Initial Sketches and Ideas

I am having difficulty with this project at the moment, it is not the lack of source material or references that’s for sure. However I do not seem to be that inspired at present. I am not sure if it is the room for interpretation on the brief or just my own lack of confidence when it comes to interpreting things in my own way. We are told not to play it safe and to experiment and play about while we are in Uni (as it’s an environment where you can get away with it more.)

So to take advantage of an unusual nice day with the sun out and no other plans I headed over the the park with my flatmate and sketchbook in hand. We set up camp near a tree with the intention to sketch, enjoy the sun and read. I also hoped that being outside would provide some inspiration.

Base of a Tree

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Close to the Deadline

The animatic is done! Has taken several hours of nonstop work, the timing is off, there are things to re-do but have run out of time. Plus the Flash annoyance is growing and again the feeling of running out of time….

Key frames drawn in Flash to use as a guide for the Anamatic. (Click to enlarge)

This is also the final story board as I decided to approach things in an interesting fashion, one that worked for me at least. I decided that I would use two frames a second as that would be easy to place on the timeline as sixty frames. I then drew the character out simply using different layers and groups things together, while also incorporating a slight design change in the horns as it looked better when moving them. I then placed key-frames along the timeline and put the character into the position I wanted it to be in at that point. I then used the onion skinning feature to fill in the blanks.
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Sketching Over Coffee

A good night’s sleep does wonders, as does a good cup of coffee in the early morning sun coming through the kitchen window. I ended up sketching out in pen and idea about how to solve some of the design issues with the character, I am still not sure about the horns, but the body is now more in keeping with the rest of the design and the legs work a lot better.

Quick sketches done during my morning coffee.

The colours are still proving to be an issue, but as I glanced out at the kitchen window I had an idea looking at the different shades of green from all the trees. They are all different parts, some the same colours as others – lots of different shades but all the same colour. So I sketched out some colour themes in felt tip (as they were at hand) to see if the same principle would work for the character. I think it might as it will also help with the illusion that it is there but not there at the same time when put into the environment I had in mind, jumping across the clouds at dawn and dusk.

The trees in shades of green and the clouds looking like a landscape...

I then sketched out the story board about lunch time and remembered to take a photo of the white board I had been jotting ideas down onto, as I realised that it would be good to include in the hand in. The overall animatic is still daunting at the moment am not sure how to put it together. Been playing about with Illustrator, Photohsop and ended up settling with Flash due to the timeline making it easier for layout. Have also been reading ‘The Story Board Design Course’ (Giuseppe Cristiano,2007) which I got from the library yesterday last thing. One thing of note so far was to create the animatic in grey scale so as to get idea down, then work from key frames outwards, and that it tends to be similar to the final animation as it’s the template for it.

The initial story board and a selection of the design process surrounding it.

Things are starting to come together…