Saturday, 8 May 2010

The deadline came and went...

So I rushed through 'till the deadline and I couldn't make it. My film contains alot more AFX then I thought... and I did not even have time to touch sound effects.
The coloring is incomplete and I am not satisfied with some of the lighting effects but it's finish now and we will see what the teachers think. I haven't updated this blog in a while either since I've been trying to finish this film in a rush.

In any case here it is, the film I submitted:

I plan on finishing this over the summer. I want this film to still be in my portfolio but for now I need a little break and be sure I won't rush through this again.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Okay post to come towards to end o the week or the beginning of next week with the animatic containing all my keys for the aimation.
I've currently keyed 2/3 of my film. I want to finish these by the end of the week and clean them up for next week.
Once they are clean and scanned the timing will be adjusted to the dialogue and then I start with the tweening which I hope will takeme about 2 weeks.

Up to now I am happy wiht my choice of drawing all the keys up first. It feels as the longest part of animation is gonna be over after this since the tweens will follow from key to key.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Aesthetics and atmosphere

These are screenshots from The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black (2000). To resume the movie very quickly, Crash survivors are struggling to stay alive on a deserted-looking sun scortched planet. A total eclipse of the suns turn plunges them into complete darkness during which alot of alien looking beast are awaken and set out to hunt.
The first screenshot is what I want in my animation; darkness. I don't want any of those omnipresent blue-ish lights showing us where everything is almost as if you wouldn't need a flash light. There is use of such lightings in Pitch Black aswell.
I want all light to have a clear light source.

In this shot, the survivors are trying to run through the desert-like fields, now covered in hunting alien. The light source is the only thing appearing to creat any light and this means that we can only see as much and as far as the characters can. I think this adds to the sensation of chlostrophibia.

In my short animation, I intend to have clear sources of light. As mentioned in the previous post, the two main protagonist will have lights mounted on they shoulders. (not directional lights)

The above shot is through Riddick (the main protagonist) night vision. I hadn't think yet of what the night vision goggles would look like. I had the traditional green and black filter view in mind.
This view is almost like a mix of heat vision and night vision.
I would like to think of this movie as a main inspiration for the atmosphere. I really want to avoid the omnipresent blue-ish lights and I want to make us as blind in the dark as the characters.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

More Games

Metal Gear Solid 4 is another nice and sketchy title. I like the movement the gray painting is giving to the drawing but my only problem with this style is how bright it is. I want to give a try to this style using black as the base color to keep the emvironment as pitch black as possible without making the characters blend into the backgrounds.

This is an artwork from the Wii Game Mad World. The whole game is in black and white, only the blood is red in color. Looking at the different screenshot of the game, the black and white backgrounds and character are very dull. There is also no indication to where the light sources would be. This option of making my outlines white is a no go as it would cancel out the dark and clostrophobic atmosphere I am trying to create.

This is Gears of Wars for the Xbox. Althought I was looking into different styles for the outlines... I do really like the idea of them carrying lights on their body armors. In the space ship environment I have ceated I still haven't placed my emergency lights which will provide the main source of light in the animation. Placing these lights on the charactres themselves would make the shadows surround the characters and illuminate only what the characters are looking at. Outline wise, In the red and black picture (bottom one) I like how the black areas aren't fully filled up with black.

Ink effects

This is the new Street Fighter IV intro cinematic. I really fell in love with the liquid ink effects in this... Althought my animation will not be in black and white I am looking for a nice sketchy edge for it.
In this little cinematic the characters seem to have a define outline but whenever they jump or get punch, this outline seem to liquify and dissapear in the air following the movement.
I also really like the high contrast in the shading. I could apply this to my work using the very low light. The other very nice thing about it is how they play wiht the speed. The camera does alot of slow motion to make the impact of a punch or a charge even greater. This gives an interesting and captivating beat to the cinematic and helps the viewer understand the actions carried out by the fighters.

The splatter marks also appear in a very graphic novel fashion. They aren't animated, simply revealed after the punch reaches its target. I really want to try this high contrast effects but most of all I want to give a try to this liquid outline.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

These are two of my completed backgrounds. Adding shadows will be done at the enxt stage of updating my animatic and it adds alot to the atmosphere...
But as I am working hard on my backgrounds I found a minute or two to see how I could make the beats. Down here is one of the idea I had... This one has been kept quite feral I wanted the viewer to easily link them to predators such as big cats. I also quite like the raptor claws atthe front... The colors are just there to look pretty. It woulnd't look very fine to have these flashy yellow creatures living in the darkness of a spaceship.
That's it for now, back to my backgrounds.

