Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SS1- Reflection & Evaluation

Developing narrative based on adaptation
Learning Outcome: Personal interpretation
                             Skills & Experimentation

Purpose & Intent

With storytelling being one of my main areas of interest, I want to challenge my problem solving skills for the same where I can offer solutions to existing story lines. The project also gives me the opportunity to experiment and test out my technical skills in areas I wish to improve, primarily Flash, as I hope to use it for my upcoming project. By working out a series of animation tests from the story I plan to work on, not only will I improve on my animation skills but also help me plan out my production timing and therefore enable me to animate efficiently for my future projects. 

Target Audience
Story tellers and visualizers. By researching on various genres and interpretations of storytelling, I could explore and work out my own narrative strategies to develop my story.

Flash, particularly is my weapon of choice because I would personally like to see the scope of animation on it and moreover improve on my frame by frame animation skills.

A Flash animated trailer clip that condenses my adapted story well enough to manifest what the story will be about.

Action Plan
Storytelling and animation is the main area of focus with my priority towards skill sets. The reason I pick to do an adaptation is so that I don't focus excessively on a new storyline but make few alterations to it. Once the story adaptation is tweaked, I can then focus on improving on my animation skills in Flash by working on the trailer clip.

Learning Outcome
- The project will enable to offer solutions to narrative development.
- I will learn to work within sets of guidelines
- It will help me improve my animation skills and help work efficiently for my Major Project.


Looking back on the purpose of the project, I am evidently a case of 'I wish I had done this....I wish I hadn't done that....'. However, the blunders made in this project have really been more than beneficial on an educational front. 

In summary, the purpose of choosing an existing story for my project was essentially to avoid spending too much time developing a new one and therefore, concentrate on improving my animation skills. However in the midst of the project, I ultimately committed the error of focusing excessively on my 'adapted storyline', eventually neglecting a major portion of my animation.

Some of the noteworthy lessons for me include: 
Being clear on the objectives of the project (Making sure I DONT focus on story, when my focus was set on animation!)
Production efficiency based on given time span (How many seconds of animation is feasible with given time)
Focus on the 'process' in order to have a desirable output! (It's the journey that counts)


On a more critical note, the project has allowed me to fulfill my learning outcomes even if not to a hundred percent. The process of adapting a story enabled me to manipulate a narrative from different points of view. The overall scope of adaptation is vast as it can apply to any area of storytelling including plot, genre, character, time period etc. The task of tweaking the story allowed me to play with various narrative strategies and in turn develop my own methodologies. Working out the numerous thumbnails and playing with visual metaphors only added to my problem solving strategy. 

Moreover, considering the time factor for the project, I knew I did not want to over work on the character design for the story. By looking into the works of Lotte Reiniger's cut outs of shadow play and Michel Gagne's flash animated series of shadow planet, I was inspired into using shadow and silhouetted designs which I could simplify as per my requirement. This approach did save me from spending extra time on working out complex designs for my character. 

Michel Gagne
Lotte Reiniger

Despite having to halt mid way through the storyboarding process, I managed to fully create an exposition sequence for my adaptation of Harold & the Purple Crayon. It was imperative for me to give a backdrop to my character before adapting the rest of the original story. Therefore the outcome was an animatic giving an introduction to the event that led Harold to live a popular tale. 

PAUL WELLS was the only friend I had
Reading...reading...and more reading....Now I know how a screenwriter feels

I couldn't successfully produce a finished storyboard as I went overdue on that. Not only did I spend overtime on the story telling but I also lost time to animate my 10 second teaser clip. However, still aiming for my learning outcomes, I worked out some lines tests for my character which really gave me a good familiarization with frame by frame animation on Flash and it's efficiency in cases of strict deadlines. Perhaps if I were to work on a large scale production with limited time and one that focused heavily on narrative, I would opt for a more simplified technique of animating on flash like cut outs or motion tween. 

At one point during the project, I did go through a phase of thinking why is my project so boring? Clearly it was then I should have noted that I was going off track somewhere from my original brief. I learned now towards the end of the project, the reason why. However, all's not lost as I produced work that does relate to my learning outcomes and I'm hoping I take these lessons forward and produce something I am actually proud of.

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