Animation Studio 1 – 01 – Around The World In 80 Ideas

Introduction

Hello I’m Kynan, this is my first entry into this blog, in which I will be discussing my week to week experience as a Bachelor student. I will also demonstrate effective practices and workflows, OR NOT, as I work on several animation projects.


Title Sequence

My first project is a rapid project, meaning there is a limited amount of time to work on it. I was assigned to a team of 7 people, we named ourselves Potato Potato, pronounced potato potatou. The brief outlines that as a team we must create a title sequence for a reboot of an old film, in my team’s case it was the 1956 classic ‘Around the world in 80 days’. This sequence must be in the style of an already existing title sequence, my team received randomly the promotional sequence for the book ‘A kiss from Tokyo’. 

The sequence pays homage to the 60’s spy thriller through its music, editing, and aesthetics. As of now the elements my team has decided to draw from this sequence are the crayon drawn characters with minimalistic and cartoonish designs, we will be drawing all of the characters in a similar fashion and animating them as puppets in Adobe After Effects. For the backgrounds we will be using a similar focus effect, in which most of the time the background will remain out of focus to allow the audience to focus on the main action. These backgrounds will either be made in drawn layers or with 3d assets, and will be made in such a way that they seem as though they are projections on the wall for a theatre production. We are also going to use the grain filter and add weathering effects in the compositing stage.

We have added a few new elements as well, of these the most prominent element is the stage curtains. These curtains will be used to make a homage to the time the film was set in and to indicate the sequence is some sort of theatre recreation of the story. With the theatre theme in mind the sequence will consist of the characters circling a map stopping at some of the key locations in the story, such as the departure from London, the rescue of the princess in India, and the circus in Japan. The settings will transition with the backgrounds changing as if they were theatre props, falling out of scene and being replaced by new props and a new background, a clear example of a similar idea is the game Puppeteer developed by SCE Japan Studio.

Screen capture from the Sony game Puppeteer http://www.polygon.com/2013/9/10/4717054/puppeteer-review

Screen capture from the Sony game Puppeteer
http://www.polygon.com/2013/9/10/4717054/puppeteer-review

In the pre-production stage of the project I have been assigned to work on the storyboards along with another team member. I enjoy storyboarding as it allows me to have a certain amount of control over the project, although for this specific project I have to try and develop interesting transitions which I haven’t really tried before. When thinking about the composition of each shot I have to think about were the text should go, which is an interesting way of developing different shots. Overall this is a very exciting project that will allow me to further develop my technical and team skills.


Team Communication

To effectively work as a team communication is key, although working face to face is always preferable it isn’t always possible. Many solutions are available for me and my team, but the school has suggested we use Slack, a professional communication platform that allows a team to communicate at several levels, if I wanted to I could communicate with one single person or the team members that are working on a specific part of the project. This has helped my team make many decisions concerning the development of the sequence.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 21.18.17

To effectively organise our assets, documentation and reference material we have effectively implemented a technical framework using Google Drive. It allows the whole team to access these key documents and assets at any place on any device, it also allows all documents to be viewed and edited by team members at the same time. I can upload any kind of file onto Drive and most kinds of images, documents and videos can be viewed on Drive itself, otherwise any team member can download the documents they need from Drive onto their devices. Ultimately this framework has allowed the team to effectively share important files and to keep the project in order, and already this early in the project the whole team is constantly using it, mostly to access reference material and the weekly tasks.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 12.57.38

In my next few blog entries I will be talking about my work on the storyboards for the title sequence, learning how to use After Effects and many more things.

Thanks for reading, peace out.

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