Wednesday, 30 March 2016

@Simon Bacteria Model

I've been trying to model my bacteria but I have no clue how to make the mouth, I've tried deleting faces and bridging them together or using extrude and it hasn't worked well. I've also tried avoiding deleting faces and just adding edges but it only adds on one side of the model so I'm unsure how to go about this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated because I'm becoming quite frustrated with this. I started with a polygon sphere and I've also tried it with a cube to see if it works better but it doesn't. I'm sure it's something simple but for some reason I can't wrap my brain around making a mouth so I think I just need some guidance/help.

I decided to give it another go using a cylinder and I tried deleting faces, extruding then I merged the edges (I think I did at least). It seems like it worked I figured I'd post a bunch of images to be sure.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Caustics/Lighting Test

As I look for a voice artist for my animation, I decided to do some lighting tests. I remember a few people recommend looking at caustics, so I found a tutorial here for underwater lighting here. I quite like the results, however I need to slow down the speed of the light rays. Some disadvantages to lighting this way is I have no clue how it looks or where the light rays are until I render it out and it takes a very long time to render with this method (although this may be because I'm rendering it on my laptop while doing other things).

I think I'll try out a few other methods to see if I can get similar effects with less render time and once I have access to a better machine I might see how long it takes to render out. Despite how it looks, it might not be ideal due to the render time especially since I only did it at HD 560 with some settings like Final Gathering turned off. After testing other things out I might look around at my settings to see if I can speed up render time in any way.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Leviathan Orthographs

These are the orthographs for my Leviathan. They look a bit funny since the model is going to be just a head. Since it will only really be seen from the front I made sure to make the front view the most detailed with some shading to make sure I know what parts of the model is further behind (like the back row of teeth) or pushed in/bumpy. When I make the actual model I may add some extra bits to him just so there are hints of his body in the darkness but I won't know for sure until later on.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Bacteria Orthographs

Here are the sets of orthographs for my bacteria in my animation. I decided to make three different bacteria so they didn't all look the same. I also went back over them to make them cleaner.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Bacteria (mutated) Side Orthographs Progress

I started to make sketches of the side view of the bacteria. I decided to have three different versions, so they aren't all the same. These are also going to be the mutated bacteria (in Act II), after I finish the front, top and bottom views I will work backwards and remove one of the two eyes and some spines to make the bacteria for Act I. These are not done/fully touched up, once I sketch the other views I'll remake them in Illustrator or Sketchbook Pro to make them cleaner. They look a bit silly like this, in all of my concept art they are twisting/turning/swimming but I figured having them straight would make them easier to model and I can move their bodies to animate later on.

Fantastic Voyage: Leviathan Post-Pitch Script

I've had a Post-Pitch script draft for a while but I got sidetracked by my contextual studies essay. Now that I've finished my essay, I'm redirecting my attention back to this project so here is the updated script with more science, along with some notes I wrote regarding the changes.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Animation & Character: Crit Showreel

Fantastic Voyage: After Effects Underwater Test 1

During digital painting today Jordan gave me a lot of good advice regarding how to start making my film. He suggested a tutorial by Copilot for an underwater effects so I decided to give it a try during the lesson today. I used a black and white image of the kelp forest and added a colour filter onto it as well to see different ways I may be able to colour my maya animation as I think using filters might be useful instead of colouring the actual textures but I'll do different tests regarding this later on.

Animation & Character: Excited Decanter with Sound

I think the sound is working with this, it took me a very long time to find the right sounds for glass dragging and 'bouncing'. I was also surprisingly difficult to find the right liquid spilling/pouring sound. After playing around with the pitch and trying to add a little reverb without going overboard, I think it works.


Animation & Character: Lip Sync - "You're gonna need a bigger boat..." Final

I thought this animation needed a little bit more so I added a few extra frames, made the boat sink more and added some lake waves, creaking wood, and water spilling sound effects.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Cutting Edge: Rosemary's Baby

Often in horror films, suspense is key to engaging the audience. In Roman Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968) a very different technique is used to achieve a feeling of dread and horror. Adapted from Ira Levin's novel, this film does not suddenly shock the audience, something is common with films in this genre. In fact, one might not even believe it was 'horror' to begin with. However, as the film progresses it becomes clear that there is something much more sinister lurking under the surface.

