Funny 15 Second – Part One

In 15 seconds can you make someone laugh?
Go on, give it a go.
Now making someone laugh in a 15 second animation would seem to be a piece of cake. Mmmm… Cake. Actually it turn out to be a bit of a challenge to have an animation that short. No cake for me.
In my funny 15 sec team, which consists of Ben Wardle and Olivia Reaveley, we wanted the visuals to become the gag rather than a dialog to deliver the joke. Taking this approach, we had to create a style and idea to deliver that visual gag. From our brainstorm session we chose a news anchor man reporting pointless news with Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animation style. We pick his style because how caricature and wacky his style is, which would deliver a visual gag. Also we never done a 2D cut out animation before; what perfect time to do one.
So with the style and idea there, we needed to have some dialog. Now remember I said it was a bit of a challenge? You may think, why is making a small script a challenge? Well remember its only 15 second long animation…. Yeah we kept going way over 15 seconds long after making an animatic because we wanted to make pointless breaking news and with the holds, this was not possible to deliver. So we went back to the drawing board to change our approach.
If you look at comedy and break down the elements of what makes a comedy so funny, is that it shows how much negative subject comedy touches on.
For example: We laugh seeing John Cleese character “Basil Fawlty” getting angry and smacking his car with a branch from Fawlty Towers. If you look at this character as a whole, he is a negative person but we laugh because of his actions, which makes it comedy.
So by rethinking our idea for the script, I came up with an idea, which tie nicely to our visual objective. My idea was playing on people perception by telling the audience a subject then switching to a twisted visual version of that subject.
Confused? Let me explain.
If the news said drunk driver causing chaos on the road, you would expect someone drunk driving a car. But you wouldn’t expect a drunken old man driving a scooter going 5mph down the road causing chaos.
This approach was perfect to deliver our objectives.

Background Project

Films with big landscape CGI footage use a technique, which projects an flat 2D image onto a plane and layer in order the back ground to the foreground. We apply this technique in our background project for 2D and 3D.

The image I created was made in a way where i could play around within both 2D and 3D projection. For 2D I had to use Toomboom to separate each layer, distancing away from the camera, which would create this effect, then I animated onto a new layer in Toomboom to animate the flags. Once I was happy with this, I started to play around with the camera to give me the best result I could have.

For the 3D, it was the same process to separate the layers by using planes with high amount of subdivisions but for the layers to work I had to go into the hypershades to connect a projector node with transparency. This process was for me. However, the rendered shots was completely out of place, where  the settings and setup was done the right way. To overcome this problem, I opened up a new scene in Maya and import the scene and weirdly it worked!

Here the shots I did.

Ident

I want to have a Monty Python theme to my ident with a nice jazz music feel to it. To do this I went into photoshop and cut the logo into different pieces, where I wanted them to animate. To create the falmouth logo and put the letters in place, I used different gesture poses of the hand. For the animation, I want to use toonboom than flash, as toomboom is a more competely package for animating and easy to frame the camera.

Overall I felt I could work on it more to add sound effects and tidy up some of the animation and hands but I was pleased with the result of how it worked together.

The Sea Group Project

Finally some group work!
In the group and roles are….
Matteo Veglia – Producer
Ben Wardle – Director
Rhys Harvey – Production Designer
Amy Jenkins – Visual Development Artist
and yours truly, Me – Technical Director
As Technical Director I will be posting the progress of the project and my own progress within the project. If you wish to view other area’s of the project then click on the one of their names, this will take you to the person blog 🙂
Anyways where were we….
We’ve been given a audio sound clip of a true story about a rescuer saving some fisherman’s. It’s our job to create a short animation film based from the audio sound clip given to us. From our crazy brainstorming sessions, we had a load of ideas from three joined-beard fisherman to this crazy battle with the sea. We decided to create a pirate battle against the fisherman but with a twist and a pinch of being sarcastic.
This is the first animatic, which was created by Ben Wardle
From the feedback we got from our animatic, I felt that we were being serious and funny in two different approaches, which didn’t work. As a group, we decided to go back to the drawing board and look at what approach did we wanted to take this film down. During that session we came across a short film by some students at The Animation Workshop, called The Backwater Gospel.
The Backwater Gospel is a great short film that captured our imagination from the style to the rigid lines of the characters. It had everything we wanted to be dark. This was our inspiration. If you haven’t seen this amazing short film, you can by clicking here.
We change our animatic from our feedback and inspiration into a new animatic, yet again this was put together by Ben.

Weight

The new semester is here and to kick off we’ve been looking at adding weight in our animation. From the amazing book by Richard William’s called ‘The Animator’s Survival Kit’ (A must have book!), shows us how the character builds up anticipation before lifting up the heavy object. To get a bit more understanding, here’s a clip from Richard William’s DVD.

 I decided to use Maya for my animation with the eleven rig I’ve been using in my previous animations. I started off blocking out the poses, as shown below.
Once blocked out, I started to key in addition animation and space each key out on the dope sheet. This is still in progress but here’s my work so far.