Friday, 27 November 2009


I'm currently working on my background. I've got 20 of them to do. These pictures up here âre simple corridors that I found and inspired me. The left one has an interesting shape which is less boring that a square corridor and the right one gave me a good idea on how to do the lighting. Although the ship is abandonned I can't have my animation done in absolute darkness. So I looked at some emergency light to indicat doors for example and I found the use of glow in the dark band of stickers quite common. It's a good idea since it doesn't produce alot of light so it won't destroy the atmosphere.

When designing the ships interiors I wanted the scavengers' ship to look lived in and yet cheap and the ghost ship had to look industrial. On the left is an image from Red Dwarf which contains alot of industrial looking surrounding (although the set changes hrough the serie) and on the right is Dans Une Galaxie Près De Chez Vous (which is a serie from Québec with the same concept as Red Dwarf) in which the settings also look industrial. This serie also contains alot of lived in details and little gag and practicalities hidden in the set.
What I like about the set in the Québec serie is how it's made out of everyday apparel. The driver's control is literaly a wheel and he has a gear box. The cyborg has a complicates control panel on the top of his chest which is in fact a tv remot control.
These hiddent everyday artefact just make this sci-fi environment look and feel more home like and closer to us.

Color wise... I won't have time to paint all of the background in photoshop. I'm doing the lines and the color on photoshop working on a bigger ratio than the animation will be at. I've decided to use one of photoshop's attribute over corel for exemple of photo manipulation.
This an exemple of a background I'm working on, the texture have been pasted and copy before I crop them to fit under the line art depending on what is which metal. So far the lineart has taken me longer than I thought because of the twisted angles I use to make the surrounding interesting yet generic. These are only flat textures, I need to add lightings and shadows and so on.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Sound and voices

I realise there is not much research on here yet. I'm finally able to start focusing on the aesthetics of the background and the spaceships. I also really want to have a bash at designing my alien creatures.
My film is quite dialogue heavy (I need dialogue for the story to make sense to anyone watching) and this is what I had been working on; getting the voice actors!

I found two great voice actors on
the female part (Kiara) will be done by Kristin Lennox,

the male parts (Kaiten and the Pilot) will be Pete Nottage

and the score will be made by Lee Miller (who has done solent student films in the past).

so now I can truly focus on getting the anematic right!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Character designs - fresh

Yah! something has happened on the blog once more!
Here as some character designs done over again for the new script.
This one above is Kiara the female protagonist. I did some work on the prop e.g. her machine gun on her left. I had a very hard time with the colors (not that it matters much at this point) but since the whole ship will be pretty dark... I want them to stick out but not too much. Well I went for army color since matching uniforms links the characters together.
This here is Kaiten (no he didn't change name). Casualy gonna take a walk into an alien infested ship. hurray. I've got one of his revolver drawn on the right but he'll have two identical ones.. cause I say so. The funny silhouette on his left is his stance. Yes to complicate my life I gave him anthropomorphic legs.

At this point in time I'm working on the pilot... which doesn't have a name but still needs a design. I want to start on the layouts tomorow although I need to focus on the anematic. I want to sort out the camera movement and make it more fluid. I want to post some insirational background ideas soon... which I think I mentioned before? Otherwise thats pretty much it... If I got time maybe do a cover pic to put somewhere around this blog hehe... but I have no time to waste!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Storyboarding matters

As I finished my script and after I divided my script into scenes I could finally make a nice storyboard. I use my first storyboards to establish where dialogue would be needed (althought I think it could still change).
Here are two inked panels. I haven't settled down on any specific background yet but I would like to stick to industrial, metal and rough surrounding.... but at the same time, give the feel of the inside of a cave. I want ti look at Alien again and possibly Red Dwarf and Dans une Galaxie (both sci-fi low budget tv series)... but for the time being, gray will do.
I want to use these roughs to make an anematic this week-end but since I'm at work most of it I don't know if I will be able to finish all the panels in this clear and inked manner.
I am still looking for this 'edge' to add to my animation... and I would love to discover I am under three minutes when the anematic is completed as I could add some more character interactions at the beginning and possibly, set the scene better.

Monday, 2 November 2009


Philosophy: romantic story shown through a sci-fi horror style aimed at showcase viewer and film festivals.

Synopsis: the story takes place with the female and male characters in a crashed/abandonned spaceship.

-The girl character opens a safely closed door in hope to find the source of the heat in this abandoned place. The characters look into the darkness beyond the door and catch a glimpse of hostile creatures lurking in the dark.

