upon us once again. Since I don't have time for the drawing-a-day whilst in school, this is going to become my production blog for my grad film until May, where presumably I'll just post drawings again. I'll still post non-grad-film related drawings in my sketchjournal.

For my first grad-related post, I'll get you up to speed -- at this point, I am on the cusp of my fall grad panel where I have to present mainly my leica reel, among a few other things. This weekend I completely re-drew my leica, after realizing that the version I had previously done was not at all comprehensible to new viewers. The images worked as storyboards with explinations beside them, but they really didn't speak for themselves, and a lot of the morph/pan transitions didn't come across at all.'s how it went:

To start off: materials! Watercolours kindly donated by Winston (thanks!), a brush, index cards from staples, a brown col-erase pencil, and a pencil sharpener.

Here's the first five panels, in process:

A few hours later, things are much the same. You can see that I have the older, smaller images for reference in front of me.

The next day, I finished! Here's the final stack, 75 paintings in total. Whew!

Here's a few of the finished panels....