Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Model Sheets

The time that the crazy level kicks up a notch... I've found myself having an internal discourse about the merits of my character having a curved hairline instead of a straight one. This will be a long afternoon. I plan to upload the model sheets of both characters and any left over designs by the end of the day so stay tuned.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Boy with a Million Faces... (but no name)

Basically what I'm doing today is working with shapes. At first I decided which shapes I like for the character, though I did have some preconceived notions of how I wanted him to look, such as not having a nose, simplistic eyes, being quite wide mouthed and toothy.

As I started messing about with the shapes I began settling on some constants, the large circular head, a pointy jaw, and sticky-out ears. Still working on the hair and the subtleties of the facial design, for example on the last drawing in this post, I noticed that moving the eyes and mouth closer together made for a younger looking character, and while the nose looker good on some characters it made the boy a bit more cute and likeable, so that's a no-go.

Another post to follow shortly, after pilates me thinks, so watch this space.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Second Draft

Transcriptions Animatic - First Draft from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

Transcriptions Animatic - Second Draft from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

I'm just going to run through the main changes I made to the film, and explain why I thought they were necessary. Please feel free to comment if you agree with them or if you think they don't work as well.

Opening Scene:

The opening shot is a close-up pan across the floor towards where the boy is. Firstly, I added this to act as an establishing shot. My second reason for it is to set up later story. I want to give the impression that the boy has smashed up his piggy bank and bought crisps, sweets, fizzy drinks etc. with his allowance, and now there's nothing left (except his pile of mess) I wanted this to also show the character's greed in terms of the amount of food he is snacking on.

Fridge Scene:

From an aesthetic perspective, I like this shot as it is quite common practice in film and television. The majority of the shot stays the same, but he now hears the ice cream van from the kitchen rather than sulking back in the living room. This is a time saving device but I think it's also valid in the sense that you get the faster change of reaction. I think that ties in again with his impulsive character traits.

Window Scene:

Initially the boy runs up to the window, excitedly and checks his pockets for money. Then having realised the has already spent it, he walks away forlorn. When I showed this at the National Gallery, they said that him being broke didn't come across clearly enough. It was suggested that I use the classic cartoon cliche of him emptying his pockets. I felt that it would read better, but personally I dislike it.

Instead, I had the character remember in his own mind that he spent all his money, and aim to show this through his facial expression. I also added the shot of the broken piggy bank again to reinforce that to the audience. It is after this disappointment that the boy sees the wallet, and hopefully this makes him look more conniving that before, where he was trudging away from the window and then saw the wallet.

(Baldrick's Cunning Plan)

The End scene:

This is where the two animatics differ the most. I wanted the shots in the new animatic, of the boy gradually feeling ill to give a sense of foreboding. The idea that the dad offers him an ice cream as a treat, unwittingly this is a huge punishment, and the idea of it is what tips the boy over the edge (and leaves a mess on the carpet). I also believe that this way the focus is fully on the boy where as before the father was a bit more active, in getting up and finding his son in the bathroom. It just seemed a bit forced, and the audience didn't see the child gradually feeling worse either.

I'll probably update this again with more info, but I've got to get back to the designing. Ideally all sorted by the end of the day, after speaking to my mentor, Wesley Louis.

Thanks for reading, and leave comments below.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Character Design

I'm still having a bit of a mental struggle with this aspect. Firstly I enjoy the initial contrast in the animatic of the large father and the smaller son. The fact that he's a greedy git means that it might help the story to make him a bit fatter though.

(Chubby cheeks)

In terms of his character, I don't want any of you feeling too sorry for him. He's meant to represent one of those spoilt kids you see in the supermarket running rings around their parents making up noise. A bit of the annoying little brother about them too, a bit like Myles in Moesha.


Bit of an absence due to illness but I'm about to upload my re-cut animatic. Hopefully, people will agree that it's an improvement on the original. The timing is slightly more worked out, and I'm looking to add a bit of sound to it (As we speak I'm creating a Premiere file to fiddle about with it).

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Open Plan

Just some sketches I did when thinking about the kind of space the characters will be moving about in.

This is just a rough one to do with directions the characters need to walk in and just a sense of what's around them.

This is a rough sketch (from memory) of my hallway at home


I'm just going to talk a bit about how I have developed my story so far.

After I chose the above painting to use as inspiration/reference, I tried to analyse it a bit. The story behind it is that the woman has traded in her virtue for wealth. I think that the painting has sexual connotations, as it seems quite moralistic and is to do with personification, also if you look closely there are two characters in the stone engraving, engaged in an amorous pose.

It's quite a small painting but if you look closely you see the woman crying. This is mimicked by the Cupid in the background. What I got from this is a story where the ends doesn't quite justify the means. This made me think of how naughty children behave, rather impulsively with little regard for consequence.

I wanted my character to initially be a portrayal of a child, who wasn't necessarily bad or good, but acted on what they wanted emotionally and thought of the repercussions at a later stage.

The basic story I came up with was a child who wanted an ice cream, but didn't have any money, so they had to steal some from their parent/sibling to buy it but then either they dropped it or ate it and felt ill.

I spoke with my tutor who suggested that the consumption of the food, then the outcome felt stronger than it just falling off the cone. Also, to decide how the audience should feel about the kid. I decided to make him less likeable than initially planned, and make him more greedy, so that his gluttony was his downfall.

I'm still a bit unsure on the ending where the boy gets his comeuppance. I have him getting ill but I'm not sure how far I should take it. On a personal level I hate the idea of vomit, and watched an Australian student film earlier this year about zits which made me feel physically ill, but Shelley Page told us to exaggerate a situation if something horrible is happening so it seems outlandish, and the feedback from the National Gallery sesh did ask for more vomit inducing food so I'll see where that goes.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Day of reckoning

On Friday April 1st, I had my animatic shown to my peers and tutors at the National Gallery. It was generally well understood, with some helpful hints and tips given. Please feel free to tell me what you understand, or don't understand and what you think is happening in the film, as I want it to be unserstandable for the viewer. Leave comments below or on the Vimeo link

Transcriptions Animatic - First Draft from Karl Lawson on Vimeo.

I figure I'll let people watch first then post what my thoughts are and what I want people to get from it...