Thursday, 5 May 2011

Changing Rooms

I decided that in order to keep my set constant and to get a homely feel, I needed to both research living spaces, and create my own in its entirety, rather than shots here and there. However, given the lack of time at my disposal this had to be quite a quick process, so no time for Maya modelling. I decided to start with the fridge, as it's one of my favourite shots from the animatic, but I soon realised that I don't know what a fridge door looks like, as I'm usually just grabbing isolated items. I had a look on a few images from websites but decided first hand experience would be best, so I looked at both the fridge in Back Hill and at home, and did a quick sketch or two. Hopefully this comes across in the animation.

What I did next was take photographs of similar locations in my own house that appear in my film, so the staircase, the living room and the hallway. I tried to get a focus on the smaller items that make a place feel more homely, e.g. embarrassing photographs from one's childhood, pot pourri and staircase spindles.

Ikea's Finest

I after taking these images I went about drawing each wall of the set from the opposite side of the room, until I had all four sides of the lounge. I instantly saw flaws in the positioning of certain items from both the perspective of the film, and common sense. I then annotated on the scans of the images.

Here are my initial sticking points:

This is the wall you will see in the film, and probably the one shown most throughout. Naturally, I had a strong idea of the main positions here. The window had to be far enough from the dad's chair to mean the boy has less chance of waking up his dad. What I've noticed is that it may need to be bigger as it is the main window in the living room so I may have to adjust the height as the width needs to be somewhat narrow. The little table is just to rest things on so you get an idea that it is part of the dad. Resting say, a mug, or a newspaper on there as part of a routine. I may remove the wall hangings as it could look a bit cluttered.

This is the wall that leads to the kitchen. I liked the idea of an open archway leading into the kitchen. I think this makes the idea of the sound travelling from the window to the kitchen and the boy hearing it a bit more believable. Due to later realisation, which I will get on to, I would probably have to move the sofa closer to the CD rack, and even move the arch a bit more to the left as well. I like the how the wall doesn't seem very busy but it doesn't look bare.

This the wall that I'd given the least thought to prior to drawing it, but most of the action happens over here. The table is where the dad first walks to, off-screen. He will put down his keys and wallet then amble to his armchair. I'm not sure of the design of the table yet but I'm reasonable happy with how this one looks.

Here is the main issue for me. There needs to be a door where the lamp is to lead to the hallway/staircase so that the kid has two exit points in the room. The walls look ridiculously empty. I don't want there to be a massive HD television on the wall, primarily because I originally wanted this set in the late nineties. I guess I'll need to canvas some more opinion and research to fix it but it seems to be the odd one out in terms of final positioning.

More stuff soon.


  1. You could always use a room planner online. Something like this:

    Or you could buy a dollhouse and go crazy.

  2. i was reading in the illusion of life that for the cars in 101 Dalmations instead of drawing them they did a stop motion with an actual model of a car painted white with black lines painted on it, photographed against a white background. then they photocopied the stop motion frames and just inked them up as if they were a regular hand drawn cell - you could maybe do this if you have camera moves? like ash said - buy a doll house and paint it!