-Without further hesitation the girl grabs Kaiten by the hand and incite him to run back to the ship (which they boarded this crashed ship with). As they run the girl falls through the floor.

-Kaiten can not decide whether to jump don aswell but the collapsing floor and the beast behind him pushes Kaiten to run foward. The girl's nightvision goggles broke in her fall and she can not decifer how many of the creatures are lurking behind her. She starts to run in the same direction as Kaiten. The girl turns around and uses her gun to destroy the corridor behind her to stop the beasts. She turns around to find a hand hanging from the ceiling; it's Kaiten's hand, offering to drag her back to him.

-She is helped onto the higher level and hugs Kaiten. She notices that his mechanical armor is damaged and she takes this oportunity to ask him for his goggles which he refuses to give to her. The pilot of the ship waiting for them contacts them on their radio; pressing them to hurry back.

So they start their race back.

-The girl running behind, is pinned down by one of the beast following them. Kaiten jumps on the beast using the strenght from his armor. He is wounded but chases the creature away.

-As they carry on running, the girl notices he is slowing down. She takes the armor of Kaiten to wear it herself. With it's strenght, she helps Kaiten to run.

-They reach the corridor leading to the closing air lock. The doors are closing way too fast for the pace at which they run. The girl uses the strenght of the armor to push Kaiten through the doors.

-Kaiten realizes what she did and althought he can not move much with his wound, he takes off his goggles adn puts his hand through the door. As the doors shut and the girl isn't going to make it, Kaiten's hand is cut. His hand falls to the floor, with hit goggles.

-The girl picks them up from his opening hand and puts her hand on the door, crying. She hears a hissing noise behind her and puts the goggles before turning around. Through her goggles we can seequite a few beats.

Creatures: The beats in this animation are based on the Windigo (native american legends). The creature is invisible and the only way of detecting it's presences is the hissing noise it makes when it breaths and the fott steps it leaves are covered in blood.

Aesthetic: I want to use the goggles and the sci-fi style to give a clostrophobic feel to their situation. The only way they can see those windigos is using the goggles. I'm looking at something in the genre of Metroid

Lenght: 3 minutes

Medium: 2D

Thursday, 29 October 2009

On r'commence!

There has been some major changes to my storyline in the past week. I'm gonna stick to a sci-fi love story.

On a different note here are some picture of the books that fed my sci-fi idea

Other than that I've had a massive influence from reading the novel series about Halo (the game) but the book explains pretty much how things start and is an awful lot better than a first person shooter (apart from the second which matches the gam's repetition).

I guess what I gained most is about story making and make believe... I really enjoy reading something so well thoguth through that you could belioeve in logical terms that it could be real. But thats a personnal taste in storyline I think.

I'm very busy worrying to death at the moment, no food, no sleep and just loads of worrying hours a day. I'm freaking out trying to save my dissertsation (which is in my way) the paper itself isn't bad, I just seem to have mixd feelings about this piece of work... meh.

So I'm sticking to this love story hing.. I'm very busy developing the characters, I've got an ending but to make it count I need character interaction which helps me humanized them. I'm just worried (again) that I'm focusing too much on the story...

I really can't please myself in 3 minutes it seems...

back to my characters, I will still havce my storyboard and characters and backgrounds ready for next week.... i hope.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Scripting is hard work :(

well as it stood then, the story didn't have a character arc so two weeks ago (after i came up wiht my designs rather than focusing on the story) I had a good chat with Adam and it was sorted.
At last the girl would be a selfish idiot who ends up sacrificing herself.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut as time passed and my first semi storyboard came to this world, Adam confirmed my worse fear... The story wasn't coming accross visualy :(
This is the first rough storyboard I made (it's not clear i know)

So hopefully tomorow I get to sort my script out and put the story accross in a clear manner so I can upload the final thing on here :)
I need to sort out Kaiten, he's my problem at the moment but I don't want to cut him out :(

What came after that you ask?

As the storyline started to make some sort of sense in my head, I started sketching out who I wanted the heroes to be! The girl on the left is the main character which has yet to be named and on the left, possibly her loved one, Kaiten.

Monday, 19 October 2009

In the beginning

well to start with there was nothing for the whoooole summer... until one day!
Then I had an overly epic and long and complicated idea for my final film.

I loved the idea of it so much that I decided to stick to it in the end (since nothing else seemed worth while in my idea book) and finally I managed to cut it down to a more suitable time lenght.

To come very soon:
-First storyboard
-Character design