Animation Studio 1 – 02 – Layers

In this entry I will be talking about the work I have been doing for my rapid project including storyboards and animatic, some of which I couldn’t have done without After Effects which I learnt how to use this week. This week I was also assigned a new project which I will be talking about in a future entry.

After Effects

In my second class this week I was taught the basics of After Effects, a program I had wanted to learn for quite a while but hadn’t had a chance before, it is used for digital compositing, a very important part of any 3D production. The layout wasn’t to intimidating as it being and adobe suite product meant its layout was very similar to Photoshop, but it does have hundreds of options and allows for some very powerful processes.

The lecturer taught the class how to make a short clip with an asteroid flying past Mars. To make the scene I had to learn how to mask mars and the asteroid so that they fit into the composition and so I could add a shadow to Mars. He also taught us how to make pre-comps which are compositions within the output composition so that it’s easier to modify different elements. There where effects that allow you to … well add effects and I also learnt how to manipulate the particle system to produce animated stars and add lens flares. And finally I learnt how to use key frames to animate movement rotation and scale for each individual layer. I also learnt many new things within After Effects thanks to my project lead who I worked with to make the animatic for my rapid project, more about that below.

Boarding The Story Train

For the first week I was assigned to do the storyboards for the title sequence along with another team member, throughout the week we discussed what scenes we should take from the movie and my lead gave me an outline. The outline just indicated the main action of the scene, so I had space to add my creativity to it. I have never done storyboards in Photoshop and was really time consuming, but then I learnt about layer comps which saves a specific set of layers and then I can move the layers or hide them and save a new layer comp which allows me to go back and forth between them. The challenge with this process was making the transitions as the camera never changes, the static camera also means its hard to keep it interesting. By the end of it my lead and team were very happy with it, we made some minor changes and they mentioned that I actually had more than enough boards which meant the next step was much easier.

Story_0000_Shot1 Story_0013_Shot14 Story_0019_Shot20 Story_0032_Shot33 Story_0054_Shot55 Story_0061_Shot62

Moving On

With my storyboards approved and a bit of After Effects knowledge I began working on the animatic, it was easy to transfer the Photoshop layers over, but they were very unorganised so next time I will attempt to name and organised every layer. I was working slowly on it, but then my lead joined me and helped, he is much faster with After Effects and actually taught many shortcuts and better ways of doing certain things. We worked 5 hours straight on it, we ended up with a complete animatic and started considering music, we decided we should ask the rest of the team to find music options and we also considered approaching audio students. It is a detailed animatic which help the animators and designers have a clearer understanding of what the final product should look like.

Staying Organised

This week many new management documents were added to the team potato potato Google Drive folder, it has been organised into management, pre-production and production. The whole team has been using it especially to see the asset list, schedule and to check out the storyboards and animatic. The documents that have been added include a chart that has the schedule for the next 5 weeks and the milestones we need to reach every week. There is an asset list that allows the lead to assign each person different tasks and the member can tick off if they have completed the task. There is a document to keep track of the hours each person has put in each week. Finally in class we have stand up at the start and end of the week to talk about we have done and what issues we have.

Gantt Chart Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 21.28.53


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