Sunday, 30 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: 01 Fern Scene - Test render

I want to try and create atmosphere within these shots and for the whole animation to have an atmospheric feel to it, with the first render i felt the fog was too thick so I turned it down for the second render whilst also altering the composition of the fern within the shot.

I want to create a feel like a big light source through a paper like they would traditionally to create shadow puppet animation and similarly in 'The Three Brothers' animation in harry potter, but Im not sure how to achieve this, I may have the main light source flicker almost like it is a candle that is lighting the whole scene as this will also go alongside the burnt landscape visuals. I will be using after effects to make ashes too arise around the landscape to help reinforce the burnt landscape.

Fantastic Voyage: 01 Fern Scene - untextured playblast

Playblast of the scene introducing the fern, where in my animatic it was a long pan of the trees I wanted to make it more dynamic going through the scenery to then introduce the fern. There is a scene before this with the narrator talking introducing the scene, I will focus on that scene next and focus on getting my pre-vis movement done over the course of the next couple of days :)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Spore Scene Re-colour

Changing the spore colour to the original colour that I had at the begging with the yellows

Fantastic Voyage: Storyboard/narrative Revised

Going back to my  narrative I have decided to make this animation based on ferns after forest fires and how it can life back to an environment these are called bracken ferns. So I have changed the colours to represent the changes in environment. 

The major differences is the narrator (the silhouette's hands at the beginning) is shown in the beginning scene talking about the forest fires and he blows the fire out to then follow the ashes from the flame into the scene. The fern that is shown in the early scenes will be changed to covered in ashes to represent its fight for survival with a lonely leaf sticking out of the pile.

The rest of the animation will stay pretty much the same apart from the ending with the ferns growing back from the ground to then zoom out to reveal a landscape full of ferns and giving life back to the environment. I want the narrator to end the scene as well. Therefore I will zoom far out to reveal a landscape and his hand come over as it goes from a burnt landscape to a green luscious landscape with him talking about how it brought life back to the earth.

Although this is quite rough it gives me an idea for a script and this now allows me to start production in Maya, a few scenes need a bit of work to how they are going to look in terms of colour as im not sure on the purple of the spores and how the sperms are going to look too. 

I was looking at how objects are represented in the three brothers and I may just silhouette the spore and the sperm with a strong light source behind them and use a morphing method for the close up of the spore into a gametophyte and then the style will change when the environment changes at the end into a more magical environment. Although if people think the purple works and the style will be more consistent like that then I will keep them as they are feedback is more than welcome.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Narrative rethink

Considering that this is going to be a cinematic experience for the audience I need to think about the logic of my story so that it conveys emotion to the viewer. I want this animation to be about the lone fern that has survived the forest fires that then repopulates the surrounding area with more ferns, to give life.

Edits to story:

>Opening shot of ashes and debris flying across to reveal the fern.
>Fern cycle begins
>Spores travel into the ashes
>Reveals ferns reproducing and giving life back to the environment.

As the spores hit the ground it will give life back to the surrounding area like a painterly watercolour that enriches the black silhouette of the floor that it lands on. I want to give the audience that they feel for this fern and it gives the audience a feel of hope for the existence of the fern like they want the fern to carry on in its environment that is fighting against it.

Fantastic Voyage: Concept art Vision update

These are the two colour comps that I liked the most when reconsidering the colour scheme as they have an autumnal feel to them. Using these colours will help get rid of the notion of a snowy
landscape and will also be using silhouettes to create the landscape. When taking this into maya I will experiment with the lighting to create the same kind of effect that the three brothers have to give the lanscape a sense of depth with the light passing through onto the scene.

Fantastic Voyage: Colour comps update

Changing the foreground to a black silhouette I think makes the animation feel less like a snowy landscape but now this seems very gothic in style which with the right script over the top of it could lead give the same sort of story telling that 'The three brothers' use.

Fantastic Voyage: Colour comps Update

After the feedback from the pitch I have decided to change the colour of my scenes so that it does not look like a snowy landscape. Although because the forest is still in white silhouette it still gives a snowy representation from these I will see how I can change the foreground so it does not seem like snow but rather a forest.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Toolkit Animation: Showreel


Life Drawing: 12.03.2014




10 seconds

20 minute

Fantastic Voyage: Thumbnail Ideas

From these thumbnails I will experimenting on how to get a painterly watercolour background without it looking messy but still trying to to work quite quickly and keeping it loose. I am still experimenting on how to achieve this within Photoshop. I want the spores to contrast with the overall scene so they stand out in the animation. With my previous concept art I felt the background did not stand out as much so I decided to darken to background for these paintings, I feel they work better but it has given it a very dark atmosphere turning it almost Gothic, I feel like it needs to be uplifted so my animation does not feel dark. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Illustrator lesson 3

Film Review: Memento (2000)

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Memento
Fig 1.

