Monday, May 23, 2011

ADVENTURE- Style options

 Attempted to go for a more paint dab style for the grass where the strokes are evident and highly
contrasting. In addition I tried to incorporate the triple crisp shade for the grass which was Jens preference.
I'm not fully content about the softness and realistic effect of the cloud. It did not dramatize
the composition well enough for me. The grass tends to stand out more than the sky which
is not what I'm aiming for. 

 I took a chance to experiment with different brushes on photoshop and gave
a painterly style but with a decent amount of sharpness to the to the grassy patch which actually
 looks like damp grass. I made sure that I picked a brush that had jagged edges which would
help me achieve the effect of individual grass strands. I also
gladly managed to blend in blues with purples which was the key
to achieve the dramatic twilight sky. In case of the clouds, I gave it
some playful curves which actually resembles the thick locks of the little girl's hair.
 This was in order to maintain that consistency of style in a logical manner.
I too am personally happy this one.

SOLITUDE- My final piece

Clearly if I had more time in my hands, I would do a lot to improve this image by
giving more preference to the background just as much I gave to the foreground.  I'm happy with the sharp contrast and the use of softer and grey shades for the backdrop was intentional keeping in mind the focus area which is between the bird and the sun. I also chose to paint directly in black & white as it worked out as a good exercise in terms of imagining my own lighting mood from scratch. As a first attempt ever with a black & white digital painting, I am rather pleased to an extent. But yet again, I would surely do a lot to improve on the far background of the image where the mountains can have more shadows along it's surface and the ground can actually look more like a paddy field. I'm glad to have had the creative liberty by James to work on my visualization skills on this project.

ADVENTURE- Mood board & Color scheme

Jen was well prepared with evidence of the look and feel she was attempting to achieve. She handed out the referenced relevant to her imagery of her layout designs. This proved to help me deliver exactly what she wanted in terms of style and color palettes. In addition, she too gave me the creative liberty and it felt good to know she would trust my experimentation with colors. At the same time I tried to keep a set of guidelines for myself on the basis of the following references, ensuring I do not totally deviate from Jen's visualization. Hence, I tried to make sure I tried to do justice to her project.
When I asked about her target audience, she mentioned it is of a wide range and mainly my understanding is because of the heart warming, reminiscent and feel good factor of the story. In that case, I'm sure that includes kids as well. And who wouldn't love colors? I tried not to be scared of making dull stormy shades look pretty. Because this isn't a horror tale but an exciting adventure of a little girl. 
Moreover, the girl wears a bright yellow raincoat which stands out as a 'Flash software' work. Hence, Jen didn't appeal to the idea of painting a background that screamed 'Flash animation'! She had specified so from the first email we exchanged and I'm glad she opted for a more painterly effect as that's what I'm here for!!! :)
Jen's illustration for her website, which she provided to
me as she wanted to specify the dramatic effect of the sky. This helped
me understand that she wasn't looking for a conventional gloomy stormy night but something more into the twilight.

Online references provided by Jen where she talked about the triple shade of the grass and the color palette of the bottom most image.

SOLITUDE- Mood board & Color scheme

In order to stay true to the concept of loneliness, I had a vivid idea of what kind of a visual I wanted to display before even researching for mood board references. I tried to blend the idea of sunrise to sunset (which depicts the idea of being low and sad) & the depiction of a single bird of a leafless tree branch(which is very evident of it's solitude).
In addition, I suggested James to animate a flock of birds flying away into the horizon. The same in case of the sun which could be animated from dawn to dusk. In order to discover different mood settings, I then researched and found countless images relevant to my idea which only made it easier for me to put it on the digital canvas.
Judging by the ambience and elements of the room, I've come to understand that the people likely to be drawn to this piece of work would most likely be women who are perhaps elite and sophisticated. Reason being the organized placement of elements like that of the chairs, lamp, elegant photo frames etc. Moreover, the color palette is rather as simple as it can get. White by itself is the simplest form of royalty. In addition it is very psychological for a woman to relate to solitude. By nature, a female is sensitive and emotional. It would easy to translate a black & white imagery which can be worth a thousand perceptions.






ADVENTURE- Conceptual referencing

Having understood the concept of 'lightning in a bottle' I was going through Jen's initial referenced that helped trigger the idea for her storyline. I attempted to visually dissect and understand the mood and colors set in the conceptual art work references below.


SOLITUDE- Sample work

In case of James's project, I had to adapt to a different approach considering certain circumstances like his busy schedule of work and other prior engagements. Having my respect for that, I considered this to be a more open brief in comparison to this task. James's requirement was very simple and and direct. Below are 2 screen grabs of his final project where his aim is to showcase his 3D lighting skills. The setup is that of an interior where the focus is on realism. The concept is based on the feeling of 'Solitude' which will be narrated through several objects in the room. 

