This is just a little summary regarding our style: visual look development and animation…
Style Mood board: Flat, 2D toon style – as a team particularly drawn the hand drawn style of Fallout.
Character Style: Although there is already a rough character design, this will be tweaked and changed as we decide on our story arc for each episode, and as the visual style of the project is refined.
A short compilation of all the styles that have been mentioned in the previous posts, just to help us visualise how the project will look and to give us a rough idea of what we aim to accomplish:
In a short presentation we showed the references above along with some tests that have been created below, just to see if we could achieve a style/ develop a look similar to the ones above, below is a compilation of the work we showed which included, rig testing and look development – could we achieve the classic noodle arm from the golden age years style of animation, a title card to hint at the sort of style we may be heading towards, some concept art for the first episode, a piece of character design and some look development referencing the old square aspect ration of television along with the lines and static which appeared over the picture.
After a quick presentation most of the feedback was directed at our story as it wouldn’t matter how pretty a style we may manage to create, if our story doesn’t work and we don’t get a laugh from the audience then our project wouldn’t work, the story and the comedy are the most important factors of our short. We were also warned that our style shouldn’t affect the story, it should be there to support the story and if the style doesn’t allow for an aspect to work then we should source another.
John Lasseter, “The art challenges the technology and the technology inspires the art.”
Paperman, a short from Disney mentioned in a previous post, is a relevant example of the style supporting the story. The black and white, simplistic nature of the short means that the style doesn’t distract the audience from the story, they don’t come away from the short thinking about how Disney used the technology to create it because the style supported the story, it perfectly suits the love story that develops between the main characters.
It was pointed out that by making a Public safety announcement regarding the perils of student life that for some who may view the episodes we would be creating a sense of nostalgia, meaning that the audience would find it easier to develop a connection with the main character, Kimmy and even if members of the audience hadn’t went to university themselves they would at least know someone who had – meaning they would still have a connection to the short. The Guardian had an interesting article regarding nostalgia and how the internet has changed our perception of nostalgia which in turn may actually work in our favour regarding the project…
“It’s not hard to imagine why ours might be a uniquely nostalgic era. The internet has concentrated our perception of what’s new, but it’s also given us countless ways to revisit the old. No longer is nostalgia something that catches us by surprise. Now it’s something we consciously seek out. Next time you’re out with a group of friends, try vaguely describing a cartoon from your childhood featuring a girl in a beret and her magic pencil. I guarantee you someone will be playing the Penny Crayon theme tune out of their phone before the evening’s up. Our pop-cultural past is now just a Google search away, and that immediacy has turned nostalgia into the dominant cultural force.” –https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jul/09/the-ghostbusters-reboot-and-nostalgia-in-pop-culture
It was also mentioned to us that we had two ways of approaching the deliverance of the comedy within the episodes, Surprise and Suspense…
Surprise: Something of significance is hidden from the audience, whether that be off screen and hidden completely or discretely fitted into the background, “Surprises have to be logical and fit into the world of the story… A surprise has to be believable in the context of the story, or it alienates the audience instead of satisfying it.” – http://mayersononanimation.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/elements-of-scene-suspense-and-surprise.html
Suspense: meaning that something is revealed to the audience but not to the characters, this is an element Alfred Hitchcock used successfully to his advantage within his films,
“In Family Plot (1976) Hitchcock shows the audience that brake fluid is leaking out of a car well before the characters find out about it. In Psycho (1960) we know about the crazy mother before the detective (Martin Balsam) does, making the scene in which Balsam enters the house one of the most suspenseful scenes in Hitchcock’s career.” http://borgus.com/hitch/hitch2011.htm
It’s more than likely that we will follow the surprise approach, we feel that this is better suited to the comedy genre and is an element that we could really use to it’s advantage throughout our project, we don’t want to give the audience a feeling or suspense – we want to make them laugh.
PHD comics: A reference given to us by a tutor, this website is full of jokes about what PHD students go through on a daily basis. It might help us develop our own jokes along side providing some funny situations that students have found themselves in, a foundation to work from.
Link to website: http://phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1910
student problems/lifehacks: These are facebook and twitter profiles filled with memes about the lives of students and the simple ways they can improve. Some are specific to different courses (below, animator) but generally they are incredibly funny and would provide us with a good sense of humour regarding our topic.
Points to keep in mind:
As this is a safety announcement towards life as a student it may be useful to produce some sort of leaflet/ paper piece to hand in along side the project.
Our project needs to work visually – without any sound, this will show if the jokes are readable without any possible explanation, how will the audience respond to the humour? Once we get this aspect to a successful standard then we can work on implementing the sound into the project, as it should support the visuals and not the other way around.
Develop a pipeline early… and stick to it! Currently for a pipeline we are considering, Maya > ZBrush (> Maya) > Photoshop > Cinema 4D > after effects> Final Cut. The main models and assets will be created using a mixture of maya and Zbrush with their textures created in photoshop, lighting and toon will be completed within Cinema 4D with After Effects for our compositing and Final Cut for editing.