Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Character Development

Some early designs of Fran, hes looking more like an obese butcher than fragile oap so its back to work.more to come shortly. 

Layout Practice

Some Sketches

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Inspirations and Research log.

I thought it would be a good idea to keep a log of all the things that inspire me during the production of my short film. I will continue to add to this post as i stumble upon on more inspiration.
 If you have any suggestions of anything that may inspire me please leave a comment.

I will start with some amazing animations that Tim pointed out to me after hearing my new idea and reading my script. They all share a similar theme of loss and passing but deal with it in a very subtle, stylized and sensitive manner. All things i hope to achieve in my film.

Father and Daughter from Max Sombroek on Vimeo.
Written and Directed by Michael Dudok De Wit

Le Papillon - Antoine Antin & Jenny Rakotomamonjy (2002) from O.C. on Vimeo.

The Chestnut Tree Directed by Hyun-Min Lee
A much more familiar source of inspiration is 'Married Life- Carl and Ellie' form Disney Pixar Up by Michael Giacchin. Beautiful character design, i especially adore Carls hands. 

While on the subject of UP, Wesley Louis showed me this incredible blog post by 
Lou Romano- 'Up Color Script' Not only am i blown away by the his use of colour but i absolutely love his graphic illustration style as well as the textures of his pieces.

For background reference i have been looking at the works of Scott wills i do not expect to create any thing near as amazing as his paintings but they have inspired me to grab some paints a do so some tests as research. I particular enjoy his work on Samurai Jack such as these:

The pace and story telling in Ian Worrel's 'second wind' is great and the visual style is mouth watering!
Second Wind from Ian Worrel on Vimeo.
Another touching graduation film Directed by AIB graduates Laurent Rossi and Tori Davis. I have been fortunate enough to get some really helpful feedback from both of them so THANK YOU guys!

the following two animations really influenced my approach to character design.  

i love the finish of this film, to achieve something similar would be ideal. Eliza Ivanova uses flash but animates in the traditionally way, which is something that i have really been pushing over the last few months with my own work.

Piece of Cake from Eliza Ivanova on Vimeo.
more from Eliza and another interesting method of using flash's colours

pope from Eliza Ivanova on Vimeo.

 and another good finising technique by Kris Anka

a bear film from kris anka on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

'Fran' Animatic ver.3 (alternative ending)

It looks like she's gushing blood as Fran grabs her but its petals not blood, i just got carried away most plants don't shed petals like that so if i go ahead with that effect ill calm it down some.   

'Fran' Animatic ver.2

New Animatic. 'Fran' (thats the title for now) Ver.1

Real Reference

The script below is loosely based on an encounter i had while taking a walk in my local park (Cannon Hill Common). I was actually taking photos of trees- as you do- in a remote part of the common when i notice an elderly chap walk past rather slowly... slow even for a old man. I found it strange but continued      snapping away at trees. Some time later in another part of the common i saw the same chap again. He was walking slow still, but suddenly came to a stop. He then raised his head to the sky and fell back hitting the floor flat on his back. I ran to help him- he was broad and heavy- eventually i got him up and walked him to a bench. I sat with him and talked for a while. He and i strangely had a lot in common including our names, he was also named Francis but his friends called him Fran. He has a big family, he's father of eight while I am one of eight members of my immediate family. His wife is one of twelve children and my mum is one thirteen! 
Fran is 87 and has metal knee replacements which weighed six pounds each, so walking for long periods is really difficult for him. He fell back because he simply had no more energy left in him to stand up or even walk. He was thankful that i stumbled into him otherwise he could have been left on the cold muddy floor for a long time, until another passer by came along. I was thankful to meet such a nice man. 

The images above are taken on the common where i met Fran. I intend to use them as reference for my film.         

A different Approach- Writing a Script

Old Fran.
Dried up flowers lay on a park bench overlooking a wide field of a suburban common. It was a rare mild and sunny winters day. behind the bench was a muddy path leading towards a wooded area of the common. the path is covered by a corridor of trees. within the dim light of the wooded canopy approached an old man holding a small bouquet of flowers.     

