This project was the last big project of the year, we were to get into groups and decide from two briefs which project we wanted to use. We chose this 'What' project as we felt we had more freedom with it and less limits to the sort of thing we could do. We first started off by brainstorming and coming up with a few ideas for stories and characters to get a rough idea of what we were all interested in and happy working with. I opted to be the lead animator and editor of the animation as this is the field I am interested in and the audio if I had time to work on it. Once we roughly knew what we were doing I started to design the backgrounds for the animation which consisted of:
• Interior of a house.
• Exterior of a park.
• Exterior of a town high street.
• Exterior of a Night club entrance.
• Interior of Night club by bar.
• Interior hospital.
These were then reviewed by the rest of the group and some were scrapped as we had drastically changed the idea. The rest that survived were approved of and put into further development and were then included into the story boards. The job of developing the backgrounds was then passed over to Patrick so that I could start animating the animatics from the story boards which were to last around 1min. These animatics were very basic and were just to show timing and a rough layout of the animation. If I were to do this sort of thing again it would look a lot cleaner and professional as I had not used flash much before this project but was willing to experiment with it. I submitted this animatic to the group and we all reviewed it and then there was some editing to be done. I re-done some of the animatic and adjusted the timings so it was now around 1min 10secs, it looked smoother and less pacey so we were getting somewhere.
Whilst I was developing the animatics Sam and Charlie were working on developing the characters so I had something to work with once I had finished with the animatics. Once they were done and out of the way I started animating the first scene with Dave looking at the photo and the ring, this took me a few days to complete and it was pretty straight forward as there wasn’t too much movement and was just a simple animation of Dave seated so no walk cycles or anything too hard. I was then left waiting for a couple of days for further characters and backgrounds so I could carry on working on the animation. My next scene to animate was Dave leaving the house and walking down the street, this was my first difficult animation in flash as it included a walk cycle which I find very difficult to get looking right and to stop the character looking like they are sliding instead of walking. I feel it looks okay but could be better, he does look like he’s sliding a little bit but I think it may be due to the background moving as well and depends on the angle of the background and the direction the character is walking. The characters were also quite hard to animate as the way they were designed and made seemed a bit ‘botched’ together to me and would have worked better as still images because as soon as you moved the character a little the whole thing looked off and showed sharp edges.
I then went right back to the very beginning to animate the open scene of the house exterior and the zoom onto the silhouette of Dave. This was very simple and consisted of just a simple symbol and them a zoom on top. Next I was to attempt the scene of Dave walking to meet Kate, this was fairly difficult as it again required more walk cycles. I needed to animate him walking forward straight on and walking away from the camera just seeing his back. Both were extremely hard again due to the angles especially the back shot walk. My next job was the street scene with Kate and Dave walking passed the gay couple, again the walk cycle for Kate was very difficult as she has big hips which need narrowing whilst she walked to show the passing point. This is one of my favourite scenes I had to produce for this animation as it includes sound as well and syncs with the mouths well. The gay couple look a bit rough though, not because of the animating but because the characters were a made a bit sketchy. The last two scenes I animated were the scenes inside the club, the one when he enters and it zooms to his face I feel worked very well and I also like the barman’s animation when Dave walks to the bar. I was then helped with the remaining animation as we started to run out of time and the rest of my group had little to do and because the characters were delayed they helped out. My last job of animating was to do another walk cycle but this time for the Granny walking towards Dave in the hospital bed. This was by far the easiest one as her feet were not going to be in shot so it was a simple leg, torso and head movements to produce this cycle which I feel is also the most successful because of its simplicity.
I then had the job of compiling the whole clip together in Premiere to produce the final outcome which then only required a backing track to be finished.
I liked the way it all came out even though it ended up three times longer than the original planned animatic but I did not see this a problem as we didn’t have a set time to keep to anyway. Overall I feel this project went extremely well and I am very happy with the final outcome and I like the style we worked in. I also feel more comfortable working in Flash and Premiere now. If I was to go back and do it again I would definitely focus a bit more time on the walk cycles as I feel they are key points of any animation.