Friday, 8 January 2016

Narrative Unit- Animation Development


Storyboard and Narrative 

I began storyboarding, with the idea that the story would be about daily life in the trench. 
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Storyboard V.1



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Storyboard V.2

However, after more research and finding out about the Clay Kickers (from this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zggykqt) I decided to change my narrative. I did this as I felt it was a more interesting and less known story. Middle aged Miners, too old to fight in the front line, were used to tunnel underneath the trenches. 






I then did a small animatic, showing my general idea for the animation.


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The Process 

I chose to create the animation in a 3D animating program called Blender. This is because I wanted to create a Digital Set where I could light the illustrations to create an interesting atmosphere. Below are some early tests I did for the models.

3D Model Tests-





Above, you can see the drawing, as well as how it looks on the model. I was really pleased and excited by how it looked, and felt that it gave the character a war-weary look.

Building Out the Model.






Once the base of the model was built, I began to test out different textures.



Storyboard V.3

Once again, I went back to the storyboards, as I had some more ideas about what I wanted the animation to include and show.



Then, I began on the Character designs. I wanted them to look older and dirtier. As they wouldn't have worn full military uniform, I looked at lots of photographs of clothing during this period as well as Mining records and documents. 

Here is a link to some of the research pages -





I planned on having 3-4 characters. I wanted them to have a very similar look as the Tunnellers would have worn regular work clothing for the time.



Here, I created some textures that would be used on the model to create the clothing texture. I varied and created different types of mark making to do this.




Then, I began to create the faces for the characters. As the program mirrors the human models, I only drew one side as It would then be reflected.








Once I was happy with the face of the first soldier, I took some screenshots to test out different lighting styles.





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Storyboard 4.

I next drew up some storyboard and scene notes. This helped me refine my shots and understand how they would look.





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More faces.




Now that my models were textured, I had to rig (create a skeleton) so that they could be moved and postitioned. I found this quite challenging at first, as it became very very technical. But I was able to create a very basic Rig which would work.








Below I had to add weight to the model so that it the body wouldn't get tangled up or broken when I moved it. 


I then created a 3D Set, which was a hollowed out cuboid and textured that to make it very dark and muddy.



Once the set was made, I placed and positioned my tunnellers into the set. 

I then Lit it using lights within the 3D Program.






And Finally rendered it to make it look crisp and finished.








Here for example, I played around with the lighting. Of course the tunnel wouldn't be lit with a blue light, but it did remind me of moonlight. However this was more just a test.

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Final Images

Below are the final images that are used in the animation.


















Sound

For the sound I used the AUB sound library (as recommended by Gabrielle) and as well as that, am currently working with a composer to have a short soundtrack created to go along side.

Final Animation

The Title ' A Game Of Cat And Mole' is a play on the phrase ' Cat and Mouse'; which is all about close encounters and constant pursuit. The mole represents the tunnelling aspect and so is a play on words.




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