Fig. 1 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968)
The film starts off rather innocently, a young woman named Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and her husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move into a new apartment. They eventually befriend their older neighbors Minnie (Ruth Gordon) and Roman (Sidney Blackmer) who can be quite nosey but appear to be harmless enough. While Rosemary wishes to have a baby, her husband Guy seems more interested in his acting career than starting a family. However, they eventually decide to have a child, which is where the film begins to take a dark and unexpected turn.

Watching 'Rosemary's Baby' is an interesting experience as the audience knows something odd is going on relatively early in the film. This is very unusual for a horror film as usually the viewer is kept in the dark so a surprise can be delivered at the end. Instead, Polanski "gives the audience a great deal of information early in the story, and by the time the movie's halfway over we're pretty sure what's going on in that apartment next door. When the conclusion comes, it works not because it is a surprise but because it is horrifyingly inevitable," (Ebert, 1968). Early in the film Rosemary, clearly drugged, is seemingly raped by some monstrous creature in a surreal and disturbing dream. Although Rosemary dismisses this dream as her husband Guy having sex with her while she was unconscious, the viewer is left to suspect that this is not the truth.

Fig. 2 The Devil's Eyes
The viewer is then forced to witness Rosemary slowly suffer through her pregnancy and she begins to piece together what is really going on in her apartment building. This feels frustrating and difficult to watch at times due to how innocent and naive the character is. If everything about witchcraft and satanism is true it is clear that she would be incapable to fight against it. "Polanski slyly exploits her mannered childishness. Even before she gets pregnant she wears shapeless little smocks and flat, little girl shoes...Rosemary repeats parrot-fashion other characters' statements and allows herself to be completely dominated,"  (Errigo, 2000). It is clear that even though Rosemary cares about her baby's safety, she has a certain weakness to her that allows people to take advantage of her.

Fig. 3 Rosemary's Dress
This is also clear by her reaction to her husband after her dream where she was raped by a demonic monster. When she wakes up, she discovers scratches on her body and Guy casually explains that he had sex with her as she slept because he didn't want to 'miss the chance' to get her pregnant. Despite Rosemary being irritated about it at first, she just accepts it and moves on. Seeing their dismissive reactions regarding sexual consent is disturbing in itself, even if they are married. However, once the truth is discovered and we know that it wasn't Guy who raped Rosemary, he becomes a truly disgusting character. "The most despicable villain is surely Guy, who allows his wife to be raped by the devil in exchange for an acting role," (Billson, 2010).  

While 'Rosemary's Baby' strays from the traditional method of building up suspense for fear, it is often celebrated as one of the best horror films of all time due to how disturbing and dark it is. This is perhaps due to the audience suspecting what is going on early in the film and being forced to watch an relatively innocent and sincere character slowly suffer and realize the truth for herself. It also makes the audience second guess themselves multiple times, is it really satanism and witchcraft or is Rosemary just crazy? In the end, perhaps the most horrifying aspect is seeing Rosemary's motherly instincts kick in despite her grim experience and knowing her child is Satan's son. The viewer never knows what happens next, we are just left with Rosemary's final little smile as she slowly rocks the baby's black cradle back and forth.

Adler, R. (1968) Rosemary's Baby (1968) At: Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Billson, A. (2010) Rosemary's Baby: No 2 best horror film of all time At: Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Ebert, R (1968) Rosemary's Baby At: Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Errigo, A. (2000) Rosemary's Baby Review At: Accessed on: 15/3/2016

Illustration List:
Figure 1. Rosemary's Baby [Poster] At: Accessed on 15/3/2016
Figure 2. The Devil's Eyes [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 15/3/2016
Figure 3. Rosemary's Dress [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 15/3/2016

Monday, 14 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Post-Pitch Thoughts

I'm very happy with how the Pitch went today, I feel like I presented better than I have done on previous projects. The majority of my feedback seemed to be about adding more science and possibly recalibrating my target audience. Personally, I don't feel that my animation is 'too scary' for a mass market but maybe the idea of this monster being within your veins should be a 13+ sort of age range.

