Thursday, October 30, 2014

Minor Project - Storyboard Draft 2

The McGuffin and the location of the story has changed, the squirrels now fight for a remote on a window of a New York Apartment, this is the updated storyboard.

From frame 9 - 12 the Squirrels actions will be directly parallel to what's happening on the TV
In frame 16, B and S tug and pull, it flicks between two channels, depending on who's got more of the remote

Moving Forward

I'll be working on the animatic in order to get final sounds and timing of the animation.
I'll also be finalising the design of the squirrels before orthogrpahics and modelling

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Minor Project - Story Restructuring

In between feedback at the pitch and after conversation about moving forward, I've decided to restructure the story, the premise is the same, but after a conversation with Phil I feel it makes sense to change the mcguffin.

How this affects the story
The new mcguffin is a TV remote for a big screen on a building outside the park, I felt this made more sense because these squirrel live on the outskirts of a city, they're domesticated and having a big screen on a building is very common now, the fact that two squirrels control the display was funny to me.
[very very rough draft] Drawing out each frame quickly to get shot ideas down
I am just being transparent with my process, here I've just drawn out really roughly what I want each shot to look like before I go back in detail. this took about five minutes to do, but I felt I needed to post it in case anyone had any suggestion on shots I kept a few frames from the previous storyboard but the majority of the frames are new.

I broke down my story into acts so I could see it working structurally before I drew it on paper. One of my main criticisms were that it escalated too quickly, it hits 11 as soon as the animation starts and there's no where to go from there, in this new version of the story I wanted to focus on the dynamics between the two characters, I spend more time with the characters and let the slapstick take a back seat, it's still very much a slapstick short but I felt that element would come naturally if I had the characters at the forefront every time. B is strong but unlike my previous storyboard/animatic he wouldn't go out of his way to beat up S, he does things like a baby and most of the animation I have B following S's lead.

Introduction - Squirrels fight for TV Remote
Complication - It Falls into the grip of a sleeping fat boy
Middle - They attempt to release the remote from the guys hand
Climax - Using the burger they trick the human into dropping the remote
Denouement - They celebrate as they've freed the remote
Coda - They realise only one person can get the remote so they fight. it falls into a lake. A van dumps acid on it, and we cut back to the squirels watching the shopping channel after the credit scene.

Minor Project: B and S - Concept 1

In the middle of reworking the story and making major tweaks, I've been working on the characters, these are in no way final, but I do like colours, this concept was more for me to figure out the dynamic between them, B is twice the size of S yet he's scared of him, I wanted to see how they look together in their environment, and their scale in comparison to each other

Monday, October 20, 2014

Minor Project - B and S initial Sketches and Influences

In terms of branding this is how I visualised it, B(Big) and S(Small) are the characters of short animations and Acorn is the title of one of their many adventures together.

As I've been working with both squirrels (B and S) I found I needed define them more in terms of their traits so their designs could be less broad and more character specific, so here's a little about both characters.

S is a leader, he isn't strong but he's smart he uses his wit to get him out of most situation, he fast on his feet, and he has a bit of an anger issue, he looses his temper very quickly and is very selfish, if he had to choose between one acorn or two, he'll pick two and slap you for asking a dumb question

B is a follower, he is very strong but simple minded  he observers things as though they were new to him and he's slow but he more than makes up for it with his strength, B is kind but when he wants something he'll do anything to get, normally he wouldn't hurt a fly but he'll trample on a family of flies to get hold of a shiny balloon he likes, if he had to choose between one acorn and two acorns, he'll pick two because he wouldn't want the other acorn to be lonely.

A few character traits that affect their design

S's temper:
He's got a part of his left ear bitten off (lost it in a fight?), and is tails more jagged it reacts depending on how angry he is

B's naivety:
He's a lot more rounder and his lack of experience causes him to do things in very differnt way, so doesn't use his hand very often so his tail curls up like a fist for grabbing things, and his hands and significantly smaller than S's

These are my current two Influence Maps for both characters.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Minor Project - Storyboard Draft 1

At frame 39 is where I want to end the animation, here the characters are about to attack each other then it freezes and ends, I continued on till 45 for a possible different ending

 I didn't finalize the designs for the characters yet so before I went straight into the drafting a storyboarding I did a few drawings to figure out the characters and frames I'll be using, these are a just few sketches from my sketchbook at that point.

Moving Forward

I'm working on the animatic it'll go up with updated storyboard when it's all finished

Monday, October 6, 2014

Minor Project - The Story's Outline

I've settled on an Outline I'm happy with, I felt it delivered the message from concept.

Better Together/Teamwork is Key
Two Squirrels fight for an Acorn at a Park

  • Both Squirrels fight for acorn.
  • Acorn Falls from Tree into the hands of a guy sleeping on a park bench
  • Little squirrel attempts to collect acorn for himself and fails
  • Big Squirrel attempt the same thing and fails
  • They decide to work together
  • Working together, they manage to separate man and acorn.
  • [END] With Acorn Free, Squirrels look to commence fighting again.
  • [CONT'D][...ALT END] It gets windy, and acorn falls in drain
  • [...ALT END] Squirrels retract weapons, and look to work together
I put in an "alternate ending" because I am still undecided with ending, they could end where they both started, or continue and end with the teamwork.

Moving Forward
I'm moving forward to draft out a Storyboard and Animatic.

In terms of style, I've been thinking of having minimal environment elements, or just suggesting the park with sounds or objects like leaves blowing or a ball bouncing, In my head I imagine one tree and a Park bench.

Batman-Superman. This panel shows what I have in mind in terms of staging the animation

The characters on my animation don't say anything so I started using words in certain parts of my storyboard, this would be another element I would be experimenting with in the animation to bring out the characters at certain moments.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Minor Project - Understanding the Story's Structure

After some feedback I understand my storyboard was going from event to event with no consequence, instead of having an action be a reaction to the previous action, so I stopped storyboarding to figure elements from my story,so I could come up with a content rich outline for the short. I looked at different shorts and tried to see what made them work.

Analysing Shorts

Why does it work as short
It has one singular objective - The objective for each character is simple and straightforward

The two contrasting characters - the two characters are polar opposites of each other so naturally they'll clash so it's not hard to establish a conflict and a solution in 1 minute.

For every action a reaction - Unlike what I've been doing when storyboarding, this animation plays on the characters, and no action is done that isn't a reaction to the other character.

...The story continues - As the character drives off, you are aware he's getting into another similar situation, so the story continues in the viewers head

Moving forward
I've been jumping straight into storyboarding to try and figure out my story as I go along, what ended up happening was my plots became this "and then, and then" story. In order not to get stuck again with a subjective story I've tried to figure motifs for actions in my story than worrying about the slap stick elements, I have settled on a concept and a premise so the comedy elements can come in later once the Story is outlined.
Better together/Teamwork is Key
Two Squirrels try to get a massive acorn from a guy sleeping on a park bench, but they cant do it alone.

My idea has evolved over time since proposing it, these are just a few sketches on the project during that time

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Experimenting withTechniques

This was a little break from the minor project, just trying out a different technique in Photoshop. Drawing from Witcher 3 screenshots, and Wreck it Ralph concept art

I worked on these using techniques from Eytan Zana's Gumroad tutorial