Christopher Nolan's Memento (2000) is a complex film that explores the use of story telling within a film. It consists of two different sequences one being black and white that is shown in order and the other in colour that is shown in reverse order these then meet to reveal to overall story at the very end. Memento is a film that is shown from Leonard's perspective and he is a sufferer of short term memory loss that he sustained after his wife's murder. He can now only live by taking Polaroid images and getting tattoo's on his body to remind of the events or facts that he can use to retrace the murderer of his wife (Fig 2.)
Fig 2.

Memento (2000) is a physiological film leads the audience into the mind of Leonard who has short term memory loss. It represents Leonard's disorientation quite brilliantly with the use of editing throughout the film this is explained by A. O. Scott in his film review, ''Each scene jumps back in time, and ends where the previous one -- in narrative time, the next one -- began.'' ( A.O. Scott, 2001). Therefore this notion of jumping back in time and telling the story in reverse it gives the audience a sense of what Leonard feels like to have short term memory loss. 

One of the great mysteries within the film is how Leonard has managed to get all of his money, a Jaguar car and a tailored name make suit when he has no job and is mentally ill.Throughout the film as an audience member you are always questioning what and who you can rely on to tell the story. In Memento you are consistently lead to believe one thing is correct to then find out that it is not what it is made out to be. This is shown clearly in the scene with Leonard and Natalie when they are in Natalie's flat (Fig 3.). Before this encounter we are lead to believe that she has been beaten up by a drug dealer who wants money for the drugs that he is owed; but after we are shown what really happens between Leonard and Natalie. She was insulting Leonard and says how she is going to use him to do her dirty work and Leonard hit her resulting in the injuries. Consequently we as an audience are questioning what to rely on when trying to figure out the narrative for this film. Angie Errigo talks about the unreliable narrator within her film review,  ''Nolan's simple stroke of genius was to add the old literary trick of an unreliable narrator and thereby kick away the last remaining prop an audience could rely upon'' (Errigo, s.d).

fig 3.
The film manages to disorientate the viewer many times throughout the film and with its unusual backwards storytelling narrative has a unique play on the thriller genre. This film is more a physiological thriller that plays on the audience's state of mind, this was said in the Roger Ebert's film review, ''The movie doesn't supply the usual payoff of a thriller (how can it?), but it's uncanny in evoking a state of mind.'' (Ebert. 2001). What Ebert appears to be saying is that it does not follow the usual conventions of a thriller and does not give the same results that a thriller usual gives. Overall Memento is not your regular thriller and Christopher Nolan constructed it in a highly intelligent way to make the audience connect with how Leonard is feeling with his condition and although going against most conventional narrative structures it is hugely successful in its execution of cinematography.  

Illustration List:

Fig 1.[Film Poster] Memento (2000), Directed by Christopher Nolan. At: (Accessed on 10.03.2014)

Fig 2. [Film Still] Memento (2000), Directed by Christopher Nolan.
At: (Accessed on 10.03.2014)

Fig 3. [Film Still] Memento (2000), Directed by Christopher Nolan.
At: on 10.03.2014)


A.O. Scott (2001), Film Review; Backward Reel the Grisly Memories 
At: (Accessed on 10.03.2014)

Errigo, A. (s.d), Film Review, Memento.
At: (Accessed on 10.03.2014)

Ebert, R. (2001), Film Review, Memento.
At: (Accessed on 10.03.2014)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Fantastic Voyage: Concept Art Starting Scene

From the thumbnails I changed the composition so that the main fern is more in focus for the audience. I am still unsure whether to have a single fern for the animation to show that it is lonely to then reveal that it is in fact surrounded by lots of ferns, or to have the camera travel through lots of fern silhouettes to reveal the one fern we focus on for the animation.

Fantastic Voyage: Thumbnails and colour experimentation

I chose to go with the blue colour as it will complement the colour of the spores when they appear on the animation, I think I am going more towards the style of ''The silence beneath the bark'' with the painterly backgrounds. I want the white the symbolise the forestry background of the ferns habitat. The idea that I am going with is to have all the silhouettes in white apart from the main fern that I am focusing on for the animation and then to introduce colours for the spores.