I started my set design. First of all, I did some research on weaving in order to make my volleyball net. It was the only way I thought I could make it. I actually came up with the idea really fast and it worked pretty well, I must say I am proud.
I painted the set (the card box) black on the outside so it doesnt look so ugly and I changed my mind about the wooden floor. I want lighter tone of wood.
Through all this process I am making time lapse videos. I am also doing some sketchbook work on the set design, trying out some bacgrounds, colours and mechanisms. When it comes to the net I decided to use balsa for the pols and paint them yellow.
And this is what I’ve done so far for the set..
Extra news of the day : I finally found the voice to my character!! Lucy Barlett from our course! She agreed on being Rita’s voice and as I asked she even filmed herself talking so I could see the movement of her mouth. THANK YOU LUCY!!!
Later on, I made a few extra eyes to add some emotions. Meanwhile, I got the email from my dad with the pictures of the gym so I printed them and put them on the set to start picturing how I want the set to look like.
The pictures are not great quality but as I know the gym by heart it’s easy for me. I will use paper with a wood pattern for the floor. That’s what I decided.
After that I started storyboarding the stories I wrote and Eve told me that I should write under each picture what’s happening, the dialogue and arrows indicating what he character is doing.
The project is going as schedule but it is still a lot of work ahead. I am really excited about the final outcome and I love how this project is making me grow and understand what it takes to pursue animation. (though I am aware that in the animation world I won’t be able to participate so much in one animation, I would be responsible for a small part)
Today I had another quick tutorial with Helen. It was really helpful. Helen suggested I would do extra details of plasticine like several eyes, beaks and the legs so I could make the bird walk. Given the fact that in the original model the legs are not strong enough to hold and balance the body. With these details, I can zoom in on my animation and make everything neater. So that is what I did right after Helen left:
Today I spent the whole day building my puppet. Working with plasticine is way harder than I thought. The colours blend in really fast and I have to wash my hands regularly. I didn’t adapt well to the plasticine moulding. It was the least successful part of my project but I tried to “go around”.
For now, everything is going as planned. Of course, the plan changed along the way but I think that’s the idea also. Regardless the tight schedule I will focus on doing the maximum.
My research for this project has made me move forward to animation and filmmaking in a way I would never imagine. I have been highlighting research almost everyday and every day I learn something new and useful on animation. I read about puppet making, film basics, dialogue, script writing, background music, storyboarding, etc.. All things I will use in the future and I must say the research really pays off and I’m loving learning new things by myself. I think that my research is the strongest point of my project so far.
The feedback is also a great part of my project. Both Helen and my peers have been quite helpful and that showed me that it is always better to have each other’s opinions to make our work better. With this project, I am learning a lot about the importance of feedback and the impact it had on my project so far
The next stages of my project are all about making so I think I have a pretty solid base.
I still have a lot of work ahead of me, making the set, making the animation, and edit everything but I feel like I learned so much already. Now I have to keep up with my work and focus on moving it forward.
I’ve looked through several lipsync videos and tutorials and I’m highlighting some research related to that. All my technical notes are on my small journal. However, I had to decide whether I was going to animate the beak in order for it to say every word or if I was just going to open and close it. I took the second option (even though I didn’t start the animation that’s my plan). A helpful video:
I also did a lot of research on mouth shapes and understanding lip sync. In the end, I concluded that I would be safer with just opening and closing the beak of my puppet.
Eye movement and blinking
Since the mouth won’t move a lot I thought that giving blinking to my character would help her be more life like. I researched and there are several types of blinking and took some notes:
Normal blinking – 2 frames to go down (close the eye) 1 hold frame, 3 frames to open the eye again. Apparently, we are slower opening our eyes than closing them.
Fast blinking – 2 frames down, 3 up (usually used when staring at something)
Long blink – 3 frames to close, 1 frame to hold, 4 frames to open – used when thinking (slow)
Flirty blinking (fast blink) – 1 almost closed, 2 to open
With this, I can really give life to my puppet. I now have to think of a better eye mechanism.
Regarding eye movement, I took some notes on
changing eye direction: no more than 3 frames, eye movements are really fast
When talking with someone: Eye moves from left to right ( just one frame)
When looking around: eye makes a triangular shape – 1 left, 1 down, 1 up.
That is my research so far regarding these aspects and I am saving all the video and websites links on a word document so I can evidence my research.
Yesterday I called my dad and asked him to take pictures of the indoor gym of the club because I will try to draw it and make it my set. My idea is to remake the gym and draw it with watercolors. I would also like to have a volleyball net on the set and a few plasticine balls on the floor. As Helen suggested in our last tutorial I researched backdrop animators and designers:
Paul Julian – Warner Bros.
Barry Kooser – Disney, Worker Studio
Brice Mack – Disney
Maurice Noble – Warner Bros., MGM Animation
Kazuo Oga – Studio Ghibli, Madhouse
Walter Peregoy – Disney, Format Films, Hanna-Barbera
Tyrus Wong – Disney, Warner Bros
Kōji Yamamura – Independent
Yale Gracey – Disney
I’ve quickly looked thorough these and saved a few images that inspired me. I might do a sheet with them.
I have now a draft of my script. With that, I started imagining my character’s personality and her potential voice. I wrote a few notes that say her voice has to be:
Young and fun
I will be able to edit the voice so I can play with it but I wouldn’t want to go too far from the original.