Fran walked a long the same muddy path leading upwards towards a familiar bench that overlooked a wide open field on the common. He walked slowly along the path beneath the canopy of trees. Fran found journey towards the bench  far more egregious than ever before. 
He felt the pressure in his knees build up and his muscles begin to strain. he stopped to try and catch his breath. he tried to fill his lungs with air but all he could muster were shallow intakes. He looked up towards the bench and tried to continue walking. fran could not find the strength to lift his legs, his heart raced and his visioned blurred. The sounds of the trees and wildlife muffled. Once more he looked towards the bench. It glowed in the sunlight just beyond the dark canopy of trees. Dropping the bouquet of flowers, Fran clasped his right breast as the beating of his heart sent a Sharpe pain across his chest. Suddenly he was aware that he was alone. He moved his head from side to side frantically looking for a passer by. He then tried reaching for the flowers but the pain was unbearable and his hand retreated back to breast.  He raised himself to a full stretch. gasping he tried to take in some air but he could manage nothing. He felt all his strength leave him as he exhaled what was left in his lungs. He fell backwards towards the muddy ground falling still like an tree. He braced himself for the imminent pain he was about to experience as his heavy body slammed on the ground. But Fran felt nothing, no pain or noise. 
He lay there starring up at the branches of the canopy helpless. Soon he could make out the sounds of footsteps heading towards him. he was relieved to see that a young woman had found  him. She knelt down next to him placing one arm behind his shoulders. She gracefully pulled him to a seated position. Fran tried to utter a thanks to the women but found no voice. Silently the women pulled Frans left arm around her slender shoulders and lifted him to his feet with gentle ease.  Only now that he was standing did Fran register that the women showed no sign of strain while lifting his 16 stone body and that while doing so he had not assisted her effort. 
She pulled Frans arm down from her shoulders and held his thick hand with her slender fingers. She stood in front of him starring deeply into his eyes. Fran starred back firstly in confusion but there was something familiar about this person, he felt he knew her.  Suddenly feeling unease by the gaze of the beautiful women he briefly averted his eyes. He looked once more and was about to utter a thank you but the women suddenly held his face with her hands and kissed him softly on his lips. Fran was in shock as the long kiss continued. She then pulled away stepping back but maintaining her gaze. She gestured to him to follow her then turned around a glided a few more yards up the path towards the bench before gesturing to him again. Fran hesitated for a moment his mind still in shock but his eyes firmly focused on her slender form. He soon found the will to move his legs and head towards her. As he made his way images of his past flashed before him. 
It started with a somber image of the last moment he saw his wife, while he stood by her bedside as she passed away. Then came an vision of becoming a father. As these images past he felt the weight of his body being lifted, he could now move with ease. Energy and strength returned to him and he felt fully rejuvenated. The women ahead of him continued to glide along the path until she reached the exit of the canopy which was now lit brightly by the sun. she turned once more towards Fran immediately catching his gaze. As Fran met her gaze an image of the first time he met his wife flashed before him. It was her, she appeared now as she had done when he first laid eyes on her. At this realisation Fran sprinted towards her. he ran with all his might and as he did his faced firmed and eyes glowed as tears fell. As he reached her he lifted her up from the floor in a warm embrace spinning in the light.
*fade to white* 
fade in, shot of plaque on bench.
“in memory of Elizabeth Potter 1937-2005, loving mother of six children and wife of Fran.”      

I am lucky enough to have a little ( a lot) more help on my final project thanks to Tim McCourt , director of 'Drawing Inspiration' who has kindly offered to be my acting producer as well as continued support from my mentor Kim Alexander  (12foot6). With there help i shall not fail!!
After my last animatic crit i was a bit down in the dumps and i knew i didn't want to precede any further with my original idea. So I returned to my painting of choice to try rekindle my original inspiration. last time i had been consumed with trying to create a drama between the characters John the Baptist and Saint Jerome and that led me down the path of my last animatic. By completely ignoring that previous idea and the literal characters within the image i saw something else in the painting. I saw the composition of child, sub adult and elderly man as more of a representation of life, of growing old and dying. This new train of thought reminded me of an encounter i had that made a lasting impression on me. It was this combination that sparked off my new idea!
instead of getting stuck in with thumbnailing (like last time) Tim suggested that first write my story down as a script/ a form which makes clear sense to me. I was a tad apprehensive at first because clearly I am not a great writer. However by writing a script as descriptive as my vocabulary would allow, it helped me in developing and visualizing my idea quickly without getting bogged down with picking shots to thumbnail. Turned out to be be a great starting point so cheers Tim. oh and apologies to you poffins for any spelling and punctuation errors.              

Sunday, 10 April 2011

On the northern line, Week 22

haven't been feeling the poses lately, think I'm just getting tiered of the northern line. 
Good thing I'm on holiday then! I should push myself to draw people in other surroundings.