Cindy and I have been holding “work days” in the Art Building on our campus for our artists to work on their “Body and Soul” assignments. And we’ve made a lot of progress during these work days! Cindy, Tony, and I have been working hard on rough animation, while Tara and Jessica have made some finalizing touches in the Viz Dev scene. Tara has made big progress on color scripting the rest of our film! Extra kudos to her for all the work that she’s put in these past week.
I showed Tara some of the old color comps that Jasmine completed for us; so Tara can improve upon those, and try out some new color schemes as well. Here are some ideas that she came up with.
As pretty as the yellow+blue, and the rose+blue color comps on the first page are, they were too reminiscent of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Hercules, respectively.
After looking at these options, Cindy and I decided to keep the orange theme for the Act II portion of our film. So, we told Tara that we wanted a more cool, desaturate orange for the beginning of the dance sequence, and for it to get progressively warmer and more saturate. We first had to establish a value/color scale for this concept. So Tara did these paintings for us.
When Cindy, Tony, and I looked at these paintings from top to bottom, Anne’s dress reminded us of bacon getting cooked. So this chart has been named, “The Bacon Scale”. We didn’t eat lunch yet while looking at these paintings… Tara also experimented with the specific colors of Anne’s facial features and other details throughout the film; and also made several sheets of swatches for us to use throughout the film.
Anyhow, all four of us (Cindy, Tara, Tony, and I) were able to break down the highs and lows in Anne’s mood throughout the dance sequence of the film. We corresponded Anne’s emotions with the Bacon scale.
These are the comps that Tara painted for our Color Script. The very last tile is the “Act 3” colors. Very simple, very desolate, and yet very appropriate.
And then I took these comps and timed them out with the animatic, just to make sure the feel we want is preserved. I think it all works out!
ColorScriptTimed from Elizabeth Eng on Vimeo.
We also did a test in Premiere Pro to see if we can smoothly make these color changes happen over many frames. I think we will be using Premiere to adjust the saturation as necessary for our film.
ColorChangeTest from Elizabeth Eng on Vimeo.
We also got some Smoke Designs from Jessica! These designs are for Anne and Dean as they appear in smoke form. We are hoping our effects animator lead, Ben Ravid, approves of these designs as simple enough to animate.
Anyhow, we told Jessica that we would like a different shape language between each characters’ smoke designs to differentiate their personalities. We also wanted Dean’s smoke to feel heavy, because he is the cause of Anne’s despair.
One last note regarding Viz Dev… stay tuned for the revised and new Beauty Frames for different segments of our film! They are in progress, but not quite ready to show yet.
Onward to Animation! Since the Pencil Test Lab in our building has been locked while school is out of session, our animators did not have access to a down-shooter camera. But not all hope was lost! I built my own down-shooter set up for all of us animators to use! I taped a webcam to a box, and taped a peg bar inside the box. I’m rather proud of it.
All of us animators have been focusing on drawing keys and breakdowns traditionally, on paper. After keys get approved, all of us animators will move into Toon Boom Harmony to in-between and clean up the shots. Cindy actually got started the Toon Boom part of our animation process! Check it out below.
Cindy_INT_RoughAnimation from Elizabeth Eng on Vimeo.
I know my pencil test is super low resolution (for now – I promise to get a higher quality version in a future update). But these are my pencil drawing keys. They got lost in the export, but I indicated a path of action and basic timing of the smoke that Anne breathes out at the end of the shot. Anyhow, this is my shot as it stands now.
06_END_RuffKeys_Bess from Elizabeth Eng on Vimeo.
Tony Vu has been animating the Dance Sequence of our film. He’s volunteered to animate all of it, which is about a third of our film! I hope he can keep up the amount of work he’s done for us so far. If you can recall from a post many months ago, Tony was the one who started giving Cindy and me some dance lessons and designing basic choreography for our film. Because Tony is an experienced dancer, it is only fitting that he’d want to animate the dance of our film.
Miyuki has been instrumental in giving critiques of this shot!
Anyhow, this is the progress he has on the first shot of the dance sequence (the camera for this shot will be adjusted in post production).
VuTony_Dance_Zoomed from Elizabeth Eng on Vimeo.
This last pencil test is from Brandon Louie, one of our effects animators. This will be the puff of smoke that Anne breathes out in Cindy’s shot, listed above. Brandon finished this so fast! Later on, I’ll get him to animate the smoke on my shot.
LouieBrandon_CigaretteSmoke_Rough from Elizabeth Eng on Vimeo.
Thanks for hanging in for this long post, everybody! But there’s one last bit I want to share with you all. Our effects lead animator, Ben Ravid, shared some pieces of smoke animation from his library of reference. We’ll keep elements of these smoke animations in mind while we design the smoke animation.
And this last but not least, our professor Raquel found a beautiful piece of smoke reference for our film! In this clip, we see dancers interacting with the smoke; hitting it away, etc. They are all motions that we would use in our film, and it shows real smoke reacting to these motions. We’ll definitely keep this video in our library of references! The actual smoke reference starts at about 0:27. Also, make sure to check out the new banner for the blog!