Saturday, 20 December 2008

Working On The Tale of Despereaux

So the reason I am so behind on my AM posts is down to the fact I landed a job at Framestore working on their first full CG film called "The Tale of Despereaux". I was just finishing class 5 of AM and one night I got a call to attend a 'chat' at Framestore. And then before I knew it I had a job as a professional animator at Framestore. I was working there for around 7 months and the animation crew was fantastic to work with. Sam Fell and Rob Stevenhagen who directed the team, were great to work with and really nice guys to talk too (yes they took the time to talk to you).

Framestore site

Despereaux micro site

The film is now out but here are links to the two trailers.

Trailer 1

Trailer 2

AM Showcase 2008

Late post on my part but i finally got around to adding this to my blog. Shockingly i managed to get onto this years showcase. Its right at the end of the showcase and is my Class 4 animation.

Direct link to the AM showcase 2008

Friday, 19 December 2008

Class 6 - Short Film Production

Im not going to post every class 6 week here as, the entire class/term was about the animation and development of my short film. There was no real animation techniques to learn. The entire term was a collective of videos ranging from light and colour use in your short film, polishing your animation, the use of sound and finally talks preparing you for the industry and making a showreel.

As of 2009 the Animation Mentor course will be changing Class's 5 and 6 (short film). I believe the changes will be more focus on polishing the animation.

For Class 6 i had Morgan Kelly who is currently a Dreamworks Animator and worked on a host of films Shrek 2, Madagascar, Bee Movie, Over the hedge and currently Monsters vs Aliens.

*Video to come*

Class 5 - 3D Animatic/Layout

So week/sessions 8, 9 and 10 would be developing the first pass for the 3D layout stage of the film. This is so timing issues can be more addressed, see if camera angles work and generally see if the film is working as a whole, and who knows things may even be cut in this first pass, cameras may change and acting choices may need to be thought out.

*Video to come*

Class 5 - 2D Animatic Development

We developed the 2D animatic over 3 weeks. Weeks/sessions 5, 6 and 7. First a storyboard is made and then the 2D animatic happens to develop an understanding of timing for the film and how the film will play out.

One half of the film had to be developed over a week, then we was given feedback. Then the following week we would work on the second half of the film and then be given feedback. In the final week (week3) all the feedback we had been given would now be addressed and used for this weeks deadline. So the following week we would be able to start on the first layout pass.

After my two pitches my mentor found it hard to choose which one was strongest. But he lent a little more to the French artist idea as there was a more animation choices in terms of how the character changes emotions in the short film, and had a story. Compared to the duck hunter which is more gag driven and doesn't have a whole lot going on. Also i think the French idea came out strongest as i added some Frenchy music.

*pictures to come*

Class 5 - 5 Ideas to 2 core ideas

After many hours of brain storming and general chit chat with other Animation Mentor Students. I came up with 5 ideas. These ideas are just foundations to build on. For me two of my ideas really jumped out at me and got me in the mood to animating. My other ideas were just small moments of time and could tell a larger story. Which is great but i wanted something more smaller that had the 3 core elements which are beginning, middle and end plus i wanted something funny and entertaining.

One of the two core ideas was about a duck hunter and the other idea was about a French artist. These would be my chosen ideas which would need more fleshing out, and refinement for the rest of class 5.

*pictures to come*

Class 5 - Short film Pre Production

For this class i had Elliot Bour - animator for Walt Disney and worked on Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mulan. He also does freelance storyboarding and directed a number of commercials.

For this class we was given a story planning packet which gives you the steps on how to develop your ideas and get them ready for delivery. Yes! you guessed it we have to record our self pitching the ideas to camera while keeping it short and to the point.

Over this class we had to come up with five different ideas, from them five ideas we narrow it down to two. We then pitched the two ideas to camera. And after feedback and possible changes, we then re-pitch one of the two ideas again. From there one idea will and should come out strongest and its that idea which you will then be turn into a 2D animatic and from there start a 3D Layout pass.