For instance, the picture frame with the woman, will have a tear drop roll down her cheek. Another object that will be placed in the room will be a magazine or a book with empty pages that will flip. Also static objects like that of the chair alone depict a form of loneliness/solitude. In case, of the picture frames, he will have several hung on the walls of the room and his requirement from me is a realistic picture of a landscape which will also be in black & white like the lady in the picture. So it didn't really matter what colors I used.


I was very intrigued by Jen's storyline as it is a very profound concept with a sense of fun and adventure. Below, is the animatic for her animation short, 'Lightning in a bottle'. Moreover, I was very impressed with the substantial amount of details put into her storyboard which gave me a very clear idea of the elements in each of her shot as well as the composition and depth. I was certainly impressed and content with what I was provided.

Lightning In A Bottle Animatic from Jennifer Padgett on Vimeo.

Solitude VS Adventure

As the new module has kicked in, I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to sell my skill sets to our senior batch mates in Animation at BCU. I ensured that I highlighted and touched upon areas like concept art, colors & backgrounds supported with examples of my work as well. 

Right after the presentation, I was approached by 3 of the senior students who were keen on having me work on backgrounds for them. What was even more compelling to me apart from having been 'hired' by these students was the fact that I was given a lot of creative liberty for their requirements. 

Unfortunately, I was unable to help 1 of the 3 students as I already had a huge chunk of work to deliver for the other 2 students who had approached me much earlier before him. It's hard to say no, but the least I could do was offer him to ask me for any opinion on colors and composition whenever he wanted and that I would be available to guide him through it, if not directly work on it.

Therefore, my 2 'clients' would be James & Jennifer who had 2 contrasting set of narratives for their final project. I call it, 'Solitude VS Adventure'.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ad Film Project- Animation referencing

As I will be working on one of the shots that requires the baby to laugh, I was unable to figure the body language as babies normally tend to just have hand movement. Luckily I found a couple of videos that fit the description I was looking for.

The jerking hand movement of the baby clearly depicted his excitement

Observation of a very still facial expression

An animated piece I found, just to give me an idea of how other animators go
crazy with animating something as difficult as a baby!

Probably one of the most useful piece of animation to help me play around
with another shot that I'm working on. I am required to animated the face
morphing of the boy which really requires me to go crazy playing around
with a convenient but effective tool like motion tween.

Ad Film Project- Updated Animatic

Myself along with Roxy worked on all the camera angles for the storyboard keeping in mind the logic of film language and continuity. All the shots were meticulously planned
with the help of a ground plan that I had prepared. It's purpose was to ensure
we maintain a continuity of props and movement in every shot. Our illustrator then made a clean up over our storyboard sketches.

- Prepared by Myself

Final version

Version 03 - Reaction shot of baby confused is moved towards
                     the last shot

Version 02 - First audio trial
                   - The first shot of the baby mobile has been removed as we felt
                      the duration of the advert was exceeding 30 secs and moreover
                      we were ready to scrap that shot as it was only a suggestion for
                       the ambience. The intention was to have the mobile rattle the moment
                       the baby starts crying.

                   - We've added a close up shot of the boy popping
                       the sweets in his mouth       

Version 01 - Without audio 

Ad Film Project- Mood Board

The intent of the advert is to spread smiles. The concept of a
happy family fits well to the narrative as it manifests the relation between 2 siblings.
The use of bright colored characters and bold outlines would give it
that tailor-made feel of an exaggerated cartoon. The idea is to keep the features of the characters simple and focus
more on the expressions.
The use of fresh but less vibrant colors for the background would  balance out each shot, keeping in mind the
characters are of comparatively vibrant colors. The intention is not to make it flat but rather contrasting enough.

A conventional baby's room with light pastel colors and minimal furniture 
to keep it spacious.

Ad Film Project- Concept Animatic 03


The idea depicts how a boy tries to make his crying baby brother laugh by making funny faces but all in vain. The moment he pops in a Haribo sour candy in his mouth, the intensity of the sweet deforms his face into various shapes which in turn makes his baby brother laugh!
FEEDBACK (3 of 5 rating)
From the verbal description given to us initially by grace, I knew this concept had the potential to be ad-film material. Also, the theme is very family oriented and true to the actual identity of Haribo. In terms of animation, it would give us a great deal of opportunity to play with the animation principles of squash and stretch in the face morphing bits.

Ad Film Project- Concept Animatic 02

CONCEPT BY: Charlotte
The second concept, developed by one of our group members was based around the concept of the movie 'Rocky'. The idea behind this one is how much the tongue can handle the sourness of the candy. The visuals depict a tongue used as the central character that appears to be working out with weights and boxing with ultimately facing off with one of the sour monsters as his competitor.
FEEDBACK- (2 of 5 rating)
Initially, the central idea did appeal to me considering the fact that the concept prepares the audience for the sour power. It would also give this product an opportunity to explore a different target market like the youth when Haribo is actually renowned for the family audience. However, I'm personally not in love with the visuals. As an audience member, I really wouldn't want to see a detached tongue. I won't take the storyboard into consideration for my judgement as it's a very basic one prepared by one of the advertising students in the group. But overall, I think we could look beyond for a more universal narrative.