I also initially received feedback regarding the ending of my animation being too 'doom and gloom' however, after discussing this more it's become clear that it technically can't have a happy ending due to how bacteria adapt. Even with a strong antibiotic, some bacteria will survive and adapt to resist...even brand new antibiotics have bacteria that are resistant. Because of this, the ending of my animation will stay relatively the same but maybe have more emphasis on being careful with the use of antibiotics.

The main thing I feel I need to focus on is adding in extra science which I think will be relatively easy for me to do. I feel even if I just change my narrator from being Quint inspired to Hooper (from Jaws) it'll improve. In other words, by having someone who is more of a scientist instead of a rough sailor the animation will have to include more science instead of the metaphor. Even changing little things such as "...and share with each other..." to something like "and they share DNA with each other" can have a massive impact on the science part of my animation.

I think by tweaking the narrator's role and dropping in more scientific terms will sort out the problems...I hope to rewrite a script before the end of term so I can focus on trying to get production art, orthographs, and maybe some maya things moving along. I'll look more into voice actors, and also change the title from "The Leviathan" to just "Leviathan" .

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Leviathan Concept Art Progress

I'm pretty sure I'm going to go back and touch a few things up but I'm happy with how this is turning out so far. I made it red for now because of my colour ideas for the environment as the story progresses but I can easily change the colour. I tried adding some spikes to his head but he ended up looking kind of silly so I tried to just make his face look bumpy and gnarled instead with a lot of teeth. I know he might be a little hard to see but he's meant to be emerging from the darkness and consuming the camera/viewer so he's hidden in shadow. If it's too dark, I can change it, just the focus is meant to be the eyes and teeth.

Fantastic Voyage: Colour Ideas

After making these paintings of my kelp forest, I had an idea of possibly having it change throughout the animation. I'm not sure if it'd work, as I can see it possibly clashing with the mood the narrator is putting on or maybe it'd be too colourful for a 'scary' animation but I figured I'd post it up just in case it was a good idea. From the previous post I think the green kelp forest would work best since a pill appears and releases antibiotic, but I also think that red might work well for the leviathan as it'd be in the blood. So overall, I'm not sure if this idea would work but it might also keep the kelp forest from being too boring/repetitive. Any ideas/thoughts/feedback welcome.

Fantastic Voyage: Kelp Forest Colour Ideas

I've been experimenting with different colours for my kelp forest concepts, so far I think the green version works the most or the red one to symbolize either the stomach or the blood. I also still quite like the black and white version, but I think the blue might be too calm and I'm not too sure about the purple-ish version. Any opinions would be appreciated.

Black & White

Friday, 11 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: The Leviathan Animatic (w/ Narration, Sound Effects, Music)

I added a bit of a vignette to this in After Effects, I'm not sure if it's too subtle or not subtle enough but I was just experimenting with it. I also tried adding some colour filters but it looked odd so I'll experiment with colour more in my concept art. The music and most of the sound effects are pretty quiet because I was worried the narration would get drowned out.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Fantastic Voyage: Pitch Animatic w/ Subtitles and Updated Script

I've gone back and added subtitles to hopefully fix the timing on my animatic so I can now add narration and sound effects to it along with some music as long as I have time after finishing some concept paintings. I've also updated my script so it matches up with my storyboard/animatic. 

@Phil - Fantastic Voyage: The Leviathan Animatic Progress II

The timing needs to be worked on a bit I think, but I'm going to start working on adding some sound effects, but I was wondering if I should add subtitles or annotations for the narration, if I should leave it without subtitles to not block any of the images and present the narration using my script/3 acts, or if I should do a version of both for the pitch?

* Update*I might be getting Joe to do some narration for me, so that question is more for if I'm unable to get a recording tomorrow. I know I can do it myself too, I'd just prefer not to because I don't think my voice would work well but if that's a better option than subtitles or just presenting a script (and if I can't get anyone else to do it) I'll obviously suck it up.

Fantastic Voyage: Storyboards for The Pitch

After making these storyboards, there are a few things in my script I need to touch up and change. I added a few extra frames and changed some of the transitions (cuts, cross dissolves, fade to black). I also added a few close ups of the bacteria's faces/teeth (panels 35, 36, 37) because I felt it needed something more.